Digital Intimacy ...

"Change is the only constant", what a truthful statement is that, there were times in our country where a very young bride and a groom will be made to marry, as early as 6 and 4 years of age, they will be forced into a relationship and without a choice they have to like each other and live with each other forever, and we never complained at that stage, there were no women welfare associations, there were not child rights commission, no human-welfare societies and yet we lived a very happy and a peaceful life.

Then a new generation blossomed and still there wasn't a question of choice, parents would decide the partner with whom their son or daughter should spend the rest of their life and it was famously named as "Arranged Marriage" and that institution worked like charm and it had its own pro's and con's and unfortunately the cons were never discussed in public and it was all good-happy-times. The flaw with this initial version of "Arranged Marriage" concept was, it was not fool proof, the authenticity of the bride or the groom was not verified, marriages did happen based on the wealth measurement system and all monetary benefits that tag along with it. If your marriage is a bed of roses you are lucky if it is a bed of thorns, you better live with it.

The second generation of "Arranged Marriages" kicked in and this time as well, the question of choice was not given, the parents would find a suitable bride or a groom for their children and they have to like each other irrespective of whether they like it or not, but the improvement in this second generation is, features like "fall-back" and "failover" mechanisms were provided, if for some reason there would be a difference of opinion amongst the couple, the parents would meet and sort it out on behalf of their kids and then things would go back on track, and there would not be any mis-understandings after that.

"Arranged Marriage" got a new look and feel in its third generation, amidst of wide criticism, the concept of both boy and the girl meeting each other before the knot is being tied was brought into the system, and it was a very brave move at that point in time, if they both like each other they marry, if not they depart. This process was proved to be very effective and it was taken as a onetime solution to avoid any post-marriage issues that may creep up with respect to incompatibility and difference of opinions, this concept of "Arranged Marriages" do still exist in some remote parts of south India. 

"Arranged Marriage" was considered to be "Old-Fashioned", because of its raising cases of failure and less success rate. The reason sighted for its downfall is, "How can one judge his or her life partner by just talking to them for 15 minutes", and this time, most of the heads shook as if it is acknowledging this theory, so the only option at that time was to meet a probable Mr or Miss, move with them for a while, may be 6 months or so, if you find it compatible, just go ahead and marry, if not, live with a heartbreak for a while, and later if you want you get married or you be single. This was even more fool-proof than "Arranged Marriages" that's what we all thought, and yes, this concept never flies with parents and we named them as "old generation folks who are out dated"

"Love Marriages" too started to fail miserably, there could hardly be any appreciable success rates and failures are more than expected, then our society woke up and decided to go back to the third generation of "Arranged Marriages" which was the only option they had. Slowly as the society yawns and crawls to figure out a best possible way to find compatible partners, BANG!!! there came online-matrimony, all the information you have to know about your partner is at your finger print, and you can pick and choose the kind of profile you need, this concept though was initially not seeked by many people, fearing that too many fake would be in the pool, but later, time, cost and convenience factor made this a grand success, and yes our marriages were digitized.

One thing that was common in all the above said type of marriages is, the couple (majority) would be made to like each other or would like each other eventually, some rare cases they separate. But wait, what world we are in today, it is the world of communication and internet, why should I marry someone just by looking at his profile or just by talking to him for few minutes or even by wasting my time in loving him for years together, all these are crap. Today is the age of "Blind Dating" and "Digital Intimacy" (that's how I would want to call), we will not be so close to our parents or siblings are friends or relatives, but we will pour our heart to a user handle, without even knowing the authenticity of the sex of that opposite person. We develop mad love on them; we throw everything in our life for them and then live a life with them.

"Digital Intimacy" is proving to be the next major threat for this society, and before I say anything further, let me clarify this, I am not a person who is deeply affected by "culture-O-phobia", I don’t believe in the term "culture", "Culture" is nothing but a man-made style of living which is too frequently "tailor-made" by man, so whatever that suits you the best is called "Culture" these days and the rest is called "History". Extra marital affairs, Blind Dates, Date Rapes, and of course increased cases of divorce in our courts are these are increasing because of this "Digital Intimacy", psychiatrists worldwide say that, our human brain always will be in search for love, affection, money and attention, if any one of the factors is not available in plenty, our mind searches for the missing piece.

