Archive for » February, 2011 «

Ram Rajya in Kalyug ?

Ram Rajya in Kalyug ?
My late father,while narrating a story from mythology,had once talked about the concept of Ram Rajya.As a child,what I had then grasped and understood was that during this Rajya,no one put any locks on the doors of their houses.My childish mind could not reconcile with this principle.Would thieves and robbers not be tempted to loot and plunder,I had thought then.
Till today,before I retire for the night,I check and double check the locks and safety chains in our house.It is better to be safe than sorry,we were taught.
Why suddenly,this topic in today’s times,you will be tempted to ask me. Here is a news item that caught my eye and troubled my mind for a while.
Quote:Temple town with doorless homes gets a bank with no lock.
 Ahmednagar (Maharashtra), Jan 10 2011
Shani Shingnapur, the world famous temple town in Maharashtra where houses have neither doors or locks, now befittingly has its first commercial bank branch – with no locks on its front door!
The public sector UCO Bank is the first to throw open the doors of commercial banking to this unique town of 3,000 people. Bowing to local religious sentiments, the bank last week decided to open the branch without a lock on its front door.The people of Shani Shingapur fix only door frames, but no doors to their homes and no locks for their safety lockers because they believe the temple is a “living abode” of Lord Shani, the ruling  deity. And so strong is the belief that no one dares to attempt theft for fear of inviting Lord Shani’s wrath upon himself and his family.However, as a precautionary measure, some of the six-member staff of UCO Bank posted there take turns to stay within the branch premises all the time. “There is no lock on the bank’s main entrance. But with cash boxes and other important documents kept inside, security precautions needed to be taken,” said an official.The inauguration was done amid fanfare on January 6 by local legislator Shankarrao Gadak of the Nationalist Congress Party, who is also an important driving force behind the Shani Shingnapur temple.The bank’s branch manager, U.K. Shah said that the first bank in the town has already caught the imagination of the people and that he was optimistic of good growth.“So far, we have built a customer base of over 200 people and more are coming in. We plan to have our ATM here soon,” a proud Shah told IANS Monday.However, the local and district police are not impressed by the ‘lock-less’ bank branch and have already sounded a word of the caution to the concerned authorities.For one, keeping large quantities of cash without security could attract undue attention of undesirable elements, a district police official pointed out.The other banks in the nearest town Sonai have refused to cooperate with the UCO Bank branch to store its cash overnight on public holidays and weekends. The bank authorities discussed security aspects with the police and the local police have offered to provide them armed gunmen – but at a cost of nearly Rs.100,000 per month. This was not acceptable to the bank authorities, an official said. Despite repeated attempts by IANS, the UCO Bank authorities in Kolkata and Mumbai regional and zonal offices chose to keep mum on the security considerations for the Shani Shingnapur branch.A district official said that contrary to the image of the temple town, tourists and pilgrims are blatantly fleeced in the name of religion by nearly 300 touts operating outside the temple precincts.According to a police official, a couple of decades ago wearing of lungi (coloured dhoti) was suddenly introduced for devotees visiting the temple — without which, the touts claimed, the Sun God would not accept their prayers.“A single lungi is rented to several pilgrims at exorbitant rates of Rs.200 and more. Since nobody carries a lungi with them, they are forced to rent it. The district authorities have done nothing to stop this menace,” the police official said.On an average, around 5,000 tourists and pilgrims visit the town daily and on weekends the number swells to over 50,000.Incidentally, on Oct 25 last year, the first ever case of robbery was recorded by the Sonai police. A Haryana tourist lost valuables worth around Rs. 35,000, a Sonai police official said.Unquote. 

Having read this piece of interesting (?) news,I recalled a discourse on Ramayana at the residence of a Hindu friend of my late father, long ago,which I had attended along with him. The learned Panditji, had recited a few verses and had explained their meaning. Here are those verses and their meanings.(Any errors, ommissions, mis-interpretations, may please be forgiven) 

The concept of Ram Rajya has been beautifully brought out in the following chopais:


Ram Rajya Baithe Trailoka |

Harshit Bhaye Gaye Sab Shoka ||

Meaning : When Ram became the King of Three worlds, everyone was happy and all sorrows diminished.


