Sunday, May 30, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I met an extraordinary rickshaw driver yesterday. We got talking on the way back home late in the night after a busy schedule consisting of writing and co-ordinating work in a marketing department.
He has a weather-beaten face, is quite heavy of physique, is simple in speech and mien. I like talking to rickshaw drivers because they come up with unique stories, the substance of everyday living. This man has an interesting background. He was an asphalt layer, a shop salesman, a peon in an office, and, what else?
"I have worked as a beggar, too."
"A beggar?" I ask incredulously. I am stunned. Is being a beggar a form of "work" then it is an interesting definition.
"Yes, on the road."
"How did it happen?"
"Many years ago when I was studying, father was jobless, no money at home, so I used to go to the nearby busy area and beg."
That's quite extraordinary. He is not ashamed to admit a fact we all would be ashamed to vouch for. Not that we don't beg. I was a salesman once and my job was to beg, irrespective of smart terms like "deal making", "negotiating", "marketing" etc, that they use these days, a salesman's job those days was to beg.
"And how much did you earn each day from begging?"
"Around ten rupees. On a good day even fifteen and twenty."
That wasn't bad. It could, sort of, supplement a family's income in those days.
"But did people give you money, since you are okay looking and have no disabilities."
"I used to stand on the road with one hand outstretched, some people would drop coins, may be out of habit."
"Weren't you ashamed?" I needed to get to basics.
"No. No. Why should I be? I was helping my family. Only my mother was working as a household help then. I was studying. We didn't have any other source of income. Some people teased me, but I wasn't ashamed. No."
I didn't exactly say it is a noble profession. But his words made me think somewhat along those lines.
"What do feel about the fact that you were a beggar?"
"Everybody begs, someday or the other. A man when he is about to die, begs God to save him. That also is begging."
Interesting. What a philosopher. I guess to be a Bhiku or a Sanyasi, (a saintly beggar) you also have to be a philosopher. I don't know if the generous tip I gave him was any indication of the way I felt.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Sometimes small things upset me. Sometimes when I am all goody-good intentions and the other person turns out to be full of malice, I get even more upset.
Then I think we are an unrepentant generation, courtesy has been unknown to us, we have been train to give twit (twerp: someone who is regarded as contemptible)-for-tat (cheapness: tastelessness by virtue of being cheap and vulgar).
One such occasion manifested yesterday. I was at my wit's end, kept fuming (smoke, steam, etc. issuing from my ears), uncomfortable beyond words. There's this man sprawled on the seat as if he owned it on one side of the train seat, and at the other side another man deliberately spreading his legs, for comfort, obviously. In the middle is poor me, hedged in, accommodating, uncomfortable, sweating in the sweltering heat of the hotter-than-ever summer evening.
Imagine my predicament. Just imagine! Whatever happened to good old good manners?
Monday, May 24, 2010
Just say a tee-shirt, avid reader of tee-shirt art that I am, which says, "John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley and Jim Morrison, they met in heaven."
What a beautiful thought! And what did they sing together, maybe, just maybe, Lennon's classic, "Give peace a chance." Wonder why these great musicians had to die in their youth. Apparently, they couldn't handle their success. Actually who can? I mean, handle success, when it comes like a storm after the calm? Just imagining things, really. Forgive me.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Here's the Tishani Doshi's interview about her novel 'The Pleasure Seekers' in The Guardian.
Today being Sunday went for a walk in the wilds in the foothills of the mighty Parsik Hills, near home. The hills end in a valley bordered on three sides by tropical rain forests. The bird sounds were awesome, coming as it did in the early morning silence, and the wind was blowing cool and fresh as I climbed a low outgrowth. I could see a wide vista spread below me of modern flats and bungalows, coming alive with life, then came the muted sound of traffic on the Bombay-Pune highway, a mere murmur. Made me want to write a poem on the experience. So watch this space.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The list of passengers on the flight received from S.A. Prabhakar Sharma, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mangalore District, through this article in Hindu. One of them matches with the name of a friend, so am waiting with bated breath for his confirmation that he is safe and sound.
