Archive for December, 2009

It is popularly believed that it is very difficult to bury the hatchet with ex-flame. But contrary to the popular belief, George Clooney is still friends with his ex-girlfriend Sarah Larson two months after they ended their year-long relationship. In an interview to a British magazine Larson said that she had no regrets about the romance, and revealed the pair still talks and she misses his sense of humour and dancing. “We still remain friends and have kept in touch. In fact, we spoke over the phone a couple of days ago,” she admitted.

The scene is no different in India. Even though Kareena Kapoor is a new entrant in the life of Saif Ali Khan, no one can forget that when Saif was hospitalised, Amrita Singh was there to attend calls and people who showered wishes on him, despite knowing Rossa was in his life. Singer and actress Suchitra Krishnamurthy is sometimes seen with her divorced husband Shekhar Kapoor, and says she is still “Karmically attached to her husband.”

But can an intimate relationship that has gone sour be resurrected? The answer is not that simple as it depends on the persons and the depth of their relationship. If both are ready to bury the hatchet and be good friends, it can happen at any time.

When a person decides to go off from a relationship, he/she thinks a lot to arrive at that crucial conclusion. It does not happen without giving a second thought. When the relationship begins, it becomes intimate. It always rests on high expectations, passion, romance, love and the entire life is associated with the person.

Some feel that ex-partner can not be a friend at all. If the relationship turns sour, it can not be got back, it can not become sweet. One of my friends says that she cannot chat with her ex-flame as a friend, for he would be the person once a major part of her life. She had a very bitter experience in love and her boyfriend left her in lurch two-three years ago. Though she cannot forget him, she cannot have friendship with him. She had dreamt and planned her life with him, and how can anyone expect her to be his friend?

What if after the break-up, they have fallen in love again? Though it is difficult to be friends with ex-partner, some agree that it is possible only if they are happy with our current relationship. Then it can be possible, at a different level, say some of my friends.

They say that it is possible to reconcile with ex-husband or ex-lover. One of my friends talks to his former girlfriend now as a mere friend. She is married now and he’s happy that he has met the right person after losing her. He is happy with his girl and he doesn’t feel anything while talking to his former one.

His new girl knows everything and she does not object to it. They both trust each other and do not hide anything. Not to forget, it can not happen if he loses this girl. Hope that never happens, for they are getting married shortly. He thinks that he can’t be a friend to her if he loses her, for he has lots of plans and his life is associated with her. He cannot imagine seeing her as the wife of someone else!

If people have new flings they feel quite comfortable to maintain a friendship with their former partners. If your ex-partner has a fling and you are finding it difficult to accept the fact, then it shows that you are not happy with your present partner and feeling quite insecure about the relationship.

My colleague tells me that she cannot see her ex-partner with his new girlfriend. She feels that the new girl has something in her, which my colleague lacked. She sometimes feels jealous of her also. Sometimes I have even seen her invariably comparing herself to the new girl of her former boyfriend.

A friendship can not be forced upon, it should be a mutual decision and it depends on the mutual understanding. But how can they mutually accept each other as friends? If there was that mutual understanding, they would have not split. They part off only because of the lack of it, and once a sweet relationship goes off, that’s the end. We can not turn back to have friendship with that person again.

But one should always remember while making friendship with the ex-flame that he/she is no more a part of our life and expectations should be low. They can not be taken for granted as was done earlier.

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I was shocked to see Pravesh Rana, former Mr India, one of the finalists in Bigg Boss, throwing food articles in the swimming pool. He repeatedly said that his act was to teach the two inmates a lesson and show what a ‘common man’ can do. Though I didn’t realise why he was doing so, I had to ask my friends and go through the previous episodes, which I had missed, to know reason. But whatever be the reason, he losing his temper seemed to me like he’s trying to follow Rahul Mahajan who came out of the game just before the grand finale of the show.

What is actually happening inside? I think he’s feeling insecure from Vindu Dara Singh’s relaxed attitude in the house. Moreover, I feel he’s a shrewd player and knows very well that he doesn’t have a chance of winning against Poonam Dhillon and Vindu Dara Singh, and so started playing emotional card of being a ‘common man’. And may be that’s the reason why he’s pleading with the audience that every common man should vote him, as he was one of them. I think he’s worried that Vindu and Poonam’s celebrity status may cut down his votes. He is projecting himself as a ‘common man’, who is fighting against the celebrities.