Daihik Daivik bhautik Tapa |

Ram Rajya Nahin Kahuhin Vyapa ||

Meaning : During rule of Ram there was no psychological, physical and material pain to anyone.


Bayar Na Kar Kahu San Koi |

Ram Pratap Vishamata Khoi ||

Meaning : None engaged in enmity with anyone. Due to grace of Ram,differences had been merged.


Nahin Daridra, Koi Dukhi Na Deena |

Nahin Koi Abudha Na Lakshan Heena ||

Meaning : There was lack of poverty, sorrow, humiliation, and ignorance. Everyone possessed a good quality of life.


Alpa Mratyu Nahi Kavaneu Peera |

Sab Sunder Sab Viruj Sareera. ||

Meaning : None died a premature death. Everybody had a pleasant and healthy body. 

All the above chopais show the characteristics of a Ram Rajya.I understand that during the reign of Ram,there was perfect justice and freedom, peace and prosperity. There were no natural disasters, diseases, ailments or ill-fortune of any nature for any living being. There were no sins committed in the world by any of his people. Rama was and still is worshiped and hailed by all – the very symbol of moksha, the ultimate goal of life, and the best example of perfect character, inspiring human beings till today. In short, during Ram Rajya, peace, prosperity and tranquility had always reigned.If I am right, in Hindi, “Ayodhya” means “a place where there is no war.” Hence “Ram Rajya” has been described as an ideal society. 

Having understood the above concept, the afore-mentioned news item about UCO Bank opening a lockless branch, appears to me, either to be a feeble attempt at bringing back the concept of Ram Rajya during the present times of Kalyug (?), or just a marketting gimmick, to grab some column centimeters of space in the media,or just a silly brain- wave of some executives at the top end of the Bank’s pyramid, to exploit “the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” (late C K Prehlad’s pioneering treatise by this name).It could have many other meanings or implications as well. Think it over !

Jai Ram ji ki!!  

Keep smiling!  


Love versus Marriage …

Love versus Marriage

Here is a lovely story I read recently and would like to share it with you.

One day, Plato asked his teacher, “What is love? How can I find it?” His teacher answered: “There is a vast wheat field in front. Walk forward without turning back, and pick only one stalk. If you find the most magnificent stalk, then you have found love.” Plato walked forward, and before long, he returned with empty hands, having picked nothing. His teacher asked: “Why did you not pick any stalk?”Plato answered: “Because I could only pick once, and yet I could not turn back. I did find the most magnificent stalk, but did not know if there were any better ones ahead, so I did not pick it. As I walked further, the stalks that I saw were not as good as the earlier one, so I did not pick any in the end”.

His teacher then said: “And that is love.”

On another day, Plato asked his teacher: “What is marriage? How can find it?” His teacher answered: “There is a thriving forest in front. Walk forward without turning back, and chop down only one tree. If you find the tallest tree, then you have found marriage.” Plato walked forward, and before long, he returned with a tree. The tree was not thriving, and it was not tall either. It was an ordinary tree. His teacher asked: “Why did you chop down such an ordinary tree?” Plato answered: “Because of my previous experience. I walked halfway through the forest, but returned with empty hands. This time, I saw this tree, and I felt that it was not bad, so I chopped it down and brought it back. I did not want to miss the opportunity.”

His teacher then said: “And that is marriage.”

Now here is a delightful poem on the subject matter,which also I read somewhere and am sharing it with you.

Love is holding hands in the street.

Marriage is holding arguments in the street.

Love is dinner for two in your favourite restaurant.

Marriage is a fast food take-home packet.

Love is cuddling on a sofa.

Marriage is one sleeping on a sofa.

Love is talking about having children.

Marriage is talking about getting away from children.

Love is going to bed early.

Marriage is going to sleep early.

Love is a romantic drive.

Marriage is a tarmac drive.

Love is losing your appetite.

Marriage is losing your figure.

Love is sweet nothing in the ear.

