Category Archives: General

Moving Back to Complete Feed Yay!

As you folks read in the last post, that I decided to move to restricted feed. Firstly, I am reverting back to complete feeds and I am so thankful to all you folks and specially Pratik to help me make that decision. I am very happy about it because as I said I do believe that restricted feeds are an irritant to all the readers.

Firstly thanks a lot for all the support and views in comments and emails. I would like to clarify couple of things. I wouldn’t call what happened as an incidence of Plagiarism, as Pratik was giving a link back to the post and was appropriately mentioned in the shared section of the website which displayed the content he shared on his google reader. That was precisely the reason I think he was not at fault and I never spoke to him about the issue and decided to change the mechanism I publish my feed.

However, I am very grateful to Pratik that he not only removed all the shared posts from his website and also offered to change the mechanism in which the content of the site is delivered so as the completed content is not shared. He has done that in good faith without even me asking for it just to avoid the confusion and to ensure people who read my blog don’t face the irritant.

So I am reverting back to the complete feeds again as asked by many of you. At this point I would specially like to thank one of my readers (lets call him ‘A’ as he has not yet replied to my mail if I can disclose his name) who has come up with a very innovative solution for these kind of problems. What he suggests is to add a Unique footer in every post with due credit to my blog and direct links to my site. So even if in future someone shares my post using reader the ownership part is clarified.

So A I loved the idea, and to say my thanks anytime when you are in Bangalore (or any other city we are in at same time) the coffee and dinner is on me. And I am not sure what to write in this standard footer all the suggestions are welcome.

Moving to Restricted Feed

Now this is what I would say is putting foot in mouth, as I have always been a supporter of complete feed. The idea was why force the user to visit your site and specially that a lot of times some or the other sites are blocked in the offices the user should be able to read the post.

Now recently an event which made me thinking if I should reconsider my stand in the wake of latest technology and things which it has enabled. A few days back I got a pingback from the website of Pratik Patel. I went over to his website and I could see some of my posts on his site word by word. I was about to blast him and inform people that my blog was being plagiarized. It was then I noticed that my post was under the shared heading and there was small link saying that this was shared on the Google reader and there was a link to my blog.

So I was assured this was definitely not a case of Plagiarism but still the idea that people were reading my blog on some other site, without my permission and knowledge is a bit disturbing, specially given that people might comment on the site the post was shared and the opinion would never reach my ears. The fact that we share the same first name was not helpful either. Here is a link to one of the posts which was shared  on the site in case you want to see.

So I feel that I should move to restricted feeds like a lot of other bloggers do, this is something which I felt was an irritant but sometimes you got to choose your priority. What do you folks feel about this issue. Though for now I am going with a reduced feed (which is a knee-jerk reaction) but if convinced I am open to revert back to the complete feeds.

So come on people help me out here.

10 Day You Challenge- Day 6: 5 Foods

I am guilty of being a glutton when it comes to food and I must admit that it is indeed very tough for me to choose five foods out of so many things I actually like. Here are the top 5 foods I like-

1- Coffee– I simply love my cup of coffee, this is something I have proclaimed on this blog time and again. I cannot do without my cuppa coffee so undoubtedly in the food coffee goes in first.

2- Brownies– I love brownies and resisting to the temptations of a well made brownie is very very difficult for me .

3- Stuffed Paranthas– I have grown up on them and nothing fills you better than a steaming hot Aloo Parantha

4- Pasta– This is another dish which tops my list of foods, a pasta makes a perfect dinner.

5- Idly– The humble idly is under estimated by a lot of people but I must say that there is nothing more healthy and satisfying than a hot plate of idly served with chutneys and sambhar.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

10 Day You Challenge- Day 3: 8 Fears

So I am back with 8 fears I have; which is a bit tricky because I am not sure that I am actually afraid of that many things or people.

1- God– actually it is not God that I fear, but the fact that I believe that I have to face him after death and justify my actions and their purpose makes me afraid of doing something which I believe I won’t be able to justify to my lord.

2- Death– Though death is an ultimate reality which everyone has to face one day or the other, but the thought of losing my family & close ones to death is very scary.

3- Physical Incapacitation- I have always feared the prospect of taking care of myself physically because either being disabled due to an accident or old age. I have been pretty close to the first one when I met with an accident when I was 12 years old and met a major accident, and the doctor told me that had there been some more complications or injury they would have removed my left hand, the prospect of it though it never happened leaves jitters down my spine.

