Monday, December 27, 2004

White, pristine, unblemished
They say it is not a color
I love white mists, clouds
Lingering on blue mountains.

White, no shades
No off white, cream
Pure as snow on shimmering peaks
Is my favorite sight.

Nurses, priests, politicians
Are bound, chained to white
White nebulous clouds
evoke deep nostalgic thoughts.

They swaddled my father in white
As he lay in the black coffin
His best shirt was white
His loin cloth was white.

The paper I write is white
White is holy, pure
They say light is white
Because it combines all colors.

So white is the mother of all colors
The churning of all yellow, blue, green
Colors sacrifice their egos
To the eternal white.

They say they are "white"
The purest of all races
I think they aren't white
But pink, beige and red.

Why can't colors of people
Merge and become white
Would people called "white"
Allow their color to merge?

Is white a color?
The matriarch of all colors
The fountain of all extent colors
Yes, king white reigns supreme!

(A poem written for caferati)

Saturday, December 04, 2004

WEEKLY RANT – Oh! Those contests!

Yesterday again I watched another one of those crazy contests going on the idiot box. I say crazy for various reasons I give below. This was titled “India’s Best” and they were selecting a team, a hero and a heroine, for a forthcoming film.

Tears, disappointments, smiles, joy, and ecstatic hugging later the couple who would set the screen alight were selected.

It seems the entire Indian entertainment industry is set for a revamp as Priyanka Chopra very kindly informed us. Sorry, not Priyanka, it was Amrita Rao, who announced this. She said our established heroes and heroines are old so the industry is in need of new faces. Ergo, this contest. How brilliant!

Some weeks ago I had written about “Indian Idol” and had raised a groundswell of protests on this very forum. This time I hope to raise some dust and fury about “India’s Best.” Seem these people are India’s best actors. But are they? I have my doubts.

All they were tested to do were hackneyed scenes from Hindi films. They imitated Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, etc., all very mannered and typecast actors. They danced and contorted their bodies until, I suspect, the dance floor had holes in it.

Didn’t they have any originality in them? Instead of judging them according to their emoting power in novel situations, they were judged for how they could imitate some hackneyed actors.

So much for originality and innovation in Bollywood. The same old scripts, love stories, stupid comedies, costume dramas repeated again and again, and the same type of actors in formulaic roles. Yes, we need such talented people, as we need Dev Anand clones!

Think of the people who lost in the competition. They were heart broken, crying, hugging each other. Do we all need this melodrama to be shown on television? It brings tears to our eyes, but do we need more tears after all the melodrama shown in our films and serials?

Makes me think about the publishing business. I guess the time when the publishing companies stopped recruiting talent to write for them and appointed agents to look after their need for original works must have been the time when the death knell of publishing was sounded. Something similar seems to be going on in the Indian entertainment industry.

Sure novels and works selected by literary agents sell many copies, indeed millions. But who reads novels with the devotion and ardor there was in the heydays of the literary renaissance? Then editors spent time with authors discussing their work and spent time editing them. Books then had perfection written all over them. Now, all editors are pampered to accept only completely edited works from agents. The result? Mistakes and bad grammar that turns one off easily.

These youngsters in "India's Best" may have a direct entry into the celebrityhood that Bollywood promises. As the girl-band “Viva” had some time earlier (by the way, where are they these days, after all the tears, laughs and hugging?). “Viva” is no more because the sponsors lost interest in them.

This boy and girl pair will be dumped at some time after their movie/s are released. Then they are on their own to fight and God alone knows if they will survive in this dog-bite-dog world of entertainment.

I guess television channels have become richer because of the viewership such programs receive. Television rating points must have climbed upwards like anything, isn’t it? They just love such “reality television” for the melodrama it generates. All those genuine tears and emotions without many rehearsals are good, man.

But be prepared for a lowering of standards, good acting abilities aren’t the ones put on display at such contests. How can even talented actors perform when they know what is at stake? Don’t those rigorous elimination rounds tire them and exhaust them? Is this the correct measure of their talent, this imitation of mannered actors of yesteryears? Many a talent that cannot stand the rigorous process of elimination may be left out in the process.

Who said contests are fair?



