Sunday, September 5, 2010

WHY

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how" 
- Friedrich Nietsche 

It's a perfect day, a beautiful one at that. The sun has just risen, there is freshness in the air, the one you associate with early mornings. The road is long, clear for the day, surrounded on both the sides by fields with the crop ready to be cut swaying with the mild breeze. The settings are perfect!.

But, there is noise, a cacaphony. Everybody around is getting ready. Putting on the gear, training hard, stretching themselves. It's a race, a marathon. You have a fit body, the conditions are perfect, everybody around is running and then you become the part of the plume. Running hard, trying to be at the front, trying to win this race. STOP! - stay there, think for a moment - Why are you running this race?

Do you have an answer?One really never has an answer to it. We avoid this question because it makes us uncomfortable, shakes something inside us. But in reality everybody around is in a race. A race which we don't know, why we are running. We hope that the road leads us to our destination. That by being in the plume and staying constantly at the at the forefront we will achieve what we want. It's a cozy feeling, to be doing as others have done and will do in the future. It gives us a false sense of security, of being accepted by others, of following the right path.

But is the right path, right for us? Does the destination it leads to matches where we want to end? Does it justify the dreams and ambitions which we saw when somebody had innocuously asked us many moons back - What do you want to do in life? Does it make us go to bed feeling content at night and wake up every morning with a sense of purpose? Finally does it bring a smile to our face? - These are some tough questions. If you have answered yes to most of them, you are one of the very lucky few. If however you are lost, as most of us are - Its time to ask Why.

Great leaders always ask Why? They have an answer to why. Take a look at this video and then decide between running the race or achieving greatness.



Saturday, July 17, 2010

HOPE


" Cynicism an easy way to behave like an intellectual. "

Its raining outside, the mild drizzle which makes everything around you come alive, look beautiful, look fresh. I am sitting in the coffee house, staring at the greenery outside, smiling at the little game the puppies are playing. Its one of those lazy afternoons when you have nothing to do except stare at the beauty around you, think about life while the coffee grows cold and the book begs to be read. Its these small, simple things in life which make it so beautiful. Perhaps because underlying all these things is an inane feeling of hope, of something good, something better, something beautiful. It is this reason why I love the monsoons so much.

Looking at today's paper and around at the people, however there is something which unsettles me. There seems to be an epidemic of cynicism around. Right from the doomsday predictions to the bickering about the broken system. Somehow it has become "cool" to appear disillusioned. To complain about the system, criticize the progress and make damning statements. The neo intellectual today is not the one with the vision about a better tomorrow. He/ She is the one with the eye for the faults today and predictions about doomsday tomorrow. I don't know when or how this change came about or what triggered it or acted as catalyst for its growth. But it probably has affected everything around me ... probably even me.

Last few weeks however made me realize that the power of hope does triumph over the might of cynicism. Sport has always been both a great teacher and a great leveler. The triumph of La Roja and Rafael Nadal showed me what hope can do. A team which lost its first match and was promptly written off by critics won the world cup. A player which battled a career threatening knee injury came from behind a dismal last season to lift both the Rolland Garros and Wimbledon. Somewhere they had hope. The hope which kept them going when everything around seemed lost. The hope which gave them the power to struggle, compete and finally conquer the arena.

While my coffee nears its finish and the skies open up, I think this what is needed - HOPE. Because the there is a tomorrow which is better, good and extremely beautiful.

I guess the monsoon does bring a lot more than just rain :).



Picture courtesy: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2159/3754531510_c80e46eaeb.jpg

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The end of innocence


" Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up"
- Pablo Picasso

I saw Toy Story 3 today. I was 8 years old when Toy Story was first released. I had loved it. To me it was my story. The world full of toys, the world which I used to create, the world where everything was possible. There was no limit to my imagination. My stories which I made for my toys were as weird and as thrilling as they could be. There were fast car chases, GI Joes dropping from the helicopter to lay siege on Lego toy boxes trying to free Bret heart hit man imprisoned by skeleton. They were fun. But the most important thing about them was that they always had a happy ending.

