Sunday, October 3, 2010

Who is responsible?

Who is responsible?

It drives me to the wall seeing the way media and Indians (residents and non-residents) reacted over the seemingly failure of Indian government’s initial attempts to organize Common Wealth Games (CWG). I am partly despondent because of the corruption, lack of organizing skills from the government officials but what disheartens me most is the attitude of common Indians. I know it’s not news to any one of us, either about corruption or the mindset of Indians in general.

I have been keeping abreast of how the games are being organized over the past 1 year and I reckon we are making cogent progress in several fronts. Rome was not build in a day; and I accede to the fact that we ought to do lot better. But that “WE” include you, me and the government, not just the government. Over night one cannot expect all citizens and politicians of India to be genuine, honest and law abiding; it is not happening; so why expect unblemished CWG preparations?

NDTV showed a picture where one security officer, who is supposed to shepherd CWG preparations, was relieving himself in front of a big CWG poster. Who is responsible for that demeanor? Delhi chief minster Sheela Dixit or shameless security officer? I would not be surprised if the same security officer accosts the media and sells few more awful pictures that he had captured in the interest to make some money. More than half of the volunteers had dropped off after receiving expensive free kits; doesn’t it speak of our attitude towards the issues and then the very same “US” grumble about everything that is not done properly.

Even (self proclaimed) unbiased new channel CNN reported quoting “hard evidences of child labor in CWG preparations”. Any sane Indian (photographer is an Indian!) who has seen the photographs would understand that the kids shown those photographs are not child laborers but the kids who are too young to go to school and loitering around with their parents. Does that mean that India does not have child laborers; no there are millions of them. But the way the western and Indian media has pointed child laborers in India in this very particular instance is not justified.

We have been dragged through mud many times by our fellow Indians and foreigners. We handled it in the past and we continue to do the same. If India, as a nation, attempts to do any thing, whole world (including fellow Indians) will look through lenses to find faults. Does that mean we should bow our heads and stop progressing ourselves? Hell NO, we will learn, just like we have been learning ourselves in various fields and we shall progress, sky is the limit. Some might say cake is not worth the candle, may be it is true, but there is beginning for everything; this is just the beginning in one front, which lays foundations to our greater deeds.

Being critical about government or any thing for that matter is good to an extent. I am not carrying water for the government but our quibbles should also be accompanied by ventures to solve the problems and it is not just by preaching what should be done but rather by doing / aid in facilitating what should be done. There could be few people who have put their selfless efforts to make CWG a success. If we keep looking for what has not been done properly and blame the entire team, the genuine guys would lose interest eventually and by mere fault finding we will never be able to achieve any thing as a whole country.

In my books, it is not solely Sheela or Kalmadi or MCD who is responsible for the mess; it’s the proclivity of Indians that is failing us. I am not saying that every one should join politics to clear up the mess, what I am saying is, just be a perfect citizen. What might also get us to the destiny soon will be the change of callous attitude that has been deeply ingrained in our minds over decades.

Friday, April 2, 2010



If there be God please forgive me. I have been experiencing a “crisis of faith” on and off for many years and strained every nerve to have faith in God: but in recent past my endeavors to have faith in God had gone astray. The vicissitude of my views is certainly not because my wishes have been rebuffed or world has been unfair to me but for the very reason that I see the world around me and try to think through my mind.

I have been a fervid Hindu all through out my life and like most of the Hindus I am receptive of other religions. I am not skeptical about the veracity of any religion, but the very existence of the man upstairs. I understand the solace one gets by feeling the presence of God in one’s life and appreciate the importance of religion in keeping up the morals of people. But, I am a law abiding citizen, I surely know what is right, what is wrong and definitely do not want “men or women of cloth” preach me (often they don’t follow themselves) what is righteous. Truth of the matter is my resentment towards these God men/women exacerbates when the very existence of God is oppugned.

My common sense and little knowledge in evolution biology mock me every morning when I keep the sacred mark on my forehead. “Do you really have to fool yourself Kiran? Your mother is not here, she would not know whether you are praying every day or not, why do you care? ” is what I hear my mind saying. The answer is I am at logger heads about the existence of God and to which I can no longer turn a blind eye.

I think it is perfectly normal for every adult to have this crisis of faith, whichever religion he/she inherits from parents. It has not spared Mother Teresa, who was a sacred cow and an epitome of compassion and humanity. In one of her letter to a reverend she writes

“as for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and
do not see, listen and do not hear”

In the later half of her life she claims that she felt no presence of God whatsoever. Although I do not agree with atheists who say she was sailing in false colors by proclaiming herself pious, but I reckon what probably she did not know was that even the reverend must have had the same crisis of faith. She had the strength and courage to convey her feelings about God, where as the reverend had not.

