Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
I went to China with dual purposes. The official aim was to attend the IB Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on CAS (Mixed Level) at the Shanghai Jincai High School in Shanghai. The unofficial one was to pick up authentic Chinese chopsticks for an ever effervescent colleague.
Every morning and afternoon from the 27th to the 29th of October was devoted to the workshop. Steven Money, the workshop leader, was efficient, and the interaction with CAS Coordinators from all over the Asia-Pacific was productive. Language proved no barrier as Angrezi, pidgin or otherwise, ruled the roost.
The Shanghai streets were not so kind, and communication proved Greek, Latin and obviously, Mandarin. Consequently, buying chopsticks was the more complex task. A comparison of Shanghai and Mumbai was inevitable thanks to Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh's rhetoric of an impending metamorphosis.
The Chinese metropolis is divided into two parts by the Huangpu river. Acting as a timeline, the water body cuts the city into the old Puxi ( West Bank) area and the newly developed Pudong (East Bank) area. While symmetrical Pudong sent my sense of direction wandering, Puxi was more familiar with its Fort like colonial aura.
At night, Shanghai dazzles electrically (they apparently have no load shedding worries) on both sides of the Bund that separates the two banks. The Jade Buddha temple, the Yu Yuan Gardens, the French Concession and the Pearl Culture centre, amongst others, are worth a dekko. The architecture is uniformly futuristic and the landscaping meticulous. The plethora of Pizza Huts and Starbucks is proof of an economy in transition.
However, the perfect pièce de résistance loses its gilt when one comes across the impecunious begging for a few Yuan, albeit, no Dharavi is in sight. The duplicate market thrives in spite of official bans, and is reminiscent of Chor Bazaar. Disparity, though effaced, is present.
Despite the obvious cracks, Shanghai remains a city worth emulating. But is displacing and dislocating 70,000 slum dwelling families going to transform the ugly step sister into Cinderella?
We can only wait for the fairy godmother !!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Brain Lateralization Test Results
|Right Brain (48%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.|
Left Brain (48%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
personality tests by similarminds.com
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
THE THOUGHTS that rain their steady glow
Like stars on life’s cold sea,
Which others know, or say they know—
They never shone for me.
Thoughts light, like gleams, my spirit’s sky,
But they will not remain.
They light me once, they hurry by,
And never come again.
~ Matthew Arnold
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna**
Chhodo Bekaar Ki Baaton Mein
Kahin Beet Na Jaaye Raina
Kuch Reet Jagat Ki Aisi Hai
Har Ek Subah Ki Shaam Hui
Tu Kaun Hai Tera Naam Hai Kya
Seeta Bhi Yahan Badnaam Hui
Phir Kyon Sansaar Ki Baaton Se
Bheeg Gaye Tere Naina
Humko Jo Taane Dete Hain
Hum Khoyen Hai Inn Rang Raliyon Mein
Humne Unko Bhi Chhup Chhup Ke
Aate Dekha Inn Galiyon Mein
Yeh Sach Hai Jhoothi Baat Nahin
Tum Bolon Yeh Sach Hain Na
Kuch To Log Kahenge
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna
Kuch To Log Kahenge is the refrain I dole out to the hoi polloi. For me, it has just been a platitude that does nothing to block the lachrymal secretions. The barbs are just as keen; and my skin as permeable as ever.
I think it's time to shed the ineffective cover, and don the garb of a pachyderm.
Hail the herds........!! :)
Monday, September 25, 2006
My nerves seem to have taken the brunt literally though. I feel nothing. All tactile sensation is gone. I can pinch myself all I like, and still continue dreaming. Some subcutaneous nerve may have been excised along with the cyst.
Que sera sera? Who knows...I don't need painkillers !! :)
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I woke up to hear the rain beating its thunderous symphony on my always closed pane. I would have to take the cab again, and the ride without my MP3 player was going to be a drag. I rummaged through my cupboard and pulled out the headphones for my cell radio.