Today, while watching the movie I thought how much change was there ( no I am not talking just about the movie being 3D :P). I had grown up and the toys were kept somewhere in the attic. But the bigger thing was somewhere in all of this, I had stopped imagining. I had become what one may call a realist ( a euphemism for cynic ). The happy endings had stopped somewhere.

Today, I felt that child in me is still there somewhere. I rooted for the toys to get back ( Ok no more spoilers :P). I came back, went to my attic and had a look at all the toys which were kept there. The one's who were the actors in my story :P. I don't play with them anymore and am too shy or say too grown up to play with them now. But I had a smile on my face while looking at them and remembering the old times.

And I suppose that is what is important. That we never let the child inside us die. The innocence, the thought that everything in this world is possible. That there are happy endings and that it is important to dream. For only once believe that, would we believe that there are opportunities out there for us to conquer the world. And for GI Joes to defeat skeleton yet again to free The Hitman :P.

picture courtesy: http://www.neurosoftware.ro/programming-blog

Friday, June 18, 2010

Reflections

( This post was written while I was travelling from Ahemdabad to Mumbai on Shadabti express. )

It's funny how a thing happens, when you don't care about its happening anymore or it just does not matter. Today I travel by a train after a very long time. For 3 years, someone used to tease me about me not traveling by train and about me being delicate. And now that I finally do, it just does not matter.

I have had a crazy crazy last six months. It feels like a blur now, the kind you have just after alighting from a roller coaster ride. It had everything exams, results, interviews, acceptances, rejection , relationships, joys and agonies. So much happened that I still cannot believe all these things happened in six months. There were moments when I thought I had everything and then there was time when I had nothing and just an exam staring at my face.

It's strange but the phrase that things look calm when you are in the eye of the storm is actually very true. Sometimes one surprises himself the way one reacts to situations. The way one acts. One either lets himself go, sits down and sulks and blames the world or one just discounts everything that happened and tries to take a seemingly impossible task to forget what all happened. I don't know why I chose the later. Perhaps I needed to escape from everything, from everyone. Perhaps I needed to redeem myself. For whom, for what - I don't know. But for last 2 months, the only constant thing in my life was the exam. And yes it did help me ( sorta) not think or feel about what all happened previously.

But the thing about discounting everything is that sooner or later everything comes back to haunt you. Its like storing your baggage in a closet, but the baggage remains there always. And one day you will have to take it out. A funny thing happened, when I finished the exam. I still had one more hour left for submitting the papers. And I don't know why, but I reflected upon the last six months. It was like a film which played in my head and again I don't know why but I smiled, for no reason.I just smiled :). It is said that when you laugh without any inhibitions, it is then that you have made your peace with everything. I smiled :).

Its a start, A start.


PS: By the way, train journeys are awesome fun! :P

( This is a personal post, so the comments have been blocked for this one. )

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bhopal's Betrayal


" $500 is plenty good for an Indian "
- Kathy Hunt, Chief Public relations officer, Dow Chemicals 2002

It is said that life is cheap. Specially when you are an Indian. More so when you are poor, powerless and living around a chemical factory which does not follow safety norms. 1984, the year etched in the Indian memory as the year of operation bluestar, Indira Gandhi's assassination and Sikh pogo gram ended on a somber note in December when Methyl Isocyanide was leaked from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. 2000 people died immediately. Hundreds were to die in the next few days and thousands were to have respiratory problems for life. Not only them but their coming generations too. 26 years was what it took for the trail to bring the perpetrators of the biggest industrial disaster to justice and it ended in a betrayal.

The people of Bhopal were betrayed repeatedly at each and every step. By the company, who did not follow proper safety procedures in its India plant but followed them at a similar plant in the US. By its management which was more interested in cost cutting and than protecting a few Indian lives. By its police who declared at 7 Am the next day that everything was normal. By its medical staff who did not know what to do and kept giving people cough syrup and eye drops till probably it was very late. By its government who let the chairman of the company who passed the laws for these negligence to escape. By the same government which hired second grade lawyers in US to represent its case and settled for a partly $470 mn. By its courts which took 26 years to arrive at a judgement handing out 2 years sentences to 7 Indians and asking the company to pay $11000. A partly 50 cent per person who was affected by the tragedy.

