Neighbourhood Watch - Pakistan

Well to be frank those who were shocked by Benazair Bhutto brutal death, this was waiting to happen & I guess she had a hint of it coming, maybe she was a fatalist. For some people it is the reputation that they have to live up to, even if that means courting death. I guess she was that kind of a daredevil. But to say that all was lost for Pakistan & sanity in the neighbourhood's that day in Liaquat Park would be far from truth. I agree she was the best bet in such a violent crucible that Pakistan has become, but the country is not falling apart. Outside of the frontier areas of NWFP-FATA & Baluchistan there is a semblance of sanity & normalcy in Punjabi & Sindhi heartland. True there have been violence in settled areas of Swat & Rawalpindi's but these areas are the fringes of the Taliban territory & hence bound to suffer some collateral damage. The reason I believe that things can not go down further from here for Pakistan is based on 3 reasons

#1 Inability of Taliban to move beyond tribal areas - Insurgency is okay, but to run a parallel government requires you physically control huge swathe of settled areas of NWFP & Punjab. They have been unable to do so & their move into Swat valley failed miserably. They do not have so many foot soldiers to make their writ run outside of tribal areas. Taliban strategy has always been to thrive on confusion (Afghanistan) & master the tribal juggernaut (Waziristan).

# 2 Army,America & Bomb - Pakistan Army & America have huge stakes that things don't unravel further. Balkanization is one thing that America can not afford.The Bomb is one reason, Iran & Afghanistan is another, Bin Laden is third, 165 million angry people is fourth, & American standing in Islamic world & its pipe dream of making this country a beacon of democracy. One big unknown out here is the integrity of the Pakistani army.

# 3 Pakistani people - Nobody in the glitzy towns of Punjab & Sind want to be under a Taliban regime. I guess most of the middle & urban class would no like to live under veil & a beard. There are fringe sections to society that are more tuned to radical ideas but I doubt if they have the numbers to control the destiny of 165 million people.

So what the future holds, It is quite likely that things could worsen before they get any better, but I don't foresee state of Pakistan falling apart. Also U.S. would try to now to go behind covers as its masterly approach is being used by jihadis to fuel anger. The move to democracy will falter, instead a spring offensive next year when snow melts is very likely. Pakistan would then march into tribal areas, but the win would be pyrrhic indeed.

The Values Debate

We had this little water cooler debate yesterday as to what amounts to values & ethics & culture. What exactly do these words mean in today's consumerist society. I guess it's all ugly & muddy out there. I am adding this as a place holder to initiate a nice & sane debate as to what you feel about them.

Do add in your comments :)

Swiss Army Knife Syndrome

What does one want? The versatility of the Swiss army knife or the utility of the mundane kitchen knife. The Swiss army knife with its plethora of tools is helpful in cutting across most tight corners that one may find oneself in, but when at ease, when in the luxury of you home, you really don't want to be using it to do all your cutting with it. This is a quintessential choice I am facing, whether to stick to one set of technologies or be what I had been till day, jack of all trades, ace of none !. I used to like being a multi-headed hydra, but I guess its easier being a simple knife then the fancy-ism of the Swiss army knife.

My Take On American Politics

An open letter from Iranian intelligence. Note the subtle satire of the editorial & the latest release of the NIE report on Iran has reinforced that the intelligence (and ground reality) is hopelessly out of sync with the perceptions of the administration. This is a silent political earthquake that has been delivered to the neo-con lobby led by Dick Cheney that has fully disturbed the pawns on the Great chessboard. This is not new, not now not after that Iraqi disaster. There is a certain air of cynicism that has gripped the American mainstream media since the Bush's second term. Everybody on TV talks of the nation that has lost its way, even though you don't feel it that way when you talk to people or interact with them. Maybe I was never with people that really mattered. After spending a decent time in American liberal heartland, I have realized that Bush has neither the support of liberals nor conservatives. He is like a whipping post that everybody likes to whip religiously. But there is the catch, I don't he is the main problem, he may be a polarizing figure in the centre at best, but he is not dictating the American politics.

