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- Should we follow Angelina Jolie?
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- Should we dam auto promotion?
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- Bondel Laughter Club - Spreading Happiness
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- Mother’s day:: Mothers Don’t Care How Famous You Are!
- Eco-friendly Coffee – Book by Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira
- John Monteiro - Like old wine, he gets better with age
- Prison Reforms..!
- Difference between Mechanical engineer and Civil engineer
- “Drugs Are No Unqualified Panacea!” – Prof. B. M. Hegde
- Drug Banks for poor patient
- Teacher and pupil
- Husband and Wife
I live not in myself, but I become
Portion of that around me; and to me
High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
Of human cities torture.
- George Gordon Noel Byron, English poet (1788-1824).
It is remarkable that Byron had foreseen the noise pollution of cities of today, with motor vehicles taking the lead with their shrill, never-ending blowing of horns. But, he could not have foreseen the pollution under the city surface. That pollution comes from the refuse generated by millions of city dwellers, including human excreta. It is supposed to be drained out by a system of drains. But that system is overloaded and works inefficiently. The warning bells in this regard are being rung. For instance, there is warning about Bangalore sinking in its own excreta, as reported in Deccan Herald (29-6-12). But, first the facts as reported.
In the end one needs more courage to live than to kill oneself. –Albert Camus.
According to a New York Times News Service report (14-7-12), if new research is to be believed, a disturbingly high number of young Indians are losing the courage. A study published in the medical journal The Lancet shows that suicide has become the second leading cause of death among the country’s young adults, after road accidents in men, and childbirth-related complications in women.
There were 187,000 deaths from suicides in India in 2010, the study says — this is higher than the official figure of 134,599 suicide deaths from the National Crime Records Bureau. (Researchers attribute this gap to under reporting or misreporting, as friendly or bribe-seeking coroners often sign off suicide deaths as ones caused by accidents to protect the
victim’s family from police harassment and social stigma.)
If the findings by a team of doctors are to be believed, 40 per cent of the men and 56 per cent of the women who took their lives in 2010 were aged between 15 and 29 years.
Marriage and hanging go by destiny; matches are made in heaven. – Robert Burton, English writer, philosopher and humorist (1576-1640).
Nowadays matches are made over the internet, with many match-making sites running to their banks. Does not necessarily mean such matches match or endure in the long run. Vijay Nagaswami, in his column The Shrinking Universe in The Hindu (22-7-12) writing under the title of “The compatability cunundrum” says that sometimes intuition can be a better guide than logic when it comes to choosing life partners.Here are some insights of Nagaswami, a practising psychologist from Chennai.
Over the last year or so, there has been a subtle though distinct shift in the profile of people who seek my counsel. While in the past, I would usually see people who’d been married at least a few months, if not a few years, looking for ways and means to deal with unanticipated, though unsurprising, issues in their relationships, I now find young individuals, sometimes young couples, who are not yet married, but are keen to be, assailed by fears, anxieties and concerns about whether or not the marriage will work. Have they chosen the right person? Or if they’ve not yet done the choosing, what should they look for to ensure that the person they end up choosing is right for them?
I’m not referring to commitment-phobic people, although I do see a lot of them too. I’m talking about young people on the threshold of making one of the most key decisions of their lives, overwhelmed by the potential enormity of the choice they are about to make, but paralysed by the fact that they lack the tools or even an understanding of the parameters which they can use in arriving at a decision. So, who do they turn to? The Internet, of course.
Quoting: the act of reporting erroneously the words of another. – Ambrose Bierce.
Ambrose is right on the spot when we consier today’s newspaper reporting, specially while quoting the political class. Some politicians in India are notorious for the foot-in- the-mouth disease of making off-the–cuff statements and then denying them or giving serial statemeents clarifying the previous ones. But, this is not paculiar to India. Just now, in the cotext of the ongoing Presidential campaign in USA, the business of quoting has come into focus again, with both the camps asking for prior approval of quotes. The issues involved in this are highlighted in an article titled “Furore forces media to rethink quote approval” by Adam Gabbatt and published in The Hindu (19-7-12) – and excerpted here.
News organisations in the United States are reviewing their policies on quote approval after the New York Times blew the whistle on the draconian methods deployed by campaign officials to control their media messages. The New York Times and the LA Times have confirmed that they are reviewing the practice of allowing reporters to submit quotes for approval by the Obama and Romney camps before publication. Reuters said it opposed the “wholly unacceptable” practice, as did the Associated Press. The pushback on quote approval followed a front-page article in July 16 New York Times, revealing that the Obama and Romney campaigns frequently insist on reading and redacting quotes given by interviewees before permission is given to publish.
