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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Third Child: A Personal Take On Desicritics' First Anniversary

We were on the 90E thruway heading for Boston last December. After the initial scare (misplaced the car keys) and the rain, the skies had cleared up and we hoped to make it in time for dinner with J and A and then a late night rendezvous with friends who were leaving for Nassau early next morning.

Between Jagjit and NFAK I mentioned to M the email I had received the day before from a Aaman Lamba. He had written in that email:

I've visited your site and think you're a pretty good blogger....I write for, a leading source of news and opinion. We are starting a new channel/website with an Indian/South Asian focus. ( I wanted to invite you and your co-writer to write for this website....Let me know if you would like to write for us. We will launch soon and I wanted to invite some of the best bloggers on board pre-launch....

M had mixed feelings then, but when we returned to Toronto M encouraged me to try Desicritics out. Am glad I did.

Desicritics was officially launched on January 26, 2006 and I made my first contribution On Take-offs and Blast-offs on February 2, 2006. I find it hard to believe that in the course of a year I have contributed 172 poems, articles and opinion posts.

Somewhere along this journey I got acquainted with many interesting people and have made some good friends - have met a few in person and hope to meet a lot more in the coming months.

It was sometime in February after weeks of sleep deprivation that Aaman sent out an invite for volunteer editors and Sujatha and I were selected from among the desis.

(Aaman and Dee, Sujatha and V, and M and I have two children each. Hence the title.)

Today we have a team working to take Desicritic to the next level.

What does an editor do? Arghhh. You would not believe it if I said a major time is spent cleaning up spams. Well, it was true until last week when Philip Winn instituted a new program which seems to be working.

For me the front page of a site is like a person's face. And spams are the warts that make it ugly. More than mediocre writing, more than writers who make the same errors every time, more than writers who do not fill in ASIN numbers, or sub categories, or sub headers, more than writers who do not spell check and mix its and it is and their and there, more than anything the spams irritate me most.

A confession: there was a time when I almost gave up and threw in the towel. But, hopefully in a few days more when Philip Winn's system gets hold, the spamming as we see will be a thing of past.

Numbers: I think Aaman will mention them. The hits per day, per month have increased.

I can speak of the contributions that I have seen over the past year. We are attracting better writers and the quality has continued to improve.

If you are not a Desicritic yet please join us and contribute your thoughts and ideas. If you already are a Desicritic, then here's to another successful and satisfying year!

Friday, January 26, 2007

prem nagar ki ik aur katha

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a collage flickers
of nights and days
sailing over
continents and cities
days and years wink short

pertinaciously riding
the nimble waves
of life's ocean
a quest that perhaps......
would end
in an eternal embrace
at sojourn's end

each smile
more alluring
than the one past
each skirmish
more bruising
than the one past
but the sea of smiles
overwhelms and
whisks all away

for M......

Thursday, January 18, 2007

President Bush's Impending Announcement on Iraq: A Premptive Analysis

In a widely leaked/anticipated announcement to be made from the White House President George Bush would again be playing the Emperor who has no clothes.

Announcing an increase of approximately 21,000 more American troops in the fray he will tear to shreds the remnants of Rumsfeld Doctrine which the fired Secretary wanted to leave as his Pentagon Legacy. Recall the RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs) - less soldiers, better equipment that might ostensibly be translated into a leaner, meaner fighting machine?

Reverting to the Powell Doctrine he will also reply to James Bakers's Iraq Study Group Report (also known as Baker-Hamilton Commission.) thus reinforcing the lingering neoconzix influence in his lame duck Presidency. It is suggested that he preferred to listen to Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute and his plan, titled Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq.

Look out for the following from the President's speech this evening:

* Train and transfer power (and more blame) on the Iraqi soldiers. Let them patrol and let Iraqis kill each other (No the report never said this in as many words - my conjecture.)

* Assign more US Troops in key Baghdad Area. On US Networks, at least Baghdad area should appear less violent. Embed US troops with Iraqis. Let us show them Iraqis how violence can be curbed.

* Dangle re-establishment of 'security' to be followed by economic development and reconstruction of the infrastructure that we destroyed and annihilated in the first place (no the report made no such admission, again my conjecture.)

This lame duck President is 'under the influence' – not of alcohol which he has reputedly quit – but under the influence of unabated bad advice from the neoconzix.

His ignorance of common sense, his ignorance of ground realities, his ignorance of geo-politics is of imbecilic proportions.

NPT non-signatory Israel has leaked Plans for a Nuclear Attack on Iran aimed at NPT signatory Iran’s Uranium Enrichment Plants citing Israel’s survival.

President Ahmadinejad is shouting about wiping away Israel.

President Bush has already ordered USS John C. Stennis strike group into the Persian Gulf with nuclear armed missiles and minesweepers. The connection between aiding Israel in its quest and overcoming the possible blockade of the Persian Gulf by Iran is obvious. The Persian Gulf is the oil bloodline for nearly 35% of world’ oil shipment.

Instead of acting as an statesman and calming the turmoil in our world, this puppet President is lobbing incendiary bombs in an already volatile region of the world.

If he is allowed to get away with this scheme he will ensure a bloody heritage not only for today's young GIs but also the incoming Administration.