Marriage is sweet nothing in the bank.

Love is a flickering flame.

Marriage is a flickering television.

In Love, TV in fact,has no place.

In Marriage it is fight for the remote.

Love is one drink and two straws.

Marriage is “Don’t you think you’ve had enough!”.

Conclusion : Love is blind… and marriage is a real eye opener !

Keep smiling !!


Mayawati Episode…

Mayawati Episode

The recent episode about a DSP sahib on the payroll of the UP Chief Minister, stooping down to wipe her shoes with his handkerchief,among other things,reminded me of an old poem read some years ago.Read it and enjoy it.To read my full piece about Shoes et all, go to the following link:   

Grandma Shoes.

When I was very little, all the Grandmas that I knew,

All walked around this world, in ugly grandma shoes.

You know the ones I speak of, those black clunky heeled kind,

They just looked so very awful, that it weighed upon my mind.

For I knew, when I grew old, I’d have to wear those shoes,

I’d think of that, from time to time, it seemed like such bad news.

I never was a rebel, I wore saddle shoes to school,

and next came ballerinas, then the sandals, pretty cool.

And then came spikes with pointed toes, then platforms, very tall,

as each new fashion came along, I wore them, one and all.

But always, in the distance, looming in my future, there,

was that awful pair of ugly shoes, the kind that grandmas wear.

I eventually got married, and then I became a Mom.

Our kids grew up and left, and when their children came along …

I knew I was a grandma, and the time was drawing near,

when those clunky, black, old lace up shoes was what I’d have to wear.

How would I do my gardening or take my morning hike?

I couldn’t even think about how I would ride my bike!

But fashions kept evolving, and one day I realized

that the shape of things to come, was changing, right before my eyes.

And now, when I go shopping, what I see fills me with glee.

For, in my jeans and Reeboks I’m as comfy as can be.

And I look at all these teenage girls and there, upon their feet

are clunky, black, old Grandma shoes, and they really think they’re neat.


Terms of Endearment

Terms of endearment. 

A lot of research has been done on the subject of how a married woman addresses her husband.It has also been established that from the way a woman addresses her husband,it is fairly easy to estimate the number of years since they have been married. 

Talking in the context of Indian wives, the following terms of endearment are fairly popular among a majority of sections of our society.(These are commonly used in Hindi ,with minor variations in other languages like Punjabi.)  

During the first year of their marriage,wife calls her hubby as Jaanu“.

During the second year she generally calls him ” O Jee.”  

During the third year she switches over to: ” Suntey Ho ? ” 

During the fourth year the endearment becomes:” O Bunty Ke Papa.” 

During the fifth year the wife graduates to :” Kahan Marr Gaye ?”

During the sixth year the endearment becomes a threat : ” Tum Aatey Ho Ki Main Aaoon ?” 

What happens beyond the sixth year….? Well,my research is silent.

Any suggestions from my readers and fellow-husbands ?  

Terms of endearment used in other languages,are also welcome. 

BTW, my wife of 34 years (since our marriage), after 2 married children and more so after my retirement from the Bank in 2009,hardly and rarely needs to address me with such or other terms of endearment.I am taking up this aspect for my next topic for research.Any suggestions for the same would be also appreciated.   


Budget Blues…

Budget Blues…

Soon the Budget day will be here. The FM with his team of advisors and assistants are all busy giving final touches to this gigantic annual exercise.All sections of the society eagerly await some good news from the man of the moment Pranab Mukherjee.The individuals,the corporates,the bigwigs,the industry honchos,the housewives,the senior citizens,and above all the salaried class, hope for this February Santa Clause to dole out their expected gifts this budget.

Recently,FINANCIAL EXPRESS (FE) wrote an editorial titled : “”Don’t Hold Your Breath” (FE 14th Feb 2011).  To read what it said,go to the following link :

As usual,I too read the editorial , and this is what I wrote to the Editor in form of a letter :

Dear Sir, 

This refers to your editorial “Don’t Hold Your Breath” (FE 14th Feb 2011) suggesting a road map for the ensuing budget exercise and listing out some of the most important  issues that need to be addressed to, if the country is to continue towards its path of much-hyped, super power status, in the near future.However,the issues listed by you, are all broader areas of concern for the economy. 