Olden days we had families to support us in case of any issues, later when "Love Marriages" demolished "Arranged Marriages" that support was fading away, today there is no back-up support, the individuals are all on their own, they are made to solve their own problems, if at all they need someone to help them, it got to be "Mark Zuckerberg" of Facebook or "Dick Costolo" of Twitter and the other CEO's of the various social networking sites which have come up like algae on a wet rock. So let’s all be geared up to face how the next phase of "Companionship" will shape up, and all marriage hall owners, marriage caterers, contractors, you better find yourself some other means for living.

A Decayed Nation ...

I am sure 95% of the folks who read this post would be from the software industry, an industry which does not expose its employees to interact directly with any government organization or sector as there is no need for that, even on the personal front, most of the folks in IT do not get frequent situations to interact with a government body, so I can safely stamp the community of software engineers as "Government Ignorant Crowd". We are a bunch of "easy-goers", we lack the power of "questioning", if you touch your heart and say, we IT folks hardly "bargain", unlike our dad and granddads did. Ok why am I saying all these ? Because ...

I am the treasurer for my apartment which has 200 odd houses, so I have to deal with a lot of public money (in lakhs) every month, I am accountable and answerable to that public fund and hence I have to be super dooper cautious before spending every rupee, though we are a group of 9 members and always take collective decision, but we always have to be careful before we approve any expenditure. The incident that happened this Saturday slapped me hard on my face and gave a vivid picture of the true INDIA which most of the IT folks would have just heard, but not faced. We have created a poisonous seed and sowed it across the nation, that seed has now developed deep roots and it is famously called as "Bribe"

Our apartment has got a problem with respect to the electricity that we are consuming, initially when the builder built this apartment and got an EB connection, he purchased a 50 KW unit, which is not as per the norms by giving BRIBE to some a** h*** inside EB, actually we should have been allotted 100 KW unit which is the prescribed consumption for any apartment which has more than 200 flats and a STP and a LIFT and some other common area requirements. Why the builder did not go in for a 100KW initially is due to the cost he has to pay to the government which was huge and today our association is being threatened by the electricity department that they will disconnect the power if we do not upgrade.

The government rate to purchase additional kilo watt of power is Rs 26/KW, that's all, but for you to get that unit allocated, you have to pay a BRIBE of Rs 2 Lakhs, yes, you heard it right, 2 Lakhs. Our association has got all the necessary documents and proofs to apply for a 100 KW power unit, still our papers will not me moved, until we pay the BRIBE. I always say this, BRIBE in this country is initiated only by a CITIZEN and not by the government official, if you are ready to give, I am ready to get, and that’s the rule. What slapped me hard is, why are we educated people so spineless in questioning that corrupt official ? In our association meeting the rest of the members were discussing of negotiating with that officer and "request" him to reduce his BRIBE amount, what the FUCK ? Why I should pay BRIBE ?

My apartment manager made this statement "Sir, that AE - Nataraja Reddy is a very strict person sir", I was happy to hear that, but my happiness was short lived, my manager continued "He is very strict, that he will not do anything without getting BRIBE", isn't it a new definition of being 'strict' ? In our country, if you touch any government sector, you cannot do anything without giving BRIBE, yes that is the sickening fate of our country today, right from birth certificate to death certificate, you need to BRIBE, if you don't, you will be considered as a ZOMBIE. Another interesting piece of information I gathered is, in Karnataka state you cannot file a RTI petition, if you do so, either you will be threatened or the end report you will get will be fudged, this state tops the list of corruption in the entire nation.

We are creating a nation which is not going to be livable for our next generation, and that is not a good sign, unless we start to question those corrupt officials, we are not going to curb this menace, I am now scared to go to any government sector today, I don't want to give bribe and at least for that I wish I don't step into any of their departments, but the hart truth is, you cannot escape a corrupt government, if tomorrow I have to get a birth certificate for my child, I have to give bribe, tomorrow if I die, my kin has to give bribe to get my death certificate, in INDIA, if you don't BRIBE, you are neither born, nor dead, funny isn't it ? I have decided not to give any BRIBE to these EB folks, and still get our apartments electricity to be increased to 100KW consumption, please wish me good luck folks.