From PNR (Passsenger Name Record) list:
1. Harshini Poonja
2. Aaron Joel Fernandes
3. Niha Imthiaz
4. Bhaskaran T.V.
5. Komalavally Alinkeel
6. Narayana Kanthav Rao
7. Vani Narayana Rao
8. Vaishnavi Narayana Rao
9. Mohammad Ishaque Rafique Ahmed
10 Hasanabba Abubakkar
11. Hiba Azeena (child)
12. Mushina (child)
13. Haifa Hasha (infant)
14. Joyanrichard Saldanha
15. Ummer Farook Mohammed
16. Shahida Nushrathar
17 Zeshan Abdul Rehman (child)
18. Kannur Zulekha Banu
19. Nazeema Muhammad Ashraf
21. Sujatha Rao
22. Fathimamehzan Shafqat
23.Rashaad Shafqatmahmood (infant)
24. Khader Ammangod Mohammed Shafy
25. Suhaib Mohammed Naseer (child)
26. Bibi Sara (child)
27. Nabeeha Mohammed Nasir (child)
28. Mohammad Asraf
29. Maimoona Asraf
30. Ashaz Abdulla (child)
31. Ayesha Afsheen (child)
33. Venishanikola Lobo
34. Vishalfloid Lobo (child)
35. Abdullah K.M.
36. Merwyn D' Souza (No Show)
37. Rosly Shibu
38. Godwina Thomas (child)
39. Gloria Thomas (child)
40. Bhagali Prabhakar
41. Kammadam Kunhabdulla
42. Shashikanth Punja
43. Manirekha Punja
44. Abdulbarr Damudi (child)
45. Mahesh Shetty
46. Mohamed Naser
47. Anwar Sadiq
48. Hassan Kutty
49. JoelPratap DSouza
50. Arunkumar Shetty
51. Vasantha Shetty (No Show)
52. Abdul Samad
53. Prasadand Manjrekar
54. Krishnan Koolikunnu
55. Mullachery Balakrishnan
56. Shanthi Olivera
57. Chethana Mukeshkumar
58. Thresiamma Philip (No Show)
59. Mohamed Ashfaq (No Show)
60. Husna Farheen (No Show)
61. Ahmednaushad Abbu
62. Rajan Pulikodan
63. Jayaprakasha Devadiga
64. Jayaram Kotian
65. Chitra Jayaram
66. Rahul Jayaram (child)
67. Prabhavati Karkera
68. Ashitha Bolar
69. Akshay Bolar
70. Suresh Kunder
71. Sanjeeva BabannaHegde (No Show)
72. Soman Narayani
73. Pradeep GK
75. Thalangara Ebrahimkhaleel
76. Louiscarlo Vincent Geraro (No Show)
77. Naziya Afarin
78. Mohammed Abaanruknuddin (child)
79. MohammedRafi Beliyapura
80. Abdullah Mohammed
81. Ibrahim Saheb
82. Sameena Saheb
83. Issam Ibrahim
84. Rida Ibrahim (child)
86. Shivakumar Nagaraj
87. Meenu Gupta
88. Shetty KK
89. Gangadharan Nair
90. Prabathkumar Attavar
92. Irshad Ahmed
93. Neha Parveen
94. Affan Ahmed (infant)
95. Sameerbeerran Moideen
96. Abdunnazir Avinja
97. Riju John
98. Sabrina Nasrinhuq
99. Steven Rego (No Show)
100. Mahammooda Abdulla Kanyana
101. Althafahmed Moolana
102. Lokeshasadananda Belchada
103. Hameed Pookayam
104. Mayankutty KP
105. Vipin Kattoor
106. Kishorekumar Kudpapoojary
107. Chandukutty Nair K
108. NM Bharatham
109. Abdulazeez Anchikatta
110. Umashan Vijayan
111. Cavin Sequuiera
112. Reshmasanthosh Rai
113. Nalandshaunsantosh Rai (child)
114. Vihasantosh Rai (infant)
115. Vamana Prabhu
116. Ganesh Prabhu
117. Qazi Abdulsalam
118. Qazizulekah Khuddus
119. Jackson Periera
120. Mahammed Ismail
121. Naveen Kumar
122. Sanjaykumar Mahabal
123. Mahendra Kodkany
124. Indumathi Nayak
125. Vijesh Kovval
126. Ramakrishna Nayak
127. Ajesh Mottathil
128. Navid Ibrahim
129. Ignatius DSouza
130. Sukumara Kuzhiyamkottuchal
131. Abdul Basheer KM
132. Mohiddin Farasusman
133. Mahim Mohammedpalli
134. Mohammedashraf KA
135. Mohamed Usman
136. Kunhikannan Chandu (No Show)
137. Naveenwalter Fernandes
138. Saritaphilomena Dsouza
139. Ullas Dsilva
140. Mannapadupuashraf Abdul
141. Safdharali Sheik
142. Mahesh Shetty
143. Abdulharish Koppalamhouse
144. Abdul Jebran
145. Parambathkunhi Krishnan
146. Prabhakaran Pachikaran
147. Nekkareibrahim Ismail
148. Melwynkiran Menezes
149. Siddeeque Choorisulaiman
150. Putturismail Abdulla
151. Somashekhar Potyalsrinivasa
152. Lokesh Narayanan
153. Lolitta Dias
154. Lilly Dias
155. Praveena Sundar
156. Hilda Douza
157. Pradeep Deepanivas
158. Denis Saldanha
159. Ashton Saldanha (child)
160. Manthur Hassainar
161. Rama Satish
162. Mohammed Basheer
163. Aboobacker Siddeeq
164. Mohammed Usman
165. Shaileshrao Brahmavara
166. Mohammed Ziad
167. Sameena Abdul Karim
168. Zainab Mohammedziad (child)
169. Mohammed Subairzaid (child)
Here's a gem from Harini Calamur's blog. Harini is correcting Mumbai University examination papers these days and here is a sample of what she has to sit through:
"Educated people in India live in the cities and speak and read English. We (as in these) watch English channels. The rest of India that is illiterate speak their mother tongue or vernacular languages. They watch regional language channels because they don't understand English because they are illiterate."
