Mysore Blues

Mysore may offer a great weather, minimal pollution, no traffic jams, excellent quality of life. Surprisingly it has been declared the second cleanest city in India though what I see everywhere is filth. Spot a street, a gali , a road, a corner which is not littered with filth and garbage. If Mysore is the cleanest then how about the rest? Heritage city, 2nd cleanest city.. tags are good for its image but it definitely lacks in terms of quality of education that it offers though websites boast of twelve colleges for undergradation, four for Engineering etc etc but the reality is different.

After SSLC there is not much of choice. KV and DMS are the only schools which offer CBSE. KV offers only PCMB and PCME, if you are keen on doing Commerce then go to DMS but DMS is strictly not for those who are not fluent in Kannada. Your child will be a frustrated lot by the end of first semester. The only known college for PUC is Sadvidya where the fees charged is as per the paying capacity of parents and not the merit of the candidate. But if you don’t get it here, then where?

Mahajana was once a revered college of Mysore and known for its excellent faculty but like everything else, things have changed here too. A friend whose son goes to Mahajana college says, ‘let your child sit at home and study privately but don’t send him to Mahajana. Neither anyone there is interested in teaching nor is anyone studying.’

A dog’s Day in

Today is his 3rd B’day , don’t know which present to take.

Hubby suggested Toys

What will he do with the toys?

‘Story books’ , came another suggestion

‘Have you gone nuts?, he will chew them and shred into bits and pieces.’

‘Something to eat?’

May be, sometime you do talk sense.

‘But pedigree costs Rs 400/ , I gave a box of building blocks on Neesa’s son’s b’day last month and that cost me Rs 200/. For her child’s b’day a gift worth 200 and for her dog’s b’day worth 400.’ Even if one adores dogs and is an animal activist still this doesn’t sound logical.

‘What to do, quickly suggest something’, I prompted hubby

‘Take half the packet of pedigree which will be worth only 200’, his brilliant idea did not seep in

What will we do with the rest of the pedigree? We don’t even have a dog, who will eat that? You? , I was out of my nerves now

I dig in to the closet to look for any unused things which a dog might want to possess

‘But how will anyone know what a dog likes? Did her dog tell you?’ Hubby had a point

I found one ball which was not new but was almost new

Today, Carrot, the b’day dog was not tied outside in the veranda unlike the other days. After all today is his b’day and he can’t be tied in one corner on this day

The guests invited to the party were treated with cake, chips, sandwiches, coke. Carrot roamed around freely unleashed in all the rooms sniffing from one object to another and from one guest to another. After all every Dog has his day.

Alien on one’s own soil

Even after 15 years I get a shock … I get a cultural shock after visiting north. Every time I come back from Punjab I get a cultural shock. I am not so shocked when I return from Europe but north to south is a cultural shock even after so many years. It is not about which is good or which is bad. It is also not about the aggression, flamboyancy or the lack of it. It is about the difference. More shocking is why one should feel like an alien in one’s own country. I am sure people don’t feel the same when they relocate or visit east to west coast in US.

Even if you know the language, eat the same food still India’s cultural diversity is unwelcoming. A north Indian feels as much alienated in South as a south Indian in Punjab. Even after fifty trips from north to south to and fro in past fifteen years I am unable to find out why? Why everything feels so strange? We all take pride in our language, culture but perhaps we also take pride in being closed cultures

Wake Up Sid

Karan Johar must have run out of ideas on how to show extravagant display of emotional family drama, high end glamour, designer houses , exotic foreign locations, pretty faces, jazzy clothes , foot tapping music , climax , lot of noise halla gulla so he thought of making something entirely different something which audience especially young generation can effortlessly correlate.

While watching the movie, I must have at pinched my 15 yrs old son least six times ‘ see Sid is like you’ Filthy messy littered room , eating only junk, shouting at mom and later regretting it , not a worry about future, taking life as it comes. ‘We don’t know what will happen in future but let us enjoy our present to the core’.

After intermission he changed his seat.

The movie is very refreshing , fun to watch, ; for a change it is cool to watch low budget, non fiction, down to earth movie RK did an awesome job. For sure, he is a face to watch for in future. Konkana Sen too was very good and was just apt for the non glamorous image of the character. I wonder how Kareena Kapoor / Preity Jinta / Ash would have looked in this role!

What Next?

I know all about him what he eats… what time does he sleep… which book is he reading these days… his weekend plans… grade his kid got in mid term exam and even gift he gifted his wife but I haven’t met him for the past six years may be seven. Guess who is he to me! Can’t guess. Ok one clue. He is my friend. Confused! Na he is not my friend, he is my facebook friend.

What is it in facebook that is not there in real flesh and blood people? He has 500 facebook friends with whom he loves to share all irrelevant updates of his life.

‘I make it a point to visit facebook at least once a day to keep in touch with all in one shot’ says he in one of his sweet tweets.

Besides seeing him only once in person seven years ago I have seen him only on facebook,. when I first met him on facebook he looked very different from the real self may be some people look different in pictures or may be he had changed. Thanks to his new digital camera gifted to him by his brother (he updates all his irrelevant details), I see him in different moods. serene, bustling, naughty. 100 % sure, firstly I will not recognize him if I see him in real life again because I am so used to seeing him on facebook. Secondly he is not as handsome as he looks on facebook.

He and one of his real life friends who lives in the same city….

‘Real life friend: ‘hey lets meet sometime’
Facebook friend: ‘too much of work, very busy, let’s catch up on facebook’

Facebook and twitter are the trendiest way to keep in touch with people. You are old fashioned if you are not on facebook , no matter how many good friends you have in real life, number of friends on your facebook account and followers on twitter are metaphor of your popularity and amicability. I just crossed 50 facebook friends last week since I opened my facebook account eight months ago.

