Friday, May 30, 2008

The pheesh just keep coming

Two new additions to the list of "Bigger Pheesh"----Ben Appleyard, a man of many interests who 'writes' :)

Neuroanthropology is a blog maintained by two professors who manage to cram in a lot of engaging stuff in that blog. Their weekly reading lists are special attractions.

Cause the Twain shall never meet?

The Binghamton University in New York has come up with what seems to be an interesting perspective on the age-old "humanities vs science" issue. Here's a New York Times article on the proposal.

Neuroanthropology, a blog whose authors seem to possess a certain amount of credibility, post on the topic-here and here.The latter post has a link to the projct statement that was referred to in the Times article.

Promises to be interesting reading. I haven't gone through the proposal myself. Something left for the weekend.

HT: 3quarksdaily

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bored beards and bloc-ed bards?

9 very very dry days. Sigh!!

The least I can do is to post an interesting link and hope that it will spark off another post binge.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nepotism Notes

An Outlook cover on dynasties in India. We just can't ignore them can we?
Finished reading Catch-22 for the second time yesterday(the first time was 4-5 years ago when I still didn't have a gmail account;)

Clevinger's trail in the 9th Chapter in one of the most amazing pieces of writing I have gone through in recent times.

Some other selected gems:

Yes, sir,’ Yossarian agreed carefully. ‘I guess you’re right.’
‘Of course I’m right. You’re immature. You’ve been unable to adjust to the idea of
‘Yes, sir.’
‘You have a morbid aversion to dying. You probably resent the fact that you’re at war
and might get your head blown off any second.’
‘I more than resent it, sir. I’m absolutely incensed.’
‘You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don’t like bigots, bullies, snobs or
hypocrites. Subconsciously there are many people you hate.’
‘Consciously, sir, consciously,’ Yossarian corrected in an effort to help. ‘I hate them
‘You’re antagonistic to the idea of being robbed, exploited, degraded, humiliated or deceived. Misery depresses you. Ignorance depresses you. Persecution depresses you.Violence depresses you. Slums depress you. Greed depresses you. Crime depresses you.Corruption depresses you. You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’re a manic-depressive!’
‘Yes, sir. Perhaps I am.’
‘Don’t try to deny it.’
‘I’m not denying it, sir,’ said Yossarian, pleased with the miraculous rapport that finally
existed between them. ‘I agree with all you’ve said.’
‘Then you admit you’re crazy, do you?’
‘Crazy?’ Yossarian was shocked. ‘What are you talking about? Why am I crazy?
You’re the one who’s crazy!’ Major Sanderson turned red with indignation again and crashed both fists down upon his thighs. ‘Calling me crazy,’ he shouted in a sputteringrage, ‘is a typically sadistic and vindictive paranoiac reaction! You really are crazy!’

This is an absolute stunner.

"Morale was deteriorating and it was all Yossarian’s fault. The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them"

Now where have we heard this before??

That’s right,’ Colonel Cathcart cried emphatically. ‘You’re either for us or against us. There’s no two ways about it.’
‘I’m afraid he’s got you,’ added Colonel Korn. ‘You’re either for us or against your country. It’s as simple as that.’

A 1984-ish tang:

What sort of things?’ Yossarian interrupted with belligerent misgiving.
‘Oh, tiny, insignificant things. Really, this is a very generous deal we’re making with you. We will issue orders returning you to the States—really, we will—and all you have to do in return is...’
‘What? What must I do?’ Colonel Korn laughed curtly. ‘Like us.’ Yossarian blinked.
‘Like you?’
‘Like us.’
‘Like you?’
‘That’s right,’ said Colonel Korn, nodding, gratified immeasurably by Yossarian’s guileless surprise and bewilderment. ‘Like us. Join us. Be our pal. Say nice things about us here and back in the States. Become one of the boys. Now, that isn’t asking too much, is it?’

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spot me if you can!!

Some fascinating pictures on the alignment of the blogosphere.

HT:Andrew Sullivan

New look Conservatism

David Brooks in the New York Times on a new-look conservative party in Britain.

Relevant in the context of a new feature I plan to introduce in this blog. Keep Watching.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A VJ and PJ!

Karan Thapar on salutations.

Reading the piece unfortunately awakened a devil that I had constantly sought to suppress(in the context of this blog). So apologies for this. I couldn't resist.