Instead it is that the conservatives & liberals are tied around there extremes so tightly that there is no middle ground, & neither any hope of it. Nobody talks of sub-prime or health care or immigration, instead the whole energy is being spend on creation, evolution, abortion & debating who is the biggest tax liberal. I used to think earlier who are these people who have such utter faith in creationism or anti-choice or anti-stem cell research, but having lived there I have come to know that an average white American living in rural America is church going, does not seem to like gays, republican, creationist, pro-life & fiscally conservative & is against immigrants or American jobs being outsourced. And with such a large population feeling marginalized by successive liberal regimes & the democratic penchant for big business & outsourcing, its payback time. Therefore even with so much knee jerk reaction to Bush's presidency, it won't be easy for democrats to take the Oval office back. But in all this confusion & stalemate one thing is clear, that conservatism is in & on TV it is big business. Every evening on CNN there is a conservative show - Lou Dobbs Show, even though I don't like the fear-mongering tone of the show or the anchor, but the show whole raison d'etre is to provoke fear about everything & anything, about oil money buying US ports/NASDAQ/highways, about outsourcing, about immigration, about Chinese imports, about Iran. He seems to have lot of audience though. I guess conservatism is a safe bet, always, at least the onus of change is no longer there.

Two Months Update

This has to go down as my biggest break from blogger since starting out last year. My last months in Boston were pretty hectic by my standards so blog was something that was not very high on my list of priorities. And it has been twenty days back in India & I am still to settle down to the sober surrounding and the not-so-sober Me. I am still to get used to wired internet & that all pervading overhang of that great smog over Noida. Life as such, is going real easy these days, or may be I have made it appear very easy, though there is always that undercurrent of anxiety, that loss of control, that elusive satisfaction, but I guess it doesn't matter right now for I will not scratch the surface harder to reveal the real Self. Yeah, went to Dehra Dun for diwali, also to Pune for a family ceremony, a pretty decent affair though, made decent money on stocks after a long time & the liquor parties seem to never end even though the circle of friends gets smaller every quarter. I guess I have started liking an uneventful life, even in Boston I had developed a liking for living alone, though initially I used to dread getting bored to death especially in foreign lands. This year long visit has kind of reshaped my outward perspective totally. I am becoming more & more individualistic & maybe a tinge of egoistic sprinkled in, to the extent that people seems to be hinting that I am arrogant now. But you know what, I don't really care. At the end of the day at work there is only one thing that matters - Was the work done or not ? All the rest of talk about 'your way' or 'my way' is crap that would be unbundled the next day. People have made a life out of giving advise which nobody really wants. People with three months in project commenting about people who have spent better part of three years here and not looking at their bag-full or maybe train-full of failures. I hate these phonies, I really do. But one thing is good, even with all these jokers around its fun working out here, all this argument and counter-argument just makes you really thick skinned, indifferent. The next time you just shrug them off, and maybe sometime later even the phonies would stop arguing, for even the God is scared of shameless.

Its been over a month since I deleted my Orkut account, and the fun part is the addiction seemed to have gone away pretty easily. maybe it wasn't an addiction, maybe Orkut become the evil & not so innocent victim of my holy pursuit to set all wrongs right within me, and as it was the easiest of the targets that I could have banished. but I don't regret it, its one addiction less. It was a great time killer, especially when you are bored & looking for easy & short fun, but it was far from real. Instead it was a giant unreal that covered the whole real, so that whatever you wrote & whatever you showed wasn't exactly from the top of you mind. It was many times written in ways that was meant to sound different from the actual reality. The picture album has the best of pictures, the smartest ones. The 'about me' is either a crisp paragraph of hackneyed lines or is some high flowing stuff that not anyway related to 'me' but some sterile dream. I am happy to shed of my other skin. These days for most of the questions I have only two answers, I don't know & I don't care. I wonder where I am going, am I getting into abyss where the walls have been built so high up in the sky that even when I look up, the sky seems dark. Maybe I should join the second life. Okay, I am joining second life.

Once this Orkut craze was over, I have now got into another addiction & this time it is on-line movies. but anyways not complaining yet. The reason being the project is in kind of unravelling state and so I have figured out that it's no use working hard or maybe I guess even working. The result is crystal clear, we ain't going to survive the next cutback the client proposes. So chill out & have a good time, for the show must go on. You know, whenever I say that line I recollect a poem that we had in our early school days which had the lines 'For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.'' Its funny for I recollect only one another poem, Robert Frost 'Woods Poem' & that too because every time I come from home in Dehra Dun, the thick dense jungle just reminds me of the last two lines, where the poet marvels at the dense forest & wishes for a path less travelled. Its strange how some memories are there in you mind embedded for ages & there are some I won't say memories, but reaction which are difficult to fathom. say for, whenever I hear Beatles's 'And I Love Her' I feel some strange melancholy but this sadness has no face & has no reason. Maybe I shouldn't hear that song.

