google-cpi
Few months ago I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress. The reason being my old blog disappeared from Google search altogether. For no particular reason it simply vanished.

So I did some research and I was asked to verify the website using Google webmaster tools. I followed all the instructions, but the site simply could not be verified. It was quite vexing because Blogger is Google’s own product and I simply assumed, that it would measure up their own standards.

Somehow that was not the case and my blog could not be verified as a legitimate website. After a few frustrating days, I made the decision I have been putting off for a while and moved the blog to WordPress, where I should say it is doing pretty well. The site has been verified by Google, Bing and other social networking sites. Of course Twitter doesn’t verify you until you are a VIP (‘commoners, peasants, shoo, shoo, away’).

Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi / Source Wikipedia

When I saw the statue of Mr.Gandhi being unveiled in London’s parliament square; Mr.Cameroon giving a speech to mark the occasion while sharing the stage with India’s number one celebrity Mr.Amithab Bachchan, the ludicrousness of it all became unbearable. So I thought it was time I explained to the younger generation why Mr.Gandhi is the father of India.

Mr.Gandhi is the father our nation because he was the only leader who went through untold suffering while leading the masses to freedom.

Being one to shun the spotlight, he decided that he would leave politics as soon as his beloved nation was granted freedom by the Colonial British. In comparison, Mr. Nelson Mandela

sunset at vellore/shelly paul
Image by Shelly Paul

A religion’s origin, that is lost in time. A religion, that has survived the influx of many other religions, cultures, its own corruption and foreign invasions. After several thousand years, Hinduism is still the predominant religion in today’s India. It is more a way of life than a religion. It permeates into everything that’s Indian. That is why it is hard to separate India from Hinduism. Everyone who is born Indian does have a degree of Hinduism within them doesn’t matter the religion they are born into currently.

While absorbing the news about the fanatical murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff, I was reminded of something Mr. Lewis Black said on a talk show. In the stand-up routine, ‘The End of the Universe’, he wraps up the show talking about faith. He talks about the importance of balancing faith with a sense of humor. In course of the segment, he says, “…and that’s what happens when you don’t laugh. You get all wound up in what you’re believing in and nobody goes ‘eh,heh’ and you’re ..you’re screwed.”

That is the role of a satirist in our society; to go ‘eh heh’, when group-think takes over people’s minds. Especially in today’s era of ubiquitous information, it is easy to isolate ourselves by cherry picking whatever suits us without

Recently, I happened to read an article in New York Times that impressed me with its blunt honesty.
Titled “The Charitable Industrial Complex” it’s an article written by Peter Buffet, son of Warren Buffet. The article discusses something he calls ‘Philanthropic Colonialism’.

How did Mother India get to a point, where an innocent young girl was raped, torn apart and discarded on the side of the road bleeding, to death? While an angry nation spilled out on the streets to protest, a tender, fifteen year old was being gang raped in Bihar. Yet another young rape victim from Punjab killed herself after being subjected to the pornographic interrogation by the police.

In an effort to diminish the protests, the shameless and irresponsible police along with the criminally negligent government have the audacity to blame the atrocity on the victims themselves, by talking about cosmetics and discotheques.

What has make-up and disco got to do with a woman being raped?

For a person who fights tooth and nail against the government’s lack of transparency, Julian Assange is a very opaque person. His personal life aside, he is highly secretive about the way he goes about his method of journalism. He does not reveal any sources, either financial or otherwise.

One might argue that he is not required to answer any questions. But his method of journalism raises several questions. If his sources are secretive how does one determine if these secret whistle-blowers are not pursuing an agenda of their own? Therefore how does one determine if the leaks are objective or cherry-picked information to fill in the frame of a desired picture?

Where does his funding coming from?

sea-legs/port charlotte
Port Charlotte

I like the beach. I like the waves pounding the shore; the sun disappearing into inky blue waters. But I hate being on a ship. This was my discovery on a recent five-day cruise.

It was an exciting moment when we boarded the ship. It was late afternoon; our cabin was cute as a button as it was spick and span. We settled down nice and easy. The docked ship rocked ever so gently. As she sailed, the scenery improved. It looked like the beginning of another great vacation.

The next morning we walked around the ship enjoying the scenery. It was a beautiful sight watching the sun come up over endless waters, as the ship tore through dark-blue waters, throwing frothy white surf in its wake. The tranquility of all this did something wonderful to the soul.

afterlife/Shelly Paul
Image by Shelly Paul

What do you tell someone who lost a loved one recently? How do you console someone in bereavement when, even the most eloquent of words seems trite and superfluous? These were the questions that arose in my mind when I rang up my cousin, who had just lost his father.

Although not very close, my uncle was a permanent part of the childhood memories of my summer vacations. His departure was sudden and came as a shock to me. So one can imagine the blow it dealt to his immediate family – my aunt and cousins. On the day before his unexpected demise, he spent most of the day in the house of his eldest son, who invited his siblings and their families, at his father’s request.

When I heard the news, I knew I had to call him to offer my condolences. That’s when I realized