Posts

Showing posts from January, 2009

Meeting Aimee Mullins - At TED

Many are aware of this annual meeting called TED where gifted people are invited to share their perspective on the things they do.  TED used to be, and still is, a "By Invitation Only" meeting.  But thanks to modern technology and the ability to share videos economically, TED has made several of their videos available to public for free. 

What a treat this is!  You can mosy over to http://www.ted.com/ and check out their collection of videos.  Its an amazing collection.  Here is a sample. 

Aimee Mullins is a double amputee below the knee and one of the fastest runners in the world.  In this video Aimee share her experiences as a double amputee.  Its a truly inspiring story.

In the name of the Lord - violence against women

Almost on cue, the right wing Hindu thugs operating under the name of Sri Ram Sena "Army of Lord Ram" has attacked a group of Indian women in the city of Mangalore. The attack was particularly ironical in that the men who were chasing and physically hitting the women were doing it in the name of the Hindu God who is often held up as a model of human behavior!

But such is the nature of religious bigotry. Whether it is the Hindu fanatics of the Army of Ram or Muslim fanatics of the Army of Muhammad (Jaiesh-e-muhammad), religious bigots are the latest threat to secularism and woman's rights in India. The outrage against Sri Ram Sena has been wide spread, but the response of the political class has been deplorable. BJP, which is the fountain head of such religious bigotry, has not condemned the violence - instead opting for the excuse of sending some one to Mangalore to investigate the issue. Congress' response has been tepid too, while other politicians have been …

Management By Mythology - Ha!

If only we could bottle myths and sell them... well some one is doing it already!! And making Money at it!! Could it get more ridiculous?
"I am a pattern-finder. The mythologies are stars -- I point out the constellation," he said. "The world of business and the world of our mythological tales are not too different."
Really?? Thank you Mr. Devdutt Patnaik, for enlightening us. Now I can look up Ramayan and Mahabharat for answers to my business problems.

This is no different from the Mullahs suggesting Koran or an evangelist suggesting turning to "Jesus, CEO" for all the answers. Religious books and myths were created to sell stories to the gullible, the uneducated and susceptible. Mr. Patnaik must think that we are still as "anpadh" as the citizenry of the past. Soon, instead of Indian Institute of Management, Mr Patnaik will have us send our children to Indian Institute of Mythology to learn business skills.

India Inc looking for an Indian…

Hindus and Muslims Earn Approx Same in India

There is a myth perpetrated in India that the Muslim brethren are poorer than the Hindu brethren. It makes a lot of sense to propagate this myth for political purposes, so invariably you will hear this being brought up in the media. However, a recent (by recent I mean 2007) survey by National Council of Economic Research, this myth is blown out of water.
Truth be told, at the national level, Hindus and Muslims are closer than you thought as far as average household income, expenditure, savings and even ownership of select consumer goods go. The report further states that
Hindus and Muslims, at a national level, run neck-and-neck on average annual household income (AHI) of Rs 61, 423 and Rs 58,420, respectively. Or, to put it differently, an average Hindu household has an income of Rs 168 per day, while an average Muslim household earns Rs 160 a day. In rural India, an average Hindu AHI is Rs 49,077 with Muslim close behind with AHI of Rs 47,805. On income parameters, at least, Hind…

On This Republic Day, Thinking Of Preserving Values of Liberty, Justice and Equality enshrined in Indian Constitution

Image
Indian Republic Day Celebrations | Credit: B. Mathur

A few moments from now, India will begin celebrations commemorating the adoption of the Indian constitution 59 years ago. Already it is clear that the event will be a somber one. As if Mumbai attacks were not sufficient, the enemies of democracy are once again rearing their ugly head. News reports indicate that last night a few attackers were killed in a fire fight with the police on the road to Delhi. Its being said that the attackers are from Pakistan. But there is little value in pointing this out - Pakistan is likely to deny it as it has always done - and mutual finger pointing will begin.

Indian Republic Day Celebrations | Credit: G. Osan

There is however little benefit in pointing fingers at Pakistan. News from Pakistan indicates that Pakistan is itself roiling in a spasm of militant violence which it is unable to control. The Swat valley, which is known for its natural beauty and cultural links to Buddhism and is …

A Trip To Isla Mujeres

Image
From Cancun, Mexico | Credit: Sunil Joshi

Above a photo of a window I took in Isla Mujeres, Cancun. The image was modified to give it sepia tone, which some how brings out the "mexican" nature of the window.

