Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Bad Effect of Consumerism –Rise of Old Age Homes?

With the concept of joint family a thing of the past in Kerala, more and more people are being dumped by their kids to the old age homes. Here is a heart breaking report in Malayalam that looks into the plight and reasons of the people who are forced to live in old age homes after spending all their energy for bringing up their kids. At the end of the report the narrator list some of the reasons why this phenomenon is happening in a large scale in Kerala. I agree with him completely (These videos are in Malayalam).

Hopefully things will change for the better.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Thus a “Goonda” is Born in Kerala!

If you are not a hardcore communist and you have studied in Kerala, every character and sentence in this blog post will sound familiar to you.
C was a very brilliant student who passed 10th with over 95 percent marks and 12th with over 80% marks. He being the only kid of their well to do parents was one of the most pampered kids you could ever see. C wrote the entrance and his parents were very particular that he should be going only for a particular branch of engineering. With the rank he got it meant that he had to go to an engineering college almost 100kms from his house. What this also meant was that for the first time in his life C has to stay away from his house. C was scared to go to the hostel and C’s parents were sad to send their only kid to the hostel.
Hostel life of C started. He was so childish in his behavior and everyone in the hostel started making fun of him. To avoid ill treatment and to be with his parents he used to go to his house every Friday evening and came back only on Monday morning. His only focus was studies and studies alone. This continued for about 6 weeks into the first year.
One day a senior made fun of C for his childish behavior that made him cry instantly. That caught the attention of a SFI (student wing of communist party CPI(M)) leader who frightened the senior with dare consequences if he did that again. Now C has found a savior in this SFI leader. The leader told him to join SFI and said no one would tell anything to him. That day he joined the SFI officially.
Now the SFI leaders told him not to go home that weekend in order to celebrate his joining the SFI. The leaders took some money from him for that day’s party and that night C has the first taste of alcohol and cigarette. He started enjoying the new found freedom. Slowly he stopped going to the classes as parties and political discussions took up most of his nights. The guy who never knew that Kerala even had a government or a chief minister before joining this engineering college now had an enemy to fight against – Kerala government lead by the Chief Minister K Karunakaran for its capitalistic policies. Socialism, Independence and Democracy were his motto and everyone except communist followers were his enemies as they were all against working class and poor people.
C now rarely went home during weekends. He was treated as a hero after participating in a hunger strike against self financing colleges. A fight broke out one day between SFI and the other student organization in the college and SFI entrusted C with the job of manhandling the leader of the other party. He did that with perfection as that student leader was admitted with head injury to the hospital. Police registered a case against C and arrested him. The other SFI leaders and the local leaders swing into action and released C within 24 hours. He was given a hero’s welcome on his return from jail. From that day any fight involving SFI that occurred in the college and police registers a case, C was sure to be in that list.
C passed in just 3 subjects (out of 13) in first year and failed all the subjects in third semester. C took that as a credit while his parents were panic stricken. But they were helpless as their son thought that going to jail, manhandling others and fighting against imperialism is why he was going to the college for. His parents went on a trip to visit all the temples in India thinking that some God out there will help change the mind of their now atheist son.
C’s so called heroism during the clashes in the college brought him so many female fans and one of them proposed to him. He accepted that proposal and now he started coming to the college during day time just to see that girl and to talk to her.
Around that time the government changed and C’s party came to power and C got the top post of the party in the college. Since the government changed he knew that the police was on his side and he used that to his advantage. He started retaliating to all his opponents with ample support from the police force. He became a terror in the college.
It was time to finish college and C had tones of back papers. As soon as college officially ended the CPI(M) recruited him to DYFI (youth wing of CPI(M)) and now his area of influence has grown. If the party wants to terrorize anyone in that district they will come to him. Meanwhile he revolted against his parents and married the girl he loved. The party gave a job to his wife so that C could be used for trashing the opponents.
Slowly he started expanding his empire outside the party by taking “quotations” outside the party. So if you want to beat up or seriously injure or kill or scare someone he would do it for a particular amount. He started getting so many orders of quotation and time came when he couldn’t handle all by himself. He started appointing people for doing small quotations and in no time grew to become a big goonda of the town, thanks to the training he received from the communist party. Thus a goonda is born.
Now hooliganism is prevalent in Kerala with all the students’ organizations like KSU, ABVP etc. But the great difference – the support and encouragement of the leadership of the CPI(M) to the students for whatever hooliganism they do serves as a source of encouragement for students to do more rowdism while other parties always sets a limit. Result of that – youth wings of CPI(M) has become the breeding ground for “goondas” in the state.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