I wonder how and when did he become a common man? He’s a celebrity after winning becoming Mr India in 2008. ANd when the game is near to end, he’s ‘realising’ and wants to imitate the virtues of a common man!

When Poonam tried to explain him, he still said that there were other things more important than “his throwing the food in the pool”.

I wanted to see what would be the reaction of Pravesh about his behaviour. I wondered if at all he would regret his action.

Poonam Dhillon advised him to not take things to heart. She told him that he is on the sunshine of his career and a loving, cordial behaviour will take him places.

Vindu Dara Singh also told him later that before throwing food, he should have thought about what his friends and family would think about the incident and of course, about him!

Not surprisingly, Pravesh said he was sorry to hurt Poonam and Vindu, from the angle of respect towards their age, but never seemed to be apologetic about his action!

He openly told Poonam that he had decided to make the Bigg Boss house a living hell for its inmates by throwing all the food provision in the pool.

Keeping aside all this, let me think this way. Does a common man not have respect for food? Our parents and teachers taught us to respect food and to never waste it. How far is it right to waste food just to capture attention? Do these people really know how several people struggle for one square meal?

We see many children going hungry. Which common will dump food like him? He made sure to cut tomatoes and throw, so that they cannot be used again! I never expected a celebrity, oh sorry, a ‘common man’ to be so mean! 😦

When Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso advised his countrymen: “If you don’t have money, you’d better not get married. It seems rather difficult to me for someone without means to win people’s respect.” Not many realised his words, for it drew much criticism from across the world. But I sincerely feel that what he intended was to tell youth to not get kids without saving or having a good salary to take care of them.

It’s been almost two years and I have heard so much from my in-laws, relatives, friends and even colleagues to have a kid soon. It hurts when people call me barren behind me. We were even more hurt when my husband’s brother’s wife delivered a baby and I was not even informed about it and when we went to see the baby they didn’t even allow me to take the baby, as I was childless. We both were shocked when my husband’s father openly told me not to attend the baby’s naming ceremony. Parents expect us to get a kid within one year of marriage. And we know our responsibilities and commitments but we fail to make them understand. Not that we have some problem in getting kids, but we are yet to make up our mind for children. It’s not that we are not in a good position but we want to give the best for our child. We hope that the humiliation we both have undergone for the past few months will prove to be worth one day or the other. When we aspire for a certain lifestyle, we should achieve it first by reaching that financial status. Of course, no one can stop us from getting a child, but we are not ready to make any kind of compromises for that.

When it comes to marriage and kids, the rules are different for guys and girls. A guy has to be in a position to take responsibility of his wife if she chooses not to work and the kid. But as today’s woman, I enjoy financial independence and contribute just as much to the family kitty. In Indian culture, it’s usually the parents who pay for the delivery and hospital charges but even then, one needs to have security before taking such a big step. From our wedding to honeymoon, we have paid ourselves and have not been burden so far. Right from the wedding to setting up house to planning a family, there is a long list of expenses and we feel that it’s a big commitment. We both strongly feel that both of us should have at least six months’ income on hand for emergencies and both should have surplus income to save after the monthly expenses. When we plan to start a family, we need separate savings for the child.

Though it is sure that the buffer against many storms of life are stable relationships with friends and loved ones, sound economic condition and savings make a lot of difference. I have even heard that in Africa, a person cannot get married easily until he is financially stable.

If people say marriage may not have to depend on ones financial status, they have to think twice. To build a family and have children certainly require a lot of money. Our kids will not be able to compete on level playing field if we are not financially able to nurture them. I have seen my friends who were born into big families  with eight to nine siblings. How my friends wished that their parents had not given birth to them! The cost of bringing up children is becoming
astronomically high.

We don’t favour having children without at least a continuous income which leaves extra money after paying all bills is.

My man is an excellent husband who not only worships the ground that I walk on but also respects my ideas and plans. He agrees with me that producing a child is a major financial responsibility that not everyone can handle.

I think that a couple should wait to have children until they are ready. Establish yourself as a person, find a good job and save money so at least the problems can be avoided. It’s not demoralizing marriage, its strengthening it and improving the quality of life and the relationship so a person need not have to worry about financial condition. Yes, love should be the reason for marriage but unfortunately its not the only thing to sustain it. Love alone cannot
ensure that your child has food, clothing, the things he or she needs to have a quality life. It might be nice to think so, but it’s not true. I think that’s part of loving a child, making sure he or she has the basics. We don’t want to depend on other people or the government for our children. Will the society and our relatives understand this? Will they stop staring at us and questioning?

