Saturday, July 31, 2004
Thamizh song of the week:

This song was written by pAvEndhar (King of Poetry) Bharathidasan (he was an ardent fan of Bharathiar).
A beautiful rendition of this song can be found here (Click on the third song).

sAdhi mallip poocharamE
sangathamizh pAchcharamE
Asai enna Asaiyadi
avvaLavu Asaiyadi

[Ye, who is like a] string of jasmine flowers,
[Ye, who is like] verses of Tamizh songs,
I have so much longings...
so much do I long to do

ennnendRu kaNNE ingu
munnE vandhu kEttukkO
kAdhalil uNdAgum sugam
ippOdhu maRappOm
sangathamizh thoNdAtru
adhai munnEtRu
pinbu kattilil thAlattu

Hearken to these,
come nearer, and hear me.
Let us, for now, forget the pleasures of love.
We should serve the Sanga(classical) Thamizh,
We should improve Thamizh...
and then would we play on our bed.

enadhu veedu enadhu vazhvu
endRu vAzhvadhu vazhkkaiyA
irukkum nAngu suvarukkuLLE
vAzha nee enna kaidhiyA

What kind of a a life is it to live
thinking only of our own hearth and lives?
Are we jailbirds to be restrained
by our four walls?

dEsam vERalla
thAyum veRalla ondRu thAn
nattaik kApadhum
thaiyaik kApadhum ondRu thAn

The country is not different from our Mother.
Protecting our country,
and protecting our mother is the same.

kadugu pol un manam irukkak koodAdhu
kadalaip pol virindhadhAi irukkattum
unnaip pOl ellOrum enRu eNNOnum
adhil inbaththai thEdOnum

Our minds should not be like a tiny mustard seed...
It is should be spread open, like the ocean.
You should treat others, as you would treat yourself
and achieve happiness in doing so.

ulagam ellAm uNNum pOdhu
nAmum sAppida eNNuvOm
ulagam ellAm sirikkum pOdhu
nAmum punnagai sindhuvOm

Only when the whole world could eat,
we should think of eating...
Only when the whole world smiles,
should we seek to smile.

yAdhum oorena yAru sonnadhu solladi
pAdum nalthamizh pAttan sonnadhu kaNmaNi
padikka than pAdala ninaichup pArththOmA
padichchadhai ninaichchu
nAm nadakkath thAn

After all, was it not our forefather
who said all places are our native place?
Are those poems just to read?
Have we dwelt on their meaning?
They are there for us to learn and
live according to them!

kEtukkO rAsAththi
thamizh nAdachchu
indha nattukku nAmachchu

Hearken to me, my dear, this our our country...
our dear land, this Thamizh Nadu,
and we will be there for this land.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Blogging about (though not from) The Convention

Thank you C-SPAN, for the gavel to gavel coverage of the convention... and NPR for it's broadcast at the times I am in my car. :)

Kennedy, first. I was already expecting a partisan speech, given that the Senator had been given a slot on the day the networks were not carrying his speech (or was the TV schedule decided after the slots had been allocated?), and that he was not going to take the prime time slot even on that day. But boy, was it targetted at the partisans! It was a stinging attack - the kind you heard all along the primaries trail - all red meat.

Dean... I could not resist feeling sad for this chap - after Gore, he is the one who would be feeling the sting of this not being his convention. And he did say it aloud. At the same time, I could not help being quietly satisfied that he is not going to be the guy giving the acceptance speech Thursday. When he started listing states where Dems are going to be proud to call themselves that, I did feel a tinge of anxiety - knowing full well what happens when he goes name-our-50-states.

Missed Gephardt's speech - can't remember if I was shopping or just nodded off the moment I saw him.

Ron Reagan. Man, if ever there was a case of Oedipus Complex!! But to be fair to Ronnie Jr, Fmr First Lady, Nancy Reagan, has also declined to speak at the GOP convention, making it clear that Ron is not the only Reagan who is not for GOP this time. What was very striking to me was that when Reagan listed the diseases that could be (potentially be) cured using Embryonic Stem Cells, he did not mention Alzheimer's Disease - the affliction that his father succumbed to. It could possibly be because the scientists are not really sure if stem cells would be very effective against AD, as say, again Parkinson's (AD affects the whole of the brain. Stem cells are very useful where there is a clear target region). Though he refrained from endorsing Kerry, the Reagan family's opposition to W is now in sharp focus. - a sure call to the Reagan Democrats. Both Nancy and her daughter Patti Davis are said to be hostile to the White House now.

Chris Heinz... I liked his speech. He came across as a son genuinely proud of his mom, and as another, I could well relate to his emotion.

