Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Funny English

Spotted in a toilet of a London office:

In a London Laundromat:

Outside a London second-hand shop:

Spotted in a safari park:

Seen during a London conference:

Notice in a field:

On a repair shop door:

At a Budapest zoo:

Doctors office, Rome :

Hotel, Acapulco :

In a Nairobi restaurant:

In a City restaurant:

In a Calcutta Coffee House:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Response to religion and science

"The reason is very obvious; the basic implementation (followed by people) of a belief is to believe without logic/reason."

I do not agree with the above statement. I strongly believe that every individual in this world will do his actions for his own happiness. He/She will have an strong desire for worldly people and materialistic goods.
Mankind has lot of logic to believe that there is someone who has extreme or supernatural powers who is controlling everything.
This universe is the finest example. We know that the sun, moon and the planets are placed at some exact distance so that their orbits is properly arranged. If the sun were to say for ex: few miles/kms nearer to earth, would any creatures able to survive? If the moon was nearer to earth, would the sea and gravitational force be right enough for creatures to survive? Who is maintaining all these things at the right distance?
There obviously is some power which is doing so, and I call it supernatural power or God.

The next point you said is in earlier days, people believed that earth was flat etc which was disproved. And when someone said earth was round, people with religious faith opposed it. But what about now? Now, people do know that earth is round, still why do most of us believe that supernatural still exists? Should one theory which disproves earth being flat to round make us all believe that there is no supernatural power controlling us all? First there was a small plane, then came a big plane, then came supersonic, then came rocket, then came space shuttle., yet people believe in god, why? My point here is people keep digging deeper and deeper in science, but that should not make us believe that supernatural power does not exists, should it?

Another interesting point you made is about Darwin's theory which speaks about evolution. This theory is amazing which tells us how life begins. But how many of us know that Darwin's theory is very related to our Dashavatara. As per our mythology, the ten avataras of Lord Vishnu are Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Bouddha, Kalki
(Quoted from http://nharipra.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/evolution-and-dashavathara/) There is an amazing co-incidence between what modern science claims as the path of evolution of species and the 10 avataras of Lord Vishnu!

1. Matsya Avatar - Fish - oceanic creature
2. Kurma Avatar - Tortoise - amphibian
3. Varaha Avatar - Pig - Four legged species
4. Narasimha Avatar - Half lion/half man - Primitive man? Neanderthal man?
5. Vamana Avatar - dwarf - man learns to stand on his feet
6. Parashurama Avatar - axe wielding man - First use of tools, crude weapons
7. Rama Avatar - master archer - one of the best warriors
8. Krishna - master strategist
9. Buddha - renunciation
10. Kalki - destruction of evil - happens when evil has reached its zenith
So science and religion has crossed path here :-)

About Sati and Child marriage -- In earlier days, these were some "practises" that were followed. I know these were terribly wrong. But we all know that hindus were not courageous right from beginning of civilization. Many kings from Arab and Afghan invaded and looted Hindustan so many times, yet we never did anything good to protect ourselves. Probably a great wall of India would have been good, but its not there and we have to accept it. But what I am trying to say is people in India at old times were not courageous and did few things to save their women from being made slaves of powerful people. So they made sati or child marriage. But, these are never prescribed in any of our religious texts. (I am referring to Mahabharata, bhagavadgeeta etc). So this is not a religious belief, but wrong practice that was followed by our ancestors who were coward (this is my personal opinion).

Lets take another example. A child is born from the womb of a mother. In its 5th week, suddenly heart starts beating. Who starts it and why? And one day the heart stops beating. why does it have to stop and not beat forever? Can any doctor or science predict that this person will live exactly for this many days? Can someone say this person will become prime minister as soon as a kid is born? All these things cannot be controlled by any human being or science. So there has to be something more powerful than a man and that's supreme being and we call it god.

My intention to write this is just to say that, I believe that some supernatural power exists and I call it god. Some people do not believe so and its ok for them not to believe. Every individual is different in thinking. Last but not the least, maybe I have deviated from the original topic "Religion and science" here and there. My apologies for that.

Friday, March 27, 2009

ಯುಗಾದಿ ಹಬ್ಬದ ಹಾರ್ದಿಕ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು!

ಕಟ್ಟೆ ಬಳಗಕ್ಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ಓದುಗ ಮಿತ್ರರಿಗೆ,

ಯುಗಾದಿ ಹಬ್ಬದ ಹಾರ್ದಿಕ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು !

ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಕಟ್ಟೆ ಹುಡುಗರ ಬ್ಲಾಗ ಪರವಾಗಿ,
ವಿದ್ಯಾಶಂಕರ್ (VSS)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Religion and Science

The question I am trying to answer in this essay is, “why is that religion and science do not go together?”, “Are they really opposite ends?”, “Can they ever go hand in hand?”

