Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Needless Criticism

The Indian cricket team lost miserably in the second and third one-dayers. This is nothing new, and not surprising as well. The Indians of late haven’t performed well overseas.

What was new this time, was the reaction that their performance evoked from an unlikely quarter – the Parliament. Several MPs went up in arms demanding the sacking of Greg Chappell, the Indian coach and held him solely responsible for the team’s dismal show at South Africa.

Chappell responded to the comments made by MPs, admitting candidly that several players in the side were out of form and that the MPs were being paid to do their job. In other words, Chappell simply said that the MPs were doing their job and were right in expressing their opinion.

This response by Chappell was misconstrued by MPs back home. Several of them mistook them as ‘offensive’ comments and expressed their ire in front of the media. Laloo was in his characteristic self, with pan parag in his mouth, stating in essence that Chappell mustn’t have said what he did. Renuka Chaudhary suggested that a privelege motion be moved against Chappell, if Parliament was willing. Another MP said that Chappell didn’t understand ‘the nuances of democracy’ (though whatever that’s got to do with this issue, I do not know). I was most disappointed when the Lok Sabha speaker too joined the bandwagon and stressed that ‘none should lecture’ any parliamentarian and that he was ‘concerned’ about the team’s performance.

Sidhu was one of the sensible few who came out supporting Chappell. He rightly pointed out that MPs should stick to running Parliament, just as Chappell stuck to his job of coaching. Pawar too was sensible, stating that he wouldn’t interfere in the functioning of the team or coach.

I’ve observed several things from the entire episode.

Firstly, why do the MPs give so much importance to cricket? It’s just a game, isn’t it? Second, how many of the MPs who commented actually know the nuances of cricket? Third, why is cricket alone picked up among all sports? Why doesn’t Parliament utter even a single word when Indians perform poorly in hockey (which, incidentally is India’s national game) or football? Doesn’t the speaker have any ‘concern’ for the national teams of other sports when they under-perform? The Parliament should be concerned about SPORTS in India, not CRICKET.

This only goes to show that sensationalism rides Parliament, not genuine issues. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in Parliament starts commenting when he finds something remotely sensational. Parliament should stick to its job of framing, enforcing and implementing laws with minimum disruptions and adjournments, and leave cricket to the BCCI.

Fleeing from Boredom

I am spending my vacation at home, and am finding it tough to find ways to spend quality time. The boring days just don't seem to end.

However, I did get a respite last Saturday. My parents stated that we would be going to Tiruvallur to visit a few temples there. (Of late my spirituality has dwindled owing to no particular reason, so I rarely go to temples on my own now and just tug along with my parents whenever they do.)

I was glad for two reasons. One, I would get a chance to visit Suresh (fondly called 'surs'), my friend and branchmate who resided there. Two, we would make the trip by train, and I like travelling by train. :-)

The journey was to take an hour or so. We got into a local and myself, as usual, stood near the door, despite repeated protests from my mom, while the others (dad, mom, aunt) took their seats. I read the day's paper for sometime and spent the rest of the journey messaging surs on how we would spend the day together.

We reached Tiruvallur went straight to the Veeraraghava Swamy temple in an auto. Surs managed to catch up with me at the 'kolam' (the temple tank). Both of us had worn the same t-shirts and mom exclaimed at the coincidence.( "You look like brothers!" :-) ) We stood in the queue and soon after, surs and myself started chatting. My aunt often asked us to remain silent in the temple premises, but who would listen? :-) I was awed when I finally managed to see Lord Vishnu lying down on Adisesha, with Brahma seated gracefully on the lotus, emerging from Vishnu’s belly. I stood for a few moments staring at the moolavar (the actual statue) with the utsavar (a scaled-down, lighter version of the moolavar, made of 5 metals or panchaloha, carried around during processions) in front. Later, we visited the Hanuman temple at Kaakkalur and Amman temple at Putlur, followed by the Panchamuka Hanuman temple, having a 30 - odd feet statue of Hanuman with 5 faces (those of Hanuman, Narasimha, Rama, Varaaha, and Hayagriva). Surs had invited us to his home and so we went after all major temples in the area had been exhausted.

