Sunday, December 18, 2005

Geocluster event for Kansas City Region

I was watching the news of the thanks giving sale that was happening, with people waiting outside the shops as early as 3 in the morning daring the snow and cold and importantly missing their sleep over it!! I had felt the sale is definitely not worth the effort to go out in cold and miss my sleep over it. But one question still remained in my mind. What can be those situations/events which are worth braving the cold and snow and losing sleep?

Today I came across one such event which was really worth the effort of waking early on a Saturday morning and making it in cold and snow. It was the Geocluster event for the Kansas City region. We reached the venue around 12:30 PM and the event started by 1:00 PM and ended around 4:30 PM. Yup, I am giving the start and end time together because the event rolled out so smoothly that the next time I checked my watch was when it finally downed the curtains!!

As like any gathering, this too followed the customs by starting off with the welcome note. Almost immediately was the Break the clues round. It consisted of clues which would lead to the movie name. There were 14 clues to squeeze and extract the movies names from. We were successful in breaking 8 of them and the winners were just one ahead of us. They had got 9 correct!! The next event was a superb Jugalbandhi by Anand and Supradeep. All the pieces played were good. Of it I liked the Bombay tune very much. This was followed by 2 dance performances. The first one was by Neena for the “Doola Re” song from the movie Devdas in the background. A gifted dancer and it was showing in every step of the dance. She was followed by the Sudhakarbabu for “Prabhu Jackson”. He started off for the famous song “Deekah Tumko” from K3G and ended with a Tamil/Telugu song, I guess maybe from a Prabhu Deva movie. The Hrithik Roshan steps from K3G were well executed. I don’t know if the steps for the second song was his own or from the movie, but it was entertaining!! But what I am still unable to understand is the name “Prabhu Jackson”. If the second song is really from a Prabhu Deva movie as I am guessing, the apt name would have been “Hrithik Prabhu”!! If it is not a Prabhu Deva movie than I am totally lost!! Anyway the immediate call for lunch after the dance halted my deciphering thoughts!! Whether it is “Prabhu Jackson” or “Hrithik Prabhu” it was an entertaining one!!!

The appraisal piece enacted during the lunch was the most memorable!! Apt timing and mostly a direct take from the recently concluded appraisal process!!!

This was followed by stunners by other accounts, event. This was really a stunner for me. I did not know that my manager (Sreeni) could “really” sing. He sang 3 songs from 3 different Hindi movies. He has a good voice. ( No, No I am not flattering!! My appraisal is already closed!!!!!) Something I did not know earlier.

This was followed by an event exclusively for kids!! Balloons were tied to the left leg of each kid which they had to burst. The “”Kids”” took over from the kids and finally burst the balloons using forks!!

This was followed by the Dumb Charades event. People were divided into different teams based on the colors they had!! There were 3 rounds, 1 Hollywood round, 1 Bollywood round and a books round for appetizing the book lovers!!

The last event of the day was the Tumbola!!! Waiting for the desired number to be called and crossing out the called numbers on the rows/columns!! Each first fully completed row attracted a prize followed by a prize for the full house!! This was again a thoughtful event which saw almost 100% participation.

The curtains were drawn at around 4:30PM thus putting an end to this memorable event though people were still enthusiastic to continue and enjoy. The organizers deserve a good round of applause for the well organized event. Every item was thoughtfully planned and executed. Every minute spent at the event was worth the effort people had put in braving the snow and cold.

~Narendra V Joshi

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sleep: The Sustainer of all life

My computer clock here shows 6:30 AM and has added a count to my zillionth peaceful sleep filled, night. I had slept around 10 PM yesterday night and woke up now!! Another 15 ½ hours to go for the zillionth + 1 to happen!!!

Wonder how many hours God might have spent researching to create this wonderful element called sleep. So peaceful and wonderful and generous!! The more you sleep the more you will want to sleep. Never asks a question or never comments. Never asks for something in return. All it takes is, the clock ticking to 10 PM and my head touching the pillow; and boooom… I wake up and find its past 6 in the morning!!! It’s like you start to code a new program and before you can realize, your code is out there sitting pretty!! I think waiting for the clock to go to 10 PM is a barrier I have put for myself. A feeling of some sort of guilt encompasses me if it’s still not 10 PM and I am planning to sleep. If only instead of an hour the day light savings was to advance the clock by 2 or 3 hours it would have been really good!!!

