Showing posts from October, 2011

The Possessed!

He was attending on his ailing father-in-law when his mobile rang. He did not want to disturb the old man who was virtually on his death bed and came outside.
It was gloomy afternoon with daylight nearly snuffed out by dark threatening clouds and flashes of lightning and thunder in between.
He came under the shed in the outer courtyard of the old traditional house and answered his phone.
Suddenly a tremendous flash of lightning nearly blinded him and the accompanying thunder deafened him. His mobile blinked and went dead. As he looked at his phone in great astonishment a message hit him unawares making him dumbfounded.
He just knew that the lightning struck at least one person or more dead somewhere in the town or in the outskirts. He was instantly enveloped in an inexplicable wave of sorrow. He felt weak in the knees and sick...
Read the Full Experience Here... 

The Costliest Travel Concession Ever!

Most of the people in salaried class do get leave travel concession (LTC) annually or every two years. Depending on the employers the package benefits vary. If, by misfortune, you belong to the Government of India you do get LTC, but with repressively dictatorial conditions: You have to travel by Air India come what may as if it’s you people that makes the bankrupt airlines viable and competitive. You have to go over their special LTC counters and book your tickets physically with their options for your travel. Even if their pilots are on never ending strike you are not spared. And you have to ignore all cheaper air ticket offers available online. If your compulsory airline fails you at the last moment you can book only at the government appointed travel agencies most of which may not have online booking facilities. You can send in an application for booking and it hardly matters if your tickets arrive after your leave period is over.I had …

Team Anna: Ifs, Buts and Whys!

The core committee meeting decided today that there would be no restructuring or expanding the present Team Anna. They also said their movement was not anti Congress and that the charges and allegations against certain members are part of a smear campaign led by vested interest groups.
Problem is the core committee meeting was commanded only by the disputed trio—Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi. Crucial members who criticized them, who wanted Team Anna to be suspended, who termed Kejriwal and Bedi as the most arrogant members of the team and who protested the clear political turn Anna’s movement was taking.
Now, if you call the charges as part of a larger smear campaign this translates into saying that the Congress party told Prashant Bhushan to make that Kashmir comment, the Congress party invited Kejriwal to oppose them in their own election and also advised him how to embezzle funds without keeping accounts and the Congress party had been backing Kiran Bedi all the …

Target Vegetables!

I often wonder why customers always target the vegetables vendors for bargaining and saving a few cents. Maybe because it is of everyday use, but the savings, if any, hardly amount to anything. This is relevant for India where markets are mostly traditional.
That day I went to the market on a few errands. First I wanted to buy sweets for Diwali and went to the most famous shop of the locality. There was a huge crowd there and as I inched closer to the counter I saw one customer with a countenance oozing opulence really monopolizing it. He was buying a wide variety of  sweets in big quantities. I decided to run away to another shop because of the fact that I wanted to buy just 250 grams of one variety!
After the customary purchase I went to the vegetable vendor for a few more items. As I was finishing the man oozing opulence approached the same vendor and started bargaining!
For an item priced 30 bucks a kilo he announced,’ I’ll give 20 bucks because I’ll buy two and half kilos!’ T…

Happy Diwali!

Article first published as The Festive Interlude! on Technorati.
Wish  You  ALL A Very Happy And Prosperous Diwali!

Let The Festival Of Lights Lighten Up Your Lives! 

Now it is festive times in India! Diwali—the Festival of Lights—is celebrated every year during mid-October to mid-November for five days in most parts and for two days in other parts like the Eastern India. the exact date is arrived at by the New Moon day of the dark lunar cycle. For 2011 the festival is being celebrated from 24th October till the 28th.

Diwaliis the biggest festival for Hindus. There are many theories on the origin of this festival. One says people celebrate the return of Lord Ram from 14 years of anonymous exile. Another says this is for celebrating the symbolic victory of truth over evil. Still one more theory says this is to welcome the harvest season--the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi, being worshiped as a mark of gratification.
In the eastern parts Goddess Kali—the most powerful and the fi…

Cricket: India Thrash England 5-0 Completes Revenge!

