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Let Humour Reign in 2012

Let humour reign in 2012

As the new year dawns,I am posting a few thoughts on humour:

Good humour is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.
Humour is the tendency to look at things from the mirthful or incongruous side. It is the quality that makes something laughable or amusing. Humour is the ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing or comical. It is the source of laughter and the catalyst of smiles.
Humour is the spark that lights our eyes as well as the cause of tears that never grows old. Humour is a state of mind. Most of us have a tendency to regard a clever sense of humour as the distinction of a person who is good hearted and friendly, someone people feel at ease with. They are “life of the party” we always invite and the co-worker who always has a joke. Everyone has the jocular family member that they always look forward to seeing.
We remember the kid in school who always made the class break into laughter. Humour is never forgotten when we reminisce and it is just as amusing as it was the first time.
Humour can be used like a sniper’s gun, picking people off when they least expect it. When we use humour to hurt, we abuse the fundamental essence of this wonderful gift.
We must teach our children the difference between what is funny and what is cruel. A joke is never humorous if it is at the expense of another. Some people use humour to hide from their real emotions.
Using humour to help get through the difficult times is a lot different than using humour to hide from them. Hiding behind humour can be a serious problem; it can not be the only way of expressing our emotions.
Some of the greatest comedians have been secretly depressed. Using humour as a defense mechanism can be a serious mental health issue. Those who use humour to its best advantage teach others by example.
Instead of getting angry when something goes wrong, we should try to look for the humour in the situation. It eases tensions and keeps things in perspective. Humour can energize us when a task has become tedious. Humour can make even the worst of situations tolerable. Humour has been the source of entertainment throughout history. Today humour is practiced in movies, plays, songs, television shows and radio. Humour has brought fame and fortune to those who have mastered its power. Humour is the universal language. Although it is true that different people find humour in different things, we all like to laugh.
Humour should be a prerequisite to life’s lessons. It helps keep us sane; keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. It calms our apprehensions and puts life’s imperfections into perspective. Humour is the diversion we need to get us through the trials and tribulations of our lives. Humour is the ability to laugh at ourselves and only to laugh with others. Humour is the defining characteristic between the pessimist and the optimist. Humour may be defined as sudden whim, but being whimsical is not all bad.
Keep smiling and let humour reign in 2012.

The Case Of The Unlucky Locker…

The Case Of The Unlucky Locker…

I was tickled pink by this cute Editorial in this morning’s Hindustan Times. Read on ….. The very hurt locker- Hindustan Times, December 27, 2011

If you have been banking on banks to keep your valued possessions safe, you might want to think again. As has been reported, a certain liquid detergent producer-seller from Raipur, Chhattisgarh had decided to stash away Rs 1.5 lakh in a bank locker there, only to find four months later that the cash had been devoured by termites. The bank, for its part, has refused to recompense the affected person for the losses suffered, trying to shift the blame on to the old newspapers that were used to wrap the wads of currency notes.
This might very well set a precedent for pests and pestilence of other kinds to affect what we hold dear. We might as well get into the habit of keeping a close watch on the skies, lest we are invaded by a Biblical swarm of locusts that apart from destroying crops, also make off with all the latest digital devices that we hold closer to our chest than any other. Having learnt a lesson from the Raipur incident and not willing to be caught in a similar bind where we lose our hard-earned (or sometimes pilfered) savings, we would also be well-advised to not ignore the danger posed by those that are puny but lethal, lest a particularly nasty spider weaves a web powerful enough to gather and hike off with the family silver we had so cherished having.
And since we will have to assume responsibility as the sole custodian of our fortunes, banks and similar institutions can merrily shut shop. Tried and tested ways of keeping valuables secure — secret chests, those pots buried in the backyard or even the old sock that can stash away the jewellery that we have — might all be back in business. Getting used to sleeping on a mattress stuffed with valuables is a handy skill that will ensure that you do not lose sleep worrying about the dietary habits of termites. And if banks can absolve themselves of the responsibility associated with perforated and damaged notes, there is no reason to mistrust small kids when they next say that the dog ate their homework.

