Wednesday 24 December 2008

Kasab’s right and lawyers’ wrong!

Any accused has the right to be defended by a lawyer – so says our Constitution and everyone knows that. So Kasab the terrorist also has this right because he is an accused now and can be convicted only by a court of law, though every one knows that he’s one among those who unleashed terror on us. In that case, why are there so much discussions and arguments on if Kasab is entitled to legal help? There are those who want the law to take its due course and those who want Kasab to be punished without giving a chance to present his case. I, personally, would like to see Kasab tortured forever, to make him taste at least a part of the suffering, grief, distress, and loss he caused by his terrorist activities. Nevertheless, as a law-abiding citizen, I know Kasab should be given a proper trial and then convicted, if proven guilty.

I can understand the public outrage and they are entitled to that. But what’s with the lawyers? Bar Council of Mumbai has passed a resolution asking its members not to defend Kasab. Karan Thapar, a well-known TV journalist and newspaper columnist, in his weekly column “Sunday Sentiments” in the Hindustan Times dated 21 December, 2008, has presented in simple words why Kasab should be given a fair trial and a defense lawyer.

Ram Jethmalani, the criminal lawyer who specializes in taking up controversial defense cases, has explained the same in legal terms in his article in the Tehelka dated 27 December, 2008.

After giving relevant examples and all the necessary Articles in the Constitution in support f his argument, Jethmalani has made a point similar to the one I had in my mind all along:

“So Kasav has a right under the Constitution of India to be defended by a lawyer of his choice. If he cannot afford one, he or his High Commission may request the courts to give him one.

But the point still remains what will the lawyer do? I do not wish to discuss the merits of Kasav’s case, because normally my comments would cause him prejudice. But this is an exceptional case in which they probably would not. It does not seem to me possible for any lawyer, or even a combination of lawyers, to seriously dispute that he committed the atrocious act he is reported to have indulged in. It is a classic case of an accused being caught in flagrante delicto. The arguable question will be one of sentence, namely the choice between death and life imprisonment.”

That’s why I can understand the public outrage, but not the lawyers’. They should be able to think in the lines of Jethmalani that Kasab is entitled to legal aid, but a defense lawyer has little to defend in this case.

Then why do they behave like this? Do they ever hesitate to defend a murder/rape accused, even if he/she was caught red-handed and however brutal the crime involved was? After taking exorbitant fees, these people defend such accused and get them acquitted in many cases. Week charge sheets, distorted evidence, twisted laws, bought-out witnesses – with the aid of all these they help criminals to walk scot-free. The lawyers for sure know how our legal system works and they are worried that Kasab also could use the loopholes of the system and escape with the help of a good lawyer. That’s the reason for their irrational behaviour, nothing else.

And about the lawyers who came forward to defend Kasab, including those who backed out … Did Kasab or anyone else request their services? What prompted them to do so? Controversy and the resultant fame?

It now fails to surprise me that people find selfish opportunities in any event, and sugar-coat it as patriotism, humanity, and such virtues, which they fail to practice in day-to-day life.

Friday 19 December 2008

Past pleasant; Present perfect; Future ?

I am a true believer of the saying ‘Better late than never.’ That’s why I am doing this tag by The Layman, albeit it’s too late. I have many an excuse for postponing it this long – work, travel, social commitments, lack of interest in blogging, etc – but to be honest, I postponed it because it was not easy. :-)

So here’s my attempt at answering two questions each from my past, present, and future.


Yesterday

My oldest memories

I vividly remember …

  • Playing at my mother’s office in the evenings
  • Collecting jasmine flowers from an affectionate neighbour’s garden
  • Going to nursery school with my neighbour-friend-classmate escorted by an elder neighbour
  • The extremely nice nursery teacher taking me to her house during lunch break, and I for some reason, giving her a tough time by crying and demanding to go back. I guess I was sacred by her father who looked tough.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

On Dec 12, 1998? You expect me to remember that?

It’s true that I’ve a good memory, but this is too much ... :-)


Today

My first thought today morning

6 O’ clock. Ding dong (calling bell)

I woke up with a start. Did Unny come so early?

