Friday, March 14, 2003

"I'll always say, you were a friend of mine..."

When I first walked into this office, I was nervous. I was apprhensive. I didn't know how my team would accept me. I guess most people get that feeling when they go to a new job and I was no different.

But my team, they were superb. They gave me a nick name the moment I stepped in. Everyone calls me 'malteser' (they melt in your mouth and not in your hands ;-) ). This is what I hate about leaving a job. I get too friendly with everyone and I hate leaving them. I wish I could take all my friends with me, wherever I went.

Today is my last day at work. And here I am watching cricket on my trading screens.

"Malteser... come here for a sec plz"

End of the over, I remove the headphones and walk towards the team. And out comes a cricket bat. A bat that has been signed by all the members of the England team and the Srilankan team.

I'm speechless. I just have tears in my eyes :')

Another pack comes out. This time it's a t-shirt. Signed by all the members of my analyst team. Its' got our company name plus the logo and it says "I've not been torched". Yes, I have made it through an investment bank without actually burning. :-)

I will miss them. The bat, the t-shirt... they will be with me for life. :-)


And to you, my fellow bloggers, here is an old song that I want to share with you:

As far as my eyes can see
There are Shadows approaching me
And to those I left behind
I wanted you to Know
You've always shared my deepest thoughts
You follow where I go

And oh when I'm old and wise
Bitter words mean little to me
Autumn Winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they asked me if I knew you
I'd smile and say you were a friend of mine
And the sadness would be Lifted from my eyes
Oh when I'm old and wise

As far as my Eyes can see
There are shadows surrounding me
And to those I leave behind
I want you all to know
You've always Shared my darkest hours
I'll miss you when I go

And oh, when I'm old and wise
Heavy words that tossed and blew me
Like Autumn winds that will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they ask you if you knew me
Remember that You were a frined of mine
As the final curtain falls before my eyes
Oh when I'm Old and wise

As far as my eyes can see

This is going to be my last post for a long time to come. But I will continue to read and comment on your blogs, whenever I do get time. Ahead of me lies a challenge to rebuild my career in India. I have made some wonderful blogging friends and I will always remember you and wish you well. Good-bye. And thank you for making me that much more knowledgable and wiser.

I wish we could never stop learning.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

One more reason...

I lurvveee America ;-) Hehe.. I have been reading with gales of laughter as my fellow brethren in the US House of Representatives start behaving like the Shiv Sainiks. Well to cut the story short, the House in the US has decided to rename "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries" in order to show their protest against the French people for not supporting the US in the war.

Around the same time Donald Rumsfeld made a statement (which kept Blair awake all night) that US could go to war alone without the British, because the Brits have been naughty children who have been spanking the Poodle (no longer the British Bulldog) from going to war.

I am just wondering what will the American House of Representatives think of, in order to express their displeasure with the Brits. I guess they will start off with the 'english' language itself. They will pass a resolution stating that the language spoken in America should be called as "Ameri" or "Freedom language" or something like that. They will probably ask all 'english' speaking people to go, strip and register as well. Anyone with any 'english' accent would have to go get his or her mouth cleaned with Dettol and be asked to pay a fine. Three or more similar offences and they will be deported with a “freedom” stamp on their butt. Probably they will rename all the British bulldogs in US as Bush dogs.

Hyuk hyuk. I thought Shiv Sainiks were idiots when they went around renaming everything as Chatrapati Shivaji yada yada yada. But hey, we have morons on the other side of the world as well. No wonder this planet is so balanced ;-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Just realised...

That I am immortal !!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Voices from Iraq.

BBC talks to six Iraqi people. It is a good reading for people who want to find out what the Iraqis really think about the war. Here are a few snippets.

Emanuel Shamoun: "The years of sanctions on us here have made things very difficult for me and all ordinary people. The economy is ruined. It is very hard to make a living. Everyone is like me - working all our waking hours just to live."

Gulzar Ahmad: "They raped a woman who was in our ward and killed her afterwards. They threw her body in the desert to be eaten by wild dogs. So many women died in this way. We used to see dead bodies being eaten by the wild dogs every day. They treated us like animals. I can still see all this in my mind today."

Dr Mohammed Muthaffar Adhami: "The Americans' plan is to occupy the oil fields, to overthrow the Iraqi national government, to divide up Iraq, and to solve the Palestinian question to the benefit of the Israelis. It will allow the Americans to control the whole world because if we talk about oil, Iraq is a lake of oil. The last drop of oil in the world will be in Iraq."

Abu Abbas: "As much as we are afraid of Saddam, we are afraid that the Americans might also indiscriminately target the civilian infrastructure as they did in 1991...(but)... People have lost a lot already. They would pay the ultimate price, if they knew they were going to get something decent for their children."

Maysoon Nejhat Shukri: "While I don't want a war in Iraq because of what it will do to the people, all I want is for the regime to be changed. I want freedom in Iraq.....People in the Turkmen community are willing to pay with their lives for regime change. Everybody has lost one or two people from their household. But we are the quiet nationality in the country, we like peace."