They are idols of heart and household;
They are angels of God in disguise;
His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses,
His glory still gleams in their eyes;
Those traunts from home and from heaven
They have made me more manly and mild;
And I know now how Jesus could liken
The kingdom of God to a child.
- Charles M. Dickinson, US poet (1842-1924).
Childreen are the hope of our next generation. Therefore, it is imperative to bring up children to be physically and mentally strong. But, India seems to be slipping on this count, as reported by Aarti Dhar in The Hindu (20-7-12) and excerpted here.
New technologies and discoveries have always been viewed with suspicion. The latest to instill fear is the internet. Is it as bad as it is painted to be? The subject is put into perspective by Monica Hesse in The Washington Post (13-7-12). Some excerpts.
The Internet is ruining the universe. (Again)
Last week, the most forwarded example of such a
grab-your-smelling-salts warning came in the form of Newsweek’s
“iCrazy ” cover. It featured a traumatized technophile under the
headline “Panic. Depression. Psychosis. How Connection Addiction is
Rewiring our Brains.” If you didn’t buy a copy, you might have been
forwarded a link, probably by a smug uncle, probably under the smug
subject line, “This is why I’m not on Facebook!!!”
The Newsweek story in particular was a fascinating study,
comprehensively rounding up the latest research by the greatest
experts on how the Web is totally messing with us.
Still. I have questions.
Hail wedded love, mysterious law; true source of human offspring. – John Milton in Paradis Lost.
This true source of human offspring does not work for all wedded lovers. But the craze for offspring is very well-rooted in married couples. For various reasons some couples cannot get their own offspring. The traditional way of coping with this dismal situation was, and still is, tha adoption route. But , with developments in medicine and technology, renting a womb is becoming a fashionable way of concieving a child with some involvement of the male partner. In Gujarat, it has become a small industry, with problems of its own. This has been written about by Aarti Dhar under the title “Rent-a-womb, a thriving industry unbridled by law” and published in The Hindu (15-7-12) - and excerpted here.
Australia is an outdoor country. People only go inside to use the toilet. And that’s only a recent development.”
Barry Humphries ( Writer, Actor and Comic, b.1934)
People in India cannot always find a toilet easily as the majority of people do not have toilets either inside or outside their homes. And about the availability and quality of public toilets, the less said the better. Time was when in match-making dowry was an issue. Now toilets are creeping into the scene. Take, for instance, a recent report from Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh by Sanjay Pandey, titled “Bride keeps her promise, returns after toilet is built” published in Deccan Herald (28-6-12) and excerpted below.
In a ‘social coup’ of sort, a Dalit bride, refusing to answer the call of nature in the open, had run away from her in-laws’ house in an Utter Pradesh village barely three days after her arrival there from her parents’ home. She came back only after a toilet was constructed at the groom’s house.
There was no toilet at her in-law’s house. The bride, Priyanka Bharti, had promises to return as and when a toilet was constructed. But her in-laws being too poor to do that, it seems the newly wed girl would never come back. However, Sulabh International, an NGO active in the field of making cost effective toilets, came to the rescue of the family.
Will Fortune never come with bothe hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach, and no food;
Such are the poor, in health: or else a feast,
And takes away the stomach; such are the rich,
That have abundance, and enjoy it not.
- William Shakespeare English drmatic poet (1564-1616) in Henry IV.
We have hungry stomachs in hundreds of millions with no food. Yet whatever food there is is eaten by rodents, insects and allowed to go rotten in the open. The supreme Court has ordered that such potentially wasted foodgrains should be distributed among the poor. But, the agriculture minister wants export foodgrains from a half-starved nation. But first the facts as reported by Gargi Parsai in The Hindu (26-6-12) and excerpted here.
More than 6.6 million tonnes of wheat meant for the public distribution system, is lying in the open, running the risk of damage from rain, Minister of State for Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas admitted here on June 24, 2012. The government’s priority was to evacuate the wheat, he said. Faced with a problem of plenty, the Food Ministry wants to limit grain procurement to the needs of the public distribution system. It also wants Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to include construction of medium-capacity godowns in the national rural employment guarantee scheme to augment the grains storage capacity.
“We are concerned about 6.6 million tonnes of wheat kept open in an unscientific way, mainly in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. We will give utmost priority to move the wheat to safety during monsoon,” Mr. Thomas said at a press conference. The Minister is closely monitoring the progress of monsoon, firstly to ensure that all grains are stored in a safe and secure manner and, secondly to assess if, looking in to the storage constraints, the Ministry should allow wheat export on government account, as was being envisaged. This would have been in addition to the recent decision to offload 8 million tonnes for the PDS and in the open market.