(Background: Unny was to take 7.30 flight from Delhi)

I for a moment thought he wanted to give me surprise and told me a different flight time. Immediately realized he’s not that crazy to take an early morning flight from Delhi (if one’s there), that too in December. It was the newspaperboy who rang the bell. He was too busy to push the papers through the grill, instead dropped it outside and rang the bell to let me know. :-)

If you build a time capsule what would it contain?
Same things that I carry for a trek/travel …

As much as food that it would contain, first-aid kit, survival kit, clothes

Things like maps, guides will be handled by my better-half.


Tomorrow

This year

This year is almost ‘last year’. So let me consider 2009. Hope to do what I postponed in 2008. That means 2008 New Year resolutions still remain strong as resolutions, which can be carried forward.

What do I see myself doing 14 years from now?

2022 – Farming, running a home stay, traveling

Or living in a city and doing the best I could do within the limitations

Whichever it is, I hope I’ll be enjoying life as I do now. :-)

Wednesday 26 November 2008

First vada pav, then kanda poha; Next is what?

The Shiv Sena is going to launch Shiv brand of vada pav, a common snack in Maharashtra. This is supposedly aimed at countering the sons-of-the-soil campaign by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Very funny, I feel. A panel of 3 chefs will select the best recipe for the brand from 27 vada pav vendors. The launch is planned on January 23, 2009, Bal Thackeray’s birthday.

So what did the Congress do? They decided to promote the ‘cause’ of ‘kanda poha’ (a breakfast dish made of rice flakes and onions. The Congress claims kanda poha is truly Maharashtrian as the rice and onions come from Maharashtra’s farms, whereas the ingredients of vada pav – potatoes and gramflour – come from UP and Bihar. Kanda poha festival will be taking palace in the next fortnight, where various kanda poha specialists will display their culinary skills.



The Shiv Sena considers Congress’s move as a political gimmick. What about theirs? Oh! I forgot. Shiv vada pav will provide jobs for Marathi manoos!

I personally support Congress as kanda poha is healthier than vada pav, though I eat both when I travel. Uddhav Thackeray reportedly not tasting vada pav at the recently held ‘vada pav sammelan’ might be because it’s not healthy. A wild guess! But, I must admit that when one is time-starved, it’s the best choice to grab and eat on the way. A typical Mumbai scene this is!

Now, what will the MNS support? Hindustan Times guesses it to be missal pav. It also suggests the NCP to support kanda bhajjiya, the Samajwadi Party to go after ussal pav, the Republican Party of India to take up bhel’s cause, and the BJP to embrace sev puri.

Hilarious! Isn’t it so?

All these made me think what would Kerala’s political parties support, in a similar fashion. Which party will support porotta? It’s like vada pav. Not healthy. Unlike Maharashtra, Kerala need more options as we have more parties. We can’t make our claims on idli and dosa. We have puttu, palappam, vellayappam, idiyappam, kappa, etc. But we need to ascertain their lineage first. I remember reading somewhere that puttu, palappam, and idiyappam have Sri Lankan origins. If this is true, we’ve only vellayappam and kappa to choose from. Or should we include unniyappam, pazhampori, sukhiyan, avalosunda, churuttu, kuzhalappam, etc? J

On a serious note…

Just now heard the news on Mumbai blasts and shootings. Will these politicians do something productive to prevent such terrible incidents? Terrorists do not consider whether the victims are sons-of-the-soil or not.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Snake charmer

Recession monster is here. Jobs are getting cut left, right, and centre. It’s good to update skills and learn new ones. See my choice …







Monday 24 November 2008

Too lazy to be an addict …

When Dhanya tagged me to do this post on Addictions, I thought it’s too easy. But it’s not! When I started thinking about my addictions, I realized I am too lazy to be an addict. Nevertheless, there are passing crazes. Maybe one can call it short-term addictions (an oxymoron, right?). There are quite a few of them. I keep shifting from one craze to another. The trigger comes out of no where, and it can last for a day or two, or a few weeks. Not more than that.

