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The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám"The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it." -- The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
Monthly Archives: August 2009
August 26, 2009 – 12:10 am
P. Sainath may be writing really moving articles about distress sale of cattle in Maharashtra, but the real breaking news in the bovine world is happening somewhere in Britain.
Reuters on Tuesday reported that the deaths of no fewer than four people after being trampled by cows in the past two months has prompted Britain’s main farming union to issue a warning about the dangers of provoking the normally docile animals. ( http://link.reuters.com/fep23d )
Apparently cows in England are sick of being taken for granted and not being taken seriously. Enough of being cowed down!
The important thing to note is that these cows do not seem to have anything against human beings. Its dogs that the cows cannot tolerate. In most cases the people that these rebellious cows attacked were with accompanied by their dogs. And I don’t blame the cows. There is only so much that a cow can tolerate. Just imagine…. for centuries now cows have been faithfully serving mankind. They give milk, provide musical mooing sounds and even act as beasts of burden in case donkeys are in short supply. And all in return for what?
Things have come to such a pass that the high point of an ambitious cow’s dreams are a choice between ending up as a shoe or inside a tin! People have been exploiting cows for ages. Cow feet and hooves are rendered for human and pet food, gelatin, glue, buttons, handles, lubricants, cow-heel jelly, bonemeal, soaps, the foam in fire extinguishers, and fertilizers. You name it – you got it. Poor cows. Troubles enough to make their milk curdle! Just take this gruesome example. People consider cow tongue a great delicacy. I ask you how would you feel about people who would not think twice before eating your tongue. Leaves you speechless, right? Quite takes the moo out of you!
And all the while dogs have been elevated to the status of man’s best friend! What cow- excrement! What’s so special about dogs? Can you milk them? ( yes you can, you literal minded quibbler! But tell me when was the last time you had dog-milk shake? ) Can you make shoes out of dog skin?.. they would probably bite! All that dogs do is bully cattle and go about irrigating fire hydrants!
No sir! Cows have been wronged for long… too long. In fact you must have heard the term bull-shit used to denote something that’s very untrue or very foolish! What’s so foolish about the bowel movements of a poor cow? Well if bulls are not bellowing about this rabid insult that’s there call…but cows are certainly not going to take any more of this dog-crap! Let all men who entertain dogs and pet them, do so at their own risk.. if they stray into a cow’s field let them be prepared to leg it or be gored into eternity.
The only people who are working for these mute animals are the RSS and even there the progress is slow! Naturally, cows have been left with no option but to grab the problem of being underestimated by the horns and turn it on its head. Enough of being on the horn of a dilemma.
The battle cry has been sounded.. no cow is going to be taken lightly now! So lets Moo on!
August 24, 2009 – 9:52 pm
Children’s games are becoming more and more violent by the day!
On Monday the Press Association reported that police are hunting a group of children who tied a seven-year-old boy to a tree with a rope. ( http://wp.me/plDK5-2p )
Bradley McLachlan had the rope wrapped around his body, including his neck, during the incident at Bransbury Park, Portsmouth, Hampshire, at about midday on July 28.
What happened to the good old fashioned way of playing hangman?
August 18, 2009 – 10:26 pm
BANGALORE – The world has different ways of protesting against things they do not like.
Some choose to fast, some write letters to ministers, some throw stones while some even stay silent.
In India we like torching public transport vehicles.
On Tuesday The Times of India carried the story of a mob of students setting fire to four AC bogies of Shramjeevi Express at Bihta railway station, about thirty-five kilometres from Patna. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/city/patna/Students-burn-four-AC-bogies-near-Patna/articleshow/4905810.cms )
The report carried Superintendent of Railway Police (Patna) U K Singh’s statement that a group of students boarded the air-conditioned compartments of 2392 New Delhi-Rajgir Shramajeevi Express at Ara railway station and tried to grab reserved seats. Apparently the group of students got into a rumpus with security personnel after the were asked to hop off the train at the next station.