What about the “aam aadmi’s ” wish-list ? He will be really happy if following two areas of immediate concern are also taken care of : 

1.Income Tax on interest earned on Fixed Deposits in Banks:

This needs to be reviewed with sympathy,particularly in case of retired persons ,pensioners and senior citizens,as they invest their retirement funds in safer avenues like fixed deposits in banks and they mostly depend on interest income for their security in their sunset days.

If the total interest earned on all their fixed deposits in a bank is greater than Rs. 10,000 in a financial year, they are liable for TDS and the banks deduct the income tax at source.As per existing rules,the present exemption upto an annual interest of Rs.10,000 is grossly inadequate and needs to be enhanced significantly upwards, looking to the general price-rise trend and inflation etc.So,FM Sir,don’t hold your breath here ! 

2.Present definition of senior citizens  is – individuals aged 65 and above.However,the  retirement age of employees in public sector banks,state governments,railways and airlines etc  is mostly fixed at 60 years.Therefore, the Income Tax Act needs to revise its definiton and fix 60 years age for being recognised as a senior citizen. Again,FM Sir,please don’t hold your breath here too ! 

I am reminded of a media report on a recent  lecture and discussion on the comimg budget, wherein Paul Seabright, Professor of Economics from the Toulouse School of Economics, France, had said the human smile was an important aspect of social behaviour and dynamics of trust. After Seabright had finished his speech,Nitin Desai (the econmist) had said that if that was the case he would like to request Kaushik Basu (chief economic adviser and part of the budget panel) to tell Pranab Mukherjee to sport a proper smile while presenting the Budget this year.Lets hope the Finance Minister lets the “aam aadmi” smile too and not force him to keep holding his breath from smelling the roses and instead be left to experience the pinch of thorns.Amen ! 


New Delhi.


So, let us all wait for 28th Feb 2011,to see what we have in store !
Till then,keep smiling…..



Today’s Children..

Today’s Children
Media exposure has made today’s children quite aware of so many things.As a result,they have become very demanding.However,most of the time,they may not be right and so need to be handled with care and tact,to drive home a point.
Here is a delightful poem on an exchange between a son and his mother.I read it some years ago and seeing some episodes of a new reality show recently on TV,reminded me of it.
Son to Mom
My son came home from school one day,
With a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough,
To put me in my place.
“Guess what I learned in Civics Two,
that’s taught by Mr. Wright?
It’s all about the laws today,
The ‘Children’s Bill of Rights.’
It says I need not clean my room,
Don’t have to cut my hair
No one can tell me what to think,
Or speak, or what to wear.
I have freedom from religion,
And regardless what you say,
I don’t have to bow my head,
And I sure don’t have to pray.
I can wear earrings if I want,
And pierce my tongue & nose.
I can read & watch just what I like,
Get tattoos from head to toe.
And if you ever spank me,
I’ll charge you with a crime.
I’ll back up all my charges,
With the marks on my behind.
Don’t you ever touch me,
My body’s only for my use,
Not for your hugs and kisses,
that’s just more child abuse.
Don’t preach about your morals,
Like your Mama did to you.
That’s nothing more than mind control,
And it’s illegal too! Mom,
I have these children’s rights,
So you can’t influence me,
Or I’ll call Children’s Services Division,
Better known as C.S.D.”
Mom’s Reply and Thoughts
Of course my first instinct was
To toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson
Made me think a little more.
I mulled it over carefully,
I couldn’t let this go.
A smile crept upon my face,
he’s messing with a pro.
Next day I took him shopping
At the local Goodwill Store..
I told him, “Pick out all you want,
there’s shirts & pants galore.
I’ve called and checked with C.S.D .
Who said they didn’t care
If I bought you K-Mart shoes
Instead of those Nike Airs.
I’ve canceled that appointment
To take your driver’s test.
The C.S.D. Is unconcerned
So I’ll decide what’s best. ”
I said “No time to stop and eat,
Or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn
To make your own sack lunch.
Just save the raging appetite,
And wait till dinner time.
We’re having liver and onions,
A favorite dish of mine.”
He asked “Can I please rent a movie,
To watch on my VCR?”
“Sorry, but I sold your TV,
For new tires on my car.
I also rented out your room,
You’ll take the couch instead.
The C .S.D. Requires
Just a roof over your head.
Your clothing won’t be trendy now,
I’ll choose what we eat.
That allowance that you used to get,
Will buy me something neat.
I’m selling off your jet ski,
Dirt-bike & roller blades.
Check out the ‘Parents Bill of Rights’,
It’s in effect today!
Hey hot shot, are you crying,
Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you out,
Instead of C.S.D..?”
I bet the son must have realised his folly and must have  understood the lesson taught by his mom very well and for the rest of his life. 
You can also share your interesting experiences and views on this subject.