Therefore I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea from my soul
Refuse you for my judge; when, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.
- William Shakespeare, English dramatic poet (1564-1616) in Henry III.
The subject of conflict of interest has surfaced again in the context of the next Presidential election, with candidate Sangma accusing candidate Pranab of holding office of profit as Chairman of Indian Statistical Institute. As this controversy plays itself out, it is interesting to revisit this topic.
Integrity and impartiality is expected of judges and government officials, including ministers. Now there are new terms that test the integrity – conflict of interest. Four recent cases in the Supreme Court of India have raised the question of when judges, who had either a pecuniary interest in the litigation or non-pecuniary connection with a party to the litigation, should recuse (withdraw, opt out or stand down) himself from the case. Otherwise, they could be accused of conflict of interest. Typical, but not so caustic, is the cynical reference activist-author Arundahti Roy made in an article titled This Land is Mine in Outlook magazine (09-11-09) supporting Maoists and tribals:
Is it not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, US essayist and poet (1803-1882).
Grounds for divorce are varied and sometimes look funny. On recent instance comes from the Supreme Court as reported by J Venkatesan and published in The Hindu (6-7-12) – excerpted here
Crumpling the husband’s ironed clothes or hiding his motorcycle keys to prevent him from going to office may be childish acts, but would constitute ‘mental cruelty’ for grant of divorce, the Supreme Court has held. A Bench of Justices Deepak Verma and Dipak Misra gave this ruling while granting divorce to Vishwanath Agrawal who sought to break with Sarla for causing him ‘mental cruelty’ — she used to crumple his ironed clothes and sometimes hide them and hide his motorcycle keys to prevent him from going to his factory; gave a false advertisement in a newspaper that he was a womaniser and addicted to liquor and also filed a criminal case against him.
Rejecting the findings of the trial court and the Bombay High Court that there was no direct evidence and that the grounds complained of by Agrawal were only childish acts on the part of Sarla, the Bench said: “It does not require Solomon’s wisdom to understand the embarrassment and harassment that might have been felt by the husband. The level of disappointment on his part can well be visualised like a moon in a cloudless sky.”
Our wrangling lawyers…are so litigious and busy on earth, that I think they will plead their clients’ causes hereafter, some of them in hell. – Robert Burton, English writer, philosopher and humorist (1576-1640).
The lawyers have not yet redeemed their image even after over 400 years since Burton’s above observation. They guard their interests through their collective – Bar Council of India, as reflected in the following report by J Venkatesan and published in The Hindu (5-7-12).
The Supreme Court has asked the Reserve Bank of India not to grant permission to or register foreign law firms to set up liaison offices in India under Section 29 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973, for fighting litigation in the country. A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and Anil R. Dave passed this order after hearing senior counsel M.N. Krishnamani, appearing for the Bar Council of India (BCI), which challenged a judgment of the Madras High Court relating to foreign law firms.
The Bench, while issuing notice to the respondents including several foreign law firms, returnable in 10 weeks, clarified that “the expression ‘to practise the profession of law’ under Section 29 of the Advocates Act, 1961, covers the persons practising litigious as well as non-litigious matters; and therefore, to practice in non-litigious matters in India, the foreign law firms, by whatever name called or described, shall be bound to follow the provisions contained in the Advocates Act, 1961.”
Fate seem’d to wind him up for fourscore years;
Yet freshly ran he on ten winters more;
Till like a clock worn out with eating time,
The wheels of weary life at last stood still.
- John Dryden, English poet (1631-1700).
I once took my father, then in his sixties, to a leading medical consultant in Bombay. Assertaining the medical history of his family, the consultant asked at what age his father and mother died. He said that the father died at 64 and mother at 56. Then he was asked about the cause of death. My father said “old age” for both. The consultant said: “How can that be old age for both?” He was not aware that in villages there is no need for doctor’s death certificate and cause of death is not recorded. It is an anigma why people die at different ages. But, all do not want to age but want to live long. Some aspects of longevity are within man’s control. Like sitting less adds years to life, as explained below by Alice Park, a writer at TIME.
Sitting for more than three hours a day can cut two years off a person’s life expectancy, even if he or she exercises regularly, a new study finds. Watching TV for more than two hours a day can shorten life expectancy even further, by another 1.4 years. The findings suggest that when it comes to gleaning health benefits from physical activity, it may not be enough just to get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 30 minutes. But what about the other 23.5 hours of every day? Researchers say it’s important not to spend it sedentary or sitting.