Teacher's Day dedications blared and voila, the RJ dedicated the following number to all teachers...
Her voice is echoed in my mind
I count the days till she is mine
Can’t tell my friends cuz they will laugh
I love a member of the staff
I fight my way to front of class
To get the best view of her ass
I drop a pencil on the floor
She bends down and shows me more
That’s what I go to school for
Even though it is a real bore
You can call me crazy
But I know that she craves me
That’s what I go to school for
Even though it is a real bore
Girlfriends I’ve had plenty
But none like Miss Mackenzie
That’s what I go to school for
That’s what I go to school for
So she may be thirty-three
But that doesn’t bother me
Her boyfriend's working out of town
I find a reason to go round
I climb a tree outside her home
To make sure that she's alone
I see her in her underwear
I can’t help but stop and stare
Everyone that u teach all day knows your looking at me in a different way
I guess that's why my marks are getting so high
I can see those tell tale signs telling me that I was on your mind
I could see that you wanted more when you told me that I’m what you go to
I’m what you go to school for
She’s packed her bag it's in the trunk
Looks like she’s picked herself a hunk
We drive past school to say goodbye
My friends they can’t believe their eyes
Gag. Choke. Splutter.
That is definitely NOT what we go to school for !!!
Friday, August 25, 2006
Lesbian Barbie upsets Mattel
Curitiba: Toy manufacturer Mattel is reportedly threatening to sue a Brazilian artist for portraying Barbie as a lesbian.
Karin Schwarz's exhibition features pictures of Barbie in compromising situations, reports the Jornal de Sao Paulo newspaper.
Mattel has given the artist 24 hours to close down the exhibiton or they say they will take legal action.
But Ms Schwarz says she will not back down: "Barbie is exploited by Mattel. She wears a bikini, she shows off her belly, has big breasts, and even has a boyfriend," she said.
The exhibition, entitled Amazing Girls, is on show at a bar in the city of Curitiba.
A Mattel spokesperson said: "Barbie is a very proper lady and she is not happy about being portraited as something that she isn't.
"We are going to sue and we hope that this teaches people a lesson. Also, Barbie is 46 years old, she should be respected!"
Courtesy : The Mumbai Mirror
P.S. - Hail Ms Schwarz
Monday, August 07, 2006
Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been;
I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell;
Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell
Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet between;
Unto thine eyes the glass where that is seen
Which had Life's form and Love's, but by my spell
Is now a shaken shadow intolerable,
Of ultimate things unuttered the frail screen.
Mark me, how still I am ! But should there dart
One moment through my soul the soft surprise
Of that winged Peace which lulls the breath of sighs, -
Then shalt thou see me smile, and turn apart
Thy visage to mine ambush at thy heart
Sleepless with cold commemorative eyes.
~~~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
There is much I can and want to say about her, but to use a cliche, I shall never do her any justice. So I end my brief ramble here though it shall continue metaphysically.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
"Yeah. I love 'Friends'"
I've had no 'Friends' in my life. None at all. It's been more than a decade. I won't really say I miss them. But yes, I wouldn't mind having them around. Of course, it would mean I would get no work done, but it would be nice to live vicariously for a change.
Yes, I confess. I am a freak !! I haven't watched regular television for more than ten years. "Jurassic Park", anyone?
And no, I'm not complaining; but it does make me a sucker for movies. It's almost 4 a.m. and I am still glued to my laptop. These 25 DVDs with all the movies I've ever wanted to watch have driven me crazy.
Am I depraved or what?
Monday, May 15, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
"Happy Birthday to You" is a song which is sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person's birth. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, "Happy Birthday to You" is the most popular song in the English language, followed by "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" and "Auld Lang Syne". The song has been translated into many languages, though it is often sung with the English lyrics in countries where English is not a primary language. It's also the most frequently sung song in America.