But to me that's not where the betrayal ends. In this dirty spectre of collusion of US corporates, netas, bureaucrats and Ngos all of whom are in it to further some self interest, it the man on the street who was unlucky enough not to be in those 2000 who died that day, but survived to live through the horror and pain of these 26 years suffers. The debates surrounding me today are not about how to compensate the victims or about how to make sure that correct medical care is given to the victims. They are not even about detoxifying the ground water of Bhopal and the area around the factory. Nobody is even forceful in implementing laws to make sure such a thing never happens again. What our politicians and media are however interested in, is to find " the culprits". Getting Warren Anderson back might be the correct thing to do. But doing it at the cost of forgetting the victims. Is to me the biggest betrayal of all. Finding who let Anderson fly is important. But what if, we do actually find out who did. How would it matter now? How would it matter to the boy who died a premature death. To the man who became a vegetable because of consuming that gas. He may rejoice that he has been given justice. But what kind of justice would be got by bringing one man back when it was hundreds who colluded. I am not supporting Anderson. To me he always was and will remain a mass murderer. But what unsettles me is that nobody talks of action or what to do now!. Everybody talks of revenge. Do the people of Bhopal actually need revenge? Or they need something more than that.

What they need is not the culprits. They need medical care. They need compensation. They need laws which promise them that such a thing will never happen again. But nobody cares about that. All people care about is hanging the culprit, finding who did what. And why should they not. After all an Indian life is cheap. Darn cheap!

The betrayal continues! and will continue.
Till the next disaster!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Finishing strong!

" The first moment you're disappointed, you're shocked, you're sad, you know, then all of a sudden it overwhelms you,The problem is you can't go in the locker room and just take it easy and take a cold shower. You can't. You know, you're stuck out there. It's the worst feeling. It’s rough"

Failure, its tough, its devastating, it kills you inside. You want to scream, you want to shout, you want to blame the whole world. The only thing you want to do is smash everything in your sight. The sympathies, the concerned words and the efforts made by others to understand your plight seem artificial. You try to smile, try to make dark jokes, say " it doesn't matter", you just simply play along. But inside there is a recurrent question which probes you -" Why, Why, Why me" . And that is not a good feeling to have.

One always goes through the 5 stages whenever such a thing happens - Denial,Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance. The full cycle and time period of how one goes through it varies from person to person but all of us go through it. Finally its only when you reach the last stage do you realize what power you have. The power to bear . The power to fall down and still not give up. The power to rise again. The power to challenge your biggest nemesis. And it is this power which amazes me always.

"I don't know what frightens me more,the power that crushes us or our endless ability to endure it. "
- Karla, Shantaram.

CAT 2009 hurt, it still does. But when I think about it, I feel its still better than that. By that I talk about my 4-2. The period of no job, endless despair. I got through that. Made a job ( on the last day of college is a different matter :P). But if I can endure that, I can very well take this. If there was 1 thing which that experience taught me it was - What matters is how you finish.
Do you go out down, defeated, dejected and a sorry figure or you take on the world fight your way out, reclaim what was lost.

The world remembers the end and everybody loves a good comeback story.

So go out fight, struggle, work hard, toil, burn the midnight oil <> and prove to everybody you are worth it and you finished strong.!

For more take a look this video!


video

PS: The quote at the starting of this blog was by Roger Federer after losing Australian Open 2009 to Rafael Nadal. If there is one person who finished strong it is him. The player to win a career grand slam after that defeat and become the player to win highest number of Grand Slams.

Finish Strong,
Give the world that comeback!


Video courtesy : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4jVIEeEePo&feature=related

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The difficulty of being good

I am currently reading " The Difficulty of being Good" by Gurucharan Das. Nice read, haven't yet finished it , would post a review after finishing it, but the book does asks a lot of questions. It makes you retrospect a lot. The recurrent question in the book as the title suggests is " Why does a person decide to be good?" Why is the act of Yudishtra in Mahabharta different from that of Duryodhna. What is a man's duty? What is karma?

