And the meek shall Inherit

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Goodbye Terri

Terri Schiavo passed away at 9:00 AM today morning, almost 2 weeks after her feeding tube was removed. These past 10 days virtually 80% of the couples in America may have weighed in one way or the other on this issue with their loved ones. The eventuality of death, certainly known to us is definitely not serendipitous, but it still gives us a pause, to reflect and to ponder. What does living really mean? Is it really quality of life or quantity of life that matters? Do we really mourn the person we lose or do we really mourn for ourselves?

What really was astonishing that there was coverage about the Schiavo case in India as well. Well read popular online publications like rediff and TOI has articles about Terri Schiavo's death.

Nanny 911

There is an article in the WSJ today and it goes something like this:

"It has come to this: It is now possible to outsource most aspects of parenting.
The burgeoning industry of services aimed at harried parents, which began with the likes of birthday-party packages at gyms and pizza shops, has expanded to the point where you can now hire someone to assist with everything from potty-training your toddler to getting your teenage daughter to agree to passably modest prom dress. 'Fuss baby' services in Chicago, Denver, Brooklyn and Oakland, Calif., help comfort shrieking babies. In the New York suburbs, an entrepreneur has built a flourishing business by taking over one of the most timeless parental rituals of all: For $60 an hour he teaches kids to ride a bike."

Wow, next to follow will be outsourcing of the copulating act to produce the baby. Sign me up baby, I'm raring to go. Just imagine the visa interview of the candidate traveling for this little project.

Visa Officer: And how long do you expect to stay ?
Candidate: As long as it takes for the little blue (or pink or purple or whatever color) stick to appear.
Visa Officer: Do you have the necessary qualifications ?
Candidate: Er, while erect......well you get the gist...
BPO...Baby Production Outsourcing....how's that for cheesy uns ?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Movies Over the Internet

We rent movies from Netflix over the internet and yeah, it has its advantages with no trips to the video store and everything, but I still feel that something is amiss. There are times when I order movies that I desperately want to watch and there is a ‘Very Long Wait’ for that particular movie. Imaging having to wait six weeks for Jude Laws ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’ to arrive. Well, after watching it I could well imagine someone trying their level best to destroy or reduce proliferation of this ludicrous waste of time of a movie.

Why couldn’t we have a movie download phenomenon with expiry dates on them? If trial software could have usage until a specific date, then why not movies, music etc.? Unless there already is such a contraption available and I have been blissfully unaware of the rapid advances in the movies technology business. That could very much be possible. Well there is TIVO and all this talk about collaboration between TIVO and Netflix, but who know when that will materialize.

So the DVD, the music player and all the other digital paraphernalia goes out the window as all you need is your desktop with gigabytes of hard disk space to hold all the movie and music downloads. And broadband connection of course, else you’d still be downloading movies from the 1930’s all your life. Maybe the DVD manufacturing companies are in cahoots with the techno geeks to keep this from being launched. There is already a war going on between Sony and the rest of the studios over which DVD formats to adapt. Maybe this could be something akin to that. Hmmmm…maybe I am on to something here. Maybe not.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Spring is here

No no not the ones for our creaky mattress (well how it got creaky is for another time), but the invigorating, exhilarating and never-too-many-superlatives time of the year is finally here. Spring is especially beautiful in Michigan and it makes the drab, dreary, cold, grey, wet, miserable 6-8 months of fall/winter almost bearable. Spring is an affirmation of life, when things start to sprout from earth, sounds of children playing outside, longer days, blue skies, green leaves, smell of barbecues in the neighborhood, the great outdoors, picnics, swims in the lake and all things nice. It makes one realize why sun is the life force and sustains everything good on good ole earth. Long drives through the woods, a trip to Mackinac in the North, walks in the park and ice cream sundaes. Ummmm….its been great weather in Michigan for the past couple of days and can you tell that I am excited. This summer will be dedicated to golf vis-à-vis a serious attempt to at least play a decent 18-hole game without having to resort to vociferous shouts of “Fore” at ever hole. And of course, as much time as possible with my progeny outside. Swing sessions, for the child mind you, in the playground, bicycle rides and teach him to play catch. Ah, good times here I come. Spring is finally here.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Effetti and Favatti

No these are not some incomprehensible alien talk but “Effetti” stands for Elephant and “Favatti” stands for Butterfly in Sidharth’s own precocious vocabulary. Well if fish can be spelt “Ghoti” as per one erudite GB Shaw, then there could be something to “effetti” and “favatti”. He has this whole dictionary that is discernable only to himself and partly to us, his parents. Fork ends up sounding like “Fuck”, eliciting peals of laughter at parties and restaurants and leaving me and Seemz red-faced in front of guests. He’s also developed this habit of throwing stuff around the house, whatever he can lay his hands on. There is only so much one can childproof.