Monday, November 22, 2004

Musings on the Readmeet at Manisha’s

Manisha and Mahesh have what I have wanted all my life. A home by the sea and a balcony looking into the sunset. Some day I would like to retire to a house like that by the sea and gaze into the sunset sitting on a cute wicker chair.

The fiery sunset and cool wind blowing just overwhelmed me at yesterday’s readmeet! I had read about Manisha complaining about the smell of drying fish near her home. I said I would endure fish smells and the loss of my right limb to see such divine sunsets from my own room. So I thought I would attempt a little reporting, though I guess the detailed one will be posted by Avi Das, the coordinator of the readmeet event.

“Gold Mist” it said on the nameplate. When I was directed to the entrance, I saw Basu Bhattacharya’s name written beside Manisha’s and Mahesh’s names. I knew I was in some distinguished company. Seeing Manisha in her gown and hair clipped on top of her head, I thought she was getting ready for the event. I said if I were early I would loiter around the seashore and then come back later when all was set. I didn’t realize from her posts on caferati that the lady was so charmingly and delightfully informal. She remained in the gown the entire evening, this good “bad” girl!

Indeed the golden rays of the setting sun had caused a mist to rise over the Arabian Sea when I watched it standing in the balcony with Vijay, Ratna, Manisha and Avi. We were the early birds except Manisha, of course, who was the hostess of the event.

6:30 no sign of people. The wait irritated Ratna who in her best schoolmarmish tone said later that we should all be present on time or not come at all. The problem with us Indians is that after several on-time appearances where we find the host having a bath or a harassed servant running around making arrangements we take it for granted that 6:30 means 7 or 7:30. So thank providence for people like Manisha and Ratna who, when they say 6.30, mean 6.30. I guess one should mention “Time 6.30” and “Reporting time 6.15” so that people do not assume they can saunter in by 7.

Aside from the four of us, the first to arrive was our “Zorba the Fenugree” Ajit Jani. Whipping out something that looked like a scrapbook he read his minimalistic poem “Etlo.” “Etlo” in Gujrati means, “that is.”

There was a longish short story, haiku-like poems about mobiles, a poem about a journey on the Bombay-Pune expressway, engineering-sounding poems, poems about seashells, my own short story, and the grand finale, a play reading by Manisha, Peter and Vijay.

Participants came from as far as Jaipur and Pune. There was Vincent who is an intelligence officer in the revenue department who wants to open a chapter of Caferati in Jaipur. He came with his wife who is a forensic expert specializing in genetic coding and their 28-day old daughter who never even once made a noise and was rapt in a world of her own throughout the event (talk of early initiation into the readmeet culture!).

That makes me wonder, why people meet to read an almost dead art form commuting long hours when they could have sat in front of a television and enjoyed inane recycled serials and skimpily dressed girls dancing suggestively? Why do people like Manisha open up their homes and their hearts to kindred souls who need a refuge from the overpowering cynicism of the world around them?

The answer is we humans have an innate need to communicate, as the ancient cave dwellers did. After a hunt they would gather around a campfire (remember, we have a campfire event coming), eat the cooked meat and talk (mostly in grunts and sign language) about the hunt and visualize about the future where their future generation would gather in a largish drawing room, sit on stylish mats and listen to others read their delicately created works. Have a heart writers, poetry or prose will never die with people like you around!

So what if an unkind word was said in criticism, an unguarded comment, or offense taken over a misinterpreted meaning? Let the writers of the world sink their differences and be bonded as one. After all when they need to write content for a website or copy for an advertisement or script for a play they have to depend on us. Writers today are paid well by the technology freaks and they had better do that or we would sabotage their software programs and dollar-dreams of BPO bliss!

As a people we no longer have the time to sit together and tell anecdotes, or read carefully written and edited stories and poems to each other. Our lives are like one long succession of routines where we do what others expect us to do. We do the obvious routines, even writing for a living, quite easily. But the challenge comes in writing with a purpose, to discover the beauty of nature, write about interesting people we have met, to encourage and to enlighten and to break barriers and experience the writer’s words as our own. The creative urge takes us away from this stereotypical life and makes us think, dream and discover new worlds. I think that objective was achieved at yesterday’s readmeet.

Later we dispersed to the dining room to feast on samosas, cutlets, and brownie cakes (mmmm!).