IPL 4 Teams - An Analysis...

So the much awaited IPL 4 auction is over and we now have given a new look to all the teams, lot of shuffling has happened, folks who were once opponents are now teammates, on the whole it’s a brand new season and an action packet tournament is guaranteed. Here are my comments and review of each and every team, of course it is going to be short and crisp.

Royal Challengers Bangalore - Like how they are not willing to release Cauvery Water, they are not ready to release Virat Kholi from their team, yes that guy is in super form but he is not consistent. Mohammed Kaif is a surprise pick, may be Mr. Mallya wud have been in heavily drunk, and he would have asked "Hey are we picking Kaif?" and his obedient employees have gone ahead and purchased "Mohammed Kaif", but in truth he would have meant "Katrina Kaif". On the whole this team has lost its sheen, and they are not a solid team this season.

Strengths: Zaheer, Dilshan, Vettori
Weakness: Rest of the team and No Katrina Kaif

Team Kochi: Once again they proved the fact that Mallu's wanted to do every business that exist in this world, but without investing brain power. I wonder if this is a "Bowling Academy" selection or a team to play IPL. They have selected 10 foreign players and 5 Indian players, but unfortunately a team can play only with 4 foreign players in a match, so in that theory, they are running short of one player to play the game itself. Probably they may color B. Mcullum with weatish paint, remove his shoulder tattoo, ask him to grow more hair on the head, put him a "Kondai" and make him wear a "Mundu" and fool the selectors as if he is an INDIAN player. SHIT of a team with no thinking gone into the selection process.

Strengths: Swami Ayappan, and Guruvaayoorappan
Weakness: The whole team and no glamour power, may be Shakila can help them out here.

Team Pune: These guys have done a lot of homework before coming to the auction, a very good balanced side but I won't say they are match winners, they can fight till the end. But my question here is, how come Thackrey's allowed the team not to be named as "Marathi Manoos" ? Something is fishy here, maybe they are also a part of the shareholding committee. A nice first attempt by this team, and we have to see the results to validate this selection.

Strengths: Yuvraj Singh, Angelo Mathews, Wayne Parnell, Jerome Taylor
Weakness: Yuvraj's captaincy and his ego.

Kings XI Punjab: This team is a batting battery battalion, on their day, this team can trash more than 200 in an innings. Priety Zinta's selection criteria is simple, before pressing the buy button all she need to take care is these 3 points - Will this guy be good to hug?, Is he cute? Will Wadia get pissed off if I hug him?, if the answer is YES to all the 3 questions, he is a sure selection in that team. I would say that the team is more balanced this year than the previous seasons.

Strengths: Batting Power and Adam Gilchrist's cricketing brain.
Weakness: No quality bowling attack, Priety Zinda's resolution of not to hug any player.

Kolkata Knight Riders: This is one team which has totally transformed form a "Good-for-nothing" team to a "Unbeatable-team" this season, SRK has done his homework and he has taken this business more seriously this time than the previous seasons. Though he masterminded the exit of the "Prince of Kolkata", I would say that it is indeed a brave move. It is a very well balanced team and would be a hard nut to crack this time. SRK does not need to pay money and bring his battalion of OLD stars to draw the crowd, this time his team can prove in action

Strengths: Ghambir, Yusuf Pathan, Kallis, Bret Lee
Weakness: SRK visiting the grounds and kissing all viewers, Ghambir's constipated look on his face. Fragile batting line-up, once broken, it’s all over.

Chennai Super Kings: Chennai is a very conservative city, they have proved it once again in this auction, they never went for bigger names, as they are yet to pay the loan they took when hiring Dhoni last time. Albie Morkel would have agreed to buy few 1000 tons of cement from them, hence they are forced to retain him, otherwise no use in retaining him. Bravo is a great pick , he is a very handy player. This team would cement a SF berth as it is owned by a cement company. Good team, but heavily depended on few performers.

