Friday, September 24, 2004

Here's a rather funny forward that's been going around for a while. Read it, it makes sense

US foreign policy for dummies . . .Q: Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq?A: Because they had weapons of mass destruction, honey.Q: But the inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction. A:That's because the Iraqis were hiding them.Q: And that's why we invaded Iraq?A: Yep. Invasions always work better than inspections.Q: But after we invaded them, we STILL didn't find any weapons of massdestruction, did we?A: That's because the weapons are so well hidden. Don't worry, we'llfind something, probably right before the 2004 election.Q: Why did Iraq want all those weapons of mass destruction?A: To use them in a war, silly.Q: I'm confused. If they had all those weapons that they planned to usein a war, then why didn't they use any of those weapons when we went towar with them?A: Well, obviously they didn't want anyone to know they had thoseweapons, so they chose to die by the thousands rather than defendthemselves and let others know.Q: That doesn't make sense Daddy. Why would they choose to die if theyhad all those big weapons to fight us back with?A: It's a different culture. It's not supposed to make sense.Q: I don't know about you, but I don't think they had any of thoseweapons our government said they did.A: Well, you know, it doesn't matter whether or not they had thoseweapons. We had another good reason to invade them anyway.Q: And what was that?A: Even if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Husseinwas a cruel dictator, which is another good reason to invade anothercountry.Q: Why? What does a cruel dictator do that makes it OK to invade hiscountry?A: Well, for one thing, he tortured his own people.Q: Kind of like what they do in China?A: Don't go comparing China to Iraq. China is a good economiccompetitor, where millions of people work for slave wages in sweatshopsto make U.S. corporations richer.Q: So if a country lets its people be exploited for American corporategain, it's a good country, .even if that country tortures people?A: Right.Q: Why were people in Iraq being tortured?A: For political crimes, mostly, like criticizing the government. Peoplewho criticized the government in Iraq were sent to prison and tortured.Q: Isn't that exactly what happens in China?A: I told you, China is different.Q: What's the difference between China and Iraq?A: Well, for one thing, Iraq was ruled by the Ba'ath party, while Chinais Communist.Q: Didn't you once tell me Communists were bad?A: No, just Cuban Communists are bad.Q: How are the Cuban Communists bad?A: Well, for one thing, people who criticize the government in Cuba aresent to prison and tortured.Q: Like in Iraq?A: Exactly.Q: And like in China, too?A: I told you, China's a good economic competitor. Cuba, on the otherhand, is not.Q: How come Cuba isn't a good economic competitor?A: Well, you see, back in the early 1960s, our government passed somelaws that made it illegal for Americans to trade or do any business withCuba until they stopped being Communists and started being capitalistslike us.Q: But if we got rid of those laws, opened up trade with Cuba, andstarted doing business with them, wouldn't that help the Cubans becomecapitalists?A: Don't be a smart-ass.Q: I didn't think I was being one.A: Well, anyway, they also don't have freedom of religion in Cuba. Q:Kind of like China and the @!#$ movement?A: I told you, stop saying bad things about China. Anyway, SaddamHussein came to power through a military coup, so he's not really alegitimate leader anyway.Q: What's a military coup?A: That's when a military general takes over the government of a countryby force, instead of holding free elections like we do in the UnitedStates.Q: Didn't the ruler of Pakistan come to power by a military coup?A: You mean General Pervez Musharraf? Uh, yeah, he did, but Pakistan isour friend.Q: Why is Pakistan our friend if their leader is illegitimate?A: I never said Pervez Musharraf was illegitimate.Q: Didn't you just say a military general who comes to power by forciblyoverthrowing the legitimate government of a nation is an illegitimateleader?A: Only Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf is our friend, because hehelped us invade Afghanistan.Q: Why did we invade Afghanistan?A: Because of what they did to us on September 11th.Q: What did Afghanistan do to us on September 11th?A: Well, on September 11th, nineteen men, fifteen of them SaudiArabians, hijacked four airplanes and flew three of them into buildings,killing over 3,000 Americans.Q: So how did Afghanistan figure into all that?A: Afghanistan was where those bad men trained, under the oppressiverule of the Taliban.Q: Aren't the Taliban those bad radical