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Saturday, June 21, 2003

Salam is real

The Baghdad blogger whose diary is probably the most read ever is not fictious. He is all real. And with a good sense of satirical humor too - but that I guess was evident through his writings. He kept his identity a closely guarded secret that even his employee for sometime during the war didn't realise who he really was. Hope he stays out of the Mukhabarat's path.

And you thought spam guard was enough!

If you thought SpamGuard, SpamResistor, PopKiller and eSafe were enough, well, think again! You may have protected your emails to a certain extent, but who is going to guard your phone? Be prepared for incessant ringing.

Who said war is fair?

4 dead and 8 wounded.

Ruling: The maximum punishment would be a reprimand, forfeiture of a month's pay, confinement to quarters for a month and travel restrictions for two months.
And of course, the top brass walks free.

As one mother said "Disappointing, but not surprising!".

Of peasants and princes

The Americans may have the best armed forces - awesome firepower and air supremacy. But when it comes to the streets, they are pretty much exposed. Yougoslavia, Somalia, some others...and now Iraq. The more experienced British, Israeli, Indian or Sri Lankan forces with numerous years of street fighting would probably be a good force to deploy. Else the count of dead innocent bystanders will steadily grow as well as the American soldiers out to do their duty.

Not only is it their inexperience, but the Americans lack of understanding the perspectives of the people in the region is also going to take a lot of lives. And as they did in Afghanistan, they are trying to bring in royalty to try and solve their problem in Iraq too. What they don't realise is that this is only leading to more factions in an already much-split nation.

Next stop - Iran

The Bush administration has increased its focus on Iran recently. The much-published demonstrations in Iran with a few thousand people in a nation of millions was pointed out as proof of a suppressive Government (didn't we hear Rummy utter similar words on Firdos Square: read this archived entry - "Berlin Wall disparaged in Firdos Square"). I am still wondering how the demonstrations began the moment US turned the crosshairs on Iran!

Now, the IAEA's findings are being given a bigger hue than it deserves. We have read about similar findings by the IAEA in Pakistan and India before. But when it is Iran, it is seen as an affirmation of their evil designs.

Load the DU shells! Aim!! And...

"The US now needs Saddam

First the Americans loved him and supported him through all the violent Kurd uprisings, including providing him with the wherewithal for putting them down. Soon they rebuked him for the Kurd reprisals. Then they dethroned him on fallacious grounds. But now they need him to shore up the fast slipping economy, even if it means violating a law they recently passed.

Again, what did they steal?

I have heard about armoured car robberies, the great train robbery, stolen paintings...but THIS is a first. I can't believe they managed to not only steal it, but also efficiently hide it for so long, in spite of the best efforts of the American and Angolan governments to trace it.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Towards a greener world

For over 30 years Sanjit Bunker Roy has been working towards the development of rural areas in terms of basic amenities and making them self-sufficient. His attempts have since paid off with over 100,000 people significantly benefiting and his Barefoot College spreading to over half of India's states. Recognition has come to Sanjit in numerous forms, the latest being the Green Oscar.

Sanjit and few others have shown us that it is possible to take some responsibility off the Government's hands and enable faster development.

Javed Miandad

A legend in his own right, Javed Miandad is one of the best batsman Pakistan has produced. Any mention of him brings to me 2 memories:

  • His frog jumps in trying to mimic Kiran More in the '92 World Cup in Australia - still brings on a smile

  • His last ball six off Chetan Sharma in '86 that brought victory to Pakistan in Sharjah - am yet to come to terms with it; given Chetan was my hero back then (more because one of our neighbours thought I bolwed like him! :) )

And thats exactly what happened today when I read of his now-completed autobiography, "The Cutting Edge".

True to his style on the field, off the field, Javed never minced words, even when it ruffled more than a few feathers back home. And his performance sure ensured a place for him amongst the best cricketeers that has played.

Nala Damayanthi

Sneaked back in to update the blog on the movie I just saw; for the second time!

Now what would drag me back to a theatre a second time? Well, when I started out, it was more cause of a promise to a friend; but then when I stepped out of the theatre 2:45 hours later, I was smiling away to glory, yet again!

