Kays Brainwave

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thoughts lined up like ants, of ants

I love watching the ants or for that matter any small insect which goes crawling on the floor. My favourites are the ants. When ever I see the ants walking in a line I feel as if they are all singing 'Ants go marching one by one' song.

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two,
The little one stops to tie his shoe
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

And the song goes on till ten.

If your not able to see the video, try here.

Some times I get inspiration from ants, seeing the amout of hard work they do during summer to enjoy life during winter or rainy days. I used to wonder how the ants are able to carry big food pieces, but later I came to know that an ant can carry about 20 times of their own body weight. The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days. So they wont be alive during winter to eat the food that they stored during summer.
During my childhood whenever I used to see the ants, I used to feel, what if we humans are also being watched by some gigantic living being like how we humans watch the ants. I used to think what those gigantic beings would think looking at the way we humans move around, without any pattern unlike the ants. Imagine a world where we are tiny creatures and suddenly a big fat leg, comes and lands and crushes a few of us. Terrible is'nt it? Well that's how it might be for an ant. Because of all these thoughts, I always used to avoid running over an ant. Whenever I do that, I feel so happy that I did'nt kill an ant.
Sometimes I do get furious on ants, especially during summer, I don't know from where they come but it's always my bed that gets infested with ants and most of the mornings during summer I end up waking up with a swollen eye. Of all places why my eyes??? It's a pain to answer everyone why my eyes are swollen.
There are a couple of ant based animation movies in the recent years. I feel kind of excited about these movies as they are something on the same line of thoughts which I used to have in my childhood. One such movie is Antz. The movies is about a worker ant who accidently goes as soldier during a war with the termites. Another movie that got released today is 'The Ant Bully'. I will surely be seeing this movie, because this is very close to the thoughts that I had in my early years, the story is about a boy who gets shrunk to the size of an ant and lives a life like an ant. May be I should venture taking an animation movie sometime in future.

Hope I watch this movie this weekend. Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

True Heros

One of the first war that I have seen happening in my life time is the Kargil war. This was India's fifth war against Pakistan since the two countries Independence. This was the first ground war between the two nations. The war started during May 1999 and lasted till July 1999. India lost close to 600 brave soldiers during the Kargil conflict.
The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into the Indian side of the Line of Control, which serves as the de facto border between the two nations. Initially Pakistan blamed the fighting entirely on independent Kashmiri insurgents but later the documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistan's Prime Minister and Army Chief made it clear about the involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces. The Indian Army, supported by the air force, attacked the Pakistani positions and, with international diplomatic support, eventually forced a Pakistani withdrawal across the Line of Control (LoC).
There were three major phases to the Kargil War. First, Pakistan captured several strategic high points in the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir. India responded by first capturing strategic transportation routes, then militarily pushing Pakistani forces back across the Line of Control.
The area which witnessed the infiltration and fighting is a 160 km long stretch on the border of the LOC, overlooking a vital highway on the Indian side of Kashmir. Apart from the district capital, Kargil, the frontline in the conflict encompassed the tiny town of Drass as well as the Batalik sector, Mushko Valley and other nearby areas along the de facto border. The military outposts on these ridges were generally around 5,000 metres (16,000 feet) high, with a few ones as high as 5,600 metres (18,000 feet). One of the main reasons why Kargil was specifically targeted for incursions was its terrain lent itself to a pre-emptive seizure. With tactically vital features and well-prepared defensive posts atop the peaks, it provided an ideal high ground for a defender akin to a fortress. Any attack to dislodge the enemy and reclaim high ground in a mountain warfare would require a far higher ratio of attackers to defenders, which is further exacerbated by the high altitude and freezing temperatures. Additionally, Kargil was just 173 km (108 mi) from the Pakistan town of Skardu, which was capable of providing logistical and artillery support to the Pakistani combatants. All these tactical reasons, plus the Kargil district being a Muslim majority, were probably contributing factors to why Kargil was chosen as the location to attack.
Amazing thing is that the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif claims that he was totally ignorant about the preparation of intrusion and came to know about it only when he received a urgent phone call from his Indian counterpart, Atal Bihari Vajpayee informing about the situation.
In some vital points, neither artillery nor air power could dislodge the outposts manned by the Pakistan soldiers, who were out of visible range. The Indian Army mounted some direct frontal ground assaults which were slow and took a heavy toll given the steep ascent that had to be made on peaks as high as 18,000 feet. Since any daylight attack was suicidal, all the advances had to be made under the cover of darkness, escalating the risk of freezing. Accounting for the wind chill factor, the temperatures were often as low as 11 to 15 degree celcius near the mountain tops. Based on military tactics, much of the costly frontal assaults by the Indians could have been avoided if the Indian Military had chosen to blockade the supply route of the opposing force, virtually creating a siege. Such a move would have involved the Indian troops crossing the LOC as well as initiating aerial attacks on Pakistan soil, a manoeuvre India was not willing to exercise fearing an escalation of the theatre of war and reducing international support for its cause.
As the Indian counter-attacks picked up momentum, Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif flew to meet U.S. president Bill Clinton on July 4 to obtain support from the U.S. Clinton rebuked Sharif, however, and asked him to use his contacts to rein in the militants and withdraw Pakistani soldiers from Indian territory. On the other hand, he applauded Indian restraint for not crossing the LoC and escalating the conflict into an all-out war. The other G8 nations, too, supported India and condemned the Pakistani violation of the LoC at the Cologne summit. The European Union was also opposed to the violation of LOC.
During one of my train journeys from Chennai to Bangalore I happened to meet two ex-servicemen of the Indian Army. The conversation started with one person telling me that I have good height and I should be joining the army instead of the usual software techie job. Later while talking to them I realized that I was talking to a soldier who fought in the Sino-Indian war in 1962 and the other person was from one of the batallion that fought in the Kargil war to capture Tiger hills. They were telling me about their experiences in the war and how different and pride full it was to serve the country. This interaction lasted only for about 6 hours but it had an impact for many days and months on me. I always have a feeling that I am not serving my country, I get disgusted at myself many times thinking I am useless to my country.
I thought I will write a post on Kargil war today because today, July 26 is Vijay Diwas, the seventh anniversary of the Kargil war. I dedicate this post to all the soldiers who fought/are fighting bravely inorder to give us all a safe, secure and worry free India to live. Jai Hind.

