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Showing posts from April, 2011

An Early Prediction

Obama Wins Reelection. Considering the rate at which Republicans are dropping out, what if the Republicans fail to field a candidate? No. Perhaps that's rather unlikely. Well, the candidate is likely to be one of these: Huckabee, Romney, Bachmann, or Trump. Game Over. Is that too tough? If you like more details, read this:

Greg Mortenson

What could be the motivation? Well, good stories sell. Novelists and storytellers have all the freedom in the world. Screenwriters even in biopics do not mind using a bit of artistic license to imagine a scene. If you can use reality as the base and add some embellishment and fine tuning and a dose of heroism and sacrifice to make the story appear more heroic and more emotional, what's wrong with that? The world is a bit too crowded with heroes and tales of heroism. So, it's a bit tough to stand out if one sticks strictly to the truth and nothing but the truth. So, who are the heroes? Well, creating an appropriate image is incredibly important. Bill Clinton is living proof of that. Mother Teresa and Diana are dead proofs. No matter how convincingly Christopher Hitchens is able to demolish myths of heroism and saintly qualities around these personalities, the public perception is so strongly rooted in the manufactured image that it's very difficult and nearly imposs

37 Revolutions

There's this well known quote of course: life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. So, looking back after having completed 37 revolutions around the home star, I was trying to jog my memory and see how many of those breathtaking moments I could recall. Clearly, a moment whose memory one's brain has chosen to discard cannot qualify as a breathtaking moment by definition. And yet, our brain stores information is some crazy fashion which is probably not yet understood quite comprehensively by modern science. One can think in chronological terms. One's childhood days. Growing up. One can think of emotions. Happy memories and sad ones. Time dulls pain. Time dulls pleasure too. Memories fade.  Should we try to hang on to memories? How sharply do we or can we remember old events? Some claim that they can smell and taste and remember the colors and more. May be, if one tries hard enough, one can. But

Being Christopher Hitchens

My debt of gratitude to Mr. Hitchens continues to grow. Not on a daily basis but every time I see an interview with him, I come out wiser after watching it. As a polemicist, Christopher has chosen to take on many individuals who have become larger than life. Mr. Hitchens has been a scathing critic of the false piousness of Mother Teresa. He has also been critical of the people's princess business with respect to Diana. Above all, Bill Clinton has been portrayed as a consummate and perhaps congenital smooth liar. That is where I came out with a lesson after watching Mr. Hitchens' interview yesterday. Mr. Clinton, it must be axiomatic, has to be narcissistic. So, why am I rooting for him? Why are so many? Indeed. Quite a point. It is perhaps yet another instance of how dangerously flawed we can be in our perceptions. We are perhaps giving a lot of leeway to Mr. Clinton because of his good looks. We may be doing this subconsciously without even realizing it. Perhaps, i

Style Over Substance

It's remarkable and scary to think about how easy it's to fool the human brain. It's sad or scary to see how many small-minded humans occupy so much of the space and wield so much power. It's also sad or scary to see so many members of the public being so vigorously interested in matters that are essentially trivial. A survey comes out showing that Jennifer Lopez is the most beautiful woman in the world. Angelina Jolie holds forth on the problems afflicting Africa. George Clooney too. Or Bono. Pop music stars attract so much frenzy. People care about royal weddings. And other kinds of famous people's weddings too. People are interested in the private lives of other people. And wealth. Yes. How rich people splurge interests those who are not rich. The yachts. Big houses. Furnishings. Cruise liner trips. Vacationing in style. In private islands. And looking good. Self improvement. It has come to encompass only one's physical good looks. Cos

Enough Already.

It's ... what, about three hours since India won the Cup. Are we done celebrating yet or are we going to go on and on ... I'm already dreading being around in 2031 when the 20th anniversary of this great win will come around. It's tough to extrapolate how much more sillier the media will get from where they are now and how much more silly their questions will get. I'm sure they will Sachin how he 'felt' back in 2011 when we won the Cup. And I want to say already: come on, give the old man a break, will you? So, I'm ready to move on with my mundane life. What's next? Let's see ... Well, GoDaddy's CEO has shot an elephant and expectedly, PETA is up in arms. He's going to get the Scummiest CEO award from PETA ... apparently a brand new award that PETA has invented just for him. The final death toll is yet to be determined in the grim Japanese earthquake/tsunami. The search continues. And the nuclear meltdown disaster con

India Wins The World Cup

India does not get many opportunities to celebrate. Patriotic fervor is a strange beast. When else has something of similar magnitude happened? August 15, 1947 was a day of celebration of course when this nation took birth in its modern avatar. The triumph in the war of 1971 was decisive, unambiguous, emphatic. The World Cup cricket win of 1983 was a remarkable coming up age victory as India was a dark horse then. The Kargil skirmish did not have any "Mission Accomplished" moments though it too was portrayed as a great battle won. The 2011 Cricket World Cup victory is now added to that list of historical milestones.