Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Where's the end to this madness?

Another day, and another attack on an Indian student in Melbourne which eventually led to his death, stares us in the face. Both the Australian government and the Australian Federal Police are in incessant denial that these attacks are NOT racially provoked. I for one believe, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it MUST indeed be a duck. The surrealism really beggars belief! Just how many innocent people of Indian origin must be ruthlessly attacked or even succumb to their injuries before the government perks it's ears up and begins to listen? My opinion on this is the families of each of the victims that were subjected to these attacks, must be refunded their entire course-fees and encouraged to leave Australia with immediate effect. However, that's not about to happen, so let me just leave it to this post.

I'm truly appalled at the lackadaisical attitude adopted by the Australian government in this respect. I do not believe that the perpetrators will be caught soon enough. Even if they are, what's the point? The policy of capital punishment is non-existent in Australia, furthermore even if the guilty party or parties were punished; they'd be let out within a fraction of the time for good behaviour or by quoting the "Fair-go" policy. Truly disgusting might I say. At this moment, I shall spare a few minutes to keep the distressed families in my thoughts and prayers. May the good lord provide them solace and even better, closure by way of these mindless punks indulging in these cowardly acts the harshest of punishments.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Hello world in 2010

Hello world,

I just looked at the timeline of my posts and realised it's been nearly a year since I posted anything of value on my blog. I must admit I'm guilty of neglecting my blogging skills(or lack of thereof). My life has been consumed with work, and nothing of note during weekends... and that's the god awful truth. I wish things were a bit different though; which is why I've decided to take it upon myself to become more active on the blogging scene. So here's a promise I hope to keep for as long as I can.

In the last 8 months(since I've blogged), a lot of things have happened in my life; I had to switch two jobs out of compulsion, saw my ego slip and slide during the GFC and the subsequent inopportune timing of my redundancy and then to the prospect of going into Christmas 2009 without a job. Thankfully, my guardian angels(whoever you are, thank you) and powers that be up in the sky, decided to take pity on my plight and got me back on track. I'm now much relieved, that I have a job that keeps me on my toes 9 to 5 on weekdays and helps me realise the value of weekends; when I can catch up on lost sleep; laze around doing nothing or better still, burn little holes in my pockets whenever something worth buying catches my fancy.

I've been in the mood for a long post for quite some time. However, I find that without an occasional kick on the bum, I am hardly motivated to do stuff like this lately. As a goodwill gesture, I finally came up with the decision to gift my guitar to an old friend... seeing as I couldn't be bothered to collect it from him after years of safe-keeping by the latter. I feel it will be most useful in his hands and that he will take good care of it. As for me, well, I guess if I'm that bored, I just might go out and get myself a new guitar sometime in the near future. For all these things to happen however, I need to move to a new place... preferably someplace bigger and better. I've got home-ownership on my mind this year, and hopefully that ambition will bear fruit as long as I engage in frugality and maximise my savings.

Gosh, what a long personal post! I shall stop for now... so until next time, it's ciao from my end.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Microsoft and Monopoly - Made for each other

Hello world,

I'm back after a while with a new post; with my own take surrounding the hype generated by Microsoft's keenness to take over Yahoo Inc. Firstly, I oppose it vehemently(you might think who the hell I am, since I'm not even a shareholder, let alone a key stakeholder of Yahoo Inc) but this is an outsider's perspective. I might have got my facts mixed up so please all readers; correct me if I'm wrong.

Its taken close to 6 odd years for Microsoft to come out with a new product targeting the next generation of Operating Systems. When they finally did, Vista resulted... to be honest, the one time that I interacted with Vista, the only thing I found alluring about it was the eye-candy it presented. System resources were hogged like never before; doing a simple "System restore" felt like playing "Where in the world is Carmen San Diego" all over again; but with a colourful GUI. As if that weren't enough; I have come across more "above-average" techno-savvy people who prefer XP to Vista(myself included)... and wouldn't mind paying full-price for a registered copy of XP even if Vista came pre-installed with my new laptop.