His sojourn at the day care continues with limited success, though he is gaining limited familiarity with the staff there. Apparently he cries as soon as Seemz drops him off in the mornings, but supposedly gets OK as soon as they begin their “circle time”, where they make the kids sit in a circle and sing songs. The daily reports from the day care indicate that he is coping well and has been eating his snacks and lunch as well. We’ll wait and see how he progresses during the week. As of now Seemz picks him up at noon, but after a few days when his comfort level increases, she will gradually pick him up a little later.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Position Eliminated

A very good friend of mine lost his job recently due to corporate restructuring which came as a shock to many since it was not expected that he would get the axe. He was told that “his position had been eliminated”. It’s amazing that how modern day corporations play God with peoples lives changing lifestyles and livelihoods of entire families. Like some corporate bigwig one fine days decrees “You once were found, but now get lost. Your position has been eliminated”. And that’s that, you are summarily discharged left to fend for yourself and your family by whatever means you see fit. Educational, healthcare, leisure and lifestyle priorities get realigned for most of us proletariats. Of course for the extremely affluent it’s an entirely different kind of survival games ala the feuding Ambani brothers. Would positions still have been eliminated during the barter system days of yore? Like the village chief would intone to the community butcher,“Mr. Bucher, due to insurmountable pressure from the anti fur lobby, PETA and the Hare Krishna’s, we have decided to turn vegan. Ergo, your position has been eliminated. Goodbye”. What does the butcher now do ? Produce tofu or teach salsa to the village belles ?

Evolution, shevolution, theories in the wind all. The Maslow’s pyramid isn’t getting inverted anytime soon. Should'nt the state or whoever up there ensure after so many years of advancement that survival and sustenance should be a given?. Not to dig up any graves of Marxism, socialism et. all, but it seems like we still are the hunters like our forefathers many generations ago albeit with better amenities. End of the day we are cavemen after all. But as of this day, capitalism rules, absolutely.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Terri Schiavo showing signs of dehydration

Over the past week there has been a huge debate in America over the Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) condition of a 41-year old housewife, Terri Schiavo. Her husband would like to discontinue any treatment and stop her from being fed while her parents disagree that she is in PVS and continue to fight to keep her alive. The case has been referred all the way to the Supremes, but was turned down by them. Over 70% of the people polled feel that she should be allowed to die with equanimity while the right-wing right-to-live activists continue the legal circus to the delight of the media. There is increasing pressure on Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida to intervene, but he claims to have done all he could in this case. Doctors report that Terri is showing signs of dehydration and some speculate that it will be a week before her body gives up.

15 years, wow that’s a long time to be lying comatose and for her loved ones around her. I cannot imagine what they must be going through every day, with the knowledge that someone that they love so dearly, lies is a hospice, being helped by a machine. In their minds, have they resigned to the eventuality or do they deep down still hope that Terri will jump out of her state one day and continue from where she had left off ? For 15 years their emotions must have undergone a roller-coaster ride, alternating between hopes and despair. When does life cease to become life ? I wonder...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Mr. Rao starts day care

Rao Jr. that is. After much trepidation and anxiety Seemz dropped off Sidharth at the day-care yesterday for a 4 hour duration and the lil guy didn’t take it well. He bawled and bawled and bawled and clung to his instructor Ms. Nicole the entire time he was there. I called late in the morning to check on him and was told that he was having “adjusting problems”. Welcome to the real world sonny boy, your period for adjustment has begun. Thus begins a lifelong charade of adjusting at home, at work, on the playground, at school, in society and in life. So she picked him up early and boy, was he glad to see his mother? His lunch on the first day was Cheesy potatoes with ham (ate all), peas (ate some), pineapple (ate little) and milk. The teacher commented that “he ate very well”, but still had appetite for a big snack after he came back. We’ll see how he “adjusts: henceforth.

A new Deal for Delhi

This was an article by Robert D. Blackwill that appeared in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago, which throws the Indo-US relationship in a new light. The article quotes "Condoleezza Rice's visit to New Delhi last week boosted the U.S-India relationship and demonstrated that she and her new colleagues at the top of the State Department view India as a rising great power. Ms. Rice's talks in India were more than useful." After gushing effusively about added the number of policy makers specially for India, Bush's awe at the democratic process in India and the openness of bilateral diplomacy the article goes on to extract its pound of flesh. There is a list of must do's for India as well viz. support US to help "build a civil society in Iraq, persuade Iran to give up on a full fuel cycle and Tehran's pursuit of nuclear weapons , normalize relations with Pakistan and work with the US to deal with the regional instability emanating from Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, the latter a growing center of international terrorism". The article also espouses reduction of barriers for US exports, services and investment to India, in part to deal with the outsourcing problem. The column ends with "So the Bush administration and the Congress Government in Delhi must push through these fundamental changes in policy from the top down. It can be done."