Islamics who chopped offpeople's heads and hands?A: Yes, that's exactly who they were. Not only did they chop offpeople's heads and hands, but they oppressed women, too.Q: Didn't the Bush administration give the Taliban 43 million dollarsback in May of 2001?A: Yes, but that money was a reward because they did such a good jobfighting drugs.Q: Fighting drugs?A: Yes, the Taliban were very helpful in stopping people from growingopium poppies.Q: How did they do such a good job?A: Simple. If people were caught growing opium poppies, the Talibanwould have their hands and heads cut off.Q: So, when the Taliban cut off people's heads and hands for growingflowers, that was OK, but not if they cut people's heads and hands offfor other reasons?A: Yes. It's OK with us if radical Islamic fundamentalists cut offpeople's hands for growing flowers, but it's cruel if they cut offpeople's hands for stealing bread.Q: Don't they also cut off people's hands and heads in Saudi Arabia? A:That's different. Afghanistan was ruled by a tyrannical patriarchy thatoppressed women and forced them to wear burqas whenever they were inpublic, with death by stoning as the penalty for women who did not,comply.Q: Don't Saudi women have to wear burqas in public, too?A: No, Saudi women merely wear a traditional Islamic body covering. Q:What's the difference?A: The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest yetfashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for hereyes and fingers. The burqa, on the other hand, is an evil tool ofpatriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for hereyes and fingers.Q: It sounds like the same thing with a different name.A: Now, don't go comparing Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis areour friends.Q: But I thought you said 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th werefrom Saudi Arabia.A: Yes, but they trained in Afghanistan.Q: Who trained them?A: A very bad man named Osama bin Laden.Q: Was he from Afghanistan?A: Uh, no, he was from Saudi Arabia too. But he was a bad man, a verybad man.Q: I seem to recall he was our friend once.A: Only when we helped him and the mujahadeen repel the Soviet invasionof Afghanistan back in the 1980s.Q: Who are the Soviets? Was that the Evil Communist Empire Ronald Reagantalked about?A: There are no more Soviets. The Soviet Union broke up in 1990 orthereabouts, and now they have elections and capitalism like us. We callthem Russians now.Q: So the Soviets, I mean, the Russians, are now our friends?A: Well, not really. You see, they were our friends for many years afterthey stopped being Soviets, but then they decided not to support ourinvasion of Iraq, so we're mad at them now.We're also mad at the French and the Germans because they didn't help usinvade Iraq either.Q: So the French and Germans are evil, too?A: Not exactly evil, but just bad enough that we had to rename Frenchfries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.Q: Do we always rename foods whenever another country doesn't do what wewant them to do?A: No, we just do that to our friends. Our enemies, we invade.Q: But wasn't Iraq one of our friends back in the 1980s?A: Well, yeah. For a while.Q: Was Saddam Hussein ruler of Iraq back then?A: Yes, but at the time he was fighting against Iran, which made him ourfriend, temporarily.Q: Why did that make him our friend?A: Because at that time, Iran was our enemy.Q: Isn't that when he gassed the Kurds?A: Yeah, but since he was fighting against Iran at the time, we lookedthe other way, to show him we were his friend.Q: So anyone who fights against one of our enemies automatically becomesour friend?A: Most of the time, yes.Q: And anyone who fights against one of our friends is automatically anenemy?A: Sometimes that's true, too. However, if American corporations canprofit by selling weapons to both sides at the same time, all thebetter.Q: Why?A: Because war is good for the economy, which means war is good forAmerica. Also, since God is on America's side, anyone who opposes war isa godless run-American Communist. Do you understand now why we attackedIraq?Q: I think so. We attacked them because God wanted us to, right?A: Yes.Q: But how did we know God wanted us to attack Iraq?A: Well, you see, God personally speaks to George W.Bush and tells himwhat to do.Q: So basically, what you're saying is that we attacked Iraq becauseGeorge W. Bush hears voices in his head?A. Yes! You finally understand how the world works. Now close your eyes,make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep. Good night.Good night, Daddy.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I no longer have a graceful figure :-( . Heads shall not turn, oomphs and aaahs have died away, I'm longer a babe magnet basically I have a tummy.

