Friday, November 08, 2002

Memories of another day

When I was a little kid, well actually not so little but around 13 years old, I used to fantasise a lot. To be honest even now I fantasise a lot and when I am bored I spend a lot of time day dreaming lots of things. During our school days we had to read a lot of books. In fact everyday between 12 and 12:30 in the afternoon we had to compulsoryly read a story book or novel. The good part was that we used to sit out in the lawn and not inside the class but bad part was that we were all hungry. Most of us used to read Famous Five or Secret Seven or something like that but some who wanted to show off would actually pretend to read Alistiar McLean.

On one such afternoon I was reading a fantasy book which had loads of pictures in it. The story was about a boy who is really poor and to look after his little sister he goes around begging. On one sorry day he doesn't get any alms and so he, along with his sister, goes into the forest and sits crying because of hunger. After a while he looks around and he sees a lone fruit hanging at the top of an apple tree. He is surprised that tree is sorrounded by thorny bushes and also because apples were not a common fruit where he lived. He crawls through the thorns and climbs up, and despite his aching hunger he gives the fruit to his sister. Looking at the joy in his little sister's eyes he wishes that she is always happy. From that moment his entire luck changes because he had been sitting under a magical tree and whoever ate that fruit, his wishes would come true.

I shut the book and quickly turned around. Across the compound and inside our playing field there was a lone apple tree. It was also sorrounded by throny bushes and none of us kids bothered to pluck apples from it because there were others in our dormitories that were not so hard to reach. The bulb on my head burnt brightly :)) At 12:30 sharp when all the kids ran to the kitchen, I ran the opposite direction. With great difficulty I squeezed myself through the thorny bushes. I crawled up the tree and plucked the apple. ~ I wished that I could fly ~ and *chomp chomp* down it went my belly. And so honestly did I believe that I could fly now, I actually jumped from the middle of the tree with my arms spread out. ||THUD||. No need to explain what happened after that except that I used my choicest words on that book and headed for lunch.

Even till date I remember that funny episode in my life. And even now almost everyday I wish that I can fly :-)

Thursday, November 07, 2002

What I really really like...

When a two year old kid, holds on to my finger and expects me to lead him. Its so cute to see that their whole palm is wrapped around just one finger of mine and they place their full trust in me to lead them on. Of course the thumb on their other hand is in their mouth :))

When I travel second class in a train and go on a tour with my friends. When we get down at each and every station and buy peanuts, guavas, oranges, salted cucumber and all those goodies :))

When I go for a walk after a wet rainy evening with my friends and the air seems so fresh. And a lone 'butta' guy pulls his cart in front of you. I love eating butta with chilli powder and lime smeared on it :))

When my Ma or Sis keep watering something which looks like a dry stick. But one day when you walk past it you see small curled up leaves sprouting. Its so nice to see something come to life :))

When I lift a chicken that has been roosting for some time. And there is that special warmth on the egg when I touch it. I always wonder how the chick that is forming inside feels like :))

I could write so many more... but I will keep them for another day. I'm just happy that so many wonderful things happen around me and bring me joy - even if they are of little significance :))

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Arrogance of Supreme Court

My today's post is very India centric and much of it is politics. I write this because it concerns my state (Karnataka) and the water dispute that has been going on. The last few weeks have been a quite testing for Karnataka because of the Cauvery issue and it threatened to blow up into a major constitutional crisis. I have listed a few issues that bother me with the way the Supreme Court (SC) handled the issue.

Firstly, the river water dispute: according to Article 262(2) of the Indian Constitution and clause 11 of the Inter State River Waters Dispute Act, 1956(ISRWDA), all water disputes are outside the jurisdiction of the courts. So how come the SC is arrogantly (yes arrogantly) taking the case up without any authority? Legally it should ask the majority of the Parliament and/or the consent of the President before it gets emboriled in this issue. Test me - but I don't recall the SC going about that!!

Secondly the SC is a sacred institution which attempts to deliver justice. But does it have the authority to say 'so and so should go if he can't maintain law and order in his state'? It was not the first time it made such a statement either. Firstly a Chief Minister (CM) is elected by the people who place trust in him / her. In return it is the duty of the Chief Minister to protect the interests of his people within the constitutional framework. If SM Krishna (CM of Karnataka) doesn't do that - then is it not a betrayal of the trust placed on him? How can SC say - do this or that, when it doesn't have the legal sanctity to do so?

Thirdly there is a tribunal. Err.. let me put the dictionary meaning of tribunal here. It means " A committee or board appointed to adjudicate in a particular matter." Effectively an independent court (in this case that by-passes the SC) due to Constitutional reasons. If SC intervenes in the tribunal's orders then what sanctity does the SC have? What sanctity would the parliament have if it intervened in SC's decisions?