I have listed definitions of Religion and science below, courtesy, www.dictionary.com. The essay will use this as the base definitions to deliberate on the subject.

Religion: “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

Science: “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.”

As one can see, the glaring difference between the two is, Religion is based on “beliefs (faith)” and Science is based on “facts or truths”. Without going into much detail, we can see that “based on beliefs” and “based on facts” naturally form the opposite ends of spectrum of thought. At a high level, we can probably conclude that they cannot go hand in hand and never have a consensus on anything.

But is this truth?

Typically people believe something, when they do not know (understand) the fact. When they do know the facts, they understand something rather than they believe it. For example, people believe that “there is God”, whereas people understand that “touching fire burns”. When it comes to subject of “Purpose of Life”, “Who is God?”, “What will happen after we die?” etc. etc. type of questions, the facts (scientific truth) are not known by the human being and hence no facts associated with it. There are number of theories, some of the learned men have created to answer these questions. These theories are imbibed in the followers of various religions/castes/sects present in our society. Hence we can conclude that the “area of play” of Religion and Science is different. They are not opposites. In the scenario where scientific facts are not available, people are free to believe (have faith) in something which makes sense to them, (Typically theories, philosophies) with the purpose of finding the truth.

Over the years of human history, Religion and Science have been loggerheads with each other. Some of the glaring examples I remember are from the western society, where Copernicus, Galileo etc. had to face the wrath of the religion because, they proved a fact, which was against the general belief of the religion. The religious belief of the society was shattered by the revelation, and at that point in time not many people had the sense to try understanding and appreciating the fact in it. Darwin’s theory of evolution was not accepted by the Christian followers, as it provided a completely different view of the evolution than the Genesis theory in Bible. It took 200 years (Just recently in 2009, Vatican accepted the Darwin’s theory) for the religion to accept a very strong theory of Darwin. (Some of the evolutionary concepts can never be proved. Some of them related to Plants, Birds have been proved through the experiments and genetic engineering).

In our Hindu society, some of the examples of following of conflict between faith and science are the non-acceptance of staunch believers in the abolition of sati, child marriage, English Medicine (Still some villagers think, it is a sin to use them) etc. We can relate some of the ills of our society, back to faith and religion, and lack of factual thinking and lack of effort to find truth. Every society has got lot of good qualities also because of the belief in the religion, For E.g. Non Violence, Respect of others etc.. (I apologise, I couldn’t think of better examples of conflict between science and religion in our Hindu society. If reader can give some, it would help me.)

As we can see very clearly, through the Faith (Religion) and Fact (Science) act in a completely different “area of play”, their paths have crossed and ended mostly in a conflict. The reason is very obvious; the basic implementation (followed by people) of a belief is to believe without logic/reason. Unfortunately this has been the method of teachings of some of the religions hve followed to keep the support group strong. (“Never question God”. “It is written in the sacred book”. These are the statements which the preachers of such type of belief make). When a fact is proved, by somebody, it is a natural instinct (survival instinct) for a believer to instantaneously reject it. This is the reason that Religion and Science have not gone hand in hand most of the times.

When theory (logic) is thrown to counter a belief, the theory has to be countered with logic of the belief, instead of blind negation due to faith (Blind negation due to faith, will hamper the knowledge and hence the opportunity to know the truth). This process will give the best of both the “areas of play” to all the individuals. This process will make sure that, Religion and Science both benefit from each other.

One of the great examples of follower of the above process was Einstein. He was an avid reader of philosophy and religion. He has also made some statements regarding the greatness of some of the religious theories and how it has helped him. He has even proposed some theories on “Meaning of Life”, “Purpose”, “Soul” etc. (This article gave me an opportunity to search and find this site today - http://www.einsteinandreligion.com. One never knows where knowledge is available :-))

The example of greatness of this process in India is Shankaracharya; he traveled across the country, having arguments with the leaders, individuals, teachers of different beliefs. He spread his Advaitha philosophy across India though this method. There are examples of some great thinkers/philosophers accepting his theory after big discussions (Discussions with Mandana Mishra and his wife is very well documented one). One story about how an “Untouchable Fisherman” teaches the basics of his Advaitha philosophy (which Shankaracharya propagated) to himself is a wonderful example of the process. (Though both are theories, than facts, a stronger theory has a better logic and appreciating that will help in reaching the Ultimate fact.)

One can argue that, “Why have faith at all? When we do not know about certain thing, why not just accept and sit down saying, I do not know about this, I do not believe anything.”