Q---What is common to the daughters of Dhoni and former Election Commissioner Gill?
Ans---They are-Ms Dhoni and Ms Gill

Thursday, May 15, 2008

POTA and Sons Inc.

        It's one year since Dr.Binayak Sen was arrested, a full year during the course of which almost every wing of the Indian state combined to put a committed social worker behind bars on the basis of flawed evidence and coerced testimonials. Dr. Sen, who campaigned relentlessly against the extra-constitutional "Salwa Judm" in Chattisgarh, was/is accused of colluding with terror-the one charge that will ensure that institutions/individuals normally accustomed to voicing their opinion keep silent and entrust everything to the Government.

        The strange case of Dr.Sen slithered to the underside of public(you know what I mean) memory, kept alive by a few voices which were generally ignored. In April, The Supreme Court expressed its disapproval of the basic idea behind the
creation of an organization like the Salwa Judm, thus vindicating the stand of Dr. Sen and his comrades.

        The state government however, not only refused to relent on Dr.Sen's case, but carried out another arrest in almost similarly shocking circumstances. The arrest of T.G Ajay under the CPSA (Chattisgarh Public Security Act) on the 5th of May and the conferral of The Jonathan Mann award for Global Health and Human Rights on Dr.Sen have seemingly awakened erstwhile silent sections of civil society to this issue. The demonstrations, petitions and marches have begun and will hopefully intensify. However there is one broader trend that must be isolated and resisted, since it goes beyond these particular cases and contexts.

        I am referring of course, to the CPSA and its brother laws.

        The blog for the "Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chattisgarh" has a link to the copy of the Act as well as a review of the Act by the People's Union for Democratic Rights.

        A very cursory reading of the Act itself indicates the immense potential for the misuse of this act and the severe restrictions on review of decisions made under this Act(The Government is the only agent empowered to call for an Advisory Board). The CPSA is yet another bastard offspring of the "War on Terror" and its true significance can only been understood when studied in the global context. Of course oppressive laws abounded even before, but 9-11 and the incidents that followed proved to be a boon for those believed that tough measures like POTA or CPSA are the solutions to issues of public security. The recent bomb blasts in Jaipur saw a great deal of noise about the need to act tough on terror. There were even calls for POTA to be brought back from the place it was rightly consigned to after the NDA was thrown out in 2004.

        The most important temptation to be resisted is this-the belief that a hastily-crafted law without any of the proper safeguards necessary can, on its own, solve all those issues that give rise to terrorism. Statistical evidence aside, common sense alone is enough to tell one that centralization in law-making is not the strategy to combat terror structures that are getting increasing de-centralized. Centralized(those that effectively end up concentrating power in fewer hands), coercive laws invariably end up affecting those at the margins, alienating them further and stretching the fabric of the state to its breaking point. However this is something that happens over a longer period of time and the myopic comfort provided by harsh and effective sounding laws often trumps considerations about the society of the future.

        A cautionary note must be sounded here in the context of liberal voices associating a preference for these kinds of laws with "communal forces". While it's true that the Sangh Parivar has been in the forefront of advocating such laws, it is also to be remembered that there is as great a mass of the populace, which while distancing itself from the Parivar's agenda, firmly believes that the nation must take a "strong" stand against terror. This group is the "swing group", the one which must be engaged if we are ever to be saved from the indignity of our Democratic state transforming into a complete Police State.

"the end of a child's dream"

Here's to a legend beyond all the speculations and post-mortems.
For a more powerful and impassioned tribute, here's Anwesha :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Comedy of Humours.

