Saturday, September 30, 2006


'Largely for lack of clean water, 2.1 million children under the age of 5 die each year [in India], according to the United Nations.' (Emphasis added)

'"I want to work, but I can’t," she said glumly. "I go mad waiting for water."'

Source: NYT

Update: NYT's subsequent articles in this series on the Indian Water Crisis are available here and here.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Me: My life has been very complicated.
Other Me: Really? Look at X and Y.
Me: Hmmm... Maybe my life has been simple.
Other Me: Adhu!
Me: But is that for better or worse?
Other Me: *Vanishes*
Me: #$(@#$^

Other OOCs: OOC1 OOC2

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


X is condemned by the highest court of the land to die.
X sits in his prison cell waiting to know when he will be put to death.
And X keeps waiting. For 418 days.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Nee mounam saathithaai.
Saathithathaaga ninaithaai.
Maranthu vittai
Un mouna agarathi yenakku athupadi yendru.

Red/Blue Pill?

Manufacturing optimism by providing false hopes is a pointless exercise. Over time, the audience will see their hopes crash repeatedly and give up.
Instead take a hard look at the truth and come up with a feasible way to realise the dream.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


(C) K. Ananthan/Frontline

Update (25 Sep): Read this, this and this.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006





Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Appidi ellam nambikkai illaama naathigam pesaatheenga. Oorellam intha mathiri neraiya saami irukku. Namakku dhaan theriyalai. Nambunga."

(C) Madan/Kamal

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Y ivlo feeling?

Friday, September 15, 2006

"But dont you think something is wrong somewhere?"

(C) Gulzar/Hrishikesh Mukherjee
God without a religion.
Poet without words.
Lost, as ever.
The quest continues...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You can hope to beat infinity only by attacking it bit-by-bit.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Often times, something I thought to be profound has turned out to be trivial.
Often times, something I thought to be trivial has turned out to be profound.


Is this post trivial or profound? :)
Don't think?!
Yeh raasta hai keh raha ab mujhse
Milne ko hai koi kahin ab tujhse.

(C) Javed Akhtar.

Existence of a path implies existence of a destination?!

Friday, September 08, 2006


It would be awesome if the video of NYN had something to do with sleep - either S sleeping with this sadness and experiencing this song in his sleep, or S falling asleep as the song ends.

Loneliness and Sleep are powerful states - each with the power of destroying the Other.

Should be fun to see how the video has actually come out. And no, vetti people who bunk to watch the movie FDFS today or those who watch the telugu video on tv dont need to share their learnings. :)

I'd like to find out for myself.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Note: The Overhearing Others' Conversation (OOC)series began here. This post is the second in what will hopefully be a regular series.

Me : Why cant life be simple?
Other Me: Its better this way.
Me: Its easy for you to say. You drop by when you feel like it. Its me who has got to live this life.
Other Me: Hmmm. *Vanishes*
Me: $@#@$%^


ratham kakkumpothu yerpadaathathu,
thuli kanneer sinthinalo nenjamellam vali.

kanneerai kavidhaiyaakinaan,
palar suvaithanar
avanathu valiyai.

pin kaadhalithaan,
vali marainthathu.
kaadhal valikka thuvangiyathu,
thaan mattum suvaithaan ivvaliyai.
motcham adainthaan.

Overhearing Others' conversations

Me : Why cant life be simple?
Other Me: Its better this way.
Me: True. :)
Other Me: :)


Vaai thiranthatho vidaipera,
Baashai maranthu oomai aanen.

Piriyum neram vandhathu,
Vilaga nernthathu.

Kaalam thannai vendrathaai karudhi
Mounamai kadhari sidhariyathu manathu.

Satre oru murai thirumbinaai,
Andha oru paarvai...!
Marainthathu ganam manadhil.
Nilaithathu kanam nenjil.
Adhuve nerathin padutholvi.

Anbe Sivam.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Truth is yuck."
How true!
How do you beat time?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Keep the spark alive


"Though sun or moon I cannot be
To make the whole world bright
I’ll find some little cheerless spot
And shine with all my might"

Sunday, September 03, 2006

No comments.