The title of this Editorial is apparently inspired by a 2008 American war movie titled :”The hurt locker”. To read about this great award winning movie,go to :
KEEP SMILING and henceforth please get your locker/s treated by pest control people since it is better to be safe than sorry.


Lead,Kindly Light

Lead,Kindly Light  

I LOVE THIS HYMN. Lead, Kindly Light, is a hymn with words written in 1833 by John Henry Newman as a poem titled “the Pillar of Cloud”. In some hymnals, one may find a fourth verse added by Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr. As a young priest, John Newman became sick while in Italy and was unable to travel for almost three weeks. In his own words:”Before starting from my inn, I sat down on my bed and began to sob bitterly. My servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me. I could only answer, “I have a work to do in England.” I was aching to get home, yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks. I began to visit the churches, and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services. At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles. We were becalmed for whole week in the Straits of Bonifacio, and it was there that I wrote the lines, Lead, Kindly Light, which have since become so well known”.
The largest mining disaster in Britain was at West Stanley Colliery, known locally as “The Burns Pit” , when 168 men and boys lost their lives as the result of two underground explosions at 3.45pm on Tuesday 16.February 1909. In the Towneley Seam 63 lay dead, in the Tilley Seam 18 lay dead, in the Busty Seam 33 lay dead and in the Brockwell Seam 48 lay dead. But incredibly, there were still men alive underground. A group of 34 men and boys in the Tilley Seam had found a pocket of clean air. They were led by Deputy Mark Henderson. Sadly a few of them panicked and left the group, they died instantly of the poison gas. The remainder sat in almost total darkness, when one of them began humming the Hymn “Lead Kindly Light”. In no time at all. the rest of the miners joined in with the words, “Lead kindly light amidst the encircling gloom, lead thou me on, The night is dark, and I am far away from home”. Before the hymn ended, young Jimmy Gardner died of injuries. These 26 men were rescued after 14 hours, four others were later rescued.
Lead, Kindly Light was sung by a soloist on the RMS Titanic during a hymn-singing gathering led by Rev. Ernest C. Carter, shortly before the ocean liner struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912.
Lead, Kindly Light
“Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th’encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.”
-John Henry Newman (21 February 1801 – 11 August 1890)
This hymn also happens to be a favourite with Mahatma Gandhi eventhough he was a Hindu. May be because the song addresses God simply as “Light”. It’s like Christians liking George Harrison’s “My sweet Lord”, not knowing which “Lord” he sang to!

Wishing You  All,A Merry Christmas ! Listen to this hymn by going to the following link:


Christmas is here…

Christmas is here…

Every Christmas, I make it a point to read some children’s letters to Santa Claus.They express their wishes
and desires so lovingly.Here is a selection of children’s messages to Santa Clause, or Father Christmas,
that will enchant you, some will fill you with Christmas cheer, whilst others will leave you misty eyed.

* I want a puppy because they are cute, I want pjs because I need them, I want pants so people won’t see my underwear. That is why I need those things.- Jacqui, 8, Illinois.
* Dear Santa, I want my own room so I can do my homework or read and my brother and sister won’t disturb me. I can talk to my friends on the phone and no one will hear what I say. – Delorah
 * Dear Santa, I would like a makeup kit so I could give my mom a makeover when she goes to sing. She would look awesome for people. – Aliyah
 * Dear Santa, I want a Play Station 2 because I can play games that I never played before. Last Christmas I got a PS2 and my brother wrecked it so that’s why I want a PS2. – Luis
* Dear Santa, I already have old clothes. I want more clothes so I could have new clothes. I would also like puffy boots … because I have no boots. Another thing I would like for Christmas is more sweaters. I would like it because I would like to be cozy. – Yanira
* Dear Santa, I hadn’t had a new pair of shoes since 2007. It would really be awesome to have a new pair of shoes for once. – Sara
* I’m going to leave out my report card just to prove how good I’ve been! – Patricia, 12, Québec.    
* Santa, Sometimes I am disrespectful to my momma. I am sorry and I will try to be better from now on. – Daniel, 7, Mississippi.
    * Dear Santa, I have been a good girl, but sometimes I am a little mean to my brother. Please give my aunts a good Christmas because my Aunt Trish is going to have a baby. My Aunt Kim already had a baby. – Jaydon
    * I wish that my Dad didn’t have to die from cancer – Tanya-Louise, 7, Ontario.
    * Santa I also want my parents to be nice to each other – (Name and address withheld by Santa).
    * My grandpa just died and everyone is sad. I want everyone to be happy for Christmas. I love my whole family and just want this Christmas to be happy. – Phillip, 9, New Jersey.
    * Santa be carful, we have holes in the floor. peple fall in them. I want to move. Mom says we are going to live on the street. If we are not here plese leve the presets at grammas. I love you! – Elizabeth, 9, Washington.
    * Dear Santa, I want a German shepherd because my brother died in my mom’s tummy and I don’t have nobody to play with. – Jasuè    
* l would like if you to bring a toy for my little friend at school, they don’t have alot of money, so if you can’t l can give her one fo mine – Christine, 6, Ontario.    
* How are you able to get down the chimney and be in so many places throughout the world in just one short night? I need to know because my mom says her Christmas dress is too small from last year and she says there’s no time to go and get all the things done in time for Christmas? – Elizabeth, 9, Alberta.    
* Dear Santa, I know that Christmas is about giving not getting so I will give you some cookies! – Jenna, 9, Brisbane, Australia.