Sit in front of TV or have a book in hand, you can sleep. It doesn’t matter whether you had food or still feeling hungry. It doesn’t matter whether you have your exams the next morning or if the world is going to end in an hour!! Sleep is like time which doesn’t wait for anybody.

Assuming that everyone sleeps for 8 hours a day, I wonder what we would have done if sleep was not at all created by God. Currently it is 8 hours sleep, 8 hours work and 8 hours for other activities. If sleep was removed then that additional 8 hours had to be equally divided among the remaining two or maybe 16 hours for one and 8 hours for the other. Further there would have been no use of pillows and comforters and sleeping bags etc, except maybe used only in hospitals. Don’t know what we would be doing at night if we are not sleeping. Or maybe God would have made a day to be only of 16 hours or day with no darkness at all. That would mean that either earth would never rotate or God would have created 2 suns. Now if earth would never rotate then one part of the earth is always in darkness and one with always light. If this is the case the part which is always in light would have been burning hot and part which is always in darkness would have been bitter cold. Else if we had 2 Suns then it would have been burning hot always. Either of which cannot sustain life. Further, if we go by theories which suggest a direct relation between speed of earth’s rotation and gravity, again we can see that life is threatened.

This proves beyond doubt that sleep is the most important element on earth. It is sleep which is sustaining all life on earth!!! Air, Water, life, food, work everything depends on sleep. It is almost impossible to imagine a world without sleep!!!!!!!!!

Yet sleep has been one of the most looked down and neglected element. Work-shy, laziness, lethargy etc have been the words for this crucial, life sustaining element. More research and propaganda is needed to fully understand the concept of sleep and its life sustaining characteristics. The day people start understanding and appreciating the importance of sleep, the world would start becoming a better place.

~Narendra V Joshi

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Are the Gods angry?

This is the question in my mind now. I just finished reading an article in the online newspaper which reads Delhi is sitting on a potential killer temblor and a major earthquake of about 6.5 on the Richter scale could occur in Delhi. I am just wondering what has suddenly changed or happened? And to my memory 2005 seems to be the year which has seen most number of natural disasters.

First we had the Tsunami even before we could actually step into 2005. The opening of the year itself was on a bad note. The earthquake which originated in the Indian Ocean triggered the Tsunami which devastated the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, Thailand and other countries with waves up to 100 ft. It caused serious damage and deaths as far as the east coast of Africa, with the furthest recorded death due to the tsunami occurring at Port Elizabeth in South Africa, 8,000 km away from the epicenter. Indonesia suffered another disaster with the earth quake that occurred in that region in March.

Next was the turn of rains. Mumbai had received 94.4cms of rain on a single day which is really too much to imagine. I was there in Mumbai on one of those rainy days. To compound the problem, the plane I was in skidded off the runway. Fortunately nothing happened to anybody on the plane. The rains were so heavy that it actually took more than an hour to get into the Mumbai airport from the stranded plane as visibility was extremely low. Hardly anything beyond 10 feet was visible.

Then in the US, there was this hurricane Katrina affecting all places in its path with New Orleans and Louisiana bearing the brunt. Even as the scattered life was trying to limp back to normal, hurricane Rita made landfall.

And now, earthquakes in Jammu and Kashmir and other northern parts of India and some places in Pakistan. The people of Jammu and Kashmir were already suffering due to the militancy there and this earthquake is just adding to their bundle of woes. And with winter close on their heels the situation looks really grim.

And down there in the southern parts of India, it’s mid of October and still no signs of rains leaving place for the fall. There was another article in the newspaper which read that for Bangalore, October 2005 already has the distinction of getting the highest monthly rainfall in 49 years. We still have 13 days to go before October draws to an end. People living in the low lying areas would have been the ones severely affected due to these rains.

There seems to be something wrong somewhere. Things seem to be going really haywire this year. It might just be a coincidence that all these major disasters are happening this same year or the Gods are really really angry.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Non-Veg Experiment

Culinary still seems to be an evolving art with innumerable experimentation happening at every home around the world. I think this is one art which has very few barriers and restrictions as long as the preparations are edible!! One of those very few barriers may be a stanch vegetarian, teetotaler Brahmin like me preparing non-veg food!!

