Friday, January 25, 2008

On rollercoasters

Yes, I've been AWOL and yes I don't quite like it. And yes, it's funny considering I'm on a break. Well, the news is that the break is still on but the break itself is in breaks. Because I'm up to some stuff that leads to the root of all evil. Or as I call it - rokda. So, I will be back on both blogs soon, just give me a bit.

And before I go I can point you to this lengthy and brilliant FT piece on the rollercoaster rides that the global financial markets, as well as our neighbourhood Dalal Street, are on. It puts a lot of things into perspective without going down either side of the slope. My favourite part was this, which is pretty much spot on.
“Typically interest rate cuts are effective in helping the corporate world when it is over-borrowed – but that is not the case now at all. In fact, it is not clear that interest rate cuts are going to motivate industry to invest more,” says the chief executive of one large insurer. “There is a real disconnect between what the Fed can do and its impact on the real economy – and the problem is that [Fed chairman Ben] Bernanke’s announcement may actually have a negative effect by signalling to the market that there is a problem.”

Read it if you're a markets person. Read it anyway. Regular programing, unrelated, I promise, to the markets, will commence soon. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The tears did it

Or did they?

This was the moment yesterday.

From the NYT
After a political lifetime of keeping her emotions secret, why was Mrs. Clinton finally letting her guard down? Was it a spontaneous outburst or a calculated show? Was Mrs. Clinton using her gender to win sympathy, or was she the victim of a double standard that allowed male candidates to cry — several have on the trail — but not female ones?
Don't miss the last line of that piece. If she does become President, that is going to remain one debated moment in US politics.

Meanwhile, fatigue shows, even for Barack Obama. From the HuffPo
"I've been campaigning a lot," he said. "And you know I say, 'The time for change has come.' The other day I said, 'The time for come has changed.' And I have to admit, everybody still clapped."
But my moment of the day had to be John McCain's moving victory speech, given among roars of "Mac is back".
The people of New Hampshire have told us again that they do not send us to Washington to serve our self-interest, but to serve theirs. They don't send us to fight each other for our own political ambitions; but to fight together our real enemies. They don't send us to Washington to stroke our egos; but to help them keep this beautiful, bountiful, blessed country safe, prosperous and proud.

And don't miss the last line of that speech either.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Recommendations invited

For DVD viewing, movie and TV series included. After the wonderful recommendations by everyone in this post here, we saw the following

(1) Lost - Awesome. Loved it. We watched all 3 seasons in the span of a month, and just freaked on the series. Mind-boggling, mind-bending and I still can't get myself to like Michael for killing Ana Lucia and Libby. Just like I can't stop catching all those tags that Sawyer keeps throwing around. I'd do anything to find out whose funeral it was that Jack (in the future) almost attends, but I'm willing to wait till season #4 begins out here in India.

(2) The 4400 - Very good, but somehow it didn't engage me as much as Heroes. Seemed to be just a bit slow, although the concept was brilliant. Or perhaps I'm getting weary of the save-the-world thing. But I will surely watch Season #3 and 4 whenever it's out here on DVD. Bit surprising that the series was canceled after that.

Now, these are the series recommended (to me in the comments of that post) that make my DVD library-wallahs go all "Duh?" when I ask him for them

(a) Dexter
(b) McGoohan's The Prisoner
(c) Veronica Mars

As far as movies go, I haven't seen even one DVD that I can recall as excellent or even just damn good. The last one was Mr. Brooks.

So, whoever is out there, please let me know if you've seen something good, TV series or movie. Thank you.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I don't want to be a woman

I don't want to be a woman because

- I'm a child, a girl, a lady, a woman. A friend, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a mother, a lover. Before all that I'm a woman.

- I'm available. I'm public property. My eyes, my lips, my breasts, my hands, my arms, my waist, my thighs, my feet, my legs. Their hands, their elbows, their eyes, their feet, their chest, their mouth. Their words. Their attacks. Their gropes, their stares, their nudges, their pushes.

- I'm a cunt. If I don't smile back at a stranger saying "Hi, want a lift?".

- I'm a raand. If I don't smile back at a stranger saying "Kya madam, chalen sair pe?"