The students seem to have been angered by the behaviour of the security personnel, clearly someone not a local, who exhibited oodles of ignorance in not knowing that in Bihar there is no such thing as train reservations.!
In the scuffle that ensued, it is alleged that a student got injured and then what followed was not a surprise.
Angry students then smashed the window panes of the superfast train and torched the AC coaches at Bhita, the cop said.
If I were not from Calcutta the news might have struck me as strange, but coming from the City of Joy the incident is hardly news!
In Calcutta bus burning is a regular hobby.
People get up in the mornings, look at their appointment diaries and see that they do not have much to do… so they decide to burn a bus.
A bus ran over some innocent soul – lets burn the bus.
Price rise?— burn a bus.
Taslima Nasreen creates a controversy with her statements.. burn two busses.
Nothing to do … er .. burn a bus.
What I find amusing is how people get drawn in by crowd mentality.
People who by themselves would not have dreamt of lighting up even a cigarette think nothing of torching a whole bus depot, when in a crowd of sufficient numbers.
Every year the government loses huge amounts of money due to damage to public property, which could be easily avoided.
This should be reason enough for the government to take stern action.
People need to be impressed with the idea that actions like burning a bus or burning a train cannot be justified, no matter how great the provocation.
How would you feel if someone came along and set fire to your house or car, just because they were angry with something you said or did ?
We live in an enlightened age. We have access to some of the best tools of learning. We should take the opportunity to ignite our minds… not ignite trains and busses!
August 17, 2009 – 1:00 pm
When i was a kid i was legendary for getting lost. In fact one of the first things my father taught me, was to recite my address. In no time at all i could rattle off ” My name is Saqib. I live at 226 B.B. Ganguly Street”.
But this beats me!
Reuters on Saturday reported a Dutchman and his grandson boarded a flight to Sydney, looking forward to visiting sunny Australia, but ended up in a much chillier Sydney — in Nova Scotia, Canada. ( http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE57D4F620090815 )
Boy thats some confusion!
The duo were off the mark by about 10,000 miles!
August 17, 2009 – 12:26 pm
Early to rise, early to bed, makes a man healthy, wealthy and dead.- Rincewind, The Light Fantastic
They both savoured the strange warm glow of being much more ignorant than ordinary people, who were only ignorant of ordinary things. – Equal Rites
He did of course sometimes have people horribly tortured to death, but this was considered to be perfectly acceptable behaviour for a civic ruler and generally approved of by the overhelming majority of citizens. [footnote: The overhelming majority of citizens being defined in this case as everyone not currently hanging upside down over a scorpion pit] – Sourcery
It became apparent that one reason why the Ice Giants were known as the Ice Giants was because they were, well, giants. The other was that they were made of ice.- Sourcery
People who are rather more than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys. People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like, “Oh. Sorry. I thought you were someone else.” – Carrot’s voyage to Ankh-Morpork in Guards! Guards!
A number of religions in Ankh-Morpork still practiced human sacrifice, except that they didn’t really need to practice any more because they had got so good at it.- Guards! Guards!
I think that sick people in Ankh-Morpork generally go to a vet. It’s generally a better bet. There’s more pressure on a vet to get it right. People say “it was god’s will” when granny dies, but they get angry when they lose a cow. – Terry Pratchett
There are no inconsistencies in the Discworld books; ocassionally, however, there are alternate pasts.- Terry Pratchett
Luck is my middle name. Mind you, my first name is Bad. – Rincewind, “Interesting Times”
I like the idea of democracy. You have to have someone everyone distrusts. That way, everyone’s happy. – Brutha, Small Gods
Just because it’s not nice doesn’t mean it’s not miraculous.- Terry Pratchett
Thunder rolled. … It rolled a six.- Guards! Guards!
