Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I am here again after a longgggg gap !!

I kinda go through this phases of  " why am I writing this!!!" .. I manage to overcome sometimes in a haste and at times after a couple of years...which clearly is the case this time :)

My son who is in fourth grade just finished his midterm break. This year since we were busy with  a lot of things we didnt take either a summer break or the mid term break. And I guess that is why I am finding it a sore point. Some schools seem to believe in burdening the kids and probably the parents more...since the homework at this level is mostly done by parents - with unnecessary work load. We had homework in summer and in this break. Guess all these years it didnt hurt me so much as this year because we didnt go on  a break ourselves.

What are holidays at schools meant for? Or for that matter holidays anywhere meant for? I think it is to give oneself a break from the routine and be back refreshed to doing what we have to do for the rest of the year - HOME WORK!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chat Saga

Standing in front of a window
Looking out from top, far below
The cars fast driving up and down
As if with wings they would have flown

Across and over the horizon, the view in contrast
Was a calm sea, waves doing a role type cast
Caught their, between the flurry and deep blue sea
She felt lonely as she sipped her black tea

There had been a new jump in her every step
her heart sang and her soul felt a new pep
It would be so short lived, she never thought that day
As it felt like a new sense of thrill everyday

When the clock would strike ten
There she would be in her den
And they would chat hour after hour
with the same fun and fervour

It seemed he too waited for her
Would be there to welcome her
They talked and talked feeling so free
She laughed her heart out with glee.

But little did she realise then
It was indeed a dream she was in
But though it was so shortlived
She was happy, she believed

It was after all a chance occurance, destiny
That brought them together, said a tiny
voice inside her, wish he was more a friend
Thrills are but shortlived, friends live till the end
Friends in need and in deed, love and live till the end !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Muhammad Yunus- Grameen

Last time I went to landmark hubby picked up this book on the grameen bank for me to read because he knew i always wanted to do something in this life which would help the less fortunate. The autobiographical work by the Nobel Peace Prize 2006 Muhammud Yunus, it describes how the now world famous NGO bank came about which has been replicated in more than 60 developing countries.

The book was very insightful and an eye opener for me as to how the basic human behaviour and its motivation is the key to successfully running and actually helping these people. The ancedote Yunus states about a woman who worked all day to make 50 paise for feeding her kids during the aftermath of drought that hit Bangla Desh in the 1970s is so touching. I am sure many of us see so many such things around us all day- bus stands, railway stations, and even in traffic signals but such new innovatives ideas are not born.....because we are more interested in getting rid of the dirty people who are touching the cars and wind shields than think as to what has brought upon this situation.

The most unbelievable part is how when they actually collected data on how much money was needed by these people to corner more of the profit from their work which was taken away by the middlemen, worked out to as little as Rs 55 to make the 50-60 odd villagers self sustaining. Since the starting point in their lives was zero, nobody including the govt banks didnt give them loans. The basic premise of all economic theories start with the assumption that there is a certain level of endowment which individuals are born with and bartering this gives rise to trade and welfare maximisation. But here are people in developing world where the life starts at zero or negative endowments if there is a inherited loan, making all the so called economic theories worthless in a jiffy.

But then how many of us question it? We think of blaming someone or the other and if no one else then destiny. But then what are governments and societies for?

The best part of the book was the lesson it gives us on how this lowest rung of the society is bestowed with huge self respect, dignity of labour and above all integrity. This lady who didnt have money to purchase raw materials for making basket and selling when given a loan to do it makes a life out of it and makes the persons and people who had faith in her proud and more importantly profitable.

Christmas holidays is that time of the year when we never actually go out on a holiday. since it is nice weather in chennai itself while the rest of the northern hemisphere is in a grip of cold and in particular Northen India too. So this year too we stayed put in Chennai. But now my son who is growing up fast needed to do something more than just hang out at home.