The reason for my vent is this; Microsoft hasn't got the guts to admit that what they have here is a "all brawn, no brain" product; and instead of using their research department to vastly improve their product; are on a major buying spree... of all those open-source flunkies who've brought out these really funky applications, interfaces and the like. Its like "if we can't do better, let's buy 'em".

10 odd years ago it was anti-trust; now its monopoly... this new tactic seems to be a new strategy devised by the powers that be at Microsoft to try and show the world who's top-dog! Well, it sucks with a capital "S". I hope Yahoo don't give in to the temptation and end up giving up their stake... it would be a sad day for Open-source technology if that happened.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

All that hoopla about "Go Green"

Australia's recent push to encourage the average citizen's active participation in fighting climate-change and environmentally sustainable activities is admirable among other things. However, this movement is also rearing in our own backyard, a few people that swear by "go-green" and what not to the point that they're becoming huge annoyances as well. My daily demand for a heart-starter(known in plain-speak as coffee) in a plastic cup is looked up on with disappointment and within seconds, accusations are abound as to how many trees or whatever it took to manufacture that cup and how by adding to my pile of previous plastic cups I'm worsening the current state of the environment and defeating the purpose of "global warming reduction". I'm like ... "Dude, if you want to be that aware of the environment, park your car at home, take a couple of buses and trains and get to work!", why you raining on my parade?" Seriously, people like that disgust me to the core! I challenge these people to stop using their heaters, air-cons and even their cars... all of which are pollutants of the highest order in different ways. Would they choose to dump their existing vehicles and go for hybrid cars which although readily available in Australia, are quite of reach of most people given their mid 30 grand price-tag? And they talk!!!

Let me tell you; I have nothing against the movement to "go-green" , au contraire; if someone told me that it was in the best interests of the whole universe to say stop eating chicken, I would... seriously I would! This is despite the fact that I love chicken and go weak in the knees when someone presents it to me in any cooked form! I believe each person is an environmentalist in his/her own deluded way; but you can't be environmentally concious in one way, and blissfully unaware and trigger-happy another... it doesn't work that way!

So here's my humble request to all you wanna-be and nouveau environmentalists(you guys are just as artificial as the nouveau riche!)... lay off and keep your "partial" views to yourself; I know how to save this planet from emissions in my own special way!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is this really an Indian miracle?

Here in Australia, we have SBS, a free-to-air television channel that airs provocative documentaries and showcases very thought-provoking issues in the world of politics and a wide variety of subjects close to us. I like this channel immensely particularly because of the content of art movies aired ever so regularly.

One of the more regular shows on this channel is called "the cutting edge" and yesterday's edition showcased the boom in the Indian economy... which is now the topic of discussion on my latest post. The episode was titled "The Indian miracle?" and had former BBC Newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy, a second generation British-Indian traveling to parts of Mumbai, Delhi and the state of Punjab to present the two extremes of this so-called "economic boom" that India today is so obsessed with conveying in all forms of media to the world.

A few things left me really sad, and in fact at the end of the programme, I actually cried; and the two scenes that really left me in that state were the part where farmers in the rural areas were resorting to suicide, unable to pay their debts and leaving grieving and heartbroken family members. The second, was in fact the penultimate scene in the episode. It was the scene where a multi-storeyed building was being constructed and the workers there had set up tents because they had nowhere else to go... and they showed a woman speaking to the reporters saying "everyone wants to be like rich people, live in houses like these... but this tent is all that I can hope for... I can at least dream for something like this in my dreams; as it doesn't cost to dream now does it?".

I'm yet to recover from that sadness; and among many other things it brought to light so many anomalies that exist in our Indian culture today. I saw in shock and horror how people were narrating incidents where their application for a home was rejected on grounds that they were Muslim? When oh when did we learn to become so intolerant?

Last but not the least, I wish Krishnan hadn't presented this episode; I have great difficulty in accepting that he was the best person for the job; a second generation Indian who has seen nothing of this poverty and squalor cannot present any passion when delivering a cutting-edge documentary like this.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Blow hot, blow cold, the summer of cricket down under

As if the recent "alleged racist" remark against Andrew Symonds stinking up the "gentleman's game" wasn't enough, here's another one that's causing more blood to curdle and more tongues to experience bitter after-tastes. This time, its the hoopla surrounding Mahendra Singh Dhoni's gloves during the recent one-dayer between Australia and India. Such a hue and cry's been raised about its legitimacy that I said to myself that I have to vent my spleen on this issue.

