Saturday, August 30, 2008

Messages from old Boys 35

Msg from Satya Kiran Thapa

Reminds me of the often heard Bengali adage - Aashi jai maine pai, kaajer jaano overtime chai.


Msg from Sanjay Kumar

Hello Sanjay,
I am sure you and your group must be doing a good job.
I hope my weekly mail will throw up some solution for you.
Best of luck.
Yes, many of us went but we had no introduction with each other.
That should have been organised by the school.
A register should have been kept for all the old boys to mark in their attendance.



I am Sanjay Kumar from 1981 batch. I was head prefect of my batch. Presently , I am working as Education Officer under Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India ,presently posted at Jamshedpur ( Jharkhand).

I have been going through your mails for the past one year though not on a regular basis. I am also emotionally attached to GMS but hats off to you for your effort to bring us all under one umbrella. I also attended the centenary celebration and it was one of the greatest event of my life.

We are basically related to training and education of all working class in all sectors related to behavioural, legal & working conditions. This year our dept. is celebrating golden jubilee year and I along with other officers have been entrusted with the work of preparing a Souvenir. We have nearly covered the entire work but the cover page is yet to be finalised.

We are brain storming but what I have assessed through your mails that you have a knowledge tank and can help me with samples of cover page with one catchy word caption.

You are requested to assist me if time permits.

You can mail me to Mobile no. -09431445479.You can send in this ID also.

Please do guide us to face the challenges of life through your mails.
Thanking you.

With regards.

S. Kumar.

The following has been sent by Partha Sengupta.
A good, inspiring piece.

'God has always been planning things for me'

Naga Naresh Karutura has just passed out of IIT Madras in Computer Science and has joined Google in Bangalore.
You may ask, what's so special about this 21-year-old when there are hundreds of students passing out from various IITs and joining big companies like Google?
Naresh is special. His parents are illiterate. He has no legs and moves around in his powered wheel chair. (In fact, when I could not locate his lab, he told me over the mobile phone, 'I will come and pick you up'. And in no time, he was there to guide me)
Ever smiling, optimistic and full of spirit; that is Naresh. He says, "God has always been planning things for me. That is why I feel I am lucky."
Read why Naresh feels he is lucky.
Childhood in a village
I spent the first seven years of my life in Teeparru, a small village in Andhra Pradesh, on the banks of the river Godavari. My father Prasad was a lorry driver and my mother Kumari, a house wife. Though they were illiterate, my parents instilled in me and my elder sister (Sirisha) the importance of studying.
Looking back, one thing that surprises me now is the way my father taught me when I was in the 1st and 2nd standards. My father would ask me questions from the text book, and I would answer them. At that time, I didn't know he could not read or write but to make me happy, he helped me in my studies!
Another memory that doesn't go away is the floods in the village and how I was carried on top of a buffalo by my uncle. I also remember plucking fruits from a tree that was full of thorns.
I used to be very naughty, running around and playing all the time with my friends. I used to get a lot of scolding for disturbing the elders who slept in the afternoon. The moment they started scolding, I would run away to the fields!
I also remember finishing my school work fast in class and sleeping on the teacher's lap!
January 11, 1993, the fateful day
On the January 11, 1993 when we had the sankranti holidays, my mother took my sister and me to a nearby village for a family function. From there we were to go with our grandmother to our native place. But my grandmother did not come there. As there were no buses that day, my mother took a lift in my father's friend's lorry. As there were many people in the lorry, he made me sit next to him, close to the door.
It was my fault; I fiddled with the door latch and it opened wide throwing me out. As I fell, my legs got cut by the iron rods protruding from the lorry. Nothing happened to me except scratches on my legs.
The accident had happened just in front of a big private hospital but they refused to treat me saying it was an accident case. Then a police constable who was passing by took us to a government hospital.
First I underwent an operation as my small intestine got twisted. The doctors also bandaged my legs. I was there for a week. When the doctors found that gangrene had developed and it had reached up to my knees, they asked my father to take me to a district hospital. There, the doctors scolded my parents a lot for neglecting the wounds and allowing the gangrene to develop. But what could my ignorant parents do?
In no time, both my legs were amputated up to the hips.
I remember waking up and asking my mother, where are my legs? I also remember that my mother cried when I asked the question. I was in the hospital for three months.
Life without legs
I don't think my life changed dramatically after I lost both my legs. Because all at home were doting on me, I was enjoying all the attention rather than pitying myself. I was happy that I got a lot of fruits and biscuits.

'I never wallowed in self-pity'

The day I reached my village, my house was flooded with curious people; all of them wanted to know how a boy without legs looked. But I was not bothered; I was happy to see so many of them coming to see me, especially my friends!
All my friends saw to it that I was part of all the games they played; they carried me everywhere.
God's hand
I believe in God. I believe in destiny. I feel he plans everything for you. If not for the accident, we would not have moved from the village to Tanuku, a town. There I joined a missionary school, and my father built a house next to the school. Till the tenth standard, I studied in that school.
If I had continued in Teeparu, I may not have studied after the 10th. I may have started working as a farmer or someone like that after my studies. I am sure God had other plans for me.
My sister, my friend
When the school was about to reopen, my parents moved from Teeparu to Tanuku, a town, and admitted both of us in a Missionary school. They decided to put my sister also in the same class though she is two years older. They thought she could take care of me if both of us were in the same class. My sister never complained.
She would be there for everything. Many of my friends used to tell me, you are so lucky to have such a loving sister. There are many who do not care for their siblings.
She carried me in the school for a few years and after a while, my friends took over the task. When I got the tricycle, my sister used to push me around in the school.
My life, I would say, was normal, as everyone treated me like a normal kid. I never wallowed in self-pity. I was a happy boy and competed with others to be on top and the others also looked at me as a competitor.
I was inspired by two people when in school; my Maths teacher Pramod Lal who encouraged me to participate in various local talent tests, and a brilliant boy called Chowdhary, who was my senior.
When I came to know that he had joined Gowtham Junior College to prepare for IIT-JEE, it became my dream too. I was school first in 10th scoring 542/600.
Because I topped in the state exams, Gowtham Junior College waived the fee for me. Pramod Sir's recommendation also helped. The fee was around Rs 50,000 per year, which my parents could never afford.
Moving to a residential school
Living in a residential school was a big change for me because till then my life centred around home and school and I had my parents and sister to take care of all my needs. It was the first time that I was interacting with society. It took one year for me to adjust to the new life.
There, my inspiration was a boy called K K S Bhaskar who was in the top 10 in IIT-JEE exams. He used to come to our school to encourage us. Though my parents didn't know anything about Gowtham Junior School or IIT, they always saw to it that I was encouraged in whatever I wanted to do. If the results were good, they would praise me to the skies and if bad, they would try to see something good in that. They did not want me to feel bad.
They are such wonderful supportive parents.
Life at IIT- Madras
Though my overall rank in the IIT-JEE was not that great (992), I was 4th in the physically handicapped category. So, I joined IIT, Madras to study Computer Science.
Here, my role model was Karthik who was also my senior in school. I looked up to him during my years at IIT- Madras.
He had asked for attached bathrooms for those with special needs before I came here itself. So, when I came here, the room had attached bath. He used to help me and guide me a lot when I was here.
I evolved as a person in these four years, both academically and personally. It has been a great experience studying here. The people I was interacting with were so brilliant that I felt privileged to sit along with them in the class. Just by speaking to my lab mates, I gained a lot.

