Monday, April 27, 2009

From Heaven

And a new day will dawn, For those who stand long, And the forest will echo with laughter! (Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin)

Yes there are two paths you can go by, But in the long run, There's still time to change the road you're on, And it makes me wonder (Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin)

I have often told you stories, About the way, I lived the life of a drifter, Waiting for the day (Soldier of Fortune, Deep Purple)

Many times I've been a traveller, I looked for something new, In days of old, When nights were cold (Soldier of Fortune, Deep Purple)

So, so you think you can tell, Heaven from Hell? (Wish you were here, Pink Floyd)

Did they get you to trade, Your heroes for ghosts? (Wish you were here, Pink Floyd)

Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? (Wish you were here, Pink Floyd)

Did you exchange, A walk on part in the war, For a lead role in a cage? (Wish you were here, Pink Floyd)

When the promise of a brave new world, Unfurled beneath a clear blue sky? (Goodbye Blue Sky, Pink Floyd)

And, I will always love you, I will always love you (The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston)

You became the light on the dark side of me (Kiss from a Rose, Seal)

But did you know, That when it snows (shines), My eyes become large and, The light that you shine can be seen (Kiss from a Rose, Seal)

And now that your rose is is in bloom, A light hits the gloom on the grey! (Kiss from a Rose, Seal)

I could spend my life in this sweet surrender, I could stay lost in this moment forever, Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure (I don't want to miss a thing - Aerosmith)


This is Part I of the pictures I took during my vacation in Ooty earlier this month. I hope you enjoy it! I will be posting the remainder of this shortly.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Remembering Earth

The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed

-- Mahatma Gandhi

Today is Earth day, yet another reminder to us human beings on what we should do to conserve its bounty and maintain harmony around us. There isn't much that we need to do except than to correct our actions and ensure that their consequences are not harmful to ourselves and to those around us.

We have a responsibility to do so, for we have inherited the planet from our children, as mere custodians and keepers of the world only to pass it on to our posterity when the time comes
! It's not like we could exhaust Earthly resources and move over to another location! We have only one home and no place else to go!

So its time, that we begin to appreciate the richness of our planet and treat it with due respect, than just be associated with some good-for-nothing campaigns which do more talk than doing one bit for the causes they endorse!


The Official Website

Earth Communications Office

Image Courtesy - The Earth Day Network (The Official Flag)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bowling for Columbine

It's been 10 years since one of the worst carnage human beings were witness to!

The Columbine High School incident on April 20th, 1999, sent back civilization into savage times. By the time the massacre was over, 13 people were dead and dozens lay injured.

This post is a tribute to those who died merciless deaths at the hands of psychopaths aided by flawed gun laws!


The Columbine Memorial
Bowling for Columbine - The Documentary
Image Courtesy - Evacuating Columbine - Wikipedia (Under Copyright)

Friday, April 10, 2009


A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

-- George Moore

Tomorrow, I'm headed home for a week long vacation! I'm very excited about this trip, since I've been missing home and folks for a very long time now. During this time, I will not be able to visit your blogs and will not also be posting on my space! My Photo Blog, Imaging Oblivion, will be on auto-post mode running the "Trees of Pradhikaran" series which begins here.

I'd also like to wish my country cousins, friends and folks a very happy Easter and Vishu (The Malayalam New Year). It falls on the 14th of April. I wish all of you a great deal of prosperity, peace, health, joy and togetherness. May our bonds grow stronger than ever!

I will be back in Pune on 20th and will resume posting then.


This was the first image I shot with my CX6200, when I bought it many years ago! The view is from our veranda opening up to Mom's garden. I posted it here on my photo blog, early this year.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Living Darfur

Easily, one of the worst humanitarian crisis known to us, the Darfur conflict has long breached the threshold of human tolerance. The ethnic conflict between the government forces and warring rebel factions has resulted in the death of more than 300,000 people, directly affected 4.7 million and resulted in the displacement of 2.7 million people. The scourge of disease, malnutrition and abuse run high in the region with the issue of Human Rights tossed far beyond dustbins, if any!

It was on April 8th, 2004, that the government of Sudan and two rebel groups entered into the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement under the auspices of the United Nations. However, the situation on the ground has changed little and many such agreements have been signed, endorsed and forgotten.

This message by Mattafix, called Living Darfur, is a very powerful tribute to the people of Darfur, for their unending will to survive the evils of war and yet conduct life peacefully. I had a teardrop in the corner of my eye when I watched it the first time on VH1 in 2007. I'm not sure of the following embedded video is accessible, if not please click at the beginning of this paragraph for the You Tube link or visit Mattafix's web page and click the "Watch Living Darfur" link, under the "New Album Rhythm & Hymns" section.

Is it a mere coincidence that Gautama Buddha was born on April 08th? I wonder what it takes to give peace a chance!


Image Courtesy - Cover Photo, Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan (As per Original Copyright)
Video Input - Mattafix & YouTube (Living Darfur - As per Original Copyright)

Suggested Reading
Darfur Conflict
Sudan Information Gateway - United Nations
Darfur Humanitarian Profile No. 33

Monday, April 06, 2009

Truth alone triumphs

Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force. I thus began to call the Indian movement Satyagraha, that is to say, the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence, and gave up the use of the phrase “passive resistance”, in connection with it, so much so that even in English writing we often avoided it and used instead the word "satyagraha."