It was around 7 on a Thursday evening. I checked the refrigerator for vegetables. We had mint leaves (pudina), 2 or 3 tomatoes and onions. I had experimented on 2 different dal varieties the previous 2 evenings and today wanted to cook something else. Thought of different combinations until the unthinkable thought came to my mind. Preparing a non-veg delicacy!! I knew that if I have chicken I can prepare a good dish with it, for my friends of course!!

I tried putting the thoughts aside and sat in front of the TV to watch the football match. A picture of the chicken item that I wanted to make however had already formed in my mind. My mind was busy working on the recipe. By 9:30 that night I had constructed the recipe and had also visualized the final picture!! The only imperfectness in the picture, I preparing a non-veg dish. I quickly brushed the thoughts aside, went to sleep after having curd rice with pickles.

The untried recipe was still there in my mind and I had again started thinking about it on Friday evening. “What if I marry a girl who is a non-vegetarian?” This was the strongest propeller and I finally decided that I go ahead and experiment on the recipe I had drawn!!!! But I did not want to touch meat and could not even think about it. And without touching an ingredient there was no way I could prepare something. I checked with a friend, if he will cut the chicken and put it in a bowl the way I wanted it which he immediately agreed on!!

So there I was ready with a non-veg recipe and the ingredients needed for it except for the main ingredient, the chicken!! I did not want to buy meat and in future too, if the girl I marry wants meat she has to touch it herself. I will just accompany her and pay for it!!

I put all the ingredients on the kitchen table. Cleaned the mint leaves and put them in the grinder, added jalapeno pepper and garlic. The chopped onions were fried in oil with mustard and pinch of turmeric. Put the mint and pepper paste into the fried onions, once the onions had turned light brown and left it on low flame constantly stirring it. I then added finely chopped green pepper into it and stirred it well. Then I put the masala powder, jeera, pinch of asafetida and salt. I then called up one of my friend and checked with him if he can bring the chicken. He was surprised to hear ME asking for chicken!! I asked him to bring boneless chicken and gloves, to wear while stirring the preparation!!! By the time he arrived with the chicken and the gloves I was ready with the gravy. He put the chicken on the table. I could see the meat through the transparent plastic cover. I could not even touch the cover leave alone touching the meat. I called my friend to prepare the meat. He washed the meat and cut it into small pieces, added salt and turmeric to it and put it into the gravy. We closed the lid and left it on a medium flame. After about 15 minutes I added cut coriander leaves for seasoning.

All friends tasted it and said it was good!! The look and the color of it felt good to me too!! I was happy about myself for having successfully cooked a non-veg dish and not have touched it. I could not think of a name for it nor knew if any chicken item is prepared that way!! I suddenly realized that I had not cooked anything for myself. After spending 1-1 ½ hours in the kitchen I had cooked something which I don’t eat!!

I had curd rice and pickles for dinner for myself while my friends had chicken. But I was happy for having come up with a new recipe!! My friend named it “pudina chicken”!! So for the second time in the week I had a dinner of curd rice and pickles, but this time I was more contented than before!!!

I have put in only the names of the major ingredients here. So do not try it at home!!


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sarkar: Movie Review

Though I am no more than one of the normal movie goers, I seem to have somehow developed a liking for Ram Gopal Verma (RGV) movies. Even now I eyeball the “movies today” section of the newspaper to check if the movie “Kshana Kshanam” is being aired on one of those Telugu channels. This was my first RGV movie. I have watched this movie thrice in theater and have lost count of how many times I have watched it on TV. I can understand little bit of Telugu, but this movie is so well made that you can thoroughly enjoy it without any knowledge of the language and I still feel myself ready for yet another stint with the movie!!

It was just a few days after “Naina” that I came to know that a new movie of RGV was coming and this time he himself was directing it. Of late he has stopped directing movies and was focusing only on producing them. But one has to agree that every movie produced by him will have a RGV stamp on it. You make out a RGV stamp from the typical camera movements, twisty script and fresh ideas he infuses in them. The influence of RGV will be so very evident that you can immediately recognize a RGV trained director’s movie though under a different banner. “Kaal” directed by Soham is an excellent example of that. Soham worked with RGV for the film “Bhoot”. And this time with RGV himself in the director’s seat it had to be a honed product!!!