Harini blames it to on the teachers because too many students write these stereotypical and somehow mentally malformed statements. How could anyone be so naively biased and ignorant? I would have broken into a fit if I was made to sit through such drivel, or, perhaps gone bonkers. Atta girl for thine bravery, thou deservest an award!
Heard about the Air-India aircraft that crashed on its flight to Mangalore from here. First reports have come in. My thought go out to the affected families.
Mumbai: 011-25656196, 011-25603101
More updates follow.
Friday, May 21, 2010
This article is a bit premature, me thinks. They are backing some brat-brigade to overturn the empire set up by Facebook. What those pimply youths can accomplish, let's wait and watch. Oh, I forgot that Mark Zuckerberger himself was a pimply youth when he founded Facebook as a way of keeping in touch in his university campus at Harvard.
While I am mighty skeptical that this might come to fruition, I am also a bit biased bout my love and addiction for Facebook (or, FB as it is lovingly called).
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I gave a quote to a query from a "friend" on Twitter, "What If G**gle Winds Up," or, something to that effect.
I don't remember the exact quote but what I wrote was "I would hugely disappointed." Not the exact words, I must say.
For the following reasons:
Whatever infinitesimal mark I have made is as a blogger and my blog is on a Google platform "blogger.com."
All my poems are stored on my poetry blog (I have some old poems printed for a round of editing).
All my short stories are stored on my short story blog.
All my book reviews are stored on my book review blog.
All my communications are on gmail.com.
Most of my pictures are on Picasa.com.
So on and so forth. All these are the property of G**gle. The last comment because I once saw a long list of websites (pages upon pages) on which I was absolutely dependent and I don't know which site or application G**gle has recently devoured.
So I really can't say. Can I?
Friday, May 14, 2010
So it is out. I mean what we had known all along is out, as appears here on Technorati.
"I know, because I have been collecting empirical data for years now and if I have come to one conclusion, it's this: men desire, no wait, REQUIRE sex, more than women. This is in general true, however, results may vary."
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
It's sad how nobody is willing to acknowledge the heat that we are so stoically enduring, eyes squinting, mouth set, our faces dripping, our brains like fire. This morning as I was hurrying to entrain, my head on fire, naturally, a woman said:
"Theeyu kudikano?" meaning, "Do you want to drink the fire?"
What a fine expression! Yes it is fire in Bombai, the city I live in. No sooner I am outside than I sweat all over, inside my clothes sweat forms a second layer, almost like a surrogate skin. I guess it is a furnace in Delhi, which is alternatively very hot and very cold in summer and winter respectively. Yet no study has been undertaken how the climate has turned hostile. We ignore what is not convenient, we sweep it under the carpet and think things will right itself. What are the meteorologists doing? What's the media doing except the routine reporting of the temperature? Such a big story opportunity is lost.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meet at Copenhagen, despite its bombastic and pretentious sounding name (isn't everything international thusly gassy?) achieved nothing. It spent a lot of money, generated a lot of debate and achieved nothing.
Nyet. Nada. Poda. (The last word means, "Go away, you" in Malayalam, which was what happened in the conference.)
All talk remained only talk. We seem to be on the forefront of sending carbon particles into the air. Everywhere we are burning garbage instead of disposing them off, we are burning the dry tindery mountains to inhabit them and we are de-foresting like hell. I doubt if any trees will be left for the next generation.