What a home it was!! I, being born and brought up in the city, had never seen such an expansive (one might call it luxurious, only that it wasn’t so in the modern, conventional sense), well-lighted, and at times, amusing home, save in the movies. It had an indoor balcony, or an open mini-room facing the street, outside the main entrance (or was it a lobby for a residence? :-) ). Inside was what one could describe as a ‘hall’ in modern-day homes, with plenty of lighting from a large, open square top. There was the kitchen on the right, where Surs’s charming mother was making coffee and snacks for us. Straight ahead was another room which led to a rear exit. I might’ve missed a couple of rooms in my excitement on the ground floor itself, but surs noticed it and showed me the first and second floors!! (Yeah, you read that right.. First and second floors when its difficult to even get a complete floor for your home in the city :-) ). They would’ve been half of the ground in terms of area, and formed the front of the home. What made the home amusing was there were bathrooms at almost all places at the home :-). (one behind the rear exit, one attached to the kitchen!! And am sure a few more at other places as well which I would’ve missed :-) ).

Finally, it was a time for us to leave. We said good-bye, and invited surs to my home :-) for a few days as well. Sometime during this pleasant interlude, I got a headache yet again, a dull pain on both sides of the head irritating me often nowadays. It affected me during the most unexpected times, without any particular reason. We left, had some dosas at a hotel near the station, and came back to Chennai via a train. I slept peacefully on my aunt’s lap throughout the journey back, thanks to my headache, which had turned to a pounding now.

I was back home and slept for hours together, glad to have gotten a break from monotony and looking forward to yet another one.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

'Job's of the jobless

With almost all my wing-mates having been 'placed', the wing itself portrays a picture of relief, joy and calm.

Its members are now truly vettis (used as a noun/verb, meaning 'jobless people' here, for the uninititated.. Do remember, u will get to see a lot of this word here.. ) What do they do now? Well, stay in the net lab all the time scrapping each other in orkut!!

They were so vetti that I once saw two guys sitting next to each other and scrapping in orkut!! How frustrating would it have been for me when I was waiting for a comp!!

Of course, who would forget communities? Gappan, from 37, created a community called 'Pearl #34 Inmates' (Ahem, FYI, 34 is my room :-) ) .. It is supposedly for "all those vetti people who spent their day time/ night time in Pearl #34" .. What a waste of server space!! If you are so vetti, what is the point of broadcasting it to the world?

Being the proud inmate of the now-infamous room 34, let me give an idea of how its indispensible vettis spend time in my room.

From room 36, its Kicha. Affectionately called vetti, (not that others arent!), his day isnt complete without a dig at level 7 of Mario Forever. He tries desperately everyday, to finish that level, but is unable to do so. (He is looking for cheats now.. :-) ) .

From 35, Raavan drops in so proudly to put in yet another of his fundae (PJ's actually..), forcing tears and pleas to stop from the listeners. He disappears once he gets his phone call from u-know-who and goes missing for hours thereafter.

From 29, its Vaai. Anyone who talks with him cowers in fear and eventually gets a generous dose from his foul mouth. Left alone in my room, he would play CS for hours together. He would never give up, though he gets hit everytime without any kills. What a show-off! (Sorry da vaai!! Theriyaama unmaiyellam veliya vanthuduchu..)

One cannot miss Gappan from 37, flaunting his iPod.. He arrives just to charge his iPod in my comp, create a huge playlist in iTunes and load it back again. In the meanwhile, one gets tired listening to his prattling on open-source :-) ..

And the daunting Rubbu, from 30, who has recently got fascinated by Mario Minix, refuses to leave without setting a high score. He has taken to another game, Caesar 3 as well. One should watch how animatedly he discusses with Raavan the progress he has made in Caesar. Indeed, What a job!!