So I was there in the theater with friends on the very first day of its release! It was hardly a crowd as we had reached early though we had our tickets booked in advance. I was a bit surprised at the turnout for a movie with such hype. My concerns were fairly addressed on reaching the ticket counter to collect the tickets. Every seat had been booked and there were no tickets available till the next Monday! We thanked ourselves for the advance booking as we collected the tickets. The show finally started after a delay of full ½ hour.

The movie is made of a pinch of “Siva”, a pinch of “Satya”, a pinch of “kaun”, a pinch of “Company”, a pinch of “D” and truck loads of scripting talents and camera mastery!! Every dialogue, every scene, every bit of the story is superbly connected to the central character “Sarkar” enacted by Amitabh Bachan. His decades of acting experience shows in his expressions throughout the movie. His facial expressions particularly the scene when he is on the hospital bed is worth watching a thousand times!! Kay Kay and Abhishek Bachan play the role of his elder and younger sons in the movie. They are called “Vishnu” and “Shankar”, names which are totally opposite to the characters they portray! The first half of the movie has more of Amitabh Bachan and Kay Kay with Abhishek coming here and there. The second half is dominated by Abhishek and Amitabh Bachan. Abhishek Bachan is at his best with his inquisitive looks and designer wear clad “good” son of the “Sarkar”.
I think our directors find it impressive when Hritik Roshan and Abhishek Bachan run around. You can find at least one scene of them running in every movie they play!!! Maybe it’s just a coincidence that they land up in movies in which they have to run, but I couldn’t stop myself from putting this here!! This movie has one more person whose neither the name nor the character he plays, I am able to recollect. He is the bald trusted aide of the “Sarkar”. The scene which speaks of his faith in the “Sarkar” and the immense trust the “Sarkar” has in him are noteworthy!

This movie has no songs and so you have a “de-glamorized” and fully clothed version of Katrina Kaif and Rukhsar. Katrina plays the love interest of Abhishek and Rukhsar plays the better half of Kay Kay. Katrina plays her usual just okay role; but it is Rukhsar who definitely has a meatier role just among the two. If her acting skills were good in “D”, then it is better here, even though considering the minuscule role she has to play. I feel she is definitely that girl to watch out for in the coming days!!!!

The film seems to suddenly drop down the pace immediately after the interval but picks it up quickly to race to the end. The acting skills of Rukhsar still remains untapped, but I am sure we can definitely expect a “Naach” or “Rangeela” from the RGV stable exclusively made for her!! The use of Marathi words here and there is something which may not go down well with everybody and could have been done away with I guess.

But what has still left me confused is the naming convention followed here; “Vishnu” and “Shankar” as I said earlier. I feel Abhishek should have been named as “Vishnu” and Kay Kay as “Shankar”.

Overall, my opinion is that this is the best RGV package till date. Don’t compare this with “God father” or “Nayagan” (of Mani Ratnam). Both are in the league of their own. Just go ahead, watch the movie and feel satisfied!!!

~Narendra V Joshi

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The “weakening Kannada” problem.

The deterioration of Kannada language or maybe the gradual weakening of Kannada speaking population in Bangalore is probably the most discussed topic in all Kannadiga groups! Kannada movies are always at the receiving end in all the discussions, which I have come across. The vulgar lyrics and dialogues coupled with senseless stories have always been blamed for the apathy towards the Kannada movies which is said to be the root cause for this “weakening Kannada” problem.

I agree that movies influence a great deal in nurturing and growth of languages. I am using the word nurture here as I have not come across any new languages being “invented” of course except computer languages!! But I feel this definitely does not mean that without good movies a language cannot survive. Over the top of my head I can give a vague example to uphold this. Urdu has been considered a major untapped “media” language in India. Almost every major entertainment company is coming with an Urdu channel. Almost every channel has a slot for Urdu news. But I have not seen or heard any Urdu movies being made in recent times. This leads me to a new school of thought. Movies do not necessarily uphold a language. But yes, they definitely help in growth of a language. Take for example, two movies made in recent past. We had a Kannada blockbuster Aptamitra which created huge waves in Karnataka. I don’t know how it fared outside Karnataka. A similar movie was made in Tamil titled Chandramukhi. It goes without saying that this definitely has been one of the major blockbusters for this year. And as per papers, this has been a major hit outside India too. This leads me to think that it is the protagonists with their charm who strengthen or deteriorate a language assuming movies play a major part in sustaining a language. But we very well are aware of the movies of the same protagonists which have flopped and have vanished without a trace. So, this view too, might be incorrect.