My Take On The Great Ram Debate

The Indian government now says that there is no proof that so called 'mythical' figure Ram existed. Now this is interesting, in the first place who asked the government prove that Ram exists and secondly if they can't prove it, does it mean that it doesn't exist. Since when has almighty started dishing out evidence that it exists or existed & if you are looking for proof by Him, then you are denying faith in Him & trust me, without faith God is nothing, its Cipher.

Has the American government ever been asked to prove that Christ existed (assume Bush saying that Christ is a myth.I am damn sure not only Bush but this entire GOP will be wiped out from the U.S. political landscape forever). Even though U.S. is constitutionally secular, the government is so filled with Christian moorings & Christian cliques that ordinary Indians would be baffled at such blatant interference of religion in matters of the State.)

Now back to India, I may an atheist or antagonist at best, but the government can't be atheist. I believe Ram is everywhere. Its that singular belief, that single thread of reason that is holding this country together.This is not to say that religion is paramount in our county, but the foundations of this county are in deep in Hinduism & Gandhi vision of Ram Rajya. In every day life you speak of him, in every hardship you trust your faith in his hands, we still celebrate Diwali, we even die with the chants of Ram Naam. Ram is a personalization of that utter faith & embodiment of spirit and of that Supreme Being. It is beyond comprehension, its more personal & yet its supernal. I hate this neo-pseudo-secularism, this what should I say, a false belief of so called humble-ness that borders on chivalry towards certain sections. I bet can this government say that Prophet or Christ never existed.

Making Sure I Have September Post

I haven't blogged in ages now & in between lot of interesting and not so interesting things seem to have happened, nothing on the personal front though. My canvas seem as drab as ever. Meanwhile the surge in Iraq goes on, India wrestles between the Ram & the Bomb, the sub-prime mortgage misery unfolds out here. In the neighbourhood Musahraff clowns around his lady luck, while Taliban gnaws at the periphery. In cricket 20-20 has reduced cricket to such levels of hoax-ism, I wonder if its a cricket any more or maybe its some kind of fast melting ice cream that still is ice cream but still not the ice cream and if this was not enough then we have media frenzy (CNN) on OJ Simpson (yet again! )

But still I don't feel about writing them any more, and for that matter why should I write them and for whom, maybe they are just some mindless gabble that nobody really reads & nobody really cares out. But given a deep thought, I wonder since when I have started to write for others and care a damn about others. It is my life, its my alter ego, its only here, in this page that I chooses how to live it and I choose how to die in it. This is my soapbox & I am ain't going anywhere yet.

On other things coming up I declined to come back to U.S. again on this project. Maybe it came on too easy or maybe I am not satisfied with my own performance out here leave aside the aimless work & the hopeless project. I don't know if maybe 5-6 months down the line I will regret my decision of not coming back here, especially for the money thing. Damn this bloody money. I think my time is done out here, in this project & in this company, and increasing the stay just adds to the misery. I am going back India in a month's time & then the new battle starts, what to do next with this mortal soul? I hate doing this, I really do, but then that's what life is. That elusive hope, that mindless struggle of the mind against the weak flesh. I am tired. now.

How To Lose The Global War On Terror

Those who follow the geo-politics quite closely may be feeling a bit disdained by the ugly turn of events in the middle east. When the third gulf war started in March 2003 there were couple of objectives that the US had in mind, firstly get rid of Saddam Hussein & secondly to make Iraq as a beacon of hope & democracy in the autocratic & theocratic middle east (never mind the WMD's, they were never a reason).

It has been a brutal & tumultuous 4 years for the region & though Saddam is no more, the region is slowly becoming a nemesis for the coalition. The situation on the ground is unravelling into myriad battlegrounds where the enemy is different in each of them or most of the times its unknown. Iraq post-surge is still as ungoverned and deadly as it was last year end, if not worse. There are subtle indications that things are going to get much worse in the region before they get any better. Shiite and Kurdish are now acting in unison against the Sunnis in north of Baghdad. There is a strong possibility of Turkey making an incursion in northern Iraq to quell the Kurdish insurrection that is definitely bound make the situation more complex. Several Al Queada affiliated organizations are battling it out real hard with Lebanese forces in Palestine refugee camps, meanwhile another anti-Syria politician is killed in Beirut. There are also reports that Syria may be preparing for a war with Israel, and though Israel can easily shrug off Syria in a convention warfare, in an as-symmetrical battlefield (with Hezbolla and Hamas) Syria may just be able to bring Israel to the negotiating table for Golan Heights. Elsewhere Hamas has taken over Gaza strip practically diving the fledgling Palestine state into two & opening up room for more bloodshed in West Bank where Fatah is strong.

