Saturday, December 27, 2008

Life List

At fifteen, he sat down and made a list. At such a young age he jotted down all that he wished to do in his life. The list included things like; exploring the Nile, Colorado and more, learn about the primitive civilizations of Congo, Brazil and more, climb the Mt. Everest, Mt Fuji and many more, photograph Iguacu Falls, Niagara Falls and more, explore the underwater coral reefs of Florida and The Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Visit places like the Taj Mahal, Leaning tower of Pisa and others, write a book, make a telescope, publish an article in National Geographic Magazine, light a match with a .22 rifle, go to the moon and plenty of others. Puff! And that is just some of the items from his list that had 127 items in all.
He called it "My Life List".
Today, he has ticked off 111 items from the list. Some of the items still not ticked are; go to the moon, visit every country in the world (he has 30 to go) and feature in a Tarzan movie. Ha.
John Goddard is an explorer, adventurer, author and lecturer. Check his complete "Life List" . You will be bulldozed to amazement. I promise.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The best goodbye ever ...

What would you do if you came to know you have only a couple of months to live? Amar Kaul, the character played by Vinay Pathak in 'DASVIDANIYA' makes a list of things he wishes to do before he dies. He has three months to live. And is successful in ticking off all the items in the list before he says his goodbyes.

His journey through the last months of his life is not only moving but inspiring and an education. Its one of the movies that makes you introspective.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Illusion of Wealth and a Fraud.

When Lehman Brothers evaporated and the official anouncement of recession started to do the headlines, I started to search for answers. I was lost. I had little or more correctly no understanding of the stock market then. And my understanding of economics did not go beyond the demand and suppy curve. So, for the next couple of weeks I read and reread a lot of material on the internet. Became, for a change, a listener in discussions that broke out at office over coffee and lunch. The frequency and duration of coffee breaks increased and I was educated.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Finding sense ...

I collate here some of the comments and excerpts from articles that I read after the Mumbai terror episode. Maybe, just maybe, as a group, these thoughts will make some sense amidst the confusion, anger, hopelessness and hate that has gripped the nation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

India’s 9/11? Not Exactly by Amitav Ghosh

With debates on the possibility and effectiveness of miliatary action on Pakistan doing the rounds these days the following article by Amitav Ghosh in the New York Times makes for a fantastic read and I share that with you here.

India’s 9/11? Not Exactly

SINCE the terrorist assaults began in Mumbai last week, the metaphor of the World Trade Center attacks has been repeatedly invoked. From New Delhi to New York, pundits and TV commentators have insisted that “this is India’s 9/11” and should be treated as such. Nearly every newspaper in India has put “9/11” into its post-massacre headlines. The secretary general of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the leading Hindu nationalist political faction, has not only likened the Mumbai attack to those on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but has insisted that “our response must be close to what the American response was.”

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

News, or is it?

I followed NDTV and IBN CNN for close to four hours last evening. The fears that I expressed in my last post seemed to have come to pass. There was almost no mention of the Assam blast for the complete period that I followed the news.

The 24/7 media had so much in hand that they forgot to give enough news time to the incidence in Assam. Yet found enough time to interview film stars and other celebrities for their reaction to Mumbai episode. I am not least bit surprised.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Blast in Assam

Another bomb blast. This time in Assam.

Militants belonging to Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF) are suspected to be behind tha blast. The blast went of inside coach number 8209 of 901 Lumding-Tinsukia passenger train, exploded around 8 am as it entered Diphu railway station. Almost 30 people are suspected to be dead as of now. Read More ...

I am waiting to see how India responds to this. Will the anger rise or will it make the country resigned to the idea that life of terror is now the norm and inevitable.

Will the country discriminate between terror based on who is responsible for it or on the basis of which part of the country is attacked?

Government is listening?

This country has seen worse incidences of terror and destruction. The Kosi River killed much more than a lot of terror incidences. It was a calamity for which nature was not wholly responsible. Rather the reasons were man made. Definite negligence from political leadership and government officials. The same reasons that made last week incidence possible.

So what makes the TAJ incidence so unique that the people of the country have woken up and have become vocal? I think the people of this country have always been vocal of their plight. Only this time the ones who are vocal are the people that matter. These are the country’s elite and for some reason have more say in the functioning of the world. When a helpless villager in far away interior Bihar expresses his tragedy of losing his family to the floods, it makes for a good fifteen minutes of news time. Nothing more.

Monday, December 01, 2008

India challenged....

With the visuals of the final hour assault by the NSG at Taj, I start my day. Within a couple of minutes into the commentary one could see the fire beginning to engulf the ground floor and the first floor of what is undoubtedly one of the most majestic pieces of architecture facing the west coast. Guns shot reminds of the some bloody Hollywood war movie. But the location is not some forest in another country. War zone is closer home.