'There are more good people in society than bad ones'

Words are inadequate to express my gratitude to Prof Pandurangan and all my lab mates; all were simply great. I was sent to Boston along with four others for our internship by Prof Pandurangan. It was a great experience.
Joining Google R&D
I did not want to pursue PhD as I wanted my parents to take rest now.
Morgan Stanley selected me first but I preferred Google because I wanted to work in pure computer science, algorithms and game theory.
I am lucky
Do you know why I say I am lucky?
I get help from total strangers without me asking for it. Once after my second year at IIT, I with some of my friends was travelling in a train for a conference. We met a kind gentleman called Sundar in the train, and he has been taking care of my hostel fees from then on.
I have to mention about Jaipur foot. I had Jaipur foot when I was in 3rd standard. After two years, I stopped using them. As I had almost no stems on my legs, it was very tough to tie them to the body. I found walking with Jaipur foot very, very slow. Sitting also was a problem. I found my tricycle faster because I am one guy who wants to do things faster.
One great thing about the hospital is, they don't think their role ends by just fixing the Jaipur foot; they arrange for livelihood for all. They asked me what help I needed from them. I told them at that time, if I got into an IIT, I needed financial help from them. So, from the day I joined IIT, Madras, my fees were taken care of by them. So, my education at the IIT was never a burden on my parents and they could take care of my sister's Nursing studies.
Surprise awaited me at IIT
After my first year, when I went home, two things happened here at the Institute without my knowledge.
I got a letter from my department that they had arranged a lift and ramps at the department for me. It also said that if I came a bit early and checked whether it met with my requirements, it would be good.
Second surprise was, the Dean, Prof Idichandy and the Students General Secretary, Prasad had located a place that sold powered wheel chairs. The cost was Rs 55,000. What they did was, they did not buy the wheel chair; they gave me the money so that the wheel chair belonged to me and not the institute.
My life changed after that. I felt free and independent.
That's why I say I am lucky. God has planned things for me and takes care of me at every step.
The world is full of good people
I also feel if you are motivated and show some initiative, people around you will always help you. I also feel there are more good people in society than bad ones. I want all those who read this to feel that if Naresh can achieve something in life, you can too.


This has been sent by Viraj Thacker who himself keeps a very slim figure.
I must warn that this one is not for the prudish and would request them to keep their eyes closed.

Michelangelo's David is returning to Italy . . .

After a two year visit to the United States , Michelangelo's David is returning to Italy . . .

His Proud Sponsors were:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow?

This is in continuation of my earlier article posted a few days back advising Mr Ratan Tata not to expect any production from the Nano factory which he is planning to set up in Bengal.
The developments during the last few days, has just confirmed my views.
Our pragmatic chief minister, Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya, poor chap, he is a lamb thrown among the wolves, while speaking at a meeting with industrialists remarked that left to him, he would not allow any strikes or bandhs (Jyoti babu's birthday bashes) in the state.
The whole CPM party , right from top to bottom, were up in arms against him for making such sacrilegious statements.
Even the IT sector, which does not have workers, only white collared staff, are not allowed to work on bandhs called by either the left front or by Mamata Banerjee.
How can you expect a factory which employs skilled and unskilled workers to be allowed to function?
Mr. Ratan Tata, it is still not too late.
Forget your 1500 crores and take your project to some other state like Maharashtra, or Gujarat or Tamil Nadu.
I think they would willingly give you the 1500 crores you have spent here for they know the the revenue your project would bring to their state would be much much more than that.
And while going you could thank Mamata Banerjee for having opened your eyes and avoided a folly.
India is lucky that the old saying "What Bengal thinks today, India will think tomorrow" is no longer applicable.
Bengal has stopped thinking, it is in coma.
Rajiv Gandhi was right when he said Kolkata is a dead city although we were annoyed with him at that time.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two is a Company, thereafter?

The best humour is one that is cracked at your own expense.
I have been trying to pump us Indians.
Here is something which will bring us back to earth.
This has been sent by one of my office colleagues.

Funny , Indian communities. I am proud to be part of this milieu. I hope you are too !!!

One Kashmiri = carpet salesman.
Two Kashmiris = carpet factory.
Three Kashmiris = terrorist outfit.
Four Kashmiris = shoot-at-sight order.

One Tam-Brahm = priest at the Vardarajaperumal temple.
Two Tam-Brahms = Maths tuition class.
Three Tam-Brahms = Queue outside the U.S consulate at 4 a.m.
Four Tam-Brahms = Thyagaraja music festival in Santa Clara

One Mallu = coconut stall.
Two Mallus = a boat race.
Three Mallus = Gulf job racket.
Four Mallus = oil slick.

UP Bhaiyya
One UP bhaiyya = a milkman.
Two UP bhaiyyas = halwai shop.
Three UP bhaiyyas = a fist-fight in the UP assembly.
Four UP bhaiyyas = mosque-destruction squad.

One Gujju = share-broker in a Bombay train.
Two Gujjus = rummy game in a Bombay train.
Three Gujjus = Bombay 's noisiest restaurant.
Four Gujjus = stock market scam.

One Andhraite = chili farmer.
Two Andhraites = software company in New Jersey ..
Three Andhraites = Naxalite outfit.
Four Andhraites = song-and-dance number in a Telugu movie.

One Mumbaikar = footpath vada-pav stall.
Two Mumbaikars= film studio.
Three Mumbaikars = slum.
Four Mumbaikars = The number of people standing on your foot in the
train at rush hour.

One Sindhi = currency racket.
Two Sindhis = papad factory.
Three Sindhis = duplicate goods shop in Ulhasnagar ...
Four Sindhis = Hong Kong Retail Traders Association. .

One Marwari = The neighbourhood foodstuffs adulterator.
Two Marwaris = 50% of Calcutta
Three Marwaris = Finish off all Gujaratis & Sindhis.
Four Marwaris = Threaten the Jews as a community.

One Haryanavi = tube light.
Two Haryanavis = agriculture.
Three Haryannavis = Lathi squad.
Four Haryanavis = actually just one was enough.

Last but the best

One kannadiga = devegowda
Two kannadigas = devegowda with his son Kumarswamy
Three kannadigas = rivals of devegowda family
Four Kannadigas = total no of kannadigas in bengaluru

One Bihari = Laloo Prasad Yadav .
Two Biharis = booth-capturing squad.
Three Biharis = train capture.
Four Biharis = caste riots
Five Biharis = entire literate population of Patna ...

One Bengali = poet.
Two Bengalis = a film society.
Three Bengalis = political party.
Four Bengalis = two political parties.
More than four Bengalis = Countrywide agitation to bring Ganguli into Team.

One Punjabi =100 kg hulk named Pinky.
Two Punjabis = Pinky with his bigger brother Twinky.
Three Punjabis = assault on the McAloo Tikkis at the local McDonalds
Four Punjabis = combined IQ equal to one.

Sorry, no Coorgs or Parsis......too small to make an impact..start breeding.....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Take a break

The following article has been taken from "Mental Edge Newsletter" which is sent regularly by Michael Shropshire since last two years.
Although it has been written specifically for us share traders, it is applicable for all people in all walks of life. This same thing had been said by the Mexican fisherman in our blog a few days ago. One should understand, the earth's burden is not on your shoulders. The world has run for millions of years without you and will continue to do so after you for millions of years. The Almighty is there to take care of everything. So take a break. The world will not fall.