India's Perfect Nuclear Storm

This post is written by my friend and guest blogger Karthikeyan Chandran. He blogs at Glocal View

The unfolding Nuclear Saga in India is much lamentable, if not for the shocking revelations, atleast for severely damaging the credibility of the few institutions left with any credibility in our country. However, it is much more important at this point that all the revelations made by Dr.Santhanam be properly and honestly addressed. Per Dr.Santhanam we need atleast two more tests before we can claim to have mastered the Hydrogen bomb technology.

From DNA India
At least two more trial tests are required for India to perfect the thermonuclear, or hydrogen, bomb, says retired scientist K Santhanam. The scientist created a furore last month by claiming that the H-bomb test conducted in 1998 was a dud.

Santhanam believes that there is still time to do so before the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is ratified by the US and China. "I have recommended the crossing of the rubicon," Santhanam told reporters during an interaction with reporters organised by the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) in the capital.

Some raise questions about Dr.Santhanam's claims and his motives, including why he waited for 11 years before coming out. Though there is some legitimacy in questioning about the delay before he came public, i think no one can rubbish his claims since he has the expertise and the insider information. The way govt (NSA) has quickly come out to deny any such gaps in our deterrence is sad. Denial has never solved any problem. When much respected personalities like Anil Kakodkar, Abdul Kalam (i know he does not have the technical expertise) are in one camp while Dr.Santhanam and Dr.P.K.Iyengar in another, it only exacerbates the public's anxieties.

Anil Kakodkar (from TOI)
"We have enough data. We have comprehensive simulation capability and therefore there is no need for any more tests," Kakodkar said days after K Santhanam ignited a controversy that Pokhran-II was a fizzle and did not give the desired yield.

"We used the data of Beneberry nuclear tests of US of December 18,1970 to validate our 3-D simulation for earth motion and displacement and this validated tool was used for bench marking," Kakodkar said.

P.K.Iyengar (from TOI)
There is a "strong reason to believe that the thermonuclear device had not fully burnt and, therefore, further testing was called for," Iyengar, a former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, said in a statement yesterday.
He said, "If he (Santhanam) says that the yield was much lower than projected, that there was virtually no crater formed, and that these reservations were formally presented by DRDO in 1998 itself, then there is considerable justification for reasonable doubt regarding the credibility of the thermonuclear test and, therefore, of our nuclear deterrent."

These are people who are held at high esteem and considered beyond reproach. In my opinion, Dr. Santhanam is doing a great service to our nation by highlighting the inadequacies in our nuclear deterrent even if its 11 years late. This is significant now due to the US's renewed interest on NPT and CTBT.

Obama's call the other day in the UN for all the nations to join and ratify NPT met with unanimous support. This also calls for signing and ratifying CTBT. With the nuclear treaty between India and the US hinging on India not testing, among other things, we are bound to get a lot of heat from the US and other Western Nations before the NPT summit next year. Though India has reiterated its official position of not joining these treaties, how much longer would we be holding out is to be seen. (Note:- The call is for India to join NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state).

From Indian Express:
Ahead of next year’s review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), US President Barack Obama on Thursday successfully piloted a resolution in the UN Security Council, calling upon all countries outside the treaty, like India, to join as ‘non-nuclear weapons states’.

The resolution, adopted unanimously at a rare summit meeting of the Security Council, evoked a sharp reaction from New Delhi, which, in a strongly-worded letter to the president of Security Council, said India would not comply with non-proliferation obligations to which it has not provided its sovereign consent. Additionally, it noted that India was a nuclear weapon state and that there was no question of it joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state.

“India cannot accept externally prescribed norms prescribed norms or standards on matters within the jurisdiction of its Parliament or which are not consistent with India’s constitutional provisions and procedures, or are contrary to India’s national interests or infringe on its sovereignty,” said the letter from Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s permanent representative at the UN.

