Saturday, August 30, 2008


Above is a snapshot of the wonderful memories we have of our Southern California vacation. This one is of the Laguna beach along highway 1 traveling from San Diego towards LA. Relatives, friends, driving, paragliding, swimming, canoeing, tandem biking, boogie boarding and variety of foods: in all, an exciting week.
Amongst other things, trying 'animal fries' was a first. They're basically french fries with American cheese and diced onions and some other spices, and are a special non-menu item at one of the fast-food joints of the area. So you'd order them only if you've heard about them from someone. Well, now you have. Not the healthiest, but well, just try 'em.
Then, for being uninitiated (or rather uninspired) in tech-gizmos, we were quite shaken by the Nintendo-Wii that my cousin introduced to us. So, our plans of visiting the Hollywood and Universal studios were quashed by the desire to spend countless hours with the 'Wiimote'. And well worth it, I must say. Quite a revolution!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

India and the Olympics

A couple weeks ago, I was on vacation when I read the headline on the internet: "Even God can't help India: Supreme Court of India". But obviously excited by the hair-raising headline, I scrambled to read the details. I was curious to know how a Supreme Court judgment, one that should be unemotional and logical, could be so pessimistic and depressive.
As I read on, the report said that the SC judges BN Agrawal and GS Singhvi
were reacting to the Indian Government's reluctance in amending a law that could pose stringent hindrances to politicians who overstay in their subsidized accommodation at New Delhi or other state capitals, sometimes long after they have completed their political roles. It won't be surprising to hear that a politician's family is still using Government accommodation while he is serving a prison sentence for having someone murdered when he was a CM 4 years ago!
The report further mentions that "the governments have become non-functional", and that "even God will be a silent spectator as He will be helpless". What does this mean to all of us? Something we all knew for the last 20 years? Or something that completely trashes the glowing image of India we'd all like to carry in our hearts no matter where we go?
All along, even as we complained about India and the politics, the population, the illiteracy and the crime, we were always proud that India had something remarkable that is unique: the diversity, democracy, multilingualism, rich cultural heritage, age-old traditions, etc. But what are we making out of all that?
Then, we have the Summer Olympics. A great coming-together of all nations, where countries like Cuba, North Korea (and probably Myanmar too) are not only competing but winning medals.
Kudos to Abhinav Bindra for getting India its first individual gold. One solitary gold medal for a country of 1.1 billion. Well, its not about winning, one might say. But are we even competing in more than a handful sports? How does China create a fabulous opening ceremony like that AND rank on the top with almost 30 golds? Can India even imagine hosting an Olympic Games in the next 50 years?