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Thursday, April 28, 2011

E- Friendship …. Is it the fashion of the present generation????

Most people active online are having net friends, chat friends , E- friends whom they have never met in their real life and this trend seems to be even more with the younger generation of these days. Is friendship a scarce commodity that we cannot find it in real life or just that we are interested in friendship which has no attachments. Well in my case I have been working away from my family and family for a considerable amount of time and after a long hard day’s work I do not have the time and energy to socialize and hence my getaway is the social networking site chatting with friends made on the net and also with family/ friends from back home. After sometime it had become a regular habit of going online and playing poker or mafia on face book and chatting with various girlfriends I picked up in these games. It was becoming addictive and one fine day nearly year back just deleted poker and mafia games and friends except for couple of them who made me feel comfortable.

Looking back I had been browsing social networking sites like ICQ, yahoo ,IFF nearly 10 years back and till date I have retained two friends of that era who still care for me anytime we chat and vice versa…and we have never met in real life. Each of us on the net search for a soul mate  with whom you could be friends to share intimate details which cannot be shared with your better half for in real life you hardly find such a friend. And in case you do ever meet up with your net friend in real life the whole illusion of soul mate shatters!!!!

I still have never been able to figure out the reason for looking for a friend on the net in social networking sites? Is it because the net friend is just a computer screen in front of you instead of the real person and you are able to discuss the weirdest fantasy without being embarrassed for you may never ever come to face with the person whom you are chatting!! Or is it because the person is withdrawing to himself/herself wanting only imaginary friends or is this quest of friendship a sort of escape mechanism from our day to day mundane routine?? I have no answers to it!!!!

It is a well known fact that there are predators and weirdoes on the net who are stalking people and yet I am amazed that women on the social networking sites quite trust their online partners giving out personal details, mobile phone numbers and their personal details. People need to be careful for it could lead to unnecessary complications.

I still keep in touch with few online friends I have made over the period of time and I am proud have been their friend for they have been a pillar of strength during the harrowing times I have gone through and even today. I have been very lucky to find such friends on the net…. Whom I will never meet in my lifetime!!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Corruption …. Is it a Symptom or Disease

Anna Hazare has caught the imagination of the educated public in India and has led a massive protest to force the government in Introducing the Lok Pal Bill which has powers to take action against the corrupt public officials. Does this mean that there would be a end to the corruption in India… no it will not be for, Corruption  cannot be rooted out of any society even the developed western nations whom we hope to emulate for people are not saints.

 A lively conversation by a friend of mine on the Face Book made me ponder the reason for corruption being rampant since my friend had answered that it was because the people were greedy !!! Yeah quite possible for corruption takes place when each one of us are greedy. Now take the instance of a common man likes of you and me wants to register a property in India, we would undervalue the property so that we pay a lesser registration fee to the government and to facilitate this process we pay a bribe to the Registrar to over look the under valuation and in the end it is a win-win situation for both parties and at that point of time we do not give lectures of corruption etc… why so????Greediness. 

Corruption is almost inevitable when the policies are left to discretionary power of few individuals whether in the public office or in private sectors and to root out this we need to change the system and the operating procedures thereby having no loopholes to bypass the same. Here is an example of the system being in place….earlier in case we needed passport urgently we needed to pay a hefty sum to the middlemen usually travel agents who in turn used to pay good amount of money to the public officials in Passport office to speed up the issue of a particular passport. This led to various issues such as criminals and terrorists getting Indian Passports at their will. With the introduction of Tatkal services , online form submission and physical presence of the person applying for passport most of the avenues of taking or giving bribes have been closed and system has been operating good without the stamp of being a corrupt office. There are so many examples in all walks of life and if I start listing each one of them then I think I need to keep writing continuously for a long time.