Added to this already high pressure situation for our policy makers is the new revelation that Iran has a secret Uranium enrichment facility. This would only make the NPT hawks within US State department and Foreign Affair ministries across Europe go into a tizzy and want everyone to join NPT and CTBT asap. This would only give them more momentum in arm-twisting India.

From BBC
Iran's decision to build a secret facility represented a "direct challenge to the basic compact" of the global non-proliferation regime, US President Barack Obama said, making a statement in Pittsburgh, where he is hosting a G20 summit.

Despite Iran's assertions that the facility was for peaceful purposes, the new plant was "not consistent" with that goal, the US president said.

This is an emerging story, there will more that will be coming out in the next few days and it doesn't look like what will would help India's stand. It is for this reason India should quickly do a quick review, conduct a few more tests if need be, and sign the treaties as a FULL NUCLEAR WEAPON STATE. It won't be easy for the next couple of years for India on this front, and S.M.Krishna and Shashi Tharoor have their job cut out for them. One can only hope they are good enough to handle the upcoming Perfect Storm.
(Originally published here.)
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Kaun Benega "Goonda"pati?

See the videos below (in Malayalam). This was part of the political satire “Thiruva Ethirva” that is shown in Manorama TV. Here in this episode, the quiz master Pinarayi Vijayan is asking questions about the latest hot topic in Kerala – “Goondas” – to the other politicians. The quiz master has an answer in mind and if the contestant says that answer he gets the money. It is so hilarious. The best part of the program are the questions to the audience. Don’t miss those. I assure you if you can understand Malayalam you will enjoy this.

Thanks Jayamohan Nair and Manorama TV for this hilarious program

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Six Reasons Why Indian Politicians Should Use Twitter

Twitter has become the buzz word in India after the controversy involving Minister of State for External Affairs Dr Shashi Tharoor. As of now only a very few politicians is using Twitter and there is only a handful of them who uses it regularly (MP from Kannur K Sudhakaran is another politician who tweets regularly). After the controversy involving Dr Tharoor broke out, lot of people started questioning the wisdom of politicians especially ministers and elected representatives using Twitter on a daily basis to communicate with the people. Use of Twitter by politicians has lot of plus points and here are six of them.

1 – Best Tool Available To Politician To Make News Viral

Assume a Member of Parliament (MP) visiting his constituency finding out that in a recent accident in a railway level crossing, a teenage girl lost both her legs and needs financial help for treatment. In the normal circumstance, the MP may be contacting the Chief Minister or the other ministers or the officials of the state government and give a petition regarding help for that girl. He may also conduct a press conference describing the plight of the girl and leave it to the mercy of the news editors to decide if that news needs to go the print.

Now what you can do with Twitter – Dr Shashi Tharoor on his visit to his constituency met with a girl who has lost both her legs and on the same day he tweeted –

Visited a girl who lost both legs to a train when crossing the track bcoz road to her home was underwater. One more tragedy of underdevpmnt”

“Will look for prosthetic help for the girl. In her final year of high school. Desperately poor. A couple of Jaipur Feet cld change her life

That 280 letters changed the life of that girl. The same day itself offers for help came from all over the world and last I heard that girl is undergoing treatment. Could such quick response possible without Twitter? What does that show? Doesn’t that show that politicians and elected representatives can use twitter to spread the word faster than any other media out there?

2 – Transparency

We the people always wanted transparency in the conduct of politicians and Twitter is the most effective tool for the politicians to create that transparency in their activities. By tweeting daily about what they have done to the people who elected them, the politicians are becoming more transparent with the people they represent. Now the people in turn can judge the work of the politicians and if the people find that their elected representative is not doing a good job they can raise this in a very big way in Twitter thus bringing it to the notice of the politician forcing him to mend his ways.

3-To Understand the Pulse of the People

If you are a politician and active in Twitter, read all the tweets addressed to you and you could understand the pulse of the people, issues they face and the solutions to the issues that need your help. For example if you go through the tweets Dr Tharoor receives he gets a lot of complains about the passport offices especially from certain areas. Within few days he could conclude which all passport offices are not working efficiently and can take steps to correct it. The same process may be taking months to find out if we go through the normal route.