4- Fear of disappointing people who matter, I have done it before and that too more than once. There is nothing worse than letting down people who put their trust and faith on you and your abilities. I have been lucky to have been blessed with people who love me and put their trust on me and there is always a fear that even by mistake I shouldn’t let down that trust and faith.

5- Fear of Social Gatherings– I am not sure if I fear social gatherings or despise them. But the fact of the matter is if there is a plan to go to a social function I would always find an excuse to excuse myself.

6- Fear of snakes and other venomous animals

7- Fear of missing a flight or train– If I have a flight or a train for a journey, I am always afraid that I might miss the same. As a matter of fact there have been times I have not been able to sleep through the entire night just because I had to catch an early morning flight.

8- Fear of handling small babies– I get very psyched out and avoid holding very small babies. I have a great fear that I might hold the babies incorrectly or might drop them or hurt them. So I always ensure that if there is small baby around I do not hold him or her.

10 Day You Challenge- Day 2: 9 Loves


So day 2 of the 10 day you challenge is to post about 9 loves. Actually when I decided to do this challenge I thought it would be quite simple but as it seems now it wasn’t. I mean there are so many things one loves, and choosing 9 of them is indeed difficult.

1- My Parents, needless to say I am what I am because of them. And how much I love them cannot be described in words.

2- The Wifee since the time we got married ours have been a “give and take” relationship. She generally gives her piece of mind and I seem to be taking it most of the time. Now that I am taking all the pieces of mind (wondering what would happen when she wouldn’t be left with any) and storing them safely in my mind despite all the storage constraints in mine is only because I love her so much.

3- My Friends, now I couldn’t have survived without them. I am lucky to have a very close bunch of friends who I can depend on with my life. I am so thankful to lord, that my paths crossed the way they did and I could collect these pearls of friendship during the journey of my life.

4- My Car – There as in entire post dedicated to my first car. You can read about it here

5- My house– Again there is a post about it if you want to read it in detail here

6- My gadgets, I am a gadget lover I have an Ipod Touch, WII, PSP (recently gifted by Radio Indigo), Home Theatre, Canon Rebel T1i, and the list continues. All of the gadgets are something which I totally love and I can spend hours fiddling with them.

7- Coffee, now my love for coffee has been previous talked about on this blog and some other forums. I actually have a make shift coffee bar at home with an espresso machine, single origin coffees, flavors to enhance coffee and a collection of mugs.

8- My books, the readers of this blog would already know the amount of reading I do and I can assure you that I do not subscribe to a library or a rental service. So for the most part the books I read are purchased and I have a mini library at home. And as with all book lovers I am very possessive about my books.

9- My writing and this blog. All the stuff which I have written in this blog or in my books or outside it, I wrote them because I actually loved writing it. The writing is my way to express and unwind myself. I wouldn’t have been the person I am had it not been for my writing.

So these were the 9 people/things I love. Now on a different note, the narcissist I am it is very difficult not to love myself. So I love myself, for one simple reason I am effin’ awesome. Now those of you planning to debate that please look at the image below, by a “trusted website” who does a facial recognition and matches you to celebrities. I am 53% like George Clooney. So you know I AM AWESOME (readers are requested to conveniently ignore the fact that there is a 55% match with Omar Sharif). So I just need to lose these extra 20 kilos around my waist to become the female magnet what George Clooney is, right people?

10 Day You Challenge- Day 1: 10 Secrets


Preeti started doing this series of tags which is to posts interesting things about her. The idea seems interesting to be on the blog; so I start with 10 secrets (things which the readers of the blog won’t know) about myself-

1- I once disposed off my school test notebooks when I got terrible marks and later claimed to the teacher that the notebooks were stolen. (I was caught 3 months later when one of the neighbors whose empty house I had thrown away the notebooks came to inspect the house and duly returned the notebooks to my parents after spotting the name)

2- I have a sweet tooth; it is very difficult for me to resist something sweet. Some years back when my weight wasn’t a concern I would not even throw away the sweet syrup from the gulabjamuns and rashogollas but rather drink them or have them with bread or chapatti

3- On the same note, I can have almost everything vegetarian with bread, which includes things like chocolate, butter jam, fruits, sugar syrup, lentils, milk, cereals etc. I can eat bread for 7 days a week 3 times a day.

4- I have never been a sportsman or followed any sports religiously until I started working and started playing squash and following cricket, and tennis.