Corruption also takes place when a person wants certain services before his/her turn for which he or she is willing to pay the additional monies or give favors. In other words the person giving bribe is an equal party to the crime and he or she cannot hide behind the fact that without the bribe they would not have got the requisite service … again it is the persons greed which has prompted to give bribe !!! The recent elections in Tamilnadu the candidates to get the votes were wooing the voters by offering freebies like Cash, Color TV, Laptops , Mixer and Grinders, Concrete houses for hut dwellers and in one case Nano Cars … much money being spent by individuals to get into the seat of power. Is there any action being taken by the government or the public to put end to all these acts?? No … it goes on as usual. 

Where there is corruption there is greed and where there is greed there is corruption and today they are seen in the entire world… though most media state it as a third world problem. Corruption and greed has no boundaries of nation, religion, race and is a global phenomenon varying only in the quantum of it. I doubt  if we could stamp it out altogether from the society but then if all of us make a conscious effort to root out this evil practice then we will be able to minimize the corruption. 

I end this piece here with the conclusion that Corruption is not a disease for it cannot be eradicated totally …. But a symptom governed by human nature…Greed!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Agony , Ecstasy , Anger ...range of emotions in play !!

Last few weeks has been pretty interesting around the world and there has been different emotions at play in various parts of the world. A sense helplessness and doom prevailed over Japan in the aftermath of combined disaster.. the earthquake, then a tsunami hit and finally radiation worry from the battered nuclear reactor. The Japanese people true to their culture went about picking up their threads of life slowly and with immense discipline and an orderly fashion which has never been witnessed before in any other community in the world. We have a lot to learn.

 In sporting arena India beat Srilanka in thrilling world cup final played on 2nd April and lifted the World cup bringing tears of joy to the God of cricket Sachin Tendulkar and millions of cricket crazy Indian fans… coveted trophy which was eluding him till the end of his career(he has played in six world cups so far).


Terry Jones a controversial evangelic Pastor from USA who had been threatening to burn the holy Koran for over a year finally did so on 20th March 2011 . This incident has been condemned by people from all parts of the world including the President of United States of America. Little do I understand the need for doing such a thing and what has he personally achieved in return…a 5 minutes of fame !!!  While there has been little violent reaction in the rest of the Islamic world to the stunt by an obscure Florida pastor, at least 24 people have been killed in Afghanistan in recent days, including seven United Nations employees.

Three weeks  the imposition of no fly zone in Libya and the air raids there Colonel Mummar Gadafi is still holding fort at Tripoli and the western parts of Libya though quite a few senior members of his group have either defected abroad or joined the rebels. There has been an impasse there and nobody seems to know where this conflict is going to go. The war goes on for the western alliance.
Protests in the Arab countries began in early this year bringing change of regime in Tunisia and Egypt . Immediately violent protests rocked the Gulf nation of Bahrain which led to death of quite a few protestors and the protest was squashed by the ruler with the help of Saudi armed forces. Protest also rocked the port city of Sohar in Oman where Lulu supermarket was vandalized and burnt down. Ruler of Oman announced various reforms as demanded by the protestors such as salary increases , 5 day working week in the private sector, removal of some corrupt ministers as claimed by the public and yet there seems to be no end to protest which keeps taking place in this country and the demands are pretty much silly in many cases. The latest protest for change in regime are taking place in Syria and Yemen and it has been pretty violent with lots of deaths.

India is witnessing a different kind of protests these days with Anna Hazare a social activist is galvanizing the public of India to fight against the corruption by forcing government to enact a strict anti corruption act as envisaged in Jan Lokpal bill that has powers to deal with the corruption in public offices. Millions of people from all walks of the life in India are now joining this movement demanding that the government to introduce this bill, which various successive governments could not do in last four decades.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fools Day

1st April each year is known as all fools day and in my younger days when at school most of us used to play pranks on classmates and friends and when they are fooled immediately let out a loud chorus ….        ” April fool”.  Harmless pranks were most enjoyed by people all over the world on this day and was considered as fun. Times have changed  considerably and these days there are hardly any children or people who celebrate the Fools day on April 1st … quite surprising isn’t it.

While browsing the net I found couple of images for pranks being played on April fool’s day and I found them to be funny but then cannot call them harmless pranks if done in real life. Enjoy the pictures