So this should be good for me. But when I am addicted to something, I postpone many other things – even the routine work. I’ll find a way not to do them. For instance, buying vegetables – a quick look at the stock of pulses, potatoes, and onions, and the problem is solved; vegetables can wait for one more day.

When I am crazy about blogging, there’ll be regular posts on my blogs. I’ll be gleefully checking various aggregators and bookmarked blogs, dropping my precious (?) comments all over. But all these seem so unappealing sometimes. And some blogger friends have to tag me to keep my blog alive!

If I get bitten by bookworm, I devour all unread books that had got piled up (when I was drowned in other crazes). Then it's time for more book shopping. And there are days when even the newspaper remains unopened (if Unny’s not at home)

When cooking catches my fancy, out come the old recipe books. A cookery show on TV could trigger this. It’s fun to shop for new ingredients, try out new recipes, re-work recipes to suit my taste, and such. My latest contribution to cookery world is an energy bar made of oats, jaggery, dates, raisins, cashew nuts, and almonds. I'll be taking it for the next trek.

Another TV show or getting a fancy box/paper/bottle could lead to a bout of craft-making, especially from waste. I’ll be at my creative best then!

Talking about TV, while on most days it remains switched off or only tuned to news channels, on some days I lap up any remotely interesting program on those ‘n’ number of channels. Braving the long ad breaks, I’ve watched many a Hindi/English movie during these crazy phases.

All these crazes had taken leave of absence while I was working full-time. But not reading! I used to carry books to read during lunch breaks in office! Now that I am at home full-time, they have slowly started raising their heads.

The latest one is sewing - from which I took a break (with a lot of effort) and writing this post. It’s time to brush up my sewing skills and create great outfits. The old notebook and patterns were hunted out; sewing machine got a thorough overhaul. The patterns were those of the 1990s. Reverse engineering helped – unstitch old clothes, take measurements, cut out new patterns. Old bed sheets got furiously converted into tops, salwar-kameezes, and capris. Learning from mistakes, I perfected the patterns, and tried my skills on a new cloth. And wore the result recently for a wedding reception. Alas! Friends were impressed.

Excited and inspired, I will be sewing new outfits for ‘God knows how long’! :-)

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Recruiter hounds

After quitting my job a few months back, I posted my resume in the job portals. I clearly mentioned that I was looking for part-time/freelance/work-from-home opportunities. And as required, my experience, expertise, and stuff like that.

Since then I’ve been getting umpteen e-mails, phone calls, and SMSs mostly from recruitment agencies and a few directly from companies, for a variety of jobs – fitness consultant, insurance advisor, ‘male’ sales engineer, packaging designer, field sales executive, receptionist, personal assistant, SAP professional, financial analyst, customer service executive, event manager, and what not! I am also contacted for quite a few openings that match my profile, but mostly full-time jobs. When I tell them that I don’t intend to take up full-time job now, invariably the next question is, “Why?” Do I need to explain it to them?

There was this lady from a recruitment agency in Bangalore who called me many times for the post of Supervisory Analyst (SA) at Deutsche Bank. I tried to explain that I was not qualified for the job. She argued back saying the job profile for SA had ‘editing equity research reports’, which was there in my profile as well. The similarity ends there and editing is just a minor thing that SAs do! She was not convinced when I said one need to get certified by the appropriate agency in the country to become an SA, and I didn’t even know which is that agency in India. Someone else wanted me to relocate to Hyderabad to join UBS. The calls and mails for this stopped of late; either they got someone or got fed up with my arrogance when I replied, “Ask UBS to shift their research production operations to Mumbai, if they want me to join.”

When I get mails from people looking for fitness consultant, sales engineer, that too male, I used to reply saying “nonsense, read the profile before blindly sending out such mails”. One of them replied back asking me not to use bad language. Another replied saying they didn’t have time to read profiles. He also asked me to post my resume in the right section if I don’t want such mails. Duffer! He doesn’t even know how a portal works. I replied, “I thought it’s part of your job as a recruiter to read profiles.” Now I don’t bother to reply. I just mark them as spam.

The spam callers apparently get phone number from job portals, but they would not get profiles as they’ve not paid for it. So they make blind calls!