We have become selfish and self-centred in short. We think owning an ipod and an iphone and if possible an ipad is the meaning of life. This self-centricism is destroying us.
Okay, okay I am being too pessimistic. I am a bit skittish, things being as they are.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Liked this quote from Amitav Ghosh's acceptance speech while accepting the Dan David Prize:
"But novelists are stubborn: when young, they refused to give up novel-writing, despite the worried advice of their families. The more we were told to turn our backs, the more we wanted to see – and to speak – for ourselves."
I for one know this to be true. I will keep writing novels irrespective of whether anyone publishes it or not. I could be the world's most prolific unpublished novelist. Hehe. Even ignominy has its charm, doesn't it?
Interesting things I discover in the online version of the Maharashtra Gazeteer. It seems the area around what is now Victoria Terminus was used as a dhoby ghat and an area of "public pillory" where offenders were subjected to humiliation of being teased, denigrated and pelted with "rotten eggs, old shoes, mud and brickbats." Queen Victoria abolished this practice. Excerpt:
"The Victoria Terminus has taken place of ' a miserable wooden structure' which prior to 1878 served as the terminal station. The area in front of this building was occupied by a Dhobi's ghat where the town's washing was performed until the new ghat at Mahalakshmi was provided while a portion of the site of the present booking office and the open space leading to Frere road were occupied by the famous Phansi talao or Gibbet pond. The pond derived its name from the fact that murderers used to be hanged there and the gallows stood there in full view of the public until roughly a century ago when the tank was filled in and the melancholy structure was removed. Close by in olden times stood also the public pillory, where offenders were subjected to the raillery of the populace and had to submit to being pelted with rotten eggs, old shoes, mud and brick bats. The abolition of this mode of punishment was one of the first acts of Queen Victoria after her assumption of the Crown."
Times were when a great debate was let loose among captains of industry about the meaning of the world "pillory" when I was in charge of the ASCI. Now, at least, the meaning is clear. I didn't know (hehe!) that it was so mean and colonial.
Times of India reports through the pen of Leitizia Alterno the sad unwillingness of any individual or institution to volunteer to housing the writer Raja Rao's literary papers. The article appears under an ad for "delivering mangoes to your home by Fedex." Took me completely by surprise, I must say. What has mangoes to do with literature? Was it the penchant for Indo-Anglian writers to write about "mango pickle", "blue mangoes", oh, never mind?! Guess it's the heat getting to me.
"In Rao's case, both the publishing industry and the academic world contributed to Rao's literary, and material, demise. While Raja Rao's profound spirituality has certainly hindered his active engagement in securing high profile and profitable publishing deals, as a Rao critic and editor-in-chief of the Raja Rao Publication Project, I am always struggling to campaign for the literary recognition he deserves as one of the leading anti-colonial literary voices coming from India, way ahead of Salman Rushdie or Arundhati Roy. Rao's writing remains a conveniently unacknowledged, yet almost palpable presence in some of their works."
I wonder why Raja Rao has gone into virtual anonymity while his coevals have been elevated to the literary hall of fame. The fact that he was considered for the Nobel Prize also indicates his prominence as a strong voice of the post-colonial Indian diasporas' writing. We have short memories and when it comes to literature our memory is even more limited. Nissim Ezekiel, Arun Kolhatkar, Santan Rodrigues are some poets who have been totally ignored after their deaths. (By the way, I picked out Kolhatkar's "Jejuri" from Strand Book Stall on Saturday. Luckily for me Shenoy [who took over from Shanbhag] recognized me and gave me some good discounts.)
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Commenting on my post on why girls go for self-imposed purdah. Ms, a constant follower of this blog (thank you, muchly, ms) comments:
"I think it is to protect their skin from dust and sun. Mostly see pillion riders covered up, female drivers even have gloves that go up way past their elbows - very audreyhepburn-ish in My Fair Lady. Some of them do brave the elements! But will begin my observation and report, sir! I was always amazed when I saw veiled women in Aus[tralia] and NZ - couldn't understand why they would still follow oppressive practices when they were living in progressive countries. the men said it was for their own protection. Believe me; they were in no danger from locals who had their own scantily clad women to ogle at! Maybe it was to protect them from their own males who were overwhelmed at the display of exposed skin."
