Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A380: Applause and Best of Luck!

World's largest passenger jet takes off! A historic day in aviation since the Concorde took off in its maiden flight in 1969.

I am fascinated by aircraft. I guess it has something to do with the human desire to fly. Flying translates into freedom. A bird is on the ground pecking at things as people pass by. The moment one comes too close for comfort, it flies away. About hundred and one years ago, the Wright brothers made it possible for humans to leave the ground and since then humans have taken giant leaps into the art and science of aviation.

But every time I board a plane, there's slight fear of being in a space not natural to us humans. It makes us weaker. Birds fly away because they feel safe in the air. A turtle will jump into the water if it feels threatened on the ground. A wild animal will rush into the jungle if it feels unsafe in the open plains. We all are the strongest in our habitat. The home ground.

Every time I fly, there's this flutter in my heart, a small doubt in the back of mind, an unknown itch. A question: What if...?

Hence the Concorde reference in the second line. Concorde remains one of the most beautiful, pardon the nose, man-made creations that flew in the sky. It carried passengers on supersonic flights across the Atlantic. It became a legend, and a status symbol. And then... it lies in museums. Just 20 were built. Half of them operated. One deadly fire and it was all over. Humans realised they are human after all. Once you leave the ground, you are weaker. You can't take chances.

And that brings me to the viability of the double-decker A380. The fact that it can carry so many passengers (550 to 800) is both its strength and weakness. Let us all hope and pray for the success of the jumbo endeavour. Because in the air, all you can do is pray.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Condom condemned

Indians use 75 per cent of the condoms manufactured here to make saris, toys and bathroom slippers. Only 25 per cent is used to not make more Indians.

The condoms are valuable to manufacturers because of the lubricant on them. Sari weavers place the condoms on their thread spools and the lubricant on the prophylactics is rubbed off on the thread, making it move faster through their sewing machines, the Economic Times quoted an Indian industry official as saying.

Sari makers also turn the condom's inside out, place them on their fingers and use the high-quality lubricant to polish gold and silver threads used in the traditional Indian women's outfits.

India manufactures more than 1 billion condoms annually to check population growth and curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sheila is in trouble, only Sonia can save her. But will Sonia?

Sheila Dikshit is going through a crisis. Attendance at CM's: 22/47. A PTI report says Delhi Congress president Rambabu Sharma today met central leaders Moti Lal Vora and Janardan Dwiwedi and is understood to have demanded "action" against her in the wake of her walkout from a party meeting. Party Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from New Delhi constituency Ajay Maken, once Dikshit's blue-eyed boy, was also present during the meetings Sharma had separately with the two central Congress leaders.

It's getting too hot to handle for the chief minister. This blog had the weather forecast for Sheila the day Rambabu became the local party chief.
Read it here.

Guess who blinked first?

Secular-Right India: Gyanendra, Almost Ready To Blink. And here's what is happening: First our Foreign Minister Natwar Singh met Gyanendra and now the PM has met him. PM meets Gyanendra.

Instead of the mindgames, India should have woken up to the Nepal threat early. We must crush the Maoists in Nepal, if Nepal can't. Because any trouble in the Himalayan Kingdom affects India and its interests. The Maoists have built a Red corridor from China to Tamil Nadu via Nepal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. They kill at will in the areas they control.

They have been running a parallel administration in large parts of the country, while the city-dwelling politicians debate how to deal with them. With a clear lack of unity and resolve. Andhra declares a ceasefire, Maharashtra goes on the offensive, there's a war on in Jharkhand while Bihar had always had thousand wars on.

A bleeding Nepal is the last thing India can afford now.

India is accused to throw the big-brother weight around in the region even when Bangladesh Rifles jawans mutilate our soldiers. First the infmaous Pirduwa when 16 BSF jawans were doled out deaths that didn't have the dignity that a soldier deserves. And now BSF officer Jeewan Kumar snatched under the cover of a flag meeting.

India keeps silent to keep peace, but at what cost? Bangladesh is turning into Afghanistan. Even Pakistan woke up to the reality of Afghanistan. Will India wake up?

Monday, April 11, 2005

I have less wrinkles than Camilla: Charles*

"The one my forehead aren't wrinkles, idiot"

The newly-wed Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have said that the bride has more wrinkles than the prince does.

"It's such a wonderful experience. We are discovering each other. Those grooves on my face aren't wrinkles actually, they are my permanent frowns. But all thanks to Andrew Parker Bowels, she has been a constant source of smile. Now that we are intimate enough, we have been counting them and can say we have the result," the Prince told a packed house at Crathie in Scotland's Aberdeenshire, where they came for their honeymoon.

Asked what else they have discovered in the first days of their marriage, Camilla said, "As soon as we finished with the wrinkles, he had to see a physio and I had to go for my heart specialist. At this age, there's not much we can do, you understand."

"It's not that I hadn't seen her like that, you know, like that. But we never had a relaxed time. Now that we are legally married, I am not ashamed of doing all that I wanted to do to her and with her," the prince added.

The Prince married his lover of 35 years on April 9, in a ceremony attended by many Britons who vowed to not call her a horse now that she's royalty.

The Prince was happy at the British people's gesture, "It's nice to know that she'll no longer be called a horse. I love horses, though."

*Tastes best with a pinch of salt.

I killed the terrorist, he belongs to me

Villager keeps terrorist's body as souvenir. Fair enough.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Another one for famous last words

This man has no idea that the generals under him might overthrow him and worse, hang him. No more military coups: Musharraf. History repeats itself, Perv. That's why we are told not to do wrong. Because wrong begets wrong, sooner or later.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Who will save Zimbabwe?

The Monster

It doesn't matter if they burn in hellfire or dance with the fairies in heaven. In fact even while they are alive, their actions don't make any difference to my life or neighbourhood.

But I still nurse hatred for them that borders on extremism. Mr Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe is no bum like Libya's Gaddafi, he's not a buffoon like our own Laloo. In fact, I do not know who to liken him with, for he's kinda unique in this world.

During my school days I remember people spoke of him with a respect that a few leaders like Mandela deserve. This man was a statesman. He was the symbol of freedom and Black self-rule in Zimbabwe, after the White rule ended in then Rhodesia.

Then he turned into a bum. Throwing tantrums at international meetings, developing quirks not associated with statesmen and outraged many by marrying a woman 40 years his junior. But the world didn't care what he did in his country and his personal life didn't affect anybody but him. His Zanu PF won one election after the other and the world didn't as much blinked.

But then he and his party terrorised the 75,000 or so whites out of the country. The Blacks who didn't support the establishment began to die one by one. And by 2005 he's become a monster that threatens the collective lives of his own countrymen, dying for lack of food and medicine. He’s Zimbabwe’s Saddam.

But Zimbabwe doesn't sit on oil like Iraq. So do not expect that so called saviour of freedom US of A intervening in the poor African nation.

Recommended Read: Gretchen L. Wilson's Dispatches From Zimbabwe.