Psycho-analysis of terrorism

A suicide bomber strongly believes in a cause and would like to play a part for that cause. (By definition these are anti-establishment causes.) He is trying to send a message to the society. It is a cry of helplessness. Anyone who has tried to fight the system will understand this. The person has the will, but not the power. And the system has the inertia to prevail upon him. A suicide bomber believes his action will shock the society to shift the state of inertia. Here is the problem with suicide bombing. The act of killing innocent people is so heinous that the society tends to demonize the suicide bombers and refuses to acknowledge the 'validity' of the cause. In other words, a shocked society does not think. It reacts. In such a scenario, even if the state of inertia is shifted by the act, the shift might not be in the interest of the cause. So what should a prospective suicide bomber do?

The idea is not to kill Other people. But to make them see reason in your cause. To effect the change in the society that you seek, you need Others' support. Without that, the change, if implemented, will not prevail. So you dont kill yourself and make yourself responsible for Others' death. Instead you kill yourself and make them responsible for your death. Self-immolation! Plan it such that you immolate yourself under the gaze of the media. The powerful imagery generated would attack the psyche of the people. That is how you can make a society sit up and take notice.

A more "moderate" option would be a fast-unto-death. But more often than not, the society will react to such a form of protest only if the person(s) undergoing this protest are already well-known. Or if someone actually dies fasting. One downside is that while the death may cause some people to think, there is no accompanying imagery that will engage an entire people. Other forms of Satyagraha like jail-bharo or silent protests might not have a great impact unless a huge number of people participate.

So will self immolation be the future of terrorism?

Not quite. Every cause requires its own tool based on its context.

Palestine: Palestinians need to get the Israeli society to understand their humiliation. Being subject to checkposts, security checks and being blocked from going to places of work by an armed force of another nation is nothing short of humiliation. What if all these Palestinians wore yellow arm-bands/badges (just like those that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust)? Will that not send out a powerful image to the Israeli people? This alone might not help. What if the terrorists, instead of walking into pubs and hotels in Tel Aviv and seting off suicide bombs, actually immolated themselves with the world media watching?

Telangana/Reservation etc: Self-immolation should work wonders.

North-east, Kashmir etc: Any secessionist cause can only win if it has wide support of its own people. In such a scenario, Gandhi-style Satyagraha of jail-bharo, strikes and silent protests should be ideal.

Al Qaeda types: I'm not quite sure what motivates Al Qaeda & co.
1. If its about setting up a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, bombs will not help. Such an aim does not involve convincing the Other side. It is about subjugating them. That cannot be done by bombs alone. You dont set up an empire by destroying other economies alone. You need to setup an economy of your own that can subsume the Other.
2. If its about avenging the wrongs against Muslims worldwide, the cause is difficult to sell if Muslims are seen as committing wrongs against society in general. Probably picking a more specific cause/wrong will make it easier. Like the Palestinian or Kashmir issue above.

If on 9/11, the 19 hijackers had immolated themselves, I'm sure the world wouldn't have felt as much of an impact as it has now. But those 19 deaths alone might have lead the American people to think. The terror attacks helped the US government demonize the perpetrators and their cause. There is no way the American public will ever accept or feel the pain of the hijackers after this atrocity. There is one problem with self immolation here. Will the American people relate to 19 Muslims belonging to foreign countries if they were to immolate themselves? On a larger scale or if done with higher frequency, it may have the necessary impact. Its easier to achieve in the UK. British-born Muslims immolating themselves for a cause would definitely trigger national-level introspection.

If the aim is to bring about a change of heart of the American people, then 9/11 was a blunder. If the aim was to militarily subjugate them, then it might actually have helped their cause. But it is by no means sustainable. What can make it sustainable is not repeated terror attacks, but possession of nuclear weapons. The US War on Afghanistan has almost ensured that Al Qaeda will never be powerful enough to use the threat of nukes. But Al Qaeda has given hope and inspiration to Other terrorist organizations. And the US War on Iraq provides the platform for these groups' recruitment purposes.

Conclusion: Terrorists need to be more innovative, if they are to win. Options like self-immolation are extremely under-utlized now.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

This past week, Bush had this to say about Lebanon in a speech to veterans:

I appreciate the troops pledged by France and Italy and other allies for this important international deployment. Together we're going to make it clear to the world that foreign forces and terrorists have no place in a free and democratic Lebanon.

Ahem, aren't France and Italy foreign to Lebanon?
Even as I was mouthing expletives at this Bush-y logic, the audience applauded.


Thanks to IHT for the extract of Bush's speech.
Idealism + cynicism - An awesome combination

Friday, September 01, 2006


Mini group therapy on the net.


People say they can't make sense of my blog.
I wonder if that is a compliment...