        In case it isn't very clear, the logos to the left are T-shirt legends too. A more comprehensive list of many more T-shirts carrying messages in the same vein
is available here. Interestingly the site gives the dictionary definition of humour as a part of its welcome message(in case anyone didn't get the point) along with a picture of the Statue of Liberty wearing one of the T-Shirts which talks about neutered cats and Liberals(ignoring, of course, the close etymological links between liberty and liberal). Fundamentalist humour of this sort is a bit of an eye-opener.
        On one hand it shows deep and pervasive the influence of such an ideology(I refer to the a fundamentalist brand of conservatism, which these shrits celebrate) and the extent of the struggle required to combat it. On the other hand, it also serves as a reminder to the fact that falling into partisan camps is too easy. It is just too easy to embrace the moral and political certainties that come with certain points of view, whether they be about the looniness of the left or the special rights that Hindus ought to have in India. It is too easy to adopt a world-view where one's opinions are as perfectly and predictably sorted out as groceries in a supermarket. This craving for convenience is no trademark of the "Right". Those who claim to be "leftists" are as guilty of these trends-the inability to question the basic foundations of a world-view being the most common of these trends. Of course I do not suggest moral or political zero-gravity. The essential idea is to ensure that one's keywords do not descend into the realm of cliches and that the supermarket attitude towards analysing issues is resisted with as much vigour as can possible.

Ps. The lady who expresses those most admirable sentiments in the logo at the top-left is Ann Coulter, one of the most venomous voices in American MSM(also author of some seemingly Shiv Khera-like books like "If Democrats had any Brains, they'd be Republicans). For more gems of this sort, do frequent her website. I go there pretty often, just to gain a sense of perspective!!

Ps. 2 Not that Che needed these T-Shirts. The first blow was struck when leftists started wearing similar ones.

Ps.3 In case there are any misunderstandings, "zero gravity" is used here in its "zingy but physically nonsensical" sense and does not in any way literally mean the absence of gravity.

Two tips from Sullivan

The first presidential(US of course) interview to an online audience. Memorable for more reasons than one(golf!!!!)

And something that is more to my taste:

A Slate special on procrastination! A dream come true. So many stories to read later.

"Stop resisting and embrace your procrastination. Don't agonize in front of a blank computer screen. Don't sit around for hours—intending to start your work any moment now—only to find that in the end you've accomplished zilch, save for ruining your own day."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bal Leela!

The Shiv Sena and Bal Thackeray are at it again.

The Hindu on "Shiv Vada Pao"

The Telegraph on the Vada Pao initiative and the perpetual irony that is so symptomatic of many of the Sena's activities

Now that Thackeray and Son have appropriated vada pao, the next steps are relatively easy
1) Bal Nariyal(to be drunk before bullying missionaries)
2) Udhav Hockey Stick(to be used to beat up foreigners from the sovereign states of Bihar and UP.)
3) Joshi Spades(to be used to dig up hockey grounds where Pakistan might play since cricket is out of bounds)
4) SS(Special Sena) Long Knives( to be used to kill people whose religion is spelt with the letter M)
Jai Maharashtra!!

PS. A story about the first vada-pav dealer

Monday, May 12, 2008

More on Ramadoss

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr.Anbumani Ramadoss(recently awarded the prestigious Katrina Award;) replies to the avalanche of criticism he has been receiving recently.

        A very forceful reply indeed to what has been some very fierce criticism(some of which was uncalled for perhaps). I agree with quite a bit of what the minister says, including his analysis of the problems caused by alcohol, tobacco and junk food(henceforth ATJF). My problem is with the approach. Mr.Ramadoss is endorsing the "ATJF as social evil" concept and hence suggesting ideas of ban and boycott. On the other hand, the prime issue is that these 'social evils' are not evil any longer. An emerging group(don't know if it can be called class) of people see many of these 'evils' as common day-to-day utilities. Simple put ATJF has shed much of the taboo once associated with it. Along with seeing their glorification in movies as the reason for the popularity of AJTF, it is also necessary to see such depictions as effects of a particular trend in society, something that cannot be reversed by actors stopping smoking alone. Such bans and boycotts might have a very small impact but focusing on them often blinds one to the larger issue--that of the emergence of a life-style which Mr.Ramadoss's own government promotes and celebrates at every possible opportunity. It is also true that targeting that life-style and its symbols is something few governments can/will do. So much for the moral indignation in the Minister's reply.

