Archive for » January, 2012 «

A Hymn from Shri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS)…

A Hymn from Shri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS)


I had the good fortune of listening to a very meaningful hymn sung by professional singers in the nearby Gurudwara a few days ago. It is from page  44 of SGGS. It is generally sung on occasions of celebrations of happy events in the family or society. The Hymn is commonly begun with line number 6 which is used as the theme of the hymn to celebrate the occasion. Thereafter, other lines of the hymn are sung and line number 6 is repeated a number of times. 


I most humbly share with you the hymn. Each line is transcribed first into English from the original in Gurmukhi language for ease of understanding. Below it, is the meaning of the line expressed as simply as possible and as near in meaning to the original. I hope you will appreciate the central idea and the theme of this beautiful hymn. God Bless Us All with His Divine Grace.


1. Sabhey thok praptey jey aavey ikk hathth. – All things are received if the One* is obtained.(*His Holy Name)


2. Janam padarath safal hai jey sacha shabad kathth.- The precious gift of this human life becomes fruitful when one chants the True Word of the Shabad** (**Guru’s Words) 


3. Gur tey mehal praptey jiss likhiya hovey mathth.- One who has such destiny written on his forehead, only he enters the mansion of the Lord, And in His presence, through the Guru. 


4 .Merey mann  ek sio chitt laaey.- O my mind, focus your consciousness on the One. 


5. Ekas bin sabh dhandh hai,sabh mithiya moh maaey.- Without the One, all entanglements are worthless; emotional attachment to Maya is totally false. 


6.Lakh khushiyaan paatshahiyaan, jey satgur nadar karey.- Hundreds of thousands of princely pleasures are enjoyed, if the True Guru bestows His Glance of Grace. 


7.Nimakh ek harr naam dey,mera mann tann seetal hoey.- If He bestows the Name of the Lord on me, even for a moment, my mind and body are cooled and soothed. 


8. Jis ko poorab likhiya tinn satgur charan gahey.-Those who have such pre-ordained destiny hold tight to the Feet of the True Guru.


9. Safal moorat saflaa ghadi, jitt sachhey naal piaar.-Fruitful is that moment, and fruitful is that time, when one is in love with the True Lord. 


10. Dukh santaap naa lagai jiss harr ka naam aadhaar.- Sufferings and sorrow do not touch those who have the Support of the Name of the Lord. 


11. Baahn pakad gur kadhiya soyee utriiyaa paar.- Grasping them by the arm, the Guru lifts them up and out, and carries them across to the other side. 


12. Thaan suhaava pavit hai jiththey santt sabhaa.-Embellished and immaculate is that place where the Saints gather together.  


13. Dhoyee tiss hi no milley jinn poora guru labhaa.-He alone finds shelter, who has met the Perfect Guru. 


14. Nanak badhdha gharr taahan jithey mirat naa janam jarra.-Nanak builds his house upon that site where there is no death, no birth, and no old age. 


To listen to this hymn sung by professional singers, go to the following YOUTUBE LINK:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAVFAll7XPo


 

Zoozoos Are Smiling…

Zoozoos Are Smiling…

I love Vodafone’s animated characters called Zoozoos. In fact there is a fans’ club who love zoozoos and at present there are around 28 lac fans of zoozoos. Zoozoos are white creatures with ballooned bodies and egg heads who are used to promote various value added services of Vodafone. Although these characters look animated, they are actually humans in Zoozoo costumes.Vodafone has been in the news since long,about a case filed by the Taxman for recovery of Rs.11000 crores.Today’s newspapers are full of the final decision of the concerned court. Here is a brief idea of the decision :


Justice KS Radhakrishnan summed it up well when, while delivering a separate but concurring judgment on the taxman’s Rs11,000 crore demand on Vodafone, he said that imposing capital gains taxes on Vodafone’s $11.1bn purchase of Hutch’s stake in its Indian telecom operations was tantamount to imposing capital punishment on capital investment in the country—indeed, if taxes had to be paid, they should have been paid by Hutch, not Vodafone.  Here is my take on this news:


Justice K S Radhakrishnan’s decision in Vodafone’s  case pertaining to the Taxman’s Rs.11,000 crore demand by way of capital gains tax on purchase of Hutch’s stake, is a historic judgement and will pave the way for more consolidation in the telecom sector. Vodafone must be surely happy with this ” justice delayed but not denied” chapter and brought cheers to millions of its Zoozoo fans.