(Sources: NDTV, Wikipedia)


Sunday, July 23, 2006

India Shining or India Floating?

The amount of alcohol consumption has been increasing steadily in India. Thanks to the IT boom in India, many more people in India are open for a drink. Earlier it used to be considered as a taboo, if a person has alcohol. But post globalization the contemporary Indians have broken out of the shell to have liberal views regarding alcohol intake.
The significance of alcohol is class specific, for the elite group its more a prestige issue, for middle class it represent modernity and sophistication, whereas for the people in the lower strata of the society its the antidote to forget the bitter thoughts of social and economic deprivations.
Studies in 2002 revealed that about 20 percent of Indian people consume alcohol and in the past two decades, the number of drinkers has increased from one in 300 to one in 20.
As per another survey, a large majority-62 percent-of drinkers in India can be classified as light drinkers (i.e. social drinkers), 29 percent as moderate drinkers, and only about 9 percent as hard drinkers. Alcohol use appears to be higher among people 20-39 years of age.
Given serious health implications as well as negative religious connotations of alcohol use, prohibition has long been a rallying point for Indian politicians and social reformers. Mahatma Gandhi insisted on prohibition across the country, and the Indian Constitution and five-year plan programmes instituted this policy. In fact, the declaration in Article 47 of the Indian Constitution notes that "States shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks except for medicinal purposes."
The revenue issues surrounding prohibition were glossed over initially; but the lure of lucre from liquor has proven to be irresistible. Liquor is a major source of income to the Indian government, and over time, commitment to prohibition as a cause h as dwindled. Now, all Indian states except Gujarat have lifted prohibition laws. However, concerns persist that the lifting of prohibition leads to increased production and availability of liquor and that this permissive access contributes to more crime , alcohol-related health problems, road accidents, loss of much needed income due to expenditures on alcohol and reduced productivity and life expectancy.

Following is an interesting news that I came to know while researching about this topic. I never knew that India has law against drunken driving as I have never heard of any incidence where the police has caught someone for drunken driving.
The Indian Motor Vehicles Act specifies a blood alcohol cut-off of 30mg.% for drivers, which is arguably one of the strictest in the world. Yet, a recent study in Bangalore city across a calendar month, found 40% of drivers were over the legal limit.

I also checked some matrimonial sites to see how many people are ok with their future spouse consuming alchol, almost 75% of the people are fine with their expected spouse consuming alcohol.
There has been a significant lowering of age at initiation of drinking. Data from Karnataka showed a drop from a mean of 28 years to 20 years. The largest expansion is seen in southern India, which has been driving most of this economic growth. It is visibly focused on the nontraditional segment of urban women and young people, with a noticeable upward shift in rates of drinking among urban middle and upper socioeconomic sections.

Whom do we blame for this trend, Globalization or Modernization?