Seeking Balance
I went for a walk yesterday in a state park full of giant redwoods that have stood for over a thousand years. As I saw the sun glisten through the leaves, I could not help but think how small I felt standing among them. It is often said that when one looks at nature, one sees a different perspective. Day after day we are often consumed with life’s problems, such as how to make enough money to pay the bills or how to accomplish enough to feel that we are moving forward. But in the big scheme of things, we are like a small fish in a big pond. There is a bigger world around us and when we remember our place in the world, we feel better. We put the relatively minor frustrations of our daily lives in perspective. There was a storm in Denver on Sunday and flooding in Florida over the past week. As much as we try to control our destiny, it is not always in our control. This fact of life can be frustrating at times, but also reassuring, since it illustrates the usefulness of putting things in perspective.

It's vital for long-term success that you seek psychological balance: Make sure that your life is multi-faceted. Make sure that you have fun in areas outside of trading. Enjoy spending time in fulfilling relationships, and enjoy life to the fullest. The more you can balance trading with more pleasurable and genuinely meaningful activities, the more you will be able to ensure long-term success.

Many novice traders falsely believe that they must devote all available time and energy to trading. Although trading is a challenge and demands hard work and a heroic effort, it is also a profession that is stressful and demands creative problem solving. A trader must reconcile these two seemingly opposing forces. If trading weren't so demanding, it may be possible to focus on it exclusively. But trading has a significant psychological component, and if this psychological component isn't addressed, performance will be compromised. So it is necessary to address both the challenges of trading and a need to relax and rejuvenate.

How can one put in the necessary time and effort to trade consistently, but also find time to relax and re-energize? Although it is a challenge to find balance, it is necessary. When you are stressed out, you can't think clearly and execute trades with the proper mental edge. So you must find the time to rest, take your mind off trading for a while, and build up energy to retackle the markets. Don't get in a psychological rut by refusing to rest and take a break. There's a paradox you should consider. If you work constantly without taking frequent breaks, you'll actually waste much more time than had you worked for shorter periods with frequent breaks. Trading isn't a factory job where you have to work to keep the assembly line moving. You can take breaks from your work schedule with no adverse consequences.

Don't forget to appreciate the advantages of working as a trader. Trading offers freedom, freedom to spend time with your family, friends, and loved ones. Trading provides the means to enjoy life. So regardless of whether you've been trading profitably in recent weeks, reward yourself by taking a nice, well-deserved break. One of the reasons you're trading is to enrich your life. It's important to remember that. It's important to celebrate what life has to offer. If you are not enjoying your life to the fullest, it will gnaw at you. In the back of your mind you'll think, "Why am I spending my life trading?" Use this time to remember why you trade. Remind yourself about what really matters to you. Make sure that you have balance between working as a trader and the things that give your life a deeper meaning. It’s easy to forget at times, but vital to remember: Balance matters.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Darjeeling tea is famous the world over and commands huge prices in auction houses in major cities of the world. They are amongst the more expensive teas on the supermarket shelves. Recently, an AFP article by Parul Gupta was picked up by the local Brunei newspaper ‘The Borneo Bulletin’. The article sings praise of Darjeeling tea. Also featured prominently in the article is GMS old boy Rajah Banerjee of Makaibari fame. Well done, Rajahda.
(You may be able to zoom in on the newspaper cutting to read the article.)
Bishan Dewan ISC70

Janam Asthami, The Birthday of Lord Krishna

The story, in pictures.
These pictures were taken at our home and Ajay's In-laws place.
All Hindus celebrate it by decorating our homes with scenes from His birth.Those who can fast, do so for the whole day and break their fasts only at midnight after performing His Puja and Arti. I must admit I could not fast but my wife kept it and ate only after doing Puja.
Our women folt and more devoted.

According to some scholars, Krishna was born on Wednesday,the eighth day of second fortnight in Sravana month in the year of Visvavasu around 3227 BC, also known as Dwapur Yug. July 19th 3228 BC to be more accurate

A long time ago in ancient India, there lived King Ugrasen. He had two children, prince Kansa and princess Devaki. Prince Kansa was evil by nature. We call such people Rakshash or demons.
When Kansa grew up, he imprisoned his own father Ugrasen and made himself king. He started torturing people who believed in God.

Soon, his sister Devaki was married to King Vasudev. However, after the wedding, Kansa heard a divine warning from the sky, "O King! Your sister’s eighth son will grow up to kill you."

After Kansa heard this, he was afraid.

Immediately he imprisoned his own sister Devaki and her husband king Vasudev, and kept them under continuous watch.

Each time Devaki gave birth to a child in the prison, Kansa arrived personally and killed the child.

When Devaki became pregnant for the eighth time, King Vasudev’s friend’s (King Nanda’s) wife Yashoda was also pregnant.

From the time, Devaki conceived Sri Krishna, she began to glow and exude divine light. The prison walls glowed with the aura of the new born infant. Atmosphere of peace and happiness prevailed all over, Forests were all green and full of trees with all kinds of beautiful flowers, rivers were all swollen due to joy, peacocks began to dance in sheer joy, people in all villages started being happy

Krishna was born at midnight in the prison.

As soon as the child was born, Lord Vishnu appeared in divine form and the prison was filled with a dazzling light. Both Devaki and Vasudev prayed to Lord Vishnu. At the same time as Lord Krishna was born in the prison, the divine energy of Lord Vishnu was born in Gokul, as a baby girl to queen Yashoda.

A divine message came to Vasudev soon after the birth of Lord Krishna, "Take this child across the Yamuna River to Gokul and exchange him with Yashoda’s daughter. You will return to the prison before anyone comes to know about the birth of this child."

Vasudev immediately followed the advice. As he carried the child in his arms, he found that the prison doors opened automatically and the guards were put to sleep by God. Vasudev approached the Yamuna River, which was very turbulent due to fierce winds and rain and was in floods.

As soon as the feet of Lord touched the river waters, the flow became normal and Yamuna made way for the Lord. Sheshnag, the serpent formed an umbrella to save the new born baby from rain

Vasudev reached the opposite bank of the river safely and found all the people of Gokul fast asleep. He entered the palace of king Nanda and queen Yashoda, and put the baby Krishna in the place of Yashoda’s baby girl. Then Vasudev returned to the prison with the baby girl.

As soon as Vasudev laid the baby girl by Devaki’s side, the prison doors shut automatically. The guards were now awake and were startled by the cries of the baby girl. The guards ran to Kansa and announced the birth of the eighth child.

Kansa rushed to execute the child in the prison, remembering the divine warning that the eighth child would kill him. Devaki appealed, "O Kansa, this baby is a girl, and not the boy that the divine warning told you about. How can this child harm you?" However, Kansa ignored her, snatched the child from her lap, and hurled the child against the prison wall.

The child did not fall down; instead, she flew up and appeared in the sky as a Goddess with eight arms, each arm carrying a weapon. She said, "O evil king! You will gain nothing by killing me. The one who will destroy you is elsewhere." Then the Goddess disappeared. Kansa freed Vasudev and Devaki from prison.

Meanwhile, there was great rejoicing in Gokul, hailing the birth of a son in the household of Nanda. Nanda named the child Krishna. Entire Gokul wore a festive appearance. The streets were swept clean and all the houses were decorated with flags and flowers. Cows were smeared with turmeric, and adorned with peacock feathers and garlands. All people of Gokul danced in joy and flocked to Nanda’s house to see baby Krishna and to offer gifts.

The main objective of Lord Krishna's birth was to free Mother Earth from the wickedness of demons. Playing an important part in Mahabharata (legendary battle in Kurukshetra) and propagating the theory of bhakti and good karma were

Lord Krishna's birth shows how powerful and loving God is. Whenever evil in the world like Kansa’s wicked rule becomes unbearable, God Himself comes to save us in the form of an Incarnation like Lord Krishna. Against God, not even the mightiest evil can do anything.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Messages from Old Boys 34

I have received this reply to my views last week on religion

Dear Mr. Sharma,

You were right! We are poles apart, and never the twain shall meet. Hence I do not want to take this matter any further, since it seems a pointless exercise considering your staunch and impermeable views. I can only hope that someday, you may see my point of view.

