सोमवार, २३ एप्रिल, २००७

I Wonder

Hi there,
Sitting here on a Sunday night, thinking about tomorrow. Back to work again. How many of us do this routine everyday of our lives. My parents did the same thing. Their parents did the same thing. I don't know for sure, but their parents probably did the same thing too...

Where am I going? Am I supposed to be going somewhere? Is this thing we call life has a deeper meaning and all. Or we are just a random event on a disinterested planet? I wonder.

What does good deed mean? What does a bad deed mean? Is this what society decided what things are - so that it can function? Or they have a deeper relationship to who we are and what we do? I wonder.

Karma manifests itself many times over. Why then it takes me so much effort to have faith. Belief is easy. Faith, that's a different story. Is this because I am too worried about being me? I wonder.

I wonder, why and what. I wonder, how and where. I wonder, who and when.

Do you wonder too?

(This post was written on my blog Feb 28th 2005.)

Global Warming or Global Warning?

If you have not heard about global warming then either we, earthlings should go with you to the planet you came from or I don't know what to do with you.....but I do pray that you are not one of the gas- guzzlers.

Is it just me or you have noticed too that we hear a lot about of natural disasters. They seem more frequent, more visious, more damaging - causing havoc. Taking life, property, trees and everything else that comes in its way.

Is this nature's way of saying - now it's my turn! Let's see if you can stop me...

We humans, somehow deep down somewhere believe that we can stop the "tyranny" of nature and finally gain our rightful place in this universe - at the top of food chain?

I am amazed at the rate, which we are destroying things around us. Our corporate warlords are not interested in hearing about any responsible corporate citizenship bullshit - and about being responsible human beings where we not only acknowledge that we are just a tiny part of this thing call nature, but that we are at the top of the food chain so we have a unique responsibility to protect and preserve.

This environmental laws are very funny thing. I really love the whole arrangement.

Most corporations will claim that they follow the guidelines set forth by the national environmental laws (in which ever country they operate in). Some accidental (and some deliberate) slips occur, in those cases if the corporation is caught (which is rare) then they are tried in the court of law (which is more rare, as proving these things are much more difficult then one would think...). Then the corporation is fined.

Let's get back to the law : So when these laws are made, then at least in the US ( I don't think following steps will be much different in any country....at least the end result will be predictable), these large corporations hire powerful lobbyist. Who will use their government connections to push any agenda and block anything that may harm these corporations businesses. So government will in first place will not pass any laws with real teeth. After much debate whatever skeleton stuff gets passed....these corporations can bend those rules to suite their needs.....and after all this if they are caught breaking these laws, then courts can be used to achieve any goal.

Take the minimum gas mileage for SUV's in the US. I believe that the government is saying that increasing those limits will adversely affect the auto industry. The part I don't understand is why can't government make law that will bar from selling any vehicle that does not satisfy that minimum requirement. I guess not - else Detroit will not spend money in the next election. Do you get the picture?

So here we are sitting and wondering if the global warming thing going to get us or not. I am already worried about my son's future. Aren't you? What kind of earth he is going to inherit from me. Shoot, thinking about his future with our "ethical" standards sends shivers through my spine.

What about you?

(This post was written on my blog Sunday, March 27th 2005 - Actually way before Al Gore came up with the title for his Oscar winning movie -
An Inconvenient Truth - A Global Warning.)

Let us celebrate that...

I visited India for a couple of weeks in December. This time I had a particularly lousy flight right from Chicago. After a grueling thirty-hour journey, airline had just told me that my luggage was missing, my connecting flights ticket was lost, and I had to wait at the domestic terminal for a connection for ten hours. Briefly, my mood was not particularly great.

At that time I heard some commotion at the immigration counter – some middle aged expatriate gentleman(?) was shouting from top of his voice – “This is the reason India is still so backward – Indians deserve to be treated like dirt” etc. etc. Many foreigners were watching and listening to this with mild interest. I smiled at the airline agent, who was trying to keep his cool, as he had to take care of many passengers like me who had lost their luggage. He told me this is a usual scene at the airport from many returning NRIs.

That really got me thinking - What do I like about India after leaving abroad many years. I have always returned to my homeland with same nostalgia and love. My gut tells me that I will keep returning for long time to come. Living abroad is a harsh but practical reality. I know somewhere deep down that I will one day in not distant future will sure return.

Back to what I like about India…our so-called third world country with a very young democracy has shown much resilience under terrible pressures. Anybody who doesn’t believe this should just take look next door at Pakistan – democracy failed to take root in Pakistan after same number of years of independence.

Let us experiment. Close your eyes and imagine military coup in Pakistan. Can you do that? Can you imagine a military coup in Pakistan? Ok, I know anybody with minimal knowledge of history can do that. Ok, let us try that again. Close your eyes and imagine a military coup in India. I know you cannot imagine that. Why? That inability to find a “why?” is something every Indian should celebrate on this Republic day.

Do you know that we are only the second democracy in the modern world to give power to a woman? First woman prime minister is a very close neighbor – Sri Lanka elected the first woman prime minister in the world in 1960. Many advanced democracies like United States and Japan have yet to elect a woman ruler – yet we hesitate to call them backward. Our ability as a nation to let a woman rule our country is something we should celebrate.

How many countries have elected a poet as a prime minister? How many countries have a minority president and minority prime minister at the same time? How many countries have an acclaimed scientist as their President? I do not know a single country whose prime minister is not a politician but a world famous economist. I want you to celebrate that on this republic day.

We are very quick to find faults in our system but sometimes we fail to see our accomplishments. Comment and criticize, when that is needed. Then let us not forget to celebrate who we are and what we have achieved in such a short time.

I bet most of you either do not celebrate Independence Day or Republic day or celebrate it because you work in the government or school and you don’t have a choice. I am going to give you reason why you should be happy on this Republic day – India is still independent. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. We are poised to become a super power. If you think that has happened with out your participation then you really do not know what a nation is – A nation is not its capital or its flag – a nation is made of YOU and ME! Nations achievements are actually your achievements and national losses are your losses. So let us celebrate that promotion you received or the pay hike you received on this republic day! Because if India was failing then you wouldn’t have received those things.

Let us celebrate this Republic Day for personal reasons alone. Just because this nation is standing there providing you with opportunity to feed your family.

(I have reproduced this article from my old blog http://vasudeo.blogspot.com. This article was written on January 26th, 2006)