I was mighty surprised at Colors tagging me, for a bit I was checking for another "Moonie". I avoid sharing anything personal over the web, but then I thought there is no harm in answering the tag questions. just for colors I am making this post a bit colorful!

A - Available? - No comments ;)

B - Best Friend - J - was a colleague last decade but now he is my closest online pal!

C - Cake or pie - Apple Pie :) especially the one you get in mcdonalds. At one place in US I remember eating kiwi pie and key lime pie too, yummmmmm.

D - Drink of choice - Well, I'd love to say life giving water but it wouldn't be truth, I like my drinks strong, Scotch or Long Island Ice Tea.

E - Essential thing used everyday - yups toothbrush and toothpaste! To add to this is kohl, I just cannot feel dressed without it. Its very rare you'd see me without kohl in my eyes; usually its eye liner and kohl.

F - Favorite Color - Well its difficult but then I look at my recently decorated home and find ample sprinkling of darker shades of green, so I guess green must be my favorite. Recent fancy are Indigo and Brick.

G - Gummy bears or worms - Well, since this candy is not very common in India, I don't have a preference for either. I will share that once upon a time I used to eat tons of 'Mango bite', there was a time when my colleagues would drop on my desk just to get a bite of mango :))

H - Hometown - Delhi. Though my family belongs to Alleppey in Kerala but since I was brought up in Delhi; every time some one talks about hometown I can only think Delhi.

I - Indulgence - There is a popular ice-cream parlour in Bangalore called 'Corner House', they have a sundae called 'Death by chocolate'. death by chocolate is completely uplifting!

J - January or February - February, cause I feel quite settled into the new year after about a month. January is too anxious and in anticipation

K - Kids and names - I don't have kids but if I ever had, I would love to name them 'Nandini' or ever favorite 'Rahul'. Lots filmi but then everyone knows I am a movie buff.

L - Life is incomplete without - Internet. A strange choice, I know but apart from love of my family who don't live with me, I realize internet is my "need" without which I feel something is amiss. Life without being connected to the world is unimaginable. Recent addition to pass time over web is SecondLife, do you have a second life??

M - Marriage Date - No Comments.

N - Number of siblings - Same as Colors; 1 elder n wiser brother.

O - Oranges or apples - Tangy Oranges.

P - Phobias or fears - hhhmmmm... being abandoned.

Q - Quote - "Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal”.

R - Reason to smile - In Zen they say 'This too shall pass'.

S - Season - Rainy, absolutely love the rains. In Delhi it would pretty hot so it was absolute fun getting drenched in rains but even now I love watching rains and how everything turns deeper green after that.

T - Tag three people - I was surprised when Colors tagged me. I'd invite any one who is interested to take up the tag.

U - Unknown fact about me - Plenty, Its a difficult question to answer over the web because I try to remain a private person. Hhhhmmm something I'd like to share is that I used to make my own dresses when I joined college. I would copy designs from magazines, cut and stitch Salwaar, Chudidaar Kameez by my own. Yet another unknown fact about me is that I can cook quite well but I cook just a few times a month!

V - Vegetable you don't like - Its difficult to think about a specific vegetable which I don't like; rather I don't like any vegetable made bland e.g. eggplant is edible only as Baigan ka bharta and Bitter Gourd as bharwan kerala punjabi style, various pumpkins in coconut milk Kerala style

W - Worst habit - Procrastination.

X - X-rays you have had - usual ones teeth and chest.

Y - Your favorite food - Well, I am a chocoholic so anything chocolate is my favorite. Also one of my fav is a simple Maggi noodles made with a little extra water so that it becomes more of soupy noodles. One more fav I'd like to mention because that probably one of the very few things I miss from US is Gen Tso Chicken! :) :D

Z - Zodiac - Crab - Cancer.

End of an innings for Kiran Bedi


“It has been a life worth living. It has been a profession of my soul and heart. And truly, the end it has met was not imagined. But this was what the situation had demanded and it was necessary to drive home a point,” said Kiran Bedi without trying to hide her emotions.

Ms. Bedi, who had been ignored for the hot-shot post of Delhi’s Police Commissioner earlier this year, said: “You cannot be valued in one position and devalued in another. If the Government is really serious about [police] reforms, then why deny me the place from where I can effect them? What’s the point in doing paper reforms when there is no dearth of such recommendations lying un-implemented.”

The much talked about Magsaysay Award winner had submitted her application for voluntary retirement this past mid-November saying she wanted to quit in order to pursue her academic and social interests. The Government last week indicated that it would continue to avail itself of her services for its National Police Mission project, but she had rejected the offer saying she was not willing to work “for the Government” any more.

Saying that she was “grateful to the Government for not having delayed the approval” to her voluntary retirement plea, Ms. Bedi said she would continue to work on police and prison reforms besides pursuing other academic and social interests.

“I am already working on women empowerment in Panchayati Raj and will continue to work to groom future leaders,” she added.

Well, all I can say is Good Luck to Dr (Mrs) Bedi and I am looking forward to her hopefully playing some other socially relevant role in our country.