I’ve friends who work for recruitment agencies as well as in the HR dept of companies. Not disregarding their capabilities as well as of many others who work in this field, I think these recruitment agencies ‘recruit’ dumbest people available as they come cheap and, may be, give them targets like 100 phone calls a day or 150 mails a day. Or they won’t get intelligent people to do this mundane job. These people search on job portals by punching in some keywords in the job profile and send out mails to all the profiles thrown up by the search. So since I’ve worked for a magazine on packaging and have written an article on packaging design, they think I’m qualified to be a packaging designer. I can only tear away the package, not design it!

I know job market is dull, but that doesn’t mean I will go and work as a fitness consultant, when I don’t even take care of my own fitness. This particular mail said, “Since our requirements matched your profile …”. Isn’t that nonsense?

It’s not that I get mails and phone calls from unknown, small-time agencies; big ones like Teamlease also are there.

Now, what triggered this post was the SMS I got yesterday. I was attending a meeting at an NGO where I do some voluntary work. My mobile was on silent mode. I didn’t pick up the call when it came, nor checked the SMS that followed. After half an hour, when the meeting was over, I checked the mobile. The SMS read, “Plz call urgently- 25139967.” I checked the missed call. That was from a different number. I panicked. Did something happen to my family or friends? I called back at 25139967 immediately:

25139967: Hello?
I: I got an SMS asking me to call at this number urgently.
25139967: What’s your name?
I: Bindhu
25139967: Hi Bindhu, this is ‘so and so’ from Sai Consultants.
I: Why did you send me such an SMS?
25139967: Because when I called, you didn’t pick up the call.
I: So you’ll send such SMSs?
25139967: Yeah (in a casual, what’s-wrong-with-you tone)
I: Do you think it’s proper to send such SMSs?
25139967: Yes (again in the same tone)
I: You made me panic as I thought somebody I know was in trouble. I don’t want any of your services.


I disconnected.
Such insensitivity, such audacity! It left me fuming, and now I am letting it out here. :-)

Friday 5 September 2008

Tagged along …

I think I should dedicate this blog to tags; this is my third consecutive post on tags!


This time it’s Arun. He has asked to jot down three (just three!) of my favourite books. Tough, I would say.

Ok, here it goes, with due apologies to my all other favourite books …


1. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet

2. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
3. The Hungry Tide, Amitav Ghosh Should I pass on this difficult tag? Nah! Arun, sorry for that. :-)

Photos courtesy: Wikipedia

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Quote it!

It looks like only tags make me blog. This time I was tagged by The Layman.

The quote tag demands to list out five of your favourite quotes from the books you’ve read. Here’s my list …

1. Life is difficult.
- The Road Less Traveled; M Scott Peck

2. If God does not exist, then how do you explain all the suffering of the poor?
- Snow; Orhan Pamuk

3. If love is not allowed to flow, it becomes fear. If love is allowed to flow, fear disappears.
- Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously; Osho

4. Shopping is female. When men shop, they are engaging in what is inherently a female activity.
- Why We Buy; Paco Underhill

5. What is past, is past for me

What is gone, is gone for me

Be with the rising sun

Be with the rising moon

Not with the setting ones.
- From a poem in a college magazine I read years back

And I tag …

Sapna

Rose

Arun

Mirage

Multi Menon

Wednesday 30 July 2008

My Bucket List

This is the first time someone has tagged me, and thank you Dhanya for doing that.

It’s more than a week since she tagged me to do ‘The Bucket List’, and my lazy self kept it aside. Inspired by the movie ‘The Bucket List,’ this tag is to list out things one want to do before one ‘kicks the bucket’. Well, I don’t want to kick the bucket, maybe in the next 200 years. So I should’ve a long list. But then, some of the most interesting things are never planned. Anyways, here comes my list …

1. I want to travel across the world. It may look like a copy-paste from Dhanya’s list, but isn't everybody getting bitten by the ubiquitous travel bug. And my must-go places include all over India and, for some strange reason, Egypt.


2. Build a low-cost house in Kerala, which should have a garden with all neglected/almost-extinct plants and an orchard as well.