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

“Indian Idol”

I sat down to see Indian Idol on television. My son tells me it is a copy of an American program of the same name called American Idol.

A pretty young thing, a participant, walks in. Agreed, she isn’t a great singer. The judges, celebrities themselves insults her and says she should give up singing. The girl is almost in tears. We are shown background material about her preparing, her expectant parents encouraging her, the jitters, and her ultimate debacle. I wonder what right the judges have to insult her like this. Just tell her she doesn’t make the grade and let her go.

“But it is like that in America,” My son says. So what? Must we ape the bad qualities of those Americans? The celebrity judges must remember they are on national television and they themselves are celebrities, and it reflects badly on their standing as celebrities.

Will every one of these participants take this lying down? No. One brash type, a participant, objects and says, “You could have put this in a better way.” The judges instead of apologizing and saying sorry, say, “You put on star airs when you walked in.” Meaning, it is star airs they were watching and not his singing style. Hello! Are you there to judge their clothes and appearance or their singing?

Another one, a scared looking man, is told, “You are a timid man. You will never make it.” He goes back crestfallen. What right do you have, celebrities, to insult a man like this. This is what I find objectionable about “Indian Idol.” But my son says, “Papa, it is like that in America.” I say “So what? If they are bad should we also be bad?”

We are obsessed by America and whatever is done in America cannot be bad. Who says so? Some of our youngsters think talking bluntly like the American working class in their slang is cool and fun. No it isn’t. It doesn’t suit our Indian sensibilities and please don’t tell me, son, “It is like that in America.”

It also raises questions about this great unchecked, un-critiqued medium of television. I think we are crossing the limits somewhere. Aren’t we? Do we have to impose the moral standards of America on our unsuspecting viewers most of whom are our youth who are in the most impressionable stages in their lives?

Raises questions, I don’t have answers. Maybe I should put that to Anu Malik, Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

caferati

Musings on the rain!

It is raining as I write this... pearly drops are falling with the rhythm of sibilant whispers...

My friend and colleague tells me it has been raining continuously for the past one and a half month. The road I travel to work is full of holes of varying sizes and shapes. Some are deep some are shallow and all are full of water. The bus lurches through it as we hold on for dear life.

There is no respite. The umbrella is a flimsy toy for the gusts of strong wind. They blow water through the think jacket I wear to keep away the wetness.

The weather bureau, where my sister used to work and now has retired, had predicted deficient monsoon but now I think we are having more than enough. Who needs all this water here in Bombay while elsewhere farmers are committing the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives because of the lack of it.

Well, it is feeling chilly with the air-conditioner on and I have downed my 'n'th cup of tea.

Has anyone heard of El Nino and El Nina. Well, one should. When my dad died there was such a deluge and the water almost cut us off from civilization in good old green paradise of Kerala. We had to keep his body in a mortury for almost a week to be able to give him a decent funeral.

El Nino my online dictionary tell me is:

A warming of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America that occurs every 4 to 12 years when upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water does not occur. It causes die-offs of plankton and fish and affects Pacific jet stream winds, altering storm tracks and creating unusual weather patterns in various parts of the world.

Al Nina is something similar. Weather like the unpredictable lover is becoming too much moody these days. The world is growing warmer by a fraction of a degree centigrade every year. What is fraction of a degree? It all adds up into several degrees over the years. So be prepared to sweat it in summer.

That means you and I would be sweating like a pig in summer and warding off a deluge in monsoon and near freezing in winter. Yes. That's most likely to happen.

Who is at fault. All of us. The world has less and less tree cover these days. Acres are cut down every year to make way for farming and habitation. We are losing 86,000 hectares per day: an area equivalent to New York City.

Forests are needed to condense clouds and bring down rain uniformly. In the absence of this it will rain cats and dogs and rats in some parts and nothing in other parts. Witness what is happening in India today. Bombay and the north-east are having abundant rain and floods while places like Vidharba are still dry and rainless.

We have filled our airconditioners, refrigerators and aerosol cans with a chemical known as chlorofluoro carbons. These chemicals rise in the atmosphere and destroy the ozone layer, the precious protective shield against cosmic radiation. So the earth is partially naked now... I was typing fully naked... but that will happen not long in the future if the trend continues.