The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" was written by American sisters Patty and Mildred Hill in 1893 when they were school teachers in Louisville, Kentucky. The verse was originally intended as a classroom greeting entitled "Good Morning to All". The version as we know it was copyrighted in 1935 by the Summy Company as an arrangement by Preston Ware Orem, and is scheduled to expire in 2030. This was the first copyrighted version to include the lyrics. The company holding the copyright was purchased by Warner Chappell in 1990 for $15 million dollars, with the value of "Happy Birthday" estimated at $5 million.  While the current copyright status of the song is unclear, Warner claims that unauthorized public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to them. It is not completely certain who wrote the lyrics to "Happy Birthday to You".
During the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003, the government advised people to regularly wash their hands with soap for around 15 seconds. In order to make this practice more easily handled by kids, some primary school and kindergarten teachers told their students to sing "Happy Birthday to You" slowly while they washed their hands, and to only stop washing after finishing the song.
Courtesy : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You
Friday, April 28, 2006
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Your heart is not open so I must go
The spell has been broken, I loved you so
Freedom comes when you learn to let go
Creation comes when you learn to say no
You were my lesson I had to learn
I was your fortress you had to burn
Pain is a warning that something’s wrong
I pray to God that it won’t be long
Do ya wanna go higher?
There’s nothing left to try
There’s no place left to hide
There’s no greater power
Than the power of good-bye
Your heart is not open so I must go
The spell has been broken, I loved you so
You were my lesson I had to learn
I was your fortress
There’s nothing left to lose
There’s no more heart to bruise
There’s no greater power
Than the power of good-bye
Learn to say good-bye
I yearn to say good-bye
Courtesy : http://www.lyricsfreak.com/m/madonna/86871.html
Saturday, March 25, 2006
ghostification of K**** and other phantom members of the class of 2006:
1) The Note-to-Float Model: This content-based theory, first proposed
by Blahblah and Boring (1532), states that the content of notes may be
toxic, and repeated prolonged exposure may result in feelings of
weightless floating and spirit-type non-being.
2) The Study Sickness Theory: This theory, propounded by Yawn et al
(1860), is process-based. Similar to the Sleeping Sickness caused by
the Tse-Tse Fly, this condition is caused by the equally deadly Paper
Five, which induces a deep sleep in the reader. Although this condition
is not permanent, it occurs every time the paper is taken up, thus
contributing to confused cognitions regarding the reality of one's own
3) Type Zzzz Personality: This trait approach suggests that Type Zzzz
Personality persons and xeroxes are incompatible and contact may result
in a sudden state of REM, and thus to instant ghostification.
Short term interventions for the spirit state include sleeping, staring
into space, chatting with friends, complaining about how pointless it
all seems, and watching T.V. However, these have been found to have
only temporary positive effects.
(Reproduced without the permission of my comrade Caroline D'Souza - a budding psychotic psychologist)
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
"Airborne to Chairborne" is the title of the essay I studied in school as a 10th standard student.
Later, I met the man. His ideas on God, euthanasia and the condition of the disabled induced a catechism of my very complacent notions.
This post (his article) is a tribute of sorts !!
Airborne to Chairborne
All my attempts to move my limbs were futile. The pain in the neck was excruciating and it intensified by the second. I was stumped for a moment but quickly recovered to realise the seriousness and significance of my inability to get up. I do not remember whether I screamed involuntarily, then, in sheer desperation. On that abominable night, my mind was in a medley of intense frustration, utmost dejection and extreme disappointment. For some timeless moments, I wished I were dead.
On 28 June '88, at around 2300 hrs, whilst returning to the Officers Mess on my motorcycle after night flying, I drove onto a road barrier just ahead of the technical area gate, inside Air Force Station, Pathankot. The impact of the helmet on the wooden bar wrenched my neck and broke the cervical spine. Fifteen minutes after the accident, I was taken to the Station Sick Quarters in an unconscious state. While being carried, my head was left unsupported. The base of the helmet (rear side) which was resting against the nape of the neck pushed the fractured vertebrae into the cervical spinal cord. (The casualty must always be carried in a stretcher, after immobilising his/her neck with a cervical collar.) The resultant spinal injury completely paralysed me below the neck.
