Sunday, June 25, 2006

All ye Indophiles

I may have mentioned this before, but there is this website:
which no Indophile should miss. The work of one D V Sridharan (not to be confused with Metro's E Sreedharan), the site consists of true stories from India - stories of sung and unsung heroes (note that I use the term 'hero' without reference to gender). The site has hours and hours of pro-India stories for those that are interested.

If you are ever going to Amazon to purchase a book, please go from the links provided on this site.


I was watching a "Hollywood Top Ten" show on Z Cafe today, when there was a reference to a movie about Jane Goodall. For those who came in late, Jane Goodall is the woman who single-handedly demolished our misconceptions about that relative of ours - the Gorilla. She showed, for example, that Gorillas do use tools - something we thought was exclusively human, leading to the modification of the definition of the human from 'tool-user' to 'tool-maker'.

Read more about her here:

Crediting Jane Goodall is not only why I wrote this post. I wrote this to highlight the difference between two classes of societies - one that respects and truly worships its heroes and the other that pretends to. With due apologies to my friend, 'Anonymous', who incidentally accuses me of being 90% American, we know which the two classes of societies are.

Look at the movies Hollywood has made about American heroes. And I am not referring to war heroes, politicians, or sportsmen. I am talking about your 'everyday' mathematician, scientist, or writer. Many examples abound: "A beautiful mind" talked about the achievements of Dr. John Nash, whose Nash equilibrium is said to be one of the building blocks of Operations Research, "Apollo 13" commemorated the bravery of the Apollo 13 astronauts who against great odds managed to finish their intended mission, why even our own Gandhi was first celebrated by Richard Attenborough in what is the classiest movie made about him. Not to mention all the unsung fire-fighters, policemen and other day-to-day heroes who have been celebrated in so many movies.

So the question arises, why don't we have the same in Bollywood? Is it because such movies don't sell? Or is it because as a society we don't really know how to honour our heroes? Is it because we don't like heroes except those imposed upon us - like the cricketers, film stars or politicos? Or, is it because, as a society and a culture, we don't have a sense of history? Why?

I don't know. But I do know that a society that forgets its history is condemned to repeat it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Writer's block

Suffering from writer's block lately. There seem to be too many things that are happening, but I don't feel enthused by anything to write about it.

Need to get out of this phase soon.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A posting century.


You guessed it right. This is my 100th post. At first, I thought I'll follow my favourite TV personality and have a "Best of Gopal's blog" for my 100th post, but I realized that I wasn't *that* self-involved.

So. Here is to further blogging. Thanks to my regular readers for keeping my motivation levels high enough to hit this 'landmark'.

Accepting congratulations... :)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

So, what is Freedom?

Well, according to Paulo Coelho, as written in the book "The Zahir", Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose - and commit oneself to - what is best for him/her.

Couldn't agree more. Thanks 'Anonymous' for the correction. :)

Nice guys...

Rahul Dravid is a wuss. I hate to say this, but this unfortunately is a fact. For all his faults, Ganguly knew how to deal with people. Dravid unfortunately, is obsessed with being nice. So much so that he negotiated away with Lara and the match-referee, a wonderful opportunity for India to put Lara out of the series. And to top it off, Sehwag gets fined for 'excessive appealing'!!! Can you believe it!!?

I've always believed that nice guys finish last. No where is it better illustrated in the recent test between India and the West Indies. Lara was way out of line in demanding that Dhoni walk. Dravid should have asked him to shut up first. He thought it was better to declare, rather than waste time, so as a strategy, it is probably OK. What was the need to go to the match-referee and exonerate Lara? Let Lara be dunked a couple of matches - India would have been in a better position to win then. But no, we have to be the nice guys (read fall guys)!

To add injury to insult, Sehwag was fined for excessive appealing. Nice going, Rahul!?