(Sources: CECHE, The Globe)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Handling Love before marriage, after marriage

This is one such topic that came up during our usual yapping while having lunch. It all started when one of my friend told about one of his colleague (lets call him X). X's story is as follows.
X was in US on a project, while his parents had fixed up his marriage back in India. The engagement was done and there was about 3 months between the engagement and the marriage. So during that 3 months X and his fiance used to talk over the phone and chat online everyday. All this continued for 2.5 months. Meanwhile X had made arrangement to go back to India for his marriage and reached India 2 weeks earlier to his marriage. With one week to go for the marriage, when X was talking to his fiance, he got a shock of his life. X's fiance wanted X to tell her parents that he does not like her. Itseems X's fiance was in love with another person and her parents forced her to go for the marriage and she could not oppose them so gave in and agreed for the marriage. Now she was not able to accept her marriage with X when she loved someone else. X told her to deal with her parents on her own rather than he lying to them and so the marraige was stopped a week ahead of the marriage date.
In this case what X's fiance did was wrong, she should not have agreed for the marraige in the first place, atleast she should have told X long before rather than breaking the news a week before the marriage. The girl's parents were also on the wrong side, they should'nt have forced their girl into a marriage, that she's not interested.
With this story as a prelude, we were caught up in a discussion, if a girl/guy loves someone and is made to marry someone else, should she/he tell her/his spouse about it? If yes, when should she/he be telling her/his spouse about it? Immediately after marriage or after some time. And same questions when the situation is twisted with the couple(lovers) having had pre-marital sex?
According to me, its the fear of marraige break that hinders one from telling about their past love to their spouse. How should such situations be handled? Is it right for the spouse to break the marriage or should they move on in life leaving the past behind?
I am sure the occurance of the above situation is no more in rarity in our society. So its not something that can be ignored for convenience. So what do you think is an ideal solution other than head butting like Zizou.


Monday, July 17, 2006

New way to solve problems

A new way to solve any kind of problem has been found. Please take a look at the following video to educate yourself on how to solve problems using this new methodology. The video also has a footage on ways to solve the problem discussed in our previous post(eve-teasing) too.
With all due respects to my master who found this incredible universal solution for all problems, I here by invite you to watch the following video.

If you are unable to see the above video, try here.

If you are wondering what's all this about, then watch the following video. The footage in the following video happened during the finals between France and Italy in FIFA World Cup 2006.

If you are unable to see the above video, try here.

PS: Well this post makes me nostalgic about my childhood days. When I was about 3-4 yrs old I had a peculiar way of expressing my anger or frustration. Whenever I used to get angry or frustrated, I used to bang my head against some strong wall. Trust me, strong I mean strong, I never used to bang my head on hollow surfaces, most of the time I use to choose some pillar or concrete surface. I had this habit for quite some time. Feels great that Zidane and I share some common habits of expressing anger and frustration.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gender Segregation

I am thinking if gender segregation is really required in India. I feel that only when the people are abstained from getting something they yearn for it. More the demand more precious its going to be (as per Demand-Supply economics). Thinking in this angle, I am wondering if gender segregation is also a primary cause for high occurance of eve teasing in India. An interesting article (Dated: Tuesday, Apr 13, 2004) on Hindu has quoted as follows
An interesting fact needs to be mentioned here. If one types 'eve-teasing' in any internet search engine, you would be surprised that page after page of results are almost entirely Indian web pages. Maybe, other countries refer to this more subtly under 'sexual harassment,' but a cursory survey among frequent travellers to other countries confirms that `eve-teasing' in its form of hooting-ogling-loud commenting-whistling, etc., does tend to be more prevalent in India. Not something to be proud about.

The following is the warning given by the US government to all citizens who travel to India.
Violent crime, especially directed against foreigners, has traditionally been at relatively low levels, although in recent years there has been an apparent increase in violent attacks directed against foreign tourists, including robbery, murder, and sexual assault. These attacks have mainly been directed at women traveling alone, but men have also been victimized. U.S. citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India. So-called “Eve Teasing” or verbal and sometimes physical harassment of Indian women is not unusual. There have been more reports in the past year of foreign women being harassed in this manner.

If from young age a boy and girl move freely with out any segregation in Bus, School, College, etc. a girl will appear as just another human being to a boy (Anything in abundance looses its value) and vice versa . Once every guy and girl gets that feeling of equality I think eve tesing and adam teasing will all come to an end.
So I think the society has a big role in solving the problem of eve teasing.
BTW, does gender segregation help in anyway? I am not able to think of anything other than a girl's parent feeling more secure.

(Sources: The Hindu, US Department of State)


Monday, July 10, 2006

India bans lentils export till March 2007

Due to the shortage of lentils in India, India has decided to ban export of lentils to other countries. This decision was taken by the Indian government to control the prices at India.
Due to this ban shops at Bay Area have started restricting the amount of Dal that each person can buy.