After overnight's stay in Military Hospital (MH), Pathankot, I was transferred to Army Hospital, Delhi (AHDC). Neck surgery failed to mitigate my predicament. Though I had brief spells of consciousness during the fortnight's hospitalisation in AHDC, my memory fails to recollect my fight for survival. On 12 July '88, I was transferred to the Spinal Cord Injury Centre of MH Kirkee, Pune.
Two weeks after my admission, I gathered my wits and eagerly inquired about the prognosis. The medical officer looked up and motioned his hands skywards; perhaps he wanted me to adjure divine intervention. This charade instantly deflated my hopes but it lucidly conveyed the enormity and helplessness of the incurable nature of the incapacitation. Inconsistencies of life have always bemused me but not even the wildest nightmare presaged that one day I would fall prey to such a quirk of fate. The modicum of faith I had in Providence got shattered when I failed to show even an iota of improvement.
The cervical spinal injury (quadriplegia) necessitated me to lead a totally dependent life, tethered to the bed and wheel chair. Now, I am like a man fettered for life; unable to use my hands and legs, incontinent and spoon‑fed. Ironically, the most painful aspect of quadriplegia is the painlessness! It isn’t mere loss of tactile inputs and outputs but absolute dependence on someone else to accomplish mundane necessities and domestic chores that yoked me; even for things like swabbing ears and swatting flies.
Disuse atrophy had set in within a couple of months and took its toll by altering the geometry of my torso and limbs. The mirror replicated the image of a human skeleton swathed in a layer of wizened skin. Two years' stay in MH Kirkee taught me how to battle the numerous encumbrances and how to conquer the bouts of depression. With a smile on my face, I managed to dissemble the pangs of the heart. The Indian Air Force (IAF) realised my uselessness and discharged me from the service on 12 April '90. The silly accident dealt coup de grace to my aspirations and terminated my fledgling career in the IAF. In August '90, at the young age of 26, I got admitted in Paraplegic Home, Park Road, Kirkee, Pune, as an inmate to begin the second phase of my life ‑ afresh.
I was born and brought up in a village by name Chirayinkil, 35 kms north of Trivandrum. At the age of nine, I entered Sainik School, Kazhakootam. A slow learner and an unobtrusive student by nature, I had excelled consistently in both academics and sports. Later on, I was found worthy enough to be adjudged as the best Air Force cadet of 65th course of National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune and as the best in aerobatics of 134th Pilots Course of Air Force Academy, Secunderabad. In Dec '84, I was commissioned into the IAF as a fighter pilot. I had 700 hours of flying experience (including 500 hours of flying in a magnificent flying machine called MiG-21) during my truncated career in the IAF.
All my efforts to rationalise personal catastrophes have always mystified and at times stupefied me. To adapt to the new challenges posed by the debility, I had to unshackle myself from the self‑imposed stupor. Therefore, in Sep '90, I decided to learn the art of writing by holding a pen in my mouth (because of dysfunctional hands). I began scribbling illegibly but was chagrined to find little progress even after 3 weeks' laborious efforts. Then, I decided to change tactic and wrote a letter to Sheela George, the person who kept on chivvying to start mouth‑writing (earlier I had paid little attention to her exhortations). My joy knew no bounds when I completed the few lines that embodied my first mouth‑written letter. Initially, I found my hard work to be a mere pie in the sky; but, 4 to 5 months' assiduous efforts resulted in attaining a readable style of writing. This modest achievement enabled me in reviving the chain of correspondence and begetting new friends.
In May 1991, I was presented with an electrically operated wheel chair, with chin controls for manoeuvring, thanks to the benevolence of the IAF. Motorised mobility, though only a poor substitute for natural one, has enlivened my lifestyle considerably.