Old adage: You are judged by the kind of friends your have
New adage: You are judged by the number of facebook friends you have.

First came emails , then e messages , e cards, e shopping and now e friends , what next?.

Khan Kaun

‘You do not know who SRK is, then you know nothing about India and Indian culture …what a waste!!’

The long term effects of this episode are only positive. The first direct benefit from this episode is it has given spice hungry media some juicy news, and public to think life beyond SWINE. The second benefit is MNIK is a must watch now even by those who are not SRK’s die hard fans. The 3rd – now SRK is famous in US too. Sure this news must have made small or big headlines in US too.

Why such a halla gulla about SRK being detained and questioned at airport in USA? Americans are capable of questioning even Obama if need be.

If there is one thing that India can learn (though we don’t believe in learning either by our own misfortunes or thro others’ experiences, we only believe in giving sermons!) from this episode: spare no one when it comes to the security of your motherland. That will be the perfect way to do tit for tat instead of detaining Angelina Jolie as suggested by madam minister.

‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ only bounces back on us when we open our doors, hearts to anyone stepping foot on Indian soil, water without checking their complete credentials.

Budget for whom?

by karthik kumar
The idea of India is very urban. The idea of progress is very urban. The idea of government is very urban. The idea of civil society is very urban. Most of the cities in our country fall in the penumbra of urban consciousness.

When we think of people who live in these cities, we see them through the eyes of a government that has the same empathy that the British rulers felt for the urban populace. They are them, they are not us. That is why tribal villages in India evoke thoughts about insurgency more than they do about development. That is why silently, the patches of ungovernable areas within the country are growing while we are making our cities gated communities.

For one, the annual budget exercise of a Central or a State Government meant nothing to people. It came and went; in the few educated homes the passing item of interest was the excise duty on consumable — from cigarettes to cement and, later on, it was the personal income tax slab. Decades after, the middle-class mental poverty has expanded just as government receipts, spends and deficits have.

India needs change at the level of her soul.

The people who are in charge of the budget, those who go spend the money and the rest of us who fill our stomachs with it until the next year, need to believe that the country outside the cities needs to be included. That they are us.

Before you think I am a cynic, I must tell you that my staple diet is HOPE. Because, outside the cities, even today, there is no sewage system. And drinking water does not come out of a tap.

Every policymaker in India, every bureaucrat, every businessman must read a book titled Paraja — this is a novel by Jnanpith winner Gopinath Mohanty. Fortunately, an English translation by Bikram Das is available today. It is the story of a tribal from Koraput, Orissa, whose life is in the clutches of petty government officials, moneylenders and the police. The story is set in the early days of post-independent India. Decades after, his lot has not changed. Only his innocence has been lost.

On that note, goodbye until the next budget.

Connection Dil Se

‘Most of the new age technology is superfluous and we can do without most of the gadgets.’ That’s what I had always thought. Were we not happy and stayed connected with our friends even when there were no mobile phones and even landline was a luxury? Life went on smoothly even without computers but now… I am forced to change my opinion.

Technology can do a lot more than connecting your boss to you on a lazy Sunday afternoon like it can connect old pals, old school and college friends.

I had never ever thought I will even know the whereabouts of my class mates from school, college or univ, and the thrill of getting connected to school and college friends after two decades is unexplainable. Thanks to Facebook , the memories of Economics dept are again fresh, It is as if nothing has changed, we go back 20 years in life and we still live in those times when we could discuss for days the most trivial issues. When Nikhil tells me that he is looking forward to becoming an adult and enjoy the freedom, I tell him “we too felt the same and now we look back to those days with nostalgia.”

Another fact which is nothing to do with technology, Basic human nature does not change, it only reaches it ultimate as we grow old. Those who were serious earlier , two decades later are little more serious now. And those who were non serious are perhaps gone worst and take nothing seriously now. Some liked to yap yap, they yap much more.

HOPE for underprivileged child

Most of us have the desire to do some philanthropic work but don’t know for whom to do and how to go about it. On the other hand there are many children who are unable to pursue education due to financial constraints. There is a wide bridge between the people who want to help and the children who are in need of assistance. HOPE is a small effort in this direction. It provides a data base of children who need financial assistance.
As of now six children have been identified who need financial assistance for pursuing education. They may drop out for want of assistance. A little help from the donors will be instrumental in putting them on the right track in life.
How you can help:
• Sponsor the fees/books/school bags, shoes etc of a child
• Monitor the child’s performance by meeting him/her at least once in six month

No cash transactions involved. The sponsors are advised to pay the school fees directly to the school or provide assistance in kind and not give cash to the recipient
Till now six children have been identified for this assistance. Five school girls and one boy for PUC 2nd year. Within 24 hours of launch of this initiative we have found sponsors for 5 children. The target is to provide assistance to 10 children during 2009-10 academic session.

Sudoku Mania

Since I first laid my hands on a Sudoku puzzle a week ago, all one can find around me are pencils, erasers and Sudoku puzzles. Arranging 9 numbers in 9 by 9 grid looked impossible but looks are very deceptive. What really looks high funda need not be when you take a pencil and eraser in your hand.

Today I could solve a medium level puzzle without any assistance. Yes I have done it!
Well it is not me alone. If I am breaking my head over something why leave rest of the family in peace. Now post dinner time in our living room is more appropriately called Sudoku time; kids hubby all take one puzzle each from easy to medium to hard to evil level.

I am reminded of the ‘Goldilocks and three bears’ when daddy bear sips porridge from the biggest bowl, mama bear from medium sized bowl and baby bear from the cute smallest bowl but in Sudoku this order may be in reverse.