The signs don't augur well for the region and definitely things can go much worse with the Iranian connection to all these muck going around. The region is pretty much sitting on a tinder-box right now. So much for the beacon of democracy radiating out the virtues of people rule, Iraq has become a focal point and the breeding grounds for the extremists in the region spilling weapons and fighters for region and far.

India V/s America debate

One often gets down into the debate here (apart from the helpless arguments on Indian cricket team) as to why India is so backwards vis-a-vis America, why it is the quality of life in India is so modest compared to here. And the usual argument ends up blaming it to the huge population or that India is a recent democracy when compared with the America.

I don't believe that being young has contributed to the ills that our country faces, neither is population that big a millstone around India's neck. I believe it all boils to the institutions one country inherits or builds. Those are pillars around which a modern society revolves and functions. A group of people is just a crowd or a mob unless there are rules to make it orderly. What we have in India are weak institutions or establishments just overwhelmed with the internal contradictions that we inherited from British or because of our polity and society. I say it contradictions because of the various strands and seams of culture and ideas and future dreams that has engrossed the young multi-plural nation and its people. Add 60 years to it and the consensus was that we must had figured it right by now. But the reality is far far distant. We still are facing with critical if not existential issues, and there is still no urgency to get the institutions working. The usual refrain is that we are moving in right directions slowly and steadily, but do the people have that patience. The next wave of employment seeking youth are just arriving, young and restless and be rest assured they will not take things lying down.

Middle East Roundup

After finishing four years fighting a phony war in Iraq, which is going nowhere for America despite the 'surge' and five years of quagmire in Afghanistan which though looks winnable but for the lack of interest by NATO and U.S. We now have Iran and America barrelling towards inevitable war even though no sides want it. America is not in the pink of health militarily while Iran despite the dire warning of rising Shiite influence is still a minnows in normal times if it comes to the inevitable. But one thing we must remember that we are not living in normal times. Here is a quick lie down of major players in this new Gulf and Persian confrontation.

Iran and Saudi Arabia - Keepers Of The Faith : Both don't go along well due to theological differences over interpretation over Islam, but these differences are more superficial in the face of common enemy (read U.S.) .The house of Saud is worried over Iran's rising role and nuclear ambitions besides the sizeable restless Shiite population in Eastern Arabia. There were rumours going round that Saudi are purposefully pumping more oil in the market to depress the prices do decrease Iran's bargaining power. So it means Saudi & US go along well, that not the case exactly. Saudi king terms Iraq invasion as illegal (?) maybe its a ploy to be not seen very close to Americans as in the Arab streets Israel/Palestine have greater mind share than some shady allegations over Iran. But the anxiety over rising Shiite power in capitals of Arabia, Egypt and Jordan is a genuine, as Iran and Saudi Arabia both vie to be the beacon of Muslim world.

Iraq - Extended Battleground : Its early days yet but the surge hasn't worked, despite all the optimism. Iran now has another front where it can slowly bleed american forces without it getting visibly involved. The Iraqi police and army has been entrenched by Iranian agencies that can defect to Iranian side in case of future conflict. Besides Iran has a spiritual, economic, military influence in Iraq that would make life hell for Americans if it wants to.

Afghanistan - The Great Game -II : Taliban are back with a bang with there promised summer offensive and hordes of suicide bombers. NATO though looks promising but things may go downhill if tension with Iran flares up. Iran still has quite a influence in eastern especially in Herat region. Besides I don't think america can fight in three theatres of war simultaneously.

Pakistan - The Pimp : Pakistan looks shaky as if it may collapse any-time, Musharaff has touched a honeycomb by sacking chief justice, the fundamentalist are gaining ground. The supposed 'peace deals' in Waziristan/FATA and continued Taliban violence shows lack of federal control outside the settled areas. Besides Pakistan is being used to launch covert operations in Iran's restive Sistan Baluchistan.

Turkey - The Dark Horse : Everybody seems to forgets Turkey when they discuss middle east.Turkey and Iran are close partly because they share the Kurdish problem. In case of any future conflict, one can rest assured that Turkey is going to stay neutral. But same can not be said in Iraq's case where a planned vote in Kurdish areas is keeping Turkey on the boil for the fear that it may empower Turkish Kurds.