Strengths: Dhoni's luck, Bravo, Hike Hussey, M Vijay
Weakness: No glamour power, Joginder Sharma (Dhoni's gay partner), Pathetic Bowling attack

Deccan Chargers: Have picked few top men who are in top form this season but the scene may be different after the WC is over, there may be injuries and walk-offs. In the last season, this team was nick named as "Paper tigers" but this time, I would not say so, they are a very ordinary team. This is what will happen if you continue to give a newspaper for Re 1, you always end up in loss. Nothing great about this side, and they do not seem to be of a bigger threat this time.

Strengths: Gayathri Reddy (If she continues to come in cute modern dress), Kevin Peitersen, Steyn
Weakness: Lack of experience, No depth in batting, Gayathri Reddy not coming for the games.

Delhi Dare Devils: One man army, if Shewag fails, the team fails, did a few brain less purchases. May be Shewag owes Irfan a lot of money as he borrowed a lot for his hair-fall treatment, like the hair, the money too went away, in order to pay that money back he convinced the owner to buy Pathan, that money is terribly wasted. Ajit Agarkar is another surprise pick who is not even fit to play a tennis ball match. Highly confused team selection has screwed it big time.

Strengths: Shewag the injured horse and James Hopes
Weakness: Fragile Batting and Bowling line-up

Mumbai Indians: This is a real team of tigers, not just that we have our GOD leading this side, but the kind of players Nita Ambani has bought, and it’s terrific it’s a quality side with a balanced batting and bowling attack, they are the front-runners for me in this edition of IPL, and I will be surprised if they lose. Harsha Boghle has used his cricketing brains to its maximum and guided the team in recruiting the perfect mix. Nitu Ambani may have to knock few floors in her new apartment for the kind of money she has paid for Pollard.

Strengths: The whole side ....
Weakness: Mrs. Ambani scaring the crowd by coming in jeans and t-shirt

Rajasthan Royals: As usually they are the underdogs this season as well, their selection process is more like T.Rajender talking in English, no one can understand, they have picked up few good men, but on a given day they can dig their own grave, or can build a huge castle. Shane Warne would be the key, he still has the fire in him to win matches, and he is a very good motivator as well. Shilpa Shetty would bore them to death by repeatedly playing her YOGA videos, and rub the players so badly by kissing Raj Kundra every time a player hits a six or a four. We have to wait and watch how these folks perform under Warne.

Strengths: Warne, Watson, Collingwood
Weakness: Un-predictable, Self-Destructive

Series Drawn ... Questions Raised ...

The recently concluded test series in South Africa did give jitters to many Indian cricket fans like me, it is good to be called as the No 1 test cricket team in the world, but do we really have the potential of being the "World Beaters" is one question which will haunt every true and honest cricket fan, yes, I do not talk about fanatics here. Our Indian cricket team did not exhibit even 5% of qualities to be stamped as the No 1 test team in the world. Though the series has been drawn, it did not fail to expose the weak links in our team and also it once again proved, how this young team is heavily dependent on their old war horse Sachin Tendulkar 

Our team landed in SA with some percentage of over confidence and if I have to quote what Harbhajan said during the pre-match press conference before the start of the series - "We have not come here to prove anyone that we are the No 1 , we have a quality side which can take any bowling attack for a task, Steyn will be treated as per his merits, at the same time he will also be under pressure in bowling to a quality batting side like us", and we all know what happened, Steyn was the top wicket taker and our batting unit struggled consistently against him. Our main bowling spearhead Mr. Zaheer looked like a school going kid in front of Steyn and Morkel. Steyn exhibited sheer talent and our bowlers were no match to his potential.

This series once again proved that our men in blue are lions only in their own den, if they are taken out of their den, they are as soft as a rabbit, and they surrender meekly. I am wondering how long team INDIA still needs to rely on Sachin Tendulkar? Critics will be ready to point fingers when he does not perform, they pounce on him saying he plays only for records, but my dear critics, Cricket is not an individual sport, it’s a team game, so putting blame or pointing finger at one individual during defeat is bull shit. Sehwag once again proved that he can only bat within the sub-continent, he was considered to be the main threat before the start of the series, but SA have done their homework very well and they never allowed him to settle in any sort of a rhythm.

