Grandma stops traffic on Bannerghatta Road…!

Sometimes, I wonder where the will and wish to do good comes from. Is it the youth ? does it come from our exposure to other cultures ? is it from our extensive education ?

And then sometimes, I think not.

Don’t know what I am talking about ? Read this:

I was riding in a car on Bannerghatta Road. Work is finally getting done on that road to widen and pave it, so traffic was moving at a fast pace. As we passed an apartment complex on the left, I noticed an old lady with a red handbag making her way off the footpath and on to the road, probably in anticipation of a bus or to flag down an auto, I thought. But she did not stop moving. As our car passed her, she strode toward the middle of road, holding up her red handbag.

Read on…there are some things in this country of ours that just defy explanations !

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Chalo India: Now, own Bollywood

Cutting the Chai writes about Moserbaer putting video pirates out of business in this informative piece:

A DVD for Rs 34! That would definitely be a cause of worry of the Pirates of Palika, who peddle their stuff for Rs 75-Rs 150. A VCD’s for a mere Rs 28. My neighbourhood DVD rental charges Rs 30 for a day. Looks like he’ll have to think of competitive pricing soon.

Like they say, “It happens only in India” !

The horrible world we live in…

India Uncut never fails to shock me…

Read this piece…I do not want to post any thoughts…I am left speechless.

If you’re straight, imagine one more time the dystopia gay Indians live in, where not just sex but love and companionship are elusive. Isn’t that criminal?

Thanks to Amit Varma for bringing this piece to us.
How insensitive can we humans be ?

Opening access to research

Quite an old piece but relevant today:

Rising journal costs restrict access to scientific research. Martyn Bull reports on a campaign to get institutions to set up free internet archivesIf the purpose of scientific publishing is to increase access to knowledge to enable further advances in science and technology, then researchers are not doing much to help. Too often they care more about the impact of publishing in a high-status journal than how many people might be able to read it.
…….
….
The report advocates radical change in the scientific publishing process to prevent escalating costs and restrictive publisher agreements choking access to scientific research. It recommends that authors disseminate their research for free on the internet by storing articles in institutional archives, as well as backing a switch from “subscriber pays” to “author pays” publishing.

The SHERPA initiative is arguing that scholars put their research work on university/institution archives so the general public can access them free of cost.
My question is: how then, do the research scholars make money ? It is correct that journal costs are way too high. However, I do not think making the papers themselves free will help.

What are your comments ? Is that the way to go ?

Banning cricket !

Villages in Haryana ban cricket:

“We all have taken this decision and those who go against it will have to face social boycott. We’ve enshrined this in the Panchayat records of 28 villages,” said Tewa Singh, head of Dadan Panchayat.

“We will stop playing it (cricket). We will play kabaddi, football, volleyball and wrestle instead,” Pankaj, a resident of the village, said.

How about banning politicians, I say. Surely, politicians do more harm than silly, incompetent cricketers !
“Social boycott”, my foot ! Who would want to have anything to do with such a society, anyway !!!

The thing with trust….

Excellent post on a blog that is fast becoming my favourite:

At the bus, plenty of angry shouting, more stones flung, a window broken, three youths scream at us: “We don’t want your peace talk, tell it to the RSS who did all this, now get out while you can!”

The thing with trust is: it takes a long time to build and once it is broken, it is very very difficult to get it back.

So, what I wonder is this: how do we so readily believe in God, whom we have not seen in all these years, but are not ready to trust our neighbors whom we have grown up with ? How do so readily trust our politicians who rain catastrophes and scams on us by re-electing them again and again, but are not willing to forgive our friends ?

I am worried…deeply worried.

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.