Let it be said here that I am against all religion when it comes out of the personal domain and is used to create and spread hatred and division. On this I am sure you will agree too.

As a rationalist, I feel it is my duty to question everything instead of submitting to blind faith. Nevertheless, I also have to keep an open mind for all possibilities.

The very fact that I provoked you to respond in such detail is my success, since I am sure you did ponder over you beliefs once again before bringing them forward to me.
Please be assured that I have never used barbs or such negative figures of speech. If they seemed so, it is simply the inefficiency of my writing.

Dear ……………,

Being a rationalist does not mean you do not use reason and deny the in the existance of God.

We may not know the form of God as our knowledge is limited and God in Infinite. When a finite tries to understand the Infinite he is starting on the wrong base.

You have to accept His existence through His manifestations.

How do you explain the whole solar system? The sun, moon, planets and millions of stars who all move in their own trajectories giving light and energy to us humans. How do you explain that this solar system is endless and it is still expanding?

Come down to the earth.
How do you explain that all the different trees, leaves and fruits get their nutrition from the same earth yet yield different products?
Can you explain the beautiful flowers with their colours and scents?
Can you explain how the water in the oceans are bitter but a cocoanut tree on the beach yields fruits whose water is sweet?
Can you explain the packing technology of God when he makes one simple orange or anar (pomegranate) or even a banana?
Can you explain the seasons?
Oh! Yes, you will talk of the inclination of the earth's axis and the rotation of the earth round the sun in elliptical orbit to explain it. But think of the Power who designed it to give you different weather and different flowers and fruits for you to enjoy.
How do you explain the marvel that is the human body? You have a 32 ft pipe.
You put solid and liquid food at one end and it comes out as waste at the other end.
In the meantime it draws all the energy and other nourishments to do what we do daily.
It is also wrong to call it waste.
Nothing is wasted in God's creation.
What is waste for one type of his creation is raw material/food for another type.
It has a small brain. Only 5% of its capacity is used by the most brilliant amongst us and yet the most simpleton amongst us can remember things which occurred more than a hundred years ago. Can any computer beat that?
A computer is also made by that brain. But it can only do what it has been programmed to do. It cannot do anything outside the program.
But the brain's capacity is limited only by our own capacity to think more.
Look at any of his creation. Birds, bees, animals, reptiles, hills, mountains and oceans. You cannot but marvel and love Him.

Religion is man's own way of thinking of Him and thanking Him.


Whatever way a person finds to communicate with Him is correct for that person.

A person's dress, diet, habits are a result of his Geography and his surroundings.
What he eats depends upon the place where his ancestors stayed and what they grilled into him and his parents and grandparents. Thus whether you are a vegetarian of non-vegetarian has nothing to do with religion but whether they lived on the seashore or riverside or desert or a cold climate.
Similarly whether you marry once or four times or just live together has nothing to do with religion. It depends upon your society.
The west was having problems with high rates of divorce and large alimony payments so instead of marrying, the couples started just living together.
During Mohammed's time continuous warfare had depleted the male population. To prevent prostitution and other social crimes, Mohammed allowed for four marriages by individuals. But it is a fallacy to now claim that it is allowed in their religion where the male / female population has become more balanced.
In Punjab and Haryana that same problem is developing due to selective female foetus abortion. I suppose the female of these two states will soon have to be allowed polygamy.
When India was ruled by kings, parents were afraid that their daughters would be carried away by the landlords or royalty, so they started the purdah system. That was also the reason why marriages took place at an early age.
God Himself does not say that you follow this way or that way.
He does not also say you believe in Him.
It makes no difference to Him whether you believe in Him or not.
He treats the believer and the unbeliever in the same way.
The sun shines and the rain falls equally on both. So does the wind blow on both.
Man himself feels His need not the other way round.
Believing in God is a question of faith.
One of the worst crimes man can commit is to destroy the faith of a person by trying to impose his own beliefs on the person.
Whatever or however a person believes in God, he should be allowed to retain his views. Neither carrot not stick should be used to change his beliefs
This has been done in India by using threats torture and death by Muslims during Aurangzeb's time. It is still being done in countries where Muslims are in the majority.
Missionaries induce poor people to change their religion by bribing them with economic gains.

I agree that religion is a personal affair.
Any action, which makes others compulsorily participate in your beliefs, is wrong.
The blaring of the masjd loudspeakers three to four times a day and on Fridays calling faithfuls is noise pollution and should be treated as such. Similarly, the blaring of loudspeakers on Tuesdays and Saturdays from the top of Hindu temples is wrong.
Collection of donations during Durga Puja in Bengal and Ganesh Puja in Maharashtra and other pujas all over India are unacceptable.
In this I like the Christian way of singing hymns in churches without loudspeakers so that the sounds remain confined within the church.
Instead of being Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains or Buddhists it would be better if we remained human beings and Indians.


Msg from Anshuman Bhardwaj

Hello Anshuman,
Thanks for correcting me.
I knew Pakistan's Independence Day was one day before India's but while typing, I made the mistake.
I'll issue the correction this week.
Best regards


Hi Radheshyam,

The mail is very encouraging, but Pak's independence day is 14th Aug & not 16th Aug
Best Regards
Anshuman Bhardwaj

Msg from Souvik Banerjee

Hello Souvik

Yes, you are right.
Thanks for correcting me.
I suppose, I am getting old.


Nice postings. Correct me if I'm wrong. Pakistan celebrates its independence day on the 14th of August. keep posting.


Msg from Ralph Reeves

Hello Ralph,

Those landings on the moon and claims were tongue in cheek claims.
Do enjoy your vacation.
You deserve it.



Hello Radhesh,

The West has it's good points and bad like anything else. We are here for the good it has to offer. India has to prove it's landing on the moon before we start rattling off our praise!! There is doubt of the Americans landing on the moon too!! I am proud for a lot that India stands for and always will. It;s a cycle and everybody has their moments of fame. We live for what we believe and see that it is carried on to the next generation. If we live to experience that we should be thankful.
I am loking forward to my next vacation on Sept. 15th to Oct. 15th. I am taking Irene to New York and then to Florida fr a cruise to the Bahamas. Being a sailor I have seen it all but I want to show her thes places. We come back to TO to a full house and reunion with my 2 boys who come down from Calgary and Irene's sister who joins us from Riyadh. Man it's going to be a lot of noise for my mother and mother-in-law who live with me. But they are used to it by now.
Take care

Msg from Vivian Goves

Hi Vivian

You are right.
When dog bites man, it is not news.
When man bites man, IT IS NEWS.
When robbers rob it is not news, they are supposed to rob.
When the police rob, THAT IS NEWS.
Unfortunately the media blows up all the all the negative news leaving very little space for the good one.
I suppose that is why we are all agog when any bit of good nes comes, like Bindra winning the gold medal.
India has started flexing its muscles.
Next Olympics we should do better. Our industrialists are setting up funds to help our atheletes.
Do send us your views on India, especially the good ones.


Hi there Radheshyam

I thought you might find this interesting and now living in Australia we only see and hear the negative about India and sometimes cringe when it is mentioned. I think it is time for us to stand up and be counted.
Viv Goves

Vivian has sent the following.

This was earlier published in the blog on 6.4.2008. I am repeating it since it is worth repeating.