Here is another story about a little boy who got a Santa friendly chimney made in his house:
6-yr-old helps create Santa-friendly chimney
Reuters | Dec 21, 2011 
London: A worried letter from six-year old Leo Park sparked a mammoth operation to test what is believed to be the world’s first chimney specifically designed to accommodate Santa Claus.The little boy’s parents are having a house custom built and when Leo viewed the plans he was concerned that the chimney wasn’t big enough for Father Christmas and his famous belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly.As he was penning his traditional letter to Santa, Leo decided to also write a heartfelt missive about the chimney design problem to Jeremy Paxton, who owns the estate on which the new house is being built.In childish scrawl the letter reads: “Dear Mr Paxton, I am worried that my mummy’s house does not have a big enough chimney. I think Santa Claus will get stuck. Please can you help. Love Leo Park.”Paxton, founder and owner of luxury holiday home development Lower Mill Estate in the southwestern English region of the Cotswolds decided to commission a special formula to satisfy Leo’s concerns . Obviously size was the key consideration to ensure Santa won’t get wedged tight on his way to stuffing the stockings and so Paxton enlisted a mathematician to take on the challenge and save the jolly old elf from turning red for the wrong reasons.The Santa-friendly formula looked at risk factors of chimney entry, the size of St Nick’s girth versus the width of the chimney at its narrowest point. To test what they said was the perfect chimney, Paxton enlisted the help of a stand-in Santa Claus in full padded outfit, a crane, a harness and winch to put the new chimney through its paces.Leo was invited to watch as the great experiment got underway . “Go on Santa” he shouted out as the faux Father Christmas was lifted into the air towards the chimney. A few seconds later and Santa was successfully lowered into the chimney of the half-built house, re-emerging shortly after to deliver a hearty: “Ho Ho Ho” . “I can guarantee that this chimney is big enough for Santa and all the presents,” he told Leo. My comments on this cute story :
Well,boys will be boys.While we are young,we believe in so many things.
One such ages-old story is about Santa Claus. He is pictured as roly poly and fat.So naturally the boy in this
story was apprehensive about his entry through a narrow chimney.Hence his design for a Santa friendly chimney.  
Innovation indeed. Hope the boy’s efforts really pay off and he gets a big bag of goodies this Christmas.


Endorsing brands, ethically ….