5- I wrote my first poem when I was in class fourth, my class teacher told to my parents that I am good in writing. Though I couldn’t figure out what one can do by writing poems. Thankfully I didn’t choose it as a career given the state of English poetry writers in India and sadly I don’t have a copy of the first poem I wrote.

6- The following sets are in my wish buy list for ages- Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert and Amar Chitra Katha.

7- I hate watching TV.

8- I created an Online game for my college fest which got some 1 million hits on the day of its launch. The entire experience of designing that game was so close to me that I still quote it as one of the most satisfying experience.

9- I have never touched a drop of liquor till date.

10- I hate people who do not take ownership and responsibility of their work.

MF Hussain And Freedom of Self Expression

So this renounced artist MF Hussain, who was a citizen of Qatar when he died yesterday. Though my heart prays for his soul to RIP, but I have never been a fan of him or supported him. To set a brief context, he is an Indian who supposedly had to leave India to escape from arrest which was due to some court cases against him. There was a lot of agitation and legal retaliation against him because he painted Hindu goddesses in nude and sexual manner.

This had time and again in our country created debates on freedom of expression. So before I discuss my views on freedom of speech and expression, I would also like to quote where legality stands on this particular issue does. So this is what our constitution says about Freedom of Speech & Expression-

 

(1) All citizens shall have the right—

(a) to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(c) to form associations or unions;

(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;

(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and

(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

(2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

So coming back to my point I respect our forefathers to include the freedom of speech and expression in our constitution; but my respect trebles on their foresight when I read the clause 2. Now coming back to case of MF Hussain, I see these areas where I think whatever happened to him weren’t totally unjustified.

 

Firstly if he painted some goddesses in a naked and sexual way his freedom of speech and expression was clearly shaky on the grounds of morality, decency and may be secularity too. When there were cases against him, he left the country, if one is convinced that whatever his expression was it was not indecent, immoral or affected the secularity of the state then he always had the option to fight the legal way out running out of the country is not an answer.

Secondly, he chose Qatar as the place where he would belong after separating from India; did he try and attempt to do an illustration which might have been a bit controversial for the people of Qatar. I am sure that would not be the case but instead he worked on the project under the ruling family glorifying the Arab history. Not that I have a problem with that but then my problem lies with the fact that between India & Qatar there is a drastic change in his idea of creative expression through art.

Now, coming back to a deeper question which a lot of people have been demanding, the creative freedom of expression should not be restricted by the rider in the clause (2) is where I have a huge problem. My entire argument in this regard is based on the premise of non discrimination and equality in the constitution would hold true. So when you waive off the rider for someone like MF Hussain to allow him to paint whatever he wants no matter how offending or immoral or indecent it may be, but he should be allowed to do as it is his form of creative expression. This is where my problem starts, now a good for nothing guy is standing on the corner of the crossroads and making lewd gestures to women passing by. Now he doesn’t say anything nor physically touches them. So technically he is performing an art form which can be a mime (or we can call it something else) which is offending, indecent & immoral to a lot of people (while it might be funny to some idiots standing around) but our constitution would allow it in the absence of the clause (2). I would accept a lot of arguments on this, but I would not accept an argument which is based on the premise that the laws of this Good-For-Nothing-Guy should be different from MF Hussain and I would not accept that Art & Paintings need to be given more rights than Mime (or whatever you want to call those lewd gestures technically).

He no doubt was one of the best painters India ever had but then he was a pathetic movie maker too (If I would have met him I would have asked my money back for GajaGamini).To conclude I would only say, my Hussain saab’s soul rest in peace. I have no issues with him or what he did; he paid a hefty price for it in his life time.It’s not an easy thing to live in self-imposed exile. I am sure the majority of the Indian population is gracious busy enough to forgive and forget him as they would soon forget the likes of A Raja & Kalmadi to elect them back in power then I guess the best painter of India deserved the “Saare Gile Shikwe Maaf” from us.

 

Rantings on Osama and Launch of a Friends Book

So my feed reader, newspaper, televisions, and both real and virtual discussions are all packed with the same event. The untimely death of Osama Bin Laden, untimely as it happened tad too late. So while the whole world is going gaga over it finding conspiracy theories if he is still alive, was he killed after being captured yada yada, I really feel how it makes a difference to my life. Though it does makes me feel like I am in the middle of a Jeffery Archer novel (not that I love being in one) but then the significant events happening over a time difference of 10 years do take the pace and steam out of the story.

