Saturday, September 27, 2008

India's National Flower comes under attack!!

Everything that is ancient, historical and related to Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism in India seems to be wrong in the opinion of scientists, secular politicians, forward thinking individuals. The media takes pleasure vicarious pleasure in bashing Hindus and Hindu practices at every possible pretext. Well this time it is India's National Flower and one of the most auspicious flowers for Hindus that is coming under attack. I read this newsreport on Times Of India in which the newspaper's reporters state that cultivation of Lotus plants are responsible for death of several tanks in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.

According to the article the lotus flower has become a menace in Kanyakumari, causing havoc to dozens of ponds and tanks depleting the ground water and thus leading to unbalancing the fragile ecology of the district. And these facts were revealed by none other than the Chairman of Nature Trust and a former principal scientist of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, R S Lal Mohan.

Since it comes from an eminent scientist I would say these findings might be true. But with Sonia Gandhi at the helm of the central government and a pro-Christian, anti-Hindu government in place in Tamil Nadu, I wonder if the research has been fixed?

The newsreport goes further to say that there were 3,500 tanks in the district during 1960s and about 1,050 had perished due to weeds and that weed is Lotus. I never knew that Lotus was a weed, and why does the eminent scientist refer to this as a weed and say that it has been cultivated in the same breath. When a plant is cultivated it ceases to be a weed, this is common sense. Weeds which destroy lakes are species of Water Hyacinth which thrive on surface of water and destroy lakes by cutting out oxygen supply. Lotus leaves also cover surface of water but they don't grow so dense and thickly as Water Hyacinth.

I wonder why scientists, governments, politicians, missionaires always tend to pick on Hindu practices, icons and beliefs constantly?


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Empowering Women or Putting them in dangerous situations?

I came across this small newsreport on MSN with a screaming headling "HC allows women to work in bars, Karnataka to challenge order". Naturally interested in the happenings at my home state I started reading the article which spoke about a High Court judgement which clearly stated that women may be allowed to work in Bars as hostesses so long as they are not directly serving alcohol. Though employing women in bars has been prohibited in the Karnataka Excise Act, the High Court judges were of the opinion that this rule went against the constitution of India.

Quite expectedly the state government is not happy about the judgement. The government feels that women's safety is being compromised while working in places where alcohol was being served. The government has decided to move Supreme Court to challenge the High Court order.

There are several arguments in favour and against this issue. Conservative and traditional Indians would obviously be against the idea of women entering or going anywhere near places which serve or sell alcohol. While present generation of teenagers and young women happily guzzle mugs of Beer and shots of cocktails every evening or at least duing weekends. Moreover since the advent of call centers, BPOs and IT industry, women have become far more richer and financially independent than before. Women are taking up vocations such as driving an autorickshaw, buses, trucks etc, mechanics, and lot more. Several professions which were traditionally considered the preserve of men have been slowly but surely taken on by women.

Under such circumstances the government should act as a facilitator and help women storm another male bastian and take on jobs in bars. I would advocate providing women with self-defence training, offering them pepper sprays or even small fire arms such as revolvers and other protective equipment at reasonable prices and educating them about responsible use of these items. This way we will be empowering women rather than dumbing them down.

I am quite sure no man, sober or intoxicated will dare to misbehave with a woman who is physically fit, trained in self-defence and carries a deadly weapon. This is one way to make our society stronger and more balanced. And also like Neil Armstrong said after landing on moon: "One step by a man is a giant leap for mankind". This one step by few women initially would be a giant leap for the entire female population in India.

Well in an ultra-patriarchal society this is quite difficult. Especially when the society at large and government in particular continue to consider women as the "Weaker Sex".

Have phone number? Get all other details here!

When you have a missed call on your mobile phone or at your home phone what do you do? Typically we would look at the numbers and call back to those whose numbers we recognise and ignore the rest. But what if one of those calls we ignored were from someone important and dear to you and whose number you don't know or you have lost touch with? You can only hope that that person will call you back and you could connect. But in most cases people don't do that unless they are really desperate to speak to you.

In such a scenario it is important that we are equipped with something like a reverse phone book through which we could see who the owner of the telephone number from where you had a missed call. But how and where do we find a reverse phone book? It is easy, you just need to go on the internet and visit where you type in the telephone and get all the details you need. Details provided include owner's name and address, Phone location, Household members, Phone company and carrier, Line type - landline or mobile and much more. Isn't it a cool service?

You can trace irritating telemarketers, prank callers or people with whom you would rather not speak. Tracenumber services are available for telephone and mobile phone numbers in the US and Canada. And the company guarantees secure transactions, all lookups are 100 percent confidential and will remain between you and the company. So now you know if you want to track down someone and you know their phone number, you can get all the details you want.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cycling in Castle Hills

Well, it has been quite some time since I sat down and blogged about what's happening in my life. Things are pretty routine, I go to school... or rather should I say "College" in the morning and return back in time for lunch. Then go back to school and finish evening classes and return late in the night. This is the routine for the first four days of the week. Then the weekend starts with Friday for me and it is busy time because there is loads of homework to catch up on, go for roller skating classes, house cleaning, grocery shopping and all kinds of mundane stuff. Last week I fixed the bicycle which we brought from Padma's niece in California and decided to take it out for a spin in the neighborhood. Inflated the tires, tightened the brakes and then wiped the bike clean and took it downstairs to get ready to ride. I had barely ridden half a mile when one of the gear cables snapped. I thought that was the end of cycling but luckily the bike didn't get crippled. We could ride lot more with just five gears instead of 15.

It has been years since I rode a bicycle and this was definitely a welcome change. For I have always loved bicycling and but since I didn't have any recent pictures of riding bicycles I decided to get some shot and here they are. Do let me know what you think... do I look like Lord Ganesha on little rat or normal?

Cycling along the side walk (foot path) in the neighborhood

Another view of cycling, closer this time

Getting closer to the camera

Goofing around on the bicycle

More fun and games

A Place to discuss Cell Phone Technologies

Technology has infiltrated our life so much that without possessing modern gadgetry it is almost impossible to lead a normal life. The Cellphone was the toy of the rich and famous when it was launched, but now everyone has his/ her own, some even have two one for business and one personal. In the past cellphones were only for tlaking but now cellphones do virtually everything, you can send e-mail, browse the internet, listen to music, watch movies, and do a host of other things.

While some technology-savvy folks have adapted themselves quickly to these new changes there are lot of us who are still struggling to learn how to use our fancy handhelds. A new internet website with Cell Phone Forums allows all cell phone users to get together on a single platform and discuss. The forums facilitate people to discuss technology, clarify doubts, exchange ideas and in short learn about how to optimally use their handhelds. This comes as a boon especially to those who were struggling with their ultra-modern cell phones trying to figure out how to do various tasks. Now all one has to do is to register on the forum and ask questions.