Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holy Horror

"...a survey by the think-tank Policy Exchange, for instance, revealed that 36 per cent of young (British) Muslims believe that those who leave Islam should be killed."

If the result of the above survey reported in 2007, is to be believed, the height of religious fanaticism and irrational cruelty, worry even someone as apathetic as me.

It should be borne in mind while interpreting it, that Britain is one of the more open-minded and rational societies in the World, as far as rational questioning and tolerance for religious plurality are concerned, probably, much more than the US.

And if someone is inclined to point out the positive aspect of the survey that a significant majority - 64 per cent would not kill ex-Muslims, then, I must confess, for me to summon that much positivity in my outlook is not possible.

Let me try to explain. Cruelty and intolerance - both are not countable attitudes, as in 'present' or 'absent', but rather, can be best represented as a spectrum. If 36 per cent want religious apostates killed, it also indicates that possibly, the rest prescribe less severe penalities upon leaving Islam. But the fact remains, they might support such penalties.

In essence, the message sent out is - "if you are born a Muslim, you must die a Muslim; no looking 'here and there'."

In light of this conclusion, it seems, at least, as far as the subjects of the said survey are concerned, 'religious' and 'tolerance', are at best oxymorons, and 'religion' and 'peace' too might get similarly mutually related in the near future.

The reports of the quoted survey and related analyses could be found in the following news pieces:

Muslim apostates threatened over Christianity - Telegraph (click)

Young, British Muslims 'getting more radical' - Telegraph (click)

Lastly, I have noticed that many readers despite reading my posts, do not comment on such 'sensitive' issues. For the first time, I request, if you read this, kindly, if not your opinion, at least leave "I read" in the comments' section. Thanks!

Monday, December 28, 2009


"His large eyes are just like mine. You can't doubt he's got all his cuteness genes from me! You're jealous!" He teased her trying to keep his voice straight suppressing a chuckle.

"Oh yeah, and who's he got his cute lips from?" She asked sharply, knowing it was only his provocation and yet falling for it.

"Alright, to be fair, his 5% cutitude does come from you. His runny nose is your genetic gift?" He could no longer suppress the grin as his hand covered it, but the mischief still overflowed from his eyes.

"Ranjit!" She rolled up the newspaper and hit it on his head.

"Domestic violence! Stooop!" He shouted. "So now you want me to get physical, huh!" He puffed up in mock anger.

The blow was harder than intended. "Sorry..."

"What sorry! You remember, the last time we'd got physical this way, we ended up getting so wild, I'd to call my office telling them Diarrhea God was preventing me from attending? Too bad, boss has turned atheist as far as Diarrhea God is concerned."

"Ranjit! Stop!" She blushed and laughed. "You're funniest. And the cuuuutest. 100% of his cuteness comes from you! Happy?"

"Hey no, it's unfair. I was just joking. I want a fight, not compliment. Just like the last time, I wanna get physical! I'm feeling horn..."

"Shh... I can't fight you. That's your punishment for being sooo adorable." She placed a finger on his lip as she kissed him on the cheek...

She felt the same warmth in her cheeks today that she had 13 years ago. She smiled as she looked at young Ronit's large eyes peering from the photo in her hand and remembered their mock fight.

She wondered how strange memories were. She had never imagined she could muster enough courage to revisit them after their divorce. But here she was, revisiting those very memories, and yet they filled her with a glow. She wondered if Ranjit still remembered her. If he still looked at the old photos and smiled.

She decided the question was redundant. Memories were shared, but happiness was hers alone. After all, he was the one who had abandoned her. Happiness borrowed from memories was no less real, she realized today.

With fears now dissolved, she decided not to warn Ronit of pains of love. She smiled looking at his silly grin, lost in his own fantasies, and wondered how to ask him about his first crush who caused that grin, as he turned 14 today.

Yes, love was worth it. She decided as she shut the photo album.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Missing Marble's Mystery

A box labeled - "MARBLE THE GREAT INSIDE" is examined. There was no sound on shaking it. It was opened - no marble could be seen.


1.1. That the box exists attests to the fact that Marble created it, so there must be Marble inside as declared by the label.