Unfortunately the above thought process leads to inaction. If inaction is the happiness for somebody they can follow this. If the purpose is to understand the Truth of any matter, Faith becomes a very important vehicle. With the available knowledge, one will have to figure out the “unknown areas”, and start searching for answers in “unknown areas”. Since, the facts are not know, Faith is the vehicle which gives the individual the belief that the answer can be found. Faith is the vehicle which takes the individual across the difficult times in his search for the truth.

-- Madhukar Hebbar

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sixth sense device..amazing

This device is developed by Pranav Mistry at MIT media labs. Just look at the video to get a glimpse of stunning features.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Short lived love story of Miss Sharadha - Part III

Part III Substitute for the Love 

Sharadha and that stranger were sitting opposite to each at the corner table. He introduced himself as Shyam Babu. Conversion did not start easily. There was awkward silence between them.  Sharadha was feeling she was under observation by all her colleagues and few customers were occasionally glancing at them.

 Shyam coughed couple of times to clear his throat and thoughts. He started feeling he should never have come back here. He looked at Sharadha; she had bent her head slightly and was staring at the edge of the table.  He could sense that she was also not feeling comfortable.

 Shyam had come with preparation and convincing answer, but his conviction started fading away with an every passing second. He wanted get it over as quickly as possible.  It one those rare moment, he decide to pour his heart out.

 He cleared his throat umpteenth time. He started thinking his heart was the guiding light.

 “I am extremely sorry about what has happened that night. I know it is not easy for you to forgive me or take that incident easily. Once again I am sorry…”

 Sharadha’s eyes did not leave the edge of the table. Her hands were getting wet with sweat.

 His mother death when he was eight year old, his drugs addiction, his chronic drinking, his flashy and meaningless lifestyle and his rich father… everything flashed in front of his eyes. He felt he will never be able to explain himself; forget to others not even to himself.

 He got up and pulled out a small box from his bag and placed on the table.

 Tears were welling in Sharadha’s eyes.

 He did not know what to say. There are some moments in life best left unexplained, he felt this was one among them. He got up and bent a little forward whispered “I am sorry again… Hope you will forgive me, bye”. He walked out of restaurant hurriedly.

 Mahesh who was observing all this from the corner approached her couple of time, but could not find means to start conversation.

 Sharadha sat there for some time, when she realized some customer was looking for a place; she forcibly got up, went into rest room and washed her face. She looked at her reflection in mirror, she felt a pity for herself and tears started rolling down again…

 Somebody noticed a small packet on the table and returned to cashier. Cashier had seen Sharadha talking to Shyam Babu and handed it over to Sharadha, thinking it belonged to her or Shyam. Sharadha who did not want to talk about it silently accepted it and put it in her bag.

 After sometime, she felt, she was not able to concentrate on her job and was getting lost in thoughts. After some struggle to keep her mind steady, she decided to leave early for the day. She took permission from the supervisor and left couple of hours early than her usual time.

 When she stepped out of the pizza restaurant, neon lighting's, glass walls and all the glitter of the posh area looked strange. She felt it was mocking at her. She thought she does not belong to the place. She felt very ordinary and hopeless.

 As she was walking towards the bus-stop, she felt Shyam Babu should never have come back. Her dreams, romantic feelings and the hopes it brought could have stayed forever. If only he had not come back, her love story would have lived longer or may be forever.

 Suddenly she remembered the box. She opened it, there was high end mobile phone set inside. She closed her eyes and thought for a moment. She threw it to nearby dustbin. She felt better. She waved an auto rickshaw and told him her home location.

 As if auto rickshaw driver understood her state of mind, with out asking any questions started moving as soon as she got in.

 In meantime Mahesh who had come out to in a hope to talk to Sharadha, returned to restaurant with out a success.


---*---THE END---*---

 Authors Note:

Fifteen-twenty years back, I had read an article written by eminent Kannada writer P. Lankesh. In that he had quoted a French story. It was about an ordinary looking waitress, who gets kissed one evening by local drunkard. She develops romantic feeling towards him. All that romantic feeling is busted when he come back and apologizes for the act.  No need to say, I liked that story very much.  

 Here I have tried to recreate the same magic. I have created different characters in Indian setup. To my surprise new elements, feeling and dimensions were introduced as I started writing the story.

Many thanks to Madhukar Hebbar for encouraging and pushing me to complete the story.

Hope you enjoyed reading it. Let me know how you felt about the story.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What will I be born as in my next birth?

What will I be born as in my next birth?

The very first answers to this question were provided to me by good old stories of Hinduism. Based on the actions (Karma) I perform in this life time, my soul will be born again, to live the reactions of those actions. And the cycle of action and re-actions continue for ever, until, I live a life which will have actions and the reactions of which I will bear in the same lifetime. The whole objective for an individual soul is to arrive at a balance of action-reaction in the same lifetime, so that the soul is liberated from the cycle of re-birth.