The credit goes to the entire team I guess. Mouli (direction - but more for the humor thrown in), Madhavan, new-comer Geethu (at least a new-comer to me - haven't seen her before), Ramesh (music) and not to forget Kamal (producer) - whose presence can be felt through every screen via Madhavan.

And I guess credit should go to Kamal for having gracefully stepped aside to make way for Madhavan in this movie, though the initial plans were for him to play the role. Guess they have gotten together well since Anbe Sivam, the remake of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles".

My thoughts: If you are looking for an intellectual movie, don't even bother. But if you are amongst those who enjoyed the S.V.Shekar and Mouli stage plays, this is baked just for you. The music reminded me of Kamal's Nammavar which was scored by Sottu Neelam Mahesh. On a boring day, this movie will bring back a smile on your countenance!

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Have come a long way
(via Priya)

A very inspirational quote - and we think life is sometimes tough on us!

'Twenty years ago, when I went blind, it was tough to even find the bathroom. Now that I've climbed Mount Everest, well, I guess I've come a long way.'
- Erik Weihenmayer

More on Erik here and here.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Yet another cute niece

Uma delivered yet another cute baby girl last week! And Ranju is growing ever cuter and smarter and quickly taking after yours truly as her uncle often claims! :)

Check out both my cute nieces, ShivaRanjini and ShriRanjini here and read about them here.

On the hill

50 years ago 2 men staggerred and clambered the peak that seemed unsurmountable. National Geographic has done an awesome job in covering the Everest story in their May edition. Try their virtual ascent to get a feel of what its like. More on the Everest and some beautiful pictures. I hope to trek to some of the monasteries enroute to the Base Camp someday! :)

While on the Everest National Geographic edition, don't miss this beautiful ephemeral waltz of nature.

The Himalayas are inhabitated by a few but graceful creatures like the white leopard. But she does have other occassional interesting visitors too.

Tales of justice

Alright, lets get this straight now.

Saddam's era: Repressive regime. Rapes. Murder. No political voice. No freedom. In return, water, electricity, good roads, transport, schools, hospitals (when the UN was generous), food!

Post-Saddam: No repressive regime; only occupying troops with a few thousand automatic weapons. Rapes - not as many. Murder - how much damage can DU cause? Political voice - not yet...too early and immature to grasp the concepts. Freedom - of course - within your 4 walls...oops...2 1/2 walls. Water - in sometime. Electricity - on its way. Roads - for what - we got all the vehicles that could move. Transport - where would you want to go? To schools? Well, not yet, our troops are resting there. Hospitals? Sorry, not enough supplies. And our men need whats left. Food? Its your country, go ahead and cook all that you want with what you have.

Meanwhile, our troops need to practice their punches and work on their photographic skills! Some liberators these! What a shame!

So, will these men be tried in the International Court of Justice? Not likely. We cannot allow our brave soldiers to be tried and insulted in another nation. {Check a related posting on this blog dated May 22, 2003 "Americans to be tried for war crimes?"}

Build-it-yourself cruiser

Guess this was my longest break from blogging! Was bogged down with plenty of work. Didn't keep me away from the news...but not long enough to post some of the links I collected along the way. Result: I take you back in time for some news from last week. My apologies "Mr.Dosa Camp" but more of my vents on our supercop and his cronies. But point taken my friend. Will spice up with other stuff as well over the next few days. For starters, let us find ourselves a new hobby shall we? Get your toolbox buddies, the news is out; Bruce's latest antics will keep us occupied for some time to come. hmmm, where do we test it?

Friday, June 06, 2003

Massaged Intelligence

For sometime now I have been wondering what the coalition forces are waiting for. They have been in Iraq long enough to have planted the WMD. Beats me. It sure has put the premiers of each of the coalition partners in a difficult situation. I was pretty sure that they would have "discovered" the weapons by now. Well, they can't wait much longer. While the premiers of Britain and Spain are under a lot of pressure; the kingpin is not lying on a bed of roses either! That however has not stopped him from promising to dig them out!

And everyone - on both sides of the wall (remember, its either this side of the wall or that side), have doubts. On one side of the wall they are going "6 attempts and they still didn't get it right, not even when they fudged!" and on the other side they are getting louder and vociferous and their subtle sardonic sense of humor is beginning to show.

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