A posteriori argument is that humankind has witnessed so many atrocities being committed in the name of religion. If there is God, who proclaimed to have mighty powers or these phony-baloney religious leaders bestow God to have these powers, what was it doing all along? My Hindu friends would bring in the concept of karma, a self fulfilling prophecy. Pardon me my dear brothers and sisters, how does it matter to me what I did in my past life (if there was one). If I helped out someone in crisis, I want to be bailed out when I am in trouble----in this very life. I have swallowed many good things all religions says hook, line, and sinker, but you do not need to scare the daylights of me in the name of God; what world needs is the moral fiber and humanitarian attempts to love and respect fellow human beings.

In all honesty, just because I have crisis of faith does not mean God does not exists, for me he does not seem to exist; but if you feel the same way as I do, think about it, you are doing no favor to yourself by living in the religious world of fabrication.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My take on Homosexuality

My take on Homosexuality:

Like many of us, I was also a part of polemics over homosexuality, all right and wrong things about it. Despite the fact that many of my colleagues carry either a Ph.D. degree or at least a master’s degree, there is always 50-50 split on both sides of the debate. This tells us that presumptions on homosexuality does not always stem from philistinism and ambiguity over naturalness of homosexuality.

The exact meaning of “Naturalness” is beyond our ken; in my books as long as a thing is not genetically manipulated everything is natural, for example altruism, criminal behavior and homosexuality. I am not allegorizing these three things in any sense save the fact that people who possess these behaviors are generally in minority. While altruism is admired and applauded, criminal behavior needs to be treated cognitively. Regarding homosexuality, there is no silver bullet for it; one has to decide how it should to be taken. Since homosexuality poses no threat to any section of society, I reckon people who like same sex should be given a fair crack of whip.

Personally, I am neither a radical nor a stick in the mud, but again I am not sitting on fence in this case. If my son or daughter comes out as gay, I would not disown, would not love any less, would give all comfort he/she needs but the “very fact” would gnaw at my vitals. I would not want my kids to go through the tribulation and endure that they are different from most of us. Being a biologist, I totally understand the naturalness of homosexuality and have nothing against it, but given a chance (I know there isn’t one) I would not my kids to be homosexuals.

While promiscuity of homosexuals is often questioned, I reckon if they are treated the way they should be treated, it will not be an issue. I do appreciate the importance of monogamy but that is applicable to all sections of the society equally irrespective of religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Old guards would proclaim that the very idea of marriage would be lost, if homosexuals were allowed to marry. I do not find any ratiocination in that remonstrance. Marriage is not just exchanging rings; it is more of an understanding between two human beings and their wish to live together for life time. If two adults would want to live together they should be allowed to marry irrespective of their sex.

Some people’s argument that “by accepting homosexuality you are promoting it” is fallacious. A person is what he/she is; one might squeeze blood out of turnip but cannot change a person’s feelings. By accepting homosexuals, you are in no way changing a heterosexual to homosexual. Straight from the shoulder, by accepting homosexuality world will not come to an end, so accept people as they are!

P.S. As my title says, this blog is just my take on homosexuality. I could be wrong. If any one is offended with the content I sincerely apologize.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mind Matters: Gossip in the Lab -- Proceed with Caution

Mind Matters: Gossip in the Lab -- Proceed with Caution

- Irene S. Levine

1. Avoid gossip if you can.

2. If you must gossip, gossip judiciously

3. If you hear gossip, exercise discretion

4. Don't believe everything you hear, even if disbelieving requires, well, a willing suspension of belief.

5. Only gossip among people you know and who know you.

6. If you're a manager, assess whether gossip is symptomatic of a paucity of communication

7. Know when and how to draw the line

8. The problem with gossip is that one day it will be about you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gandhi and Nehru at “Rakhi ka Swayamvar”

Gandhi and Nehru at “Rakhi ka Swayamvar”

Gandhi and Nehru were rewarded with free passes to visit earth for their exceptionally good behavior in heaven.

Gandhi woke up early in the morning, like he does always, finished his morning prayers and made tea with goat’s milk for Nehru and himself. Nehru thanked Gandhi for savory tea and asked about his plans for the day.

“Oh. All in a day’s work, I shall saunter around Sabarmathi ashram and maybe then I shall go for Ram Bhajan and spend my rest of the day.”

“You have not come here to do the same quotidian things that you have been doing in donkey’s years. Let’s do something different, let’s go for a movie.”

Gandhi had to grin and bear it. Both of them went to watch “Lage Raho Munnabhai” and loved the movie from beginning to end.

Nehru said “I wish I were also a tenant of the old age home where Vidhya Balan stays. Then I would get to see her every day. She is so beautiful!”