It was Wing Commander PI Murlidharan, my former flight commander, who mooted the use of a personal computer (PC), as a writing tool. He added that it would assist me to utilise my mental faculty to the hilt. Hitherto unsuccessful attempts in procuring a keyboard (modified to suit my requirements) have somewhat emasculated my resolve. Nonetheless, my hope of acquiring a PC remains undiminished.
In the meantime, I toyed with the idea of teaching. For some untenable reasons, I kept on declining the offers by bringing one imaginary reason or another as an ad hoc excuse. Aforesaid setbacks notwithstanding, I'm very hopeful of converting the second phase of my life into something as meaningful as the one I would have had from the confines of a cockpit.
Believe it or not, every dark cloud has a silver lining. To surmount even seemingly insuperable obstacles, one has to muster the remnant faculties and shun the thought of disability and then canalise one's dormant energies purposefully and whole‑heartedly. It isn't just physical ability and average intelligence but an insatiable appetite for success and an unflagging will power that would texture the warp and woof of the fabric called human destiny. Greater the difficulty, sweeter the victory.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
The backdrop is quasi Grecian.
It is pouring cats, dogs, and elephants.
Elizabeth Bennet is drenched, and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is dripping too.
He tells her he loves her. She rages and refuses him.
Lizzie is visiting Pemberley.
Michelangeloesque art is splashed across walls and ceilings.
Naked bodies. Fluttering cloaks.
Nude sculptures are caressed by electronic eyes.
Particularly the butt.
Proud to be Prejudiced !!!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
India has done a great job as a democracy: Bush
At the best of times, meeting the most powerful man on the planet can be intimidating. But when he walks into the Roosevelt Room of the White House quite unexpectedly a few minutes ahead of the scheduled interview time holding in his hands a book you have written, and quips, "I've been reading a good book lately!" the most composed journalist can be knocked galley west. You could have felled me with a noodle. I barely managed a "Thank you, Mr President" as he put the book in from of him and settled into his chair. He was flanked to his left by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and to his right by Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. Two other aides sat next to them, and with me was a journalist from the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar .
President Bush bantered for a while with other US wire correspondents who were seated behind us but were not allowed to ask questions.
He made a brief preliminary statement about how much he and his wife Laura Bush are looking forward to their first trip to India. He also lavished praise on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describing him as a "very decent, honorable person with whom we established warm relations... kind person (who) at the same time represented his great country's interests very well."
President Bush then took questions:
Chidu Rajghatta : Mr. President, how and why has India come front and center to US strategic thinking now after being on the margins for so many years?
THE PRESIDENT : Well, as you know there was a history, particularly during the Cold War, that made it difficult for our countries to establish a close relationship. However, things change in the world. And as the post-Cold War thaw developed, as -- attitudes began to shift.
Secondly, the Indian economy, as a result of more transparency and openness and trade, began to change. And as the Indian economy changed, it changed the commercial relationship between the United States and India.
Thirdly, there are some common threats that make it in our interests to work together -- namely terrorism. As I said in my speech today, the United States has been attacked, but India certainly understands what it means to have suffering as a result of terrorist activities. And so there's common interests that have helped to change the relationship. And I intend to seize those interests, as does the Prime Minister, in order to foster what we've called a strategic relationship.
And in my speech today, I made it clear to the American people that this relationship is in our interests. And I described the various ways it was in our interests. It's just I think the evolution of the relationship goes to show that the world is -- changes, and it's never static. And so thank you for the question.
Q : Mr. President, if India's credentials are so good, why isn't the US backing its candidacy for the U.N. Security Council?
THE PRESIDENT : Well, let me make one other point, if you don't mind, that I should have made in my speech today, and that is that there are a lot of Indian Americans who made a tremendous contribution to our country, as well. And there are a lot of -- over the last -- as the high-tech boom helped transform our society, a lot of the brain power behind that boom have been Indian Americans, as well as Indians educated here in America. And so the American people, as well, have begun to get kind of a different perspective on the great contributions that India can not only make to our own country but can make to the world.