        At a practical level, the Ministry recently banned public smoking and sales of cigarettes on the HCU campus(my alma matter). This step did(based on observation) cause a decline in the number of cigarettes smoked on campus. The reason for that--lack of availability and nothing else. It is fair enough to believe that many of those who have reduced smoking will resume it full-fledgedly once they are in a location where cigarettes are readily available. There is no long-term policy where addiction itself would be targeted instead of merely cutting down on the supply. Granted it is easier said than done, but steps like courting controversy by clashing with movie stars and then assuming a crusading guise are definitely more credible when they are part of a larger policy initiative rather than being seemingly stray, off-hand remarks.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Katrina Awards

The citation

We are proud to present the Katrina Award to:
There might be disagreements on this, but Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss reminds me of Don Quixote. At a time when serious questions are being posed about the ability of existing institutions to face the challenges of the coming years, the doyen of our health policy is busy advising Shah Rukh Khan on why he should not smoke on screen, attacking the movie industry for lionizing alcohol and trying every trick in the book to unseat the Director of AIIMS. I personally, have already started preparing for the day when the HN-51 combines with some human virus strain and bird-flu morphs into the next big epidemic because I sure, when that happens, Mr.Ramadoss will be endorsing Guru Sri Sri Sidhanda Shankar Ganesh Maharaj and his naturopathic treatment.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

New lamps and old ones?

        Mohammed Amir Ahmed Khan in the Tehelka on how things will be the same whoever wins the US presidential elections this November. I agree with him on this(my take). However he extends this to propose that it doesn't make much of difference whoever wins and puts forward the argument that all presidents have continued a common strand of foreign policy.

        I have my issues with that argument. It is true that many of the existing issues that face America and the world will not, in any way, 'change'(as some of the campaign slogans seem to imply). But it is equally true that a lot of new crisis situations can be avoided depending on whoever comes to power. Al Gore becoming the president in 2000 would have meant the continuation of lot of foreign policy high-handedness, but one can safely assume that Gore would not have invaded Iraq.

        John McCain is after all the author of the famous song..."Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb..Iran". Assuming that a McCain presidency and an Obama presidency will have the same impact worldwide is stretching it a bit too far. In case of the latter, Iraq will still fester, Palestinians will still be ghettoized in their own homeland and the military-industrial complex will still exert great influence, but the least one one can hope for is a better approach to Iran and for all you know Cuba and Venezuela as well.

Optmistic Ravings eh? Let's see.

A more scholarly study on McCain's militaristic credentials.

Admission Agonies.

        Kerala has always been a bit of a pioneer in terms of educational reforms and innovations. From the Educational Bill during the time of the EMS government to DPEP and the proposal to make languages optional, new approaches (however flawed the execution) have been a obsession for us Mallus;). So its not surprising that a new admission system (for Class XI) has been introduced in state board schools.The details are not clear yet but the rough outlines are as follows:

        Admissions are to be conducted at a district level using a single-window system. Students submit one application form at any school with a list of preferred options in that particular district. When the first list comes out, students can choose to "temporarily" join a school and leave it if their names are on the list of a preferred school when the second list comes out. However if they take a "permanent admission" the first time, they cannot change options. Further details awaited.

        Interesting idea. The plus side is obviously the fact that students(and parents) have to only fill one form and do not have to go through the agonies of wondering which school(waiting list-3 in not-so-good school an waiting list 57 in good school) to choose (most of them used to have their admissions on the same day). The disadvantage is pretty obvious as well. The district level admission procedure could turn out to be one paper mess.Imagine sorting out the marks of all the students in the district onto all the schools based on preferences! An added disadvantage would be the possible lack of compatibility with admissions to CBSE and ICS school especially with temporary and permanent admissions. However these are things that could be gotten over.

        The only issue is that---Next year theres going to be one single window for the entire state!!!! Now that's a pen-pusher's paradise.

        As an aside, its a bit difficult to understand why the LDF government, which has hitherto gone about promoting decentralization of education (eg the recent proposal to bring all schools under the controls of Local Self-governing Bodies) has suddenly turned around and embarked on a major drive to introduce centralization. While I understand the attraction that a single-window system offers, it is to be noted that a single window system of such mammoth proportions may just collapse under its own weight. Proponents of the system have been citing the success of the system in counseling for admission to Engineering and Medical Colleges but we are talking about a much larger number of students and a larger number of seats. I have no idea about the motives behind such a policy shift but it sure has complicated matters for students, teachers and the government. Hope things don't get worse for students who seem to be encountering an innovation almost every year, many of which, one suspects are not carefully planned, especially the implementation part.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

You Know What.

H.L.Mencken on "you-know-what"

"The larger the mob,the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man effectively fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the battle is waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre--the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum."