In a cluttered Aisle 5 at Bharat Bazar in the Irvington district, 36 printouts are posted on shelves, serving notice to customers purchasing lentils.
The notices state that "all dal prices have increased" and inform customers that "the price on bag is not valid." Others set a limit of two dals (bags) per person and declare that the store will not accept returns or provide refunds for lentil purchases.

The pulses that are covered under the ban are chickpea, dried leguminous vegetables, including shelled ones, peas, black matpe (urad), arhar (pigeon pea), small red beans, broad beans, red kidney beans and split beans.

Before this recent surge, 10 pounds bag of lentils costed around $5.99, whereas now the cost for a 2 pounds bag of lentils is around $4.99.

(Sources: ChicoER, Hindu BusinessLine)


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is Anger the success formula?

Is being an angry person boon or bane? I feel strongly that a angry people get things done more easily and exactly the way they want it. Whereas a soft spoken courteous person has to have a big struggle to get things done the way he wants. Is it not good to be a gentle person?
I generally try to keep myself cool and hardly loose my temper, but I have never found it advantageous anytime, I have always found it to be a big disadvantage. People seldome listen to what I say or the idea's that I have. It's always me who's got to adjust to other's.
Whereas if I was person who gets angry at a drop of a pin, I would get everything I want and people will very helpful. Life becomes so easy.
Is it wrong to be courteous, respecting others opinion and being cool?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mez tagged for the first time!

I have seen a lot of people getting tag, I enjoyed reading everyone's tag. Well now its my turn to be tagged. Thanks to Prithz for tagging me.
Desired Celebrity:
I don't think that the person in the picture does need any introduction. Though I am not a big fan of her as an actress, she was the only one whom I could think of as "desired celebrity". I like a lot of male celebrities but I can't put them as desired celebrities as it would mean different. Wish I was as lucky as Abhishek Bachchan :)

Want To Do This Someday:
Well this is surely a long list and its a ever updating list. To name a few its as follows:
1. Bungee jumping
2. para sailing
3. Gliding
4. Sky diving
5. Base jumping
6. Scuba diving
7. Driving a F1 car
Once upon a time watching F1 was in this list, but that desire has got satisfied. I got the oppurtunity to watch my Thalaivar Schumacher twice at US grand prix.

A Place I Would Want To Visit:
This again is an ever growing list. I love travelling, which can be understood by taking a peep at my travel blog. Certain places which I want to visit but yet to go are:
1. Las Vegas
2. Taj Mahal
3. Andaman & Nicobar Islandas
4. Maldives

Random Favourites:
Ferrari and Harley Davidson


I was tagged by:
As told in the start of this post, its none other than Prithz who tagged me. Prithz lives her ecstacy again through her blog. Check her blog by clicking on the image below.

Though I would be tagging a few of you, I would like anyone who is interested in tagging to tag yourself.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Indian Tech support on Conan O'Brien show

Well in one of my earlier post, we saw an article on Time magazine on how India is becoming famous for the back office work. Most of the American TV channels are making a program on India becoming the World's back office. First it was ABC which made a report on India on how IT, Tech support and back office is becoming big in India. Recently in Conan O'Brien show on NBC, there was a really funny report on Tech support from India. Take a look at the video below. Its really very funny.

If you are not able to view the video here, then try here.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Day of upsets

Today seems to be a day of upsets. First it was Andre Agassi who walked out of Wimbledon. Agassi lost to Rafael Nadal of Spain in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, 6-4. Agassi showed his emotions while from the center court of Wimbledon where he won his first Grand Slam event back in 1992. Well this was not exactly an upset as Agassi is quite old.
Later England lost to Portugal in the world cup quarterfinals. Portugal won 3-1 against England in the penalties. Neither of the teams scored any goals during the 120 minutes of the game. But later Portugal scored 3-1 in the penalty kick to secure their place in the semi finals.
Then it was the turn of Venus Williams to exit from Wimbledon. She lost to Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (10-8), 4-6, 6-4.
Later in the afternoon Brazil to go back home empty handed from the Soccer world cup 2006. France beat Brazil in the Quarter finals 1-0. It was nice match to watch. France had the whole game in control, with Zidane steering France to victory. Ronaldo was not as fast as he was earlier.
Back to Wimbledon, US's favourite Andy Roddick was sent back home by a 19 yr old Scottish player Andy Murray. Murray showed Roddick that power is not the only thing that can win matches for a player. Murray played some teriffic placements from baseline during the game. Murray beat Roddick in stunning three sets 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 6-4.

Well But it was wonderful display of sports today though the results were all upsets.

(Pic Courtesy - Wimbeldon)