The President of India DR. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam 's Speech in Hyderabad. *

Why is the media here so negative?

Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse acknowledge them--- Why?

We are the first in milk production.

We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.

We are the second largest producer of wheat.

We are the second largest producer of rice.

Look at Dr. Sudarshan , he has transferred the tribal village into a self-sustaining, self-driving unit.
There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures and disasters.
I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper... It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news.

In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime.

Why are we so NEGATIVE?

Another question: Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign T. Vs, we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology.

Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance? I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture,when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is. She replied: I want to live in a developed India . For her, you and I will have to build this developed India . You must proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation.

Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengeance.

Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice is yours.

YOU say that our government is inefficient.

YOU say that our laws are too old.

YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage.

YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke,

The airline is the worst in the world, mails never reach their destination.

YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits.

YOU say, say and say. What do YOU do about it?

Take a person on his way to Singapore . Give him a name - YOURS. Give him aface - YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best... In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground links as they are. You pay $5 (approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road ) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU come back to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status identity... In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU?

YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai .

YOU would not dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah .

YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds ( Rs.650) a month to, 'see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else.'

YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop,'Jaanta hai main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost.'

YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New
Zealand .

Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo ? Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston ??? We are still talking of the same YOU.

YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own.
You who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here in India ?

Once in an interview, the famous Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay, Mr. Tinaikar , had a point to make. 'Rich people's dogs are walked on the streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place,' he said. 'And then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the officers to do?
Go down with a broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels?
In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job.
Same in Japan .
Will the Indian citizen do that here?'
He's right.
We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility.

We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative.
We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick a up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin.
We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms.
We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity.
This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, girl child! and others, we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home.
Our excuse?
'It's the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my sons' rights to a dowry.'
So who's going to change the system?
What does a system consist of ?
Very conveniently for us it consists of our neighbours, other households, other cities, other communities and the government. But definitely not me and YOU.
When it comes to us actually making a positive contribution to the system we lock ourselves along with our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr. Clean to come along & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand or we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system.
When New York becomes insecure we run to England .
When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out to the Gulf.
When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system.
Our conscience is mortgaged to money.

Dear Indians, The article is highly thought inductive, calls for a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too.... I am echoing J. F. Kennedy 's words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians.....


Lets do what India needs from us.

Thank you,

Dr. Abdul Kalaam

Well, after all I have written about religion in my lead article, the following is another view sent by Lalit Narayan

A Difficult Judgment

In a small town, a person decided to open up his Bar business, which was right opposite to a Temple. The Temple & its congregation started a campaign to block the Bar from opening with petitions and prayed daily against his business.
Work progressed. However, when it was almost complete and was about to open a few days later, a strong lightning struck the Bar and it was burnt to the ground.

The temple folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the Bar owner sued the Temple authorities on the grounds that the Temple through its congregation and prayers was ultimately responsible for the demise of his bar shop, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

In its reply to the court, the temple vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection that their prayers were reasons to the bar shop's demise. As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented: "I don't know how I'm going to decide this case, but it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer and we have an entire temple and its devotees that doesn't."


Man is very funny.
He works hard his whole life for the simple joys which are available at his door step but which he is too busy to see. He spends his time away from his family and children purportedly to earn for them and make them happy little realizing that it is his time which they value most.
This small story is of a humble fisherman who understood his priorities.


An American investment banker was at the pier of a small Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."
The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"
The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."
The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."
The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"
To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."
"But what then?" asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."
"Millions?...Then what?"
The American said, "Then you would retire, move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
"Yes," smiled the Mexican,"I am already doing that".

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Today, we in Bengal are celebrating another one of Jyoti Basu's birthdays.
Yes, we are having a Bandh called by the CITU, the labour union wing of the Communist party of India (Marxist), to protest against the centre's anti-people policies.
This is supposed to be an all India bandh. But you can be sure it will fail all over except Bengal, Kerala and maybe Tripura as all three states have a Marxist government who look after the workers interest.
Not working is after all in the workers interest.

While our boys in the three states are twiddling their thumbs, they may as well enjoy a few jokes sent in by Lalit Narayan

I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Eric, the 11 year old next door. Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong? He replied, 'It was an ID ten Terror.'

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID ten Terror? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'

Eric grinned... 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error


'No,' I replied. 'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll

figure it out.'

So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T

In the hospital the relatives gathered in the waiting room.

A family member lay gravely ill.

Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and sombre.

"I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news,"

he said as he surveyed the worried faces.

"The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant.

It's an experimental procedure, very risky but it is the only hope.

Insurance will cover the procedure, but you will have to pay for the brain yourselves."

The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time, someone asked, "Well, how much does a brain cost?"

The doctor quickly responded, "$5,000 for a male brain, and $200 for a female brain."

The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked.

A man unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask,

"Why is the male brain so much more?"

The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and explained to the entire group: "It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because they've actually been used."

The FBI, DEA and CIA all argue that they are the best law enforcement agency in the world, so to find out once and for all which of them really is they devise a competition.

They release a rabbit into a forest, and whichever agency finds it first will be declared the best.

The FBI goes first. After two weeks of interviewing plants and animals, the FBI concludes that no rabbit has ever existed.

The DEA goes next. After burning down half the forest and defoliating the rest, they also find no rabbit.

The CIA goes last, and after a few moments, agents drag out a badly beaten bear, screaming "Ok, Ok! Yes, I'm a rabbit!"

A man was in court for a double murder and the judge said: 'You are charged with beating your wife to death with a spanner.'

A voice at the back of the courtroom yelled out: 'You *******!'

The judge continued: 'You are also charged with beating your daughter to death with a spanner.'

Again the voice at the back of the courtroom yelled out: 'You ******* *******!!!'

The judge stopped, looked at the man in the back of the court room, and said: 'Sir, I can understand your anger and frustration at this crime, but I will not have any more of these outbursts from you or I shall charge you with contempt! Now what is the problem?'

The man at the back of the court stood up and responded: 'For 15 years I've lived next door to the accused and every time I asked to borrow a ******* spanner, he said he didn't have one!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Are Insurance and Banking reforms good for India?

One of the reasons why big business welcomed the departure of the communists from the UPA was that they were an albatross around the government's neck because of which the government could not introduce reforms.
The stock market immediately rose some thousand points on their exit.
But wasn't this rejoicing misplaced?
Are the reforms which the UPA planning to introduce, good for India, especially the ones in Banking and Insurance?
This article taken from Equitymaster News Letter, "R for Reform" gives a more balanced view.
It states that these banks in the USA have written off bad loans of 400 Billions and another 600 billions are yet to be written off.
Actually this writing off could reach Three trillion dollars.
These banks cannot manage money in their own country and they want to manage it in ours.
We all rejoiced when the FII's brought in short term money into India and the Sensex reached new highs (21207).
We cursed them when they withdrew and it plunged to (12514).
Now that elections are nearing, our politicians are again mounting pressures on the RBI to open the tap for FII's by easing norms so that they again flood our system with their virtual money and the Sensex can rise again.
I do sincerely hope that the RBI does not succumb to these pressures

Testing reforms.
The Reserve Bank of India’s review of the banking policy in April, 2009 is now seen as a litmus test for "reforms". As is the supposed review of the foreign ownership limits in the insurance sector. The easing of foreign ownership rules, say the enthusiastic followers of "acceptance", is what will propel the Indian economy to a new level.
It may.
Most likely, it will propel much of the Indian banking system to a new level of bad practices.