3. Grow my own food, at least vegetables (of course, organic only).


4. Start a bookshop or at least a library.


5. Learn swimming. I get swimming lessons from Unny whenever we get a chance to jump into a waterbody. But I guess I need to go to a real swimming pool and get help from an instructor.


6. Drive in Mumbai city during rush hour. Every time I see the way vehicles are maneuvered during peak hours, my heart skips a beat.


7. Learn Marathi and at least one foreign language. I’ve started watching Marathi channels, but the programmes can’t sustain my interest. Not my fault. :-)

All these came at my finger tips without thinking. And I feel sleepy and I can’t think now. So that’s it.

The last three things in the list are there because I am too lazy to make an effort. You might be thinking, how this lazy bum is going to do the other things in the list. Even I don’t know. :-)


I know very few people in the English blog world and almost all of them are already tagged for this. So I leave it open to whoever reads this post and is interested in making their own bucket list.

Wednesday 23 July 2008

For them, tragedy is forever

I feel guilty about forgetting the massive Bhopal tragedy when I wrote the post “Destructive DDT.” That means I am one of those ‘selfish’ souls. As long as it does not hurt me or my loved ones or my state, I don’t care.

I am sorry; I feel frustrated and helpless after reading Annie Zaidie’s post
Known Turf: Perfect faces, national poisons.

See a full report
here.

What can I do?

Friday 18 July 2008

Nirmala’s helplessness

Like so many others, Nirmala came to Mumbai for a better life. She’s from a village in Nepal. When I was looking for a maid, my neighbour introduced her to me. She’s our building watchman’s wife. Though a little skeptical because of her pallid look, I agreed to take her for sweeping and swabbing. Nirmala was a little nosy too. She wanted to know how much rent I was paying and stuff like that.

I asked about her life back in Nepal, and she started talking non-stop as if she was waiting for a chance to speak. It was difficult to understand her Hindi with Nepalese touch. My Malayalam-influenced Hindi didn’t help much. Still, she shared some sad facts of her life.

While as farmers there is no shortage of food in her home, Nirmala says, “we don’t make any money over there, and that’s why we came to Mumbai.” Apparently, they grow all the food required – cereals, pulses, oil seed, and vegetables. They use katha as soap. But no savings. Ironically, they earn money in Mumbai, but need to buy everything. No more self-grown food. Her husband earns Rs 2500/ per month as watchman and a little more by washing cars. Even with Nirmala’s contribution, this is not enough for a family of three. They have a 3-year old daughter staying with them. Elder daughter is with her grand parents.

So Nirmala requested me give her more work and more money. If she does all the house work, what will I do? Then I will have to spent money and join a gym to get some exercise.

Now comes the even more sad part. Nirmala used to work as an agent to promote family planning among the villagers. Oh good, I thought. She continued, “Because of my training, I know my back pain is due to the miscarriage I had a year back.” Now it was my turn to become nosy. I asked her why she went for a third child when she advised her villagers to limit the number of children to two. She replied, in Nepal if a woman can’t bear a son, she doesn’t have any value. She may be thrown out of her house and her husband may even remarry. Sounds familiar! After all, Nepal is our neighbouring country. The plight of woman is the same.

So here’s Nirmala, who tells others about the importance of family planning, but willing to subject her frail body to more pregnancies for a son. And she concluded, “Bhabi, you are lucky. Your husband didn’t remarry even though you don’t have children.” I didn’t know what to say.

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Siamese coconut tree!

Siamese babies are rare. Siamese coconut trees are rarer.

Check out this nature's wonder (or blunder) here.

:-)

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Oxymora. What ra?

While I was writing the post on 'Colourful Black Horse', I googled the word ‘oxymoron.’ Apart from Wiki, which gave me the title of this post Oxymora – rarely used plural of ‘oxymoron’ - there is this interesting site www.oxymorons.info.

So many oxymorons are listed on this site under various categories such as Newly added, Top favorites, Daily oxymoron, etc, and also under various subjects such as Arts, Business, Religion, and so on. We use many of these quite often without thinking of them as oxymorons.

