Thursday, June 26, 2008

If I could change one thing in the last century what would it be?

Picture Courtesy - I Remember You All by YamiChi

In the last century or the one before that or even earlier......actually from time immemorial - to wipe out the gene that makes us jingoistic, belligerent, battle-minded, war crazy, strife happy!!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Significance and Importance of My Marriage to Me :-)

Picture courtesy -

Companionship, the undying enthusiasm to enjoy each other's company not just after 14 years of being together but for life and the challenging idea to create our joint footprints on our chosen patch of sand.

My husband remains my soulmate and best friend even after our marriage. The rose tinted glasses we wore during our courtship period are still intact with us. The only difference is that they have been appropriately enhanced with the tints of realism.

The significance for both of us is togetherness stemming out of trust, understanding, love, mutual respect, common interest, desires and ambitions. Also a deep understanding about what makes each other happy, content, satisfied, animated and rejuvenated.

It really comes from the thrust that we are two distinct individuals who respect each other's individuality and difference in personas but have worked out a highly compatible synergy.



Because I want to know
Because I want to grow,

Because I want to explore
Because I want to implore,

Because I want to do
Because I want the thought to brew,

Because I care
Because I want to further share,

Because I want to question
Because I want to leave an impression,

Because I have a mind
Because I wouldn't mind,

Because I am intelligent
Because I want the knowledge to be permanent,

Because I am a thinking person
Because I may present an interesting subversion,

Because I want to act
Because I want to reach the fact,

Because I am curious
Because not knowing would make me furious,

Because of serendipity
Because I want to show productivity,

Because, at every moment, I am alive
And till my very end, I want to strive!!!!!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What qualities make you the leader of the pack in your chosen profession?

Here's my analogy worth its two cents -

Sight -

Hind sight

Vision -
for self
for team
for society
for world

Sound -
Ear to the ground
Great listening skills

Mind -

Touch & Feel -

Smell -
scent of opportunities
stench of trouble

Taste -
the sweet taste of success
the bitter taste of failure
the spicy taste of efforts put ceaselessly
the sour taste of rivalry
the salty taste of sweat over the big (and not small) stuff

And that to my mind is the recipe for a great leadership template.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The song by the legendary singer is rather nice. And I use it here only because it is catchy and has a sense of instant recall about it. I also use it to draw a pun on the word chain as I talk about the food chain here. But the issue that I want to bring out here is far from nice and palatable for many.

Man is easily on top of the food chain, today and was always I guess. But does that give the right to man to disturb the other links in the food chain in order to pander to his undying gluttony and utterly lascivious lifestyle that reeks of selfish desires and self-centered needs.

Sample this -

Was man, as an integral link in the food chain, meant to devour the prized sturgeon's priceless eggs in the name of luxurious living. To please his palate and to beautify himself, man goes about it in the most barbaric fashion. Did you know that "the fish are stunned and transferred to a fish barge in fisheries, where they are kept alive until processing. Then the sturgeon is cut open while still alive, and the roe is scooped out and placed in buckets" (Stewart 1992).

Was man meant to grind the tiger's teeth or claws or penis or whatever into a potent potion, thereby turning the mighty beast into an endangered species, just to increase his own libido. Which the man sadly has, libido I mean. The figures, just for India, are shocking. "India holds over half the world's tiger population. According to the latest tiger census report released on February 12, 2008 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the current tiger population stands at 1,411." - states Wildlife Protection Society of India.

And then there are the lions, elephants, rhinos, wild boars, black bucks.......... the list is fast becoming endless.

For leather, for fur, for shahtoosh, for ivory, for jewellery ........the mighty man goes for the big kill to make himself beautiful and ultra comfortable.

Caviar, Paté, shark's fin, tiger paws, ground deer antler, deer blood wine, and three variations of deer penis......... man partakes of this and more to satiate his most basal of physiological need as defined by Maslow.

There are two sides to this coin, two sets of arguments in favour of and against man's role and impact on his environment. Both are strongly, vociferously and vehemently put in varied fora.

My last blog on man's lack of responsibility towards his environment seemed to have kick-started a debate. An anonymous reader quoted Michael Crichton, of Jurassic Park series fame, extensively and commented thus -

"You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity! Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time.

It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again." - Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park.

Another reader, thelonelytrader, had the following to say against what Crichton upholds has his belief. I quote thelonelytrader here -

Quote begins -
(1) Destruction is always, always, always an easier and quicker process than creation and evolution.

(2) Destroying the planet and destroying life are two completely different events. One is a lot harder than the other. I'll let you guess which.

(3) It is not a proven fact that life would survive a total nuclear war. (The converse also holds, but who wants to test that theory?) It is a huge assumption (and a bit absurd) to go from total nuclear war to, "Sooner or later, when the planet is no longer inhospitable...."

(4) "Ultraviolet radiation is good for life." Yes, in measured quantities and in combination with an as yet unknown array of other physical events. We are still discovering what makes life work. To make any presumptions while apologizing for human progress is, simply put, stupid.

(5) If we are gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us. Life on earth, however, just might go with us. It is how we go that matters. We have only been around for a blink of an eye on a cosmic scale, but most catastrophic events happen on such timelines. And we, as a collectivized organism, are fast becoming capable of triggering such events.

But that is beside the point. We really must err on the side of wisdom and responsibility. If not, then we should at least err on the side of caution. - Quote ends.

And to the dismay of many who fall under the other category and continue to distort science, life principles and Darwin to prove their point, I must state that I am all for making thelonelytrader less lonely. For I espouse what he puts down so passionately.

