Friday, October 9, 2009

2009 Nobel Peace Prize

United States President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday (Oct-09-2009) for his, "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

I request you not to ask me what has been done in the last 9 months for him to deserve this peace prize. I am deeply troubled and confused by the decision of the Noble Prize committee (The Norwegian Nobel Institute). With two wars running, 9 months into the administration, how is Obama the most deserving candidate?

While the intention seems more like a slap to Mr. Bush than honoring the President, if that were the intention, shouldn’t the committee have waited for a longer term, at least 1 full term before they honored the President? I cannot help but wonder, if one deserves a prize like “Nobel Peace Prize” for just talk, talk and talk, then every minister in India too deserve this! Why, every political leader around the world deserves this, for they give hope to their people. Living up to it is another story altogether.

Ah, not to forget the beauty queens in all the pageants yearning, hoping for world peace, surely they also deserve this prize.

So, whom shall we criticize today? The President or the Prize Committee? Well, I can only say, now that Mr. President has got the award (deserved or otherwise), its time to live up to the expectations. Apparently he had done so much for the World Peace. Its time he does something for United States as well…apart from giving hope.

Also, I was under the impression that the Nobel Prize nominations happen around February every year (correct me if I am wrong). So, the committee had nominated Obama within the first month him being the President? Or they have decided that even if he is not the President, they would give him the prize for the inspirational Presidential Campaign?

Mohandas K Gandhi wasn’t deserving enough but Obama is, for quoting Gandhi. Wah wah, kya baat hein (Translates to sarcastic Bravo). On a serious note, I wonder if Obama can stand up shoulder to shoulder with people like Mother Theresa (1979), Dalai Lama (14th, 1989), Martin Luther King (jr)(1964), Nelson Mandela (1993), Doctors Without Borders (1999) etc. Well, lets “HOPE”.

Okay, how do you like the below? Tell me if you think the President fits well amongst these people.

Any resemblance at all? Life time achievements, years of dedication, passion, selfless love with zero boundaries, bringing Democracy where people were being treated worst than slaves...and then finally the Prize goes to Mr. President. Anyway, a toast to Mr. President.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Small vacation, Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay, Karnataka, India:

It all started with a small thought of going on a vacation with two of my good friends, Hema and Parul. Initial proposal was to go to Goa (I had never been to Goa). I suggested that we stay in a nice hotel, which was promptly refused by my other two friends. They said, “If we are going to Goa, we are staying in a small shack and get drunk every single day…that’s the real fun”. And I promptly refused…is it safe? After arguing for days we decided to go to a small resort called Turtle Bay near Mangalore, India.

As soon as we boarded the plane, Hema, being an ex-flight attendant in Air India, promptly started giving us a running commentary about the propeller plane we took from Bangalore to Mangalore. Nothing could stop her from her commentary, which rather took a technical turn, not even that cute co-pilot.

From Mangalore we took a pre-arranged car, which neither had a rear view or the side mirrors. After holding our hearts in our hands we arrived in another small town called Udipi. You know the famous Udipi hotels....we had a hearty early dinner and arrived in Turtle Bay only at 8:00 PM. The rooms were spacious.
Since we were tired we retired to bed early.

I woke up to the chirpy birds singing at 5:00 AM. While I woke up early, my friends were still pretty much snoring. After having capi (coffee) I set out to explore my home-for-3-days. To my delight, Turtle Bay was one of most beautiful beaches I had ever been to! It’s neither a pebble beach nor a clear water beach. Something about its seclusion has appealed so much to me. The reluctant sun slowly started rising from the Arabian Sea. Since we went there on weekdays, there was not a soul outside, at the beach.

Kariya, a small black cat, abandoned me as soon as it sensed that I would go towards the waves. If you call nature as God, sure I had seen God at that moment. I sat by the shore and I was totally lost in its beauty. I couldn’t take my eyes off the waves, relentlessly kissing the shore all day and night. That moment I wished in my next birth I should be born as a drop of water in this Arabian Sea (ok, don’t ask me how is it possible) just to experience the serenity of being one with the ocean.
Private cottages, beautiful coconut trees, abandoned boats…wow. I really would go back there again and most importantly, the seclusion! Perfect place for meditation and yoga and some light reading and romance.

After spending 2 peaceful hours at the shore, finally the sleepy heads arrived with more freshly brewed capi and swim suits. We went for along swim…actually playing-in-water is more appropriate than the word swimming.

Before we realized it was 11:00 AM. That day we had roti with egg burji. Lunch never tasted better. From 12:30 till dusk we just sat by the tree and talked and talked and talked. Ah the joy of spending time with girl friends!
A fire pit was setup and we opened a bottle of wine and Parul had started telling us both some horror stories. That evening we had egg burji again!

The next day was…interesting. We went out to a small island in the sea, sans life jackets in a super small boat. I was pretty freaked out but my friends were enjoying like they were merely taking a stroll in a park. While I was reliving the nightmare of drowning and dying in water, I should secretly confess that I would have enjoyed it very much in other circumstances; circumstances where I had at least a life jacket on. Sea urchins, mussels could be found every where, much to my dismay and much to my friends delight!

At last we came back to the shore and had egg burji for lunch. In the afternoon we went out for shopping in Udipi. All we could manage to buy were a few apples and attracted a lot of stares. What do people usually buy in towns?

We returned to our resort later that evening and enjoyed calm breeze with lots of wine and egg burji.

The next day afternoon we set out to Bangalore again not eventless! Our flight was delayed for 6 hours (no kidding). On the whole a wonderful trip.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Zero size…

The Zero size…

My friend the other day commented about Kareena Kapoor (an Indian Actress). He says that he loves looking at Ms. Kapoor because she is zero size. I asked my other older uncle and they said, “Oh she is so anorexic”. I tend to agree with my uncle. I am not too sure if I felt a twinge of jealousy towards Ms. Kapoor or I truly believe that she is anorexic.

What is this new craze about looking like a stick? Well, agreed that you can wear whatever you want if you are a stick, but at what cost? And there is this colleague of mine who is forever on a diet. Like living on fruits and veggies. Sometimes I wonder is it really worth living like a rabbit when you feel like a lion inside?

Before I got married my parents used to look in The Hindu (Indian National News Paper) matrimonial section every Sunday. Believe it or not, every single ad would start with, “looking for a bride; fair, slim, beautiful, clean habits (don’t even ask what this means)…”
Out of curiosity one day I went to Dr. Ambedkar’s University in Hyderabad to see the news paper archrivals if the standard ad’s are always this way about 2 decades ago. Not so surprising is the fact that they were not! In fact, no where in the ad did they mention about fair, slim, bla, bla, bla…..

I was looking at the news from India where the recent Air India episode was being discussed in full blow. Apparently the flight attendant was assaulted by the Captain in the flight deck and another male colleague of hers has come to her rescue.

One of the participants in another forum started saying, “Waise Air Hostess jyada Maal nahin thi”. Meaning why go to her rescue when she isn’t worth fighting for and not beautiful enough? When has beauty taken over Indian men completely? Can I safely generalize it to the World?