“The Presidency tends,year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move towards a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”


ie. aside from the pitting of intelligence/forcefulness personality/character against dumbness/moron/devious/mediocre. Doesn't always work that way but what's a little exaggeration in humour!

'Cultural Clashes'?--solution Said

Two interesting pieces on the American experience in Iraq

The LA Times on "cultural clashes" in Iraq.

        I found it yet another amazing instance of how stupidity is such an integral part of every layer of human interaction. Leaving aside the criminal negligence of Blackwater Corp and the pathetic attempts by the US. authorities to buy off the victims and their near and dear, what is infinitely annoying is the "o-so-matter-of fact" and "know-it-all" tone adopted by the newspaper in reporting the issue. Take a look at this:
"But traditional Arab society values honor and decorum above all. If a man kills or badly injures someone in an accident, both families convene a tribal summit. The perpetrator admits responsibility, commiserates with the victim, pays medical expenses and other compensation, all over glasses of tea in a tribal tent."

        And this is not a quote but a comment by the authors of this piece. This comment and the rest of the article completely recreate the old, oft-repeated stereotype of the strange, exotic, obscure Arab who just cannot understand plain common sense/logic/reason blinded as he is by a weird set of irrational webs comprising archaic, irrelevant concepts. Of course, it is to be noted that "plain common sense" in this case would be accepting some money and keeping quiet when your loved ones have been killed for no reason whatsoever. And the LA Times is supposedly liberal. So be careful the next time you are asked to proclaim your political affiliation on a social networking site.

A 'response' was posted here.
"If Orientalism had been widely read among the military and foreign affairs folks, perhaps the attitudes of some highly influential people would not have been quite so smug. Perhaps they would have entertained a few more doubts. Perhaps the thought of torturing their fellow human beings might have made them a bit queasy."

        A fascinating read, if only for the elevated level of wishful thinking. I mean, unlike "if everyone had money nobody would be poor" and "if men truly respected women there would be no harassment", the author speculates about how reading Orientalism would have made a bit of a difference in Iraq. The major fact being ignored is that while "Ideas have consequences", an idea itself does not stand in isolation. The circumstances under which an idea comes to prominence also ensure that it gains prominence among certain groups at certain times. Speculating beyond those boundaries makes for entertaining reading but..

HT: Matthew Yglesias

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

eve in Mallu land

An acerbic take on a prominent aspect of Mallu-land
"In spite of the high level of education, an irritatingly significant proportion of Keralan men seem to think they're God's gift to woman kind - something that seems several light years from the truth - and take the euphemistically named practice of eve teasing (usually referred to as sexual harassment / assault elsewhere) to Olympic standards. Apart from flagging us down in the middle of the road every few metres to ask our "good names", the tedious and seemingly endless squeals of "hey, baby" and "hi sexy", invariably accompanied by a kind of demented cackling or giggling (no doubt at the stunningly original wit) began to grate like nails on a blackboard after the 457th iteration of the morning.

The rest.

I have always been curious about the origin of the word eve-teasing. Sources indicate that the word is primarily used in the Indian sub-continent. Of course there is always the argument that the origin of the word is irrelevant, but as the comments above indicate and as has been testified by innumerable others, the use of a word like eve-teasing is itself symptomatic of a larger tendency to generally tolerate/ignore a lot of incidents. It's teasing after all, not harassment.

A pretty interesting article on the same subject.

And a link to a online project which for the past three years has sought to combat "teasing" through public initiatives.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


A scene near my office.
It's to be noted that a couple of days later these images were transformed into a mini-shrine pretty close by.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

On taking up the cello.....again

Before those who know me throw up, fall down, pass out..(you get the drift):
Please read through the entire post.

        I have always been a bit of a connoisseur (read snob) of pens. High school instances include my firm insistence on using only only my cherished Parker ink pen(despite the fact that the said instrument was like a municipality pipe-leaking precociously and drying up at the most inconvenient intervals) to fill up my diary. An earlier instance was an immense fascination with a "fountain" pen apparently manufactured from a buffalo's skin(I still don't know how I believed that one). A couple of years' stint with the Rs.2 Stik Easy(the ink was very dark and smudgy--I loved it) and some "phoreign" Stadetler and Reynolds pens and I was all ready to meet the love of my life.

