Thursday, October 2, 2008

The US Presidential Election

A lot is being said, but afew thoughts from my end -
1. I thought I had respect for Mr McCain and then I saw him sadly choose an idiot for his V-P candidate. I am using a hard word like an idiot because a) she believes that the earth is only 4,500 yrs old, b) believes that all of the world is Christians, c) believes that God talks to her (so what stops her from pushing the red button and say God told her to), d) believes that all animals came to Earth on an ark
2. I wouldnt want a person who didnt have a passport till a year back to be the C-i-C (Commander in Chief) of a nuclear superpower in case Mr McCain pops it.
3. McCain is a man of a violent temper and has in the past sneered at anyone who dared raised objections ( causing anxiety that he would surround himself with yes-men.
4. Obama, of course, sufers from lack of experience and has at times given signs of shifting to please the vote bank, but at least if something happens to him, there is Joe Biden!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The World Becomes Cold

Though the transition from a close-to-bankruptcy nation to an almost super-power has been a fantastic one, Mr Putin's Russia should have taken some time off and taken a leaf from China's rise to power.
China, which has her own cats in the bag, rose to power in a more gradual and almostn on-conflictionary nature. Foreign policy was aimed at solidifying relationships abroad and with almost all sections of the globe. The west tried to tarnish China's image by talking of faulty products and banning some imports from China here and there, but the Chinese response was not of exclusion, rather it was one of controlled aggression.
The crowning glory was of course the Beijing Olympics, where China showed to the world its majestic performance both in building a totally new city (a lot of friends who went to Beijing say that its been almost totally re-constructed).
Today world leaders approach China with an awe and would want more Chinese presence in matters impacting the geo-political developments.
Russia, however, is different. It could of course be suffering from an inferiority complex; having become an almost defuntnation from a super-power in less than a decad and hten coming back up again. But Russia has her own rulers to blame for hte debacle and its doing it again.
Its commonly knowi that be it Stalin or Brezhnev, neither did anything to project a strong Russia. When I say strong, I mean internally strong. Russia is a continent in itself with far more diverse nationalities. sure the USSR was a strong nation, but eonomically it was a black hole and the sudden fall into almost bankruptcy augurs for that.
Its strength in number is mostly from the Asia whereas its rulers are mostly from the european zone. Its entry into Georgia and the subsequent recognition of two seperatist states as being indepedant could reveberate of the shame Russia had to face when Kosovo was recognised; but this step is rather surprising.
Mainly because the policy makers cite genocide in parts of Georgia while turning a blind eye to Chechnya and the Caucasas. In recognising independance for 2 smaller erst-while states of Gerogia, Russia may have actualy sown the seeds for a separatist movement in their own mother-land.
Frankly, Russia has China and India to thank for her surge in economic prowess for if it hadnt been their need for commodities; Russians would be still selling gas at a 10th of what it is now!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Q of Marriage

I have been attending a lot of marriages off late - in less than 12 months - my closest buddy, my closest cousin, 2 of my batch mates and a few ex-colleagues have all gone ahead and said yes at the altar.
On top of that I have my blogging friends always blogging something or the other about marriage.
Also, HK - the great city of bachelors - has seen this rampant obsession of "settling down" - close friends now have families, I am almost always the single guy surrounded by married couples.
If the couples are Indians - the talk invariably surrounds kids, families visiting, shopping for the baby, and other expecting friends. I remember at a recent assembly of this variety - I got very excited when the talk swung to the experiences in the retail store "Toys R Us" only to realise that the parents were talking about their kids being excited and what I was actually refering to was my excited state ... there was an awkward moment of silence and of course, then I was again the bane of jokes...
If the grouping is not Indians then I am the favorite attack point of "someone who needs to get hooked" and rampant (untrue) rumors of being a man with funny tastes ... hmmm.
And since I have given up drinking - my bachelor friends have cut me off from all types and forms of interaction
So I thought I should let their be a blog that in case someone is interested in marrying an impatient, irritable and childish guy ever; then she should be directed to this blog where some important things about me are mentioned -
1. Weekends are for hiking, and being with the outdoors. Shopping in a mall is not Outdoors.
2. Boxing is a sport.
3. Bike is more important than a car.
4. Car is more important than a baby.
5. Pts 3 & 4 imply bikes are the more important B in my life.
6. No TV in the bedroom. TV is a conversation killer and my snoring will get subdued
7. Exploring and growing a relationship means you talk and I listen. My knowledge is non-existent and I would wish it remains so.
8. Tom & Jerry are actual friends, and not just cartoon charachters
9. No ogling at my friends - 2 are lifeguards and 1 an ex- super model.
10. "We need to talk" is the scariest statement ever.
11. The right side of the bed is mine so is the right side of the conversation.
12. My samurai sword remains in the bed room.
13. My dinky car set will only expand going ahead.
And of course I shall prevail (though I know all of you are thinking - "Wishful Thinking")

Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Bad Karma", Quake and Americans

This relates to the recent Sharon Stone statement quipping the recent Chinese earthquake as a result of bad karma
Now, I dont really care what stars do and call for because a) they are the biggest hypocrites in the world - successful, rich and all; but at the same time most prone to depression, manical tendencies and drug abuse.
And b) they are in a position to really do something for the society in general and very few actually end up doing it (prime egs being Indian stars and prime exlcusions being Prince Charles, Bono, Richard Gere, and The One foundation).
So you will rarely ever see me with a magazine or paper which talks about their lives except when I come to know someone has done an amazingly stunning thing (which may be a positive - a rarity) (or maybe another stupid thing - more the rule) or except when I am at the barber shop.
The above being the premise from I am coming where and the following would be my argument and then perhaps an unsaid conclusion.
When I heard Sharon Stone made this statement I went on youtube (where else); heard what she had to said, guffawed a few times and then decided to blog on it.
You see, I am not making a claim on whether whats happening in Tibet is right or wrong - as far as I am concerned; no people shoud be ruled against their wishes or their living standards be subjugated; but this blog is not about the Tibetan issue.
The point is this - what I find quite disgusting is that you are linking such a tragedy with anything relating to karma.
Karma - good or bad - cannot be justified for measuring deaths.
Its the Chinese policy makers who are at fault and not its people. Had the quake affected the policy makers' homes etc then perhaps one could say its justifiable; but no way can you link it to the deaths and tragedy surrounding poor and helpless people like that of Sichuan.
And frankly what has Sharon Stone done to deserve any good karma besides performing adultress activities all over. You may say thats being mean; but hey come on she was an unkown performer before Basic Instinct and we know the remaining.
And frankly, look at how China managed the entire tragedy; bang within hours all supplies were in place and even after 4 days the search for survivors went unabated, money poured in from everywhere (Cathay Pacific raised about US$350K, BNPP contributed more than that); there were banners all over in HK asking for contributions and ppl were putting in upwards of HK$100 while moving in and out - the point being that people in HK and other parts of China felt required to help in this tragedy.
When New Orleans happened in USA; there were firing at mobs to prevent them from looting. And after 3 yrs of the tornado; life is still not back to normal in parts of Florida. Bombay was up the next day after the rains and the bomb blasts (and I was party to both).
... so whats the karma Ms Stone is talking about?
Most of America has no culture or no history to fall back on - her people are split about being more receptive to gays, Iraq, chosing between a woman, a war veteran and an African-American, they have to sooner or later come to terms with the fact that their geo-political prowess is a hting of the past. Perhaps they will all become an inward looking society.
America reminds me of a closed room with double way mirrors ... all can look into what Americans are doing; but the Americans cant or are too bothered about their ownself to be bothered about it.. which is even worse.
Open to Qs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I love rags to riches stories