However, the events and the way they unfolded were quite ironic, or rather laughable. So if I recount the series of events, there was a covert operation, which involved breaching the air space of an “important” ally and conducting a critical military operation right in the heart of a civilian area. Obviously this was done without informing the “ally” and was ordered by a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who incidentally also interfered in the local leadership of Egypt, bombed Libya, deployed additional troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, way to go for peace.

Coming back to the most wanted terrorist of the world, who was living in a million dollar mansion in one of the posh Abbotabad area at a stone’s throw of the military academy of the “ally”. This shouldn’t come as a surprise that this “ally” is also receiving critical 3 bn USD aid in terms of war planes and other military supplies to strengthen their military and intelligence agencies for war against terror. The minor fact that the mansion where Osama was living since past 5 years, is owned by the agencies funded by the same army and intelligence is not really relevant. I guess its high time Oxford dictionary needs to revamp their definition of peace and ally.

What is really funny is, that the same American government doesn’t wants India to follow their suit and take down people like Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed, who are openly living in Pakistan and appear on National television every other day. So to cut a long story short the message is while US can kill terrorists attacking their soil and India should act restraint against their terrorists and their ally. Not to mention our honorable government who is a step ahead of US and is currently singing melancholy of bilateral ties and discussion, I mean can’t you learn from 3 wars and effin 60 years of discussion dance?

Anyways as I said all this doesn’t make a difference to my life, I hope the truth of what happened that night would emerge to the world sooner or later.

One of my co-authors in Urban Shots has come up with his own book titled “The Lotus Queen”. The book is set up in Medieval Rajasthan and is a historical fiction based on the mysterious life of queen Padmini and the rather infamous siege of Chittor. So if the genre is your type do give it a try.

Authorized to Authorize

I started checking my google reader as soon as I opened my laptop, generally the rest of the routine goes like this, there would be WTF sort of news item sitting right there on my one of the news feed and I would tweet about it. Couple of RTs and if I am lucky one of the biggies of twitter would reply back and the day starts at a perfect note. Something was wrong today, I opened my reader skim read through the various news feeds out of the 632 unread news items there wasn’t a single WTF news. I was wondering since morning what has the world come to, would my day be ruined in this fashion. Is our political class have gone so bankrupt that they cannot produce one WTF statement a day? What has happened to Mulayam, Mayavati, and mani Shankar Aiyer’s of the Indian Politics, how can they be so silent over the fall of the Indian politics?

However, the relief came only towards the afternoon and from our honorable Prime Minister himself. Finally, yours truly got the WTF line to tweet about. So finally the Cash For Votes Scam which has shot to limelight after the Wikileaks published the cable and mentioned Capt. Satish Sharma and Nachiket Kapur showed US embassy officials chests of cash for buying MPs. And as usual there was a lot of protest and chaos over the entire thing. Though we should not forget the people who were protesting were the same people who were offered the cash and they didn’t think it was appropriate to protest unless Wikileaks brought the whole thing in open. Sorry I digress, coming back to our Honorable PM shri MMSji has issued a statement whose crux in a single line would be “I did not authorize anyone to purchase votes” for uninitiated you may read the complete news article here.

Now coming back to the statement of our beloved PM, Sir we understand the inflated ego and I am “the” Prime Minister of India bit. But then one shouldn’t press the luck too far, I mean everyone in the country can swear you didn’t authorize it. That’s like the most obvious statement on the face of the earth. What reflects in your statement are two obvious facts, one that the purchasing of votes happened. Now, we all know that we saw the bundles in the parliament being shown across the world on television and to add credibility to it is wikileaks. Now coming back to the second obvious part of your statement, You didn’t authorize this purchase of votes. Now my dear sir since when did you ever had the power to authorize anything in this country. I mean I am the PM bit, we all know is a good joke till the Rahul Baba becomes old enough. To start with you weren’t authorized to authorize as mildly putting it. Given your statements in the past that you are not responsible for the CWG and 2G obviously you didn’t authorize those either. I mean I can totally see you telling Raja “Go boy fly your wings across the spectrum” and to Kalmadi was told “Go boy for CWG which is Congress Wealth Generation.”

So coming back to your statement, I would seriously like to know, “Who authorize you to give such a BS statement.” Come on Sir, better advices are readily available at 10 Janpath, that too pre-authorized. Make hay while sun shines J