Vichu, from 41, who has this never-fading smile on his face .. He spends so much time in my room that he now claims that its his own! How outrageous! He pretty much does everything in my room.. watching movies, listening to songs, spend entire days, even sleeping!! Notably, he is also the founder of Shravan ke Chaat fundae, (yet another of my wing's vetti communities), dedicated exclusively to Raavan's PJs.

And aalu, from 27, who deserves to be called the vettiest (yeah, this verb has a superlative as well :-) ) of all.. He sleeps throughout the day, and when not sleeping, listens to songs on his comp..
Aalu is so mad about his songs that he re-installed his OS ten+ times just because it did not detect his sound card!! Of course, its not at all surprising, considering the fact that he bought his comp only for listening to songs .. :) .. Fortunately, Aalu does not frequent my room like others do..

Suresh, from 39.. My classmate, who would be a strong contender for the title of Mr. Vetti.. He pretty much does nothing .. his 'job' is to visit his choicest rooms (those of kicha, aalu, vicky from I floor) , spending atleast an hour-and-half in every room .. holding very 'important' discussions.. That pretty much makes up his day :-)

Imagine my plight when this vetti gang gathers in my room and refuse to leave!.. What a horror!! It would get so bad that I would eventually be driven out of my room (of course, not consciously by anyone, but a decision that I would be forced to take ultimately..) only to seek solace in a peaceful room belonging to one of these vettis.. I prefer vichu's room for its AC-like effect, I get good sleep there :) ..

To be edited.. watch out for additions :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Safarring in a Mumbai local

I waited for the local train at Andheri. It was 7:30 PM, just two minutes since the last local had gone by, and the station was three-quarters full already!! Well, I thought, let me try the front coach, where lesser people were likely. I waded through the noisy crowd and reached the position where the first second class compartment was expected. The train finally came, and when I saw it near, with crowds protruding from doors on both sides, a sense of fear built up within me. I prayed. God, help me get inside, and reach Goregaon unscathed.

It slowed down. Already, people were being pushed out of the train and shouts of chalo, chalo were heard. I took my position in the crowd waiting to enter the coach. My 'lesser people at the front' theory, was of course, wrong. How stupid of me to make such an assumption. The train stopped. People who were waiting to alight, were forced out in under two seconds. Then came the time for boarding. Most of those waiting to board pushed, shoved and managed to get in. I did the same as well; and I was at the rear of the crowd and barely made it. I was hanging outside with just the two vertical bars on either side for support, when the train started moving. Oh my god, please help.

I was lucky. Others who got in later, pushed me in. I stood there, without any support. After all, you did not need one in Mumbai's locals. Each one of them supports, and is supported by everyone else. Then came Jogeshwari, with very few who alighted/boarded.

Once the train left Jogeshwari, a mob gathered near the door.

Each one reassured himself by asking the one in front - 'Aap Goregaon mein uthar rahe kya?'


Those who replied 'nahin' were rudely ordered to go back and leave space. Then came Goregaon and I prepared for the worst. The familiar 'chalo, chalo' , the pushing, the shoving and I was relieved when at last I could get a fresh breadth of air.

It had been just 5 min, but was some experience which I can never forget. There is something in this that I do enjoy as well - the excitement and the challenge that I face everytime I take a trip in the Mumbai local.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cheap vote bank politics

THE BRAINCHILD of HRD minister Arjun Singh, the proposed quota for OBCs in central institutions was frought with problems right from the outset. First he was rapped by the EC for announcing the move during an election campaign. Later came the protests from the doctors in Delhi with their counterparts in Mumbai joining them. Expectedly, the govt and police rushed quell the protests, with the police resorting to lathicharge. Termination orders were sent to the striking medicos.

As a damage-control measure, a GoM was constitued to find a 'solution' to the issue. It has sent its recommendation, favouring the govt's stand of introducing 27% quota for OBCs alongwith a rise in the no. of seats for the general category. Of course, that the GoM would not have recommended otherwise, was obvious.