4 -Spreading the World of the Good Work Done

The elected representative or the politician may have done lots of good work for the people they represent. But all those need not reach the people due to poor coverage by the media – both print and visual. In such circumstances the Twitter is the best friend for the politician. This is the best tool available for the politician to spread the word about the good work he has done without depending on any one. See the photo below. It is the photo of the first ever Indian Female Formed Police Unit in Liberia. None of the news media had this photo but was there in one of the tweets of Dr Tharoor. So Twitter is a powerful tool for the politicians to let the people know about the real hard work they are doing for the people.

5 – Letting People Know the Lighter Side of You

Politicians are public figures and people may like to know the personal tastes of the politician they have elected to represent them and there is no tool better than Twitter for a politician to do that. See this tweet from Dr Tharoor “Having lived abroad in places without Indian mangoes, have literally become "aam aadmi" this year, or at least "aam ka aadmi" - eat 6 a day!” Anyone who reads this and understand the correct meaning of it will easily feel that politician who tweets this is one among them. Thus Twitter is a great tool for politicians to show their lighter side to the people they represent.

6 – Record of Work Done by the Politician for the People

A politician who tweets regularly about what he did for the people can always direct the people to go back to his old tweets and see for themselves what he did for them in a particular issue. Thus tweets become a public record of the services of the politician to his people. For the people, his tweets will become a record of how effective he was in tackling the day to day issues faced by them.

Now the common complaint we hear is that the number of internet users are very less in India and hence concepts like Twitter doesn’t reach vast majority of people. But the use of internet is fast catching up and within a next decade the use of internet is expected to grow exponentially and politicians will be forced to connect with the people they represent using micro blogging sites like Twitter.

Hope That More and More Politicians Will Join Twitter and Make the Process of Governance More Transparent and Efficient.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

“Cattle Class” and “Holy Cow” Controversy – What Do You Have To Say?

The reference of ‘cattle class” and “holy cow” by Minister of State for External Affairs has created so much controversy in India that there are even debates going on if politicians should be using social networking sites at all. Here is a poll consisting of five questions where you can voice your opinion on the whole issue.

Thanks for your participation. EMAIL THIS

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saluting a Legend – Kamal Haasan

The legendary actor, Kamal Haasan, completed 50 years as an actor last month. In these fifty years, Kamal Haasan has given us great visual feast through his amazing acting skills. Here is a collection of 10 movies of Kamal Haasan that I liked most.


I am not sure how many times I have watched this movie – Nayagan. The Time magazine has listed this movie in the all time 100 best film list in 2005. This movie directed by Mani Ratnam narrates the story of Sakthivelu Nayakar enacted to perfection by Kamal Haasan. Kamal Haasan won the best actor national award for this movie.


This movie in which Kamal Haasan acts in double role as Chandru and Senapathy, was nominated by India as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards in 1996. This movie also won Kamal Haasan the national award for the best actor.

Thevar Magan

When three legends join hands together, the product will be a great classic. Thevar Maghan is the fine example of that. The trio of director Bharathan, great Shivaji Ganeshan and Kamal Haasan gave us a classic in the form of the movie Thevar Magan that will be cherished by all the people who love cinema.

Sagara Sangamam

This movie in Telugu narrates the life of a classic dancer who failed to achieve greatness. This movie directed by another great K Viswanath shows Kamal Haasan’s command in Indian Classical Dances. See the scene below. I don’t think any one other than Kamal can enact this to such perfection.

16 Vayathinile

This Bharathiraja film has Kamal Haasan acting as mentally retarded. The movie that also stars Rajnikanth and Sridevi was the first movie to be shot completed outdoors. Great movie and great acting by all stars especially by Kamal Haasan.

Michael Madana Kamarajan

The film were Kamal Haasan portrays four roles is one of the most hilarious movies ever to hit the screen. His portray of four different characters shows his versatility as an actor.

Moondram Pirai

The last movie Sridevi and Kamal Haasan acted together, this movie also fetched him the national best actor award. This movie released in 1982 is one of the masterpiece of Kamal Haasan.

Apoorva Sahodharangal

A movie where Kamal acted as a dwarf man was one of the biggest hits in Kamal’s career. Another movie that shows us how great an actor he is.