Team India avenged their nightmare in England two months back right royally at the magnificent Eden Gardens, Kolkata. They bowled out England for a paltry 176 in just 37 overs to win by 95 runs. Another big win for Team India to make a clean sweep of the five-match one-day international cricket series.
England won the toss again and for a change elected to field first. Soon, India got into a corner at 123 for 4, but skipper Dhoni and Jadeja played brilliantly to rescue the innings and led the way for a challenging score of 271. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 75 with four huge sixes and in fact, he never got out in the entire series. A captain leading from the front with a whole lot of newcomers deservedly got the Man of the Series award.
Chasing 272 England were going very strong till the spinners duo Jadeja and Ashwin began to strike. With 4 wickets for 33 and a crucial innings with the bat too Jadeja got the Man of the Match award.
 The players that came out of the Series with flying co…

Support or Oppose At Your Risk!

Article first published as Support or Oppose At Your Risk! on Technorati.

Supporting or opposing an issue or an organization or individuals is not as easy as you may think. If you are smart enough you would definitely do a lot of calculations, confabulations and even manipulations to arrive at your destination. But still don’t make the mistake of having the last laugh!
If you belong to an opposition political party your religion of life is to oppose and so things are not very difficult here. You have to go on opposing the ruling party to the extent that if your rival calls a day a day you will have to call it a night. Problems come up when you decide to support or oppose a different organization having or not having mass backing..

You may be supporting the basic issue pursued by the organization, but you will have to support them in such a way that your opposition policy and consistency is maintained. If your party has some notorious records of misdeeds or connections the…

India Thanks Pakistan!

It is the rarest of rare occasions when India and Pakistan actually happen to thank each other. Whatever goodwill the game of cricket generates evaporates with the inevitable loss of one side!           
Around noon today an Indian Army helicopter started on a rescue mission in the Kargil region of Kashmir. It had to help out another helicopter that was grounded due to technical fault.
The indigenous Chetak helicopter could not land on the predestined location because of inclement weather, lost its way and strayed into Pakistan occupied Kashmir beyond the customary line of control.

The Pakistan authorities spotted it and forced it to land in their territory for airspace violation. The chopper along with the 4-member crew was taken into safe custody. Like anything between the two countries tension started building up.                                                                                                        
The Director General of Military Operations in New Delhi immed…

Gory and Grisly!

The small screens of our homes come alive with horrific visuals time and again thanks to the strikes or attacks by the US and the allied forces. When celebrations follow such acts of raw violence a question appears in some corner of our mind—is something wrong?
Be it Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden or Muammar Gaddafi--their violent ends disturb that part of our mind. But at the same moment we tend to identify with the oppressed and terrorized people and celebrate with them.
Such terrorists or dictators are confirmed offenders of mankind. They fully deserve the horrendous ends they finally get. Throughout their destructive careers they leave a trail of unprecedented violence, brutalities and sufferings. 
Okay, they are demons. But we are still humans, no?

Read the Full Article... 

Big B and King Khan in Kaun Banega Crorepati!

Amitabh Bachchan, the host of the current version of Kaun Banega Crorepati, invited Shahrukh King Khan for a special show yesterday, the 20th of October, 2011. Running for nearly two hours the show had everything the great Twosome was capable of delivering, acting, enacting and just talking. 
Basically King Khan came to the show as a publicity stunt for his forthcoming science fiction movie Ra..0ne (meaning Random Access-Version 1.0). But once on the hot seat one has to play. And, Shahrukh played on with his customary wit and presence of mind matched equally point to point by Big B and won 5 million rupees for charity. The invited audience had a treat of lifetime seeing two huge favorites playing it out right before them. 
They taunted each other, made jibes at each other and also exchanged seats for brief while. Shahrukh even walked up to Big B and massaged his back trying to catch a view of the host's monitor screen while telling how the massage eases up tension to play the game b…

Cheating For A Good Cause?

Article first published as Cheating For A Good Cause? on Technorati.

Traveling by air in economy class and claiming reimbursement for business class can be termed as a confirmed case of cheating if not a corrupt practice.  If you are entitled to travel by a certain class you must produce the invoice plus boarding pass for reimbursement in any kind of institutions—let it be government or private.

A national newspaper of India broke the news first thing in the morning of October 20, 2011. And, as is the current pattern of affairs it had to relate to a member of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption civil society.
Kiran Bedi, the third prominent member of the civil society to come in dispute, is entitled to a seventy five discount on air tickets thanks to her winning a gallantry award earlier. But on being invited for a program by NGOs or institutions who always pay for travel Kiran Bedi charges them full air ticket money. Not only that, she charges for business class tickets even if she tra…

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The Corruption Rigmarole!