This series also raised serious questions about the selection process, historically Ishant Sharma was never a bowler who troubles the batsmen, he only knows to put medium pitch deliveries with absolutely no variance, either in length or in speed, so he is an absolute burden to the team and he is in fact blocking ways for other talent to come in, as long as we have this "favoritism" between the captain and the players, we are never going to pick a perfect 11 who can exhibit their potential. I would have expected Nehra or Praveen Kumar to have been brought in to the side and we could have given them a chance, P Kumar though is out of the team for quite some time, he would have been very helpful in SA, owing to the kind of swing one can generate in those conditions.

The entire nation is gearing up for the World Cup 2011, and most of us have made up our minds with the hope that INDIA will be there in the last 4, and it is a very minimalistic expectation from all of us from a team which is crowned as No 1 in the world. I know we have a lot of talent in the side, but with too many politics inter-weaved in the selection process, I am not sure if we would be getting a perfect 15 to participate in the tournament, as an ardent cricket fan, and a long time follower of the game, I would want to list out my 15 member squad for this 2011 Cricket World Cup. I don't say that this is a winning combination, but at least, this is a unit who has the talent and potential to do well.


A Logical Beginning...

Start of a logical new beginning, also it’s time to renew the ethics of life in the name of resolutions, here we welcome a brand new year. Everyone resets the past and vouch for change and finally continues to do what they were doing, yeah, we are mere humans. I just took one resolution a decade back on a New Year day, and I am proud that I still stick on to that resolution, that is nothing but "Never take any resolutions on new year day"

I wanted to be more active on my blog this year and would want to write more humorous columns, instead of writing boring posts like this. I have a dream and I know I have to work hard to achieve that dream, but my problem is, I am so attached and fascinated about my dream and hence I sleep a lot, no I am not sleep deprived in any sense, my wife knows that better, I am a person who goes to sleep in a jiffy moment I lay my body at 180 degrees. I don’t chew anything in my mind when I go off to sleep, because I feel, I would be doing injustice to my body if I don’t give him proper rest.

Off late I have become more responsible about life, not that it happened just because I got married, marriage is just a part of this journey called life where you simply pick up a partner to crime, that's it. I do take things seriously, I give attention to details which really needs attention, I put myself in other shoes before speaking a word, I have practiced "Not to Blame", I make sure that I am accountable, I have minimized telling cheap lies, I have started to say NO, I appreciate a lot, yes I could hear you all loud and clear - "All these are qualities you automatically acquire when you are 34 ".

Once a very close friend of mine asked me, what is that one thing you would want to do if GOD tells you that you will be dying in another 10 minutes, of course this sounds like a freaking stupid question, but I injected some artificial intelligence to it and then gave him this answer "I would request him to wipe off all my memory so that I don't die with any hatred or vengeance on anyone in this world, then I will spend 2 mins of time with my dad who gave me this life, 2 minutes with my granny who I love the most, 2 minutes with my wife who was courageous enough to marry me and 2 minutes to talk to 4 of my best buddies and 1 minute to myself to digest the fact that I am gonna die, and 1 minute to argue with GOD and see if he can change his mind", yes, after all I am human.

We don't appreciate anything in life till we miss it, we always take everything for granted, but when reality slaps us hard on our face, that's when we scurry ourselves to do everything possible in not losing those things we once assumed to be there for us always, this is applicable to people, relationships, pets, and every movable and immovable things of life. We are have a purpose for our birth and let's tell this at least 10 times a day, every life on this planet is meant to be there for some purpose, there is nothing called "waste" in life, it is just that "we have not used it". Let's give a meaning to life, not only this year, but for the years to come, till we kiss the doom.

I know I have bored my readers beyond explanation, but I assure you all that, this year is gonna be a year full of fun where I am gonna pen truckloads of humorous posts and I will stick to my words here, of course, this is not a resolution though. Please keep visiting my blog and please please please do post your comments, at least tell me "Bloody, stop posting, or else I will kill you ..."

SPB - Legend with a Golden Voice Rest's in Peace

  This year 2020 is continuing to be the most depressing year in my life, how many lives we have lost across the globe due to this pandemic ...