I doubt if there is a soul in United States that has not heard of Cancun. Cancun is the playground of US, especially the US young who tend to flock to Cancun during Spring Break. Then, the beaches are filled with 18 to 22 year olds, who go about enjoying the beaches giving little thought to the real Cancun. For the only Cancun known to most Americans, is the strip of land that surrounds Laguna Nichupe and has some of the most beautiful beaches. This strip is nothing but a small section of paradise created in the image of American luxury for the tourists and does not at all give on the indication of the real life Cancunians live beyond this strip of Americanized land.

The town of Cancun is only 20 minutes away from the "strip", and has a pier where one c…

Understanding Today's Social Networks

A PhD student Danah Michele Boyd has decided to make her PhD dissertation public. Makes for an interesting reading on the topic of Teenagers and their interaction on social networks like MySpace and Facebook. Download it for free here

TakenOutOfContext.pdf

Jiya Arrives!

Image
There is something miraculous about birth of a baby. On January 16th, just such a miracle occurred when Jiya came into our lives. Tiny Jiya, weighing all of 4.4 lbs, came into this world 3 weeks early and immediately proceeded to raise quite a ruckus. Crying at the top of her lungs, Jiya declared to the world "I may be tiny, but I have giant ambitions!!"

From Birth of Jiya | Photo: Sunil Joshi

Mom Madhu, on the other hand, was quite exhausted. She had requested an epidural, but Jiya wasn't willing to wait for Dr. Williams to show up. So pain or no pain, Madhu had to bring Jiya into this world! Fortunately, the delivery was a swift affair - we reached the hospital at 3.30 AM, and Jiya arrived at 5 AM.

From Birth of Jiya | Photo: Sunil Joshi

Badi sister Jaya is THRILLED!! Jaya just does not want to leave Jiya alone! Last night I some how managed to convince her to return home to sleep. But tonight Jaya is not going any where. She wants to be in the hospital w…

Kite Flying on Sankranti Day

Image
I am posting an article by my wife Madhu that she wrote on her weblog Chaiwallah, on Jaya Teas website jayateas.com. Sankranti or Uttarayan is a great cultural aspect of India, and was celebrated just yesterday on 14th January.

-------------

Kite Flying on Sankranti Day.
By Dr. Madhulika Pareek-Joshi

My sister Anuradha Flying Kite in Ahmedabad | Photo Credit: Bhadresh Shah |

This morning my mother, who is staying with us for a few months, called out from the kitchen, "Wake up Madhu, today is Sankranti".

Just the word "Sankranti" brought back memories of my childhood, flying kites. No, it wasn't kite flying really, it was more like kite fighting!

Kite Fighting or kite running as it is popularly called, is a sport that is enjoyed all over India, but especially so in Ahmedabad where I was born and raised. And Sankranti, which is also called Uttarayan, is a special day when the sky of the city is covered with colorful kites all over.

When I was growing up, m…

Silent Pier

Image
From Cancun, Mexico | Photo credit: Sunil Joshi |

Celebrating Madhu's Baby shower for Jiya

Image

Kamran Shafi takes the ISI - DG to task for his comments

You should read this and believe that not every one in Pakistan thinks and acts like the crazed militants. There is a large group of ordinary, educated Pakistanis who are sick and tired of being unable to live ordinary lives. Kamran Shafi takes the power brokers to task for making irresponsible statements and defending the undefendable actions of the militants.

Quoting Der Speigel, where ISI DG Pasha's comment that Taliban be allowed the "freedom of speech" to spout their message of militancy raised old suspicion that the ISI is playing a double game, Shafi responds like this...

As it should arouse suspicion, because the Taliban don’t only say what they ‘please’; they also behead and shoot as they ‘please’, and cut off other people’s ears as they ‘please’. Just as they cut off the ears of five tribal elders belonging to a peace committee in Khar the other day.

It is hardly a matter of their ‘freedom of opinion’, because their freedom of opinion extends to blowing up sch…

Indian Army Practicing For Republic Day Parade

Image
From Blogger Pictures

Indian Republic Day will be celebrated on 26th January

Power Struggle in Pakistan

So we finally have the admission, that Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai is indeed from Pakistan. And the man who shared this admission with the world, Pakistan's National Security Advisor (NSA) Mahmud Ali Durrani, paid dearly for his honesty. He was fired forthwith by Prime minister Gilani!

If there was a case of being in denial, none is clearer. For a country on the verge of implosion, it is astounding that Pakistan should still behave as though pronouncements of innocence will clear them of their responsibility. Durrani's firing is just the freshest example of the ongoing struggle within Pakistan about how to deal with India after Mumbai attacks.

Fortunately, there are a few in Pakistan who would like to move the country off its current disastrous course becoming an international pariah. On the other hand are the hard liners who view that Pakistan state's raison d'ĂȘtre is to stand against India - at any cost, including self destruction. …