Endorsing brands, ethically…..
HE AUTHORED his first book on ethical hacking when he was 14; at 16, he helped the US government decrypt emails of the September 11 terror attacks sent by the Al-Qaeda; at 23, he worked with the Mumbai Police to trace terror emails sent before the Gujarat serial blasts; and, now, at 25, he is entering the world of brand endorsement. 
Meet Ankit Fadia, India’s first hacker superstar. 
The professional hacker seems to have set his sights on the endorsement turf of Bollywood stars. He has replaced Abhishek Bachchan as the brand ambassador of Flying Machine jeans, is close to signing a deal with a global IT brand in India and he is in talks with a watch company for another deal. He is also expected to cohost a new MTV show, What the Hack. 
What the hack! A techie in showbiz, which was like an exclusive zone for film stars and cricketers! 
But advertising professionals think it’s a smart marketing idea. “Getting a guy like Fadia to endorse youth brands is a smart move. It’s like, we won’t have to see an actor or cricketer yet again promoting a brand,” says Prahlad Kakkar, an industry veteran and ad filmmaker. 
“To me, Fadia is like one of the few guys who make their own road – someone a lot of youngsters would want to be like. Plus, he may not be charging as much as some over-rated actors do,” adds Mr Kakkar. 
Young Fadia is a pretty known figure in the cyber world and beyond. His first book, ‘The Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking’, has sold three million copies and was translated into 11 languages. He has almost two lakh followers on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. 
It’s natural that many brands are after him. 
The Delhi boy, however, calls himself a regular guy who did all things teenagers do. “My parents gave me a computer when I was 10, and by 12, I had developed an interest in ethical hacking,” he said. 
There was no looking back – he started hosting training programmes and consulting assignments at 16 and has created a full-time career out of ethical hacking. Now based out of the Silicon Valley in California, this ‘MTV Youth icon’ runs the ‘Ankit Fadia-certified ethical hacker programme’ – Asia’s largest cyber security training and certification program with almost 20,000 people trained in the last three years. 
Flying Machine, a 100-crore denim apparel brand from the house of Bangalore-based apparel major Arvind Mills, chose Fadia because he fits in with the brand’s eclectic ‘state of mind’ positioning, a company official said. Calling Fadia a ‘master of his craft and unconventional like Flying Machine’, Alok Dubey, VP at Arvind Lifestyle Brands, said: “Flying Machine is an unconventional brand with a risk-taking attitude synonymous with youth… Ankit has a huge fan following among the core target group of Flying Machine.” 
Apart from TV commercials, Fadia will be seen promoting and wearing Flying Machine clothes through events and seminars on ethical hacking in colleges across 40 cities. “While Abhishek Bachchan brought credibility and respect for the brand when he was with us, Flying Machine has since moved on with the message, ‘find your own stage’,” said Mr Dubey. 
Fadia is not new to MTV’s ‘What the Hack’. The youth-focused music channel tried out the show on the Internet last year with the ethical hacker. “The show was very well-received so we are taking it beyond the Internet space next month onwards, to our television channel,” said Aditya Swami, senior VP, sales & marketing, MTV India. “We are considering him as a cohost for the TV show,” he added. 
Prior to these endorsements , Fadia says he was doing one-off promotional events. Now, he hacks a punch.

Khushwant Singh Inside The Light Bulb…

Khushwant Singh Inside The Light Bulb…

As mentioned in some of my older postings on this blog , I have been a great admirer and fan of Khushwant Singh.I have a huge collection of his famous jokes page titled “Ha!” from old issues of, the now defunct but then, very famous “THE ILLUSTRATED WEEKLY OF INDIA “

The Editorial page of THE WEEKLY was a pleasure to read and it was famous for its signature  cartoon showing Khushwant Singh inside a light bulb.

The cartoon was a creation of MARIO MIRANDA.

Here is the cartoon :


Later on,the same cartoon has been used in his famous column in Saturday editions of THE HINDUSTAN TIMES. The column is called  -“With Malice towards One and All” and enjoys a very huge readership.

Category: Cartoons, People  3 Comments

FACEBOOK’s Funeral…..

FACEBOOK’s Funeral…

There has been a  lot of hullabaloo about Kapil Sibal’s move to go for censorship of FB.It has opened a Pandora’s Box of views and counterviews.Here is a piece by Bachi Karkaria titled “FACEBOOK Face off ” from TOI of today.

Remember Mark Antony’s speech from Julius Ceaser begining like this : ” Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…..” ?