Article first published as The Corruption Rigmarole! on Technorati.

Now statistics reveal that the Anna impact of Hisar by-election is around fifty thousand votes! This means the Congress candidate opposed by Team Anna polled fifty thousand votes less than he did in 2009 and lost his security deposit.
Okay, since Team Anna says that corruption symbolizes Congress their anti-corruption campaign has resulted in taking away that much votes from pro-corruption (Congress?). Unfortunately, this is not the correct picture.
Because, statistics also reveal that the winning candidate and the second ranked candidates have one and two court cases pending against them. We may not delve into the records of their illustrated fathers in their governance here, but records do tell a consistent story. Incidentally, the Congress candidate had no cases pending. And, the winning candidate and the second ranked candidate polled more than hundred thousand votes each compared to 2009.
So, why did Team Ann…

The Hisar Connection--Team Anna Claims Victory!

Article first published as The Hisar Connection--Team Anna Claims Victory! on Technorati.

The suspense drama over the Hisar by-election has finally ended. Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) supported by the country’s main opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won the three-cornered contest.
Bishnoi won only by a narrow margin over the nearest rival Ajay Chautala of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). The congress candidate came as the distant third—almost the same scenario of 2009 general elections.
The irrepressible Team Anna member, Arvind Kejriwal, has already claimed victory and sent out a message to the ruling coalition led by Congress that ‘the result is a lesson to learn from’. But the winning candidate dismisses Team Anna’s campaign as ‘no impact’! The Congress too writes off any Anna effect as it never won the seat since 2004.
Now, Bishnoi is the son of Bhajan Lal, a former Chief Minister of Haryana, who won this seat in 2009 and it became vacant on his d…

The Hisar Connection!

Article first published as The Hisar Connection! on Technorati.

Anna Hazare, the great crusader against corruption in India, and his civil society members had campaigned heavily to get the candidate of Congress, main political party in the ruling coalition of India, defeated in the Hisar by-election for Indian Parliament held on October 13, 2011.
Hisar is situated in the Indian state of Haryana. What would have been a routine listless by-election on account of the death of the seating candidate has become a nationwide rage thanks to Anna Hazare and his team’s campaign as a part of the mass movement against corruption.
Team Anna had been asserting continuously their apolitical character and that they had no political ambitions. They said their only motive was to pressurize the government for the fast passage of a strong anti-corruption Bill in the winter session of Parliament starting November, 2011. But once you ask the people not to vote for a particular candidate you are indirectl…

Religious Eating!

Article first published as Religious Eating! on Technorati.

Indian people have certain religious rituals associated with eating. But due to resurgence of modern times and thinking people are getting secretive about such rituals.
The crux of religious eating is simple to decipher. Just before embarking on your dish you think of God and thank Him for being so kind to provide such benefits.
I witnessed my grandfather doing those rituals elaborately whenever and wherever I had the privilege of having meals with him. He would always sit on the floor and make a circle of water drops around his plate of rice and other items. Then he would offer grains of cooked food on the water drops at the central point. This simply meant he was offering to God whatever he had access to eat. I used to wait eagerly for the rituals and enjoyed a lot.  Everyone present started eating just when he was ready.
These rituals are disappearing fast with the onset of modern lifestyle and people who know are beco…

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Team Anna: A Classic Case of Impatience?

The basic question is ‘why Team Anna has to oppose or support a political party’. Anna Hazare and all his civil society members repeatedly declared their ‘apolitical’ nature and that they had no political ambitions. Then, why don’t they understand that opposing a political party has to be a political act, because the act becomes an indirect support for other parties. Already reeling under charges of having right-wing fundamentalist support Team Anna is not doing any better by asking people not to vote for Congress.
The Government had given a note on the historic evening of August 27, 2011 indicating their support for three basic demands of Jan Lokpal Bill and asserted its commitment to bring the Bill in the winter session of Parliament starting November.
But Team Anna is continuing with its never ending threats charges and invectives thus giving an open invitation to all political parties to indulge in mud-slinging. Kejriwal had sort of clarified that ‘we are appealing to people not t…

Dr. Prafulla Kataky Gets Amulya Chakravarty Translation Award.