So I decided to take him to a Bombay Circus which was showing in town. I had as a kid been to one every year and particularly loved the trapriez....actually i was in awe of the people who could do the swinging and moving with such ease and precision. And of course all those animals....which one never gets to see otherwise like lion, tiger , bear elephants and many of those uncommon animals.

The circus was such a let down....first of all only one elephant and 3 camels walked in and out and secondly some supposedly russians were part of the team making the Indian artists seem less of showpersons. I was so reminded of SRK serial Circus truely it depicted the death of this form of entertainment. I know things change..old things give way to new ones ..but what one used to do every summer holidays during growing up something we are bound to miss. And somehow would have loved my son to see and enjoy all those animals and many tricks and acts on the in circus.

Another year gone by ....and for the better or worse the life has moved on. New friends and new heartbreaks, new stories, new perspectives, new movements, new shops, new highs, and new lows too....well that is life isnt it?

And the hope that we live with after day ...that the bright shining sun might bring a sudden change ...metamorphosis in us sometimes; and sometimes in others and most times in the the situations confronting us. How do we humans live hoping for miracles to happen always is something amazing. And in our enthusiasm for absolute miracles to transform our lives..we forget to even notice the small wonderful and significant miracles happening in our midst. A child born and growing up ..for instance is the most fabulous experience and miracle in itself. Do i sound crazy?

Perhaps i am... because i seem to be the one who thinks life as it is a wonderful experience. And many a times feel like an almost invincible warrier in this battlefield of life. Sometimes my attitude gets to people around and think i am absolutely a strong willed person...others think i am stubborn.....whatever i am....i have just learned to live and live it on my terms and making or atleast trying to make the people around me....the near and dear ones happy while letting them live it on their terms too. Of course all of us know and i am sure sympathise with me when i say...success in measuring happiness generated by one person for the sake of others is a different yardstick....but i do try.

So when i was wondering what resolutions to make this year....i thought why not just live life and at the end of this year feel i have had the most happiest year....yeah...that is precisely my effort this year. Be happy and live happy...lolllllllllllll

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friends.....and Gender bias

Ok ...I know i am touching a sensitive issue. But y'day's CNBC discussions on the relationship between the beautiful Pak journo and former Chief Minister of Punjab Capt. Amarinder Singh made me think what is it that makes friendships between people of different gender more conspicous and newsworthy ? Ok i am not discussing their relationship...simply because i dunno the facts.

But on a broader level what is it that makes relationships between people suddenly unsavoury to the society at large when it is between 2 people of different genders?

I have had a long innings with education where in I have mostly studied in co- ed institutes because the professional courses have never had gender specific colleges at least in my times. Of course here (in chennai) I was surprised to see some colleges purely women's college providing course like MBA and Journalism. Let me deal with in detail another day.

Today, i want to just concentrate on 2 adults from different genders and being friends. The way this society is designed is impossible for adults however old they are to have a friendly relationship without being accused of having sexual relationship. My problem is life all about sexual attractions and relationships....actually it could be something even more deeper than that.....or it could just be a frequency matching. Why are we as a human race hell bent on putting all relationships into a straitjacket man-woman relationship?
Celebrations transcend religions - so should the sops and subsidies

It is christmas and new year time. The time of the year when celebrations galore. As a matter of fact the whole country wears a festive look.....guess i must say the whole universe. Even though in this country christians are grouped under minority the celebrations reach out to one and all. It is truly one of those mega events which is also a time for major marketing and selling activities ala diwali. So is this country secular? Has the celebrations transcended religions...yeah it has.

But unfortunately the politicians are stuck to the rhetoric of minority sops to attract - or so they think the vote bank. If there is someone who delivers on the development front they are bound to make it to the post against all odds. While the congress is probably realising it albeit slowly and so are other parties it seems it takes a dictator like Narendra Modi to prove this point.

I agree most of us think he is a killer....maybe even what sonia gandhi said in her speech is true....but the fact is gujurat is the best infrastructure in the country...the roads are world class the industries are doing well the investments are flowing - eventhough the western world wont let him visit them to get investments....he has proved he doesnt need to go on foriegn visits the money flows. Why ?

