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part eccentric ... part fun .... stubborn .. but not stuck up ... very open to different views, ideas and possibilities ... varied interests ... engineer ... mba ... trying-to-be-a-good-entrepreneur ... ex-software ... ex-quality ... ex-tobacco ... ex-alcohol ... trying-to-be-ex-cancer
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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Live-in, Wives, Legislation and Jail

He: Oh Shut up! I am sick of that stupid line that you keep repeating. Can't you think of something smart to crib about.

She: You insensitive pig!

He: Bitch

She (angry): SLAP!!! (slaps him)

He (grimaces): SLAP!! (slaps her and say) next time you touch me i will break your neck.

Seems like a bad but fair domestic fight....actually its not....After Oct 25 the fight ceased to be fair.

From Oct 25 onwards, if you happen to be "He", you would have just broken the law. To be specific, you have committed "Domestic Violence" under sections 3(a) (physical abuse),3(c)(threat of physical abuse)and 3(d)(psychological/mental abuse) of THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005.

Your crime would be a cognizable and non-bailable offense. While "She" would have done nothing wrong (at least nothing of cognizable, non-bailable variety)

If "she" happens to be your live-in partner. She would have power to get you kicked out of your own flat (Which you were kind enough to let her share).

Worst case is, if "She" is your wife and you guys live in a joint family. Not only can she get you kicked out form the joint family home and prevent you from seeing your own kids, she can also restrain your mother and others from entering your shared bedroom

You might end up in jail for a year(apart from the Rs 20K fine). All this merely on the basis of her words (while your words do not carry the same weight...some witnesses are born truthful)

This law seems bad...actually its intent is not...it rightly wants to prevent Domestic Violence.

The law seems bad because it protects only one type of people who suffer physically, sexually, psychologically and emotionally in a domestic situations - Women.

Men can also suffer domestic violence. There is no reason to deny them protection in a domestic violence law.

We have other laws slanted against men. In India only men can be prosecuted for rape.

What happens when a woman rapes a man????

The lawmakers did not see the possibility of rape by women. That was extremely poor legislation. But the rape law was framed generations back, its mistakes can be overlooked (but must be corrected).

The Domestic Violence law is framed in today's enlightened world. I should be a progressive law - free from parochial mindsets and gender bias. Sadly, our lawmakers are still infusing a strong gender bias in laws that are better off being gender neutral.

I hope that in next election we will elect smart and unbiased representatives,who will legislate progressive laws.

Till then..Indian men better keep their wives and live-in partners happy......

Monday, October 23, 2006


On the way to Pehalgam from Srinagar, lies a small Kashmiri town named Avantipur. Avantipur gets its name from a great 9th century Utpala dynasty king- AvantiVerman.

Amongst his other great deeds, the king also constucted a grand temple for Lord Vishnu.I had stopped by to take a closer look at the temple. It is built in the Gandhara style(which has quite a few features of Greeco-Roman Architecture). From the excavated remains, i could make out that the original temple would have been Grand.

What's interesting about the temple is it's association with number 69. On the permeter wall of the temple there were 69 small chambers for 69 dieties. Obviously, King AvantiVerman (or his architect) must have seen something auspicious/significant in the number 69.

I tried to think up the rationale behind 69: What are the other things associated with 69? - few things came to my mind. hippy movement, woodstock and the famous 69 position.

What links these 69 things together ???

I couldn't come up with a cosmic link. So here's my take on linking all 69 related things.

There are images of Kamdev, Rati and wooh (kamdev image had two consorts being groped by him, one i imagined as Rati..other could have been any lady..i call her "wooh") on both sides of steps leading to vishnu idol. --> Kamdev would have been a champion of the 69 position --> which the hippies would have enjoyed in the Woodstock.

If you think I am talking Bakwaas...then give me a rational basis for the number 69.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kashmiri Diwali

With Diwali and Eid around, this is bonafide festival season in India. It's time for families to gather and spend time together. Keeping with the spirit, my family is gathering at Abbu's place in Kashmir.

Coming to Srinagar is not an easy task. Mighty Pir-Panjal ranges separate the Kashmir valley from the rest of India. There is no rail link, the only practical road connection is a very beautiful, but scary, mountain highway from Jammu. Since my boy (Shums) is 10 months old, I can't take this day long journey.I had to travel by air.

The valley is sandwiched between two very high mountain ranges. Clouds play a major spoilsport in all air travel - they can cancel your flight, force your plane to return to Delhi or get it diverted to Jammu...Our flight also had a close brush with some low flying clouds. The pilot tried a couple of times, but could not spot the runway. Finally when he did manage to get us on firm earth, we were greeted by rain and cold weather. To top it up, I came to know the that road to my home was blocked by security people for some stupid force movement..Thankfully I managed to reach home without much trouble.