Life Goes On

Ob la di ob la da life goes on bra

La la how their life goes on

Ob la di ob la da life goes on bra

La la how their life goes on

It is the same sun, rising over the same horizon, ushering in the same day. The more things change the more they stay the same. Or appear to: the new day is indifferent and oblivious of the calendar as if saying to it, 'I don't need you, you need me.'

We trudge along, moment to moment, day to day, smile to smile, sigh to sigh. But at the end of our allotted nano seconds we find ourselves not much farther than where we were when we started off.

Along this journey we go places - do things: have things occur to us - school, college, university, the first love, fight, second love, marriage/s, divorce/s, children, cars, houses, vacations - setbacks, deaths, loss, disappointments. And then an end, whimpering, flashy or silent.

Concurrently, things happen around us, too.

The idiot box, (will I be indiscriminate if I call it YoTube as in YoHowRya or YoBro?) informs us of plane crashes, famines, target killings by individuals and organizations, depleted uranium bombings by governments, overthrows, natural disaster, Washington made disasters, Russia made disasters by reporters and anchorman who have a clearly jaundiced world view. A majority of them worldwide are black as kettle.....

And we take it all with our morning chai or coffee, spread some more butter, jam or omega three margarine and keep an ear out for the traffic on 401 or 495 as we plot the route.

On the way we run a check list - laundry, dentist or doctor's appointment, bank, greeting cards. Each day different from another by respite only.

We walk, we talk, as if we own the world. Someone (or somebody) is extending the invisible rope. When our time is up, when the trap is sprung, it will be another day. Or the same day masquerading as another day.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Subduing Narcissism

Why is there so much antipathy around? Most of it begins with I and then overwhelms the sea of mine and an exclusive ours.

I hate spinach, mom. Fine, don't eat it. I hate the school tie, mom. Well, take it off immediately after the school is over. I hate this, I hate that. Fine, fine.

Somewhere between the dusk of adolescence and the dawn of youth the animus gets directed towards the ubiquitous terrain.

Who is that guy hanging around with her? Did that person make a rude gesture. The directives from the school board make no sense. Idiots. Our politicians are potatoes. Or worse, jellyfish. Them damn ______(fill in your favourite group here.)

From the antagonism directed at immediate authority figures this segues to a loathing of distant authority figures that are only seen on the idiot tube. These foreign people and their leaders become the discarded tins in their path. Next, their aversion is directed to people - unmet - unseen - unknown.

A contemporaneous growth in angst, perhaps lingering subterraneanly rises now against the demi-gods - of institutions, city, society and the whole universe.

In this merry-go-round they learn to detest themselves. In extreme cases this manifests in mayhem and self destruction. Innocent bystanders become captives and end up as collateral damage and along with the perpetrators exit the stage horizontally.

This me-first selfishness is a manifestation of the growth of narcissism encouraged and bred by our self-absorbed and consuming times. I, me, mine - lone, aloof, removed from others under the garb of individuality. This preponderance of individualism at the expense of moderation and collectivism turns a stream of dislikes into rivers of vainglorious pomposity and unbridled antagonism.

Which one is better - narcissism or altruism?

Rhetoric aside, when narcissism is expressed in regional, national and international spheres it segues into an irreversible harbinger of animosity.

This is relevant for the holiday season. With merrymaking and celebrating our bounties, the wishes for peace and prosperity ring hollow when thoughts, smiles and wishes betray the actions. And the skating on thin ice continues.

Be safe. Stay Alive and healthy. Together!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Top Ten: Uncle-Abdul's Reading List - Or Give Me Any Topic and I Will Show You How to Bash Islam

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10: Under Every Stone Lies a Hadith - Abu Hureira
9: The Third World Should Rollover and Play Dead - Al Ghazaali
8: The Biggest Obstacle for U.S. Hegemony is Islam - Tirmizi
7: Bin Laden and Ibn Warraq Are Twins - Baghdad Bob
6: Protocols of the Elders of Islam - by Gabriel
5: God Does Not Know Arabic - Ibn Kathir
4: My Son Has No Convictions Nor Can He Play Pipe - Umme Warraq
3: I Dreamt My Word on Islam is Final - Mr. Rajkotwala
2: Let's Rewrite Qur'an to Please Neoconzix - Ibn Sahhaf
1: The Hidden Sixth and Seventh Pillars - Hijab and Jihad - Ibn Homar al Alooj

Thursday, January 04, 2007

hi rani

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last evening
we took our seats
as the maestro
sang ghalib and
an assorted medley

she was
in my line of vision
and whenever
our eyes met
there was a glint
in hers

at the break
she walked over
and said 'hi t'

ravages of time
had changed
the hour glass
into a barrel
and it took
some effort
to mentally chisel
the accumulation
of two decades
and when finally
it worked
i said 'hi rani'

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

verbivore folklore

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motion on mucous
of deceit
over hurdles
deaf and mute
in bazaar of life
sheep-koala folivore
before succumbing to...

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a penchant
for flesh
dead or alive
in jungle or senate
celevore all....


sufi or pig
austere or
content or
folklores all....

om om om

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