I am from India. Now living in the US. Just starting to record a few thoughts on the net. Let me know if you'd like to know anything from me.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Piece of history - 2005

I have mixed feelings about year 2005. Come to think of it, it is not bad as it seems. If you removed the tsunami, the earthquake, the hurricanes, the hard rains and floods, the war in Iraq and the numerous lives lost due to apathy, this was a pretty decent year. After all don’t we have these every year?

I have not seen any year that has gone by, in the past few years, that was any different from this year. We have had the same news, in different pages, year after year.

May be we have matured as a world. May be humans have had experiences of all possible kinds in this world, that no year seems different from the other.

I believe that history repeats itself, though not in any specific order. We can do only so much with the resources in the world. And we keep doing them again and again.

We are still amazed by what nature can do to us, still fighting the fury of it, just like the cave men. We still go to war. We still fight disease. We still investigate birth and death. We still seek god. Our lives as human beings has not changed much, in most facets.

Our zeal to dominate one another pervades our lives. But nature has a way of reminding us who we are. It exposes our helplessness in ways we cannot imagine.

If we examine history, with rare exceptions, Human History is full of war and disaster stories. Year 2005 was no exception.

Like foot prints on a rainy day
History is but an obscure impression
It will rain again.

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Height of creation

What is the height of creation? Is there such a thing as the height of creation? (assuming there is some one spending time creating all the useless things in the world, including ourselves).

Most often I have read in poems that a woman looked like she's the height of creation, that the creator cannot do better. While I haven't seen any evidence of that yet (“except my wife”, so that I live up to write another damn blog), I have always wondered what could really be the height of creation? Is it beauty? Or is it purpose? Who is better, your secretary or your wife?

A poet is moved by beauty. But a scientist is moved by purpose. A poet’s beautiful wife may not toil at home but to him she’s the height of creation. A scientist sees little organism that helps decay materials, to him god cannot do better than that.

Creativity is of the above two types. There is the art kind of creativity and the science kind. Former for beautiful creations latter for the purposeful creations. Both are inspired from life and its accessories. Is one better than the other?

What would we be without the power to observe beauty? There should have been a certain point in human history where people began to appreciate beauty. I wonder what happened to the guy who stood his ground and stared at the moon when the others went hunting. When did we start appreciating beauty? I think by instinct men (former hunters) were attracted to beauty. We were attracted to fruits, flowers and plants which looked beautiful to our eyes. Even the animals we hunted must have been beautiful to look at.

Even today people go to great lengths to decorate their food. There is more decorative stuff in a plate than eatables (Thanks: The Food Channel). It must be in our instincts to appreciate beauty.

Do animals appreciate beauty? I doubt. See some pet owners for example.

In nature there is more stuff with purpose than beauty. There are more purposeful things in nature than there are beautiful stuff. God created world with a purpose, never did he saw anything beautiful but he saw everything “Good” – The Bible.

God himself is more purposeful than beautiful. At least he/she should be. I would prefer a god who saves me than the god who just shows me a valley full of flowers with a silver river running across it, when I am falling down a hill .

So what does reign high? Beauty or purpose. Who is better your wife or the secretary? I'd go with a beautiful secretary.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Know the hand that receives

Human misery brings about the best in people. Even from people in the middle of it. Disasters, natural and man made, make heroes of unknown souls. People throw themselves at death’s traps to save another from it. Charities begin at home and proceed everywhere.

The year 2005 has seen all of it. It started with an overwhelming reaction to the Tsunami. I was living about 5 miles from Marina Beach, (Chennai, India) when the beach turned disaster area. A gripping earth quake, seemingly a plot from mother nature to unite India and Pakistan, a terrorist attack in London a reminder to the developed nations to fight a war on terrorism and not target just any vulnerable nation, a series of hurricanes in the US announcing Global Warming.

The year that was disastrous was also triumphant. It saw the best being done by people who have it all to people who lost it all.

Media has projected Bill Gates as a ruthless business man for years. But Time has chosen him a the Person of year. With charities over $3.5 billion, the Gates family knows how to give back to the society.

There are way too many charities in India. While they are not enough, (it is never enough), most of them are just bogus.

Most charities run like business. They have no charitable principals but only look at amassing personal wealth. I have experienced this personally. There are Churches that collect money in the name of spreading religion, preachers earn millions in the name of Christ and charity. There are many other charities which give very little to the participants. Foreign funds are never short for these charities. They thrive on this. But the needy receive pittance.

I would suggest the following to any who would like to send money to any charity, religious or not, in India.