But all of us are not bothered... we are happy with our jobs making more and more money forgetting that the process we have set off is irreversible! Our grand children may be better than us living in fully airconditioned bubbles and working in fully climate controlled offices.

But what of their children and their children? And what of the poor?

I am sorry to seem so negative and pessimistic but that's the way things are... I feel we have crossed the limits somewhere and need to correct it and set it right.... But who will bell this cat? Who will undo the knot we have tied around our own ankles?

Wonder what will happen when we are gone and our grand children go through many more El Ninos and hard summers! Would they applaud us or curse us?

Remains to be seen....
caferati
"'So much is being written in India now, every mail brings me manuscripts to look at by Indian authors. It has suddenly become a craze. It's not much to do with writing, it's to do with celebrity culture. Because a few like Rushdie and Arundhati Roy have become celebrities, it's encouraged others to try writing.'"

Now I find what Anita Desai has to say very objectionable!

Why?

Published authors, at least in India, never lend a helping had to struggling authors. A crab mentality prevails. Now that I made it why should I help someone else?

Agreed. You have made it against the odds, had to struggle, was rejected, etc. etc. But helping someone come up, saying a good word about something you really like. No way, we are Indian.

One billion people and no Olympic gold? Only one measly silver? Why?

Because our social system and structure is such. Along comes a talented person who wants to do something and vicious gossip is circulated, insults are hurled, character assasination is ready to be circulated, everything is done to make the person feel small.

"Who does he/she think he/she is?"

"Big writer eh?" Smirk! Smirk!

So now that Ms Desai has made it, Ms Desai can thumb her nose at those struggling to make it. Same with the writers who have had "god"fathers abroad to promote them.

Is there any doubt why most talented youngersters (writers, painters, sportsmen, actors) get disillusioned and give up? We are not a society based on merit, we are a society based on cronyism. If you don't like to be a crony then go jump into the well. Ask the sportsmen who has no talent to suck up to the officials. How can you ask if you won't even find them?

Now what makes Anita Desai crib in front of a foreign audience? Perhaps she thinks she has arrived and is now on level with the "goras" so the brownies who struggle in India can suck their thumbs and descend the depths of desperation.

Anita Desai says we Indian writers want to be celebrities... who doesn't? Doesn't she want to be a bigger celebrity than Arundhati Roy and Salman Rushdie? Doesn't she want the TV cameras, the interview, the book launches, the paid book tour, etc.

She does, but she wants it so seriously that she doesn't want the 10 million or so people in the sub-continent who can afford a computer to catch up with her. So she would rather subvert their prospects and criticise them in public than say a good word.

Is it any surprise that a nation of one billion cannot produce a gold medal at the Olympics. All we can do is a silver when unknown countries in Africa (imagine Africa with its malnourished millions!) can produce more than one medal. All our medal prospects gave up long ago!

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Moneycontrol.com - Portfolio

The day after Nafisa Joseph committed suicide.... She shut herself in a room and used her dupatta to hang herself... over some fight with her boyfriend... whom she was supposed to marry in August, that is, next month....

No, I don't know Nafisa Joseph... I have only seen her compereing the Kala Ghoda music festival at... where else... Kala Ghoda. She struck me as articulate... beautiful... glamorous... desirable, in short. Any man would think of her as fantasy material... that sort. Well, why did such a beautiful girl have to end her life? If not one she could have got many... she had talent... that something that makes her stand out... noticed. There would be thousands of guys swooning... to get a look at her.

But is that the truth of fame and fortune? There is a dark interior to the tinsel exterior.... Another star aspirant also died in mysterious circumstances... the price one pays of fame is great. Some people would go to any extent... it is a tight rope walk... you either make it to the other end or fall... very deeply... and die....

What makes people take this extreme step? The crucial decision to end a life... it is taken, I guess, in a moment of extreme madness... when all else seem to fail and the mind clutches at straws and none of the straws is strong enough....

I have derived great satisfaction from spirituality and faith... it is in such circumstances that I hold on to my faith... and it has given me steadfast relief from the traumas of life... life is hard...