Avai Shanmughi

One needs an extra ordinary talent to act as a lady in the entire movie and that is what Kamal has done in the movie Avai Shanmughi. How naturally he enacted that role, you have to see that to believe it.


Any time you see this movie, you will forget everything and laugh. You see this thousand times and even then you won’t feel bored.

I always like to believe – the best of this great actor Kamal Haasan is yet to come!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vani - I

This post is written by my friend and guest blogger Karthikeyan Chandran. He blogs at Glocal View
(My attempt at fiction)
Vani closed her eyes trying to sleep. She has been tossing and turning for the last hour or so. She could intermittently hear the men outside at a distance in the hall laughing. She couldn't hear exactly what they were talking, but she knew they were playing cards. Otherwise, she could only hear the ticking of the wall clock. She was not alone in the room. Latha Athai was there sleeping next to her. Latha Athai, who has been a support to her, was too tired to allay her fears on the night before perhaps the most important day of her life.

By now, Vani was used to the darkness of the room. There was a beam of light that entered the otherwise sealed room through a crack in the window. Next to Vani's cot, near the dressing table were all the paraphernalia needed for the next morning. The Jewels, though carefully placed in the jewel box, was not concealed from prying eyes that might enter the room. Vani gazed at the red jewel box.

It was a rainy Deepavali that year. Vani who was 12 years old had woke up with her sisters by 4 am, getting ready for the oil bath. Appa had returned last night from Madras with new clothes, pattasu and some sweets. Amma for her part had made murukku. Appa, though a farmer with meagre income, had always tried his best to keep his daughters happy. The relationship between amma and appa weren't so smooth, but Vani never thought much about it. To her, Athai Latha's house is a safe haven when things weren't normal. Athai for her part, embraced the sisters as her own and treated them like her kids. Vani never understood the subtle differences and motivations for how people reacted to each other. All she knew was that Appa was closer to her, for some reason, than her sisters and that anytime she feels bad, she can run to Athai. Early that morning, after the perfunctory pooja after bath, Vani was all gleaming in her new dress. She was ready to run to athai and show her new dress. Just then appa called her in. He opened a small red box and took two small ear rings in what looked like Gold. Amma took the ear rings, placed on the pedestal with pictures of Gods from the Hindu pantheon. Vani was checking out herself in the mirror with her ear-rings. She could hear her mother in the Kitchen telling her to ,"be careful, this is for your marriage, if you lose it, you will be the one without it."

Just then, the noise from the Hall became a little louder to draw her attention away from the Jewel box. Next to it lay the Kanchipuram pattu sari. It was violet in color with designs of peacock. Vani has always wanted a Pattu pudavai for herself. Even during her sister's marriage, appa couldn't manage a new one for the sisters. She had to do with one of her mother's sari. In all the other marriages she had to attend, she was never allowed to wear any of her mother's five saris. Though she was in her teens, she had to do see her athais, periyammas and cousins from Madras flaunting their wealth with their silk saris and Jewelry. she always wanted a sari of her own so that she can wear it to all these weddings.

Latha Athai had by this time started to snore. Madras Athai was sleeping next her. Athai had come from Madras 10 days earlier for the wedding to assist in the preparations. She had problems with her knee, but that did not stop her to do any less for the marriage. Between these two, Vani saw shades of her mother. Latha athai in her unquestioning love for her, always being there for her. Yet, she could at times be harsh when Vani didn't exactly follow her instructions or wanted to have a lazy day. Vani's mother too was a workholic and expected the same of her daughters, even in their pre-teen days. Madras athai was the other side, she was a small women in size, like her mother, but she always gave the freedom to have her own space. Madras Athai, in ways complemented Latha athai.

The louder ding dong from the clock marked the passing of yet another hour. It must be 12 AM now, only 5 hours before the muhurtam. Vani wanted to go to sleep, but the more she thought about sleep, the more awake she seemed to feel. Even the men outside seemed to have packed up and slept. The thought of the men playing outside led her to think of the man sleeping in the other room. She wondered whether he too would be having trouble sleeping and what is going on in his mind.