Our position on the United Nations Security Council has been very clear. First, we support a U.N.Security Council reform, but we think it ought to happen after other institutions within the United Nations become reformed. What I was always worried about is that we would focus on the U.N. Security Council and nothing else would happen. And so we have -- we have said to all parties concerned, I fully understand the Indian position, just like other nations, that we will take your case under consideration, but first things first.
And a classic case of the reform I'm talking about is the Human Rights Commission. It needed to be reformed. And what I was, again, worried about is that we'd miss opportunity while focusing on the U.N. Security Council.
Q : Mr. President, when do you intend to take the US.-India nuclear deal before the Congress, and before the Nuclear Supplies Group, which is part of the US obligation?
THE PRESIDENT : Yes, it is. As we speak, Nick Burns, of the State Department, is discussing this vital issue with the Indian counterparts. We are working through what has been -- as I said in the speech, a difficult issue for the Indian government, as well for the American government. To change the past, the ways of the past can be difficult at times.
I appreciate the Prime Minister's courage last July of laying out a way forward, which I support. And so first things first is to go to India and hopefully reach an agreement on separation, and then bring that agreement back and start selling it to the Congress.
It's -- but we can't bring anything back until we've agreed to the agreement. And that's what's happening now. There's a spirit of goodwill and cooperation.
It's in our country's interest, by the way, to encourage India -- and aid India in its development of a civilian nuclear power program. The American people are beginning to see high prices of energy, but so are the Indian people. And the reason why is, is that there's growing economies -- ours, India's, China's -- which is adding to global demand for energy. And demand is outstripping supply, and then what happens, you see price.
And one way to help deal with price here at home and/or with India is to develop alternative ways to power homes and businesses, as well as automobiles. I was sincere in my speech today when I said that we're dedicated to research and development to come up with alternative ways to use automobiles, and want to share that technologies with other nations, particularly a nation like India, which has got huge potential and vast room for growth.
And it's in our mutual interests -- I also made it clear that it's in our interests that the Indian economy prosper. And it's a very simple reason why.
One, a prosperous country is one that is -- particularly one that has shown its capacity to deal with a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society -- it will give India more opportunity to lead, particularly in parts of the world where people need to see how democracy can work and function in a proper way.
And secondly, the American people have got to understand a prosperous India is advantageous to our own industries. I mean, we want people buying American products, Indians want Americans buying Indian products, and that exchange of trade in a free and fair way is beneficial for workers and consumers.
And I said an amazing statistic today -- at least I thought it was -- 300 million middle-class citizens in India.
That's larger than the population of the United States. And so we shouldn't fear relations with India -- matter of fact, we ought to welcome them and work on ways to strengthen them. That's really what the purpose of the trip is.
Q : Do you consider India to be a responsible nuclear nation?
THE PRESIDENT : I do, particularly when they signed the IAEA safeguards, and they have a separation between their military and their civilian nuclear parts of their government.
Q : Mr. President, would the United States have a problem if India continued to source oil and gas from Iran?
THE PRESIDENT : I think people are going to have to buy their energy where they can get it. On the other hand, I do want to make it clear to the Indian people and the Indian government that an Iran with a nuclear weapon will destabilize the world, and that those of us who are for peace and stability must work in concert. So there's a difference between energy supply and working closely to achieve a very important objective.
And we will discuss this issue carefully with the Prime Minister. There is a consensus in the world, and that consensus is that an Iranian government that has declared its -- has said that Israel shouldn't exist, for example, and if it were to have a nuclear weapon, would be a danger to all of us. And I will continue to make that point with the Prime Minister.
Q : Why has the US not questioned A.Q. Khan, whose activities intersect proliferation and terrorism?
