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Showing posts from December, 2007

Benazir Bhutto: The daughter's turn....

Isn't it reminiscent of a day in May 1991? When another leader of promise met a gruesome end just before elections? I'll not attempt any more parallels, of course.

Benazir Bhutto's end seems to signify a kind of loss. Actually the feeling may stem out of the hope that this time around BB may have done / intended to do actual good for her country, after the elections?

We will await all the rhetoric from the media, and watch what kind of 'democracy', if ever, unfolds within our neighbour's borders.
May her soul RIP

Legal use of '-in-law'?

A lawyer's nameplate in a posh locality of Chennai reads
Mr...
SENIOR LECTURER-IN-LAW
Govt Law College
I wonder if he has law students or students-in-law in his class...

What is the origin of '-in-law'? One Google result says 'When you form a JV with your spouse, her (his) mother is your mother - by law!'

Mindless Exploitation

The Chalakudy is my 'river-in-law', but means more than a river to me. A decade ago, the banks welcomed an awed bride into the family. That bride knew the value of water, and of pristine surroundings, having grown up in the city of the Adyar, the Cooum & the Buckingham Canal. Idyllic setting: house by the river, potable water, sandy banks, greenery as far as the eye can see...
In her westward journey, the river flows by the busy town of Chalakudy (Trissur district, about 75 km north of Kochi). A concerned writer laments that a seventh dam is planned at Athirappilly, where the river cascades magnificently. This, despite the fact that there are sane alternatives to generate the intended 160MW of electricity, and at much lesser cost than the dam's Rs 650 crore budget.

Over the past ten years, I have been witness to a rather rapid change in the waterflow. Upstream effluents and illegal sand-mining have almost stopped the flow, the water is murky, and weeds have taken hold, …

"Mom, what's a...?"

Discussing a lesson on water pollution with my 9-year old, I explained 'landfill' while giving him a gist of waste segregation and disposal practices in our cities. A week later, I got proof that he had rightly assimilated what I meant.

I stack grocery wrappers in a small store-room attached to the kitchen, for reuse or for recycling. During a morning rush I had pulled out a wrapper from the stack, and down cascaded the whole lot. My son passed the store while readying his lunch-bag. Taking one look at the floor of the store, he pronounced..."That's Mom's landfill"

That's cool. Another Google offering

I just tried out good young Google's online transliteration offering.

Here is a well known Gandhian thought that reads thus in four different languanges. All I had to do to was type out in English letters the word / words of any of the available Indian languages (Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada as of now)
Satyameva Jayate is of course a phrase in Sanskrit.
(Check your browser settings if you are unable to read the fonts. See Google's offers of help)

தமிழ் (Tamil) - வாய்மையே வெல்லும (Vaaymaye vellum)

മലയാളം (Malayalam) - സത്യമേവ ജയതേ
हिन्दी (Hindi) - सत्यमेव जयते
ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada) - ಸತ್ಯಮೇವ ಜಯತೆ

But hush! Not a word to my son about this.....he's just started attending classes where he learns to read and write Malayalam. [Aside: This is his father's tongue, but submitted as his mother-tongue in school records; the mother's tongue being the much older sibling Tamil]
Sorry I digressed. As I said, my son, happy attending classes now, will be happier to give the classe…

Insufficient quorum indeed!

It's probably routine that the Rajya Sabha is adjourned due to lack of quorum.
["One tenth of the total number of members of Rajya Sabha constitutes the quorum for a meeting of the House"].

The latest was on Thursday, Dec 6, 2007, when the Upper House closed shop during a discussion on NREGP.

Not even a tenth? Isn't something wrong? Aren't we, the people entitled to know (under the RTI Act) whether the elected or nominated representatives are physically available at both Houses to do their 'job' of running the nation - at least during Parliament sessions?

A newspaper could take the lead in presenting daily statistics not unlike schoolrooms, with a front page box item giving ready figures of number of representatives present, and also monthly summaries of each member's presence. I suspect that an hourly update by news channels and portals will reveal a lot about the quantum of 'precious time' our leaders have at their disposal.

I wonder how many o…

Recipe? From me? Why not?

My choosy son and my choosier husband pronounced before they left for school and work at 7 this morning: “That was a good breakfast”. [As an aside - A working professional–turned freelancer cum home-maker, I have been continuously and increasingly priding myself on striking a good balance between housework and a home-based job].
My husband believes - I don't - that I belong to the Maxine school of thought, according to which the motto of the 'real woman' is: "I made it and you will eat it and I don't care how bad it tastes!"
More humanitarianly, I tag my table servings with “If it's tasty, you may appreciate the extra effort and thank your lucky stars; if it's not, it’s health food…"

Now back to the breakfast that you are waiting for: Tarla Dalal's Chawal ki Roti, made not entirely that expert's way, but with some wheat flour added to ease the rolling out effort. Here's the modified recipe.
Chawal ki Roti (with added wheat flour)
Prepa…

Not once again!...yes, once more. Embedded matter in packed food item

Read an earliest post about foreign objects in food items like bread, biscuits...?
Well, yesterday it was the turn of an extremely popular brand of noodles, and the offending matter looks like fungus.
Note my actions at 8 pm, (even as the family twiddled their thumbs at the table, for dinner that was supposed to have taken mom two minutes to prepare):
1. I called the customer helpline, a number in Gurgaon. An answering machine - honest! - at the call centre asked me to leave name and number. I did.
2. The system and modem were already up and running next to the 'phone, so after using a magnifying glass and a LED booklight to read the mail-id printed on the pack, I wrote to the consumer / customer service mailbox...or so I thought.
3. Not one to easily give the browser a go by, I googled the company's India website, reached the contact-us page and submitted a brief message that included batch no, date of mfg, and details of 'discovery'.
4. By then, an e-mail alert showed a po…

Is not 'gender' better than the 3-letter word!

I look forward to the time when application forms, website registration pages, railway reservation forms, and all data gathering documents read like this:
1. Name:
2. Age:
3. Address:
4. e-mail:
5. Nationality:
6. Gender: M/F
Most of us are likely to be more comfortable filling answers to these queries above than say such a list:
1. Name:
2. Age:
3. Address:
4. e-mail:
5. Nationality
6. Sex:
Why? So that the data gatherer pre-empts responses such as "once a week", "daily", "never", "often", "sometimes" to Item no 6.
No, I'm not trivialising an issue. I am rationalising it.