Then what could be that “load bearing pillar” which holds and sustains a language? There are different views on this and I too have one of my own. I feel that Kannadigas are too open to anything new thrown at them or maybe we try to enact and appreciate any new found skills and sometimes forget our roots in the process. This is not the same case with people of our neighboring states in my opinion. A straight example is that whenever I have been to other states, rarely I have come across a person who guides to the address asked, in English or Hindi. They more often tend to reply in their own language. This is something wanting in Kannadigas. The Tamil film which I said earlier is running to full houses even in Bangalore. I don’t know if it is the same case with that Kannada film in other states which have kannadiga population.

I therefore feel that the bottom line however is to accept and appreciate all languages keeping in mind that we are Kannadigas and Kannada should be treated with high regard and it is our responsibility to uphold it. And yes, Kannada movies too have a great role to play!!

These are my own views. Comments are welcome!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Quarterly Project Party

After having spent a little more than 2 ½ years i.e. 10% of my current age in this project, life here has become very predictable and more so our quarterly project party. So when the party was announced I knew the unfolding procedural steps. Around the last week of the 2nd month in that quarter, a mail would be sent with options for the party. XYZ + Dinner. XYZ will be the usual suspects; Bowling or GoKarting or Resort or Movie. Among them resort had been the most hated yet most threaded option. We have covered most of the resorts on and around Hosur road. After much of discussions and deliberations we would have the party in the 2nd week of the 3rd month of the quarter.

We had been to a resort for the last project party, so this time it would obviously be something other than a resort. Of the remaining, bowling had been the hot favorite with movies and GoKarting following close. All this while I was unaware of the surprises in store!

The first surprise came in the form of an absence of the options mail. I think this is the first project party which concluded without a single mail being circulated!! Another first was floating of a new option; going for a trek!! The enthusiastic trio Kavyaji, Maneeshaji and Deepakji however, fortunately or unfortunately did not come up with a plan for the option to materialize!! Hemantji, Maheshji and I mooted for bowling while Chidambarji, Chetnaji and Anuradhaji were inclined for movie which lead us to the third surprise. Combining two options in one party!!

The D-Day finally arrived. People were in a party mood from the start of the day. Tickets were booked for Mr. & Mrs. Smith and bowling lane was also taken care of. A bigger surprise was in store ahead for us. Not even a single taxi was available that day to ferry us!! The reply from every travel agent was a negative. It seemed everybody in the company were partying that very day. Our resourceful Guruji entered the scene when every avenue seemed to have been emptied and got a quails booked for us!
It was 4:30 when we all got into the taxi and started. Hemantji and Deepakji occupied the front row with the driver. Anuradhaji, Kavyaji, Chetnaji and Maneeshaji occupied the middle row. I, Chidambarji, Maheshji and Guruji were dumped in the rear with me and Chidambarji precariously perched at the edge of the seat. We collected the tickets for the 8:30 show on our way to mega bowl. Bowling begin almost immediately we entered the place. “Heman”ji was the first to try luck followed by “Mahes”ji. Guruji and Chidambarji were blissfully trying to impress someone on the next lane!! I once also say them talking to the lady!! We ended the bowling event with Maheshji emerging as the winner with 114 points followed by NVJ with 111 points!!! Guruji and Chidambarji scored an all time high on chivalry points utilizing their multifaceted talents shedding their “projected” staid image!!!!! (Apologies, dear friends!!!!!)

The next stop was at a Andhra style Veg-Non veg restaurant in front of the theater. The surprising fact here is that except Deepakji rest all are vegetarians. The food was okay and we had to gulp it down fast as time was running out.

It was 8:35 when we dashed from the restaurant towards the cinema hall. The first five minutes had already gone by when we had occupied the seats. The movie was a refreshing fare, well made, the kind you would like to buy a DVD and watch everyday!!! Crisp script, hi-fi action laced with straight faced comedy coupled with as exciting as ever Angelina Jolie'ji' made this a superb entertainer!! I had been to Batman Begins on Saturday which was said to be a better package than this. But this movie definitely has its gripping moments worth watching ‘n’ times.