I never understood this whole concept of re-birth. There are number of unanswered questions like,

How do we define an action in non-relative terms?

What is soul?

What happens to my soul when the cycle ends?

What is the meaning of liberation of soul?

I think the critical thing in this whole theory is the identification of entity called as “Soul”. There is no physical definition of this, and philosophies term it as related to the spirit of an individual. Soul is the spiritual me or whatever. The definitions are so vague and there is total disconnect from relating this to any of the physical elements was too-much for me to comprehend.

Human body is group of Atoms. Any matter is a group of Atoms, assuming Atom is the most elementary particle of any matter. (For the folks interested on the most elementary particles, please read on String Theory.) I tried to relate the soul to the physical entities understandable by me. I could come up with some definitions as below,

  1. The sum total effect of all the Atoms (elementary particles) in any matter can be termed as Soul.
  2. The first Atom of a matter when formed can be termed as Soul. (E.g. First atom formed due to a reaction of Sperm and Egg)
  3. An important “group of atoms” which define a matter to its core can be termed as Soul (E.g. Group of Atoms in some part of brain)
Probably, one of these might be Soul as defined in philosophies or probably there is some other definition. I will leave this to the judgement of the reader to choose or not choose one of the definitions.

For me, the definition in Point 1 made a lot of sense. Each Atom of any matter has some sort of energy (polarity or electro-magnetic energy or whatever) in it. What defines an individual is the sum total of all these energies put together, such an important grouping defines an individual (any matter) can be termed as Soul. Whereas going by my physical definition, the Soul is ever-changing, it is changing every milli-second with the numerous amounts of chemical reactions, transformations happening in a human body (Any animal, tree, thing, for that matter). For e.g. when I eat a piece of matter (food :-)), there are new Atoms which are joining my system as proteins, carbohydrates are whatever. In the same way when I excrete, the Atoms which can not attach to me are thrown out of the system.

Having defined soul, the next step is to identify my future life using this definition of soul. When I die, according to my caste, my body will be burnt. My body will be transformed into various different forms of matter like, Gases, and Ash. There is no loss of atoms; it is just that the bonding which was holding them together disintegrates. This disintegration leads to the transformation of grouping of atoms to various other forms of matter. The ashes will be immersed in the water, a fish might eat that (part of me becomes part of fish), bigger fish eats the smaller fish, cat eats the bigger fish, dog eats a cat, so on and so forth. The atoms which were forming me, has dispersed and transformed into various other forms of matter, hence killing "Me" completely.

The above flow has basic conflict with the general theory of reincarnation, which is, Soul is immortal and Soul is carried forward to my next birth. Where as in my definition, soul disintegrates completely, and dies (Liberation?). Fortunately or unfortunately I subscribe to my theories only until proved wrong, and hence, though there is a conflict with age-old theory, I stand by mine. The thought that I die, is a comprehendable and safe option for me to live my life now.

As I was writing the above, I realised I had missed an important point. All those, Atoms which formed me, had a bonding of some sort, to be part of me. With the natural process, I have selected certain atoms to be part of me and rejected (excretion, vomit etc.) certain types of atoms. The reason an atom is part of me is because, it has found a natural bonding with my other atoms (electro-magnetic force?). In summary, all atoms which have made me, have found a natural bonding (natural attraction, natural affinity etc.) to be part of the group called me.

As I live my life, the energy polarisations (electro-magnetic force) which define these atoms, would have changed in some way depending on the way I have lived my life. The principle of atoms changing because of group behavior (Me) is similar to, “People in the same place (China, South Indian, Mangalore etc. etc.) typically look the same”. It is the set of individuals who make up the group, and these individuals typically have a common factor to be attached to the group. Going further, group characterstics gets built over a period and the individuals attaching to the group implement the group characterstics in them to be part of the group. In summary, concept can be simply defined as "group characterstic changes because of the individuals", and "individual characterstic changes because of the group".

Applying this concept to an "individual atom" which has formed "Me", all the atoms which have forrmed "Me" define "Me". Also, because of the group characterstic of "Me", each and every individual "Atom" which has formed me would have changed to implement the characterstic of "Me". When I die and get burnt, my soul disintegrates and I am re-born as various other forms of matter (atoms intergate into other forms of matter after I have burnt). My next birth is multiple (Trillions of Trillions probably :-)) lives. I guess it must be fun.

In summary, there are 2 answers I could arrive to my important question,

1) I die after I die
2) I will have multiple lives after my death as human

The second option looks more realistic to me, and I prefer that as the final answer for my next birth.