Mam Rostam: "To our surprise, when Saddam Hussein flew his helicopters to crush us, Mr Bush turned his back on us and went fishing. I hope his son is not going to do the same... When Saddam retaliated, our situation was desperate. Millions of us had to once again flee to the cold mountains. People were dying by the thousands every day."

Hitler - an avatar of Vishnu?

"Savitri Devi's journeys convinced her that India would be receptive to the pagan culture of Nazi regime which she believed was embodied in the person of Hitler, the latest avatar of Vishnu. How different after all was Brahminical culture - with its endless fears of contamination from those lower down the racial hierarchy - from Nazisim? Was there not, Savitiri Devi wondered, a persuasive analogy to be made between the Aryan fear of the Jew and the Hindu fear of the Muslim? Was there not a parallel between German nationalism and Hindu nationalism?"

Who was Savitri Devi? Her real name was Maximiani Portas. You can read more about her in this article. The above quote is taken from there. Off late I have been doing some reading on why the Nazis chose the swastika as their symbol and whether it had anything to do with the swastika that Brahmins use. Initial readings suggests that it did. Hopefully, over a period of time, I will be able to write up a little article on the similarities between the two swastikas.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Lessons from North Korea

Warmongers and the so-called ‘liberators of the oppressed people’ will continue to look up to Bush as a Demigod sent from heaven. He is, according to them, the chosen one to dole out the manna and guide the suffering people to the Promised Land. Or rather, convert their existing deserts into that.

Pacifists on the other hand will look at him as the co-brother of Lucifer who is hell bent on unleashing fury and wrath on those who oppose his will. He is, according to them, a person who finds war, death and destruction as natural and would debate for a reason to be peaceful.

In between are the people who debate on the good, the bad and the ugly that will eventually happen. Wars have always taught humans a lesson – some subtle and some severe. And this war, which George Bush is about to unleash, will probably end up as the mother of all lessons.

Bush announced Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the ‘axis of evil’ (from America’s point of view). And in order to destroy this axis Bush set out on an agenda to have a regime change in Iraq and install a pro-democracy, pro-western leader in charge. Speculation suggests that the process of westernisation of the Middle East, starting from Iraq, should begin over the next couple of weeks.

Iran, being the neighbour of Iraq, is feeling the heat too. Internal diplomacy within the country suggests that they have no doubt that America will train their guns on them – the moment de-Baathing in Iraq is complete. This aspect is still quite open to speculation. One thing that is not open to debate is the fact that America will not take on North Korea in a similar fashion as it plans to do on Iraq. The American inner circle has confirmed this by their ‘friendly’ attitude to solve all grave issues that have arisen with North Korea in the last six months.

The secret to a good lesson is not about asking what, where, when, how, et all...but ‘why’? Why is it that North Korea, despite having a more brutal regime than that of Saddam is being let off the hook? Why is it that a pre-emptive strike is necessary ‘now’ against Iraq and not later? Why is it that North Korea, which has kicked out UN inspectors, re-started its nuclear reactors, has openly declared its’ wilful intention to produce nuclear bombs, routinely tests long range missiles, deserves a friendlier treatment in contrast to their Mid-East counterparts?

Is it oil? Yes, though it is only a part of the answer - a small but significant part nonetheless. The real reason however is that America is capable of taking on Iraq but not on North Korea. With ICBM’s that can cruise beyond 6,000 kilometres, the whole of Alaska lays bare to North Korean missiles. This gives double headache to America: one, most of the army bases in charge of watching eastern Russia are based in Alaska; two – this part of North America is rich in oil and should a couple of nuclear missiles land over there, it will be a no-man’s land for the next hundred years or so. Therefore it is a complete no-no when it comes to arm twisting the North Koreans.

Compare this with Mid-East nations, Iran and Iraq, which together with North Korea form the American Axis of Evil. Neither of them is nuclear (yet) and their biological and chemical weapons are incapable of reaching any part of USA. Utmost they could reach Israel and it is a risk that US is willing to take on behalf of Israel. That answers your question as to why Israel is not openly demanding a war on Iraq / Iran. They don’t want their brouhaha to act as the homing beacon for Iraqi missiles.

This has taught the leaders of Iran – and probably all other non-democratic nations in the world – one big lesson. Get a few nuclear bombs and a means to deliver them, you have in your hand the bargaining power against the most powerful nation in the world. That is why strategists around the world are no longer surprised by Iran’s recent announcement to restart their nuclear reactors. They have also made it clear that these reactors are not open to UN inspections. Though Iran claims their reactors are for energy purposes it is common knowledge that these reactors are incapable of producing energy that is economically viable.

Bush set off on his ‘war on terrorism’ with the intention of making the world a safer place - safe from biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons. But if recent developments are any indication, he will probably remembered in history as the person responsible for nuclear proliferation. Last year the impoverished North Korea earned over $550m in foreign currency by selling hardware and designs of its weapons. There is no reason to believe its habits will change in the near future. With Al-Qaeda being the first in line for newly produced North Korean nuclear bombs (which should roll out within next six months), it is time for America to do some serious thinking. America’s double standards in dealing with rogue nations have taught the rogue leaders one vital lesson: don’t disclose you are anti-American until you have the key in hand; a nuclear key that is.

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