In its endeavor to answer these questions, the book brings out various arguments. It talks about dharma. Man's duty to his society, family and self. That the duty of a student is to study, that's his dharma . The duty of a Warrior is to fight when he is called upon to, not to question the justness of war or to show remorse to the enemy ( Arjuna's delimma before the epic battle). Why does a Yudishtra decide to spend 13 years in exile as a result of the game which he knew was won by his opponents through deceit. Why does a Karna not go with his blood brothers in the fight? Why does Duryodhna act the way he is?

And while reading the book I asked myself does a person ask himself all these questions before he acts the way he does? In that moment, when one is faced with 2 choices- either to be good or to act as a complete buffon , one doesnot ask these questions. One acts like a pre programmed robot. That moment is always like a flash, the fastest seconds. You don't think that time, something else takes over you and it guides you. That decision which you make without thinking, in that nano second is the one which decides how your life proceed. I have answered this question about what happens in that one moment, but the bigger question to which I always seek answer to is - But what guides the power which takes over to help us take that decision in that Nanosecond?


What?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Aman ki Asha


Today after one year of maintaining a stance of no engagement with Pakistan, India offered to hold talks. A lot of recent developments happened in the environment concerning the two countries. The case of not a single Pakistani player being auctioned. Personally I feel, IPL is a business preposition and whatever the franchises do with the money they have is their prerogative and nobody's else. Having said that, it was simply poor business for not taking a single player from the side winning the 2009 T20 world cup. If there was any form of pressure from anybody ( Outlook alleges it was IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi ) it is downright shameful. If anything, it robbed Indian fans of some quality cricket. There was however another initiative which marked the new change in the mindset of Indo - Pak relations. It was Aman ki Asha- a peace initiative taken by two largest media houses - The Times of India and Jang on the either side of the border.

Today I was going through the Aman ki Asha section in the Times of India. I had a smile on my face while reading the articles. It somehow felt like, sitting in the drawing room of my grandparents house. Listening to stories of Lahore and phrases like " Jineh Lahore nahi vikheya, ao jamiya nahi " (The person who hasn't seen Lahore hasn't been born yet!). The food, the culture, the language, the festivals. The talk about how women's fashion originates in Lahore, travels to London and then comes to Delhi and Amritsar. And then amongst all this my eyes fell on a picture of Mumbai 26/11. And the thought which came to my mind was - Till when?

We neighbors suffer from a love- hate relationship with each other. We leave no oppurtunity to humiliate the other. And in competition of hospitality, we leave no stone unturned. The dosti series of 2004, the bonhomie surrounding corresponding 2005 PAK tour of India. But as has always been, we are always 1 attack away from war. I dread to think, that while the initiatives are going on somebody is planning the next Kargil, next parliament attack, the next Mumbai.

I had always been hopeful, everytime a peace initiative was taken by the two countries. The iconic Lahore Bus ride ended in Kargil. The 2001 agra summit ended in Parliament attack and operation Pakraman which bought two largest armies in the world eye ball to eye ball. Therewas dosti series of 2004 which changed things, but well one Mumbai finished all that. Its not that I blame the population of the certain country for all that happened. I believe in "non state actors " argument. We had our own for Samjautha express blasts. But considering that these non state actors were ( probably still are) in illicit relationship with ISI. That Jihadi's are meeting openly in POK after all this. That even after facing an increased threat on its western borders, an army general still defines his army as India centric. That here in India, right wing extremists are doubting credibility of one of our finest actors for making statements which were in no way wrong. That we still scoff and feel pride at " teaching Paki's a lesson" after IPL auction. That history books in both the countries paint each other as the enemy.

So I guess, this is what will happen. There will be summits, people to people contacts, editorials written on how this is the best time in the history for the two countries, we will play bilateral series with each other, trade agreements will be signed, there would be a high level delegation where leader of one country will visit another and then, and then there will be one attack. One attack and everything will roll back. The bonhomie, The praises, the love it will evaporate. There will be comparisons of back stabbing by one country to another in both the countries. References will be made about 1971 and 1965 and 1947. The Hippocratic mask which everybody wore for the " Aman Ki Asha " period will be washed away in seconds and in no time we will again have our armies standing eye ball to eye ball. Not saying that everybody does it, thinking about the moment to get even. But as my case, I supported 2004 series and consequent steps. But on 26/11 I wanted to do something, we all wanted to do something and the progress made over the years was held hostage to 1 attack.