The world is made up of four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This is a fact well known even to Corporal Nobbs. It’s also wrong. There’s a fifth element, and generally it’s called Surprise.– (Terry Pratchett, The Truth)
A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.- Terry Pratchett, The Truth
Nanny Ogg quite liked cooking, provided there were other people around to do things like chop up the vegetables and wash the dishes afterwards.- Home Pragmatics (Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad)
The man gave a shrug which indicated that, although the world did indeed have many problems, this was one of them that was not his.- (Terry Pratchett, Soul Music)
August 13, 2009 – 5:41 pm
Word has it that Visitors to New Zealand hotels are very upset!
And you cannot blame them after what happened recently.
Reuters on Wednesday reported that an extremely drunk, naked man lost his way at a New Zealand hotel and ended up sleeping in the wrong room, forcing its female occupant to hide in the bathroom. ( http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE57B4P320090812?feedType=nl&feedName=usoddlyenough )
Imagine the horror of it.
You are buzzed with all the work and finally decide to take a break and take a holiday. You go to sleep with the intention of getting up early to see the sunrise.
In the middle of the night you are woken by this awful snoring!
And you turn in bed, only to see a buck naked man sleeping away to glory in the very bed you are shelling out good money to sleep in.
I am tempted to believe reports of many tourists in New Zealand suffering from nervous-breakdown. The strange bit is that these people broke down even before they saw the bill for their stay!
Reuters reported that the man, who did not have any clothes or a wallet on him, could not remember what room he had been in .
Perfectly understand … If i found myself naked in bed with strangers in a strange bed, i would try to forget about it pretty quickly too!
Nudists will be happy to note that the man was let off after the hotel and the guest, into whose room the man had barged in, did not press charges!
August 12, 2009 – 1:18 pm
The Nepal Government, is being sexist!
On Monday Reuters reported that about 200 women marched through the Nepali Capital to denounce a government scheme to pay cash incentives to men for marrying widows. ( http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE5792FC20090810 )
The report was not very clear as to why the women were protesting. To my mind there could be two distinct possibilities.
(i) the women were angry that men should have to be rewarded for marrying widows.
(ii) the women could have been protesting that the government was paying too less !
Nepal’s centre-left coalition recently announced a plan to pay the equivalent of $650 to any man who marries a widow. This raises interesting questions. Why is the government trying to incentivise the marriage of widows? Would it not be better off penalizing men for dying. If they did not die in the first place there would not be any widows. Those who dared to die would have to pay a hefty penalty to the government, half of which could go to the widows. To my mind this would be a more equitable, non-sexist proposal.
And of course it would help the government raise some cash rather than give away the moolah!
Reuters said that women protesters have said they will gather more widows from across the country and organize more protests.
This needs to be seriously considered. Is the government ready for large-scale protests, with violence, riots and the possibility of deaths that these protests could result in ?
Probably not. Consider that the protest might result in people getting killed and a few more widows being created – sort of defeats the governments purpose!
Interestingly if the same scheme were to be put to practice in India the case would have been much different. Instead of protests there would probably be great support to the plan. People would probably ask the government to not be stingy and extend the offer to cover all marriages, not just the ones to widows.
What could be better than to marry and be given Rs. 30,000 by the government? Indians are famous for their lhankering after dowry. If it comes from the government, so much the better ! And it would finally convince me that our taxes were being put to good use !
August 11, 2009 – 5:45 pm
And now for the economic lesson. if you do not balance your Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments you may end up with a stinking problem on your hands.
Much like Cuba, today.
Reuters on Monday reported that officials from state-run Cuban companies have said that the country, well known for its cigars, is running short of toilet paper and may not get sufficient supplies until the end of the year.
The report said :
“Cuba’s financial reserves have been depleted by increased spending for imports and reduced export income”
Its good that it is settled as to what has caused this shortage of toilet-paper. Left to myself i might have jumped to the conclusion that Cubans were visiting the pot more frequently, since that seems the most logical explaination for shortage of toilet paper.
Another thought that strikes me at this time is – will Cuba become the first country to approach the IMF for a toilet-paper-aid? How come India missed this one? Obviously because most of the country relies on water ( And that explains the state of our rivers!)