While I was wondering if it would be right to have a separate Telangana, I stumbled upon US President Baracak Obama’s Cabinet. Unlike our country, they have 20 Cabinet members and here goes the interesting list.What is more worth reading is the factor which is quite funny and unique of each Cabinet.

1. State
Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton
With a staff of 28,053 employees: 11,467 foreign service officers, 7,802 foreign service nationals, 8,784 civil service employees, the department is responsible for any and all foreign affairs activities.

The secretary of state serves as the president’s chief foreign policy adviser. The department represents US interests in the international community, operates foreign assistance programs, fights international crime, provides foreign military training programs and provides services for American citizens abroad.

Established by an act of Congress in 1789, the department is the lead institution for American diplomacy. Six secretaries of state — Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan — went on to serve as US president.

The US Legation building in Tangier, Morocco, is the oldest diplomatic property owned by the United States. It was a gift from the sultan of Morocco in 1821.

2. Treasury
Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner

With a staff of more than 100,000 employees, the department is responsible for the financial security of the United States. Its responsibilities include managing federal finances; collecting taxes; producing coinage and currency; managing the public debt; advising on domestic and international monetary policy; and investigating and prosecuting tax evaders, counterfeiters and forgers.

The Treasury secretary serves on the boards of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Inter-American Development Bank.

The secretary of the Treasury is one of the original Cabinet-level posts. Famous secretaries of the Treasury include Alexander Hamilton, whose image appears on the $10 bill, and millionaire industrialist Andrew Mellon.

In the early years of the nation, the Treasury’s security system at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia was a watchdog named Nero, purchased for $3 in 1793. If the night watchman could not make the rounds, Nero patrolled the property on his own.

3. Defense
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

With a staff of 1.3 million active-duty military, 669,281 civilian personnel, 1.1 million in National Guard and Reserve forces, 2 million military retirees, the department oversees branches of the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps) as they engage in military operations on behalf of the United States, provide humanitarian aid and peacekeeping, supply disaster relief and secure the homeland. The National Guard and Reserve forces provide wartime military support as well as fulfill key homeland security missions like relief from domestic natural disasters.

The department’s military and civilians are stationed in every time zone. More than 450,000 employees are overseas. The U.S. Army operates in 50 countries; the U.S. Navy is stationed in the Persian Gulf, the Far East and the Mediterranean Sea, among other places; and the U.S. Air Force flies missions each year into all but five countries worldwide.

The department is the United States’ oldest and largest government agency, with its roots dating back to before the nation won its independence. Called the Department of War until 1949, it was among the original Cabinet departments.

The Pentagon, the headquarters of the Department of Defense, has three times the floor space of the Empire State Building in New York. It has 45.5 kilometers (28.3 miles) of corridors, but it takes seven minutes or less to walk between any two points in the building.

4. Justice
Attorney General Eric Holder

With a staff of more than 100,000 employees nationwide, the department is the world’s largest law office, responsible for enforcing all federal laws. It is charged with combating terrorism, apprehending fugitives, locating missing persons, managing federal prisons and inmates, protecting civil liberties, investigating fraud, preventing crime, prosecuting crimes and helping victims of crime.

The Office of the Attorney General was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 as one of the original Cabinet posts, but was intended to be a one-person, part-time position. As the workload increased, the number of assistants grew and much work was contracted to private attorneys. In 1870, Congress established the Department of Justice.

The Department’s motto is Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur, or “who prosecutes on behalf of justice” (or literally, “the Lady Justice”).

5. Interior

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar

With a staff of more than 67,000 employees and 180,000 volunteers at 2,400 operating locations throughout the United States, the department is the principal conservation agency of the United States. It manages land, water and energy needs. It also is responsible for scientific and geological research and works to conserve fish, wildlife and other natural resources.

Congress created the department in 1849 by combining parts of the existing departments of State, War, Navy and Treasury to form a new agency that exclusively would handle domestic affairs.

The department manages the U.S. National Park System, which includes cultural and recreational sites like monuments and national parks that attract millions of visitors every year. In addition, it provides services to the 562 federally recognized American Indian tribes that are treated as nations within a nation under US law.

The Department of the Interior manages 200 million hectares of land, or about one-fifth of all US sovereign territory.