The people we wish to bring into India as large shareholders in the Indian banks are not saints.
That is a fact.
And while they may have not yet been convicted as sinners, they have certainly been proved to be proponents of greed.

Banks are supposed to be institutions that are devoid of greed. They are supposed to measure risk and take risk away from the system. Greed - and rewarding greed - is a very un-banking thing to do
But the world is now faced with economic uncertainty partly because banks forgot their religion and worshipped market share.
Much of the developed world has a bill of USD 400 billion to pay because the banks - and the employees they nurtured and promoted - forgot their duty.
And there is an estimated additional USD 600 billion of write-downs and losses from bad loans on its way

For some reason, the India-watchers are hoping that the RBI will allow the foreign banks to buy more shares in the Indian banks. Such a move, they claim, will show that we are serious on reform.

Why would we celebrate the arrival of banks and financial institutions that failed in their basic business of assessing and pricing risks?

I can see why the poor property developers sitting on millions of unsold square feet of office space and residential projects are keen on seeing some new spurt in vanished demand. Maybe all their press-plants of how strong the property market will finally hold true. A new banking ownership law will lead to some extra demand.

And I can understand why a few thousand individuals who are unlikely to see any huge bonuses this year - or any doubling of salaries - would like to see a new source of talent hunt. This will trigger a round of wage inflation that will make the awards of the Pay Commission look pale in comparison.

But, on a serious note, what is the benefit for India in allowing people who have yet to prove that they can be "bankers" to own and control banks in India?

Will they teach their banks the own in India how not to be bankers? How to lose sight of risk and focus only on return? How to lose billions?

True, the Indian banking system is not perfect. There are some really large banks that have raced to become large focused on market share. They have acted in a manner that is at a risk to the definition to the word "banking". Rather than letting the aggressive banks move into India, maybe these banks - and their management teams - should be sent to the US, UK, and Europe where they will fit in with the prevalent definition of "banking".

Insure your commission
Allowing global insurance companies to own a large stake in Indian insurance companies is another big banner of the reform flag. For general insurance - the business of insuring oil rigs, pipelines, power plants, and factories - one can see the merits of spreading an India risk in a global basket.

And I am not sure why this is a good thing for the life insurance side of the business. The policies are sold to local Indians. The liability is to local Indians. The currency of use is the Indian Rupee. Actuaries have based their calculations on the lifespan and health factors for local Indians. The money that is collected is invested in local rupee assets to be paid out to the local Indians when they retire. How does a foreign insurance tie-up with a majority equity stake - or any equity stake - help?

Oh, yes: they will improve the reach and they will being new marketing skills.

That is why the insurance industry is facing the largest amount of churn on record. The marketing geniuses are mis-selling products to gullible investors.

Up to 40% of the premium earned in the first year on many products is paid out to agents. One of out six policies sold by the more aggressive agents "lapses". The poor policy holder probably can no longer afford the product or realises they were sold something they did not want. If you buy those cocktails - spiked to give your portfolio a high - called ULIPs, then one out of five "lapse". All this with a 26% ownership equity level by the foreign insurance companies. What could happen when insurance companies are 51% owned by foreign entities?

There is nothing sacred about these large foreign insurance companies, they are mortal. They have made mistakes. They have committed practices that their home regulators have frowned upon. In 2001, many of these biggies were in trouble: they lost control over how they had invested their portfolios. Some of them have already announced problem investments in this current mortgage crisis.

On the health insurance side, studies in the US have shown that patients are spending about USD 130 billion a year on tests that are deemed unnecessary. A function of a doctor-pharma-insurance world that works in a "defensive medical" environment. No one wishes to get sued so everyone is happy making the patient spend more - it all gets recovered from higher health insurance premiums. That means, from you! And India is "reforming" its way to this model.
Higher medical health insurance premiums are here to stay.

As for reach: they are reaching deeper into your wallet for sure. The real reach of covering more Indians is still being done by the likes of Life Insurance Corporation.

There is nothing wrong in allowing foreign banks, insurance companies, and institutions to own and operate companies in India. But we should know what we are importing. To think of an increase in foreign ownership as a plus for "reform" is stretching it. The reality of such a reform is that it will import not-so-good practices and India will pay a price for it. Then we will be truly global. And our desires will have been fulfilled.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

An Apology

We have been really lucky in having had a teacher like Sir. Mr. Lobo.
Even today, he corrects our mistakes, although he lives on the other side of the globe.

Re: My article of 7th August,relevant portion is given below.

"Very few men have the guts to take an unpleasant decision which will benefit mankind.
Freddie Roosevelt took the unpleasant decision to drop the Atom Bombs in Japan which abruptly ended the second world war. If he had not used them, the war would have continued for many for years, with many millions of deaths and probably India would have been under either German or Japanese occupation. Not a very pleasant thought."

He has corrected me thus.

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks at the end of World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States at the order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman on August 6 and 9, 1945. After six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday], August 6, 1945, followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.

The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945, roughly half on the days of the bombings. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians.

Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore World War II. (Germany had signed its Instrument of Surrender on May 7, ending the war in Europe.) and the Japan was battered,as we used to say,"Kicking a Dead Donkey"

I correct myself.

It was not Freddie Roosevelt who ordered the dropping of the Atom bombs. He was instrumental in authorising the production
Harry Trueman gave the order to use them
Further, the Germans had surrendered on May 7.
After six days intense firebombings bombing of 67 Japanese cites, they used the Atom Bomb as testing ground as they used the new intelligent bombs in Iraq.
I sincerely regret my error because of incomplete information.
The Americans were completely wrong in using the atom bomb.
I apologise to my Japanese and German friends for having made the remark

Well, I was wrong and my knuckles have been hit, I don't mind.
Rather, thank you, sir.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Messages from Old Boys 33

Viraj Thacker with wife and sons Nikhil and Shawn

Msg from Pat Peirce
Welcome back ! '
Okay - here's 2 more - ' Missed you! '
Best wishes from Abbotsford - Pat.

PS Have been visiting my old pal, Chick Lee ( GMS 1956 ) in Burnaby Gen'l. Hospital.
Poor chap is pretty low after his Gall Bladder operation.

I too missed you all.
You seem to be travelling quite a lot.
Why don't you post us a travelogue from the places you visit with pictures.
My best wishes to Chick Lee.
Please tell him to start doing paranyam and yoga.
These are the best medicines in the world for all ailments.
You too could start. Never too late.
Best regards


Msg from Viraj Thacker

Dear Mr. Sharma,

I hope this note finds you well and in good cheer after your spiritual retreat. It’s been a while since I last wrote to you; the exchanges on the “blog” have been fiery and well justified! I commend all who have taken a shot at political expression – reality is hard to digest and as a social scientist, I am thrilled to see the level of involvement and frankness that our boys from India have sought to express.

Your analysis of the outsider’s ignorance about the primacy of politics and public action in India is crucial. One cannot downplay the centrality of “bad politics” as an inhibitor of true progress and freedom in India. For those of us in the West, it is perhaps too easy to presume political superiority in the comfort of material excess; but to do so, is a display of sheer ignorance. As world citizens (and having spent our (key) formative years in India), we have an obligation to engage and empathize – after all, what we received in India is priceless. Western societies have their own share of political troubles and I am always impressed by how knowledgeable people in the sub-continent are about world politics – unfortunately, the Western polity chooses to remain ignorant.

I was a little troubled by the implications of frivolousness, emptiness and the general unimportance attributed to the nature of political exchange recently entered on the blog. I certainly beg to differ – our boys have shown courage and a sense of fair play in putting forth their thoughts. Fantastic imaginings and expectations are far from the order of the day – the realities of global politics is that India is still viewed as a third world entity and the nature of Indian politics today assures India that status for years to come.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Dear Viraj,

Thanks for the pictures.
You really have a very beautiful family. I can understand yor broadminded views have been inculcated in your family life too.