Cooking Up A Sumptuous Fare..

Cooking Up A Sumptuous Fare

Well readers,there seems to be rush to establish 24 hrs Food Show Channels on TV but the million dollar question remains-WILL THEY ALL SURVIVE ??

Here is a link to a write-up from BUSINESS WORLD (BW) :

I had read the article and had posted following comments on the subject matter :

I would like to have your reactions to the matter. 
Meanwhile,keep enjoying what you eat,without calory counting !

All about wives…

All about wives…  
My blog readers will be familiar with my fascination with facts and fiction about a wife in particular and wives in general. Anything spicy written about someone’s wife,interests me.I am sure most of my men readers out there,have a similar taste ! 

My favourite author and a naughty old man of 90 plus, is Khushwant Singh.His Sunday column “With malice towards one and all..” in the Hindustan Times (HT),has a vast readership.

Besides his lead article about religion,politics,people,girlfriends,sex,booze,experiences,etc,the column has a few jokes too.Most of these jokes are sent by the readers. 

Today’s HT had a few jokes too.They were good enough to exercise my facial muscles in the early morning.The best one out of all the jokes I read today,happens to be about wives….! Do you see the link with what I said in the opening para ? Ha !  

So here is the joke with its translation for those who have no Hindi-knowing wives to help them understand it : 

Laxman apni Biwi ghar pe chhorkar chala aya.

(Laxman left his wife at home and went away to the forest with Ram.) 

Rawan doosre ki biwi utha ke fas gaya.

(Rawan got entangled after running away with anothers wife.) 

Hanuman ki apni biwi thi hi nahi magar doosre ki biwi dhundhne mein  Lanka jala dali.

(Hanuman did not have a wife of his own but he burnt the whole of Lanka in searching anothers wife.) 

Ram ko apni biwi  wapas lane ke liye 10 din tak “war” Karni padi.  Wapas lake bhi kya mila?

(Ram had to wage a 10 day war to get his wife back.Even after getting her back,what did he get in the end ?) 

Ek dhobi ne apni biwi ko wapas ghar mein nahin liya, To Ram ne apniwali ko out kar diya. Aur end mein kya hua?

(A dhobhi did not permit his wife to enter his house after she allegedly spent one night away from home.Hearing this,Ram also threw out his wife.What happened ultimately ?) 

Jis biwi ke karan itni badi Ramayan hui, who to Underground chali gayi !

(The wife, for whom such a long epic like Ramayan was written,finally went deep inside the earth !) 

Abhi socho, akhaa jhamela hua kayko? Kyun ki Dashrath ki 3 biwiyan thi!

(Now just think.Why did all this hullabaloo happen? Well it was just because King Dashrath had 3 wives !) 

Hope you really smiled !  

Well then,what is the moral from this joke ? (Seriously,can jokes have a moral too ? ) 

I think I will take the hint from a family planning ad seen on the rear of a truck: bachha ek hi kaafi.auron sey maafi.(One child is enough.excuse me-no more children for me !)  

I will say-be happy with just one wife ! (Incidentally,sailors have one wife.Yes,one at all the ports !)


What Nobel Winners Ate?