The fifth Amulya Kumar Chakrvarty Translation Award-2011 was presented to noted author-translator Dr. Prafulla Kataky on October 9 at an august gathering held at the Veterinary College Auditorium, Guwahati.

Eminent writer Dr. Lakhsmi Nandan Bora officially gave away the Award to Dr. Kataky (third from left).

Dr. Kataky wrote and translated more than forty books and classics of world literature.

A local music group presented Borgeet-- an Assamese classical variety of vocal music--at the function.
Amulya Chakravarty's second son Jyotirmay Chakravarty--ADG of Police, Assam--also presented a few songs.
The need for high quality and genuine literary translation work was emphasized by the authors present in the ceremony. The function was organized jointly by Amulya Chakravarty Memorial Trust and Panjabai Sahitya Sabha (local literary body).

The biennial Award was started in 2003.

Detailed report in Assam Tribune.

Ghazal King Jagjit Singh (1941-2011) No More!

Today, the 10th of October, 2011, 8.10am—the end of a momentous musical era. Indian Ghazal king Jagjit Singh breathed his last at a Mumbai hospital following a brain hemorrhage he suffered on September 23. He had been put on life supporting system and though there were signs of improvements in between death prevailed finally.
Jagjit Singh had a strong, soulful, filling and soothing voice supported by powerful melody that lingered in the auditorium and on the spellbound listeners. Along with his singer wife Chitra Singh Jagjit Singh created his own Ghazal genre that almost matched the popularity of the film music genre. His forays into playback singing and music direction for several mainstream Hindi movies and television serials heightened his music’s mass appeal even further. The singer-composer couple also created history in Indian music by using the first ever digital multi-track recording for their CD Beyond Time (1987)—India’s first digitally recorded album.
We did our school and…

Why Road Rage Increasing?

Cases of road rage have been on the rise in almost in all parts of the world specially India. We see or hear or read about them regularly. There have been verbal fights, fisticuffs and even deaths. Why? There is a basic mentality involved due to which accidents happen too. Based on observations and experience we can list out the following main reasons: People are always in a great inexplicable hurry. They look as if a loss of even few seconds would cost them their life. Vehicle drivers and bikers get restless and agitated the moment something obstructs their smooth way. Curses, abuses and slandering come spontaneously leading to fights and even deaths. They love their vehicles obsessively, irrespective of if they are proud owners or just chauffeurs. They cannot tolerate even the slightest brushing by another vehicle and get ready to kill instantly it happens. They think they are always right and the other party is always the wrongdoer. The…

Assam Literary Translation Award Announced. Distribution Ceremony On October 9, 2011.

Amulya Kumar Chakravarty Memorial Trust, Guwahati will present the fifth Literary Translation Award-2011 on October 9, 3pm, at the Veterinary College Auditorium, Khanapara,Guwahati. The honors will go to another well known author-translator of Assam--the final winner is being selected by a distinguished panel of writers  from a few worthy nominations.

Official announcement has already been made and this year's Award goes to noted author-translatorPrafulla Kataky. The Award consists of certificates and a cash prize.

My father, Amulya Kumar Chakravarty, had been our greatest teacher  in principles of honesty, efficiency and simple living-high thinking since our childhood days.  Today we are very grateful and thankful to him, and are proud to be able to lead our lives the way he so ardently desired. At a time when corruption is ruling the roost and movements launched against this evil, we remember our father for enabling us to live with our head held high. My younger brother, Jyotirm…

Mumbai...32 Bucks...Happy Living!

It's indeed time to rejoice and celebrate! Well, don't you know? The authorities have declared a brand new program! As per that if you manage to earn 32 rupees a are rich! Okay, little are not poor at least! Now you must be feeling a carefree mood. Just what are you planning to do with new-found richness...sorry not poor!

Have your day out! Go for a morning tea. Take a cutting at 4 rupees at the most dilapidated joint. Then plan your breakfast. Go to the same place and have Bada-Pao snack and again a cutting. At the most you will part with only 15 rupees.

Now plan your most important meal--lunch. Want to go for a better place and non-veg? But how much you have left? Still 13 rupees? You are best advised to group with other 'rich' mates and have a feast on any street side bowl kitchens. Nothing left for supper? No problem! Most of rich people fast often for making their bodies slimmer and trimmer. What? You are rich, man! Thinking of another …