Here is my short doggerel on the topic:


Taxman had come knocking


On Vodafone’s telecom door


You better pay or go away


If you can’t pay 11000 crore …


Justice Radhakrishnan said:


“Nothing doing, there isn’t any case”


His decision is a historic one:


- And the Zoozoos are smiling again!!  


KEEP SMILING !


  

CRICKET’S DAY OF RECKONING!!

CRICKET’S DAY OF RECKONING!!

Statutory Warning: I am not the poet of this poem.

I liked this delightful poem on the present state of affairs of our cricket stars (?).

It is a copy paste job from a FB friend’s page by permission. Read and smile:

Cricket’s Agnee-phut!
 
The Nawab of Najafgarh, Virender
Wearing a halo, went to Down Under.
He will, we thought, pulverise the Aussies
... And make mincemeat of the Husseys
But alas Virender, what an abject surrender!

Gautie, the Team’s new ‘groom,
Will surely push the Aussies to their doom
But poor Gautam is no more the same,
Gambhir…..’tis only in his name.
The guy’s still dreaming of his bedroom!

Here,, he walks in, Dravid, the Wall,
Amidst ruins, he stands quite tall!
Grim faced, determined, he faces the Aussie,
But, Jammy, it’s a different cuppa tea!
The Wall crumbles, heralding his fall.

There comes Sachin, with a heart so large,
The Masterblaster, cool, collected, fully in charge.
Its gotta be today, the crowd roared!
With bated breath we waited, hopes soared,
But the Hundredth 100? Sachin’s still chasing the mirage!

Old man Laxman, he’s plodding along,
And ambles for a run, as if it’s a Walkathon!
Team India expected a miracle,
But VVS landed us in a debacle
He’s still surviving on his 2-8-1.

Dashing, debonair, young Virat Kohli,
Team India’s future performing flea!
Expected fireworks with his batting,
But Virat went shopping and go-karting!
Psst! he’s three bags full of Fair & Lovely!

Mahi! Mahi!, our Desi fans gasped!
Like Hanuman, he strode, propeller a-clasped!
How sad, Siddle, Hilfie and Patt stole the thunder,
Helicopter crashed, its wreckages, asunder!
The Dhoni balloon burst, yet another chance lapsed!

Zak, Ishant, Umesh and Ashwin,
Our pace men and one with a spin,
Poor guys, they bowled their hearts out,
But the Aussies stood their crease, firm an’ stout,
The quartet not good enough to Win.

The AGNEEPATH series, still on, but
The fire has long been put out.
Our Wizards of the Willow reduced to Ash,
What remains is the final whitewash.
AGNEEPATH?...Sorry Pal, its AGNEE….PHUT!...PHUT

 

HAPPY MAKKAR SANKRANTI…

HAPPY MAKKAR SANKRANTI


I fondly recall my years spent inGujarat(Bulsar and Baroda- 1954 to 1986 I recall) where today is/ was celebrated as a “Kite Flying Day” all over. People used to climb on roof tops. They used to shout at the top of their voices when someone’s kite got cut. Some people used to create a noise by banging a rolling pin (“belan”) against a steel or brass plate (“thaali”) when they successfully cut a neighbour’s kite. “Pench Ladana” was a term used to show a competition between two or more kite flyers, who would dodge each other cleverly by manipulating the string and trying to have an advantage to pull down another’s kite. It was a real feat and one felt a sense of pride to keep one’s kite up in the air safe from the others’ kites. The sky is full of coloured kites of all shapes and sizes and designs on this day. It is a memorable picture etched in my memory for ever ! Selecting good kites from a kite vendor’s shop is another art.I will not reveal that secret here. Yes, preparing days ahead of Sankaranti by going for hand made “manja” (string covered with powdered glass) at home is another exciting part. Pounding pieces of broken glass into powder an iron mortar and pestle, straining the powder, mixing it with rice paste, applying 2-3 coats on the reel of thread (popular brands :”Sankal 8” or “Sankal 12” then. Sankal means a chain which was the logo of the thread manufacturers.8 or 12 were the links pictured in the chain.).Coating was done by using two electricity poles near by or behind the house. One  fellow goes around the poles carrying the reel (first moistened with water) of “kachha”  thread and the other person using his fists full of glass and rice paste, coating the length of string a number of times and then waiting for the string to dry before it was wound on a special wooden reel with two handles on either side (called Charkhi or Phirkee).Kite Flying itself is an art and it needs lot of practise and experience to keep a kite up in the air and protect it from getting cut by other kite flyers. Catching kites which have got cut and which come floating in the air above your roof tops was another enjoyable feat. We used to keep a long bamboo pole with thorny bushes tied on the top at one end (Called a “Jhanda”, handy to entangle the thread dangling from the kite and then bringing it down. Tying the “Kanna” or “Kanni” to the kite was also an art. Properly tied kanna or kanni would ensure a balanced kite up in the air. It is a piece of string tied to the brand new kite by making holes at two distinct places on it and then tying a piece of double string across the holes and finally making a loop at the top where the end of the thread from the charkhi is tied to make it ready to fly in the air. Judging the direction of the wind on that day is another art. We used to pick up a fist full of ash or dry mud and throw it in the air. The direction in which the dust “flew” was the direction of the wind blowing and one has to stand in such a position that the kite is in that direction while your back is opposite to the direction. You may be wondering whether I am writing a thesis on kite flying or what ! Yes I had learnt the fine art from a few seniors who taught me the tricks in exchange for my help to them in preparing manja, pounding glass and making the rice paste-you know doing the dirty work and all. It was sheer fun. No pain, no gain! Oh, the joys of childhood!!