Rajkumar was sitting on the folding chair sipping coffee, a little shy, a little scared Vani thought, because of her Grandfather. Her Grandfather could be an intimidating man, especially for unsuspecting young men, who expect a jocular old guy for a thatha. Thatha always had a temper, and never easily opened up to new people. This included the fiance of his grand-daughter. Luckily for Vani, her village had long ago moved beyond coffee giving routine of the yesteryears. She was also part the group sitting outside when Rajkumar had come to see her for the first time. She didn't feel out of place since all she could see was her relatives and neighbors. Maybe her confidence at that gathering was even more off-putting for Raj. She could surely see him fidgeting and looking for ways to be let out.

Raj turned out to be a sweet guy in the days she spoke with him since the Nitchayadartham. She didn't like his smoking habit, but she figured she can change him. He called her daily on athai's cell phone and she could speak with him for a few minutes in private. He has still not been able to break ice with Thatha. On the two occasions that he found a reason to come home to visit her, one for her birthday and one when he called on visit athai, thatha stared at him throughout his stay. He later told her that he felt like thatha might any time pounce on him and bite his head off. Vani couldn't stop laughing. This is what she liked about Raj, his charm that doesn't overwhelm, but which makes her comfortable. He made her forget her situation, made her feel special for those two minutes that she got to speak with him on the phone.

Still, as the clock ticked, she couldn't get past this inexplicable fear that started to only grow. She had grown comfortable with Raj, she couldn't say whether she was falling in love but she has started to trust him, was not enough to let her go to sleep. She needed someone to confide her fears, to get a reassuring word. She wanted to sleep for a few hours. She didn't want to wake her athai up. She knew how hard she had worked to get this wedding going. She appreciated it with all her heart. She wanted someone to understand what she was going through and to check on her at this hour. Vani, for the first time since the wedding talk began, missed her mother. More than her mother, she missed her father's reassuring presence.

to be continued...
(Originally published here.)

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rodeos - The Champions

One of the things I enjoy doing since my childhood was playing cricket. Playing cricket has always given me immense satisfaction. When I came to US for my Master’s degree I thought I may never be able to play competitive cricket again. I was wrong. There are all kinds of cricket leagues in Arizona.

I joined the Phoenix 2020 hard cricket ball league and have been playing regularly for the last 4 seasons. Today we had the finals of the summer tournament and you know what – my team Rodeos has won the tournament. We beat the team Cobras by 2 wickets. This is the second victory this year. We are the defending champions for the winter tournament that spans for a period of six months from October to April. Here is the photo of winning Rodeos team.

I am fortunate to play with some great team players and this post is an appreciation for all my team mates.

Raja Ganesh

The “heart” of the team – Team Rodeos transformed the day he joined in this team. He is Kevin Pietersen for us when he goes to bat, McGrath when he bowls and Jonty Rhodes when he fields. A great athlete and a soccer player, he works at Sonic Wall in Phoenix.

Ramakrishnan Vaidyanathan

This guy thinks cricket, drinks cricket, eats cricket and sleeps cricket. To know the meaning of this above statement you may ask his wife. Recruiting manager of the team – the new players he picked was just amazing. May be Shah Rukh Khan can hire him in Kolkata Knight Riders when they go for the auction next time J. Other than playing cricket, you can see him at the ASU football games. Ramki as he we call him works at Cavalry Portfolios in Phoenix after graduating from ASU majoring in Industrial Engineering.

Mayilvahanam Sivanantham

A great team player who can bat anywhere in the order and can bowl a few overs here and there.

Encyclopedia of Tamil cinema – he may happily live without food or water for couple of days but cannot survive even an hour without browsing sify or rediff movie sites. Another Industrial Engineering graduate from ASU, he works with Mercer Health in Phoenix.

Padmakumar Gopalaswamy

Wicketkeeper of our team – rarely a ball went past him this tournament. While not playing cricket you could see him reading New York Times paper or reading about Middle East issues in which he has deep knowledge. Sleeping is his hobby and most of the time when he is at home you may just find him fully immersed in his hobby. An electrical engineering graduate from ASU, he now works with Trizetto Solutions in Phoenix.

Thirumurughan Bose

Captain cool; a good batsman who can win matches by himself on his day. His 100% record as captain is a proof of his leadership quality. Thiru works as a Water Resource Engineer in URS after completing his Masters in the same from Utah State University.