It appears that all these years of playing cricket with the English have made the Australian cricket team play the role of "whingers" to the tee... why, I would say they're doing a bloody good job of overtaking the English as "champion whingers"! Even if the gloves didn't conform to ICC standard, there was no need to raise a stink on it.

Where in the ICC rule book does it say that a batsman can embed a ping-pong ball in his gloves when going out to bat? This "according to the state level coaches" here in Australia is a tried and tested method and that requires no sanctions imposed on it. Is that right? If I'm not mistaken, it was this very ping-pong ball that gave Adam Gilchrist the ability to play a match-winning knock and single-handedly win the world cup final against Sri Lanka in 2007.

When the Sri Lankans raised concerns on this technique, out came the swords in defence of the Aussies; and as has been the case all the time, the Aussies got away with it scot-free; and Gilly got away with applause, accolades and a whole applecart of laurels. The poor Sri Lankans were left in the dark(literally) to lick their wounds. When quoting the darn rule-book, CA(Cricket Australia) should remember that what's good for the goose is good enough for the gander too... and what the hell is ICC looking at? Don't you guys know what a ping-pong ball is?

To me, all this "he said this, he said that" really is part of a bigger phenomenon. Australia are getting to see a new, young Indian team, with men who won't take nonsense from anyone; be it in India or overseas; and the Aussies' already super-inflated "street-fighter pride" ego, is being given a thorough pasting in their own backyard... and that for them, is hard as nails to digest.

Grow up Ponting and Co; you might be the best cricket team in the world; but you're no super-humans... and if you can't take the chance of having a taste of your own medicine; don't bother coming to India with the confidence that Indian fans won't boo you; so put up & shut up.. or PISS OFF!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

So what exactly is a "Fair Go" ?

Hello world,

Its been a while since my last post, but here I am, with yet another of my nitpickings. In case , many of you don't know, Australia is a country that strongly believes in the concept of "Fair go", which means, no matter what race, creed or kind, you are entitled to a chance to prosper or redeem yourself; whichever comes first.

Which brings me to the latest case in point; the one involving former terrorism supporter David Hicks. As if it weren't shameful enough that Australia allowed him to go scot-free after a 9 month sentence, there's talk of his taking on university studies(sure to be funded by Australian tax payers). As the days pass, people are actually beginning to sympathise with him and insist that he's been given a raw deal and therefore, must be given a "Fair go". The focus of my post here is an article published on yahoo7.com.au written by Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop. The article emphasises quite a few times that David Hicks was just someone who went on a genuine mission and got involved with the wrong people.

May I take the liberty to remind readers of the Mohammed Haneef case which not so long ago, took up major headline space. May I also remind readers, that his involvement in the so-called "attempted terrorism" acts came into light merely on the basis that his relatives were plotting unspeakable acts 11000 miles away from Australia, in the United Kingdom. Yet, while David Hicks gets the royal "fair go" treatment, someone like Mohammed Haneef gets his visa back subject to a million pending enquiries.

The essential difference here is this... Haneef was a victim of circumstances; the old adage of "God gave us relatives; thank the good God we can choose our friends", could not be further from the truth. Haneef couldn't help having relatives with radical ideas any more than he could being a devout Muslim. Even today, I'm sure he carries the ghost of those ghastly accusations. India despite being a great country still criminally stigmatises families and individuals who've been in the news for the wrong reasons(even if it wasn't their fault). Its a curse that Indians must learn to live with; and to my knowledge the only escape can be seeking greener pastures elsewhere. Can the same be said of David Hicks ? He knew very well where he was going; what his mission was; and yet, chose to involve himself in the wrong type of company. Sorry, but at this juncture, I have no sympathy for the man... and I doubt if I ever will. To think that his slice of "fair go" will come out of my hard-earned money that goes in to tax curdles my blood to unprecedented levels.