If you see a piece of wood after my death, love it, it might be me :-)

--Madhukar Hebbar

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Menopause of a budding writer! - (Weird, Trash)

Menopause of a budding writer! - (Weird, Trash)

Man, I am an author who use to write regularly and easily or 'used to write' I should say. Why? because I am not able to write anything these days. I guess weather is bad or India is winning cricket matches or because of LeT or LTTE... I don't know... looks like American conspiracy... or aliens have hijacked my mind... let me know if you find my mind...

I guess real reason is no girl has fallen for me.... so urgently need to fall in love... Girls apply immediately with full scape photograph with clothes on....

Bloody pervert you might think... but not true... I relieve myself thrice a day... lot of hard work though... I need to get married soon as I am tired of all this hard (and hand) work... Bloody government is doing nothing about it... Let China invade us give me a solution...

I am feeling better now, See!!! I am able to write now. Ideas started flowing, you see... Nothing else matters now periods sorry period!

Let me write story of Mohini now....


By reading story title as Mohini, I know you started imagining a picture of beautiful ghost in white sari. Not true. Mohini is my colleague who used to tortured me day and night by touting her beauty! I think it was just a coincident. Last week all days, we entered and left the office at same time. In lift she would stand next to me, try to look directly into my eyes, as I was about to respond or say something she would innocently gaze at other way. One day I had enough of her, I summed up all my courage and asked " Do you know the IPL score?" Before she could answer, I almost fainted because of my stupid insipid question. Bloody Hell!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Short lived love story of Miss Sharadha - Part II

Part II Anticipation of love

 That night, Sharadha did not sleep well, she tried to comprehend and grasp what has happened that night. At one moment she was scared and in another she felt shy. She could not name her emotions. She feared how her parents would react once they come to know about it. She felt restless. She tried to recall that had she seen that man anywhere?  Who was he? Was he following her all these days, which she did not notice?

 He looked handsome and rich. Why didn’t he take softer route of proposing, flowers and all that, if he was in love with her or had romantic interest in her.

 Her small head was filled with lot of questions for which there was no definite answer. Early in the morning she fell asleep. She had strange dream of snakes winding her. She woke up couple of times with startle.

 She used to wake up late in morning as she came home late from her work. Next morning she woke up very late and her head was heavy. Her mother noticed that and asked Sharadha “What happened Shari you look dull today?” there was concern in her voice. Sharadha lied that she has a headache and was not feeling well.

 She decided not to go to work that day. She called her supervisor and informed that she will not be able to come to restaurant for she was not well.  She passed the day doing nothing of significance, watching TV and trying to sleep. The more she tried to forget the incident, it kept coming back. By evening it had been replayed thousand times in her small head.

 In the evening she along with her mother visited the nearby temple. This provided her little relief and she felt little better.

 Next day reluctantly she went to work. To her surprise, nobody asked her about the incident. By noon she felt confident that nobody knows about the incident except Mahesh. Silently she thanked Mahesh for not making scandal out of it.

 Mahesh gave her a warm smile when she met him, she could only return a weak smile. Both were clearly uncomfortable discussing the topic. That incident was, in a way, connecting them and separating them.

 Till evening she got busy with work. When she got 15 minutes break in the early evening, she was able to think more clearly. She went to the wash basin looked at her reflection in the mirror, she felt not bad about her looks.

 She had started believing that kissing incident may not be accident.  That stranger might have had some interest in her. She felt pity about him; she thought he might be in deep remorse by this time. If that stranger apologizes and conducts properly she thought she might forgive him. Just forgive him? She asked herself, she could not think further as she started blushing…

 Whole evening she was happily humming some song and gracefully doing her job.  When Mahesh asked her in the evening, does she need a drop on his bike, she slipped to the reality. Quickly she replied she will go on her own. Mahesh felt her behavior was a little odd.

 Glass walls of restaurant, neon bulbs and all the glitter of the posh area seem to infuse more joy to Sharadha’s existence. She felt world is beautiful. There was a jump in her walk.

That night she slept peacefully with lot of happy dreams.


As days passed, Sharadha lived more in her dreams than reality. She never wanted to come out of it. It seemed she had found a new meaning to existence, which was otherwise uneventful.  

 Sometimes she used to think, what would happen if that stranger comes back or accidentally she bumps into him? Sometimes she feared all the love, possibilities and grace would disappear. At the same time she used to feel all her feeling had no meaning or no base without that stranger. 

Her happiness and graceful behavior seemed to challenge Mahesh. More he tried to get close to Sharadha, more he felt distance that separated them.

 When everything seemed alright, one evening Sharadha spotted that stranger at entrance of the restaurant. She felt the sudden rush of adrenaline. Her heart skipped a beat. She did not know what to do. She rushed to kitchen. She heard stranger voice from the billing counter. He was enquiring about a waitress.