Here's another fact - "When we spray pesticides, we put the food chain in danger. By breaking one link on the chain means all of the organisms above that link are in threat of extinction (like the domino effect). By hunting animals nearly to extinction, everything above the animal in the food chain is put in danger. A 'chain reaction' in the food chain can be perilous! Since the food chain provides energy that all living things must have in order to survive, it is imperative that we protect it." -

"Humans kill wild animals for many reasons. These reasons can include primal needs for critical nutrients such as protein and energy (as discussed above), fear of death or injury, the desire to eliminate competition for economic resources, the desire for wealth and related power, or spiritual incentives. Some of these motives
are rooted, in the most fundamental sense, in our own imperatives to survive and reproduce. The first three reasons fall in this category Manifestations of the other motives are substantially influenced by culture, and thus potentially subject to long-term change or considerable variation among societies and nations," writes David Mattson in the International Journal of Wilderness, Volume 3, Number 4.

All I would like to say, as a humble and polite reminder to my fellow travellers on this universe is that, it is not survival of the fittest but the hunger of the avaricious. It is not need but greed; not survival but a sense of self destruction.

Are we prepared to live with this Karma in the face of an utter lack of good dharma!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008


As a little girl staying with my parents in Kanpur, I was brought up in a typical Punjabi cosmopolitan family thanks to my father's career in the Services. As an Officer and a Gentleman, he was posted to various Indian cities, a piece of which we seemed to imbibe in our lifestyles. So, after a four year stint in Calcutta, my mother began to devour every part of the fish - eyes, fins, tail et al like a true blue Bengali. My Dad spent a sizeable time in the heavily British influenced Ambala Cantonment as a bachelor with an Anglo-Indian caretaker and Khansama taking care of his personal needs. The Khansama spoilt my father like hell and presented a veritable feast on his supper table night after night. So much so that my father had refined culinary tastes that my mother had to live upto and present, in her capacity, the best of mughlai, Indian and continental cuisine to him without fail. Thankfully, because Mum was an avid cook, this remained a happy demand on her and didnot turn into an ugly domestic battle between the two sexes.

But lets get back to my days in Kanpur, the heart or atleast the lung of Uttar Pradesh, if you really must argue that Lucknow (Kanpur's neighbouring and legendary city) was the real heart. Like I said, we soaked in the diversity, the culture, the habits of the locals and took away some in order to internalise them as our own. So, in Kanpur, we began going to the weekly vegetable Haats (weekly markets) and bought the fresh produce, meats and fish and ate a stomach full of our favourite Chaat - Aloo tikkis, gol gappas, papri chaat dished out from the chatwala's busy cart in the most unhygienic fashion. We also sat on tongas and Ikkas, celebrated Goburdhun in our large courtyard and enjoyed pre-diwali festivities with our dolls in a mud house built by Mom in the yard.

The other very-UP thing we did was getting attuned to the Crow's cry as he sat on our parapet announcing the arrival of a house guest. And if our comb fell to the ground after getting entangled in our tresses, we were bloody sure that the crow was a harbinger for the guest, who actually turned up on our doorstep the same day or the next.

And this brings me to the moot point of my discourse. These days I keep waiting for the crow to sit on my courtyard wall, to either steal some grains or cry hoarse about an impending visit of some distant relative. But the crow and his gang seem to be busy elsewhere. Mind you, I stay in a very green colony with the house surrounded by parks and overlooking a thickset of trees. But the sight of the crow eludes me. I don't think it is just me. I am sure you have noticed it too.

And then there are the mynahs. All through the school and college years, we used to go .......... one for sorrow, two for joy, three for letter, four for boy! Now, either we replace it with another bird or dump the routine entirely as the mynahs are not easily spotted.

Its monsoon time and anybody who comes from hill stations or valley stations like me, would say that we are or were used to spending our rainy seasons with frogs and toads. They stealthily trundled into our house hiding in corners or behind cupboards or under the beds, croaking at all odd hours and stubbornly resisting all our efforts to oust them. Cut to today and forget about Delhi, even in Dehradun, my hometown where I cohabitated willy nilly with these amphibians, I must admit that I miss them.

In my mother's home in Doon, I remember throwing grains out to the house sparrows - those lovely brown birds with their streaked backs. They perched themselves on the myriad trees in my mother's orchard-like backyard and scooped onto the pucca area where we had strewn the grains. Until a couple of years back, I found these friendly birds enjoying sunshine even in the tiny courtyard of my Delhi home. Alas, I haven't spotted them either this season or the one before or the one, a year earlier.

These are just some of the personal examples. A net search offers a report that featured in The Guardian and states; I quote, "Climate change over the next 50 years is expected to drive a quarter of land animals and plants into extinction, according to the first comprehensive study into the effect of higher temperatures on the natural world."

Another search throws up a mindboggling list of endangered species - tigers, walruses, polar bears, certain kind of fish, African penguins, butterflies, Musk deer, rhinos and a host of flora such as the prized orchids.

Another report talks about the horrific disappearance of glaciers and rivers, land mass and mountain ranges and forests .........

So what's happening? Is the man eating not only the crow (pun intended) but also everything else? Is the human gluttony devouring everything in sight? Is everything non-human being sacrificed on the altar of commercial greed at the hands of utterly selfish short-sightedness?

Perhaps until such time when Nostradamus' prophesies ring true and this Kalyug (bad era OR the fourth age. One in which there is lot of violence and falsehood. The current age is Kalyug. It started with demise of Sri Krishna) according to Hindu mythology comes to an end.

So who remains, when the big scale tips? Just man and cockroach or only the latter???