Friday, November 28, 2008

Terror Strikes Mumbai!

It happened once more and predictably in Mumbai, which has already seen some of the most devastating terror attacks.

Tragedy is not that hundreds of innocent people have been killed once more; the tragedy is not that the Country, in one night, also lost some of its best Police Officers! The tragedy is that it happened in one of the most predictably obvious targets, and within that in predictably the most vulnerable, most accessible and quite logical targets. The Oberoi and the Taj Mahal hotels are barely at a walking distance of the Gateway of India and so obviously accessible from the Sea. Unfortunately, our intelligence agencies, aided by inept politicians’ complete apathy, had neither clue nor the necessary preparedness to handle the situation. To add to the woes, all and sundry politicians’ started descending on Mumbai, giving the forces the choice between protecting innocent civilians and protecting these Z+ (whatever shit that is) secured guys! What kind of choice is that?

And it will continue to happen as long as guys like Shivraj Patil, with no antecedents, nor inclination to learn, continue to hold portfolios as important as the Home Ministry despite repeated public showcase of a total lack of capability to handle the situation. His only eligibility criteria - that he is a Nehru-Gandhi Loyalist! Despite their arguably decades of service to this country – pardon me for saying this – “Ye Desh tumhare baap ki jaagir nahi hai” (This country is not the private property of your Father) – that you’ll hand over its management to any Tom, Dick and Harry – mostly Dicks.

Mr. Patil said He was proud that certain Policemen had died in the line of duty. Mr. Patil, you don’t deserve to be proud for the sacrifices of able men, you ought to be ashamed that they had to die, or are you too think skinned along with your numerous designer clothes to assist?

I think its time that Mumbaikars refuse to showcase the “indomitable spirit of Mumbai” that politicians use as shields to hide their callousness, ineptitude, and disregard for ordinary citizens of this country.

There is no spirit left. The nation is heart broken, not because innocents got killed, but because innocents got killed AGAIN!

Mumbai, please, for a change, keep that spirit in abeyance, let them feel the pinch of a Mumbai coming to a compete standstill, if necessary for weeks, till such times that they come out with comprehensive, executable action plan, not hollow words.

Corporate houses in Mumbai too need to come together and say that they are too tired of this to even want to bounce back, how about bouncing out instead, that should do the trick as far as Mumbai goes, the rest of the country of course will continue to suffer.

One saving grace is that the Western Media, for a change has taken more notice than it normally does – maybe because American and British Citizens were involved (Tumhara Khun -Khun, humara khun – Paani “Western Blood is Blood and Indian Blood is water?) – At least the world understands that this is not just a third world problem.

What hurt me most personally was that quite a few of us were too busy chasing our daily targets to bother about, or concerned with this, simply because Mumbai is not our backyard. Someone please teach such people that nothing else can be more important in life than life itself!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Matter of Interpersonal Choice - The Kunti Phenomenon

Last night I caught up with a debate on TV, on the pros and cons of Premarital Sex. Both sides had very self righteous approach to it. One side talked all about gaining experience - what’s wrong in Being a Management Trainee in Marriage, instead of straight being a CEO, I wondered, and please that’s not the only experience required for a successful marriage, how about more mundane areas like Cooking and Budgeting, and Child Birth – the other side talked all about abstinence, to keep oneself a virgin for your husband/wife, mostly husband because I do not hear too many debates where it is found worthwhile to ask whether a guy is keeping himself in pristine condition for his future wife.

The main question in my mind was, where does right or wrong come in, is it not a question of personal choice, or maybe a question of interpersonal choice!

And yes, most of these debates equate virginity with vaginal sex, there where no clarifications on Oral or other forms of sex, or even masturbation! To my mind, Virginity is a state of mind. If, in your mind, you have experienced desire, if in your mind you have had an orgasm, or if you have really had an orgasm, you are no more a virgin (You may call it the Kunti Hypothesis – apparently no Sex was involved, but because she gave birth to Karna just by thinking of the Sun God – She lost her virginity and had to go a great length to hide the fact!)

Otherwise, there is no other definition of virginity that is gender neutral and hence progressive. Alternatively, as an after thought, you may say that if two or more people are involved in a sex act, virginity is lost (irrespective of how far you go – heavy petting, mutual masturbation, intercourse etc), else not.

Now the question is, if virginity is lost, does it matter? I think not, but then that’s my opinion, and to impose my opinion on others would defeat the very secular nature of this article!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


He walks out of his office. It’s his last working day and he has decided to not be polite even for a moment. After all it’s not his style. He is not a common man.

He is, after all, by popular account – The uncommon man, Man, MAN!

But to begin at the beginning once more, he walks out of his office, or rather his big, bad paunch walks out first, and he follows a couple of minutes later. I remember someone saying – Structure follows strategy. Is this what they meant, I wonder.

He walks out, and he is thinking something. You can make that out by the way he twitches his moustache – no, wrong expression - he actually twitches his nose and the moustache follows obediently.

His day has been normal, he is mega satisfied with himself, having sent some really rude e-mails, for having woken up people from their apparent disinterest in what are potentially cutting edge assignments. He positively cannot fathom as to why others don’t share the same enthusiasm for excellence, the minimum standards for any assignment is after all, “world-class”.

In this age of inclusiveness and diversity, he is the greatest champion of diversity. He has this knack to respect, and to insult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, genetic map, etc.

He is actually diversity personified.

He is a minority unto himself and to have him in the team is by itself a very satisfactory diversity policy and success story! Where else can you find a person who potentially can become the first casualty of a POSH he himself launched! Now come on, who in their right senses would do something as crazy?

He is a master in music, mainly classical. But he is classic in his mastery, or lack thereof, of Hindi. Even here, he does not, true to form, distinguish, or shall we say, discriminate between genders, Women to him, are man enough!

Ladies and gentlemen, I regrettably but quite proudly (for having known him) escort a very uncommon MAN out of our doors.

May the doors be kept open, in hope that, the paunch, and its owner, will walk in again! Structure, as always, will have to follow strategy.

I wonder who will do the insulting around here now!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Immaturity to Maturity Continuum

The question I had in mind while posting this peice of Behavioral Science was, what is the effect of Positive or Negative Reinforcement (B.F.Skinner)on a person's movement on the Continuum.

However, in this day and age, I honestly don't know what being immature means. Is Political correctness and making people hear what they want to hear - Maturity and as a consequence, being honest and upfront- immaturity?
Suppose someone asks me for an opinion, and I give them mine, and its not exactly what they had in mind in the first place - Which one of us is immature, I, for having a difference of opinion, or they, for not being able to live with that difference! Is disagreeing with a point of view Immaturity or is being disagreeable on being confronted with an alternate opinion, Immaturity?
Those are my questions on defining Maturity. However, the more important question that I have is what do I do with all the negative reinforcement that I am getting to exhibit a certain kind (read - preconceived) of mature behavior. Do I shrug in indifference. Do I study it like the way I am doing now as a keen observer of the subject, or do I, myself being the subject as well, allow myself to be led by the consequences of the theory, to be moulded into a certain pattern of behavior which may be mature by definition, but definitely not a true piece of me, and hence, not of consequence to the moulder. Catch 22!