Six months later

With a new government at home and one six months old elsewhere, the losses of the new year are worthy of our remembrances. Here is a "in his own words" piece with links to his acceptance speech (video and text) four years earlier.

Vajpayee, Advani, Bush, Blair, the father/s of Indian economic reform are all dead and gone. Our children are our future. Let us wake up now at least.
The cursery that butch built

I was advised to take this post off the blog that i write for Parth. Copied and pasted.

The site at www.turoks.net requested me not to right click this page. Please feel free.

Perhaps one of the most interesting words in the English language today, is the word fuck. Out of all the English words that begin with the letter 'f' ...fuck is the only word referred to as 'the f word... It's the one magical word. Just by its sound can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. Fuck, as most words in the English language is derived from German ...the word fuieken, which means to strike.

In English, fuck falls into many grammatical categories:

As a transitive verb for instance.. John fucked Shirley.
As an intransitive verb... Shirley fucks.

Its meaning is not always sexual, it can be used as...

An adjective such as... John's doing all the fucking work.
As part of an adverb... Shirley talks too fucking much.
As an adverb enhancing an adjective... Shirley is fucking beautiful.
As a noun... I don't give a fuck.
As part of a word... absofuckinglutely -or- infuckingcredible.
And as almost every word in a sentence... Fuck the fucking fuckers.

As you must realize, there aren't too many words with the versatility of fuck...such as these examples describing situations such as:

Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Dismay: ahhh fuck it.
Trouble: I guess I'm really fucked now.
Aggression: Don't fuck with me buddy.
Difficulty: I don't understand this fucking question.
Inquiry: Who the fuck was that?
Dissatisfaction: I don't like what the fuck is going on here.
Incompetence: He's a fuck-off.
Dismissal: Why don't you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself...

I'm sure you can think of many more examples.

With all these multi-purpose applications, how can anyone be offended when you use the word. We say use this unique, flexible word more often in your daily speech.

It will identify the quality of your character immediately.

Say it loudly and proudly: FUCK YOU!
Five important rules, at least, for men.



1. It's important to have a woman who helps at home,
who cooks from time to time, cleans up and has a job.

2. It's important to have a woman who can make you
laugh.

3. It's important to have a woman you can trust
and who doesn't lie to you.

4. It's important to have a woman who is good in bed
and who likes to be with you.

5. It's very, very important that these four women
do not know each other.

The Politics of Monogamy

I cannot stop myself from copying this on to my livewriter or whatever I finally ship this from. I have always cherished each moment that I have spent reading your writing, and I will breathe my last holding a wisp of something you would have at least thought of if not put in writing by then. Satish would agree too, I am sure, as would Hardyk and his millions.

Here is a post that Paulo wrote on his blog that I found interesting. The original post is at http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2009/06/10/animal-promiscuity



Recently I read an interesting polemic article in the American newspaper New York Times (25/03/2008). Written by Natalie Angier, the text is based on the research of prominent biologists and psychologists concerning monogamy. The conclusion that they reach is impressive: conjugal infidelity is present throughout the animal kingdom.

And that’s not all: studies have shown that certain species “pay” for sex, while others reward their “lovers” with presents and affection. To complete the picture, jealousy and machismo are also to be found there: females are violently attacked if they copulate with another partner.

Of course we are not animals, but the similarities mentioned above are very revealing. Some of the more interesting parts of the article are worth transcribing.

1] Many species are raised from a very tender age to marry someone chosen by the family. They fly and play together, they sing and dance together. In other words, they are raised to impress the community with proof that they were born for one another.

2] Nevertheless, social monogamy is rarely accompanied by sexual monogamy. DNA tests carried out on monkeys, birds and wild animals, when their descendency is examined in the light of modern science, show that between 10% and 70% of the offspring was fathered by someone other than the resident male.

