THE BIG BATTLE BY FDI

The US Ambassador came all the way, to declare the battle for the Indian MARKET!
So the cat is out of the bag, even though the timing was bad for the ruling coalition. It is American money. So Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh chorused the battle cry, Chamber of Commerce gleefully joining it.
It is a battle between the Rich and the poor. United States is facing a revolt by Pakistan and a threat to its economy. So the Indian market is important for them.
Pity our Prime Minister, who has endangered the very existence of the Government, to please his Master.

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FEAR OF FDI IS UNFOUNDED – INDIA IS TOO FEUDAL!

The whole of the subcontinent is feudal, including a handful of Metropolitan Cities. There are a number of vegetable markets in Delhi itself. The petty shop keeper brings vegetables dailyin a trolley, and the house wife finds it convenient to buy from him, even if it is a bit costly.
Villages have shops, mostly in the front veranda of his home, where grocery items, vegetables, soaps etc, are sold.
Entry of MNCs will have no effect, until all petty traders are impoverished, which will happen only by an industrial revolution!

APPRECIATE THE PETTY JOYS OF LIFE

Passing IAS examination, getting a prize for your lottery tickets etc. are rare events for the lucky among us.
But we can enjoy petty joys like a beautiful Sun set, the Crescent Moon, a train meandering through the rice fields, an elephant jogging along the road, a chance meeting with a long lost friend, the innocent smile of a baby, a walk in a good garden or park, the panoramic view from a hill top- the list is long!
Sometimes, the boredom of a long train journey is relieved by a fellow traveler, as happened during my journey from Bombay to Kota.
In the morning after the night journey, the guy sitting in the front seat, began placing a number of rock pieces in his seat Naturally I was curious to know about these stones and it gave me an opportunity to talk to him.
He was well read and a dramatist. He described a participatory drama, prevalent at that time in Gujarat, in which, audience too are asked their views.
The scene was Mareech being chased by Ram. The spotted deer refuses to die; when the Director chides him, he stands up and shouts:”Why should I die? I have come to take revenge for Ram’s treatment of Shurpankha.”
The Director turns towards the audience:”What do you say?”
I was sorry to leave his company at my destination.
Mobile phones were unknown at that time. So we never had any contact afterwards.

FICTION-HAIL FELLOW WELL MET

Those were exciting days!
I was working in the Foreign Affairs section of the Central Secretariat in Delhi.
I used to give my name for any assignment abroad, mainly to escape from the domination of my mother-in-law. Ultimately, I was sent to Sweden and stayed in Young Women’s Christian Association hostel.
The driver attached to the hostel was a young fellow, with poetic heart, who befriended me. On holidays, he used to take me for sight seeing. He would read a story about his own life and I used to hear it. It was interesting.
Having nothing to do, on Sundays I used to go to some Park. I was sitting in the lawn, when an elderly gentleman passed by me. He turned back and asked:
Are you from Asia or Africa?
India.
Are you a visitor?
No; I am working in the Embassy.
Where are you putting up?
In YWCA hostel.
He came and sat by my side.
“Sorry if I am encroaching on your privacy, Madam.”
“No, uncle.”
He went on to say that he and his wife were living alone, as his only son was in the States. He was a teacher and knew English. We went on talking and promised to meet again, next Sunday.
I sent a detailed letter to my husband who was against my going abroad. He called me and said he was happy to learn about my new friendship.
Next Sunday, my “uncle” took me to his flat and introduced me to his wife who seemed to be somewhat depressed. I used to make Indian cuisines, which they relished and aunt became more lively, when I stayed there.
He had a good home library, with books on almost all subjects. I borrowed some, whenever I went there I came back.

Uncle was really wealthy. That Christmas holidays, he hired a yacht and the three of us visited various islands in the Mediterranean sea. I carried my painting kit with me and painted a portrait of uncle and aunt. But we had to cut short our visit, as aunt fell ill. We hurried back by plane and admitted aunt in a hospital. Her uterus had withered and had to be operated. I took leave and stayed in her room.
Her son came and looked at me with an unpleasant look. He asked his father, who this nigger is?, meaning me, as I am dark skinned.
Uncle turned livid with rage.
“She is an Indian. They had developed literature five thousand years ago, when Europe was in wilderness. Apologize to her,” he said.
I had taken leave for about a month and this did not go well with my in-laws. But my father complimented me. I do not remember my mother.
My efforts to renew my tenure in the embassy failed.
I invited uncle to visit and stay in India; he promised to consider it. In the meantime, he had told his son to deposit in the Swiss bank one lac dollars in my name. He gave the papers to me.
At the airport, I lay my head on uncle’s shoulder and wept. He too was tongue tied…
When the plane took off, I felt as though I had woken up from a sweet dream….

HYSTERIA

I do not think it is a new disease. Now, all are suffering from this mysterious illness.
Religious hysteria is no less than war hysteria or any flimsy cause like the death of a cinema hero, causing suicide by a number of fans!
I forget whether I had switched off the stove, after locking the door. They say, this to is a type of hysteria!
A maid in our ancestral home, used to see Lord Guruvayoorappan. Kuttichathan used to throw dirty things in cooked rice, avers those affected by its mischief. In Ceylon, people see the ghosts of dead elephants.
Hallucination may be a type of hysteria.
Is it allied to schizophrenia? I may have both.
Once, I had returned from evening walk. Where we were staying, I saw three elephants with drum beating etc. It was usual during pooram festival season. When I came close, lo!; there is only one elephant.
Where have the other two disappeared?

NEUTRINOES FLY FASTER THAN LIGHT?

It is a remarkable discovery.
Some researchers have established that neutrinos can travel faster than light. If it is accepted, it will contradict Einstein’s theory that nothing can travel faster than light.
Neutrino is the smallest particle ever discovered. It is so small that it can go through the earth, like a bee through the atmosphere. Yet it has weight; but no electric charge.
Theoretical science will get a big boost, if the experiments are confirmed.

CONTROVERSY ABOUT DAM 999

It is only a film. Any tendency to censor films or the print media, is highly reprehensible. Authors must enjoy full freedom.
DAM 999 reminds of Mullaperiyar dam, which lies in an earthquake prone zone. A number of small tremors have been observed and the Kerala government wants to rebuild it. I do not know why Tamilnadu government s objecting it
Such matters must be de-politicalised and matters left to experts.