I know the western countries will not understand our pangs.
Except for the USA who had to fight for independence, all the other countries were independent and their people were born free citizens. I am not counting the aberration caused by the former Soviet Union whose pangs are being felt even today in Georgia and other soviet bloc countries.

Selfish and narrow mindedness of Indian rulers resulted in subjugation by foreign powers for about 400 years. First the Muslim, then Portuguese, French and then British. Fortunately, the USA used the Atom Bomb, otherwise we may have had to deal with the Japanese or Germans as our new masters.

After 1947, people hoped that now that we would be ruling ourselves, things would improve. How mistaken we were?

A new class of rulers have risen who are even more oppressive than the former foreigners. They have kept the masses uneducated and divided on caste and religion basis so that they could rule unhindered.

It is for us, whom God has blessed with proper education to awaken the people against these new batch of corrupt rulers.


Msg from Saibal Basu

Dear Mr. Radheshyam & Mr. Chaturvedi

I would like to inform you that since my last e-mail I have been able to recover my initial
30 % down payment and a full year's interest from the promoter after many months of delay. The sales contract has been cancelled and boy am I relieved!!

I sincerely appreciate your time and helpful suggestions in this regard.


Saibal Basu
ICSE - 1982

From Sir. Mr. Lobo

Here's something to mull over.With the invective that is being circulated, we need to go on Starvation Diet to reassess ourselves as to which wolf we have been fattening.


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, 'My son, the battle is between 'two wolves' inside us all.

'One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.'

'The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence,
empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.'

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 'Which wolf wins?'

The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.'

Msg from Willy Wu

Hi Radhesh,

Thanks for bringing us to date the turmoil that is
blanketing India. Things are really deteriorating,
and you wonder when the time for improvement,
justice and progress will come.

In Canada, we don't hear much about the internal
affairs in India. After reading all the articles posted
on your blog site, it is shameful to conclude that the
politicians are the root cause to all evils in India now.

My congratulation to you and your wife in becoming
grandparents soon.

When is the get-together of old Goethalites in Kolkata?
Please send my regards to my 1971 class-mates.

Willy (1971).

Correspondence with one of our boys. I am not divulging the name.

Dear Mr Sharma,

Thank you for your reply and sorry for the delay in my response. Though I was a little disappointed since you have chosen to ignore one specific and exemplary point I had raised. Hence it is not possible for me to even attempt a change of heart regarding you guru.

Even if we have disagreed on a few things, it does not mean that we should snap our relation. I never used the word unpleasant, to the best of my knowledge.

I hope you shall continue to light candles rather than curse the darkness, and also shed some light on me.

I shall be expecting your mails as before.


Dear .........

I had intially chosen to ignore your barbs but since you wanted me to specifically answer one point in your letter, I am explaining my views.
I presume the point you allude to is :


I can only say that you have made yourself an expert on my Guruji by listening to one of his 20 minute discourses on Sony.
His discourses are aired daily by Astha, Sanskar, Sadhna, Sraddha and Sony channels.
Sony being a purely commercial channel has stopped airing the discourses after this problem started. The others continue to beam, sometimes even live telecasts.
None of these would have aired his discourses if there were no viewers who believed in him.
I have been his disciple for the last 10 years and I am a graduate mechancial engineer.
If you care to know, the professionals who are his disciples include lawyers, doctors, IT professionals, IAS and IPS officers, government employees from all grades.You name the profession, his disciples are there.
I have not mentioned politicians for they are there in droves from all parties. But these imbeciles from all parties are there to pay respect to whomsoever can help them win elections.
Yes, very few communist leaders are there as they do not believe in religion,at least publicly.In private many of our Bengal communists are involved with the Durga Pujas.
So you see, it is not only the illiterate who are is disciples. By commenting on him by just listening to one of his discourses is like the person who wrote an essay on the Niagra Falls by just watching water overflow a glass tumbler and by casting aspersions on him you are actually casting aspersions on the educational qualifications of all those professionals who are is disciples.By calling him semi-literate you seem to put a premium of normal school education. You forget, many of the great men in the world had not received what you call education
If you have the good fortune to listen in depth to Asharamji, not just one discourse, you will know that he or most other gurus who are so popular on the religious channels do not criticise any of the other religions.What they object is the conversions which these religious orders allow.

Ours, Hinduism, is not a religion, it is a philosophy, a way of life.
All other religions have been started by an individuals.
I give below, the founders of the major religions in the world, in chronological order.
Judaism by Abraham,Budhism by Gautam Buddha. Jainism by Mahavir, Christianity by Jesus Christ. Muslimism by Mohammed and Sikhism by Guru Nanak, Communism by Marx & Lenin.
You will note I have included communism. Well, not believing in any religion is also a religion.
You will note I have not included Hinduism although it is probably the oldest philosophy.. That is because it has not been started by any one person. It is the thoughts and beliefs of our ancient Rishis written in Vedas. This is a very dynamic philosophy which satisfies the requirement of everybody.

Level 1Our religion believes in the Supreme Power, Par Brahma or Om, whatever you call Him. He is One in All and All in One. He is there in the lifeless to the lowest forms of life and all mankind.Thus four of the awtars of Vishnu take the animal form.Matsyavatara (fish), Koorma (tortoise), Varaaha (boar), Narasimha (the man lion).

Level 2
Below Om, we have the Trinity consisting of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are the Creator, the Provider and the Destroyer. Thus all life goes on. It is born, it lives and then it dies. Everything comes in this cycle.

Level 3
Below the Trinity, we have of different devis and devatas who have given given different powers to provide for all aspects of human life.We allow idols of these so that people can concentrate their thoughts on the idols.
Depending upon your own mental development and capability, you can chose your level by which you would want to communicate with the Power Who has given you life.
We believe all religions lead to the same Om, or God, or Allah or Christ or Wahe Guru, whatever you call Him.

So, what is the need for conversions?

This is what all our gurus object.
You will find people of all religions as disciples of Asharamji, Ravishankarji, Murari Bapuji and others.
Asharamji has visited Pakistan and Ravishankarji has recently visited Iraq.
Do you think if our gurus were against other religions they would be allowed to visit these Muslim countries.
If you get a chance you should see a CD of Asharamji titled "Bapu Ka Diwana"

I am sorry but your views have been coloured by views of the western and muslim cultures who would like the whole world to be either Christians or Muslims.
Is there no poverty in the Christian countries?
Why don't they help those poor people?
Why do they have to come to the India?
It is because the people there are already Christians and there is no scope for conversions. But in India they can convert people to Christianity and St. Peter would keep the gates of Heaven open for them.

I am not against our Christian Brothers as their interest was only in promoting education without trying to convert us. Except for one Bro. Callaghan during my stay in Goethals who tried to convince anybody who would listen to him to convert to christianity.
He did not succeed with anybody.