Ms, I beg to differ on this. It could also be that we men get a complex when we see the progress women are making. There are stalkers, rapists, molesters, in our midst and every girl has some experience of dealing with such incident in her life. This country has seen the worst sort of atrocities committed against women. The purdah gives her anonymity and freedom to pursue her future. Today, though every organization has a powerful woman at the top (they may be in the shadows of their male scarecrows, but they wield considerable power) calling the shots (Indira Nooyi, Chanda Kochar, Lynn deSouza, Vinita Bali [the latter two because I have met them]) men haven't come to terms with their success.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Friend and moderator of Shakespeare and Co. Pragya Mishra Thakur has this excellent piece of wisdom in Shakespeare and Co. discussion board. Titled "No more multi-tasking, please" it struck a chord with what most of us are doing these days. We are surrounded by an information overload. We are inundated by information, most of it unfiltered for quality, reliability and credibility. The old system of editors filtering information is gone. These days articles are written by public relations agencies and the editor just proofreads what's given him, "Hey you, publish that or else…." It is said that the old filters of having a book read and recommended by a critic no longer applies. In fact the world has done away with critics and editors and replaced them with someone with a vested interest – like a rival writer – who can put forward his/her own opinion and even generate interest in his/her own book. Most publishing companies are staffed by masters in arts literature writing their own deathless novels. Guess that's why I can't bring them to read my manuscript.
Watch any news cast these days. A few days ago, I found myself watching a prime time news channel and, you won't believe this, it was showing "amazing videos" with a bored-looking presenter standing before the screen and explaining what's going on. "Dekhiye ab kya hota hai, blah, blah, blah." (See what's going on, yack, yack, yack….) Come on, give me that much-needed break. Is this some mindless program like "The World's Most Amazing Videos?" This was going on on prime time and I guess they didn't have anything better to show.
Times were when, well, forget it….
In a comment on the same article Mahendra Rathod says, "I see around me the zealous pursuit of excellence has often come at a dehumanizing cost."
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
According to this article in bestmediainfo Mid-day's print business has been taken over by Jagran Prakashan Ltd.
"The print business, run by MML through its wholly owned subsidiary Mid-Day Infomedia Ltd (MIL), comprises publication brands – viz., Mid-Day (published from Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi), Sunday Mid-Day, Gujarati Mid-day and The Inquilab, the largest read Urdu newspaper in the country and all publication related Internet properties."
"As per the Scheme of Arrangement the print business of MML would be demerged and transferred to JPL with effect from April 1, 2010. The Scheme of Arrangement is subject to necessary approvals and consents."
This blogger remembers the day Mid-day was launched. It was one of the best launches of a newspaper in Bombai and even in India. Am a bit wistful to see it change hands.
When the train drivers went on strike I saw what the city was like travelling in a bus. The bus was crawling and the five hours I spent inside the slow-moving vehicle gave me a perspective of what is really happening in my city. I mean how it had changed over the years. I could make out the changes that had happened over the past few years, slowly, incrementally, insidiously.
First of all I noticed the high rises in Parel mill district. I don't see any development here. I had hoped to see a lot of modern office complexes, neat streets, progressive urban development, "new urbanism" as the much touted areas were made out to be. Travelling on the train network I had missed all these sights. What I saw shocked me. I was a sort of a nasty surprise, of a Kafkaesque and Camus-ian kind. I had expected neatly constructed apartment-cum-office blocks laid out in gardens and freshly watered lawns. Mostly, children playing on these lawns and an aura of residential bliss.
Alas, alack! None of these. Disappointed, I hang my head. I see the usual rubble on the streets, the bricks stacked brazenly in front of buildings, sand dumped on the roads, and encroachments, encroachments, encroachments. I see people, some of them very old, sleeping on the streets, dogs, sidewalks encroached greedily by shops, unauthorised vendors and hawkers brazenly doing business.
Things have changed but not for the better. The congestion has increased. There are more cars on the roads because people living in these sky-kissing monoliths all have cars, there are more people because the high-rises are full of people. There's more pollution and the carbon emission from these areas is sickening even to look at. I guess this has raised the temperatures, I think as I sit and sweat in the bus.
The sweat and the heat, both unbearable and the thick emission from cars forming a kind of bluish haze, I feel sick, but then can I help it? We have goofed. We have. Real big time.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Yesterday, being the day on which the pampered train drivers of Bombai went on strike, this weird and funny thing happened at VT station. Ho hum. Some background here as my international readers won't understand what a train drivers' strike is.