The house is scenically located on a hillock, jetting out of a hill.It has farms & university below and trees & rocky peak above.It offers a good view of Dal Lake (in front) and lofty Himalayan peaks (on its right). There's a small stream that is being diverted to run thru our gardens. Overall, its a very peaceful place. The day i reached there was distant background sound of firecrackers - pat.pat .pat. patpat.pat (the sound that a "ladi" makes). This was more a Diwali-eve Delhi sound than a Srinagar sound. One does not expect pre-Diwali crackers because of Srinagar's demographics - though you find quite a few Kashmiri Sikhs (dad's driver is one),the only Hindus that i have seen are Tourists and Army walas.

The "ladi" sound(which i wrote about) got punctuated by a big "boom". The boom was slightly too big for a firecracker. I went asking Farooq, our house help. He explained the story behind the sounds. It seems two militants had entered a house right next to our university. The pat pat ..patpat was gunfire exchange between militants and security forces. The boom was the sound of security guys blowing up the house in which militants had sneaked into. I went out ...I could see smoke from across the plantation of Poplar trees. Soon i could see the flames from the house. It was just half a kilometer from my house...slightly scary huh?. Conclusion, i thought, the price of letting a militant into your house, is your house. Farooq told me - the security guys invariably blow up any house in which militant are found hiding. They do not bother to determine if the militants forced their way in (almost always). I sympathised with the house owner, he lost his house for no apparent fault of his. But even then, the militants were killed, so some good came out of blowing up a house....

My thoughts were premature, the militants were alive, the gunfire resumed,i was surprised...how could CRPF/BSF/Army miss the militants when they blew up the whole damn house...Maybe they blew up the wrong house.

The firing and grenades continued till evening, after which they stoped. Next day News-Papers told me that both the militants were killed. Three houses were burnt. One belonging to a widow, who had two daughters and a diabetic mom, she was making ends meet on a 2000 rupee pension. She would not get any compensation for her burnt house. I felt sorry for her.

The militants and the security forces are actually screwing the Kashmiris. No one can refuse entry when armed militants come knocking. Similarly, no one has the guts to refuse signature when security guys come with papers that give them permission to blow up ones home. The average Kashmiri is bound have a lot of pent-up anger and frustration.

Anyways, the other interesting feature of Srinagar is that one can watch Geo TV and other Pakistani channels and brush up ones Urdu. Besides, the Pakistani news-readers are much hotter than our desi variety.

I switched-on the TV. It had the same old news. Prime Minister informing the nation of ways to prevent Dengue. Another blast in a market, on festival eve, it killed a few and injured many. News reader said that a "foreign hand" was suspected .....Very familiar stories ..right? .....The only difference is that the PM is Shaukat Aziz of Pakistan, warning about Dengue in Karachi and the bomb blast happened in a bazaar in Peshawar. I could never figure out who the foreign hand belonged to..India or Afghanistan !!!!!

So i have seen and heard strange diwali crackers in Kashmir...god only knows what other things i get to discover...Keep watching this place

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Finding time

For the last few days, I have been thinking of posting another blog. There was a backlog of thoughts that i had to clear...thoughts on nuclear bombs, pulse rate during exercise, death sentences and what not.

And as a quick scroll below will show... i haven't written on any of these topics. In fact, i haven't written on ANY damn topic.

It's not because i don't have time to write. But because i don't have time when i want to write.

I only get a strong urge to write when
1. I am with Shums ...and my two arms and two legs are tied up in chasing/holding/bracing Shums
2. I am working
3. I am in the loo

But when i do have time....i just while it away...
And then i feel bad about it...

here's lyrics from floyd that capture my dismay over wasting away time

And then one day you find that ten years have got behind you

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking

And racing around to come up behind you again

The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older

Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time

Plans that either come to naught or a half page of scribbled lines

Monday, October 02, 2006

One man's terrorist

Terrorist, Aatankvaadi, Dahshadgard......these are some of the most common words found in todays media.

The words are being used very frequently. Open a news channel and you would definitely hear them in the first 5 minutes. Since the words carry a negative connotation, everyone wants to brand his/her opponent a "terrorists", an "atankvadi" or a "dahshadgard". In this bhasad* the word "terrorist" has developed as many meanings as the people using it. Here's an interesting piece on what Bushies mean by "terrorist". (from who else but aljazeera)

I have my own personal take
"terror" is anything that puts deep-seated fear in the hearts/minds of people.
"terrorist" is anybody who causes deep-seated fear in the hearts/mind of people.

Going by my definition, these are the common terrorists-

for individuals

1. Maths/Physics/history/Sanskrit teachers (depending on your choice of worst subject)
2. Exams
3. Economic/love-life insecurities
4. Corrupt Police/People with power
6. Neighbourhood/school bullies
7. Those who destroy life, limb, property (rioters, bombers and the kind)

For Groups and Countries
1. Opposing armies , militia and armed groups
2. Economic exploiters
3. Those hell-bent on destroying a group's uniqueness/identity/characteristics

If we got rid of all these 'atankvadis' (especially exams and terrible teachers) life would definitely be much more pleasant.

("bhasad" is a word introduced by Uncle, it can be used of any situation between "chaos" and "confusion")