I havent been to the gym in 2 months for reasons known to all.

I tried some cardio yesterday morning. Lots of cycling, lots of running. All gone to pot because I stuffed myself at dinner when a friend leaving for the UK decided to treat us.

Well, back to the gym tommorow. Have to go from 1 sack to 6 pack :P

Friday, September 17, 2004

Hey guys, when you leave comments, please leave a name, an email id or a link to your site/blog. It would help me get back to you. If it stays as Anonymous, I have no idea who you are.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Went back to work after 2 weeks leave, such a huge relief. I havent missed much in these two weeks, the real work starts on the 20th I guess, when I'm put into my

I'm going to be working on Siebel which I'm told has an excellent market. So basically having worked with Siebel will really help my career as Siebel professionals
will be in great demand.( C or P? I'm stuck again)

Not done anything productive at work as yet. In fact all we've done till now is celebrate birthdays with great pomp and style :P. The HR people take pains to assure
us that all fun ceases the moment you are put into the project, so have fun when you can :-D.

My mother, sis and a large number of my relatives visited Pondicherry University yesterday to institute an award for physics students in my fathers name. They also
went around the campus and spent some time in my dad's office.

I feel really really bad that I never got to know that side of my father's life. I never really knew what his working life was like. Who his colleagues were, what kind of a
teacher he was, the life he lead there.....I dont have a clue. 17 years he stayed in Pondicherry coming home only on weekends. I just got so used to it. I never really
got to know my father. I was really looking forward to the time when I would start working, become independent and self reliant. Thats the time when I thought that
he and I would get along a lot better. My dad and I would keep arguing over career decisions. He believed strongly in Physics and Engineering, no other career
option met his approval. I never really thought I was good at both so there were a lot of disagreements. I seriously thought me getting a job would end all those mini
fights. Now look at whats happened. I have a job but my father never got to know.

My father taught quantum mechanics in Pondicherry, a subject no one else could. He would sometimes try to explain it to me but I never really got the hang of it. He
would sit in his room and if I happened to be passing by, he'd call me, ask me to sit down and start talking about physics. Most of the time I would never be able to
follow what he was saying and I'd get bored quickly. Pretty soon, I began avoiding going into the room because I was afraid he would lecture me ( On physics or
education. We never really talked about anything else ). Actually I developed a mild fear when I was a kid :P. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my father and I
were alone at home one afternoon. In an attempt to build me intellect, my father tried to teach me 2 digit multiplication. No matter how hard I tried, I never did get the
idea behind that zero we put while multiplying by the ten's digit. My father made me work out problem after problem but I never got it. Ever since then I began to fear
being left alone with him :P. I spent my entire life avoiding him whenever possible because he would ask me uncomfortable questions about what I wished to do with
my life. I really thought that stupid behaviour of mine would cease once I got a job :-(
I suppose I should start looking forward now. I'm glad that I'm going to be able to support myself but I really miss the security of having my father around.

Life changes far too suddenly for comfort.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

For the past 16 years, certain aspects of my life had remained constant. My mother worked as a teacher in my school and my dad was a physics professor in Pondicherry University. He'd come home on friday nights between 8:30 and 9:00 PM , spend the weekend with us and then leave on monday morning. So for all these years, I've been used to seeing my dad only on the weekends. In fact, when he did spend his vacations at home, it felt wierd to me because I was so used to seeing him only for short periods of time.

Its hard to believe my father wont be ringing the doorbell on friday nights with his traditional "Ta da tut tut, tut tut!" knock. Its not sunk into any of us yet. We keep thinking he's in Pondicherry and that he'll be back this weekend. I keep telling myself it wont happen anymore but its not sinking in at all.

Right now the house is full of relatives, so there are always people to talk to and things arent that bad. But what happens when everyone leaves? They all have their own busy lives to attend to. The house will fall silent soon and how will my mother and grandmother cope? I have my own work to attend to, my sister has her Phd to attend to. My mom will go back to school but how will she spend her weekends and vacations? I dont have any answers and its scary. How will my grandmother cope?She's a strong lady though and she lost her husband around the same time my mother lost my father. Maybe she can help my mom but what will she do alone all day?

I keep myself calm during the day knowing I cant afford to get upset in front of my mom, but my mind wont keep quiet at night. I dont really understand death.

I know that eventually my mother and my grandmother will learn to cope. Life will go back to normal....but its an uneasy few months ahead.

My cousin Prashant who works in the Taj is having a real tough time with his job.His working hours are crazy and he's afraid he's going to be fired. In fact his almost sure he's going to be asked to leave tommorow. I didnt know what to tell him. I just listened and tried to offer a few suggestions but it looks bleak. God its a bad time!

Just cant wait to go back to work and get away from it all.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My father passed away on the 2'nd at 9:30 PM. We were all with him when it happened. I hope he is at peace.

Its the end of a very brutal 42 days. Atleast its over now.

Life is going to change dramatically after this. Suddenly I have a lot of responsibility. Its the start of a very new, very different life. I suppose this is the time I become an adult.

I would like to thank all my readers for their support. Thank you guys for all the support rendered.

I dont know what else to say.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Things are looking very bleak. Even the neuros who were so positive till now have said there's no hope. My father has suffered enough. Let him go in peace.