Fourthly, in a similar situation between Haryana and Punjab in their water disupte, a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) was appointed (for the same reason that SC was not legally qualified to intervene) and the JPC in its report stated "each province has complete powers over water supplies within the province without any regard, whatsoever, to the interests of the neighbouring provinces...". So SM Krishna is acting within his legal boundaries whether he stops or releases water.

Fifthly can I complain against SC for its lethargic progress in handling the cases? In the High Court levels itself there is a huge backlog of about 3.5 million cases. Scores more at the lower level and at the SC level. In a sensitive issue like Cauvery (where farmers commit suicide and towns burn) the SC 'postpones' hearing for months together! So to whom is the SC accountable in such cases? It reminds me of the question 'why is there only one monopolies commission'? Get the pun??

And finally asking a large state like Karnataka (which produces more farm output than Tamil Nadu) to stick to the archaic Cauvery river water sharing scheme is meaningless and poignant. Its one thing for the press to stir up controversy by saying Karnataka viloted SC's orders but I don't see many reports which state that Karnataka gets only 20% of the rivers waters. Well that was the order passed in c.1881and ratified again in c.1928 by the British when Mysore was a princely state and Madras, Hyderabad and Maratha regions were provinces and TN insists that Karnataka get only 20% of the water. And that 20% is for drinking and irrigation.

And it is for this reason that I used the word 'arrogance' earlier on. Let me reassure you, I have utmost regard for the judiciary in our country but it bothers me a lot when the highest level of judiciary (and other constitutional systems) are out to expand on the scope of its powers in blatant violation of the Constitution.

I know most of you will not be really bothered about this. But I just wanted to pen my thoughts somewhere and my blog is the best place to do it coz no one can edit it.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Something has been bothering me all day-long. I have been thinking about how the Lebanese women are. Their most common interest is money. Most of those I know only date wealthy men who can spend large sums of money on them. They look for men with beautiful cars and men who dress well. They date the guy untill they suck the blood out of him, and he is no longer willing to sacrifice more for them. The question is, what makes these women any different from prostitutes? Is it the mode of payment? Perhaps that is the only difference there is. These ugly thoughts are hauntung me, I can't stop thinking about how people are.

I didn't write that. But Lebanese did. I think her real name is Grace and couldn't follow up on this topic with her because she doesn't have a comments section on her blog. I got to her blog through Wael's who is also from Lebanon but is presently studying in the USA. But those words she wrote made me think a lot. How much truth is there in that statement? Personally I would say - very little though I would be lieing if I said such a trend is not emerging in our urban cities. I seriously couldn't comment or vouch for more because I am not the type of person who dates different people every weekend. In fact I don't even chase girls because one scar from the past is enough for me.

In this context how different are the guys? Do they chase only so called 'good looking' gals without actually getting to know them or their character? Are they any better when they say 'I love you' when they know the girl for only 20 minutes or so? Is such a behaviour worse than what the girls that Grace describes? So many questions... so few answers.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Why women take ages to shop - the hunting and gathering theory.

This is something that has kept me amused me for a long long time. When I was a kid my mom would take me along with her shopping and I would hate it. Especially when she shopped for sarees or jewellery. It would take up the whole afternoon and the only thing I could do was watch the traffic on the streets outside the shop.

Of course experience enlightened me and in due course I learnt to avoid going shopping for clothes with her. Nowadays I just drop her off at shops and ask her to call me 'after' she has paid the bills if she wants me to pick her up - coz even after bills are paid women chat with the shop keeper for ten minutes or so. So this got me really wondering why they take ages to shop for anything.

The best explanation for this behaviour is called the 'hunting and gathering' theory. Thousands of years ago when life was clean and unpolluted there were only two occupations on this planet. One was hunting and the other was gathering. Hunting was dominated by men and gathering was dominated by women. When men hunt they don't have time to dilly dally. They point their arrow and shoot the first prey that comes along the way. For them all deer, rabbits, birds etc are the same. The aim is to hunt swiftly. And the same goes for them today. When they shop for shirts, pants etc... they usually pick up the first few that look nice.

Gathering on the other hand was dominated by women. They had to pick the right type of roots and fruits - those that were ripe and clean. They had to make sure that they were not spoilt, rotten or infested. This takes time and its a habit and skill that got imprinted on their genetic behavior. A behavior that is exhibited in their day to day shopping. Send a man and a woman inside a room and if you ask them to describe the room afterwards, the woman will be the one who is more likely to tell you the colour, contrast, the soft edges etc. So if your mother, sister of girl friend takes ages to shop for a nail polish... remember its in their genes ;-)

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Happy Deepawali

May the Festival of Lights brighten all your lives and bring a smile on you :-)
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