1.2. Ears are not reliable. There must be Marble inside.

1.3. Eyes are not reliable. There must be Marble inside.

1.4. Why would someone lie about Marble? I might find it, if I search "properly". There must be Marble inside.

1.5. If I don't say Marble is great or eat chocolates now, Marble might eat me after killing me. Why take chance?

1.6. If I say, Marble is great, it might give me chocolates after killing me. Why not take chance?

1.7. Marble is Great!

...This was Marbleism.


2.1. There is no sound on shaking the box. There is no marble inside.

2.2. I couldn't see a marble on opening the box. There is no marble inside.

2.3. It's possible to write anything on the label. If I want, I can erase and write "SPOON THE GREAT INSIDE". It doesn't mean there has to be a spoon inside.

2.4. What's written on the label is false.

2.5. I'll try to grow chocolates and eat them to my heart's content before I die.

2.6. To find anything, I use exactly the same method to as I used to find the marble.

2.7. While it is possible for a marble, or for that matter even a spoon to be inside a box, there is no marble in the box given to me.

...This was Amarbleism.


3.1. Absence of sound on shaking the box doesn't totally rule out the possibility that there could be Marble inside.

3.2. Not being able to see the Marble despite being able to see the box doesn't rule out the possibility that there could be Marble inside.

3.3. People can write things on a label - they can either be true or false.

3.4. Had the label talked of a spoon inside the box, I wouldn't have taken any time to conclude that it was false. But Marble is to be accorded special status.

3.5. I'm not sure if there is Marble inside or not.

3.6. Not sure if Marble will get angry if I grow and eat chocolates while alive. :(

...This was Agnosticism.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jokers are Mortal; Jokes, Eternal. But Jokers can reincarnate! ;)

LOL @ Rangnath Commission recommends 10% quota for Muslims (click)

ROFL @ "It added that in case of non-availability of Muslims to fill the 10% earmarked seats, these may be made available to other minorities but in "no case" shall any seat within the recommended 15% shall be given to anybody from the majority community."

An exclusive bout of laughter specially @ "majority community". Wow! How lovely and loving the whole thing sounds!! I'm simply mesmerized by the love flowing for me, in the hearts of those running this nation.

ROFLMAO @ "Unity in diversity"

I wish our secular and guardian-of-equality government did not come up with these kind of jokes that make me laugh so uncontrollably. You know, so much laughing can hurt sometimes.

Ouch! I forgot, these are 'practical' jokes, and not meant for laughing. But then, WTF! LOL!

Another Blog

Hello readers!

Yesterday I started another parallel blog called Conflusions (click), where I will be mainly noting down some of the conclusions drawn about life. In contrast with the current blog, thoughts there will be most succinct, and not written in an explanatory tone.

You are invited to take a look.


Monday, December 14, 2009

These are not Diwali Firecrackers, please!

What are these people even trying to do?!!

Click and Click.

It's both puzzling and unnerving.

Even if it is assumed that whatever Sathnam says is indeed true, then what does it imply? Just that whatever decision the government will reach regarding CTBT will be for personal gains of those running it, as they would be paid (bribes) by the private firms wishing to sell their products/expertise to India by further ending India's nuclear isolation. That's all! And that's an accepted package in democracy!!

But what do we mean by "further ending"? India's nuclear isolation is already ended. The US has already entered into deals. Russia has just recently so, and France was (if media reports are to be believed) wooing India last year to sign deals!

But most important point is: nuclear tests are not firecrackers to discuss their fizzle v/s bang in public!

One of the purposes of possessing nuclear weapons is not exactly to threaten others: "we will kill you", but to let the hostile neighbors with proven track record of disturbing our peace, unprovoked, know that "be careful before messing around with us".

What is Sathnam doing? Why disturb the enemies' restraint earned owing to India's image of a formidable target?

What is Sathnam trying to do by calling into question the success of those tests?

Kilotons of TNT is huge amount of destructive energy - capable of killing lakhs of people. 45 or 25 of it doesn't make much difference for an enemy to fear it!! Plus, the fission-based tests were totally successful!

More important, why are India's nuclear secrets being discussed so openly?

Why is Sathnam being given so much media-coverage?

But of course, all this comes into play only if we are to ASSUME what Sathnam says is true. We'll have to still take it on that flimsy thing called 'trust'. And how do we establish that? My suggestion is: the leading dailies coming out with a 'Pokhran-special', reporting in detail, EVERYTHING. Then we'll have a truly 'open' democracy.