        It happened many years ago(somewhere in 2003-4). I was having the worst time of my life in a college everyone loved and I found damn boring. In search of an implement to take down irrelevant notes on lectures(often delivered to empty classrooms by teachers staring at the roof),I chanced upon that divine artcifact-The Cello Maxriter. It always used to annoy me that the pens most comfortable to write with were pretty bland -looking (The Stik Easy) or were murderously expensive(Rs 20). But I had, at last, found the ideal solution. At Rs. 10, the maxriter was a great bargain and had all the looks of genteel solidness that my heart craved for. I associated it with Ashley Wilkes' house in "Gone With the Wind"-grand, elegant and reassuring. We hung together for almost five years-through the dreary and academically unimpressive years in college to Hyderabad with a million new options and possibilities. Then, I got a job.

        My new company, energetic, america-based-indian-founded-software-corporate came up with a pair of T-shirts which were given to all employees. They looked nice and more importantly provided fresh additions to a starved wardrobe. We were also given a pair of executive looking pens.Of course there was the slight inconvenience of being unable to flaunt one's new pens on one's new T-shirts(they didn't have pockets). But I happily and eagerly adopted the new format, especially the pens(they were for free after all). As all of our work was online, it was fitting that the pens were not the most free-flowing ones and instances abounded of friends borrowing them, admiring them and then looking at me with murderous expressions as the handsome ones would stop functioning in the middle of taking down a phone number. But since I was generally a lenient task-master, the pens and I had a very comfortable working relationship.

        But as all know, brands can be a bit heavy on the pocket. Over the past couple of weeks, both my pens slipped out of my shirt and were declared MIA. Attempts to procure clones proved futile. In a fascinating example of history repeating itself, all the pens made in India had been taken to the head office in America(they were too costly to make there). I remembered my 7th standard history lessons.

        So it was with great joy that I realised that I had to buy a pen. Of course Cello had come up with some new brands but they were quickly considered and dismissed as a vision from the past appeared briefly on the horizon. Rs. 10 and it was all over. We were together again. Of course i don't use it at all but anyway.

Write on again Cello..for old times sakes.

(Trivia--The cello maxriter ad in which it was claimed that the pen could write for 4 km. as opposed to certain 'rivals' was stopped after the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices Commission accepted a complaint by the makers of Reynolds that the rival pen in the ad resembled a Reynolds brand. The article)

Friday, May 2, 2008

"If they don't have bread...

Case Study

Location: Doyen's Colony,a settled (residential) colony on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Size of family: 3("friends visit often"-orkut)

Income: 40,000 per month(4,80,000 per annum)approx

Food habits: Breakfast is occasionally avoided or skipped.Lunch is usually from middle-level food joints. Dinner invariably consists of Maggi Noodles. Increase in intake of Maggi Noodles occurs over the weekend. Minimal consumption of certain vegetables(1 onion, two green chillies, 2 tomatoes per day).

Analysis: It has been observed that the members of the subject family have not only retained their level of comfortable living over the past couple of months but have actually managed to enhance it. For instance a marked increase has been noted in the frequency of family dinners at slightly more expensive locations.

Conclusion: Inflation has not affected the subjects. The reason for the subjects' admirable condition is the regular consumption of Maggi Noodles.

Recommendation: We hereby request the Government of India to supply packets of Maggi Noodles at all Ration and Fair Price shops. It is our belief that Maggi Noodles will not only provide adequate nourishment, but also reduce expenditure on vegetables. It is also believed that the brand value of Maggi Noodles will increase the mental satisfaction quota of the poor and hungry and ensure that they do not indulge in anti-social,anarchist activities.

Precedent: As a possible precedent for our recommendation,we would like to cite this proposal.

(I was a bit miffed to find that other have posted on this issue with the same title. My response----The words "If they have no bread,let them eat cake" were not said by Marie Antoinette. ha! )

The Katrina Award

The citation.

We are proud to present this week's Katrina Award to:
It seems that Katrina's(the other one) association with the Royal Challengers is rubbing off on the team's skipper. Rahul Dravid is absolutely clueless on the field.His feet aren't moving, the only bat and ball contact is when he is dismissed (fine! I am exaggerating). One feels sorry for this great cricketer who had time and again adapted his game for the team. Now he just looks completely at sea