So this time, I want to be a cynic who is proved wrong. I won't be too optimistic about this initiative. I would like to be a cautious optimist, because one more attack will take my faith out of the system ( probably its already gone). I really do want to be proved wrong. I really do want someday in the future a person who is reading the blog right now to come to me and say - " I told you so". I really do want a shot at peace. I really do want to visit the land which my ancestors left.

Till then let me view all this through a prism of cynisism and suspicion.

picture courtesy: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_pics/blog/12-31-2009_424_l.gif

Monday, January 25, 2010

Letting go


The other day one of my bosses retired from service in the company. He had served the company for 40 years. 40 years of effort, of hard work, of building the company and seeing it grow - coming to end in 1 day. He had a smile on his face, but it was smile as if he was hiding something. He tried to look at everything. Every place in the office, in the plant, in the township had some memory associated with it. Every place had a story associated with it. I was with him for only 3 months. But in those 3 months he made every effort to pass on his knowledge to us new recruits, so that we carry on the legacy. He really cared about the company. And that is the thing that hurt him the most. One day it all ends. You work for something, giving all your life and effort for it and then one day you get a nice party and a thank you for your services.

It is the norm, the way world operates. But then I thought about it. What would I feel or what does anybody feel about letting go? About working for something and one day leaving it all and going? At first I thought it must be heart wrenching. It must crush you. You would be devastated. Looking up at everything and feeling cheated of not getting you due. But then after sometime I thought about it. Its always important to move on. To a new thing, to a new project, a new idea. Working on the same thing makes you obsessed with it and at some point you come to think of it as the owner. Your view and thoughts become stifled and that's what leads to the death of the project. The leader who did not know when to move on. Leaving what you did at its high point is what matters the most.

Even in life, it is important to move on. To move to a new place, a new project meet new people and well leave your circle of comfort behind. It important not to get too close or too attached to people because then like the project the expectation match never happens. Go to a new place, meet new people, have fun with them and move on and then repeat.

Finally as I wrote before it is important to leave at the right moment. Before the disintegration begins. Before you rip everything which you loved apart. Finally it is the memories which you cherish. The stories that you tell and the pride which you take in the thing with which you were once associated with. Today I saw "Quark 2010" advertisement in Business standard. It was a half page ad in one of the highest circulating and most reputed dailies in the country. And I felt a sense of pride while looking at that page. I sense of jubilation. Something which even I personally could not have achieved. I wanted to go out and tell people - I was associated with this once ( I did not, they won't understand :) ).

And that's when I realized why it is important to let go and to move on.

Best of Luck Quark Team - Make me proud !!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Telangana trouble

Today Hyderabad again came to a grinding halt because of the call for bandh by the students of Joint action committee (JAC) for separate statehood for Telangana. Most of us, who have followed the news even remotely have our own opinions about the news. And most of the time the opinion for most of the people who do not belong to this region is - Why do they want a separate state suddenly? Even I had this opinion, but well there is no smoke without fire. So I decide to research the topic a bit. Living in the city and interacting with the rank and file in the company also gave me a lot of views. I would first present certain facts:

What is Telangana?
Telangana is a region comprising 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts. Originally, it was a part of the erstwhile Nizam’s princely state of Hyderabad. The region accounts for 119 seats of 294 in the assembly. In 1948, India put an end to the rule of the Nizams and a Hyderabad state was formed. In 1956, the Telangana part of Hyderabad was merged with then Andhra state (carved out of Madras Presidency in October, 1953). The remaining parts of the Nizam’s empire merged with Karnataka and Maharashtra. Andhra Pradesh became the first linguistically carved state in the country after Gandhian revolutionary Potti Sreeramulu, on a hunger strike over the issue, died on December 16, 1952.

Reasons for creation of Telangana
1.Telangana was not always a part of Hyderabad. Indian army entered the erstwhile Nizam's territory in 1948 and the region was a part of the Indian Union. It even had it first elections in 1953 before formation of Andhra in 1956.