This is another clear case of irresponsible, misguiding, sensationalist and propagandist approach of the Indian media.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So many inconsistencies in news reporting of "two lady doctors killing a rape victim's baby in Raigad"!

...continued from previous post(click), where I had provided links, wherein two news agencies, viz., PTI and IANS (former published by DNA and the latter by many publications, including The Times of India) had reported the SAME incident, with conflicting versions.

Also, considering the circumstances, and being a doctor, many elements of the reports did not make any sense to me.

Let us first establish the motive behind the two doctors' act. It can only be earning easy money. Other very slim possibilities are: (1) both doctors suffering from psychiatric disorders, driving them to cruelty; (2) their trying to chastise the girl; or (3) the rapist was their kith or kin.

(1) is unlikely, otherwise they would not be still practicing, that too with a staff!

(2) is unlikely because then the girl's family would have interfered.

(3) is unlikely because otherwise the police would have 'discovered' and mentioned that fact.

So assuming earning money was their motive, someone must have PAID them. Who was that 'somebody'? It had to be either girl's relatives or the rapist. So, why were any of the two not incriminated after TWO days of 'investigation'? Whoever paid the money becomes, if not as much, at least significantly guilty of the crime committed.

The IANS report mentions the rapist's name simply as 'Raju', which is very strange (and not to mention sounds too generic), since if the two doctors' complete names were reported, then, the person who (possibly) paid the doctors and also raped the girl in the first place, also definitely deserves to have his complete official name mentioned. One more surprising fact is that the PTI report, which came a complete day later does not mention this significant fact!!!

Now coming to the MODE of killing: The doctors knew that they were committing a risky crime. Then why would they allow the baby to survive for 3 days? It is very easy to kill a newborn. Moreover, IANS mentions that the doctor had asked her driver to dispose the baby off in a septic tank 40 km away. Why?

If they let the baby live for 3 days despite risking suspicion of their staff and patients, then they were definitely daredevil risk takers! In that case, why would they ask their driver to go 40 km away, ONLY to dump a dead baby? As it is she was running a nursing home, and newborns dying in there would not be really extraordinary! So they could have simply disposed the baby by same method they employ for other dead babies.

Or if they asked the driver to dispose the baby 40 km away to avoid inviting suspicion, then their keeping the baby alive for 3 days makes no sense! As I mentioned earlier, killing a newborn is no big deal!

So basically, the two facts that the doctors starved the baby and asked the driver to dump it at a faraway nursing home are not at all logically compatible with each other. Significantly, only IANS mentions these two mutually conflicting facts. PTI report (despite coming a day later) makes no mention of starving the baby, and it clearly states that it was dumped in the biogas plant of the SAME hospital where it was delivered.

One of the commentators on the ToI web site has pointed out, that as reported, if it was an "alert citizen" witnessing the driver dump the baby, that led to the discovery of the whole occurrence, then where was the question of the driver's absconding?!! The PTI on the other hand clearly states that it was the girl who had lodged the complaint.

One important medical issue here is - how likely is a premature baby to survive 3 days without support and food?

Even term (mature - born at 40 weeks) babies without milk and water are unlikely to survive for 3 days. A premature baby has very little stored form of glucose (glycogen) in the liver. In addition, their lungs are not developed to inflate properly. So (28 weeks' gestation) premature babies without aggressive medical support are highly unlikely to survive.

Plus the sensationalist police statement, "It (baby) was not even shown to the young mother..." has no legal relevance! Why mention it despite skipping other details?

Where were the girl/family for SEVEN months?

Most appalling are the 45 passionately ranting readers, mostly who had missed all these glitches! What is the quality of reporting and readership?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fine balance between lack of creativity and its excess. [Please ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY click on the links given in the post BEFORE COMMENTING!!]

I had always felt that our education does not promote original thinking, which is very detrimental to nation's progress, as without it research can never be carried out!

A very simple reason so many students fail exams is because they copy their neighboring candidate's answers verbatim. If teachers would only teach adequate language skills, then at least the students would alter sporadic words in their answers and the examiners would not be able to suspect copying and fail them.

This lack of language skills and original thinking have led to high dropout rates from high school, and can lead to further problems in the future when these students enter their active careers.