- I'm available. If you want a one-night stand.

- I'm a whore. If I want a one-night stand.

- I'm a slut. If my best friends are guys.

- I'm a drunk. If I go to a bar after a bad day.

- I'm a chaalu. If I wear a mini skirt.

- I'm disgusting. If I used foul language.

- I'm ideal. If only I only stayed at home and didn't party.

- I asked for it. If I didn't smile back, if I got drunk, if I wore a mini skirt, if I wore a tight T-shirt, if I wore jeans, if I wore a frock. If I moved in a crowd. If I wanted to enjoy a sunset alone at Band Stand. If I wanted to go home with my friends after New Years.

- Yes, I asked for all of it. The violation, the intrusion, the humiliation, the hurt, the bruises, the insults, the blood, the tears, the trauma. I asked for all of it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Mumbai declared safe for women

The following is hereby notified vide Regulation 124/a/c/1/8765 of the Official Change of Status Act, Maharashtra, 1897, read with The Male Female Interaction Code of Conduct, Maharashtra, 555BC.

Mumbai is declared safe for women, provided, subject to:-

(1) The word "safe" means "free from molestation". The term "molestation" is restricted only to actual, proven, physical contact ("PC") between men and women in the city of Bombay/Mumbai. Examples of PC include groping, fondling, massaging, nudging, pressing, grabbing and similar activity.

(1b) However, staring at women, passing lewd remarks at women (for e.g. phrases such as "aati kya Khandala?", "kya maal hai", geographical references such as Aarey Milk Colony, etc.) fondling by man of his genitalia on seeing women, are excluded from the term "molestation". Mens are free to do this with no answerability, accountability, responsibility and any other ability.

(2) Women wearing following banned dressing will not have access to safety, i.e. if women wearing banned outfits below, then they will be subject to molestation at their own risk.

(2a) Indian outfit - sari, blouse, salwar-kameez, punjaabi outfits. Any outfit representing formal or informal attire of any state/UT of India.

(2b) Any other outfit

For best results, we recommend women wear large home furnishings (curtains, bed sheets, drapes) covering entire body with only the nose (specified as the only non-private part of a woman) being exposed for respiratory purposes. We do not take responsibility of women wearing above banned outfits.

Women wearing above banned outfits will be declared "fair game" for molestation with no resort to any authority.

(3) Women drinking any and all forms of alcohols are excluded in above declaration. Women found sipping, tasting, drinking, guzzling, injecting alcohol (in pure, distilled, direct or indirect forms, including soft drinks black in colour, including nail polish removers) do so at their own risk. Women found drinking (irrespective of quantity, irrespective of whether it is free or paid for) will be subject to molestation attempts from men at their own risk and the provisions of this section will instantaneously not apply.

(4) Following persons (including person and family) can say "Mumbai is safe for women"

(4a) Those who have not used public transport since 2002 and hence those who have their own personal transport (all vehicles priced at more than Rs6lakhs)

(4b) Those who only go from home to office and back, with weekend activity restricted to their own homes and those of similar said friends and relatives.

(4c) Those who have never been to malls, parks, promenades, gardens and other public places.

(4d) Those who have never walked on roads, entered lifts with a crowd of more than 5 people with women included.

(4e) Those who do not stroll around market places, vegetable markets, non-vegetable markets or go to pay bills for telephone, electricity or visit banks, hotels and restaurants.

The above-mentioned people (4a to 4e) are hereby authorised to chant "Mumbai is safe for women".

(5) Political parties Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena will be issuing their own code of conducts, but these will apply to Maharashtrian women only (by birth, preferably not by marriage). Catholic women are free to approach the church. Similarly, we recommend that if you are a woman (defined as non-men), you should contact your nearest political party or religious body for further advice on safety, protection and salvation.

(6) The first 100 reported cases of molestation (starting from night of 31st Dec) in Mumbai will go scot free because these things happen in societies. We do not make mountains of molehills.

(7) The above declaration applies to all days and nights of a calendar year, except New Year's Eve.

Those responsible for Mumbai

We invite public comments and opinion for above policy.

Wishing everyone, especially Mumbai's girls, ladies and women, a very safe and happy New Year 2008.