Try these … Act normally, fighting for peace, final draft, vaguely aware, jumpo shrimp, …

But why are these considered oxymora – Labor Day, Life Insurance, etc. I don’t know. :-)

Monday 16 June 2008

Rang birange Kala Ghoda

Colourful Black Horse!
I know what you thought just now – “Moron, it’s an oxymoron.” But look …










Now whatdya say?
These are the colours of the tenth Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai.

Check out more colours here.

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Black week - Protest against Kerals.com

This blog is black because I join the fellow bloggers to protest against Kerals.com's highhandedness. I support Injipennu's courageous act against them.

Sunday 8 June 2008

Destructive DDT

I am reading John Grisham’s ‘The Appeal.’ A chemical company dumps toxic waste into a small town’s water supply and makes the town a ‘cancer cluster.’ The locals fight a long legal battle and get a verdict against the conglomerate. The company plays many dirty games to get the verdict reversed in the appeal.

A few days back I saw this article ‘Living with DDT’ by K A Shaji on countercurrents.org. It starts with “I don’t make an omelette from local eggs as they smell of pesticide,” says carpenter TV Gireesh as he stands outside India’s only DDT-manufacturing factory.

The DDT factory by Hindustan Insecticides Ltd (HIL), manufacturing DDT and Endosulfan, is located in the industrial belt around the Eloor and Edayar villages near Aluva, Ernakulam. One of my father’s friends used to work at this factory and we once visited him. Since it was his duty hours, his son took us to the factory and we met him outside the gate. The smell of DDT was quite strong there. That was some 20 years back. I still remember the heaviness of the air.

Shaji’s article explains in detail how all kinds of life in the entire area is severely affects by the factory and its product. Well-water has become unfit for drinking, large tracts of land have turned uncultivable, many species of fish have disappeared from the waterbodies and several others are threatened or endangered, and so on. Worst of all, incidence of breast cancer and complications related to reproduction are increasing in the region. Ironically, this was revealed by a health survey conducted this year by the Kerala government.

DDT is classified as one of the most hazardous chemicals and its use is banned in India. But as per the article, HIL’s DDT production is thus fully export oriented: Its client list has eight African countries, including Namibia, Zimbabve, and Botswana.

According to an article on DDT in www.scienceclarified.com, DDT is used today in such African nations as Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to control mosquitoes and the tsetse fly. These two insects cause serious diseases, such as malaria and sleeping sickness. DDT saves lives when used on the tsetse fly in Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. But once sprayed on the lake, DDT does not disappear very quickly. Instead, it is taken up by plants and animals that live in the lake. … Bans on the use of DDT in the United States and some other nations have given ecosystems in those countries a chance to recover. Populations of peregrine falcons, for example, have begun to stabilize and grow once again. Many other animal species are no longer at risk from DDT. Of course, poor nations continue to face a more difficult choice than does the United States, since they must balance the protection of the health of their human populations against the protection of their natural ecosystems.

In December 2000, in a convention organized by the United Nations Environment Program, 122 nations agreed to a treaty banning twelve very toxic chemicals. Included among the twelve was DDT. However, the treaty allowed the use of DDT to combat malaria until other alternatives become available. Before it can take effect, the treaty must be ratified by 50 of the nations that agreed to it in principle.

So these poor nations have no choice than to continue using DDT. And our government is cashing in on this, but at the cost of the health of its own people and environment.

Shaji’s article says that the studies conducted by various expert organizations have confirmed the hazard caused by DDT in the region. But the government has refused to shut down the factory. Instead, the factory management refutes the claim of the activists by saying that employees, who are in close contact with the chemical, are not affected. The union and the workers support management’s argument, fearing loss of job.

Read the full article here

I thought I can draw parallels between John Grisham’s The Appeal and this DDT factory issue. But there is an obvious difference. If the factory in Grisham’s novel is privately owned, our HIL’s DDT factory is owned by the government. A government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people!’

So what can we do as people here?