6. Agriculture
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

With a staff of more than 100,000 employees, the department operates more than 300 programs in farm aid, food safety, nutrition, sustainable development of rural communities, expanding global markets for agricultural and forest products and services and many other tasks.

The department was established by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 when farmers made up more than half the country’s population. The secretary of agriculture was elevated to the Cabinet in 1889.

According to the statistics released by the department in 2000, the average American drinks 87.4 liters of milk each year.

7. Commerce
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke

With a staff of 39,000 employees, the department’s diverse responsibilities include promoting business and industry within the United States and facilitating international trade. It also conducts the U.S. Census, updates weather and atmospheric conditions through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), maintains economic statistics and houses the Patent and Trademark Office, which provides legal protection for intellectual property.

Originally created as the Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903, it became the Department of Commerce when a separate Labor Department was established in 1913. The department’s longest-serving secretary (7.5 years) was Herbert Hoover, a mining engineer who went on to be elected U.S. president.

The nation’s oldest public aquarium is housed in the basement of the department’s Herbert Hoover Building.

8. Labor
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis

With a staff of 16,800 full-time employees, the department administers federal labor laws pertaining to worker safety and benefits, overtime pay and minimum hourly wage, freedom from employment discrimination and unemployment insurance.

The first executive department with authority over labor issues was the Department of Commerce and Labor, created in 1903. President William Howard Taft signed legislation to create a separate Department of Labor hours before he left office in 1913. The first woman to serve in a U.S. president’s Cabinet was Frances Perkins, who joined Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration as secretary of labor in 1933.

The department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles and publishes detailed information about how Americans spend their time, such as this summary of Thanksgiving Day activities.

9. Health and Human Services
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

With a staff of more than 64,000 employees, the department administers more than 300 programs that address public health, social science research, disease surveillance and prevention, and food and drug safety.

Originally created as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1953 under the Eisenhower administration, the department was reorganized in 1979 into the Department of Health and Human Services.

The department’s headquarters is the 1977 Hubert H. Humphrey Building, the first federal office building named for a person still living at the time of its construction. Humphrey, a former U.S. senator and vice president, died in 1978.

10. Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan

With a staff of 10,000 employees, most of whom work in 81 field offices throughout the nation, the department aims to ensure decent living environments for all Americans. It administers mortgage and loan insurance, grant programs to foster economic development and housing rehabilitation, rental assistance, public and subsidized housing, homeless assistance and fair housing public education and enforcement.

The department was created in 1965 by combining existing agencies in older federal departments as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

The department’s Federal Housing Administration is the world’s largest mortgage insurer, guaranteeing the mortgages on more than 34 million homes since 1934.

11. Transportation
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood

With a staff of 53,500 employees, the department promotes the safety and reliability of the various modes of passenger and cargo transportation — by air, rail, highway and pipeline. Key agencies include the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Established in 1966, the department once included the U.S. Coast Guard, but that service, along with other security-related agencies across the federal government, was transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

Maintenance of the 75,000-kilometer U.S. Interstate Highway System is made possible by the Interstate Construction Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

12. Energy
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu

With a staff of more than 11,000 employees, the department promotes energy security and scientific and technological innovation in energy policies, and works to ensure the environmentally safe disposal of nuclear waste.

Created in 1977, the department consolidated the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Federal Power Commission and other energy-related agencies into one department.

If Chu is confirmed, he will be the 78th Nobel laureate affiliated with the Department of Energy or its predecessor agencies.

13. Education
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

With a staff of 4,200 employees, the department sets national education priorities, collects and distributes research on education, distributes federal financial aid for education and works to ensure equal access to education. In the United States, state and local governments have primary control of education, and the department supports their efforts.

The original federal agency for education was created in 1867 to collect information on schools and teaching and to assist states in establishing effective school systems. The Department of Education was established as a Cabinet-level entity in 1980 by combining various agencies from other departments.

The department provides more than $91 billion each year in aid to college students.

14. Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki

With a staff of more than 240,000 employees, the department provides benefits and medical and rehabilitative services to 25 million military veterans. The department also manages the National Cemetery System, the final resting places for the bodies of veterans and their eligible family members.

The first U.S. Congress enacted a law establishing veteran benefits in 1789. Various government agencies administered veterans’ pensions and other benefits until the Veterans Administration was created in 1930. In 1989, the administration was recast as a full-fledged department and elevated to Cabinet rank.
A system of veterans’ benefits first appeared in the future United States in 1636 when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, at war with the Pequot Indians, passed a law stipulating disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony.

