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Monday, April 24, 2006

Indian Airlines shows spine

I travelled from Bangalore to Mumbai by Indian Airlines a couple of days ago. The flight was delayed by 15 minutes, and the passengers were getting restless. The flight was full, but still it wasnt taking off. People were badgering the air hostesses. Finally we realized what was holding up the flight when a foreigner hurried in and took his seat.

I got such a surprise when the head air hostess came up to this gentleman and gave him a smart dressing down for delaying the flight. She told him that everybody was already seated and he was the only one missing. They were looking for him all over, and he was simply not to be found. The gentleman in question had nothing to say in rebuttal.

I applaud IA for taking the trouble to wait for ONE passenger and only then leaving.
And I applaud the lady for having the guts to berate a passenger for being late, and a firang at that.

Friday, April 21, 2006

"Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain"

Came across this totally awesome post about the effects of negativism on one's brain. Its a well written post, and completely readable. The blog is called Creating Passionate Users by Kathy Sierra.

Its a long post, but well worth the time, and at the end you will be a wee bit wiser about Mirron Neurons, Emotional Contagion and Happy People. I loved the part about the happy people. Happy reading!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"I am Plural" and "Plural Monoculturalism"

I read a wonderful interview of Amartya Sen in the April 16th, 2006 edition of "The Week". His thoughts and ideas are amazingly lucid, and hard hitting. This interview is a must read, and, I believe, his new book "Identity and Violence:The illusion of Destiny" must be too.

He defines a new term, plural monoculturalism, as having two or more styles or traditions coexisting side by side, without the twain meeting at all. He goes on to give the example of Britain today as a loose federation of different cultures or different religions.

Listen to this:

You can have strong religious faith, without it being brought into politics, or you can have very weak religious faith, but make great sectarian politics out if it. They are two sides of the same coin. Jinnah may have drunk whisky and eaten pork, but he certainly was a great spokesman for the anti-secular politics of India at that time. Mahatma Gandhi was certain very religious, but at the same time, a staunch defender of a secular, non-separatist India. These are both examples which show that strong religiosity and strong use of religion in politics are not the same thing at all.

In fact, much used terms like "moderate Muslim" reflects complete confusion, because you are confusing their moderation in religious practice with moderation in political practice. A person can be a very devoted Muslim, but at the same time very liberal in politics. Abdul Kalam Azad is one of many such examples.

Be sure to pick up The Week and read the full interview. Unfortunately, I could not find this interview online.

500 crores as divident!

I plan to retire with 1 crore Rupees in the bank. Dont gasp. Its true. I believe it will be enough for me and my family to have a life of leasure with 1 crore. It will take me my entire life of slogging and saving and investing to have that much when I'm 45. And yes, I dreamily plan to retire at 45.

Yesterday I heard that Mr Premji got more than Rs 500 crores as divident from the shares he holds, and he earned it in a minute. The board decided to give out Rs 5 as divident payout per share and in a minute Premji was richer by Rs 500 crores.

Holy shit. And to think I wanted to retire with the princely sum of 1 crore in the bank. I cant believe my set my sights so low ;)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bangalore: the arsehole of the world.

Rajkumar, a star of Kannada film industry died yesterday of natural causes. Ok. Nothing extraordinary. People die everyday. He was not murdered, he did not commit suicide, he died of a heart attack. I'm sure he had a right to die. Poor bugger was old enough. But, ho! Listening to his "fans" on the telly I would imagine that he did Karnataka an injustice by dying. Wailing fans asking why did he have to die? Whatdfuck?

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from a friend who had heard the news and he was calling up everybody he knew to stay at home because he had heard about violence from some parts of the city.

And today, Bangalore has come to a standstill. Everything is closed. All shops, even in small neighbourhoods. Nobody except asshole "fans" of Rajkumar are roaming the street, burning tyres and damaging cars and buses and police jeeps. What kind of pathetic stupidity is this? I am sure none of us educated people can understand or condone such base herd mentality. It is beyond reason, or understanding. Way back in 2000 when Rajkumar was kidnapped, the same thing had happened.

What a complete waste of a day. Offices closed, shops closed. The Government has declared a 2 day holiday. Wah wah! What fun for the bastards who run this city. 2 days holiday and another 2 day weekend. Imagine the amount of public loss and damage, as well as loss of the Bangalore brand worldwide. All foreign news channels must be gleefully covering the state of affairs in Bangalore today, and cautioning people from visiting Bangalore. Like as if we are a small African dictatorship. Bah.