2.Telangana was made a part of Andhra saying Telugu unites both regions. But people of this region were educated in Urdu under Nizam while people of Andhra were educated in English and Telugu under Britishers, this gave them preference in jobs. This led to heavy influx of people from Andhra into Telangana thereby giving less opportunities to people of the region ( a plank being used by regionalists even today in other states).

3.To prevent large scale protests in Telangana many "gentleman promises" were made to people of Telangana. Incidentally under Nizam there was such a system called "mulki" under which jobs in certain regions were reserved for people of that region.Unfortunately all of these gentleman agreements were flouted and no reservation was given to people of Telangana.

4. GO 36 of 1969 that promised to position Telangana people in 25,000 that were illegally occupied by Andhra people remains unfulfilled even today. During 1973 and 1985 nearly 60,000 illegal positions were awarded to Andhra people in Telangana region. To rectify this, a new GO 610 was introduced in 1985 with a promise to enforce it within a year, but continues to be unimplemented in spite of repeated demands.

7. Nagarjuna sagar dam lies in Telangana region. While initially it was envisioned to have 2 lines one to dry and arid telangana and other to fertile Andhra, only one was constructed towards Andhra. Due to the construction of the dam several hectares of Lime stone mines vanished as part of the dam back waters. Everyone know that lime stone is used for producing cement. Coal mines and Power plant of Srilengi region lie in Telangana but backward parts of the same region Telangana get no power.

8. Of 10 Government medical colleges in AP. 1 Lies in Telangana, other 7 lie in Andhra - Rayalseema region.

9.Congress government had in its 2004 manifesto promised people of Telangana about a separate state. The promise remains unfulfilled even though the central government is in power for second time.

10. 45% of the state income comes from Telangana region. When it comes to utilization of funds, the share of Telangana is only 28%.

11. Two major rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra enter the state of AP in the district of Mahaboobnagar(the biggest district in Telangana) but the district always remains the worst draught hit areas along with Anantapur because there is no project and process with which the water can be utilized. The plans for utilization has been pending for decades.

12. Potti Sriramulu didnot fight for Telangana to be included in Andhra. He fasted In madras so that Madras becomes a part of new state of Andhra. His agitation of the differences in opportunities for telugu speaking people and Tamil in Madras.

Reasons against the creation of Telangana:

1. Most of the Indian states were formed on linguistic bases. telangana and Andhra would be two states with same language.

2. Hyderabad , which would mostly become the capital of Telangana was made by not just people from Telangana. It has investments from Andhra and other regions. People worry that these projects might be stopped as a sign of revenge.

3. Creation of smaller states, doesnot mean problems of people of Telangana will be solved. Try solving water problem between 2 states. Ask TN and Karnatka, they have been trying for decades.

4. Creation of two states would provide the Naxals of the region a safe place to play hide and seek with 2 forces.

5. If 2009 Lok Sabha elections are any indicator, there is not much demand for Telangana. TRS won only 1 seat in Telangana region on the promise for a new state.

6. In 1500's the whole Andhra region was under 1 ruler [Link].

Considering the above arguments. The points are definitely in favour of new state of Telangana. Even the 3 new states which were created namely Uttranchal, Jharkhand and chattisgargh had better growth rates than the states from which they were carved out of. Smaller states can be governed better. But what is not right the ways people have adopted to demand the new state. Calling for a bandh at the drop of a hat. Vandalizing public property. Making life of an ordinary citizen difficult. This would only lead alienation of more people for the cause than winning them sympathy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Test

Isn't there a rush every time you see an oppurtunity to pull someone's leg. The thrill of spotting the moment and striking at the particular moment with that one line is nothing short of pure bliss. So well I am known for being sarcastic ( guilty as charged). Yesterday while I was waiting to load the washing machine- there walks in Jatin and presents the perfect opportunity to strike. Soon he was joined by others and well it was nothing less than a massacre :P. It is then, in that moment while I was on a killing spree ( metaphorical ) I was presented with a challenge - TO SPEND 24 HOURS WITHOUT PASSING A SINGLE SARCASTIC COMMENT!!!