We don't realize how hard life is today... for example... imagine yourself without the things you take for granted today. Like transportation... imagine you had to walk all the way to work... I have thought of this... it would take you six hours to do that... you would have only time to come to work and go back... but then imagine how much work you do before going back... with your hands... organizing your work... interacting... communicating... viciously ignoring negative elements... proactively encouraging good elements... getting back at that bossy bitch (bastard) in the big cabin... with their big perquisites.

It is crazy... have we thought what complexly wired people we are. Our lives are dependent on the many things we contribute, and thereby, get the compensation for. But they take away much of the compensation through credt/debit cards and long distance phone calls and innocent looking service charges... a small service charge for the food you ate... some small amount for the funds you transferred... which you don't mind... but actually should... because nobody gave it to you for free....

Models actresses... what can I say... what do they contribute? They contribute to the gloss that makes products sell... ultimately the service charge that goes to pay their salaries and that of the gullible ones who buy their products... it's a big manipulative cycle... products need promotion... promotions need models... models need cosmetics... cosmetics need... young girls... young girls need products... so eternally the cycle of vanity goes on!

All this goes on while farmers elsewhere in the mainlands of India are committing suicide when the rains fail to fall. They are killing themselves by the dozens. They look at the skies with desperation in their eyes and then go and hang themselves on a tree or something. The cycle is also vicious for them. They take loans... fail to pay them back... again take loans... like models take auditions for better assignments... and one day the hollowness of it all dawns on them that all they have lived and slaved for don't seem to be adding up to anything. Meaning... things they take as definite and finite no longer seem to be... they become vague and fade away....

Life is worth holding on to... if you believe in something first of all... so start believing... if you don't believe... force yourself to believe... if you still can't believe... read... understand... discuss... life assumes new meaning then.... Yes, you believed in animal rights... and animal freedom... what about human freedom... freedom of your soul... is it any wrong to desire that?

Nafisa, why did you have to do it? If only you asked me... on the balmy nigth when I watched you from the thirtieth row from the stage... in the mid section with the strobe lights reflecting in your eyes... the celebration of your celebrity stardom... I could have told you this blunt truth of life....

Monday, July 26, 2004

Newport Cigarettes:Duty free newport cigarettes shop at newport-cigarettes.com

Saturday July 24, 2004

Met my school friends at Ganga's place. Ganga is my friend since 1967 when I first came to Bombay at age 8. He is a big shot advertising copywriter and now creative director of Oxygen Communications. There were five of us including Sarasa, Geeta, Sanjeevan, Ganga and myself. Rest of our friends didn't turn up, maybe, because of the rain!

We sat and chatted in Ganga's spacious drawing room (he has a row house with 3 floors and a wide open terrace, lucky to find such a place in busy Chembur). His dog (or bitch) Julie was eagerly pottering around eating crumbs that we offered. Earlier we had gone to Lambah Tandoori Chicken and ordered tandoori chicken, pomfret fries and sheekh kabab to be eaten with our choice of poison — Rum and coke.

I am a slow drinker but Ganga and Sanjivan are tankers. Sanjivan is a senior manager in Times of India and we used to sit on the same desk in school. He is a very cool, unruffled and collected guy, which means he is a good manager. As the evening wore on (as they say!) Ganga was full of anecdotes... I cracked some jokes... Sarasa had come with her son Krishna... who is doing college....

Ganga's wife Anita was slightly unwell because their only son Akash was away in Pune for the first time, all by himself. I said not to worry, it is the "empty nest syndrome" that is destined for all of us.

Then Ganga came up with Karunanidhi's quotable quote that goes "Sindri mundhikerathu; mundhiri sindhikerathu..." which is him complaining that when Sindri town is getting cement and fertiliser plants and progressing, in the south, that is Tamil Nadu, mundhiri (grapes) are rotting for want of care.... How concise, rhyming and lucid are his words in Tamil... I couldn't but help wonder.... After all Karunanidhi was not a script writer for nothing....

Had a lovely time... I had only two pegs... my ususal limit... we talked about advertising... journalism... how Ganga wanted to be a journalist, but wasn't selected and how he got a break in Trikaya and rose and rose and rose.... He is considered one of the 10 or 20 best creative directors in India... I am proud to know him closely as a friend.