THE PRESIDENT : Well, we were the nation that exposed the conspiracy to deal with -- more than the conspiracy, the activities, let me rephrase that -- we were the nation that exposed the activities of sharing technologies, sensitive technologies, nuclear-related weapons-related technologies. And we, of course, want to know as much about the A.Q. Khan network as possible. But had it not been for US. intelligence, coupled with British intelligence, this network never would have been exposed. And the light of day helps understand proliferation.
Q : Mr. President, why does India have to jump through the hoops to get a civilian nuclear agreement when its energy requirements are similar to China, another big, growing economy?
THE PRESIDENT : There are the nuclear supplier group, and the IAEA -- in other words, the world has signed on to this.
We think it's in India's interest to do so, as it pertains to its civilian nuclear power industry. It will give confidence to people. It will make it easier for the United States to work with India. This will be a confidence-building measure that we don't believe is an unrealistic request. And we do realize there will be separation between the military side and the civilian side. What we're working on is the civilian side.
Q : Is the US more comfortable dealing with dictators and monarchs?
THE PRESIDENT : Do what now? Do I feel comfortable doing what?
Q : Dealing with dictators and monarchs?
THE PRESIDENT : And monarchs? Well, I mean, I've got a great relationship with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain. (Laughter.) She's a lovely lady and a great figure in a country that's an important ally. And, of course, that monarchy is very supportive of a free and open and democratic system.
(Getting serious) You must take the words that I said in my second inaugural address very seriously, in that we must end tyranny in the 21st century. It's a goal that all of us can work on. India has got a unique role to play. I mean, when you really think about troubled spots, these are countries many times that are having difficulty dealing with what it means to honor minority rights and welcoming different religions within kind of a social and civil fabric.
And India has done a magnificent job of showing the world how democracy can work. And it's -- India is -- I'm confident the country will play a constructive role and can do so in a much better way many times than the United States can. I mean, after all, there are 150 [sic] Muslims living within the Indian democracy. We got a lot of Muslims in the United States, as well, which shows the world that it's -- your capable of honoring -- worshiping God as you see fit, and you can do so in a free way, and at the same time, be a productive citizen of a state.
And India can help a lot. I was very impressed by its contribution to a new democracy in the neighborhood, and that's Afghanistan. India has provided $565 million of cash, recently pledged an additional $50 million to build the Afghan National Assembly building. And that's responsible -- a responsible nation does that. And it's a -- it goes to show -- at least says to me that India understands that a democracy in our neighborhood will help yield peace, because if you study the history of the world, regions that had been in turmoil are now peaceful as a result of the evolution of democracy.
And one of the points I made in my address to the Asia Society is that there are -- there's more democracies now in the region, which will make it easier for a current Prime Minister, future Prime Minister of India to help achieve the vision that we all want, which is a peaceful world.
Q : Mr. President, in this era of free flow capital,why would -- why are there so many restrictions about inflow of talent -- human capital to the United States, who probably add wealth and knowledge?
THE PRESIDENT : I appreciate that question. I am -- you're talking about visa restrictions for highly educated citizens. I am for lifting those. I think we ought to raise the level of those who are either educated here and stay here and/or come meeting high-- with high skill levels. It's in our interest.
I've always been a proponent of that.And likewise, I would hope that India would lift its investment caps. In other words -- and part of the trip is to kind of work on ways to continue to develop this strategic relationship in a constructive way.
It's a -- you know, I said something interesting -- at least I thought it was interesting -- in the speech.
I said, for a period of time, if you're a friend of Pakistan, you couldn't deal with India, and if you're a friend of India, you couldn't deal with Pakistan.
And we have tried to change the relationships so that people recognize it's in their interest that the United States is a friend of Pakistan's, and people in Pakistan recognize it's in their interest that the United States is a friend of India's to help, if need be, reduce tensions.
Right now, the level of tensions are, relatively speaking, down. I can remember when I first came into office. You might remember there was a series of incidents that got everybody quite nervous, and we had shuttle diplomacy -- Colin Powell. And it seems to me that there is a renewed commitment to resolving problems. I thought it was very interesting that trade between the two countries has doubled, that there's, you know, new transportation hubs. That's all very positive in terms of resolving issues.