The govt seems bent on having its way in the reservation issue. It has now asked military doctors to take charge of govt hospitals if the striking medicos do not return to work by Monday.

Why is the govt bent on introducing reservation based on caste? Wouldnt income-based reservation serve the nation better? That way, the poverty ratio would come down and rural areas would develop as well. This move exposes the govt in bad light, as a dictator, taking decisions without consultations with the communities concerned. Just for votes.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It smells of Godhra at Vadodara

ON MONDAY, 1st of May,insensitive civic officials brought down a durgah, believed to be more than 200 years old, at Fatehpura, on the pretext of widening a road. That triggered angry protests from the Muslim-dominated Vadodara.

Later, on the evining of 2nd, four people were killed in communal clashes. A curfew was later clamped in Vadodara and adjoining areas. Then, on that night itself, an employee of Gujarat Refineries, Rafiq Vohra, was burnt alive in his car while returning from his workplace, by an organised mob of VHP and Bajrang Dal activists. The situation seems to be developing into one that is strikingly similar to the post-Godhra situation that prevailed. Eye-witnesses have also claimed that the police did not respond, even when they were repeatedly called. Both the state officials and the police have kept mum on the incident.

I wonder what the officials were thinking when they brought down the durgah. Knowing quite well that the area was pretty sensitive and would easily fall prey to clashes, how can they explain their act? Shouldnt they have held consulatations with the communities involved before they acted?

Fortunately, the centre has warned Gujrat and asked it to keep the situation under control. Central troops have been sent to the area. Right now, Modi is at Vadodara. Let us hope that something is done to curb the violence and that Modi would act sensibly this time around.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

(P)Rice Wars!!

Its election season here in Tamil Nadu. With the absence of any major agenda, Karunanidhi of the DMK caught the people's attention by promising rice at Rs.2/kg, if voted to power. Jaya (AIADMK) responded, crying foul at K's promises, complaining that it was unimplementable due to an excessive financial burden that it would place on the state.

But rice is a pretty sensitive issue with the masses here. J's political managers must have realised that and advised her. She did a complete volte-face within two days and announced 10 kg of free rice per month.

Anyway, assuming safely that either J or K comes to power, it remains to be seen whether the respective promises would be kept. Thats pretty remote, given the losses that would be incurred by the exchequer.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Witchy vichu!!

There's this guy Vishwanath in our wing.. This cheruby guy visits every room in the wing and shows all his teeth all the time, looking so innocent.

But few people know this.. he's got a scanner in his brain recording all that's going on around him.. people's mannerisms and their responses.. very cunning!! And then one fine day .. We(our wing mates) would get a mail from him saying he had posted up an article in his blog.. whats it about?

He would have blasted one guy with the very sort of behaviour he had observed, albeit very humourously.. At that poor victim's expense, we would all laugh.. The victim would obviously be red-faced, but others dont mind as long as they get their share of comedy..

His scope extends to his classes and profs as well.. Take a look at his blog if u would like.. http://my-newsense1.blogspot.com


Humiliation is what women who speak out in my state, Tamil Nadu, face.

The Khusboo issue

The famous actress Khusboo had said that 'Men cannot expect their brides to be virgins' and advocated safe sex for women.. a pretty strong statement that she made, no doubt.. But looking at the context where she said it, (at a HIV AIDS conference) it sounded pretty ok.

The reaction that the statement generated was unbelievable and immense throughout the state.. Right from every tamil newspaper to political bigwigs this became an issue.. They claimed that tamil women were 'insulted' .. That Khushboo was wrong.. Women(political members and others as well) came out into streets and protested with their brooms. even outside the actresses' house..

Every jobless Tom, Dick and Harry started filing cases right from the subordinate courts to the High Court, against the actress with the same 'culture' bullshit excuse.. Images of the actress running around from court to court in every district made me feel ashamed of my state. Those who supported her(another actress Suhasini) were targeted as well.

The biggest irony was that, the CM being a woman(Jayalalithaa) refused to utter a word in support of Khushboo fearing erosion of her vote bank. It finally took a stay from the High Court on all cases against her in the state to bring the issue to rest.

