November 19, 2011

The Web of Science


Think of the spectacular imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope. I continue to marvel at all the wonders of the universe this single scientific instrument has revealed. And I think of the tiny number of humans who work at the Space Telescope Science Institute who’re responsible for this.
A few hundreds of men and women whose work reveals to all seven billion of us humans on this planet the true splendors of the universe far surpassing anything contained in any mythological tales. The world owes a great deal to the Hubble Space Telescope … for opening our eyes, for expanding our horizons, for showing and proving again and again that the zaniest predictions of theoretical astrophysics are commonplace occurrences out there in the cosmos. And Hubble has also revealed phenomena that have left the theorists stunned before they started to contemplate about it and could barely believe that such stuff was really happening.

November 18, 2011

Nehru Killed Gandhi

It isn't as absurd an idea as it might appear at first sight. Which is to say, it would be easy to find folks who might peddle this idea or believe in it.

Of course, you better just listen to such ideas without your jaws hitting the floor and not try to argue or anything.

Others blame Gandhi for the partition of India. I don't know what they wish for ... a Great India encompassing present day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh perhaps. Which would translate to a current population of a cool billion and a half people.

Some people praise the great deed of the great hero Godse. They do not see him as a killer or a murderer. They see him as a great scholar intellectual who had authored Great Books. So, with a few million published books out there to choose from, people seek out Godse's book to read.

November 17, 2011

The Dour Banker And The Swaggering Businessman

Banking in India, still remains a somewhat boring profession. For a generation and more, nationalized banks have offered job security, something poor Indians value a lot.

So, there used to be (and continues to be) a lot of preparation and competition for Bank P.O. exams and Bank Clerical exams. Some got selected and joined their lifelong, drab vocation as a teller or something or the other.

Some, in the executive cadre, become managers and chief general managers, etc. in these PSU banks. They're the Deciders who decide on loans running into thousands of crores.

Sometimes, these gentlemen (almost exclusively men) have been found to be involved in various illegal activities such as lending to persons with rather dubious reputations such as Harshad Mehta or other third-rate businessmen or stock traders or gangsters or mine owners or whatever.

November 12, 2011

The Children That God FORGOT

There's one cruelty, one injustice, which trumps all others in this world — it's the sight of kids having to work.

But we let this endure, don't we? We in India. I've been witness to some cases of child labor.

Luckily (is that even a correct word), I've never been personally responsible for child labor. Which is to say, I've not kept a kid at home on a 24 X 7 X 365 basis like some folks do.

I don't know if that exonerates me entirely though ... for I have surely BENEFITED from child labor.

Let me tell the few stories that I have witnessed and I remember. I hope these are ALL that I've seen. I hope I've n't forgotten any.

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