Here in Delhi, that euphoria and madness of Makkar Sankranti kite flying is sadly missing. Some kites are seen flying on 26th January or on 15th August. That is all. It is not a festival like the one inGujarat. Those of you who want to really enjoy this day by eating “til naa laadoos” and shouting from the roof tops, must make it a point to be there today in some big city ofGujaratto really enjoy the fun and frolic and the joi de vivre!  “Woh kaata……” the sounds of victory, yelled from roof tops,still linger in my ears.  


   

King of good times on bad times…

King of good times on bad times…

VIJAY MALLYA of Kingfisher Airlines has been in the news since last 6 months or so,for the right or wrong reasons.I have been following the developments very closely and I have a soft corner for this Richard Branson of India…Here is a link to a new item in the Financial Express of 7th Jan 2012 :


http://www.financialexpress.com/news/fe-editorial-fixing-kingfisher/896738/0

In response to the above,this is what I wrote by way of a letter to the Editor of FE:

Dear Sir, This refers to your Editorial titled :”Fixing Kingfisher” in FE of 7th Jan 2012.You have raised a very valid issue of application of common norms while declaring an asset as a Non Productive Asset (NPA) – be it a Private Sector unit (Kingfisher Airlines) or a Public Sector Undertaking (Air India).In spite of the shocking and revealing findings of Deloitte Consulting ’s report raising doubts of the techno-economic feasibility and viability of Air India,the Government continues to pump in huge amounts frequently by way of booster doses to this ailing white elephant,just to save Air India from being classified as an NPA whereas,a private entreprise like Kingfisher Airlines  is made to suffer for lack of financial support for saving it from doomsday.The problems of Kingfisher have got compounded mainly due to double standards adopted by the Government. Issues like charging  additinal duties on ATF from private airlines,not giving them fuel on normal credit terms,charging heavy parking and other airport fees etc, if reviewed with uniformity with public sector,would certainly keep up the entrepreneurial spirits of private enterprises like Kingfisher etc which had given air travellers an innovative and a cheaper alternative of low cost flying ( Kingfisher had rightly earned the sobriquet of “King of Good Times” not very long ago ! ) but,once such enterprises are declared as sick or NPA,no financial institutions will think of or dare to come forward to hold their hands in such moments of crash landing ! Government should come out with a suitable long term policy for saving private aviation sector enterprises before they are compelled to die an unnatural death !—- J S BROCA,NEW DELHI.


As usual, an edited version of my letter with some ommissions and additions,has been published in FE of today.Here is the final version of my letter on the subject :

Letters to the Editor 


The Financial Express
Posted: Monday, Jan 09, 2012

Doomsday for Kingfisher : Apropos of the editorial “Fixing Kingfisher” (FE, January 7), you have raised a very valid issue of application of common norms while declaring an asset as a non-performing asset (NPA)—be it a private sector unit (Kingfisher Airlines) or a public sector undertaking (Air India). In spite of the shocking and revealing findings of Deloitte Consulting’s report raising doubts of the techno-economic feasibility and viability of Air India, the government continues to pump in huge amounts frequently by way of booster doses to this ailing white elephant, just to save Air India from being classified as an NPA, whereas a private enterprise like Kingfisher Airlines is made to suffer for lack of financial support for saving it from doomsday. Government should come out with a suitable long-term policy for saving private aviation sector enterprises before they are compelled to die an unnatural death! It is really unconscionable that private firms be held up to a standard that doesn’t apply to PSUs.-JS Broca, New Delhi


Those of you who would like to read the letter directly on FE’s website can use the following link:




Of Blondes and Brunettes …

Of Blondes and Brunettes


For the dummies, a blond or blonde is a hair colour characterized by fair-hair which indicates low levels of a dark pigment called eumelanin. The resultant visible hue depends on various factors, but always has some sort of yellowish colour. The colour can be from the very pale blond to reddish “strawberry” or golden-brownish (“sandy”).Generally the term is used for girls with golden hued hair.