 [To be continued… Part III Substitute for the Love]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I saw a beautiful girl.. Oh, I cant forget her

I stood still at that time
Not realizing whether its a dream or a reality
Seeing the immaculately beautiful girl
Didn't think if its sane or crime

She stood there wearing a white shirt
Her face lit like moonlight
Never had I seen before a person so bright
Never did I blink an eye, oh, people may call me a pervert

To this day, I cant forget her face
Oh my God, how can you give one person all the grace?
How stupid I was not to talk to the woman?
yes, I have become a great great fan

I hope to see her again one day
I keep looking here and there in find her in my way
when she sees me, Oh god, make me look like "the man", this I pray
Please show me the way to see the girl again
I promise this time, I wont pull away

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Short lived love story of Miss Sharadha (Story)

Short lived love story of Miss Sharadha.

Part I : Prelude to a kiss

When Sharadha failed in 10th standard exams, her parents did not care much as it seemed to be normal in their colony. Sharadha comes from a lower middle class group. Her father, Kariappa was an auto driver and her mother Muniyamma a maid servant in neighborhood middle class families. Her brother had also failed in 10th standard. After few years of squandering his youthful years, he had settled down as a cab driver.

Neither her parents nor Sharadha knew what do next. Sharadha friends advised to reappear for a failed subject in October exams. She had failed in Mathematics, English and Science.

Since she had nothing to do at home, she was asked to help her mother in her daily chores at home and at her daily duty at neighborhood homes. Helping her mother at home was OK with Sharadha but working along with mother at neighborhood was embarrassing for her. Initially she tried few excuses but in vein as her mother was strict. Her mother was eying couple of more homes to work so that she can earn more. It is at this point Sharadha found study as an excuse. As she spent more time with books, she found them interesting than working along with her mother and washing some one else’s clothes or utensils.

In October she cleared Science and English subjects. In April she cleared mathematics with grace marks. In neighborhood few girls had already started working in garment factories, as sales girls in many shopping malls, which had come up like mushrooms in Bangalore. Thanks to boom in Indian economy almost everyone could get a job if they wanted to work!

After clearing her 10th standard in third attempt, she decided to work. Her success in 10th standard had earned some respect from her parents and neighbors as it was rare in their housing colony. She found working in garment or in shopping malls as a sales girl would be boring. She had heard many issues in work place from her friends.

As she was wondering what to do next, waitress job in a pizza restaurant came as an interesting proposition. She discussed that with her parents, they were also confused. Reasonably good salary offered, seemed to solve most of the confusions.


First six months as waitress, Sharadha was fully occupied as she had to undergo training and had to learn and unlearn a lot. Her new uniform and good surrounding gave her new confidence. She had started feeling her womanhood. She always thought she looked ordinary and no soul in the earth gave her any importance.

By nature she was reserved and seldom got a chance to express her opinion on anything. But life was changing and changing fast. Her salary had given her an opportunity to spend on good clothes and minor cosmetic items.

The day she had put a bright lipstick, she was self conscious personified. Nobody paid much attention at her work place, but it didn’t go unnoticed by her mother. Sharadha mumbled something to her mother to convince her that it was all necessary as she was working in posh pizza restaurant. Occasional glances of young men at her used to startle her, now and then. She was around eighteen, had a right to feel so.

After one year Sharadha had settled down nicely in her job. She had mastered some English and was able to take orders in English. She learnt basic computer commands to enter pizza orders and print bills.

She was thinking of a mobile phone, had received a lot advice on different mobile brands and features, GSM connection, CDMA etc. She was thinking of buying a basic mobile set with a color screen.

She had established some camaraderie with her colleagues. Few times they had gone to movies together. Mahesh, the young waiter in same restaurant, used to crack a joke at every one in the work place. He was a bully. Sometime she used to get irritated by his behavior, but his helping nature seemed to avoid any misunderstanding. There were Mathew, Suresh, Shamili, Mala and Hanif. They are around twenty year’s age. They use to gel well and have good time at work place

One day around 10:30 PM, it was almost closing hours of restaurant. One handsome man entered the restaurant. By walking one could judge he was drunk. He was well dressed and looked like rich brat. As he settled down in the corner table, Sharadha appeared in front him and professionally placed menu in front him. She was eager to take the last order as it was closing time. With out glancing at the menu, he ordered for a medium size new flavor chicken pizza with extra toppings, garlic bread and coke.

She tried to explain the combo offers and discount, he waived her off saying “Get it fast…I am hungry as wolf”. She rushed to kitchen and placed the order. At 10:30 PM people at restaurant work with extra energy as they will be eager to go home. In jiffy Sharadha served that handsome man with pizza, garlic bread and coke.