3] Professor David Barash of the University of Washington in Seattle states that: “in the infantile world, infancy. In the adult world, adultery”. For a long time, swans were believed to be a model of fidelity. Through such DNA tests, it has been concluded that not even swans are immune to temptation.

4] The only completely monogamous species is an amoeba - Diplozoon Paradoxum – which is found in organisms of certain fish. Barash explains: “male and female meet while still young, and their bodies literally merge as one. From then on, they are faithful until death do them part”. In this case, death coincides with that of the fish that shelters them.

5] The “oldest profession in the world”, as prostitution is known, is also present in the animal kingdom. It is common to find males that shower their females with presents: rodents, caterpillars and insects. But when the same male decides to have, shall we say, an extracurricular affair, the lover receives better presents than the companion.

6] The law of competition also applies to the animal world: if supply is great, the price comes down. However, if there is a shortage of females, they become objects of desire that deserve the best and most sophisticated rewards.

Please understand that I have transcribed in this column the result of research conducted by scientists and psychologists specialized in studying animals. All of us can – and should – have our own opinion with respect to monogamy. We can all say that we are a highly evolved species, which is absolutely true. The only thing that we can’t do is to blame science for showing results that often contradict our way of thinking!


Hope you found this making a totally new sense of our midweek hump.

Determinations

This is what I determined over the months leading up to 2009.
1. Meet the old man. Spend time.
2. Kaikan for the members of Somajiguda.
3. Khairatabad or Koti to become districts by 2010.
4. Somajiguda to become a chapter by 2010.
5. IPC for AP Area
6. KBR and Begumpet MDs to meet regularly with Somajiguda MDs.
7. AP Area Choir.
8. Study the five major writings in 2009.
9. Plan the years 2030 - 2065.
REVIVAL OF BUDDHISM IN INDIA

Outlook, the wonderful rebel magazine from the South, has done it again. It has a different cover story on the website and a different one on the newsstand. Interesting fact. The online version has the Revival of Buddhism story as the lead cover story and the political and electoral debacles of the communist parties of India (all shades) as a second lead as can be seen in the top left inset of the cover graphics on the website. However, if you pick up a copy from the newsstand, you will find the Buddhism story in the inset and Hammered and Sick as the main cover story (uniformly red though). Here is google's cache of the index page for this issue so you can see the cover images for yourself.

One guess is that they wouldn't have expected the reds to go online to check if they were still bleeding online as they were in print.

Anyway, heartening to read about the growth of "new age" Buddhism in the land that Shakyamuni Buddha hailed from.

Read the whole story here.
Indian Express explains the gakkai in India

Over 37,000 people in the country have been chanting their way to happiness. We look at how the Buddhist mantra, Nam myoho renge kyo, has become a movement in itself

It’s half past ten on a sticky Sunday morning when an assortment of men and women between the ages of 25 and 45 troop into a plush apartment in Delhi’s Friends Colony locality. The living room has been cleared of furniture and glasses of water are placed in one corner. One among these 40-odd people leads a Buddhist chant —Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—to a chorus for ten minutes. It’s followed by a short speech on the significance of the Soka Gakkai International, a global association that promotes the philosophy of the 13th century Japanese Buddhist, Nichiren Daishonin, that has found resonance in India among over 37,000 people.

The forum is then open for all gathered, people begin talking about their problems, sharing experiences about how this prayer has transformed their lives. For one and a half hours, twice a month, members of the Bharat Soka Gakkai gather on Sundays in different parts of India, (there are chapters in over 50 Delhi colonies alone), to chant, talk about life and their sorrows and to gain strength to surmount problems, together as a group.

Read the full Indian Express story here.

“Songs can unite, they can bring people together,” writes Daisaku Ikeda, a champion of promoting world peace through culture and education. All of the greatest music in the history of mankind has been born out of the will to triumph together, be it the hollers and blues of the slaves in colonial America, or the protest music of the 60’s and 70’s, whether it be the 3rd or the 9th symphony by Beethoven, or the songs written by Clapton after his son died.