But the damage had been done.. Khushboo even cried publicly and apologised if she had said anything wrong.. This incident serves as a grim remainder of a norm that women in TN should shut up and keep quiet.. And those who defy the norm will be rapped on their heads.. What a sad state given the state's rapid progress.. Girls should be taught to become independent individuals..

Moral Policing

Surprisingly the press here is involved in 'moral policing' apart from the police. There was this photo on a popular tamil daily where a women at a bar in Chennai was shown with a glass having some drink. The paper went on to say how the 'culture' in Tamil Nadu had 'deteriorated' to such an extent when women drink. Why cant women drink when their male counterparts here drink all day and go on the rampage at nights, beating up their wives and children?

Who authorized them to protect the so-called 'culture'? Where did this 'culture' vanish when almost every heroine dances in disgusting item numbers in tamil movies, showing off whatever they have?

If such moral policing continues, Chennai cannot become a software and manufacturing hub that the govt wants it to be. It has to become cosmopolitan and the govt should make sure all the policing bullshit stops.


Even films are not spared.. The hero right from MGR to today's Vijay advise heroines what to wear.. As a particular example, Vijay tells Asin in a film to dress up decently when she comes in a 'provocative and indecent' dress..

And guess what happens!! Asin immediately obeys and the next day comes decked up in a saree, just to impress the hero!! No wonder such films run to packed houses! It shows us that the heroine is really dumb having absolutely no brains at all. Why cant she choose what to wear!! But unfortunately this is what is being fed into our people who lap it up gladly without a single protest.

'Good' girls

There's this view that girls here 'should be good'.. they should do all household chores, be obedient, should not talk against men, and foremost of all, worship their husbands. Every girl is brought up with such norms screwed into her head and only if she abides them is she considered to be 'good' by her suitors. And the duty of the girl child's family is to ensure that the girl pleases the family of the groom-to-be.

This has not changed much in all rural and some urban pockets..In other states, the situation might be better but the improvement shown in this state is painstakingly slow.

Sense prevails at last

Finally the King in Nepal sensibly agreed to the demands of the Seven-Party Alliance and gave up his hold. I wonder how naive he could have been when he thought that he could rule Nepal when he seized power in 2005.

That brings us to one basic question.. Can monarchs run countries as efficiently as an elected democracy?

This is my opinion.. pure monarchy nowadays has no place in any country.. at best it can exist only to satisfy the monarchs and their heirs of a title.. They really cant run a country until they shake off their authoritarian attitude and respect the people of their country and ensure development.. which I feel is out of the question in most cases since a monarch is not a representative of the people, like an assembly is.. Monarchs have absolute control, hence no fear.. It takes a revolution of the sort that happened in Nepal to bring fear..

Monday, April 24, 2006

A discussion?

My third exam got over jus now and am sitting at the net lab, with over a day for the next one, thinking what to post on my jus-born blog.

Pardon me for being political, but this concerns the future of our country.. The ruling party, am afraid, is working only at the top level, with the grassroots workers doing nothing but basking under the glory of their leaders and quite happy with the family rule going on.. and looking forward to Rahul getting responsibility, irrespective of his age and maturity in politics..

The govt too is unable to push through its reforms, thanks to the Left.

On the other hand, the BJP is getting more and more communalised after the exit of Advani and Vajpayee. A hardliner is its president and Modi and those 'of his kind' are given preferences.
In such a situation, whoever comes to power, would only lead to chaos and non-development. What does the future hold for our country?

Any response?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Good Ads

My first ever try

... At blogging.. I am not quite sure what i might write but here goes..
I have been harvesting this desire quite some time.. that of creating a blog.. and putting in something.. something .. and try coming out with things.. and this is my chance..

this may sound cliched, but i bet i can come out with better things in the future..

I am Krishnan, a student of engg.. am doing my Btech third year comp.sci... right now am in the middle of my sems..