“Was it so inexplicable for you to assimilate what the movie was all about? Have you not perceived how Gandhian ways of life are revered and complied? All you could see was the pretty little lady in the movie”

“Revered, yes, complied, I don’t think so. Whoever follows your principles will be treated as screwball. That’s what happened in the movie, isn’t it? Your doctrines do not work any longer Gandhi"

“You are talking out of your hat. How can you say such churlish things about my ways of life? Do you not acknowledge that we got our independence from British through my way?”

“Huh, gone are those days and your ways, now no one would turn the other cheek if you slap, rather you will lose your 32 teeth if you attempt to do so”

After a brannigan about Gandhian principles both of them agreed to the bitter truth that Indians and people around the globe do respect what Gandhi said and followed, but it is just that very few people believe in practicing.

“Now that we have seen the movie, let’s go and find Vidhya Balan. May be we should visit some studios; those are the places where we may have better chance of finding her” said Nehru.

“You are away with fairies; you will not stand a chance before her.”

“I have been there Gandhi. Don’t you belittle my credentials, I fare much better than that ostensibly bald hero, ah…What’s his name, Sanjay Dutt. And, have you forgotten about my shenanigans with Lady Mountbatten? If I could win a Caucasian lady’s heart, why not Vidhya’s? By the way, speaking of white women, my grand children and great grand children are also good at this job. We all are fast workers Gandhi; got my drift?”

Gandhi had to agree with what Nehru said and instead of going to Yashraj studios, by mistake they ended up going to NDTV studios.

The place was well lit and adorned with various colored flowers. Poles of the frames were enswathed with bright colored silk drapes and strings of flowers. Everyone was dressed so colorful, and it appeared as if they were in a wedding ceremony. That’s when a big billboard caught their attention, it’s written with big letters “Rakhi ka Swayamvar”.

“Wait, are these people behind times? How do you mean by Swayamvar? Is it practiced in India nowadays?” asked Gandhi.

“Apparently so, I reckon it should be the same way that it used to be. In Sathyayug it was ‘Sita ka Swayamvar’, now in Kalyug it is ‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar’. Oh. Dear Rakhi! I now remember watching “pardesi yeah hai such hai piya” song in heaven, oh man! I tell you she has got the best. Even Lord Indra agreed that Ramba, Urvasi and Menaka are nothing in front of her. I want to try my luck.” said Nehru.

“So would I” uttered Gandhi without thinking twice.

“How will we go about participating, since we are only souls and can’t be seen?” asked Nehru.

“Ok, let’s get in to some of the competitors’ bodies. Looks like we are lucky, we arrived at finals of the Swayamvar. It’s a competition between you and me Nehru.”

Nehru chose a seemingly well built and smart looking guy and entered in to his body. Gandhi, to Nehru’s surprise, chose a half bald, who is an NRI from Canada.

“Why are you making this competition easy for me by choosing the loser” asked Nehru.

“We shall see who will be the loser” replied Gandhi.

Competition began, there were three finalists, and two of them were of course Gandhi and Nehru. After a round of elimination, Gandhi and Nehru stood as two finalists. In the final round Rakhi has to decide whom she is going to wed.

Rakhi: “Oh Dears, I am so glad that you both have made it to the finals. You both fared well in relationships round and won my heart but as you understand I want to choose someone who is bright as button. Now it is the final test, I shall ask three questions related to English, Mathematics and Science.
Here is the 1st question related to English:
If Ram’s mother has five sons and their names are Rama, Rame, Rami and Ramo, what is the last son’s name?”

Both Gandhi and Nehru knew the answer is ‘Ram’ but Gandhi chose to answer it as “Ramu” and Nehru said “Ram”

Rakhi congratulated Gandhi for the right answer and looked at Nehru and asked him to go back to kindergarten.

Before Nehru recovered from shock, the second question related to mathematics was asked.

“2,4,5,1 and 3 what is the middle number?”

Nehru immediately said ‘5’ even before he was asked to answer. Later Gandhi coolly said ‘3’.

Rakhi announced Gandhi as winner of the second round and gave a odd look at Nehru”

Since there was no need of third round Gandhi was announced as winner of Rakhi’s heart. They exchanged garlands. And the ceremony was over in few minutes.

Later Nehru asked Gandhi “how you can win her by giving wrong answers?”

Gandhi replied “I gave the answers which she thinks are right. I came to know her fatuousness when she said the first question is related to English. Then I realized what kind of answer she is expecting.”

Although Gandhi refused to leave Rakhi and go back to ashram, when Nehru explained the repercussion of staying back with Rakhi, he was ready to leave. Both of them left the bodies of the competitors’ and headed towards the ashram.

Courtesy: NDTV, Times of India and Google of course.