Are you one of Nero’s guests

Chilling piece here from Alternative Perspective:

Emperor Nero’s parties in his garden were attended by all the Who’s Who of Rome. Often the the parties were in progress, but then the dusk fell, and night arrived. There was no light around for the guests to continue to enjoy the festivities. Nero came up with a innovative solution to provide illumination: the prisoner and poors were brought and burnt on the stakes party all around the arena to illuminate the garden… Tacitus (The Annals, Book XV, C.E. 62-65 ) noted:”(they) were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle.”

…and the party continued….

Of course, Nero, as most people know, was mad and cruel – and so, his conduct is perhaps not really so surprising – even if it was sensational.

But what about Nero’s Guests?

They were, after all, the prominent elites of Rome – the intellectuals, the traders, the artists… sort of the “owners” of Roman culture and prosperity… (one would perhaps find them similar to our contemporary urban eduacated elites in temperaments and aspirations)…

It is important to understand the psyche of people – our own, actually- who could enjoy their wine and food, while the crackling light from burning bodies provided illumination to their delights…

as the party (i.e., the GDP, the Shopping Malls, the brands, GDP, SEZs, etc.) continues…

It makes me think: is our social responsibility not really an obligation ? Are we condemned to be busy with our own lives and not root for justice !
We are a suppressed and busy people. We barely have enough time for our own lives…we are too scared to rebel against emperor Nero.


Video karaoke, possible ?

Ever remember when you went out for a movie with your friends and then you came to a sad scene where a friend made a funny comment and you all started laughing uncontrollably ?

Ever remember watching a cricket match and your friends shouting “Come on Kumble, dive man !” etc ?

I am dreaming of a software (or a hardware) which will allow me to record viewer comments while the video is running. Then when I get a chance to replay the video (through a DVD or a VCD), I would have the option of choosing either the original soundtrack or the karaok’ed soundtrack.

That would be a great way of enhancing the watching experience. It also has a nostalgic value: I want to recollect all those comments my friends made when we were watching a movie or a cricket or tennis match.
There is one more reason for this longing: I despise the cricket commentary on display these days. I feel my friends read the game better than the bloke speaking on TV. If I ever buy a DVD or VCD of my favourite cricket game, I would like to be able to over-write the on-TV commentary with that of my friends or myself.

What do my readers say ?

Google, Why ?

Why does everyone want to work at Google ? Because, according to Fortune magazine, it is the best place to work in America.

And why is that ?

Check out this video :

Link via this piece from Digital Inspiration

No wonder, the search company gets 3000 new job applications each day – that’s more than a million every year.

No wonder, indeed…!

Some kind of History

Touching piece on the convictions for the crimes committed against Sikhs in 1984:

If you check around, you’ll find your own crop of similar explanations. The Bhiwandi killings of 1970 and 1984, the Delhi killings of 1984, the Mumbai killings of 1992-93, the Gujarat killings of 2002: pick any one, plenty of your fellow countrymen rationalize it, using words like “retaliation”, “justified”, “lesson”, “water under the bridge” and more. Why, on the day I read about the conviction of Gurpal’s killers, I also read a report in the Times of India with this title: “For RSS, Gujarat riots are history.”

There’s no justice for so many ordinary Indians slaughtered, but it’s “history.”

History means so many things to so many people. For some, it is a distant scene: something that they watch as if they were watching a movie or a game of cricket. At the end of it, they can brush it off and get on with their lives.
But for some, it is a painful episode which keeps coming back like a recurring nightmare. It leaves an indelible mark on their lives.

It is time we started recognizing the value of human life.

Bad kids ? Train the parents

Interesting piece on the Freakonomics blog:

The paper’s authors conducted a randomized study with 153 socially disadvantaged Welsh parents with children aged 3 or 4. Some of the parents were given a 12-week “intervention programme,” in which two professionals taught the parents how to reward, punish, and discipline their children. The control group of parents were wait-listed for this workshop.

The results showed that the children of the parents who took the workshop behaved significantly better afterward, at least in the short term. The authors make the point that, since childhood anti-social behavior is a strong indicator of adult anti-social behavior and criminality, the findings are potentially very important.

I personally do not agree with this view. I feel that the best parents are those with the best intentions in their heart. Of course, this has to be combined with that essential element called love. Parents have to stop thinking of their kids as extensions of themselves and treat them as individuals in their own right.

What sayest thou ?

Everything considered, its the same story !

A Bangladesh perspective to the slide in Indian cricket

The Bangladeshi Newspaper Prothom Alo said this win is a reply to the Indian’s disrespect about Bangladesh. Bangladesh proved India that what is commerce to them is merely a game for them. The article concludes with the hope that India is put down on their feet with this shock. If they still cannot revise their opinion about Bangladesh they will be reminded in the coming tour.

This is typical sub-continent rhetoric. Everytime we beat Australia or South Africa, we talk about how India have shown these great nations their place. Bangladesh, unfortunately, is following that route.
I am reproducing verbatim, my comments on that post (do read the other comments — I found them nauseating, at best):

It is funny how one win can make dreamers out of losers !
I have nothing but the greatest respect for the way the Bangladesh team beat India in the WC. It was a fantastic exhibition of tight bowling and sticking to the basics. I really liked the attitude of Tameem Iqbal in that eventful over from Zahir Khan — hope to see more from this kid.But, please hold on to your horses. You guys have a long way to go. You only have two wins in this cup so far: one against a lazy India and the other against a hapless Bermuda.
Please show us more before we start talking about how Bangladesh are better than India…let us please keep our feet firmly on the ground, shall we ?

Incidentally, I read this piece from Prem Panicker’s blog only a couple of days ago. Do read it…

But unfortunately Bangla-desh, like it’s more colourful neighbours India, has got mindless followers whose emotion often beats logic. The whole nation was over the moon since early hours of March 26, a very special day in the history of the country. It was quite understandable when we rejoiced the success against Bermuda that confirmed the Tigers of a place in the next round.

But wasn’t that something like an excess what followed when many including the knowledgeable section started thinking of ‘going all the way to the semifinals’ or sweeping comments like ‘winning has become a habit for us’ or ‘I don’t want to take the win as an upset’.


All things considered, we are birds of the same flock !

Update: Found this piece about Bangladesh fans burning effigies of their cricketers , huh !