As he finished the pizza she enquired him for any other order, but he shook his head in negation. She presented the bill and collected the cash. When she returned with the paltry change, something unexpected happened. He kissed her passionately, before she could realize what was happening he bolted away.

She was petrified. When senses came back, she turned around to check anyone in the restaurant had noticed, everyone seemed to be busy in their work. There were no other customers in the restaurant. Shocked Sharadha sat in corner table to gather her thoughts and regain her composure.

Mahesh, who was clearing the trays and stacking them near the counter, had seen what had happened. Before he could react, that stranger had bolted from restaurant.

He came to Sharadha and was too confused to say anything. Mahesh tried to mumble some words but could only manage “Don’t worry, if he comes back again this place, we will beat him black and blue”

That day Mahesh offered her a lift, on the way he kept on consoling her that not to worry about the incident.


[To be continued.... Part II Anticipation of love]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

who will form the next government at Centre?

Any thoughts on this?
Does UPA have an upper hand? People can believe failures are increased terrorist activities in India and not able to hold the coalition intact (CPI withdrew the support). Also Dr Manmohan singh had a surgery and people might think whether he can resume office effectively in future. Advantage (if people think) is having a civil nuclear deal with US which will enable India to generate more electric power.

On the other hand, NDA has Sri L K Advani who is a veteran. Can he turn it around this time? Will the "India shining" image what NDA believe would win them elections last time become true this time? I believe that NDA has slight advantage in handling terrorism. Though people argue that it was during NDA government that terrorist was released for exchange of hijacked passengers of Indian airlines, I still believe they do deal with terrorism a bit more firmly.
Any takers for Narendra Modi for PM?

We also have Mayavati whom some people believe has all the effectiveness to become a PM.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What happened to election festival?

As long as I can remember the past, elections in India were celebrated with energy and jubilation like any religious festival. Way back from times when I was 10 year old kid to now, I feel the energy and jubilation for an election has worn down considerably. Though there are number of factors which have changed over this period of time, it is difficult to pin down the exact reason for the change. This is an attempt to remember the lost glory of the election period and to list down some of the factors which might have affected the change.

In the earlier days, during any election, whole city had a colourful look. The colours were the different colours representing the different brands of the political parties. Typically the roads, buildings, bridges etc. in the main business areas would be garlanded with the party symbol printed on a flashy plastic paper. This garlands sort of provided a pleasant and festival look to the main business areas of the city. I guess, it also made it pleasant as some of these political parties would have used creative brains to identify the colours which they use.

I had always been fascinated with the creativity and the artistic nature of the folks who would do the cut-outs of the leaders. In the election season one could see the cut-outs of the majority of the leaders in every nook and corner of the city standing in different forms and shapes. Two cut-outs never looked the same, and the leaders would be wearing a different dress in each of the cut-out. Mostly the dress and colour of the cut-outs were designed to catch the eyes instantly. Mostly, all the cut-outs always would have been garlanded with the some sort of flashy material; even flowers were used to garland the cut-outs some times. I believe, when the fresh flowers were used in garlands, it would be changed before the flowers dried-up. These cut-outs always looked fresh and showed the leaders always in happy/positive mood. I think, with all these colours, happy faces; the cut-outs gave sort of very good feeling to move around in the city.

Auto-rickshaws were used heavily in the campaigning during the election days. A typical auto-rickshaw would be fixed with a loud speaker and with the cassette player. One could always hear a tune of a hit movie song, which would be plagiarized, and lyrics would represent the greatness of the leader, good work of the party, manifesto of the party, a meaningless jiggle about the symbol etc. etc. Though most of the songs used to be hardly bearable, going with the 80-20 rule, there would be some songs which would be brilliant. Most of the songs were always bearable for the first time because of the different type of lyrics on a famous tune. Some times, the owners of this auto-rickshaw would stop the cassette, hold the microphone and make the announcements, shout party slogans, shower praises on the leader, reminding public of the election day (Remember "Mareyadiri matha Bandhavare, Marethu Nirasharaagadiri" ??), reminding of the party symbol etc. etc. Generally speaking, these guys always had a good voice, and sometimes if we were lucky, we would have announcer who would turn himself into a orator, making a instant speech. If we are more lucky, sometimes these guys turn out to be witty and get us into a instant laugh. There are scenarios I remember, when everybody in the house were out on the street when one of campaigners would make a really witty speech.

As kids, whenever an election auto-rickshaw came to our street, we always used to run behind it, and one of the campaigners would throw the pamphlets with election manifesto on it. God knows why we saw this as fun, but anyways we always followed the principle of running behind the election auto. This used to be the scene in the most streets during the election days earlier. I even remember, reading some of these pamphlets, and obviously making boats and airplanes out of the pamphlets.