You asked me about the relationship, how it's evolved, and I mentioned to you that as time passes sometimes, and circumstances change, relationships are able to develop a new dynamic. I would hope that time and circumstantial change is enabling India and Pakistan to develop a new dynamic. It appears to be that way.
Q : Mr. President, you're going to India, but you're not visiting the Taj Mahal...
THE PRESIDENT : I know. It means I'm going to have to
Q : Have you broken the news to the First Lady?
THE PRESIDENT : No, it means I'm going to have to come back. It's a -- I am disappointed with that. People who have seen the Taj Mahal say that it's -- pictures don't do it justice. It's one of the great magnificent sites of the world. And look, if I were the scheduler, perhaps I'd be doing things differently. But you want me doing one thing.
I'll be the President, we've got the scheduler being the scheduler. I'm going to miss a lot of the really interesting parts of your great country. I know that.
I would hope that I would be invited back sometime after this trip.
Q : You could be in trouble with the "Desperate Housewife."
THE PRESIDENT : Yes. Well, she's certainly the star of the family. She's really looking forward to going with me.
Q : Between a cricket match and a Bollywood movie, what would you like watching?
THE PRESIDENT : I'm a cricket match person.
(Laughter.) I appreciate it. As I understand it, I may have a little chance to learn something about cricket. It's a great pastime. (Laughter.)
Q : Mr. President, what is your earliest memory of India.
MR. McCLELLAN : We've got to go to the next one.
Q : What is your earliest memory of India and Indians?
THE PRESIDENT : Gandhi. It's my first memory, as I think about India. You know, a person who was so spiritual that he captured the imagination of the entire world. He's proof positive that -- throughout history there have been individuals that have had the capacity to shape thought and to influence and -- beyond border. And he did that.
Q : You watched the movie?
THE PRESIDENT : I watched that, too. But that's -- but my memory was earlier than that.
Q : Thank you, very much.
THE PRESIDENT : Enjoyed it.
CR: Have a great trip to India, Mr President.
Monday, February 06, 2006
I think you are as unChristian as they come.
You do not know what you discard. More fool you...
Grow up, will you?
Regards & etc.,
P.S. - Forgive my juvenile delinquency, but Father Aristotle believes in 'Katharsis'.
It's the same letter, jst worse!
cut it out!
and go to sleep
u will be fine tmrw
go go go
as will i
i will be fine
u will be fine
we will be fine
tomorrow never comes
so we shall be fine
tomorrow never dies
they shall be fine
you will be fine
and I shall be fine
and tomorrow shall die today
Sunday, January 15, 2006
The cell phone rocks to "Smoke on the Water". The LCD of my Nokia 6610 flashes "Prachi Khandeparkar".
"I want you to coach a third year student. Bhavya is bright but needs help as she was unable to attend lectures due to ill health."
"Oh, ok. I'd be more than happy to help."
"But this would be proper tutoring so you must charge her."
"Charge her? I've never charged to teach. I wouldn't know what to charge !! "
"4000 to 5000 per month . Coach her once a week for a couple of hours."
Mrs. Neeta Ramakrishnan insists I coach her daughter twice a week, and that I come over to their Mahim flat to discuss the details.
Twice a week !!! No way !!! I don't have the time !!!
Let's ask for an absurd sum !! She's bound to refuse.
"I will charge Rs. 10,000 for coaching her twice a week for one and a half month. She must come over to my place. Is that ok?"
"That's alright. When will you begin?"
<< Is this woman insane? >>
"13th of January. Friday the 13th. And by the way, I will need a 50 % advance. Is that ok too? "
"Fine. Do you want cash, or will a cheque do?"
"Cheque is fine."
"Right, I'll give it to you just now."
"Oh no, no. 13th will be fine."
Flabbergasted. Boggled. Dumbfounded. Stupefied.