Geeta and Saras split early and we split around 12 in the night and it was lovely catching up with friends of my childhood...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

John Matthew's Ryze Business Networking Page

Did my first reading from my novel "A Beautiful Love Story" in a meet organized by the Bombay Writer's Cafe, led by author Sunil Nair, a friend. Only eleven people turned up though more had promised to come and all except me got cold feet when they saw the venue!

Seeing the venue must have been a shock to most of us. Called the "Mountainside Amphitheatre" it was an amphitheatre all right but an amphitheatre of a different sort. There weren't any plays being peformed there but a lot of foreplay was being done with couples huddled in all sorts of "compromising" positions.

So we daren't go there and disturb them for fear of being attacked by violent lovers in what could be called "crime of passion." So off we (Sunil, Hema, Vijay, Ratna, Annie, Fiza, joined later by Peter, Meera and Ankur) went slinking to an alcove by the sea, beside a pulullating coconut tree, to listen to my literary oeuvre.

I bravely stood before my audience and read a chapter from my novel... all the time ignoring the onlookers who might have thought of us as some bunch of nuts who sit and listen to another nut, considering we were sitting just beside a coconut tree.

Ratna felt I write too much and should rewrite the whole stuff... Meera objected to "tea water" that appeared somewhere in the chapter... Annie's escort felt I should be more positive about my protagonist... Sunil said the days of "exoticism" was over... Hema wanted to know what exactly I meant by "hypocrazy"... Vijay... Vijay said something which didn't register....

After the reading we had tea and a concerned citizen came and strictly forbade Peter from smoking... poor chap sheepishly put back his cigarettes. Our "tea vendor" kept his kettle nearby and the concerned citizen took it with the tea, and to our astonishment and hilarity, walked away.

The place was swarming with lovers of all types and shapes... a treat for the eye... one of the girls was on my bus to the venue... I had wondered briefly where such specimens go... and discovered... perhaps serendipitously where they go on a sunday afternoon... to lover's point at Bandra near Taj Land's End! Ahem!

Annie volunteered... so sweetly... to organize our next meet on August eighth. We all had lots of suggestions and comments to offer about how our next meeting should be. Which is nice... considering a beginning was made... though we had to sit beside the sea... and the rain threatened to drench us any moment... and there wasn't a freaking shelter within a hundred metres....

In the ultimate analysis, as the cliche goes... it was a great experience!

Friday, July 16, 2004

John Matthew's Ryze Business Networking Page

Sometimes we do incredibly stupid things. Something like that happened to me. I had to get some of my dad's shares transferred in my name. I went to the central stamp office at Town Hall. Imagine the crowd there... there wasn't an inch of space unoccupied by the creations of god and man... the place was bustling... the building was old and unmaintained... and everybody was sweating by the bucketfull.

There is this clerk who will only frank 100 rupees worth of stamps... funny... I asked why not a fraction... like 65 rupees for that was what I wanted... he said no... some funny government rule that says you can only frank there in multiples of 100 rupess... I was so mad I yelled at him and took his name... to complain about him to the Chief Vigilance Commission (CVC)... but then what is the use.... There was this othere queue for fraction of stamps that I wanted and I stood in the long and winding queue... "Long and winding road"... anyone heard that song? It was just like that....

Then this guy... a seedy kind... with enough tics on his face to cover his entire face... says... psstt... I have got stamps... I will give at same price... no problem... trust me... have no worries... the same things con guys always say... and I believed and trusted him....

He took me to a seedy restaurant bought me a cup of tea... the restaurant owner had an expression like he had seen better days... and was now in the evening of his uneventful life... I watched the seedy character before me as he stuck the stamps on my share transfer forms... and I paid him... trusting the guy with the tics all over his face... and there was this waiter who had a face like... like... a stove had exploded in his face or something... and in such macabre setting... I had this shady guy stick stamps on my precious share transfer forms... paid him the money... and came out....

On the way home... I just opened the transfer forms... just to see what it looked like in the light of day... as it was very dark in the restaurant... and I saw... immediately... shockingly... that the stamps were as fake and seedy as the vendor himself... it was the job of some out of work printing press... with sub-standard equiment... the sort of fakes... that circulates easily in India....

