Tuesday, November 30, 2004

In the name of the Father,sons,holy ghost,amen

Mother is the most beautiful word in the English language as revealed to us by the recent survey undertaken by the British council."Arre pagle,maa se badhkar koi nahin hotha".Or,"Maan main aa gayaa hoon".Still better,"aap maa ke pair chhuo,aur kamiyabi aap ki pair chhuegi".And still better,"Maa mere paas hai".

But then maa appears to be passe for some.Kokilaben has been relegated to the background and Dhirubhai has been resurrected.In spite of "Oh Dad,poor dad,mamma's hung you in the closet and I'm feeling so sad",the title of Kopit's avant garde play staged in 1962,it is now "Dad,love,tujhe love,mein karta hun!.".The father has been invoked,by the wharton educated Anil who says that Papa had warned him to be careful of "chamchas,chelas and cronies".A bit of brotherly advice to the elder Muks,stanford educated mba and chemical engineer,who in one stroke has taken sweeping powers from the Board of RIL on its July 27th meeting.A Rs 99,000 crores empire employing 88,000 people,having a sales turnover equivalent to 3.5% of india's gdp.Conventional wisdom had it that money takes precedence over human values.Who cares,what is corporate governance!.

Didn't the Bible say,"For the love of money is the root of all evil".And then there is the famous tamil saying "panam paathal,ponam pesum".(even a corpse would start talking,if it sees money").Pound notes is the best religion in the world.Anil says that they are not inheritors of Dhirubhai's wealth,they are joint creators.They-papa,muks and himself worked together like a joint venture and created what is today the reliance behemoth.Reliable or unreliable.Let me keep it for the next posting.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

TTT(The Top Ten)

no,i am not a pop afficianado nor a movie buff.i don't qualify for either as i hardly hear much pop or see many movies.neither am i referring to the topten b-schools in india or the top ten in the usa.you might perhaps think i am going to give you my pick for the stock market with sensex raging at 6033,knowing my weakness for the bourse.sorry,it is none of these.
i am reproducing the ten most beautiful words in the english language according to a recent world survey conducted by the British Council.the words are in this order:
how do you like it?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

oh calcutta!

Pardon me for sticking to the past.one might say i am a diehard.but then,calcutta is past and kolkata is present!.i am back in my born and brought up place.practically so.only that i was born in villupuram,about 100 miles from chennai and after a few months cam along with my mom to calcutta.we lived in 150 rashbehari avenue.and then when we moved to then bombay 15 years later,the address was 150 queen's road.is that a coincidence are the play of numerology.that is a different subject which i shall deal in this blog some other day.
the flight last night was delayed by three and a half hours thanks to the fog.and this morning i was pleasantly surrised when i read an ad in the 'statesman' put up by indian airlines saying that don't worry if your flight is delayed due to fog,we will keep in touch with you on your mobile!.indian airlines in a new avatar!.i don't normally eat in the plane because i just don't like the food that they give.and my wife loves it.we discussed it this morning and laughed it off.we have been together for 35 years and this is one more uncommonality.i knew mushtaq and nirmal would have taken pains to keep the food for me which i found when i landed in 60 ballygunge circular road.the khana was warmed up,hot thick phulkas were dished out and the meal was heavenly.the right recipe for a good night's sleep.calcutta has changed in many ways.the city has become cleaner.lot of new highrise apartments have mushroomed.flyovers have reduced travelling time.and i always do my shopping for clothes when i am in kolkata.i don't know why.i drive down to the 'new market'and buy all the stuff that i want.i am always reminded of the old days whem my dad and mom took us to new market for the diwali shopping.this market was gutted ina fire many many years ago,but then it has again risen like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes.so,a quick trip to nm is due today.i need a lot of trousers.after having lost 50% of my clothes on iberian flight,i am going back to my old peter england shop for a replenishment!
and the i will have my favourite luchi and aaloodum for lunch with mishteydoi and sandesh.and then when i sit back late in the office,tomorrow being a board meeting day,my office boy will bring me nice and spicy mudi(puffed rice with a dash of mustard oil and green chillies).a rather royal dinner will await me in the guest house.
thanks to my reliance mobile with a fantastic moden 152kbps,i am on the internet using my laptop and blogging away.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Arrest of the Seer