Israel - The Last Piece : Any conflict in middle east is incomplete without the usual baiting targets, but Iran now has power projection in form of Hizballa and Hamas (remember last year Lebanon war and the beating Israel's IDF got). Also Syria has its Golan Heights, Lebanon, Hizballa plus the close friendship with Iran on the platter.

Rest Of The World - Iran? Who: Apart from the rabble rousing Sunni trio (Arabia, Egypt & Jordan), rest of the Arab world is pretty much neutral or themselves messed up to contribute to America's war effort. Same is the case with NATO, where even genuine causes like Afghanistan are not getting much help from its contributing members.

Non State Player (Osama) - Smiling On T.V : (in case he decides to release a video) They have a new sanctuary now, in Pakistan's FATA areas. Who needs Afghanistan now ?

I 'm surprised by the influence Cheney's camp have over american establishment, with so many pressure points and militarily already thinly stretched, attacking Iran seems so unfathomable and downright foolish.

Quote Of The Day

I was reading 'The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy', yet again. Found this rare gem between its more or less absurd pages. Thought I better bookmark it before I lose it again.

"I refuse to prove that I exist, for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing."

Evolution & God

Darwin's God.

God & Evolution don't gel, at least in my opinion. I have always been on the side of evolutionists blasting off at the creationists. The above article is more of a what role evolution played in out belief in God & Religion rather than what role God had in evolution. And since I have no belief in God as a concept, I will focus more on the other half, what part God played in creation. If you ask me how we are here, I hold particularly strong views against the creationist theory.

I 'm all for evolution. We & Everything-Living have evolved over millions of years from lower life forms to these complex forms. Its not from the hands of the Creator that we have been moulded, It is a constant play of hit & trial of evolution process. Evolution is a constant process. We are ever-evolving from millions of years & will continue to do so. The reason we don't see it is because the time lines involving evolution transcend our senses. It is happening as we sleep and as we live. Evolution has no path, it has no endpoint, it has no final destination as such.We don't arrive anywhere by evolving. It happens all by itself, and we can not stop it. To say that evolution had a goal in populating earth is a misnomer. We are here by chance, a mathematical improbability so as to say. We are there because our hands allowed us to efficiently use the giant brain that we evolved. Had any of the crucial links been missing we may have been obliterated form the face of the earth. In the last age where life form exploded, billions of life form evolved, evolution was and is a giant experiment. It is a huge petri-dish that manages all by itself, where every possible shape & concept is given a chance, and only fitter & more agile survive to constantly evolve to better shape & concept. No shape is perfect because no environment is perfect. Its a constant trade off between life & life supporter environment. This may sound too mechanical, but then it is the way it is.

The Coming Demographics Demon

I don't know if you people noticed it, but going through a lot of on-line publications & journals these days about how differential growth rates of different communities with in the society has a potential for future cataclysm. Most of this chatter is being directed towards the higher birth rates that the Muslim community has and the fact that the birth rates in whole of Europe has fallen below what is called as replacement level. You know, playing with demographics is like playing with fire, but on the other hand you can't deny the fact that demographics is issue that Europe has to face. If not on account of growth rate differences between communities then due to ongoing immigration from West Asia and North Africa..

Facing the Islamist Menace

And we thought this type of diabolical stuff only comes from third world countries and African genocides, where fundamentalist and clan loyalties ruled roost. Such jingoism usually comes out from Shiv Sena's mouthpiece. But this comes from the heart of american mainstream media, such is the fear psychosis that has inadvertently been injected into hearts and minds of the american establishment that they have started imagining things out of nowhere.. & the interesting part is nobody is complaining. I don't think Europe is falling to Islam any time soon. We are still long long way off. And for that matter how did this meaningless debate even get stated at the first place. Muslims in no European county exceeds 10% except Russia & Balkans. 10% can't become 50% any time soon. Such is the helpless or maybe say it callous attitude that there have been talks that the killings in Iraq are harbinger of coming peaceful times, and maybe it is by this genocide that peace will finally prevail, and the Christian west need not fear this churning in Islam. I guess most of the american thinkers must be betting on the Clash of Civilizations to be played out in Europe in the near future. I guess Osama and Zarqawi have already won the war.

Russia & The Muslim Russia

Don't know if the facts in the article are true, but it states that Russia will be Muslim majority before the mid century. Now this is interesting, but I doubt if its true.