I have always been very moved when I hear of someone (related or not) really make it big in life (s/he doesnt have to be a known personality), but has just become big after starting from humble beginnings.
Last night I was watching a movie called The Invincible, its a true life story about Vince Papale (a bartender becoming American Football's oldest "rookie). After that I was discussing it with a friend and she rightfully pointed that there can be enough examples to highlight w/o they being celebreties.
In my office alone; I have very senior colleagues who have been (individually) life guard, someone who had to borrow money to buy a suit for his interview, an orphan at the age of 12 (in fact my dad was 1 at the age of 7 and I am so proud of him), and the list is endless. Among my friends I have enough examples of ordinary guys going thru tough times and coming out of it winning.
And it makes you wonder, these guys all started from such humble and in a few cases far below humble backgrounds and just stuck to it.
In fact more on the above discussion (the 1 with my friend), we also conversed on how every one worth his/her salt works for 12 hours at least but not every one makes the same amount of money and that is not a matter of chance (of course luck plays a role) but more to it; it has to also do with what choices we make.
Our choices define us and these need to be made thinking 5 years ahead and not what job and money am I getting right now. Sadly so many of us get caught in that shit and then cant get out of it.
There are so many of us (me included) who just get stuck to shitty things like "oh where am I headed" and "why does this happen to me" when what we need to focus on is just to say fukk it and move on with life.
Self pity is worth that only ... get over it before you get under it.
In short money aint everything; if you love what you do, you are already far richer. That doesnt mean you become satisfied with what you are; but yeah grow.
Life is good and it always gets better.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things to know before going bike-hiking

1. There is no such thing as bike hiking ... if someone says this it means he doesnt know how long you will end up carrying the bike on your shoulders and climbing 20-30 feet of stones.
2. Get yourself ass cheeks and I am not kidding; ass cheeks are the best things to have if you dont want to come back with (for men) your you-know-what at one end. For women I dont know how to put it.
3. "A helmet is not something to make you look good in" and trust it when someone says it esp when mountain biking, you may think the overhanging boulder is a bit higher but nope it aint.
4. Have you seen in movies that the bike goes under the person and you realise when that event has happened how close to the fall you were? Well yeah that happens and a lot so get good brakes.
5. One of the best things is to come off a steep and really smooth road and you reach speeds of upto 60kmph on a cycle; it is far too exhilirating!!
6. Carry more water and lesser accessories; you cant answer phones or text someone or reply (get it Ammy? mmuuaah though love you) when the phone is in the bag.
7. Strangely enough all really tough Qs & suggestions about life and work come right when you are on a 20feet straight-up climb and the climb is curving.
8. Believe in humanity and be optimistic - there were 3 of us and Ken punctured his bike about 15kms away (either way) from human populace. Tom said someone might come and someone did and he had a puncture kit in his bag; that was super cool! And the entire thing took 10 minutes - puncture, someone coming and getting the puncture repaired.
9. Have a light and small bike; you dont want a high cenre of gravity and you dont want too heavy a weight to carry around.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Zi Tagg

Chaitali Patel; this ones for you.
First time I get tagged and it takes me more than a month to revert... very bad I know; but what to do, so much happening in life - see the markets to get a faint idea - then was traveling, blah blah and all the bullshit.
Anyways; Chaits apologies for the delay and here we go
Family: I love family and those who know me; know my love and closeness to family. Think I have written a lot on my family and in general; but I guess the 2 which stand out are the one I wrote when my folks visited me for the first time in HK and then when my friends became parents.
Friends: Funnily enough not written much about this and cant find a reason to explain it either. I guess I just call up friends when I need them and more importantly I know that once I start writing about them; I will just end up letting them all my true feelings for them; after which I wont get invited anywhere!
Yourself: There was this I Know series which went on to I Dont Know and I Want To Know. But think I Know was the best.
Your Love: Written about family already. But I dont have a special person yet.
Anything I Like: I love traveling; so it would be my trips to London, NY, back home,
Anything else I would like to add?
Hmm, how are these for topics?
Pet Peev (which irritates everyone else) - I have a bad habit of irritating ppl and loving it; especially when they get to a stage that they tell you to stop; I just plug on the accelerator.
Thing you would like to change about yourself - stop being lazy!
What I would love to do - Travel and study
What I would hate to do - work till I retire (I know a lot of you iwll be surprised by this, but I dont plan to work all my life, hopefully if life and fortune allows, I will be taking 6-7 months off every 4/5 years and just travel/study)
Ambition in life - Space travel.
Biggest scare - Feeling uselsess
Biggest strength - Friends and family
People to tag - Chaits, Zeeks, Nutty, Anchit, Meera, Nasia, anyone who reads my blog!