by David Eddings
"Losers" was the latest book that I have finished reading. I was not sure of what to expect from David since the previous books that I have read deal completely with fanatasy. This book made an interesting departure from his other works. It is not a conventional sort of story. It is like from seeing "Lord of the rings - movie" to seeing a satirical version of urban decay kind of movie. And thats exactly what he has dealt with - urban decay. The book deals with people living on their welfare checks, social security and food stamps from the government and "social service" helpers. I dont understand the social security concept in US very well, however, from what I have read from the book it is definitely a very good system to take care of people. The book's hero, a "cripple" and a castrated young man from a railroad accident, wages war against the system which instead of giving dignity and a reason for human being to live, merely makes them - in a vegetative way, to survive. The important implication that I got from this book is the reason for the slums (may not be the only reason...). I often used to wonder why people continue to lamguish in the slums when they can very well come out of it. Well, this may sound ludicurous to some people and and outright nonsense, but then it should be possible. if not for all, but atleast for a few among them. Take the case of the slum in my locality in thiruvanmiyur. The people can readily find jobs, albeit, low-level. However, that is enough for their sustenance. Their kids could easily get education, since, education is pretty much free, including lunch. Health care is really not expensive though not of very high quality. What I am trying to say is, though they donot have the best of basic human necessities, they have something from which they can begin. They may never be able to come out of their slums in their life times, but, definitely their children can. All the kids need is persuation and education. They can end up working as say, electrician, plumber, shopkeepers etc. And eventually their children can come into the "so called middle class". This needs effort, strong will and can be tampered by many factors. However, this can be still done. However, now that I have read this book, there is more to this than I thought. After living is such squalid conditions for sometime, their environment may sap out whatever hope that may be left of them. And worse, if they were born and brought up in such conditions, they would never even think about getting richer, not just monetarily, but also otherwise. And then the society basically feeds them and feeds upon them. In all this, I am quite proud of my parents. They both have come from poor families from village, with some kind of education. Their only goal in life was to come up in life and to educate their children. But for them, neither me nor my sister would be where we are. I also realize that, now I have the same responsibility to give a better life and improvement to my kids when they come about.
Oflate I am trying to get into some kind of schedule. But given the fact it is me, my schedule or me, which ever is the worst, keeps slipping like an eel. I get up around, 9AM, Work in my office till around 5, get back and go to gym and eventually read a book and go to sleep. Somehow this schedule seems pretty sucky to me. I need to get up early, work some more, and study some more. I keep forgetting that I am a P.I.G (Poor Indian Grad)
I was thinking about India last weekend and I remembered this lady I had met when I went there in June. Somehow, of all the people I have met, I would place this lady a class apart. I knew her from childhood since she was living a street from my house. The story of her life is an inspiration to all those who cannot find it within themselves. From my mom and aunt I came to know of her life. She had promptly fell in love with a guy when she was doing her 10+2 schooling. Soon after she got married and after her father's death, she moved back to madras to live with her maternal family along with her husband and kids. Eventually, things started getting bad and then worse. Her husband fell into bad habits and eventually was involved in some sort of felony and cops eventually put him behind bars. Her personal relationship with him also deteriated to the point that she had almost filed a divorse. She had enough debts to eat away whatever she left of the property and bank balance. Very soon, she literally found herself in streets. Her brothers refused to help her and relatives were a far cry. She was in chennai, with a high school level education, two kids to feed and none to help. Many would have taken various approaches at this point. She managed to get a job as a saleswoman in spectacles selling shop, put her kids in govt. school, and rented a small house,far away from the city where rent is low. That is all I had known about her before I left for US. This time when I visited India, she came to see me and my newly wed sister. While we were talking she said, her first son, is having a small shop for electrical goods and doing his bachelors via mail. Her second son is in 10std. She had also moved on. From a saleswoman, she had earned the trust of her employer and now she singly manages an entire branch of the spectacle selling shop in T.nagar, earning close to Rs. 13000. Her husband had eventually moved back with her. He had apparantly had a heart attack and now mostly stays at home. She gave a confident smile and said, "I dont depend on him anymore for anything". There was no pride, no vindication, no revenge.....nothing. She just felt contented. Not everybody would consider her life as spectacular nor her achievements. But to go through all she had gone through and come out is something really nice. When she at 35yrs of age can start a career with little or no education, with family in shambles,....well she is indeed an inspiration. We dont get to meet a helen keller or mother teresa around every street corner. It is only these ordinary people to whom we rarely pay much attention, hold the key to inspiration and faith that life does hold something for each of us.
I am not sure how many in US have noticed this. The advertisments in the TV channels are flooded with ads for one or the other kind of disease. Right from simple cold and flu to arthitis and what not. On an average, out of every 5 ads, atleast 3 are from pharmaceutical companies. I have a pretty bad feeling about this. Despite their claim about better health, somehow I feel people are goaded into buying the medicines they might not actually need. Further more, the sheer power of these companies is frightening. They seem to control media, government, public opinion, hospitals, doctors and ofcourse the availability of medication. If I am not wrong the cost of healthcare has been only rising despite efforts into new technology and better medicines. I sincerely feel, the American public as a whole are being swindled little by little.