The View Outside My Window

its a long weekend here & I 'm having rest, pretty much long rest from the blogsphere. I will be back though.. for sure :)

~Hope You're Feeling Better~

Method In Madness

i yesterday saw stanley kubrick's paths of glory... and today i read this piece of report on IHT... the build-a-war workshop... and i find a certain analogy from both as to how some people profit from sending other people to fight somebody else's worthless wars... and then you feel that these people in higher echelons of power, where life and death decisions are being made, they are more cheap then unknowns fighting in bigg boss or big brother (depending on which part of world you are living...) these people are cheats.. war profiteers... and spin doctors of the worst kind... look at the way the intel on iraq was twisted... and today similar reports of iran's involvement in arming shiite's have come... it's all coming to a full circle now... and the pattern is sickening though.. the problem is, any miscalculation by any of the sides.. and we have one helluva conflict on our hands from turkey to pakistan... and i don't think america has the stomach for it... at least for now...

~We Can Work It Out~

That Elusive Life

you know... weekends are one huge disappointment that never fails to disappoint... you start longing for them on monday itself.. and by thursday evening, you are at your lively best.. only one more work day to weekend... on the friday evening, you feel like as if you have been released from a lifelong sentence... the friday's commute back home doesn't bother you... you feel your legs don't touch the grounds out of excitement... you think of stuff you gonna do this weekend... you think of the careless abandon that those two days will be... and you thank God for his big hearted-ness and for those two days when even the offices of hell are closed... and to be frank.. the real thing is big letdown... and then when its gone mostly doing nothing... you think what was the big fuss about it... but on the monday evening... you are back again yearning for that elusive weekend...

~King Of Pain~

India Business Watch

NYT reports on signs that indian economy may be overheating and risks being tripped up..

Questions... Questions....

If Tesco and Wal-Mart are friends of the earth, are there any enemies left?

of the various topics that are close to my heart, one is global warming.. and of late one is hearing an increased chatter regarding it & its consequences.. i sincerely believe that global warming is for real.. and the more inaction we show over it.. the closer we are at the point of no return.. for time may come when the global warming engine could sustain itself with even zero emission.. some say we have already crossed the Rubicon.. i 'm not going into the virtues of it.. but there are some serious questions that needs to be addressed and some of these concern include the way developing countries (including india & china..) are evolving..

Question#1: Bush in his SOU speech talked of renewable fuels that would be mixed with conventional fossil fuels.. these other fuel sources are primarily corn based like ethanol.. but there is a limit to how much corn can be grown as land is limited.. and it makes sense to mix ethanol when crude is $70.. if it drops to $40.. would corn or other fuels still make sense.. ?

Question#2: Why is Bush not taxing gasoline as prices at pumps have fallen to $2 levels.. we have seen that higher prices inflates the sale of hybrid cars and depresses gas guzzlers..

Question#3: Why are developed countries not doing enough research on alternative energy sources, looking at the seriousness of the situation.. tax gasoline to generate funds, if funds is an issue.. how can you expect developing nations to do expensive research on these, where even malnutrition or malaria are unresolved legacies of the past.. to be frank they don't have the pockets for research..

Question#4: Why are developed countries not cutting emissions more sharply before asking the developing countries to do the needful.. cut your emissions first.. set an example for others to emulate.. all they do is a piecemeal approach...

Question#5: 'What about consuming less ?'.. why doesn't developed countries tells their citizens that their consumptions levels are unsustainable.. why not tell them about conservation.. especially here in america.. 'conservation' seems to be a pariah.. some kind of mental sickness.. what happens if india & china attain the same lifestyles of an average american.. what happens then.. & this has to happen someday..

Question#6: We know US is the biggest emitter.. but of late, we are hearing a chorus of voices as to how india & china will be becoming bigger emitters then america... hmmmm... so is india & china the problem now.. seems by hearing the voices that are emanating... why are we being taken to the table.. as if india/china single handedly uncorked the global warming genie.. what happened to the unbridled emissions by america & others for last 200 years from industrial revolutions... todays warming is due to these emissions & not due to any projected release by india & china... it is US that matters most on global warming policy for it created this monster.. directing the blame to india & china won't help.. why should we sacrifice over growth and our future good (mind you, not luxurious..) lifestyle at the altar of some climate change.. don't we have the right for good living or is it the sole prerogative of developed economies... some say that you can't ignore the fact that we are contributing significantly to the greenhouse gases.. nobody is denying it.. but, to give you a perspective if a average US citizen is emits 200 pounds of carbon(including breathing,transportation,fuels and all other chores that involve carbon..) and an indian emits 10 pounds (all inclusive..) where do you see the major chances that a cut is possible... its all crystal clear.. and these figures( between US & india... ) are comparable.. we are on the list (of top emitters) because we have numbers on our side.. not because some goddamn people who love to drive gas guzzlers or waste like anything... there can be no per-nation limits on emissions, if it has to be it has to per-capita limits... do americans have some innate rights for endless carbon emissions, while preaching developing countries to curb there living standards...