Here is Bachi Karakaria’s ERRATICA column from TOI on Kapil Sibal’s much hyped subject of censorship of FB :
Friends, non-Romans, countrymen, lend me your peers;
I come to bury Facebook, not to praise it.
The good that social networks do lives after them;
The evils are oft interred with their nannies;
So let it be with Facebook.
The noble Kapil hath told you social media is pernicious:
If it were so, it is a grievous fault,
And drastically should sites be censored for it.
Here, under leave of Kapil and the rest—
Come i to speak at Facebook’s funeral.
It was like all my virtual friends, faithful to just causes.
But Kapil says it was ‘derogatory’.
And Sibal is an honourable man.
Facebook hath brought many despots down to dust
Whose misdeeds did the news nights grimly fill.
Did this in Facebook seem ‘defamatory’?
When democracy hath died, Twitter hath wept:
Defamation should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Kapil says social networks are inflammatory,
And Sibal is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Sibal spoke,
But here i am to speak what i do know.
You all did log in once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to hashtag Kapil now?
O malware thou art fled to brutish beasts,
So links can easily lose their reason. So what?
Bear with me. My heart is on the Wall up there on Facebook,
And i must pause till its status is updated for me.
First Chetan:
Me thinks there is much reason in his sayings.
Assorted blogs, wikis, podcasts :
I fear worse censorship comes to this place.
Antony continues:
But yesterday the tweets from Iran might
Have stood up against the rigged election of Ahmadinejad (in 140 characters or less).
Now lies it there. With even the BJP too scared to do it reverence.
If you have fears, prepare to shed them now…
Look, in this place ran Diggy’s dagger through:
See what a rent the apoplectic Omar made:
Through this the well-beloved Kapil stabb’d; And as he pluck’d his censoring steel away
Mark how the blood of Zuckerberg follow’d it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Sibal so unkindly snipped, or no;
For Kapil, as you know, was the suave UPA libertarian.
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the liberal Facebook saw him stab,
Disbelief more strong than bigots’ harms,
Did NOT quite vanquish it.
But going viral with all their sharing power,
The social networks rose. Oh what a backlash there was my countrymen.
Then i, and you, and all the Yahoo, Tag and LinkedIn groups
Arose. And cyber freedom triumphed over all.


Mario Miranda Meets His Maker..


I had posted a blog piece titled:”NOSTALGIA-V …World of Cartoons”,on my blog on 12th January,2010.Here is the link to it :

I am sad to hear about his death.My favourite cartoonist Mario Miranda passed away on 11th December 2011.Here is a news item on his death, from Business Standard of 12th Dec :

Renowned cartoonist Mario Miranda, immortalised by his depiction of Goan life and his humorous take on the world around him, passed away at his residence near here today. He was 85. The veteran cartoonist, who has left an indelible mark in his field with his inimitable style, died in his sleep this morning at his ancestral home in Loutolim village, about 40km from here, Gerald D’Cunha, a family friend of Miranda, said.

Miranda’s creations like Miss Nimbupani and Miss Fonseca were regularly featured in ‘Femina’, ‘Economic Times’ and ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’. Miranda studied atSt Joseph’sBoysHigh School,Bangaloreand obtained BA (History) from the prestigious St Xavier’s College in Mumbai. Initially, he was interested in joining the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS) but changed his mind and started studying architecture on his parents’ insistence, according to family sources.Soon he lost interest in architecture too and ventured into arts. He started his career in an advertising studio and worked for four years before taking up cartooning.

Miranda got his first break when ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ (now defunct) published a few of his cartoons. He also received offer from ‘Current’ magazine. A year later, he was offered job in ‘The Times of India’. He got an opportunity to travel abroad after winning Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian scholarship. He went toPortugaland then toLondon, where he worked for newspapers and in television animations.

During his career spanning several decades, Miranda illustrated numerous books, including ‘Inside Goa’ by Manohar Malgaonkar, ‘A Family inGoa’ and ‘The Open Eyes’ by Dom Moraes.The artist received many national and international honours, including ‘Padma Bhushan’, the third highest civilian award of the country, in 2002 and Padma Shri in 1988.

Miranda is survived by wife and two sons. The last rites will be performed tomorrow, family sources said.

A SAD LOSS…R.I.P.Mario….


Category: Cartoons, People  4 Comments