During the evenings, one could see most elders standing outside in the compound of their house discussing about the elections with neighbours. As kids, though we were playing something on the street, we could always make out a good discussion. The conversation would get very dramatic sometimes, with the individual showing his strong like or dislike towards a party or a thing. In such scenarios, the other people who are discussing in different groups would join the group fuelling the discussion into more dramatic moments. As kids, though we would not enjoy the content of the discussion, always joined the group and listen to the discussion. God knows, what we used to think, probably it was just entertaining to see a dramatic discussion between neighbours.

All the above is what can be termed as preparation for the festival. On the festival day, that is the voting day, one could see all people dressed in better dress (I can’t say the best) than what they daily wear, moving in groups to the election booth. I think, the best part of a festival other than the food is, everybody in the neighbourhood is on there best attires, with new cloths and in a happy mood. The voting day, always provided this view as most people would go to voting booths, with better attires, and with a sense of purpose and hope in their mind. One could see every bodies face lit-up to the task of voting, and as a kid, I always felt happy on those days without purpose.

Lot of things have changed today, we cannot see much cut-out’s, we cannot see the Garland of party symbols beautifying the streets, Auto-rickshaws with loud speakers have vanished, election songs is not there and unfortunately I cannot see much discussion among the neighbours on election subject. These days neighbours mainly discuss about some program on TV. I think over 20 years number of factors have affected the bringing down the festivity of an election,

  1. Television gaining in prominence as main source of information for the public
  2. Frequency of elections increasing dramatically
  3. Increase in immaturity of the political leaders and the parties
  4. Civic authorities believing that Party symbol garlands, cut-outs, loud speakers etc. reduces the beauty of the city
  5. Election commission controlling the spend of political parties by tightening the rules etc.

Whatever is the reason, I am not sure if we are going to get back the glory days of election festival back in our society.

I miss the fun of election festival.

-- Madhukar Hebbar

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rupee Design Working Draft :-)

Friday Plans

Gentlemen and ladies,

For those who are not aware, Govt. of India is to hold a competition for Re symbol in the lines of the dollar and the sterling. Here is the link


The last date for entries is on the 15th of April. Guys, this could be your short cut to history. For those of you who are interested lets meet up on Friday and decide the way forward. (I assumed friday is good for alcoholics) :-)

Eagerly anticapating your response

Keep Walking!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Real Gump

My parents hated me; they said Forrest was such a pest
I had my revenge, I tripped dad and put his soul to rest.
The court ordered us to shift to Alabama.
I had made up my mind, next in line was Mama

They said I had low IQ and the crutches were not cool
But I loved to beat the kids and kick ass in school
I was strong, I was popular and I had the sadistic Jenny too
'Fun Forrest, Fun' she said when I pound the kids black and blue

I was eighteen and military service was compulsory
Damn the doc for removing my crutches during surgery
The food was bad, the beer was sad and in Vietnam there was no cream for tan
What worse could you ask for when your commanding officer was Lt. Dan

During walks I was paired with a numb nut called Bubba
Shrimp, Shrimp, Shrimp was all he said as if his mouth was filled with rubber
There came a time when I could it take no more
I planted a bullet into his head and it was the enemy I swore

The war was over, the commie’s won and America bit the dust
Lt. Dan crippled, his spirit troubled, took refuge in alcohol and big busts
Nothing affected me, the idiots gave me the medal of honor in front of mum
All it took was piles which they thought was a bullet in my bum

They said I was a natural talent and I should pursue ping pong
Little did they know, all I wanted was some Chinese ding dong
I came back home, bought a shrimping boat and Lt. Dan was my mate
We sabotaged the other boats, got our catch and blamed it on fate

I would have been on Forbes earlier had I not put my money in Apple
Damn Bill Gates and Microsoft, his windows made my finances grapple
Never the less, I came back home and found mama with a disease
I watched her die though I could relieve her pain with ease

Guess who was home tired from her travels on a mid summer afternoon
It was the psycho Jenny, who screwed me and left me again to moan
I ran across the country in search of her and to hear her sound
After 3 years, 2 months and 14 days I realized I could have taken the Greyhound

When I found Jenny she worked as a nurse and had a child with my name
Wolf in sheep’s clothing, I could see she was still the same
She pleaded and prodded, the little devil was mine she swore
I dint believe a word for I always knew Jenny was a whore

Life is like a box of chocolates my mama used to say
You never know what you get and what comes your way
I changed it little for I always believed, Life is no fair deal
If you want your box of chocolates beg, borrow or steal