15. Homeland Security
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

With a staff of approximately 180,000 employees, the department protects the nation from terrorist attacks (foreign and domestic) and provides emergency services after disasters. Bureaus within the department include Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The department, the newest in the executive branch, was created in 2003 in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Department of Homeland Security takes a leading role in ensuring domestic security, but more than 87,000 different federal, state, and local jurisdictions have responsibilities in this effort.

16. White House Chief of Staff
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

The chief of staff is a senior aide to the president in a post that has been described as a gatekeeper and the second most powerful man in Washington. He typically is involved in the president’s major decisions and frequently represents the president during negotiations with congressional leaders. Within the White House, the chief of staff manages the staff, sets the tone for the office operations and coordinates the work of the many offices within the Executive Office of the President.

The position, which is filled at the discretion of the president, was first established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and, for a time, Jimmy Carter opted not to have a chief of staff.

Actor Martin Sheen has played both the president and the chief of staff in fictional accounts of the U.S. presidency, playing the chief of staff in the film The American President and the president on the popular television show The West Wing.

17. Environmental Protection
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson

With a staff of 17,000 employees, the agency develops and enforces regulations to protect and improve the environment, administers grants to support environmental programs, studies environmental issues and educates the public on environmental issues.

The EPA was established as an independent agency in December 1970 in response to widespread concerns about environmental degradation and pollution.

At the first “Earth Day” on April 22, 1970, some 20 million peaceful protestors demonstrated for more environmental stewardship. Earth Day now is observed annually in the United States with a variety of “Earth-friendly” activities.

18. Management and Budget
Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag

With a staff of 489 employees, the office, known as the OMB, prepares the president’s annual budget proposal, which is submitted to Congress each year in early February. To do so, the OMB evaluates agency programs, assesses competing funding demands and sets funding priorities. The office also oversees the administration’s procurement, financial management, information collection and regulatory policies.

The Bureau of the Budget, the precursor to the office, was established in 1921 under the Department of Treasury. The office moved to the Executive Office of the President in 1939. It was given its current name, as well as expanded oversight authorities, in 1970 during the Nixon administration.

Charles Dawes, the first director of the office, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925.

19. U.S. Trade Representative
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk

With a staff of more than 200 people in offices in Washington and Geneva, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is the president’s chief adviser and spokesperson on international trade policy. The USTR negotiates directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements and resolve disputes, and participates in global trade-policy organizations.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative was established by the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Since then, 15 individuals, including three women, have served as U.S. Trade Representative, which comes with the title “ambassador.”

The United States is one of the most open markets in the world, with average agricultural tariffs of 12 percent (compared to the global average tariff of 62 percent).

20. U.S. Mission to the United Nations
United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice

WIth a staff along with members of the UN delegation, which includes Ambassador Rice, there are about 100 staffers in the New York City office, located near the United Nations headquarters, an important function of the mission is to keep the Department of State informed of events at the United Nations. Mission officers report on meetings and make recommendations to the State Department on courses of action the United States should pursue in the world organization. Different sections of the mission represent the United States’ political, economic, legal and social interests at UN meetings.

The United Nations, a term coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was established in October 1945 by 51 countries who agreed to work together to maintain peace and security. Today there are 192 member countries. In 1947 the U.S. Mission was created by the United Nations Participation Act to assist the president and the Department of State in conducting U.S. policy at the United Nations.

U.S. missions to UN offices are also established in Vienna, Rome, Geneva and Paris.

Now, that TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao has succeeded in getting the nod from the Centre for a separate state for Telangana, he will be considered to be a hero. Earlier, Potti Sriramulu had resorted to the same method and Nehru had to yield to the demand for Andhra Pradesh and bifurcation of states on linguistic basis.

Sardar Vallbhai Patel brought 500 provinces together after Independence and gave us one united India. And now, leaders, rather say, separatists are hell-bent on making separate states.

A seperate statehood during 1968-69 was meaningful and possible because most of the Telangana area was predominantly occupied by locals and few people were settlers from other states and Andhra region. People of Telangana are not on par with the people of Andhra and Telangana is backward compared to Andhra in various factors. Now, after 40 years, a sea change has taken place in Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana.

