Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Song Tag

Shruthi tagged me. A song tag. It took me a while to do this because it took me that much time to decide on the "one song" that is "our" song. The catch words here are "one" and "our".
As I have told a million times now (my regular readers will kill me if I say it again... pavan and s.b even have a contract for the same *sigh*) P and I are kind of opposites.
So moral of the story? It's impossible for me and P to have just one song as ours. He has some songs which he feels suits us and I have my own opinion (I try my best not to be partial with SRK songs). Here's the list.

  1. The first song which P dedicated to me was Yaroon Dosti Badi Hi Haseen Hain. It was a kind of first date when we went to a small snack counter and he gave me the cassette as a gift. This will definitely be a special song for me and for him too (ah! some similarity...)
  2. Khamosh Raat will also be special for the same above said reasons.
  3. There is one song which both of like a lot and *surprise* it happens to be a SRK song; And that's none other than Suraj Hua Maddham He likes it so much that it's been his mobile caller tune for almost a year now!
  4. Both of us love Bryan Adams songs and we play them in full blast when we drive down to Mysore
  5. But one song which I can proudly say as our song is the Shaan version of One Love! **I hope P agrees with this though ;-) **
Ok that's it. Let me now get back to listening "my songs" !

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

where are we headed?

I thought I was dreaming. In the dream, P actually asked me to write a blog post! Yes the same P who rarely reads my blog that I sometimes have to tell him myself to please read where there are some references of him. By the way he wants me to write about Ram Sethu and even provided me with related links!! Thanks P, and here is the much awaited post.

I purposely didn’t want to write about it. I strongly believed that it had nothing to do with Ram or Hinduism. It was plain dirty politics. I was convinced I was right. My theory: MK is sure that congress will not be in power next term. He wanted to be out of the alliance, yet did not know how to say bye. (He has not seen Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna itseems!)So he played this game. Yes he invited a lot of trouble. But indirectly it’s the central govt that’s facing the storm. They can neither publicly denounce him and his comments nor can they openly go ahead with Sethusamduram Project. Congress is doomed which is what MK also wanted.

Things turned a little sour when he (as foolish as he is) made some stupid uncalled-for statements.

Raama is a fictional character and neither he nor his bridge ever existed

Was Raama a civil engineer to have built that bridge?

…so on and so forth. I ignored these as well; one of his ever famous stupid comments against religion. (Particularly Hinduism because nobody has the guts to say anything against any other religion in this country)

Isn’t it ironical that neither the British rulers nor the Mughal emperors questioned the existence of Lord Ram? They were the so called foreigners, invaders who came to loot and destroy India. But our government is doing it. The very body which is supposed to protect us is questioning our beliefs itself!

I am not saying that everybody should believe in Ram and accept him as the supreme God, but we are a secular country right? Shouldn’t we respect each others beliefs?

Though I didn’t write about it, I was really intrigued. I wanted to find out more about this bridge. Just one NASA picture was not going to satisfy me.

If we just look at it with a religious eye, there are no second thoughts. You cannot just go and destroy a religious monument; Not only in our country, but in any country for that matter.

Let us keep the religious aspects aside for the time being, because there is no “debate” on that. I want to look at it scientifically.

The reasons given “for” the project are as below

  1. Obtain a navigable sea route close to the coast, with a reduction in travel distance of more than 350 nautical miles (650 km) (for larger ships).
  2. Expected to provide a boost to the economic and industrial development of coastal Tamil Nadu
  3. Development of other ports can be done once this project is complete.

So, as clearly seen above, the main “aim” is to reduce travel distance and hence boost the coastal business.

Now, let us see why this project fails to achieve even the stated purpose.

  1. The depth of the canal is proposed to be of 12 meters. This is “enough” only for small ships but not at all enough for larger ships (which is what they are aiming for). The larger ships need atleast 17 meters.
  2. The time saved is just 2 hours. How much of a difference that makes in the naval world? This is because ships cannot travel at the same speed through the canal as they travel on open seas. Also there will be pilotage delay; meaning a pilot will board the ship at the entrance of the canal and get off at the exit to “guide” the ship thru the canal. We know how much time it takes for a ship to come to a complete stop and start again for the pilot to board and get down the ship…. So!
  3. It’s not economical for the ships to pass thru the canal either. The pilotage costs are huge. Why would a shipping company pay those pilotage costs, when it can travel cheaper around SriLanka?
  4. The canal is in shallow waters which is a high siltation and sedimentation area. There would be annual dredging costs to just maintain the canal.
  5. Security. The coastal lines of this canal are till date in control of LTTE. What they would is unpredictable and hence risky.

It’s obvious that there are too many scientific reasons which seem quite obvious to even a common person like me, without any deep technical knowledge in this area which go against the proposed project. But still there is heavy pressure from the government to continue with the project. Why?