Further, girls with brown hair are often referred to as brunettes, the feminine form of the diminutive form brunet from the word brun (brown/brown-haired).


During my college days, I recall having enjoyed a movie titled “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” ( It was a 1953 film adaptation of the 1949 stage musical, released by 20th Century Fox, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, with Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, Taylor Holmes, and Norma Varden in supporting roles.).This comedy film, was both a critical and commercial success at the time of its release.


You can read about the story and the movie plot by going to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentlemen_Prefer_Blondes_(film)


 The blonde stereotype, the stereotypical perception of blond-haired women, has two aspects. On one hand, over the history, blonde hair in women has been considered attractive and desirable. On the other hand, a blonde woman is often perceived as making little use of intelligence, as a “woman who relied on her looks rather than on intelligence.” It can be used as a popular culture derogatory stereotype to use hair colour as an indication of intelligence. This stereotype is utilized in blonde jokes. Blonde hair is also a physical trait often associated with “bimbos,” attractive women perceived as unintelligent or uneducated. In short, blondes are considered beautiful but stupid or dumb creatures and traditionally, they have been the butt of many jokes. Blonde jokes nearly always take the format of the blonde placing herself in an unusual situation, performing a silly act because she misconstrued the meaning of how an activity is supposed to play out, or making a comment that serves to highlight her supposed lack of intelligence, lack of common sense, or cluelessness, or promiscuity.


Sample a few such jokes:


1. Q: What did the blond do when she missed the 66 Bus? A: She took the 33 bus twice instead.


2. Q: How do you make a blonde’s eyes Twinkle? A: You shine a torch light in her ear.


3. Q: How does a stereotypical blonde spell Farm? A: E-I-E-I-O.


4. Q: How do you measure their intelligence? A: Stick a tire pressure gauge in their ear.


5. To amuse a Blonde for hours, give her a sheet of paper with ‘Please turn over’ scribbled on both sides.


6. Q: Why do blondes love lightning? A: They reckon somebody is taking their photo.


Now why this sudden interest in blondes and brunettes, you may ask. Well today, the media was full of a news report about a recent research. Here is the delicious news item:


Men find brunettes more attractive but prefer chatting with blondes.


London, Jan 2 (ANI): A study led by an Indian-origin researcher has found that while men are more likely to chat up with blondes on a night out, they actually find brunettes more attractive. University of Westminster researchers sent a woman to three London nightclubs with her hair dyed brunette, blonde and then red, and watched how many men approached her. They then returned to the clubs and asked 130 men to rate pictures of her in the three guises. She was chatted up the most as a blonde. But she was rated most highly for attractiveness and intelligence when brunette. Viren Swami said that his results may reflect a shift in fashion, with brunettes now being idealised in the way that blondes were several decades ago. “In the Sixties and early Seventies, when Jackie Kennedy was the ideal, brunette hair became the ideal for women generally. Then, in the Seventies and Eighties, blondes became the ideal,” the Daily mail quoted Swami as saying. “But more recently, there has been a backlash against blondes and the dumb blonde idea has become dominant,” he said. As a blonde, the woman was chatted up 60 times in total. This compared with 42 approaches as a brunette and 18 as a red-head. “One possible explanation is that men were more likely to assume sexual intent on the part of our confederate when she was blonde,” he said. “Perceptions of the blonde confederate as being more needy may have reduced men’s fear or rejection or fear or an aggressive response, which increased their likelihood of approaching her as a blonde,” he added. It is also possible that men link blonde hair with youth and vitality, and so the ability to bear children. The study has been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. (ANI)


I wonder, whether these researchers have no other worthwhile subject matters to research about! Any way, it was a small dose of humour to lighten up my day. I may not be a gentleman, but still I prefer a blonde, for she amuses me a lot with her lack of so called common sense! Long live blondes!!