The lesson... don't take decisions when you are not in the proper frame of mind... I was mad at the stamp vendor and in a haste... made a decision to trust this shady character... and paid for it....

Also makes me wonder... how much of the things we buy are genuine... Abdul Karim Telgi could manipulate enough to buy a government press... print stamp papers... stamp papers... imagine... the very paper on which legal documents are executed in this country... and could sell it without being caught... then what about share transfer stamps... I have decided not to use the share stamps... and go through the process all over again....

Monday, July 12, 2004

LiveJournal.com

There is this news item on rediff.com that caught my eye.

"Delhi kids set world record in dancing continuously for 55 hours."

Great achievement, indeed.

But for what? You can set a record of anything... walking... smiling... kissing... dancing... intercourse... but what's the point?

There was this program on AXN that showed decent people eating worms for a few dollars! That too crinkling their nose and almost vomiting. Again what is the point they want to make?

All this is happening when the world is being heated up like never before in ambient carbon dioxide and el ninos are lashing and destroying lives.

I guess people would do anything for a little publicity... eating worms included... they think they will be celebrities... famous... the works!

But who the hell cares for someone who did a shameful and ugly manipulation to get into the records?

I wonder... I wonder....

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

John Matthew's Ryze Business Networking Page

The budget blues... don't know why people are scared of the budget... because they will be paying more for all things they buy... but that is inevitable... and what is inevitable should be accepted....

The market showed a brief upturn for the good... it has been down for some time now... the rains are here... so it's back to umbrellas and an old jacket I bought when I was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

My short story "E-slaves" got a good reception from readers of Sulekha.com. I was ranked tenth in their "Hall of Fame"... guess I have to celebrate that... maybe when I get some money....

What is this thing about governments levying 2 per cent cess on all items for education... sounds like madness to me... Education is the most corrupt sector in India and they want to pour money down the drain! Can't believe this is happening!

Parents have to pay through their nose to get their children an education... now they want to spoil things further....

Saw some weary... way out... wacko people on my afternoon walk in the tech park where I work... all of them had pasty complexions and funny hair... wonder what they would do for the future of our nation... by being such software "coolies."

Guess our management policies need some rethinking!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

John Matthew's Ryze Business Networking Page

Guess Ryzing is good for health... the way it keeps me occupied... 300 hits... is not so bad... got to get people to visit my Sulekha Page. If they read and leave a message... I would consider my work... well done....

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

John Matthew's Big Blasting Blogger!!!!!!

So congress wins elections... Sonia Gandhi declines to become prime minister... a whole lot of shady characters become ministers in a coalition ministry... the media goes into overdrive... a fawning kind of overdrive... obseqious is the word... also crass... the interenet is full of shady forwarding of the Gandhi clan... wonder if what they all say is true....

I believe, India is a country that doesn't have an intellectual elite... or a class of gentlemen... who should set examples... for the youth to follow... that great hero of my childhood turns out to be a murderer and a philanderer... that great heroine of my childhood turns out to be — well — similar... I guess that is the end of youthful enthusiasm!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

johnpmathew Mathew's Member Pages on Sulekha.com
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John Matthew's Big Blasting Blogger!!!!!!

Curious thing happended today. I was on the way to work and shared a rickshaw with two girls. One of them worked in my locality and the other was new and nervous — probably attending an interview.

The new girl was going to a company I knew. She only had a Rs 500 on her. She asked the other girl and then me for change to pay the rickshaw. I didn't have any.

The fare would amount to Rs 10. I gave her Rs 10 as I knew that at the company she was going there would not be any shops around to give her change. She refused my offer. I tried to convince her that it would be difficult for her and she might miss her interview. But she still refused.

Guess she didn't trust me enough to accept Rs 10 I had given her. I have helped people in such circumstances. But I guess there is deep distrust of strangers in women. Especially when there are stories of atrocities circulating amongst them!

What could I do to convince her that my offer was genuine and with no riders attached!

Friday, January 09, 2004

Thursday, January 08, 2004

US Literary Agents Part Five
Search Engines Corner
In the Search Engines Corner for this issue, Tracey Stanley shows how metadata can be abused to enhance the search engine ranking of Web pages. This article appears in the Web, and not the print, version of Ariadne.