We were out of the theater at around 10:30. People were dropped off to their places with Chidambarji being the last to get down ending the twin option party.

The biggest surprise to me however was on Monday morning. These days we get messenger mails for every drop of a hat. But surprisingly there was not a single mail sent for revival of the tie after the 3 month relaxation period! I took the tie in my bag to play safe knowing there will be lot of people who would have come not wearing one!! However on entering the campus I was totally surprised. Every body had their ties on!!! I could not eye a single person without his tie!! Maybe people think of the company and its rules even on weekends and holidays. I too tied mine and walked towards the building thinking of any more surprises that lie in store!!!

~Narendra V Joshi'ji'

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Snakes, Mosquitoes and Now…..

“Snake Snake” a shrill voice shook me off my sleep on a May summer night. I looked around and saw my grandfather rushing to open the front door of our house. I was about 10 or 11 years old when this incident happened. The voice was a familiar one. It was of our tenant who stayed in the outhouse. I saw my father too rush towards the front door. The noise clearly indicated that people had already gathered outside. I stepped out of the bed and rushed towards the door when my mother stopped me. She warned me against stepping outside. My gallant words showcasing my bravery didn’t budge her a bit!! I was left with no other options but to watch the outside proceedings from the window. It was around 11:30 in the night. Most of our neighbors had gathered there. Our tenant it seems had come out for a stroll after his dinner when he saw a snake passing by which had lead to this commotion. Nobody there had any idea whether it was a poisonous or a non-poisonous one; but the mere presence of a snake is enough to scare most people to the core! The torch light search for the reptile proved futile and it was concluded that the snake might have escaped into the storm water drain. The air was thick with discussions about the deaths caused by snake bites, their characteristics, incidents of bravery, reasons for one to be seen today and even my grandfather having “Surpa Dosha”!!!
The acceptance however was that the reptile might have come from LalBagh which is opposite to our house i.e. it might have crossed the road and come to this side. One of our neighbor, a veteran and friend of my grandfather said it was not a rare occasion to see snakes moving around this side of the road until the government had constructed the huge stone wall around LalBagh (This might have happened somewhere in 1960s or 1970s)!! The commotion slowly died down and my people too came back locking the door behind.

Those were the days in Bangalore when snakes crossed the main road in search of (maybe) food!!! Our house is on R V Road which is one of the prime routes connecting central Bangalore to the south i.e. areas of Jayanagar and Banashankari. The road was very wide considering the humble traffic conditions of Bangalore in those days!

Though the construction of the huge wall around LalBagh and presence of scarce traffic had brought down the snake crossings, mosquitoes however terrorized unabated!! The standing water of the LalBagh Lake just across the wall provided the much needed succulent breeding ground for the larvae. The presence of easy prey like me (!!) on the other side of the road seemed to immensely help the mosquitoes! Fans and AC’s never were a necessity in Bangalore in those days but a mosquito coil was a must!! One other animal a bird rather, which seemed to be so omnipresent those days were the sparrows.

Those were the days when areas beyond Jayanagar 4th Block were considered outskirts of Bangalore! The extensions of Jayanagar and Banashankari were still in their infancy!! I always used to wonder at the need of having a road as wide as the one in front of our house!!!!

Years passed and slowly Jayanagar and Banashankari became the major residential areas of south Bangalore. Though I cannot really comment if a relation exists, the sightings of sparrows seemed to have followed a strict inverse relation to the growth of Bangalore. Their population seemed to have reduced as Bangalore grew and these days I have not seen a single sparrow near my place.

Surprisingly the numbers of mosquitoes too seem to have come down these days near my place!!! This in spite of the sewerage water sometimes getting mixed with the water in LalBagh Lake making it a heaven for the larvae!!!

The reason I feel is the increase in the vehicular movement on our road and not something like the newer generations of mosquitoes not being thought to cross the road!!! I should however accept that there are brave ones among them who still manage to cross the road but the number is fortunately less!!

Leave alone the mosquitoes; it has become very difficult for even people to cross the roads these days though the road width has remained unchanged, owing to the increased traffic. The same road which was once a cricket field for us now makes me wonder why at all such narrow roads are constructed!!!