Question#7: What are india & china doing to curb there emissions, because they are part of the problem now.. we have to face it, if not today.. because i think india & china will be facing the brunt of any future climate change.. we have to act & act fast.. and show it to US, and shame them into acting...

The best possible way forward is to have some kind of emission cut targets for developed countries only... for now.. spend heavily on new research of alternative energy sources.. sell the technology to developing countries.. and maybe in the next rounds of emission cuts, expect developing world to be among the countries cutting emissions.. use the wealth of developed countries to generate & use energy efficiently, so that citizens of nations with living standards that are 10% of americas can continue to improve their own living standards.

But, Is that so simple... ?

~Castles Made of Sand~

Are We There Yet ?

There has been perceptible hoopla over the report by investment bank Goldman Sachs.. which states that india's economy may surpass the US and be second only to china's by 2050.. its not something we didn't knew... everybody knows it all along.. given the growth rate differential (between india and developed economies..) and population we have, india will overtake western economies one day or another... it's all the question of 'when' and not 'how'.. the report says that this target maybe achieved much earlier than was previously predicted.. it quotes

India's growth acceleration since 2003 represented a structural increase rather than simply a cyclical upturn. It said productivity growth drove nearly half of overall growth and expected it to continue for some years.

you know, one needs to view these figures cautiously and not get carried away.. i feel that the increased growth rates ( 8 % instead of 6% before.. ) is more of a result of cyclical upturn (in commodities as well as world trade..) rather than any fundamental or structural reforms in india... i couldn't recall any great reforms undertaken by the UPA government... though productivity can be a factor, but i doubt if it can drive full 2% growth.. agreed that growth in US in nineties was driven by productivity gains... but we are long way off from that stage... and growth came when manufacturing had been hit hard by oil at $60+ a barrel... there has been hardly any sectoral reforms (except telecoms,airlines,insurance and possibly retail) and the entire growth engine (infrastructure.. power, shipping,public utilities,pension/financial ) hasn't seen much of improvement... neither do structural reforms (size of government continues to be bloated.. nor have we become reform friendly.. the agrarian crisis continues to affect rural india.. the bureaucratic red tape still persists..) the 2% extra growth is being generated by exports.. by IT/ITeS/Service & its side-effects (positive though...) on the other sectors (by means of increased consumption through added disposable incomes..) and the banks giving loans easily... its more of a credit driven growth rather than any fundamental difference in how economy is being run.. add to it the real state bubble that driving prices in class-A/B cities... the problem with this is that such run-away growth is that growth sometimes has its own momentum that just carries it even higher...sometimes leading to overheating.. or inflation... the important question is can we sustain these levels if we hit a downturn in world economy... (world trade & IT spending...) or if interest rate spikes... then can efficency and our economy alone generate an 8-9% growth Y-o-Y for say 5-10 year period... i doubt.. i may be skeptic... i may be wrong.... i would love to be wrong.. but then, 3 years of higher growth changes the perception... but perception is the not real thing... actions are...

~Hells Bells~

What Is He Thinking !

so bush has walked the talk.. he managed to get more boots on the ground in iraq... i guess that was the easier part.. in spite of the non-binding resolution that being debated in washington here... but selling it to the people would be nearly impossible... four years of stalemate.. with no signs of any possible 'victory'... in any possible literal sense... but can he do something else besides what he has done... obviously he has the intel, but does intelligence pointed out that after steamrolling into iraq, they will be stuck up in the quagmire of insurgency that is technically a civil war.. so how can that intelligence be believed that 22000 more troops will turn the tide this time around... thats a mere fallacy.. i think its more of buying time tactics.. hoping that things just falls in place... wouldn't sending those men to afghanistan had been a better idea where NATO troops had been having a harrowing time against taliban.. and with the summers coming things are bound to get hotter again... doesn't it make better sense to at least salvage one theater instead of stuck up in both and ultimately losing both... and as if this was not enough he is sending another aircraft carrier to persian gulf as a show of strength to iran.. duh !! all the might of american military hasn't been able to bring peace to a single baghdad neighborhood, how can they claim to keep a leash on iran...