-- Mahatma Gandhi

"With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire." - April 6, 1930

"I cannot withhold my compliments from the government for the policy of complete non interference adopted by them throughout the march .... I wish I could believe this non-interference was due to any real change of heart or policy. The wanton disregard shown by them to popular feeling in the Legislative Assembly and their high-handed action leave no room for doubt that the policy of heartless exploitation of India is to be persisted in at any cost, and so the only interpretation I can put upon this non-interference is that the British Government, powerful though it is, is sensitive to world opinion which will not tolerate repression of extreme political agitation which civil disobedience undoubtedly is, so long as disobedience remains civil and therefore necessarily non-violent .... It remains to be seen whether the Government will tolerate as they have tolerated the march, the actual breach of the salt laws by countless people from tomorrow." - As told to the reporter of the Associated Press, on April 5, 1930

Today marks the 79th year of the conclusion of the Dandi Yatra (march), which was led by Mahatma Gandhi, to oppose the British Salt Tax. It began on 12th March 1930, when Mahatma Gandhi accompanied by 78 satyagrahis, embarked on a journey, by foot, to the coastal village of Dandi in Gurjarat, some 390 kilometers (240 miles) from their starting point at the Sabarmati Ashram. My intention to make this post was to showcase the power of peace and its achievements, while also commemorating a very significant moment in Indian history! I'd like to conclude this post by quoting Martin Luther King Jr, who said the following about Mahatma Gandhi and the Salt Satyagraha.

"Like most people, I had heard of Gandhi, but I had never studied him seriously. As I read I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance. I was particularly moved by his Salt March to the Sea and his numerous fasts. The whole concept of Satyagraha (Satya is truth which equals love, and agraha is force; Satyagraha, therefore, means truth force or love force) was profoundly significant to me. As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi, my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the area of social reform."


Inputs from Wikipedia

Images Courtesy - Wikipedia, as per original copyrights held by the Government of India & Peace Power - A journal of non-violence and conflict transformation

Suggested Reading - The Salt Satyagraha

Thursday, April 02, 2009

20 million woes

The warm bonhomie between the US President, his counterparts and their British hosts have done nothing to calm the protesting masses voicing their opposition of the G20 in London! It is apparent that world leaders ought to do a lot more than just 'gifting each other personalized I-pods and signed portraits' during such visits! And, beyond the champagne, wine and canapes of chicken with zucchini on skewers, mini Cornish pasties, smoked quail eggs, foie gras and tiny rolls of duck filled with melon, there is the plaguing worry of a stinging recession which has already pulled the lives of several thousands onto the brink, not to mention those who have already been consumed by it, literally!

While the Americans may chiefly be 'responsible' for putting together progressive policies to restore a horribly failing economy, the US Secret Service will certainly not be pardoned for parking their Commander-in-Chief's limousine at the garden entrance driveway of the Buckingham Palace, will it? Especially when it has been causing 'some' inconvenience to the Jaguars carrying HRM The King in Waiting who hates to be kept waiting!

Prime Minister Brown should know better than to make statements about sharing the American burden of a recessive fallout. Was he trying to play a Blair who, not long ago, steadfastly supported and endorsed his master, er, friend, Bill? ! I'm wondering if this is going to cost him the cozy spring holds of 10 Downing, while momentarily having won the hearts, minds, oohs and aahs of the US Congress!

But its not all that bad as it seems, supposedly! Japan has provided the IMF with an additional $100 billion to bolster the Fund's lendable resources during the current global economic and financial crisis, while Europe’s leaders have agreed to provide an 'extra' €75bn to the IMF.

Our own dear Dr. Prime Minister, under pressure from various political factions, 'may' consider sending a shopping list to the Swiss about Indian money parked in their safe confines. I thought I heard the G20 communique stating that some of these were key achievements ahead of the summit, with the exception of the Indian Prime Minister's considerations of course!

I must tell you about my good friend David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, who on 'April 1st' found time to write a post on Free Society in his blog! I'm quite curious and at loss to understand if this was anything real, considering the timing of the post and of course the ongoing G2o summit. Was is a Fools Day prank? Or merely, the as usual, ill-advised instance of the Whitehall which the Foreign Office decided to showcase via their Atta Boy's cyber whiteboard? Whatever may be the case, it caught me by surprise, for I 'was told' that the Foreign Secretary was visiting the country sides near Suffolk watching farmers milk their cows, while enquiring if their children did their homework on time! Apparently it pays to endorse a 'third-party' view that "the idea that the state is an unwarranted assault on individual freedom is not a progressive one." No wry English humor there!

Now, the business of G20, best left to be decided by 'dignitaries', I'd rather focus on something that has landed in my mailbox which will be of 'interest' to the British High Commission and the Central Bureau of Investigations in India. I'm wondering if the MI6 is listening? Worry not cousins, it is the 419 of the Brit kind! ;-)


Images Courtesy - The Times of India and The Telegraph