Friday, October 25, 2002

A few days back Nikita wrote about the inhuman treatment of animals when they are subjected to chemical tests by cosmetics industries and healthcare industries. I am sure at one time or the other we have read such articles in papers too. I am, on the other hand, subjected to watch such things when I visit various bio-tech companies in my line of duty. Scotland and Nordic countries have become the haven for bio-tech research and in days to come I will (hopefully) be travelling and visiting these places a lot.

I don't look at cosmetics; I look at human healthcare. I study about the research done on diabetes, alzheimers and other such diseases and put out market analysis on the companies that are involved on this type of research. Which eventually has an effect on share price depending on how many patents the companies get. One of the most disturbing type of research is the 'stem cell' research. Stem cells, in brief, are the cells that are found in babies that are still developing inside the womb. These cells hold the clue (according to scientists) to solutions to age releated diseases. The photo I have attached below shows a 'live' baby that was taken from womb for this type of research.

Unfortunately I am not any type of 'rights' activist. Selfish as it may seem I write reports that laud the research and thereby boost the share prices. But the morals that dodge me within are questions such as "is it ok to do research on a helpless baby so that old people can live longer?"; "is it ok because the baby doesn't understand what life is anyway?"; "would i justify it if some one I know very well suffered a similar disease?"

And then I look at the squiggling baby about to be chopped and I feel... (forget it, I can't even explain how I feel!). Basically the crux of the argument is - is there any justification in destroying one human being for the benifit of another, regardless of age? Do you have any questions that I should ask the scientists when I visit them next time? Oh yes, another thing. Stem-cells can be found in adult people like us too. Its just that its too painful to extract them from the center of our bones. Hence the attack (if I may use such a word) on the tiny babies.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

I am so tired today. Last night our analyst team had a pool competition with the fund managers. Of course we won but it went on till so late in the night. And then I had to make it back to work by 7 in the morning. I'm just pooped.

I wish I had a pegasus like this as my pet. I would just ride into a forest and go off to sleep under a tree by the river while he grazed and sniffed the fresh grass. I wish life was a fantasy :-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

I know two people with the same name called Ferzana. Both of them became my good friends over the last one year. The first Ferzana, global head of e-business at Tata Consultancy, got acquainted with me when my friend was helping her find a place to stay in London. I kind of took up the responsibility to get her acquainted to this place.

This blog-post is about the other Ferzana - the lady based in Manchester. I have heard quite a few "you got mail" type of stories but this one really put a smile on me. Here's the story:

One fine day when Ferzana was chatting with her best friend Vandana, scarce did she realise that her whole life was going to change forever. On that day, Vandana introduced her chat buddy called Amar to Ferzana. It so happened (like most good things in life), they just 'clicked'. Then onwards they chatted everyday for 4-5 hours (despite Ferz having exams) because she somehow felt he was more important than her exams. Well her instinct didn't fail. On Valentines day, Amar proposed to her and the net took the credit for bringing two more people together for life.

Neither Ferzana nor Amar have seen each other in real life to date. They either talk to each other or text each other on almost a daily basis. [No wonder British Telecom is making profits ;-) ] The marriage date is fixed for Jan 02, 2003 and both the families are going to see each other in mid-December. Amar is a software engineer and works in Gujurat. Ferzu works for the Govt's tax credit as a customer advisor and plans to move settle down in Gujurat with her new found love.

Did any one say that love is blind? Well look again... it is us who are blind. On the contrary love seeks out people in remote corners of the world and brings them together regardless of their creed, colour or religion. I wish both Amar and Ferzana the best in life and they deserve it all the more for sticking to their true love.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Our Hindi textbook was full of short stories and there was a particular story, which was my favorite. The story was about a priest who has lived his life in a temple. Upon his death he arrived at the gates of heaven and hell and this priest had assumed he would go to heaven for sure. God on the other hand thought he didn't deserve to go to heaven. This obviously irritated the priest and he starts arguing with God - about how he has served in a temple throughout his life etc... and in reply God calls him a murderer!! Obviously the priest is fuming red now and challenges God to prove it.

God, sitting on his chair, calls on an old man. The priest immediately recognises the old man to be his neighbor. God asks the old man how he died. The old man replies "I was very ill and being a man with no family I lived alone. One early morning I was very sick and I went to this priest for help. Unfortunately he was busy with pooja and he refused to help me".

The priest said to God "clearly, you would appreciate me adhering to my dharma of conducting pooja more than anything else?" God snickered in reply.

Next God called on a young boy. The boy narrated his story of how the priest would blast his stereo early in the morning and continue late into the night. Being his other neighbor he found it difficult to study. On complaining the priest replied that his bhajans to God were more important than some measly studies. Being unable to bear the humiliation of failing repeatedly in exams the boy took his own life.

The priest, now shivering said "but.. it was all with good intentions... so that people could appreciate your splendor more...". God said, "you don't need to 'advertise' me". Well, no prizes for guessing whether the priest ended up in heaven or hell.

A Red-Indian chief was asked by missionaries about the concept of heaven and hell in red-Indian mythology. He replied:

"We do not have any apprehension that the good will go to heaven or the bad will go to hell; for we do not know whether what appears good or bad in our eyes, it is so in the eyes of God".
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