On the other note, Just while I was browsing the news in evening, I saw flash of news that Mrs Bhutto was assassinated. Quite sad I felt. Not that I know a lot about Pakistan's political scenario but I was quite impressed by her being a leader in the Muslim world which is not really known to encourage women.

Well, I guess, life goes on!

Taare Zameen Par - *****

Touching! :D well thats the word I would describe the movie with. I would recommend everyone to watch the movie. I watched a movie first day first show for the first time :D and every minute of the movie was lovely.

For a review one can check following links

Sadly the critics have given rating of only three stars (quite Good); I would like to rate it at five stars (Masterpiece); in fact in Times of India, reader's rating is 4 and 1/2 :D :) I am indeed Aamir Khan fan so pardon moi in case you do not agree but being a movie buff and one who has seen variety of movies from ones from old classics to modern technically superior ones, take my word, this one is just too good for ratings etc.

Well, being a curious body, I browsed the web for some more details on Dyslexia and I was pleasantly surprised to find many more celebrities (apart from ones mentioned in movie) suffered from Dyslexia in some form in their childhood. Some worth mention are Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Danny Glover, Orlando Bloom, Richard Branson of Virgin, John Chambers of Cisco, Charles Schwab, Tommy Hillfiger, Ann Bancroft .. *phew* .. huge list!!

I also found that the percentage of children suffering from Dyslexia is around 5-20%! Thats a big percentage! I am surprised that this subject had never come up before! Well better late than never, I am very happy for all children that finally one movie which brings the issue out for all world to think a bit about this and more importantly change outlook of adults to not just look at children in their preconceived notions but like the title says look at them as stars on earth! Each different and still bright as ever!

Reality of backward thinking in Indian Society

Recently I experienced the backwardness in Indian Society sort of first hand and it opened my eyes to the depth of social conditioning which exists in Indians. Yes, I am talking about the perennial issue of gender discrimination in India.
I realize that education and class does not affect the backwardness in thinking. I guess the society as a whole is conditioned to think of a girl child as a burden. People find it difficult to even think otherwise. At same time I also need to highlight the duality in social behavior in middle and high class society to pretend otherwise though. People pretend that they give equal opportunities to their daughters compared to sons, care equally for them. Then why is that the most important question a parent has for their daughter is about her marriage!?? I would like to challenge any one who wants to refute this to really think again; talk to their parents and ask this question. I can challenge that majority of parents are worried about marriage of their daughters more than anything else. The same concern is at a very small degree for their sons. The typical answer is "yes, my daughter can do anything she likes, study, work, travel as long she gets married at right age and then continues her likes and career with agreement with her husband".
Why is that? My opinion is that crux of problem does indeed come from the fact that the only major milestone in a daughter's life is considered to be marriage and her going to another house after an expensive wedding and followed by more expenses every festival etc. This thinking leads to another chain of thoughts which is daughters becoming the family's pride, which implies, the way marriage is conducted is a big ego booster for the family to show off its standing in the community. The further chain also ingrains the comparison in terms of beauty! The groom's family would like to get the most beautiful bride which gives them an ego boost showing off in the community!
Well in nut shell, objectifying a woman.

Why is indeed marriage so key to Indian Society? My take is that till that doesn't change, a lot of our backward thinking in terms of Gender issues, female infanticide, dowry, crime against women etc is not going to reduce ever.

Mumbaikars host novel train boycott


Mumbai's local train commuters are a harried lot, but on Human Rights Day they've launched a unique protest to highlight their demand for more trains.

Monday saw empty trains leaving Virar Station at rush hour. It is one of the busiest in the long line of stations on the western railway, stretching from the north right down to Churchgate, Mumbai's business district.

This 12 hour ''boycott'' of the local trains was a protest by the commuters to highlight their troubles in the hope that the city administration is listening to them.

Unprecedented scenes were witnessed inside Mumbai's local 2nd class that is normally jam-packed.

The demands were not new, trains every 5 minutes instead of the present 10 minutes in order to ease the crowds and deployment of new rakes trains on this sector.

This style of agitation called by a Left-backed association, Prabhas Adhikar Andolan Samiti, claimed they had the support of all parties.

Life clearly isn't a smooth ride for passengers. Five lakh commuters use the trains between Borivli and Virar daily with 16-18 commuters crammed in one square metre of standing space on this sector.

The Railways and the state administration have been continuously making promises to improve the services, but they all seem to be only on paper and not in actuality.

Morning Raga

After a long time I sat through a movie on TV; a 2004's Morning Raga. I had heard about this movie and was a bit curious too.
Twenty years after a fatal bus accident, three lives altered by the tragedy become intertwined. Frustrated composer Abhinay (Rao), who survived the crash as a child but lost his mother, joins forces with two singers: Swarnalatha (Azmi), who saw her child and best friend, Abhinay's mom, perish; and pop vocalist Pinkie (Perizaad Zorabian), who lost her father. Together they all learn that music truly does have healing powers.

Really a touching movie. Its actually a feeling of disbelief once the movie ends wondering how did the writer/director weave story across generations, geographies and genres of music so well. One of those movies which nudges your heart gently and leaves you with a smile and a thought in the end.