The creation of Telangana state will definitely have a ripple effect on the length and breadth of the country, leading to further balkanization of the country. It will encourage regionalism, linguistic chauvinism and fanaticism. Though smaller states with compact areas may witness better development, the experience with Chattisgarh with huge mineral resources, has taught a good lesson to people. It has witnessed unparalleled looting of state’s mineral resources by politicians, who have feathered their nests by leasing the mines to private parties.

When the whole world is thinking in terms of globalization, people in Andhra Pradesh apparently seem to remain local and don’t want to move ahead with the rest of the world in race for development.

How genuine is the demand for a separate state? Unlike Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh is geographically not that vast. Telangana may lose the advantage of unified Andhra Pradesh, as the coastal Andhra is rich in agriculture and Rayalseema has vast mineral wealth. The new state may not be economically viable.

Now that the Centre has agreed to the political pressure, there will be a demand for a large number of such new states like Rayalseema, Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Hareet Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Purvanchal Pradesh, Bodoland, Gorkhaland. Not just there, even in Karnataka, people will seek separate states for Coorg and North Karnataka, which will only further jeopardize the integrity of the country.

Creating a seperate state will not solve the problems of Telangana, but will add additional problems for the new state. Instead of creating a new state, the Centre could have generated more employment opportunities, establishment of large and small scale industries, eradication of illiteracy, child labor, poverty and gender equality. It could have supported agricultural sector and helped in bringing down the prices of essential food grains and meet the basic needs of a common man.

The Centre should have thought of resolving the issue which is acceptable to all regions instead of unilaterally imposing a decision. Anyways, it is time to roll up sleeves and get down to smart work. It is time for leaders to develop all fields — education, science and technology, trade and commerce — to make Telangana’s economy a strong and vibrant one.

Many times I and my hubby have watched ‘The Moment of Truth’, an American reality show on TV. The truth sometimes startled us and sometimes we wondered what if it enters Indian television. And so did it happen. Star Plus channel began to air ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ (Face the Truth).

The questions asked by the anchor in the programme were startling. They ranged from simple to complex, simple because they are about our won life, complex because they are about infidelity, incest and other taboo subjects. We feel that those questions are not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition, especially keeping in view Indian culture and ethos. The answers can ruin relationships, ruin the lives of participants in future.

A polygraphic test indicates whether the answers are true or false. A false answer means an exit from the show.

Though as audience, we feel it is the world’s simplest show, one has to realise that it is still the most difficult game show as one has to speak nothing but the truth to survive through each level. Each passing level questions get tougher, more personal and increasingly edgy, putting the contestants and the family and friends in trouble.

On the very first day, host Rajeev Khandelwal grilled Smita Matai and extracted all truth from her. At the end, when she was asked if she wanted to have affair with another man without her husband’s knowledge, she said “No”. But the Polygraph machine termed her answer to be “False”, much to the shock and surprise of Smita and her family members, including her husband. Her husband looked dejected, while Smita kept claiming that it was not true.

It’s sure that participants can win a sum of Rs 10 million, but at what cost? Revealing personal information in public! How can money won in such shows bring about a positive change and help the contestants shed their baggage and lead a better life?

Many suspicious men and women among audience would be thinking sending their partners to the show to know the truth. But will they be able to tolerate the truth coming out in front of all? Will the relationship survive? Will a man or a woman accept that their partners had cheated or will cheat them in future? How many men will accept their wives if they come to know that they have had an affair (physical) with another man? I and my hubby had a long debate over the issue and he keeps telling me that past doesn’t matter if the woman is faithful in the present as well as in the future. Bury the past and look into the future. But how far is it possible?

I remember Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles here. Tess tries to confess about her past to Angel Claire before the wedding, but in vain. But after the wedding the first thing she wants to do is reveal everything about her past. But before she could confess, Angel confesses to her that he once had a brief affair with an older woman in London. When she hears the story, Tess feels that Angel will forgive her own indiscretion, and finally tells him about her relationship with Alec and about her baby Sorrow, who died within few days. Angel, however, is appalled by Tess’s confession and spends the wedding night sleeping on a sofa outside. Devastated Tess accepts the sudden estrangement of her husband as something she deserves. After a few awkward, awful days, she suggests that they separate, telling Angel that she will return to her parents. Angel gives her some money and promises to try to reconcile himself to her past, but warns her not to try to join him until he sends for her. After a quick visit to his parents, Angel takes ship for Brazil to start a new life. Before he leaves, he encounters Izz Huett on the road and impulsively asks her to come to Brazil with him, as his mistress. She accepts, but when he asks her how much she loves him, she admits: “Nobody could love you more than Tess. She would have laid down her life for you. I could do no more!” Hearing this, he abandons his whim of taking a mistress along with him to Brazil.