Vijesh Shetty

A fitness freak - trying hard to develop a “ten pack” and beat the “khans” of Bollywood in the war of “packs”. An allrounder, who has traits of Lance Klusener of South Africa, who on this day can beat any team with bat or ball or both.

Statutory Warning: Never talk to him while he is eating. He never even bothers to acknowledge you. This most eligible bachelor, works with Sonic Wall in Phoenix.

Hrushikesh Gandhi

Only guy in the team who cannot understand Tamil and most of the time he has to pick up what we are talking from couple of English words in each sentence. Any captain will be delighted to have him in their team. The reason – this guy can keep on bowling and bowling at constant pace with good line and length for ever. Gandhi is a student in W P Carey School of Business at ASU.


Another iron man of the team with great cricketing skills. Joined Rodeos this season along with Gandhi. A great team player who always has a smile on his face. Vidhyashankar is also a student in W P Carey School of Business at ASU.

Sebastian Albert

A good batsman and a fielder; during his free time you could see him in church and church related activities. Sabi graduated with his Masters degree in Computer Science from ASU and now working with RDH corporation in Phoenix.

Ram Chidambaram

A great revelation of this season. Bowled some “amazing’ overs to break some partnerships during few of the matches. Outside cricket he is our advisor in matters related to stock market. Ram graduated from ASU in 2003 with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and works with Freescale Semiconductors in Tempe. A great athlete, whose other passion is running half marathons and he has completed a few clocking good timings.

Praveen Raj

Only professional player in our team and believe me it is a treat to watch this guy play. Again any captain will be delighted to have him in the team. Praveen a graduate from ASU works with Sonic Wall in Phoenix.

Brijesh Nair

What should I tell about myself? The senior most player in the team not based on experience but on age. Seeing other team members play, have a feeling that it is time to call it a day.

I cherish all the moments I play with this team and these great players….Rodeos Rock.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Do We Have Rights to Complain?

I have written about this so many times. If you ever been to US, the very first thing you notice is that more than 95% of the people follow the laws of the land to the core. But what about us? We always either consciously break the law or give scant respect to the existing laws. A common example I always take to explain how the people in US obeys law – City of Tempe where I studied for my post graduation in Arizona, a law was enacted that you are not supposed to smoke inside a bar. If you need to smoke you have to go out of the bar to the designated smoking area to smoke. I have seen people who are fully drunk obeying this law without any objection. Just imagine what the outcome will be in India if this law is implemented? No prize for guessing the answer.

Now we blame the government and others for all our ills. But do we have right to complain? Are the ills in our society is the direct result of some of us not obeying the law at some point of time?

See some of the stuffs lot of us do knowing well that we are breaking law and its consequences.

Dumping waste in the drains and in the road. We do that often. Now when the rain comes that clogs the drains and road. Now the same people who dumped the waste will complain – during rain the road near my house is flooding. Never ever they will look back to understand the reason for flooding.

Not obeying traffic laws – daily all of us do it. The main culprit is over speed. Now we start complaining when an accident occurs forgetting that most of it occurs due to disobeying of traffic rules.

Making roads dirty – we always complain that our roads are dirty. But what do we do daily? Don’t we contribute daily to make our roads dirty? Don’t we spit on the roads and do things like that? If we did that do we have the right to complain?

Doing things out of the way – if we want to do some thing out of the way, lots of us are ready to influence higher ups or ready to pay bribe. After giving bribe we complain about corruption. If there is no one willing to give bribery then the concept of corruption itself never exists. The corruption is widespread because we the common people are willing to give bribes.

We complain that lot of influential people evade tax. But don’t we buy stuff without bill when the shop owner is ready to give it for a lower price. Gold is a classic example. Lot of times people buy gold from the shop without a receipt so that they can evade sales tax. If we ever did that do we have the right to complain about people evading taxes as we are one among them?

The list can go on and on. There is a proverb in my mother tongue Malayalam – Atiyam Swayam Nannavuka; Pinne Nadu Nannakukka (first reform yourself before you try to reform the society). If all of us understand the meaning of this proverb then we won’t have anything to complain.

When you feel like complaining, stand in front of a mirror and do it. You may see the culprit responsible for your complaint.

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