And I accepted it. Why is it, whenever you take an oath, the world conspires against you to break it. As soon as I took the oath, Jayant invited us to view his pics of Chennai- Tirupathi trip. Well he, Pushpendra and Dhiraj had gone to see monuments and temples ( common you are 22, I didnot even go to these places on school trips). The places were surely Nice!. But well the 3 matched the statues on the monuments with their poses. Some looked directly out the great Indian epic ( Nope not Ramayana, not Mahabharata .... yeah you perverts thats right!), in some pics they looked as if being asked to pose on the gun point. But thats not it, with so many people standing, not a single one commented. Nope not one comment, no jeers, no smirks. I had to shout while looking at one especially artisitc pic - " Somebody... Somebody ... Anybody !!!common ". Yes there were smiles on their faces. Not because of the pic, but because of the situation they had put me into.

There was Jatin with his snide comments and provocations to which I couldnot respond. Rohit with his humour about our office , Harshal with his talks on mobile with his boyfriends, DU with his fundas and I couldnot utter a single word. Just had to stand there and smile.It was not over yet.

I got to office and after a meeting people ( ET's) ran after free food and I could not pass a single comment. People came early to the mess for all sorts of weird reasons. And well.

So somehow I got through all this. To make matters easier I came back and slept till I completed my 24 hours. And well they were finally up. SO :-

Jatin: Kam kha mote, dharti ka bhoj kam hoga, phat jayega kisi din kha kha ke ( eat less you ______, there will be less weight for earth to bear, one day you will burst eating.)

Jayant: The person who may even swipe for entry into the plant at 5:45 am so that he becomes CMD one day ( good good). But his love and affection for Pushpa is questionable. One only has to look at Dhiraj for what envy of this " relationship" does to him. Perfect case of Mia Biwi and Woh!

Guru: If he has his way, he would even make chicken run on a treadmill before consuming him. The guy who has a penchant for Tennis, fitness, nutrition and well touching other men ( ghar mein baap bhai nahi hai kya)

Rohit : Well can't write much about him, he has my sympathies for what he goes through everyday and I once every week. Hang in tight ..... just hope one day you don't get a nasal tone and for god sake stop glorifying staring blankly at the screen and making horizontal and vertical lines as designing.

Harshal : DOCOMO gets money for their TV ads through the phone bill this guy foots. EK din boyfriends bhi bhaag jayenge, itna mat chaat unko ( one day even your friends will run, stop stalking them.)

Pushpa ( Pushpendra) : There will be one day when you won't be ragged by colleagues, bosses and Jayant ( normally all 3 happen at once). And for god sake smile in the pics, looks like Jayant took advantage of you in the night and forcibly told you to pose in the pics!.

Vishal: Stop starting the line outside the mess after punching in. It would open only at 11:30. And eat fast! eat fast!

Sravan : One day you will get rid of the over used mop which you pass off as your hair.

and for the rest of the people from the esteemed 37th ET Batch ... G**********************nd M***********************rao!

Disclaimer: all the people mentioned in the above post are fictional, any resembelance to any person living or soon to be dead ( ala yours truly) is purely intentional.

PS: Ok Jatin .... I cheated ... Invariably made 2 comments one to Jayant and one to Harshal ... DAMN! Look at you, all smug!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Demistifying Copenhagen

Disclaimer: This post and a few future posts will be drab boring factual posts, basically posted so that I understand somethings which I have wanted to understand for a long time but well get confused. Anyways My Blog! My Keyboard :P

So well last month while I was battling a cold and an extremely high temperature ( Yeah I have lived in places like Delhi and Ludhiana and still it was in Hyderabad that I caught cold ... I get that smirk!) there was some climate conference in Copenhagen. It generated so much chatter that I wanted to know " Bhai funda ke hai " ( Whats the deal).

So from I have gathered I will post here, so that next time I don't have to scrounge the net for info.
What is Copenhagen Summit?
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit. It was held at Bella convention center ( a hall powered by a wind mill) from December 7-18th. Connie Haggard was the president of the summit and handed over the presidency to Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen in the final days of summit.