Not just in novels, many such incidents do happen in our life also. When men confess about their extra-marital affairs or their past affairs women, accept them open-heartedly, but there are very few instances where men have accepted women unconditionally. A man wants his wife to be solely his. He will not be ready to share his love. He wants to be the first and the last man in the life of his wife.

Under such circumstances, how can a man tolerate if his wife tells the truth that she had an affair or wants to have an affair, or is living with her husband only because of the children and not because of love?!

Dogs can be great stress busters

Posted: December 6, 2009 in others
Tags: , , ,

After Dinku passed away, my dad is so engrossed in other things that he hardly finds time to indulge in a fitness routine, forget about going for a morning walk. It was not the same with him earlier. He had a walking partner in Dinku, who liked to jump at the mention of walk in morning. Evening he gave company to my mom. Together, they used to go for a walk, rather say, a fitness walk. Now, I feel how dogs come to the rescue of human beings, acting as true friends as well perfect walking companions. Health is wealth and a dog at home can help maintain health of the family and save money. If there is health, no need to frequently visit the doc [docs will curse the dogs ;)].

Dinku always had time for us, come rain or sunshine. He had to be taken for a walk twice in a day. It made my parents to take him along for a walk regularly. So, even if they were not in the mood for a walk, he kept them pestering, till they gave in and put on their walking shoes. When he was there, they hardly missed their walking sessions.

Dogs can be great companions. Once my parents developed a routine of walking with him, he ensured that they follow it on a regular basis, that too at a fixed time. He never ever let them forget that it is the time for them to get up and get going! Specially, he had that capability of charging my dad up, enhancing his energy levels, so that he walked faster and with much more enthusiasm. Need not to say that it burned more calories and improved his overall fitness levels. People never believe that he has crossed 60 years! Dinku served as a great stress buster and walking with him helped us forget all our worries and relax our mind as well.

I strongly feel that walking with dogs or say dog walking is one of the cheapest and most enjoyable ways to ensure fitness. My dad has made several friends. Many small kids in the neighbourhood talk to him and fondly approach him for he allowed them to talk and go close to Dinku. Yeah, Dinku was close and loves to play with children 🙂 Not just children, if we walk with our dog, we end up making new friends as well.

I was shocked to see the picture of notorious gangster Vikas Dubey, taken like a dog, to file his nomination for Vishrampur Assembly seat in Medininagar, Jharkhand, on Tuesday.

Notorious gangster Vikas Dubey before filing his nomination for Vishrampur Assembly seat seat in Medininagar, Jharkhand on Tuesday.

Why does it happen like this in India? Gangsters, dons, mafia and people with criminal background often use their muscle and money power and emerge victorious in the polls. Why do parties filed such candidates? Is it only because they get unlimited funds to fight polls? In return, they give criminals protection from the law and respect in society. Where is India heading towards? Is this the kind of Ram Rajya which Gandhiji often dreamt of?

Candidates facing over dozen criminal cases, including murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, extortion, loot and land grabbing, also file nominations.

The country has indeed come a full circle. Yesterday’s criminals are today’s honourables with their “bullet-proof vests.” They are the law and are very powerful. Some dons get elected from prisons, some hold meetings in jail, with all comforts, and instruct their followers by mobile phones and rule their empire, issuing orders that few dare to disobey.

When our politics is filled with candidates with criminal backgrounds, how can we expect to remove crime from the country?

I wonder why does the Election Commission makes it mandatory for candidates to disclose details of their criminal background, if any, along with their assets and liabilities while filing nominations? Is it really meant to weed out criminals or a mere disclosure?

Sometimes, I seriously feel that the laws mentioning about the word ‘criminal cases’ are not properly defined. When is a person called a criminal according to the law?  When he is punished by the court as a criminal. As everybody knows, fighting legal cases in India is a marathon process. It takes years, sometimes decades, after a person is arrested. So candidates come out clean and file nominations.

Normally, permission for going abroad or appearing in any interview cannot be granted to a person against whom a case is pending in the court. Then, how can the law allow criminals to run the affair of the state?

India is filled with illiterates and poor people. All they need is some hope, a hope which keeps them happy, even for a short while! It is time for voters, who are in a slumber and are easily swayed by the lure of lucre, to wake up before things go out of control.

Pic courtesy: Google