Read this newspiece:

Mass media: masses of money? (click)

Is it not high time we promote original thinking through education?

Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, we have students brimming with so much creativity and originality, and their answers would be so widely disparate, that examiners are left confused if the students were answering the same question!

Compare the two 'stories':

1. Two women doctors arrested for killing rape victim's newborn - dnaindia.com (click)

2. Women doctors in Raigad force rape victim to deliver, kill infant - The Times of India (click)

So, what we need as a nation to become a 'super power' is a fine balance between lack of creativity and its excess!

On a seriously serious note - imagine, possibly this kind of news-reporting passes off as journalism, based on which we build our outlook, and elect our governments; decide if a particular technology is good; and even, what to eat! Anywhere you see, and there are news and opinions.

Do you mind paying higher price for the delivered news, if their reliability is ensured through higher profit margins for the news agency, so that they would not be tempted into unethical practices?

continued here (click)...

PS: Thanks Sudhir Kumar and WDM for the links!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Life - Just this and that

A dash of mad passion

And its occasional suppression

A blind leap into the air; drop to the abyss

And a wait for the doom; return to the surface

A speck of apprehension

And its usual suspension

A seasoned flight of fancy, in search of ecstasy

And the crashing culmination in reasoned apostasy

An entanglement of questions

And a chain of comprehension

A mutilation through stabs; tearing away by tensions

And a sudden release into nothingness, without anticipation

That's all that life is

Or maybe a bit more

I'm not yet sure

And so I explore...


[One of the very spontaneous (and unambiguous) poems that I have written. Written in less than 20 min. So there would be 'logical' flaws, indeed. :)

Another impulsive poem by me, which I would like to share is One Moment of Clarity (click)

Title of this poem was inspired by the name of a fellow blogger's blog (click), whose poetry I greatly admire.]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It had to happen. It happened yesterday. After three years!

Yesterday as I was climbing down stairs, engrossed in thoughts, suddenly I heard an enthusiastic "Namaskaar"(a salutation in Hindi). It was one of the sweepers, an older employee of the hostel. I had vaguely registered something to be new on seeing him, but the stream of thoughts in my head, had not allowed me to quite place it.

I smiled back and asked him, "kaheen gaye huae thae kya aap?" [You had been gone somewhere?].

My first instinctive response was to say back namastey (synonymous with namaskaar, but less formal), and ask how he was. But then something held me back.

He replied back, "Apne gaaon gaye thae; ek mahine ke liye." [Had gone to my native village; for one month].

"Haan yehi soch rahaa tha ki aap dikh nahin rahe thae bahut dinon se. Chaliye achchhaa hai, aap apne ghar ho aaye! Chaliye, chalta hoon" [That's what I was thinking. Had not seen you for many days. Good, you paid visit to your home! Bye for now] I smiled and moved on.

I was very pleasantly suprised that he had remembered me, and made it a point to greet. I could distinctly make out his happiness to see me.

He is much older than me, and I had always been quite courteous towards him.

But what had kept me hesitant to greet him with as much warmth as I actually felt?

It was the fear of developing such a strong rapport that I would not be able to say 'no', if he someday asked for money.

But I wondered, was my fear rational? What was the point if it was keeping me from feeling a fellow human's warmth?

I thought again. Why was he so happy to see me? By then, I had already entertained the possibility of his projected warmth to be insincere. Or maybe my courteous behavior could have actually drawn him to me.

But all of a sudden I realized I was not liking these arguments in my head. I was feeling guilty for thinking all this about him. I felt tired of fighting against the happiness I wanted to feel.

Because of past experiences, I have become suspicious of people and always think of their ulterior motives to guard myself against deceit and hurt. But this guard had brought with it a latent fatigue, and yesterday, after three years, it showed.

With a new spring in my step, I smiled at the situation, at my foolishness, and eventally, also at the Hostel in charge, who I think of as cunning and do not usually talk to.

He was suprised. Pleasantly! :)

Updates from my new Blog

If you want to comment...

As you might know, I have shifted my blog to Wordpress - here (click).

All the blog posts I had published before shifting have been transferred there, so if you want to comment on any of the blog posts on this blog, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THE INDIVIDUAL POSTS.

Thank you!


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