What was it about?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted an average global rise in temperature of 1.4°C (2.5°F) to 5.8°C (10.4°F) between 1990 and 2100. This would lead to changes in the rain patterns, lead to melting of polar Ice caps and rise in sea level. A 2°C rise in temperature of earth ( average temperature) would be catstrophic and would be irreversible. The summit if it has to be said in 1 line was aimed at to keep the average rise in temperature below 2 °C. Although a 1.5 °C rise in temperature would lead to the drowning of island nations of Tavalu and Maldives. The Copenhagen summit was important because Kyoto Protocol was to tell Annexe 1 ( 37 developd countries) to reduce emiisions below 1990 level from 2008-2012. A framwork is needed for after 2012.

What was Kyoto protocol?
The Kyoto protocol was adopted on December 1997 and entered into force on February 2006. Under it Annexe1 countries ( 37 developed countries) commit to reduce their green house gases ( Carbon di oxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur Hexafluoride ) and 2 Hydro carbon gases 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The Non Annexe 1 countries have to give general commitments. Main Points:
  • United states of America has not ratified the treaty till date.
  • It has no numerical commitments on India and China, the 2 top 5 producers of green house gases today.
  • The Annexe 1 countries can reduce their effective green house contributions by Trading or buying Carbon credits - EU trading schemes.
What are commitments from various countries?

  1. US: to cut green house gases emission by 17% below 2005 level by 2020 and 83% by 2050.
  2. China : To cut emission intensity by 40 - 45% below 2005 levels by 2020.
  3. India: To cut emission intensity by 20-25% below 2005 levels by 2020.
  4. European Union : To cut emission by 20% below 1990 levels unconditionally.
What were the roadblocks?

  1. Danish Text: On 8th December 2008, Gaudian Newspaper of UK leaked out what was known as the Danish text. It was a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as the circle of encirclement, but in reality included a handful of countries - US, UK and Denmark. The draft disregarded the Kyoto Protocol ( only legally binding climate change protocol in the world) which said that rich countries responsible for most of CO2 emissions in the world should lead the climate change initiative. Some main points of Danish Text.
-Force developing countries to agree to specific emission cuts and measures that were not part of the original UN agreement;
-Divide poor countries further by creating a new category of developing countries called "the most vulnerable";
-Weaken the UN's role in handling climate finance.
-Not allow poor countries to emit more than 1.44 tonnes of carbon per person by 2050, while allowing rich countries to emit 2.67 tonnes

The Developing countries were furious and shot down the draft. G77 ( amisnomer consists of 130 countries) rejected it.

2. Major emerging markets like India and China who had voluntarily agreed to cut emissions were asked to have international monitoring for the same. This was not agreed by the developing countries.

3. While emerging economies ( BRIC) were not a part of original annexe1 countries of kyoto protocol and hence had no legally binding commitment to reduce their carbon emissions, they were now one of the highest polluters. The Developed countries wanted more assurances from these economies to reduce their carbon emissions. The Developing economies saw it as a plot to stop their growth.

4. Peaking year - The year by which the carbon emmisions should reach it peak and then reduce was not agreed upon by developing economies. They believed in the concept of Common but differentiated responsibility.

So finally what Happened?
On December 18th Barack Obama ( who couldnot walk away from a conference without having any form of agreement) had a meeting with Heads of Brasil, South Africa, India and China ( BASIC) and they came out with what is being referred to as the Copenhagen Accord. The document recognised that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the present and that actions should be taken to keep any temperature increases to below 2°C. The document is not legally binding and does not contain any legally binding commitments for reducing Co2 emissions.

The Draft was refused by majority of the developing countries and was not agreed by consensus.



So finally what we have now is a half baked document, showing how the powerful and mighty can be shortsighted. In the anarchy of greed and power the real loser will be earth ( with islands like Tavalu coming first). The combined might of Obama, Hu, Singh, Zuma and Lula could not save the earth. We await Rio with mockery of a document, though after this even from Rio I won't have much hopes. The developed countries saw this as an approach to hold the growth juggernaut of Developing countries at ransom and the developing countries on their part were so paranoid and presented a picture of being victimized that they refused to listen to any suggestion.

We in India are celebrating that Prime Minister Singh was one of the Dignitaries who drafted the Copenhagen accord, but here is my question - FOR HOW LONG?

image courtesy: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01536/copenlogo_1536334c.jpg