Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Days in a wannabe punk's life: Blood, gore and edict's
Tamil punkster blogs about a how women who are menstruating are treated differently. One does not have to be a woman to get this one. In my opinion you have major issues if you don't (sounds very opinionated.. I know but what the heck). I have seen this up front in my life and it's disturbing to see it being perpetuated even in 'developed' societies like this ours. A must read she says it a lot better please go read.. Blood gore and edicts
My 2 cents on it..
The way women are treated during their cycles is ridiculous. I believe Orthodox Jewish women also have to be "different" during this time. The reasons that these practices eveolved have been mentioned by others. However a big issue this agnostic progressive liberal has is with how religions and customs have not evolved always with time and progress. Resistance to change is not just institutional but also individual. It also speaks to the issue of power over women. It's for each one of us to do our bit to change it. I believe it will eventually work. It's a good fight cos a truly advanced progressive society will never be realized unless one of the most critical components of it which are women, are treated equally.
PS: The current attempt to take choice away from women in the US is a part of the whole power issue cloaked mostly under a religious veneer.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Nouveaux Rajas
Is how Somini Sengupta, the NY Times reporter headlines her article in the Sunday Times. As someone who grew up in India and continues to visit family there once a year, the title and the accompanying photograph (link above) piqued my interest. The article is a fun read.
Perhaps this article is the Times way of alerting it's readers to Mr. Bush's upcoming visit to India. There has been barely a mention about it in the news here (Might get more mention if he like his father pukes on the Prime Minister or something). Even if that happens I am not sure if the American media would show it. You know we being in a war and all that and that the media (with some exceptions) are just not doing their jobs.
I am going to offer some thoughts on this piece ----

India has beeen changing in ways that I have watched with mixed feelings (amazed, wonderment, repelled, befuddled.. India does that to you ). I get about 2 weeks to visit and after dealing with family and all the other issues that go with it, I don't always have as much time as I would like to soak it all in. Perhaps the next visit will give me enough time to study this aspect of India.

The article does capture the fact that in India (which has always had it's share of rich folks) a lot of people are getting rich and a huge number continue to stay where they are.
This one line also sums it up well - in India, it is possible today to buy all that is most coveted in the world, just as it is to be denied basic necessities of life.
The huge chasm between the former and the latter is what always strikes me. The part of Bombay where my parents live has one of those swanky American type malls and right outside it are people living on the sidewalk, being denied or unable to afford the basic necessities of life. And some of today's haves of India don't want to be reminded of the have nots. Sort of similar to some Americans who pretty much deny that there is any poverty in the US (Katrina changed that for some, whether that will change it enough for them to call for a more compassionate policy towards the poor remains to be seen).

Somini Sengupta says Gone is a half-century legacy of independent India — stubbornly socialist, avowedly nonaligned, deeply anti-American.
I have a different take on the anti-american part of her quote. I believe the government might have had an anti-american bias in the past, which often stemmed from how the US policy always seemed to be tilted towards Pakistan. I don't think that the sentiment amongst people can be called anti-american as such. I don't have the link to the poll but I recall reading that India was one of the few countries where people currently have a favorable opinion of the US.

As for the Lamborghini in the picture. It will sell for sure. When i visited last year, I recall reading that Bombay has like 10 Hummers. It was in the news because some Indian actor had got it imported it 'illegally'. As for the Lambhorgini, where are they going to drive it? If they bought one in Bombay they would probably be able to only take it for a spin on the Mumbai- Pune toll highway (3 lane expressway that connects the two cities). But getting on to that highway and off of it is still a traffic nightmare. Indeed a land of opposites in so many ways.
And for perspective the Ambassador car that still runs on the the roads looks like this (for those who may not know). Peace!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Random Saturday morning thoughts...
This blog will always be evolving...not sure what niche it will occupy if any..maybe it will just meander.
Still kind of tired after a hectic week. Am off for a jog with A, then some shopping at Trader Joe's and then on to Philly, for dinner with M and Bill. Looking forward to it. The talk will invariably be about politics and the state of the nation and what we as citizens can do to make it better.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I have been visiting blogs now for almost 2 full years. I have been commenting on a blog I frequent. It's a place where I have met some very nice folks-- intelligent, bright and friendly.

The place I hang out at (sometimes just lurking, not commenting) is Eschaton. It is one of the top 5 liberal/progressive blogs in the US.
At Eschaton a lot of us managed to forge connections via our comments. We knew each other via our handles. Then some of us came up with the idea that we should meet. And so last September we held a conference of Eschatonians and we were able to put faces to the handles and meet the wonderful people. We were all from different places,backgrounds and we shared a common goal of making America and this world a better place.

A lot of people have blogs, for the longest time I thought I don't need a blog. I don't have much to say I thought, and a lot of people say what I might want to say more eloquently. But as time went by, I asked myself why not have a blog? Why not put down my random thoughts, musings, rants, opinions? I would provide my own perspective unique or not. Would any one care to read? Maybe..maybe not. I might do a bit of photoblogging who knows..lets see how it goes.

So here it is, my first post (of sorts.. a post with a grainy image of me did not count as a first- I deleted it :-)) -Jay