The concern of the union and the workers are genuine. After all, these workers also will be mostly locals. Where will they go for their livelihood, if the factory closes down? So we can think along these lines to see if there could be an end to the issue …

  • How many workers will get affected if the factory closes down?
  • What alternative job can they do?
  • Is there a viable business idea that can be implemented in the region that will employ the factory workers as well as benefit the locality?
  • What can be done to undo the damages caused by the pollution since 1956, at least to some extent?

If the activists can take the workers into confidence by developing an alternative for their current job, I think there are chances that the pressure on the government will mount. It may also come a few steps down and maybe either close down the factory, or switch to another product and implement better effluent treatment processes.

These are my thoughts as an armchair revolutionary. :-)

However, I remember a case study on Effective Deployment of Quality Management Systems, Implementation of Orderliness and Cleanliness in Process Plants by Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd for the ‘Best Manufacturing Practices’ award by Frost & Sullivan in 2005. It was about how the company transformed the factory premises and the region where the highly polluting factory is located into a green belt. I don’t remember the details, but it’s an example worth emulating.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

It’s Holi-Holi re …

Holi is one festival that can go awry. My initial memories on Holi were not so good.

Rewind to the 1990s. Holi was the only festival celebrated in my college (I think so). North Indian students celebrated it because it is their traditional festival. A few other guys joined them to tease (read touch) girl students. Crackers were burst. And as a rule, every time crackers are burst in the campus, Principal suspends the classes for that day. This part alone is fine. J

On the day of Holi, the first thing I and my friends used to do was to smear some colour on our foreheads ourselves. This was a precaution against anyone else trying to smear colours on us. It worked!

Fast-forward to 2005. When my first Holi in Mumbai approached, I heard about terrifying incidents of people getting injured with water balloons, stones, acid, etc, thrown at them in the guise Holi celebrations, that too much before the actual day. That year, on the eve of Holi, I fled the office before any celebration started. I also reached home without any colours and more importantly, unscathed. But when I entered my housing society, a water balloon whizzed past my nose before hitting the ground. I escaped, though I got a shock. Looking up to the top floors I muttered some choicest expletives and ran home. I didn’t come out until the morning after Holi.

2008. I had a narrow escape again. Another water balloon, another housing society; I was walking along the footpath, a few days before Holi. I crashed right in front, missing me by a few steps. I didn’t walk that way until a week after Holi.

Thus for me, Holi thoughts were nightmarish until I celebrated it with friends this year. We went to Navgaon near Alibag. I was smeared with colours (non-toxic ones) the moment I met my friends at the Gateway of India. And it was fun.



We had more fun at Navgaon beach. I’ve never seen a more muddy beach and sea. Still we were splashing in the water, playing ball games and finally smearing colours on each other.



At the end, one of us was given a mud therapy also.

Photo courtesy: Dnyanesh

A thorough shower, a delicious lunch, a siesta on the hammock at the farmhouse where we stayed, and a walk at twilight at the beach and along the village roads made the day.

Photo courtesy: Dnyanesh

Next day I sang, "It's Holi-Holi re ..." and went home with some really nice memories on Holi.

Still I wonder why do people hurt others even during a festival? Instead of playing with colours, why throw acid, stones, dirt, etc?

Sunday 1 June 2008

A little more colour …

I named the blog Coloured Canvas, but I guess it had only shades of black so far. All my posts were too serious as if they would change the world. :-)

Now I am planning to add some colours …

Is it time to consume less?

It's a year since I wrote the last post - "Work less, Earn less, Consume less". Recently when I told (half jokingly) a friend about this "less, less, less" theory, he became slightly upset and advised me, "We are in the prime of our lives. Instead of thinking about earning less, we should earn moderately and maybe give our bit to the needy." He is right. Earning less is actually relative. When I read the article on which I based the post, I think the key point that struck me was the mad rush for making money, without realising what all we missed in the meanwhile.

After writing the post, even I went on earning more. And spending more. I’ve now quit the job, not because I was earning more, but to relax and explore new things.

Thinking about the looming recession and food crisis, I feel now is the time to implement the "consume less" policy. Or at least avoid wastage. Each one of us can do our bit; it’ll make a difference, as the old adage goes – A unit saved is a unit produced.

See what fellow bloggers say about consumption and wastage.

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