Because he is made sure the State Machinery runs...and removed corruption. And if one thing that made me sit up and think here is a leader with a difference and Man at when he had the guts to come out of chief ministers meeting and question the Prime Minister on providing sops to religious minority in the name of poverty alliviation. Why? Are the poor of hindus inferior to those of christians...or the definition varies with religion?

It is time the congress party realises this country has come a long way since the mother in law ruled this country. What worked for her then may not work for the daughter in law!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


The other day i was telling a online friend ofcourse...that since the computer has come and all this new medium of keeping in touch with friends has reading habit..which was pathetic to start with....but could boast of a few newpapers and magazines seems to have been relegated to a "only if time permits" kinda reading. And believe me it is not a great feeling at all. For one i always thought i was well informed person..had to be at the cutting edge of the News and Happenings.

But it is amazing hows hours go by when one is in front of the computer. Be it any of the social networking communities or just reading comment and reviews on news networks....and then there is the chats....even before i realise the day has gone by...literally

My dad had a touring job and in those it was even before the onset on TV....when we were in school, me my mom n brother used to live mostly on our own...and the amount of reading we used to was amazing. We used to be members of a library and it appeared like we were the only ones reading....returning books and magazines almost on a daily basis and demanding new ones....lollllllllllllll.

Today on the other hand while i am happy with my computer son watches cartoons continuously....well one would argue...the comics books are replaced by video and made life more enjoyable. But is it true....

For example we had to go to the library to get books, which was an activity in itself...and had to choose and pick books....we used to read..which meant learning words....understanding the useage....etc etc....but now...he is developing into a couch potato...and me a e potato...hehehehe

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We the Living - Ayn Rand

Whether it was nandigram...the communists apathy to voilence or the general goings on in this country....for some reason...i picked up this book which describes the days after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.

My heart bled to read how the individuals suffer during any such socia-political upheavels. This the story of this girl who was 18 and stood witness to the change of Russian socialism. It clearly opened my eyes to the fact that at the education or policy level one doesnt wait even a minute to think how these changes could affect people at the individual level. An economist by education, i have been trained to think statistics and econometrics is everything to come up with a policy. While it is but true...that sometimes not everybody can be pleased..i am more drawn today than ever to the welfare economics approach and the pareto theorems which explicitly states that policies are paratian optimal solutions if and only if they dont make anybody worse off while making some one better off than at the beginning.

Coming back to the book and Ayn Rand.....who is not really a favourite of mine since she really writes big fat book and heavy philosophical stuff....but i like this book ...because it is more an autobiographical and the background brings out the situation in Russia in 1919 when the revolution had just taken place and all the so called capitalists were in doldrums. It sends a chill down my spine when i read about the train packed with people moving slowly in the russian winter and people fighting over food.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Child is a Teacher of MAN

Just the other day as we walked down the railway platform to fetch my brother and his family, we realised what we had habitually done for years could have such an impact on a little mind of my three year old

A old haggard man with leprosy was begging there and we walked past him and he was persistant...
the little one tugged at his papa and said give me a coin appa....i need to give it to him. but we had none since we had used all coins to buy the platform ticket at the machine outside. We tried to explain that and he wouldnt budge. He said i need a coin to give it to this man.

It then occured to us that this kid had been observing our actions so closely than we ever anticipated. We were shocked and proud at the same time. Of course though the feeling of proudness at the child's giving attitude was definitely misplaced since he followed it as a rule rather than anything akin to sharing or philanthropy.

We were in the habit of doling out coins at the traffic lights and on the beach while walking with the kid. He had seen the action so many times, doing it himself sometimes, aiding it sometimes and come to think of it as a thing to do. We never gave it a thought. Today, it dawned on us as to how true the statement was that child is like a sponge observing and absorbing whatever we say and do.