It was a feel-good article which bought forth some of the "India Shining" banter, especially with emphasis on the "Shining" part. Is there much truth to that? I wonder or is it just cyclical hype that rears its head every few decades and goes back to being the "perennial sleeping tiger". Only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Sidharth goes to day-care

Today Seema will enroll Sidharth in a day-care center in Troy. She was impressed with the facility and said that it was clean and had lots of activities for the little uns. She said that Sidharth was OK playing with the other kids, but as soon as she left the room he started bawling. So we do not know how he's gonna take it today. He is quite assertive with the other children, snatching their toys and gouging their eyes when we are around. Sans our presence we have not seen how he would act. Seema is anxious on behalf of the child inspite of the assurances of the daycare staff that he should be OK.
The only language he comprehends now is Kannada and it shall be an education in English for him going on forward. I would not be surprised if loud "No's" filled our house from here on for every little thing we ask him to do !!! I dread if that will happen.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Kolkata Cricket Test Match

So India won the Kolkata test match finally, on the shoulders of Kumble and Dravid. Thats good and all, but it was pathetic display of batting in the second innings. Had it not been for the ever persevering Dravid and a spunky innings from Karthik, this would have been a lost cause. And Ganguly has the audacity to pick holes in Laxmans batting to deflect criticism from himself. How pathetic can one get ?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Coming of Age

We visited two daycares yesterday for Sidharth in the Troy/Rochester Hills Area. Both look professional and extermely competent run centers, but there is a wait list at one of the day-care which is closer to our house. Seemz will have to use her selling skills tomorrow to gain admission for our son. I'm curious to know if she will suceed or not. Waiting for tomorrow with bated breath.....

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Firefox...the Browser

Switched from Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox a few days ago and boy am I relieved? No popups, no pandering by semi-nude seductresses for live chat or soliciting movies over the web or pills to make my manhood reach its nadir!!! Every time I leave the browser running Explorer for couple of hours, I would have a minimum of 10 popups needing to be shut down. No more now. Left the browser running Firefox last night and that’s the only thing running today morning, no popups,no pills, no bimbettes, no nothing. Am happy. No, am ecstatic infact. Give it a try, it’s worth the experience. Also all the cool features like opening new tabs on the browser, importing favorites from your existing browser etc. makes it all worthwhile.

Sometimes I wonder if Microsoft has sold out to mass marketers who display these popups. Because it would be an easy programming change for them to stop this menace once and for all. Yes yes, I know they have their blocker toolbar, yahoo and google does, there are tons of freeware and paying products like Stopzilla, but shouldn’t the consumer reserve the right to be solicited?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Day Care

We are looking for some good daycare for Sidharth since Seemz is studying for her Pharmacist license. And the little chap seems to be getting bored just tormenting his mother all day. He needs new victims, I suspect. His mother seems to be having separation anxiety since he might start day care as early as next week. Will be an interesting experience.

Go cast your first stone

Recently some B-grade Bollywood actor was casitgated by all and sundry for trying to lure some nymphette into sex while promising her a role in Bollywood. All this was a "sting operation" carried out by some fledging TV channel to increase its viewership. Looks like the entire film industry is up in arms cuz this slimeball named a few bigtime producers and actresses for getting it on between the sheets. What next will they dig up, our politicians are also corrupt !!! Why does this surprise us so much that film stars sleep around ? Just like any other profession its mutual give-n-take. Let's resist the urge to go all moral overnight and eager to drag this scumbag to the stakes. For every seedy film personality who has been wanting to get into the pants of some newbie, there are thousands of newbies willing to put it all out. Some giveth and many others taketh. No big deal yaar. Just chill.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Dont just Sit there...Blog Something

For the past few months I have been awed by some of the blog sites that I have read and re-read and its truly an ode to imagination and creativity that some truly remarkable wordsmith and ingenious and creative minds exist in cyberspace. Hats off, to these bloggers and I shall try and tread in their footsteps to make sense of my postings and try and be coherent. Nah, who am I kidding most of my stuff will be incoherent ramblings anyway. But most of all I want to record the trivials details about the light and joy of my life, Sidharth, my 20 month old, who with each passing day is fast becoming the "father of the man" ergo moi. Every mornings when I wake him up or nights when I put him to bed he teaches me something new and something wonderful and in some sense makes me feel complete.

Seema, my partner in crime and the mother of my child never tires of complaing the destruction that this lil fella brings about in our house. The vegetables flushed down the toilets, the TV wires pulled out of sockets and the carpets doused with water/mik/juice are just some of the never ending tirades of this little monster. But with each passing day, he is just an affirmation for me and Seemz that no matter how much life gets down on us, there is still something so pure, something so innocent that brings us unbridled joy and happiness and that each dreary day is worth getting up to the cries and whining of a 20-month old.

This blog is dedicated to Sidharth, my child, my light, my joy and my teacher.

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