Teresa Heinz Kerry... I must say this - I loved the woman, but found it real hard to stifle a yawn or two. There is something so calming about her voice or delivery that it is soporific. But at some points, she sounds brisk. I could not place what gave this effect. But she has a bio that is pretty impressive. A brilliant woman - and one who would, yet again, contrast with Laura Bush in being an active First Lady.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Of late, I get a distinct feeling that I have moved further into the Democratic side of the political spectrum. More on this later.

Monday, July 26, 2004

An Amended Amendment

Ohio is considering a new Marriage amendment. It comes a close second in the contest for the title of "Draconian" to the one approved in Virginia.

After listening to the the hyperbole of the supporters of the new amendment on NPR, I was, to say the least befuddled, and amused. One of the women who called had this test for testing the morality of a particular concept (in this case, she was trying to decide if same-sex marriage is moral):
If the new concept is accepted universally, i.e., in this case, every citizen decides to marry somebody of the same sex, will it be harmful for the society?

If this were, God forbid, accepted as the scale for testing laws, we would have to bring back prohibition (who thinks a country of drunkards is good?). But that aside, I was thinking hard about what exactly was disturbing me the most about the rhetoric of these folks. And I found it.

If procreation is the core idea of marriage, should their amendment not read:
Marriage in fill in your state here shall be defined as a union of one man, one woman, and at least one child born to that man and woman.

Now, there is an amendment that would make it clear ("crystal", as Lt. Daniel Kaffee would say in A Few Good Men) that the child, not the parents, are the core to the marriage.

Of course, there are a couple of problems with it. For one, Pat Buchanan would have his marriage invalidated. But then, he has only been fornicating with his wife ever since they learned they are clinically sterile.



For those who have missed the bloggers here (just how many actually did??), we are back. Sorry for the long absence... you know how it gets with grad students - thesis, conferences, graduation, job hunt, etc etc...

One more thing: congratulations Rachit - he got his MBA, and is all set to get a job right here, in Columbus, OH.

Thursday, July 15, 2004
Will Akshara, Ananthu attend school?

How terrible... I am reminded of the tortuous days of desegregation when little kids had to face the irrational, and insane, fury of a battle which, unfortunately, was much bigger than them.
I wonder if those who are opposed to these children enrolling in the school ever took the time out to learn if the disease is communicable. Do they have a conscience at all?!

Sunday, July 11, 2004
Instinctive Homophobia = Votes

Turns out Karl Rove and Bill Frist are not the only guys who have that equation figured out as the best way to win another term for Dubya. Here is the goold ol' Washington Times (you know, that paper owned by the crowned Messiah, Rev. Sung Myung Moon, who promotes Tru Families etc etc).

Let's see what all stereotypes I could pick up in the first glance through -

1. First, the French.... ah, the surrender monkeys make such a great punching bags in a nation that takes great pride in freeing them - forgetting it was the French who helped free America! So, French men are fags... while the, ahem, the straight-laced South Carolina boys are not (Lawrence and Garner take note!!). Thus it is only M. Kerry who would try kissing Edwards - and Edwards would slap him if it happens!

2. Two men who touch each other have got to be gay... or rather, fags. They are incapable of self-control, cannot keep their legs crossed (hey, BTW, was it not Bush who tied up this groins in order that shows up bulging in his airman clothes?!).

3. Oh, of course, fags cannot come from reserved and genteel families. And it's an American tradition to poison fags - Mary Cheney take note.

4. This is the best.... at the closing, there is a concession that Kerry could not be gayish - you see, he valiantly fought the Viet-Cong. Something the femmes could not possibly do. Those 10,000 gays who have been fired from the military under don't ask don't tell, please note.

The kicker came in the end - I should concede it was a lesson in subtlety... November is only five months away - the implication being the George "John Wayne" Bush would send the effeminate Kerry packing to the Chateau in Anjou.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004
136 ministers get pink slip as India downsizes

"Capping days of frenetic confabulations and suspense, 136 ministers, mostly belonging to the Congress in over half a dozen states, were today shown the door on the last day of government downsizing exercise to meet the provisions of the 97th Constitutional Amendment...."

Folks, a significant event. BTW, the 97th Amendment is an Anti-Defection Law that amended the 10th Schedule of the constt. It prevents DEFECTORS from holding ministerial posts in the new govt until they contest and win a new election. That should provide significant discouragement for defections...as well as ensure that ministers don't "do their own thing" by defecting to another Party after the public elects them when they contested under one Party's banner.

Fly Delhi-Mumbai for Rs.500

"This could be the mother of all price wars. Deccan Aviation, India's first no-frills carrier, will offer tickets for as little as Rs 500 on the Delhi-Mumbai route once it starts flying on this sector later in the month...."

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