What Nobel Winners Ate ?

What did you eat last night ? May be your usual food ie chapaties,rice,curry,salad and kheer ! 
What did I eat when I last went to a hotel named “Pind Baluchi” in Delhi ? I hardly remember now !
You and me hardly matter in the world of Nobel Prize winners.Why ? Here is the low down:

When Nobel Prize Winners go to Stockholm for the awards ceremony, they are treated to a special lunch/dinner at the famous City Hall restaurant there. I understand that the hotel has preserved all the old menus (called Nobel Menu) from 1901 onwards.

If you go there now (wishful thinking) you can place an order for any of the meals served to old Nobel prize winners, like :1913 Rabindranath Tagore,1930 Chandrasekar Venkata Raman,1968 Hargobind Khorana,1983 Subramanyam Chandrasekhar,1998 Amratya Sen and 2001 V S Naipaul.

For example,you can say : “I’d like to order the Tagore for four…”.
You will have to just give Chef Mark Phoenix a week’s notice, and you can dine like Tagore, Sen or Naipaul.

Here are the mouth-watering menus of the above four Nobel Winners,for you to think of and drool  over.Frankly speaking,when I went through these menus,I was at a total loss to understand the names of certain dishes and items mentioned therein.See if you can do better !

2001, V.S. Naipaul (Literature)
Starter: Lobster and cauliflower buds on a bed of cauliflower purée with langoustine aspic and coral salad. Served with a Nobel roll.
Main: Quail stuffed with chopped duck liver. Served with cep ragout, sundried tomatoes, fresh green asparagus, madeira gravy and chervil purée.
Dessert: Vanilla ice cream and black currant parfait on a thin meringue base. Served with a dainty caramel biscuit.

1998, Amartya Sen (Economics)
Starter: Marinated artichoke heart stuffed with prawns, crayfish and fresh fennel.
Main: Fried chicken breast seasoned with black pepper and thyme Jerusalem artichoke sauce, mushroom roulade and ragout of vegetables
Dessert: Nobel ice-cream with spun sugar, and wild blackberry sorbet.

1983, Subramanyam Chandrasekhar (Physics)
Starter: Mousse of snow grouse with cream sauce
Main: Morel stuffed fillet of sole with Vermouth sauce and rice
Dessert: Nobel ice cream and petits fours

1968, Hargobind Khorana (Medicine)
Starter: Avocado with lobster with gourmet sauce.
Main: Saddle of lamb with cream-stewed morels, Madeira sauce and Waldorf salad.
Dessert: Pineapple ice cream with petits fours.

1930 Chandrasekar Venkata Raman (Physics)
Starter: Mock turtle soup.
Main: Salmon trout with truffle, mushrooms, cock’s comb, Fried turkey with artichokes, salad and gelé.
Dessert: Ice cream parfait with almonds and fruits.

1913 Rabindranath Tagore (Literature)
Starter: Mock turtle soup.
Main: Fillet of turbot a la Walewska. Young fattened hen with marrowstuffed artichokes, green beans and potatoes, and chaud-froid of quail with salad, with artichokes a la Maintenon.
Dessert: Praline ice cream.

These then,were the famous menus, of these famous men.
Real gastronomic delights,no? Yes !

What will you have,Mr Broca,someone asked me.Here is my reply :
As for me, if,as and when I win a Nobel prize and have a chance and luck to be in City Hall,I would love to decide my own menu,by selecting some of the items from the various menus given above and adding one of my favourite dishes to it.What is that dish ? Keep guessing !

Meanwhile,I am reminded of a poem,I learnt in school. It goes like this :

Fame Is A Food That Dead Men Eat

By Henry Austin Dobson

Fame is a food that dead men eat,—
I have no stomach for such meat.
In little light and narrow room,
They eat it in the silent tomb,
With no kind voice of comrade near
To bid the banquet be of cheer.

But Friendship is a nobler thing,—
Of Friendship it is good to sing.
For truly, when a man shall end,
He lives in memory of his friend,
Who doth his better part recall,
And of his faults make funeral.