In India any interested group can decide what to do, whenever they fee like it. So when you get up in the morning and see garbage accumulated on all roads, you know the sweepers are on strike, when the yellow taxis aren't visible and people with heavy luggage are looking like fishes out of water you know the taxis are on strike, likewise with rickshaws also, when the whole city is deserted and nobody is on the street you know some big brother has called a "bandh" which is the father of all strikes.
So the train drivers were on strike, except a few souls who took pity on the likes of me and decided that enough was enough and at 8.30 p.m. decided to drive one train to Panvel. So I get into this one train to Panvel and am able to fit a toe on an inch of space in this train. I find that the adjacent ladies compartment is also full.
As expected a man jumps into the ladies compartment, complaining the gentlemen's compartment was too full, and, besides, he enjoyed the company of women.
Will the women let him "enjoy" their company?
Poor chap he got such a tongue lashing he will never forget in his miserable life. The women just gave him "left and right". The poor chap tried all he could with his limited lung power to explain that since the crowd was so huge (imagine around 100 thousand people in a train) could they please adjust him?
- No, you get down just now. Or we will pull the chain and stop the train.
The man is like a sheep among jackals except that the men in the adjacent compartment are encouraging him thusly:
- Come on, man, show them your mardangi (manhood).
- Come on, if they come into our compartment we will throw them out.
- Kya admi, can't you give a proper reply to those women?
- What a coward, afraid of women?
The compartment turns into a battleground with the women on one side, the men on the other, and the man, sort of ping pong ball between them. I didn't know the sexes were at war. I always thought the male and female of the species were in love of the Bollywood kind. Snort!
What happened next is as expected. The man was expelled by the sheer lung power of the women, that too, not a honorable exit through the door, but he had to climb over the metal divider and step into the gentlemen's compartment.
Men are from Mars and Women from Venus, you say? Then I guess these planets are at war. Yes, it was a minor war in the compartment.
First of all, I think the ongoing strike by train drivers in Bombai is unethical. They struck yesterday and again today. A token strike of one day I can understand, but today is the second day. The city depends on trains. Five million (some say seven million) people travel by trains everyday to work. People – even the well to do – depend on trains as they are more dependable that the anarchy of maneuvering through Bombai's chaotic traffic. If the trains don't work these five million people don't go to work, result is chaos on the roads. Loss of productivity, well, I won't be the prosaic corporate communicator that I am here, on my blog, but that's one of the consequences. The cars come out and the roads become a single, interlocked, river of cars, honking, unable to move.
Today as I sat in traffic in a crowded bus, I could see thousands of cars of all make, uselessly sitting there, not getting anywhere, their drivers fuming. The heat was up, the sun was blazing, the noise levels were deafening. This is nothing but extremism of another type, this sudden calling of a strike. I hope the authorities take action to ensure that such incidents do not occur again.
The train drivers are a pampered lot, at least, in Bombai. I know. My uncle retired as a train driver. He tells me they work on six hours and the rest, if they work, is over time. Their pay is better than average. Plus (there are many pluses), they get to rest between runs. They have a slew of allowances. Yes, their jobs are lonely. Whose job isn't? Work in a workstation can also get lonely, especially when you slog after everyone (including train drivers) has gone home. They have nobody to talk to once inside their cabin. But that's an occupational hazard. Agreed?
Now why should they strike and leave five million people stranded? They are demanding among other things, better pay, which they are already getting. They have good retirement benefits which none of us sloggers from morning till late evenings are getting. Ah, then, we also don't get overtimes. They work lesser hours, which would be a blessing for us overworked people.
Train drivers, if you are reading this (which seems unlikely) please don't hold us to ransom like this. I am one of those who you haul to work and back every day.
Monday, May 03, 2010
According to this article in Mid-day Shashi and Sunanda, the pair known as "Sushi" is to wed in the Golden Palms Hotel and Spa. What's with names like "Brangelina" is that I don't know whether it is a creation of the couple themselves or is it the creative juices of the media flowing in eddying circles around the celebrities. Hm. Or are they the creation of their publicists? Don't know much about the celebrity whirl-gig but sure they look like they are in love in the pictures.
All the best!
Anyways, good for them that they still want to go ahead. As Samuel Johnson once said a second marriage (or, any marriage thereafter) is a triumph of hope over experience, so good luck and much hope.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Saturday, May 01, 2010
I am reading a collection of short stories by Albert Camus and it is so wonderful how he describes the world of his era, and how he can still entice people with his descriptions of those days. It's just an amazing book and is titled, "Exile and the Kingdom". Do try and get hold of a copy of this book by one of the world’s most engaging writers who has given us books like “The Stranger” “The Myth of Sisyphus” and others.