~Back Where You Belong~

Frozen Thoughts

well.. this has to be one of the biggest breaks from the blogsphere.. ten days and no post.. not that i was busy, or maybe pondering.. i have gone over it... it was just that it didn't felt like writing... there were not much good things, bad things going around... writable things... after all blogging is just the manifestations of your daily experiences and feelings, and these feeling just make up words in your mind, and you need to pen them down to make room for the new ones.. its a constant process, i love being opinionated...for i hate being dumb... i can be numb, but not dumb.. and my feeling have been frozen by the dreaded winter chill of new england, but winter has its own charm.. you love the naked trees.. the frozen river thats flowing underneath... the group of ducks swimming in a small patch of water surrounded by all enclosing ice... you love the cold and stark boston skyline... it looks like a giant dystopian government machine on a clouded frigid day.. you love the sight of people all dressed in black with every type of cap conceivable... the light snow just takes you to those days when the snow would have mattered more than school homework... but i guess its not one of those days...

~Peaceful Easy Feeling~

Three Years & Still Dreaming

today Jan 5.. I joined this organization three long years back exactly on this day.. and when i look back, it hasn't been that long.. time just went by.. maybe it just flew.. three years in one company.. Bingo ! maybe its time to think & re-think and still some more think...

~Summer Breeze~

Great Things India - 2006

enough has been said about 2006 being as one of the watershed years for india.. maybe it was.. but yes there are positive feelings about the year gone by.. maybe history books will be kind on 2006, not for we have achieved something magnificent, but because we did gain some stature, some confidence , some strength & some self-esteem and didn't lose much steam elsewhere.. it will not be the years that will leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth.. but will be year that will be in footnotes for lot of reasons... nuclear deal.. continued strength of IT & ITeS.. red hot economy.. great year for investors(be it gold,realty or stocks).. rise of indian trans-nations.. record outbound & inbound inflows... relative political stability.. judicial & media activism.. good job market.. relative lull in terrorism.. no big sectarian or caste riots.. good trade figures.. rise of indian middle class... growth of quality spaces.. the urge to splurge.. vocal indian diaspora.. rising ambitions of young indians..

among the major negatives, the continuing farmers suicides.. the agrarian crisis engulfing rural india.. the alarming gap between rural & urban india.. dismal state of urban poor.. growing criminalization of society.. not much progress on indian science.. still lethargic pace of judicial & police reforms.. the growing chorus of quota-isation of india..

notwithstanding there is hope that this country has a destiny to be among the richest & righteous nations on the face of earth.. and its all that matters...

~The Crystal Ship~

Whats With New Year Resolutions ?

NYT had an article on our continuing romance with new year resolutions, which each year are made with all the vigor only to be forgotten in the hustle bustle of daily life.. i agree that even the idea of acknowledging that things can be & should be improved is sacred... that's the thing with optimist & it's basic to the idea of progress & pursuing happiness.. undertaking initiatives to ameliorate unhappiness, though they may or may not succeed..


If the end of the year brings a flood of resolutions to change, it is because we are faced with an existence that is invaded by the routine, by the rush of demands. We can’t bear it. We know that another life exists, more beautiful, more passionate, one that laziness and apathy keeps us from attaining.

I have to break with time to overcome my obstacles, to rediscover myself, to be myself in all innocence. I can change my life, at least in some small way. Making resolutions demonstrates optimism, the desire to make oneself better, a faith, naïve and beautiful at once, that declarations can spontaneously become actions, that saying means doing.

Oh, the glorious day of making a resolution, the belief that starting tomorrow I will be the pilot of my existence, that I will stop being the plaything of external circumstances, that I will govern myself. I’m better than I seem to be — a person obsessed by little irritants, addicted to talking nonsense — and I’m going to prove it to the world. The certainty that soon, thanks to my willpower, I will no longer be someone who is habitually late, a slave to my cellphone, a glutton, a distracted driver... that can galvanize me, prompt me to change, tear away my imperfect personality. Real life starts now; I can immediately free myself of my neuroses, correct myself. I can rid myself of the fear of failure and of the specter of the failures of the past.

Knowing that you can change your behavior, even by an iota, is essential for holding yourself in esteem. We’re often cynical about how resolutions are never kept, but we shouldn’t be. Resolutions are perhaps lies, but they’re lies of good faith, necessary illusions. As long as we can make them, we are saved, we can control the chaos of destiny; it doesn’t matter that we break them and that others view us with skepticism. Every resolution is good simply because it is declared. It is a comedy, perhaps, but it keeps us sane.