Thursday, August 31, 2006

Change of face

I was surprised when I read this. Rather shocked.

It sounds insane. Will you go for plastic surgery and change your face for a job which gives you 10% more?? Any why is this only applicable to girls, I wonder?

Friday, August 25, 2006

A celestial change

It's time again to revise the list of 9 planets which we memorised in school. As per the latest guidelines of astronomers, Pluto is no longer a planet, since it does not qualify as one, under the new rules of planet-dom laid out by our astrologers.

I wonder how soon the text books will get updated to reflect this change. Will we remember to tell out kids that there are only 8 planets and not 9(out of habit)???

I hope we can still rightfully use the term "Plutonian" for weird people we come across :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Gender ratio

Looks like there is something to hope for (especially in view of my last post)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Stop this massacre please !!!

What a shame !!!

We refer to our country as "Bharat Maa". We worship innumerable feminine deities. We are proud of being the country of Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Kalpana Chawla. And still, we find wells and ponds full of female foetuses in India !!!

This has to stop !!! More than enforcing rules to prevent this, the government needs to dig into the fact why female foeticide is in existence even today. And kill the root of the problem.

Some of the things which I can think of are :
- Strict enforcement of anti-dowry act, especially in villages. Dowry is one big reason why a girl child is seen as a burden.

- More security for women, so that safe guarding the honor of women folk is not seen as an additional burden to the male members of the family. Women related crimes like rape, sexual harrasment should be dealt to with more severely.

- Providing low cost/free old age homes. The perception of the male child taking care in old age is one big reason why parents look forward to a male heir. If people know the govenment will take care of them in old age, this feeling of not wanting a girl child will eventually subside.

This is a much bigger issue India has today than reservation in colleges, bad roads and hiking oil prices.

Why isn't there a public outcry against the government to stop this?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Let's talk Pink

In the fashion circuit today, they say Pink is the new Black. The color pink has acquired a lot of popularity and acceptance in the recent past, surprisingly even among men !!! "Men in pink" is the happening thing these days. Pink has always been my personal favorite(a very Venus thing I must say) and hence I am happy to see it getting the recognition it deserves :))

Today, I decided to dig more into this color and what it portrays. Here are some interesting facts about the color pink, which I picked up from Wikipedia and some other sites.

- "Pink" was not a color word known to Shakespeare. He used words like "light red" to describe pink.

- The color pink is now associated with womanhood, just like blue is associated with boys and manhood.

- While the west typically refers to adult films as "blue movies", in Japan these films are often called "pink movies".

- In Catholicism, pink symbolizes joy and happiness.

- Pink, along with red, is traditionally used on maps for territory ruled by the British Empire or for members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

- Pink, being a 'watered-down' red, is sometimes used in a derogatory way to describe a watered-down socialist ('Pinko').

- "Paint the Town Pink" a phrase that arose in the 1950s reflecting its influence on fashion and design and the popularity of pastel colours.

- Pink is the color of the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. Breast cancer is a leading killer of women, and pink was chosen partially because it is so strongly associated with femininity

- Pink, is also associated with gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, often in the form of a pink triangle. In Britain, Pink News is a leading gay newspaper and online news service. In business, 'the pink pound' or 'pink dollar' refers to the spending power of the GLBT community.

- Similiar to white collar, there is a term Pink collar, which refers to female office worker (sometimes used in a derogatory manner).

Quite interesting, isn't it? Never knew these shades of pink before :))

India and Ghana : Old ties

Continuing on the "Independence Day" note, there is one interesting and less know piece of information I came across some time back.
Not many of us know that the Republic of Ghana, which attained independence in the year 1957, had the roots and inspiration of its freedom struggle in the Indian struggle for freedom.

Ghana, like India, was a British colony. The people of Ghana, though not happy with the British rule, never had a desire to overthrow their rulers out of their country. They beleived that without the Brits, the country will not be able to run itself and will fall apart.

During World War II, soldiers from Ghana were sent to Burma to fight the war on behalf of the British Empire. It was in Burma that these soldiers met soldiers from India and formed a strong bonding with them. The Indian struggle for Independence was then at its peak. After the Nehru and Gandhi back home. The people in Ghana started to realise that for them too, independence from the British rule, was not an impossible dream. Slowly the rebellion against the British rule picked up in Ghana. Ghana, under the leadership of Kwame Nikrumah,finally became an independent nation in 1957.

India should be proud of playing such an inspirational role in the history of several nations independence struggle.

And last but not the least, can you guess where I heard this story? From a cab driver in Pittsbugh(who was a native of Ghana), who dropped me from the airport to the hotel :))

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"Jana Gana Mana" : Some facts

- "Jana Gana Mana" means "The Minds of All People"

- Originally written in formal Bengali language by Rabindranath Tagore

- Was set to music by Tagore in Madanapalle, West Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh

- First sung during a convening of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in December 27, 1911

- A formal rendition of the national anthem takes approximately 52 seconds. A shortened version consisting only the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally.

- Controversy exists regarding the appropriateness of Jana Gana Mana as the national anthem of an independent India. The poem was composed in December 1911, precisely at the time of the Coronation Durbar of George V, and is a paean in praise of "the overlord of India's destiny". The composition was first sung during a convention of the then loyalist Indian National Congress in Calcutta on Dec. 27, 1911 . It was sung on the second day of the convention, and the agenda of that day devoted itself to a loyal welcome of George V on his visit to India.

- In 2005, there were calls for the deletion of the word "Sindh" and to substitute Kashmir in its stead. The argument was that Sindh was no longer a part of India (it became a part of Pakistan after Partition). However , the Supreme Court of India refused to tamper with the national anthem. Opponents of this proposal say that the word "Sindh" refers to the Indus or to the Sindhi culture and people who are an integral part of India's cultural fabric.

Here is the English translation...
"Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India's destiny.

Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha, of the Dravida and the Orissa (Utkalla) and Bengal;

It echoes in the hills of the Vindyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.

They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India's destiny.

Victory, victory, victory to thee."

And here is the transliterated text....
"Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka jaya hai,Bharata bhagyavidhata.

Punjaba, Sindh, Gujarata, Maratha,Dravida, Utkala, Banga,

Vindhya, Himachala, Yamuna, Ganga,Uchchala jaladhi taranga

Tava shubha naamey jaagey,Tava shubha aashisha maangey,

Gahe tava jayagatha.

Jana gana mangaladhayaka jaya haiBharat bhagyavidhata.

Jaya hai, Jaya hai, Jaya hai,Jaya jaya jaya jaya hai!"

Happy Independence Day !!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Quit smoking movement

A lot is tried all the time to persuade smokers to quit smoking. Most of the obvious "not good for health" reasons do not work.

Recently European Union companies have started putting the condition "Smokers need not apply" in their vacancy requirements. This, plus a few other initiatives, have actually reduced the percent of smokers in the European countries !!!!

Read the link below for more...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Signs...of bad times ahead ???

A couple of weeks back, we heard about Intel slashing 1000 jobs. Yesterday, it was AOL, cutting down their workforce by 5000.

All this brings back the not-so-fond memories of dot com crash couple of years back.

Though India so far has not been affected so far since we are cheap, that might no longer be the case anymore in the near future due to the rising wages here. The IT boom and the resulting high salaries of IT professionals in India is the very thing which migh take away the Indian advantage, of Indians being more cost effective.

Are these a sign of bad times ahead? Not a very comfortable thought I must say ...