Now, your point regarding sex during Purnima.
Our gurus preach us to control all our senses.
We are human beings and not animals.
Even animals have a season for mating, once or twice a year. It is only the human race which allows a free hand on all 365 days a year
Sex has been considered the cause of all major wars.
Helen of Troy, Ramayana, Mahabharata.Half the crimes you read in the papers are the result of not attempting to harness this force.
What our Gurus are asking you to do is to control this force so that it does not go out of hand. They suggest abstinence on certain days which are considered auspicious by us.
Purnima, Amawasya, Ekadasi, Ram Navami, Janam Asthami, Vijay Dashami and birthdays of whatever devatas you believe in.Also the days when your parents died are no-no.
So too are the 15 days pitripkash which end in Mahalaya.
They also say that having sex during the periods of your spouse would result in having mentally retarded babies or what you said regarding Purnima.
Now, we all know that it is not possible to impregnate a woman during her periods.
Then why does he say this?
So that people abstain from fear during these days as it is unhealthy.
So what in effect these Gurus are saying is abstain for about 90 days a year. You still have 275 days to do what you want.
Even the father of our nation , Gandhiji, practised abstinence.
There is a whole chapter on this point in his book, "My Experiments with Truth"
So, you should go into the reason of why a person who has millions of followers has said what he did.
As far as modern medical science is concerned, it would be beneficial if you listen to Swami Ramdeo's programme. He also advocates minimal use of modern medicines as they cure one ailment and cause another.It is good for emegencies and certain illnesses. It has eradicated certains diseases which earlier killed millions of people.
But it has become big business where there is a unholy and commercial tie-up between doctors, medical stores, testing laboratories and hospitals to loot patients.
Will anybody deny this tie-up?
Our gurus are advising people to go back to Ayurveda, the ancient science of medicine, using herbs which can be found in all homes. These cause no harmful after effects.
Use modern medical science only for emergencies and critical cases.
I hope, I have been able to explain, why Asharamji and other Gurus have millions of followers.
They give us mental peace and have a more balanced view of our lives instead of just rushing through it like animals.
All the wealth in the world is useless to me if I have no peace of mind.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

At last.............A Silver Lining for India?

The above article by Dr.Thacker, with the photo of the Rs.0 currency, is a comical way of getting rid of corruption. I'll narrate a small true incident of the depth of corruption. One of my relatives joined the Customs as an officer. After training, all the trainees were asked to choose their place of posting. Most of them chose Bongaon, bordering Bangladesh, as all those who are posted there earn a good amount of extra money from this check post. My nephew chose some other place. But, ultimately, he was posted in Bongaon. On the very second day he caught hold of a truck containing contraband goods worth several lakhs. The tragedy was it was my nephew who had to run from pillar to post to release this truck. From then on he vowed never to catch any wrongdoer. It would be easier to take his share of the loot and save his skin. It requires courage and tenacity to remain uncorrupted, even to the extent of sacrificing one's life. But if the Rs.0 note is fed to those hungry for bribe, good sense may prevail, at least to a certain percentage of bribe takers.

Indians in Sports

It is not often that India gets to celebrate in sports.
We have got our first gold Medal in individual events after 60 years of independence and 109 years after the modern Olympic movement started
Hence, inspite of there being more newsy matter like the inflagration in Kashmir, our young Bindra has pushed away everthing from the first page of every newspaper.
It should be and congratulations to the young lad.
But while we are all basking in the reflected glory shouldn't we ponder.
Everybody is now falling head over heels in getting into the lime-light by rewarding him.
Six state governments, Lalu Yadav, Mukesh Ambani, Mittal and many more have all showered awards on the lad. I am surprised he still keeps so cool and his head is still on his shoulders.
If only these people had woken up to their responsibilities much before the Olympics, we may have had many more Bindras.
Corporate India is very rich inspite of all the hindrances which have been put in their paths by the communists.
Among the 1125 billionaires published by Forbes, there are 53 Indians i.e about 4.7%
Of course this is nothing when you compare that Indians make up about 30% of the worlds population.
We know that the government is only fit for sending congratulatory messages after our sportsmen do well. Before that they put only hurdles in their path.
But surely, if these 53 billionaires decided to take responsibility for 2 sports each, Indians would do much better.
Some of our houses, like the Tatas are promoting Football under their banner.
If others could also put in some money, to help the lads from the villages, we could unearth much more talent.
If any sports / sportsmen in any field win awards, then the government should treat all the expenses incurred by these companies in training our boys as tax free.
The government can later earn from these sportsmen from their media coverage and ads promoted after winning awards


At Last....A Silver Lining for India?

Click for BIGGER image! Cheers! VPT

Sunday, August 10, 2008

For Thondup Sherpa

Dear Thondup,
Just learned that you may be in Delhi this month. Please call me up. My mobile no.
is 9891628938. I'll be away on a trip to Manimahesh from 24th Aug. to 3rd Sept. So just give me a
call if you land in Delhi before 24th. Will be glad to meet you.


Bhagavad Gita reinacted

Hello friends,

I have received the following mails from three of our boys hoping that some ex-Goethalite would contest the Lok Sabha election.

From Guha Mazumdar

Who said all work makes Jack a dull boy ? Obviously that does not hold true for Ex-GMS guys. We are a happy, jovial and bubbly lot having our fingers in every pie. Waiting for the day when some Ex-GMS guys contests Lok Sabha elections. He is sure to turn the country upside down.

Keep smiling and Be Happy.

Ranjan Guha Majumder

Thondup Sherpa wrote

And as for an alumni of GMS becoming a National leader of importance ....YES YES YES. Socrates is supposed to have said something to the effect that if the educated and capable do not join politics then they are cursed to be ruled by lesser mortals who do ( join politics).

On that note...DO ALL THINGS WELL

thondup..class of '67

Lalit Narayan wrote.
Of course, he had written much more but since they are not pertinent to this issue, I have not included those portions.


An ex-Goethalite, I am sorry to say, can never enter politics for the following reasons.

1 A politician has to be either uneducated or a lawyer.
2 He should not believe in family planning. The more, the merrier for the vote bank.Sorry. China, you cannot be called politicians as you have one child policy.
3 You should be dishonest and have a criminal background and if need arises you should have no compunction in selling your mother or daughter.
4 You should have no regular employment.
5 You should have gift of gab.

Well, tell me, has Goethals inculcated the above virtues in us.
Sorry, we are not fit to rule India.
So, will we never get a chance.
Yes, we may. If...........

A quote from the Bhagad Gita gives me hope

Yadha yadha hi dharmasya glanirbhavathi bharatha
AbhyuthdaanaMadharmasya Thadatmanam Srujamyaham

Whenever there is decay of Dharma (religion) and
an ascendancy of Adharma (irreligion) then God manifests Himself!

We have seen the truth in Lord Krishna's above statement when he took took the incarnation of George Bush for restoring Dharma in Afganisthan.
It was here the Taliban destroyed Lord Budha's statues, didn't they?

1 If the present lot of corrupt politicians appoint as President a person whom they consider as a lamb and he turns out to be a lion. A person like T N Seshan or Lew Kuan Yew of Singapore.
Our President enjoys tremendous power, if only he uses them. So far our politicians have appointed only rubber stamps and when a person with independent views has occupied the seat, he has embarrassed them with uncomfortable questions. A recent example was our last President who was removed as he was difficult to handle.
Everybody commits a mistake at some point of time. Let us hope, our politicians make the mistake sooner than later.

2 I have greater hope on a person who is gradually becoming a source of immense power in India. He is religious minded and a nationalist. He has already conquered the hearts of Indians and is now winning the hearts of western countries. He is gradually building a strong force of dedicated disciples and I hope in another five years, he should have sufficient followers to get a government of his choice.
This would be true Ram Rajya.
I'll not name the person now. But many of you would be able to guess.Let us hope our blog runs for the next five years to confirm my views.

If the above conditions are fulfilled, then we ex-Goethalites can think of entering politics. Otherwise we are no match for the deviousness, cunning and criminality of the present lot of politicians and are better of doing what our school has taught us. Remain honest and straightforward.