Shocking,startling,incredible.Call it what you might,but this is what happened.The Pontiff of the Sankaracharya Mutt was arrested on charges of murder and collusion for murder.It happened on Deepavali night at Mehboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh.Jayendra Sarawati,the head of the Sankara Mutt was in his pooja when the team of police officials sent by the Jayalalitha government located where he was and tapped at his door,like the gestapo.Late night,under great secrecy,on a very auspicious night.Early next morning he was produced befor the Judicial Magistrate at Kancheepuram after travelling by helicopter,cessna jet and a suv.He was remanded to judicial custody.He is still hovering in jail as his bail plea has been rejected by the Madras High Court.He is now in police custody and fighting a slew of legal battles to free himself from this unholy mess into which he has landed himself.India's best criminal lawyer,Ram Jethmalani has been pressed into service.So far,the score card reads-advantage Jayalalitha.
Now what was the provocation for this high-profile arrest.One Sankararaman was working in the Mutt as an accountant.He crossed swords with the Pontiff on several issues.He alleged misuse of the Mutt's funds,he stopped the pontiff's visit to China by getting a judicial stay and alleged harassment and plans to eliminate him.Finally,he was sacked by the Mutt.But he did not give up.He took up a job in the nearby Varadaraja Perumal temple and continued his fight with JayendraSaraswathiswamigal.
one day in the month of september some scooterists went to his home and asked his wife about sankararaman's whereabouts.they were told he was in his office in the temple.they entered the temple and asked where the office was.then they got him.he was hacked to death,severely beaten with sticks and sharp knives and killed in cold blood.it was a professional job.then they disappeared from the scene.firs were filed,the police investigation began and the needle of suspicion indicated the Pontiff's involvement.then as they say all hell broke loose.
at one time jayalalitha and the pontiff were great pals.it was a mutual admiration society.after the last elections they fell off.the various political alliances broke off,the chemistry between people changed,and new equations were drawn.jayalalitha was routed and dmk karunanidhi's star was in the ascendant.she had to do something sensational,bold and courageous and identify herself with the non-brahmins,the dalits to recapture her vote base.she decided to play the masterstroke which she did with aplomb and great consummate skill.she outsmarted karunanidhi,and proved her sceptics wrong. she did the unthinkable,the undoable.she,a brahmin, had the holy shankaracharya arrested for murder.
jayendrasaraswathiswamigal,the pontiff,the shankaracharya,has not been above controversy,unlike his predecessor,the periyaswamigal.he began painting on a much broader canvas.he envisaged his role as not just the head of a sectarian religious mutt,but that of a religious and socialreformer,educationist,philanthroper,political conciliator,the rajguru of many monarchs,etc,etc.obviously,he attracted attention and enemies.the funds at the disposal of the mutt became a talking point.Rs5000-10000 crores.sankararaman became a pain in the neck.too many allegations of misappropriation and malfeasance were flying.something had to be done to stop this negative publicity.the rest is as they say history.now the battles are going on.the debates.the media publicity-good,bad and indifferent.jayendraswami's credentials are being questioned,he is being asked to step down,one hears the oft repeated cliche-no one is above the law.
it is a great irony of our democracy and judicial system.when thugs and goons who have an enviable record of murders are moving around freely as political netas,mps,chief ministers,etc, that sections of the intellegentsia are crying for the acharya's blood.politics and religion make a heady mixture.
if i am found guilty,i should be punished.this is what the acharya has said.let the courts decide and let us not pass any judgements.for the acharya anyway,it has been a bad fall.literally from the ivory tower to the allwomen's jail in kanchi.let us give him the benefit of doubt.he deserves that at least.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bush is Back

Much to the relief of those responsbile for conducting the US elections,George Bush won by a sizeable majority of popular votes,thereby leaving hardly any scope to Kerry to get into a litigacious mode.The nightmare of the last presidential elections still haunts these people who had to count and recount and handle chads and what nots.Technologically the most advanced country in the world does not conduct its elections using modern technology.What an irony!.In a developing country like India, EVMs(electronic voting machines)were used in the recently held national elections which were conducted very successfully.Maybe for the next presidential elections,the whole process should be outsourced to India!.
It was an interesting week with all sorts of speculations on who would be the winner and who would come a cropper.Astrologers,political analysts,psephologists et al entered the fray and tried to predict an outcome.Even the stockmarket was seen as a barometer by some on the election result.Indian astrologers predicted a Kerry victory.The 'Economist' put its prestige on the block by confidently predicting a comfortable victory for Kerry.The general newspaper reports said that it was going to be 'neck to neck'.
Interestingly,a poll conducted by a children's tv channel called Nickelodeon in USA on children aged between 2 and 11 predicted a 53 to 47 vote in favour of Kerry.This channel has been conducting such polls from 1998 onwards and it has always hit the bull's eye.100% success rate.When I read about this amazing performance,I waited with bated breath for the final announcement. Thought Ohio might still change the scenario.But then it didn't happen.Kerry conceded and for the first time since inception Nickelodeon failed.The rationale behind its 10/10 success rate is that children do not lie.They know whom the parents have voted for and say so when asked.Does it mean that these yougsters have outsmarted Nickelodeon.That needs some introspection.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The 'Y' factor

Yet another proof of the wonder of Yoga.The complete decimation of the Indian cricket team by the Ozzies in the recent series.The team has a yoga specialist called Kate Turner.Justin Langer,Martyn Hayden(no relation of diana),Damien Martyn and Shane Warne are all yoga practitioners.They recently visited BKS Iyengar's yoga institute at Pune and expected to spend about 10 minutes with 'guruji',the 86 years old iyengar from belur. he is also famous for having taught yoga to umpteen celebreties including yehudi menuhin.the yogacharya actually spent about three hours with them and put them through various poses and spoke to them about the root of the word yoga which is yug i.e. "to join".soul and supreme.so,it was a physical demonstration and a metaphysical discussion which the ozzies had not bargained for. they were absolutely thrilled when they learnt about the body mind connection from 'guruji'.
What an irony it was when an Australian newspaper reported that the secret weapon of India's defeat apparently has been yoga.