Cuba, the report said, both imports and produces toilet-paper. At this time it does not have sufficient raw materials to produce its own toilet paper. Thus the shortage.
For those Cubans, and i am resonably sure there are not many, who can keep from visiting the pot till the end of the year, everything is just fine. For the rest this is one stinking economic problem.
As an afterthought i would like to ask… Could this mass shortage of toilet paper have implications for newspaper sales going up in Cuba?
August 10, 2009 – 5:08 pm
A word of warning for Saturday night revellers.
Try not to drink.
Try not to Grope beautiful Greek single women in the bar.
Try not to smoke.
And whatever happens try not to do all of these things together, unless of course you fancy yourself as a kebab!
Okay this is not idle chatter this is a serious true incident that will make your flesh crawl.
The Telegraph UK reported today that a certain Marina Fanouraki, a Greek woman accused of setting fire to British holidaymaker Stuart Feltham after he allegedly groped her in a bar has formally pressed charges of sexual harassment against him. ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/6005226/Greek-woman-formally-presses-charges-against-Crete-burns-victim.html )
It seems that this young Brit was on a holiday and started getting ideas after he had downed a few drinks and got to see Ms Marina.
If you believe HER version all that the lady did was to ” only throw a Sambuca drink over Mr Feltham after he drunkenly fondled her”. She insists that she did not set fire to him. According to her the chap (who must have the IQ of a moth-ball, which has never been to school!) lit a cigarette and then went WHOOOOSH!
The chap went up in flames and word has it that no more hair grows on his chest!
If you believe HIS version then the details are a little changed. Apparently the girl is a sort of pyromaniac. She saw him at the bar and decided he would make a good bonfire, so she doused him in alcohol. While he was still wallowing about in a spirited way (pun intended!) she offered to light a fag for him but ended up putting a light to his alcohol soaked body! The whole episode leaves a dark impression on my mind and of course second degree burns on the body of Stuart.
The father of the kebab… Er Stuart says that the attack was “unprovoked” and that his son “never laid a finger on this girl”, a claim that may be technically correct, for all we know! ( If he had laid a finger on the girl I might have been tempted to say “man burns finger while molesting hot lady”)
The case is in progress and Stuart’s legal team is looking to get an adjournment so they can have a few more drinks .. er .. no .. get his clothes examined to see what fluids had been poured on him.
No matter what the outcome of the case, I feel there is an important lesson here for us.
Do not mix Drinks, cigarettes and Greek ladies. They do not seem to go down well together! Hic !
August 10, 2009 – 3:46 pm
Life is full of surprises. And there is no limit to how low human beings can stoop to make an extra buck!
Just take the case of the mystery of the missing water-tank cover!
This morning, when i left the house i was the proud owner of a water-tank and a water-tank cover. Little did i know that elements of the under-world were lurking all around the house, on a sharp lookout for a chance to De-cover my water-tank.
Now, i have it from my house-mate that around nine in the morning a strange lady rang the bell and gibbered at him in some unknown language. She seemed agitated about something and kept pointing towards our water-tank and then towards the road. My roomie, who was busy playing online poker failed to catch the subtle hints and told her “Come tomorrow!”.
Readers please do not doubt the sanity of my Roomie . Consider this . My roomie comes from a civilised city where they do not steal water-tank covers at the drop of a hat. He could not have imagined that the lady was gibbering away about nefarious elements walking off with out water-tank cover! Besides he had pocket Aces in the poker game he was playing and must be forgiven if he hurried back to his room without noticing the coverlessness of our water-tank.
Presently the water-tank is covered with a broken window! We are still in discussion ( my roomie and I) whether it is a good idea to go and whack a water-tank cover off some neighbour! I like the idea on principle but insist that we not try the stunt on a neighbour who seems to have a large dog whose sole aim of existence is to bark at strangers!
If u see any suspicious looking character walking bowed under the weight of a water-tank cover please call me. And if u have a spare water-tank cover, please let me know!