  1. The dredging cost which I have talked about is a constant source of revenue to the dredging company. They have tied up with the govt to go ahead with this. More revenue for the company and hence more under the table revenue for the Govt.
  2. MK wants his name to be etched in history (now it’s already done for all the wrong reasons anyway!) to be known as the man behind the Ram Sethu. This project was first conceived in early fifties; he will surely get the credit if it gets done in his tenure.
  3. It’s a huge project and hence lots of employment opportunities to a very large number of people which inturn formulates into hefty contracts for some companies. (Any idea which companies and what contacts they have with MK?)
  4. MK wants to send a strong message to his DMK community that he is anti religion and does not give importance for religious monuments (specially Hindu monuments because he has no guts to oppose other religions. Hinduism is a very easy and susceptible target.)

These are my imaginative reasons for them vouching so hard for the project. I might be right or wrong. There might be some other hidden agenda.

Interestingly here is a link which kind of proves that Ram Sethu is man made.

But at the end of the day, I am scared to see the path we are taking. Today it is one MK, but tomorrow there might be 100s of them. We have Muslim terrorists plotting to kill all of us, we have our own leaders against our religion… what more threat can we ask for?


References :

  1. A Mythical Bridge to Voters
  2. The Adam Bridge
  3. The Nautical Details
  4. Save Ram Sethu
  5. The wiki story
and so on...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Will somebody love me please?

Scenario1: I got married at the age of 12. The next thing I knew I had 2 children, my two eyes. My whole life revolved around them. I did everything possible to make them feel comfortable. Did they need new pair of clothes? Or some shoes? There is a new brand of chocolate in the market; I should buy them for my children. My son wanted to try his hand in the film industry. My husband was dead against it. He said it is very risky and only school dropouts try it. But I fought with my husband to give our son a chance. Let him try his luck; I persisted. My husband was very angry, but I gave my son some money and he left for Mumbai. He is not anywhere near famous now… so you have guessed it right. He was NOT successful. But it took him almost 10 years to realize this. I kept sending money for his sustenance. He fell in love with a girl who finally made him realize the importance of having a stable job. She refused to marry him until he has one. He then completed his post graduation and found a good job. It took him another 5 years to settle down. I supported him all along; be it money or love or care... you name it. In the mean time I got my daughter married and she settled down. My husband was always busy with his work and though he cared a lot about all of us he would not spend too much time with us. I was the one who was always there for my children. I was so happy with them. Even though it was so much of a responsibility I never felt it as a “burden”. I looked after my son for 35 years and my daughter for 25 years. 35 years of my prime time… just for them.
My husband finally retired and we settled down in a small flat. We did not want to live with our son who now had a family of his own. Everything was just fine in it’s own place. Slowly my husband’s health started worsening. I was not so young any more, so we employed a nurse to look after him. The medical bills started getting fatter.. with none of our children willing to spend on it.. we decided to sell our flat. He died eventually leaving me all alone. Nobody was willing to give me a house for rent. I was old and it was dangerous they would say. Left with no choice I reluctantly asked my son. The answer was a firm NO. First he could not afford me (oh!), second he wanted privacy (a old woman in a corner of the house will be too much of a disturbance).
I lived with a neighbor for 45 days till I found an old age home which would take me.

I live here now. He does not even call once a week. I don’t hate him. But I often wonder is this justice? We take care of our children by giving everything we can to them. Can’t we expect 20% back from them? Is it too much to ask for 2 meals a day and a place to sleep?

Scenario 2: I used to live with my son and his family. We got along quite ok. There were no major hassles. My son got an onsite opportunity to go to USA for 3 months. He left me here saying he will be back soon. Its 2 years now and I have not heard from him. One of my relatives says he is in town and has purchased a big bungalow. I am still waiting for him to come and take me home….

Scenario 3: I don’t have a son. I thought I was lucky since I don’t have to suffer in the hands of a daughter-in-law. But last year, my daughter threw me out of my own house after I had written the entire property in her name. I was out on the street with just the clothes I had worn. I didn’t even have a single rupee. I don’t know why but I just walked to the railway station and sat there till the morning. A coolie saw me and must have somehow guessed my state. I told him my story, and he got me here. People here have time and again told me to complain against my daughter and get my wealth back. But I don’t want it. I have friends here; I have people who care for me here. I don’t even want to see her face again... not even in court.

“I” am a senior citizen; an unwanted burden on this earth. I worked till I dropped dead to bring up my children. Now, I just rot in a corner. I don’t need your money; I just need your love. Will you love me please?

These are NOT fictional stories. Every year on my Paati’s death anniversary, my mom goes to an old age home and sponsors a day’s meal for them. These are the stories which they tell her. They long for a touch… they crave for a hand which holds them. They cry if you give them something to eat. Some just sit in a corner and mourn without talking to anybody.

Oct 1st was world elders’ day. Is this what we want to give back to our parents who gave so much to us? Even if we don’t love them for whatever reasons, atleast lets not be inhuman. Let us be kind to them just as fellow human beings. Please…. Not everybody is lucky to have their parents alive for a long time… those of us who are lucky enough, let us thank God for it and let us try our best to keep them comfortable in the last days of their lives.