In one of my previous blogs, I had mentioned that what we perseive as reality is the merely the feed from the environment. I made this statement without realizing the profound meaning behind that. Infact there is a huge theory in physics echoing what I had said. In quantum computation and measurements, physical reality does not exist the way we assume it to be, i.e, independent of the observation that we make. Infact a pen as we judge on table need not be there, but the observation we make over the position infact creates the reality that the pen infact is on the table. Like I had mentioned, if the feeds to the reality are removed, we move into what is considered a closed system wherein the state of the system when not measured by outside source, can exist in any number of states. hehehe..guess some of my friends are going to think I have gone nuts......
Nice poetry. I had flicked it from desikan blogsite
. written by manushya puthran
வேறொரு மழை நாள்
சட்டென வந்து சேர்ந்துவிட்டது
நாளெல்லாம் காயவைத்த துணியை
தலைகளைத் துவட்டி உலர்த்திடை மாற்றுகிறாள்.
கட்டிகிடக்கும் நாய் மழையை
அவள் சங்கிலியை விடுவித்ததும்
அவளை இழுத்துக்கொண்டு வீட்டிற்குள்
குடங்கள் நிரம்பித் தண்ணீர் வழிந்தோடுகிறது
போன மழைக்கு ஒழுகிய இடத்தைப் பார்க்கிறாள்
இல்லை அதில் எந்தக் கசிவும் இல்லை
சாரல் படரத் தொடங்குகிறது
கண்ணாடியில் மழை பெய்துகொண்டே இருக்கிறது
இனி மழையிடம் செய்வதற்கு ஒன்றுமேயில்லை.
வாசலில் வந்து நின்று மழையை
அதன் முடிவற்ற தனிமையின் வழியே
எங்கிருந்தோ ஒரு மெல்லிய சூறைக்காற்று
சட்டென ஏதோ ஒரு காலத்தில்
ஒரு வயல் வரப்பில்
திடீரென வந்துவிட்ட மழையில் நனைந்தபடி
வீட்டிற்கு ஓடும் சிறுமியின் முகமாக மாறுகிறது
இப்போதைக்கு நிற்காது என்று யாரோ சொல்கிறார்கள்
- மனுஷ்ய புத்திரன்
Things I hate
I suddenly had this brainwave, why not make a list of things that i dont like...for no good reason ofcourse...he he he
People speaking in languages I dont know (esp. hindi) when they know I would not understand
favoritism (ofcourse when not towards me)
show-off, acting smart etc
selfishness at other's expense
egoism and egotism to the extent it irritates me
getting drunk (as different from drinking)
not sticking to schedule
....list will continue
Nay..dont like it
I happened to browse for blogs and ended up with a couple of blogs. Now, They were ok and most of them are by young indian software engineers. However, somehow i didnot like it entirely. Not sure if it was the fact that they kept on saying there were of this caste in their profile, play cricket (i abhor cricket being an indian!!!!) or lack of interesting material or views about happenings in the world. I am not able to put a finger on it but I distinctly get the feeling of boredom and irritation I had got when I last visited India. Their blogs show the kind of environment I definitely dont want to be in. With this thought comes the fear, being in US for so long (actually just 4 years) have changed my mindset in ways I have not understood yet or even realized. I have become increasingly greedy of my freedom, the unacceptability of others judging me, irritation towards false and of the irritation towards myself for my own prejudices. It is like I neither belog to India nor to US. Really pathetic.
I have absolute faith in democracy. It is really wonderful if democracy could come all over the world. It is also fascinating to see it sprout its head in middle-east(elections in iraq and municipal elections in saudi arabia). However, I make these statements with caution. Though democracy may be good, I am not sure if whatever is happening there (especially in Iraq) is democratic. For all the claims President Bush makes, I still think Oil is a major factor. Not many really understand the undercurrents of the oil politics, but oil is the fundamental and single major foreign policy decider in US politics. Ofcourse in this uni-polar world excess by the sole superpower are tend to occur. I just hope that whatever is happening does not get out hand. by this I mean, I dont want US to spoil a stable and relatively peaceful and prosperous region for its selfish needs and also in the process of doing so, I dont want US to burn itself. For the criticism the world mounts on US, I definitely dont want a fundamentalist superpower or an autocratic superpower instead of US. I will deal with the known devil than an unknown God.
I am not sure what the shivasainiks have in mind. Do they really think that they can turn the whole of India into another hindu-taliban state. What has digging up cricket pitches got to do with honour of this country? It is so unfortunate that morons like these are allowed to rule this country and people ready to follow them. I really wish someone would do something good for my religion. All these people, religious leaders, BJP, Shivsena, RSS etc instead of saving my religion are killing it slowly. They are like cancer and I hope it is not too late.
what yale thinks about Asia
Interesting articles. Anybody interested in economies of china and india and Asia in general should read these.
The Great reverse I
The Great Reverse II
The Great Reverse III
It is like a big cycle. Again and again i am depressed. I wish there was some way out. I just hope when I look back from future, that the troubles I had undergone were worth something. In all this I am quite pleased by the fact that I really want to study. Atleast there is something sensible still sticking to me.
About other things
I am not sure what to make out of the sudden change which has come over. But then this is not entirely new to me, so I guess I should let it be. In reality I am not depending on anyone for my existence. I take huge risks and challenges which others may not like taking. So, this is pretty insignificant when compared to what I have undergone. Like my friend once casually put it, "You have too much of guts", guess I have too much of it......
derate = reduction in voltage or current ratings, words like these pop out ; me being an electrical engineer