The width of our road has remained the same, the wall around the LalBagh has remained the same and the lake still harbors the newer generations of mosquitoes. But it’s the snakes which first stopped crossing the road followed by the mosquitoes paving way to humans now!!!

~Narendra V Joshi


Monday, April 25, 2005

Thoughts - Man’s World


I have directly put down whatever came to my mind however stupid it is. I do not intend to hurt anybody’s feelings and I am no where responsible for any risks involved. I would like you, a self indulgent reader to use your utmost discretion in continuing any further after this disclaimer note.

Nature for me looks like a complicated assortment of living and non living things. The living world visible to naked eyes itself consists of many different varieties of plants and animals (including man). With a notoriously minimum risk taking attitude I would want to refrain from evolutionary or religious discussions involving questions like “Who created it?”, “How was it created?” etc.

What amuses me a lot is that each species has its own way of survival and continuation of its genera, which can be radically distinguishable from one another. The important characteristic like intelligence too varies between species with man taking the upper hand in this department. I have read a lot about species put to extinction for reasons which are still not conclusively known. For those few whose extinction is known the reason many times is attributed as man. I guess nature is responsible for extinction of the rest of the chunk.

One question which always bothers me is why at all nature made man, the most intelligent of all the species. It could have given just enough intelligence required for survival, as to it has done for other living beings. This way it could have had full fledged control over the “Button of Extinction”!! I say this because I somehow feel man too controls the Button of Extinction though very small maybe a negligible part of it.

If we find a cockroach escaping under a table or running around a corner we immediately spray one of those 100’s of cockroach killing sprays at all the corners of the house to find 10 or 15 of them lying on their back next morning. If not for the spray I think we will not even get a chance to know existence of the remaining hidden cockroaches. It is not only for cockroaches, that we do this. Think of all those animals we term as “Pests”. We show a similar attitude for them. I have seen and heard 100’s of ad’s of such species specific killer products. But I have never heard or seen such acts being labeled as “Man’s Fury”.

As I have put earlier I feel nature however controls the biggest part of the “Button of Extinction”. Earthquakes, volcanoes and the new addition for me Tsunami are some of the killer “sprays” which nature seems to use. These are not species specific but man seems to be its primary victim. So I feel man seems to come under natures “Pests List”!! This info that man is its primary victim again is my view formed from the info collected from media. We get exact number of humans killed or injured in any such events from the media. But strangely enough I have never seen cockroaches or elephants or any other animal casualty figures displayed in such an event, till now. I feel may be this is because we are in “Man’s World” and every other animal is insignificant. However I find such events being labeled “Nature’s Fury”!!

These labeling somehow seems to be a bit odd to me. When man kills, the pests are blamed and when nature kills, nature is blamed!!!! I attribute this to our existence in this “Man’s World”!!!!!!

I came across a hoarding which advertised for a Non-Vegetarian eatery. The ad had a well built and smiling chicken inviting for delicacies prepared from chicken (???!!!???) I don’t know whether to call this sarcasm or an irony. To put it bluntly; a happy chicken offering itself to water some taste buds. I think such ad’s seems to continue unabated for they are displayed in this “Man’s World”. But on the other hand even the slightest act of demeaning humans would be termed as “In Human” and will have “Human Rights Activists” trailing. All this, I feel is because this is after all “Man’s World”. Maybe in “Chicken’s world” it might be termed as “In Chicken” and “Chicken Rights Activists” might prowl, I don’t know!!!
Maybe, as man fights for man, a chicken should fight for chicken and a dog for another dog; who knows!!!!!!!

On the same lines I think if somebody wants to know the count of cockroaches or elephants killed in the Tsunami or an earthquake, they have to go to “Cockroach’s World” or “Elephant’s World” somewhere outside the “Man’s World” where we live!!

So I content myself with the thought that in “Man’s World”, man cannot blame man and in “Chicken’s World” a chicken cannot blame a chicken etc. But in all worlds “Pests” (To be used with utmost discretion depending on the world under consideration) and “Nature” are to be blamed for every negative!! Now suddenly “Nature’s Fury” seems to make more sense for me!! Thumbs up for this “Man’s World”!!!!

~Narendra V Joshi

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