My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

My ebook
Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
this link

Friday, April 29, 2005

Where are the Rock and Roll children

I am one of them. But where are the others? Gone are the days when girls used to go wild over the hair bands like Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Poison and Ratt; that bearded males kept wildly swinging their heads listening to Slayer, Metal Church and Sepultura. Gone are the days when young studs wearing kurta pajamas would discuss Pink Floyd, Yes, Ten Years After; when people would sleep listening to Journey, Scorpions or Traffic. Gone are the days when you would jump around listening to Ugly Kid Joe, Red Hot ChilliPeppers and Green Day; when farmers would sow their fields listening to GnR. Gone are the days when even the french would have a Noir Desir and Germans could be proud of the Schenker brothers. Gone are the days when the guitars of Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci and Ywngie Malmsteen would be regarded as aspirational phallus; and people would die to have a voice like Chris Cornell, Ozzie Osbourne or Peter Steele.

Yes, gone are the days when I would be regarded as an idol just because I listened to all these great men and without learning anything about music; when I could get the attention of the crowd by uttering a few of these names; when I could win JAM competitions confusing the rest with such non-sensical word sequences (names of bands).

Today is the world of n'sync, backstreet boys, usher, Jlo and the rest. After all how long could the bearded men go about just head banging and no other ban***. How long could a fine bred lady just adore a metal guitar. After all, all men need a Brittney Spears at some point in their life and all women need a Ricky Martin.

More on this to follow

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bring them all down

There are so many things around us that are inexplicable. And even though I am a firm believer in the idea that "not everything needs an explanation", I cant help mention these observations.
And most of them have to do with our religious beliefs.
We have studied in our schoolbooks that the sun is made up light gases and release energy through a process called fusion. Most commonly recorded features of the sun have been explained comprehensibly through physical and chemical laws. I find it so strange that many bright Hindu students, after reading these facts in their physics course pray to the sun every morning for better grades in the same course. I mean rote learning is something, but this is beyond that. What do such students believe the sun would do? Would it listen to their prayers and burn brighter while they study, so that they can read more clearly !!!!!!!
Several such examples are routine in our daily lives. Why does a chemistry student tie an amulet around his body to succeed in exams. Has he got a grasp of how the metal in the amulet reacts with his skin cells leading to better performance at the exams?
Or for that matter take astrology. Weekly or daily pedictions are published in liberal newspapers who claim to bring out the truth into the open.
Why are such irrational behaviours tolerated when it comes to religious beliefs? If we act irrationaly in our work or family life we have to bear severe repurcussions. Why should the treatment be any different when it comes to such irrational religious beliefs.
The miseries brought in by religious beliefs through crusades, jehads, casteism etc far outweighs the benefits they bring through bringing order, discipline and a feeling of hope. The Babri masjid was brought down in India in 1992. The people who did it missed the point. Salvation is not in bringing one down but in brnging all of all down.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fitting it in

A music video by an Indian band is all over television channels. The supposedly funk song talks of how all gods are same and even more that they are one (as if someone had seen the gods of all religions and found them to be same).
More interestingly the band sings some cliched highfalutin lyrics. They talk of achievements/ contributions of mohammad, jesus and shiva (not a homogenous class). What i found most interesting is that to comply with the demands imposed by the rhyming of the song, the band had to choose word arrangements that fit in. In the process the band is forced to talk about rather unimportant things about the trio. For two of the trio they talk of some of their lesser perceived contributions and for one they praise his teachings as a whole (and this one actually never taught).

Isn't this true for how we all live our lives? We are always trying to fit in. We fit in our lives into several vague repetitions and are forced to see things only in a way that they fit in, often glossing over the obvious. So whats wrong with it? Nothing, because there is so much wrong about everything. The band goes on appearing on TV. We shall also carry on before fading away.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Today's why's list:

1. Why do we have to pay annual fees for a debit card when we are already saving the bank by visiting ATMs rather than their branches?

2. Why did we have to pay dividend tax when the companies are already taxed on their profits?

3. Why are buddha idols kept in Thai dance bars when the girls there wont entertain you in the benches near the idol?

4. Why did I write this fourth question when I could have managed with only 3?