1. Participate directly. Depend less on existing social work projects. They may not offer full benefits to the intended.

2. Study the organization. It is not possible for everyone to directly get involved, but it is possible for us to at least gather some knowledge on who is receiving the money. If you are in doubt do not send any money. Try and find a person in your own country who may need some money. I am sure there are many. By sending money to unknown organizations who are crooks you encourage many others to become crooks. Believe it or not this is being done as a business in many parts of India.

3. Gather. Like minded people could come together and pool in aid. When you get organized you could collect more money and also be able to participate directly in the work done in the site.

4. Teach the people to fish. Do not offer fish. This I think is the most important thing in Charity. By offering money you make people feel worthless about themselves. Instead if a small industry is opened that employs offers employment and steady income, you have taken care of the people’s need for a few generations.

There is a adage in my native language, Know the bowl that receives. That is very important.

You may have a lot of money to spare, but strewing it around is not Charity.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays

One thing I like the most in the US is ‘freedom of speech’. As a concept it is amazes me. Here in US you can say anything you want as long as it is not against Christianity and Dick Cheney.

A big fan of SNL and all those stand up comedians, I have grown fond of speaking my mind out even if it offends the most righteous person known to me. Like any freedom, freedom of speech has had its share of making asses out of people like me.

The recent discussion over Christmas being the only religious national holiday in the US intrigues. In certain democratic(?) countries you will not be able to raise the question at all. But not in the US.

In a multi-religious multi-cultural country like India, all three major religions’ festivals are declared holidays. The three major religions in India being Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Some minor religious festivals are included too. And then there are the State holidays for local festivals. It is hard to believe that Good Friday is a national holiday in India and not in the US.

While that is one form of secularism another would be to let people handle it themselves. Like let people go on leave for one or two days a year for a specific festival. Even this is a practice in India.
Since Democracy is Rule of the majority it is hard to establish equality. If everything needs to be established by a voting, including Supreme court judgments, then the majority wins always. And anything offered to the minority is looked as a generous offer.

As a catholic I have been a minority all my life, even when I moved to work in the US. Though I would like to acknowledge myself as a global citizen, where I might be a majority member(of something), my passport still says I am an Indian.

Secularism is not to be determined by the government. Can the state and the church (why not the temple) be separate? Yes it can and should be separate.

Look at India for example. It lacks a uniform civil code, which is not an issue in the US. There are different laws for different religions in India, especially laws relating to marriage. How can a democracy allow this? True secularism is for the state to ignore what religion you are from. And just treat you as a citizen of the nation. In the US there is a feel-good situation in this. Most people do not discuss religion, even though they may be very curious about how I have a Christian name. Here even if the society does not treat me equally I have a great hope that the justice system would ignore my skin color and accent.

I am not sure how an argument over happy holidays or merry Christmas, will be answered. But the sheer fact that I am able to argue about it makes me feel happy. If the Christians can step into the shoes of the non-Christians then they would understand what they are talking about.

I am not sure if I did good in this blog but what the hell, I am free to speak my mind out. Hail blog spot. Makes sense?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Relief work

A news from my home town, well it’s a city, struck me today. 42 poor mortals were killed in a stampede while trying to get a flood relief aid. 8 people had died in earlier incidents in similar fashion, during similar relief works.

42 people dying in a stampede? That’s quiet a relief work. Imagine those families loosing their only bread winner for what would have been half their monthly income and a bag of rice. These are people already hit by a rain that would not stop. Menacing their livelihood for the past two months.

I could compare it to what happened in the US during Katrina relief work. The chaos that was. Except for the stampede part everything else compares. Democracies all over the world favor the rich people. Its like this. In a democracy the majority rule. Socially the poor are the majority. Economically the rich overpower. Thus
a democracy’s social functions are directed to the poor, and the economic policies are for (and by) the rich.

Look at issues that people discuss during elections. None of them matter to the common man’s free and happy existence in the world.

I have been looking for the ‘F*@$ off ‘ option in a ballot paper for a long time. It should be available or at least a space for me to write that.

Well thanks to the relief work by the government 42 souls have attained eternal bliss. Relief work.. makes sense.


Makes sense

This is what I have been waiting for, other than a decent job and a fat pay check. a blog spot of my own. Oh yeah... to think I could survive any longer without the world knowing what I thought of it, and to let a certain George know he has been screwing around the world. It is scary.

When I started reading the blogs I could only imagine the amount of Energy that is being spent on creating, maintaining and reading the blogs. And this is by people who renamed Web Logs to Blogs. How could one have so much to think? and to record? and to read?

Here I go. Starting to record what I could cough out on mundane stuff, that could make some sense to me and to you.

hmm... having your own blog spot.. makes sense.