Song, by its nature brings not only the listeners and the performers together as one spirit but also unifies the many bodies of the singer, the multitude of lives that each one of live in these harried times. Song unites hearts, and this ability to unite peoples heart comprises the unchanging formula for absolute victory in our lives, explains Ikeda.

With the global gloom of the last 18 months, it is becoming increasingly important for us as a civilization to find the true implication of our being, to come together as many in body, one in mind, to accomplish that for which we have been placed at the top of the evolution pyramid, the reason why only we of all beings have been given voice, words, and song in our hearts. To use these gifts to lead all beings to the highest potential we as a race are capable of expressing.


Find more videos like this on SGI Buddhism


After the torturous suspense of the last few years, with each category drawing the stiffest of competition, and amazing new finds, the grammies this year have spared us. Not only were there no notables among the major nominations, even the competition was all but absent. There was no Herbie Hancock (another champion of Kosen Rufu and one who acknowledged Ikeda as his mentor) interpreting Joni Mitchel, no Ray Charles, no Norah Jones to get the ulcers going. I do not intend to imply the lack of individuals or names, but more the stature of the creative expression that has made the final cut for the awards this year. The only wow nomination in the mainstream categories, and this is merely my opinion, was Robert Plant and Allison Krauss’ Raising Sand, a seminal work that will stand the test of time, and one that went on to bag them the best pop vocal, record of the year, and album of the year. The only pity was the sound mixing during their performance at the awards show resulting in a regrettable loss of the lower registers on the vocals. However, I am optimistic that this lack of overall spunk in the finalists is just a lull and not a sign of the times (a view endorsed by both the contemporary jazz album and the world music nominees).

While the awards were predictable and perhaps somewhat lackluster, the awards show, however, was a treat. One is put to test to pin down any one performance as a highlight, starting with the opening act by U2 reminding us how beautiful we are. Justin Timberlake shone as he matched vocals with the Reverend of soul, Al Green on Lets Stay Together, no small feat. Mylie Cyrus and Taylor Swift doing Fifteen was a dream come true for fans, as was McCartney and the Foo Fighters doing I saw her Standing There. Kid Rock’s anthem to peace and justice had a fleeting Ashoka’s Chakra as part of the visuals. Radiohead performed 15 step, an electrifying performance that will stay on both Sandeep’s and my playlist for a long time to come, I know for sure. Neil Diamond walking down the aisle singing Sweet Caroline with almost the entire audience singing along was memorable, especially the moment when he stood between Paul McCartney on one side and Coldplay in their Sgt. Peppers uniform on the other, with all of them screaming together like mosh pit fans, touching me, touching you. A truly touching moment, one can captured the spirit of the evening and the hope that it holds for the future.

What do Ghajini and Slumdog Millionaire teach us?

Your 15 minutes are over

My friend over at The Buddha Bar writes about Ghajini, "
As I read newspaper articles reporting the nightmare some children have been seeing, post viewing Ghajini, many thoughts that winced to surface while I saw the movie, got crystallised. What are the problems with the film? Many in my mind. First of all, in Bollywood, this is probably the first time a movie has been named after the villain. In today's day and time, when even Spiderman is exploring his dark side, is it out of place? Maybe not. But is it necessary and could this pompous promotion of the negativities in life be avoided? Surely, yes!"

The fact that Ghajini with its red and grey matter splashed all over the camera lens goes on to become the largest grosser ever is not the most heartening of trends either.


And then we have the whole hullabaloo over Slumdog Millionaire being "poverty porn." As I write this, it has picked up 10 nominations at the Oscars too. Has the social activism spawned by a hyperactive and overresponsive media created a frankenstein, where nothing one does can escape the scrutiny of a moral police that really is a policing of convenience or perhaps consumerism where we live from moment to moment seeking to consume fleeting hysteria?

How many of us can relate back to Mumbai 26/11 with the same intensity that we experienced while watching it unfold? Is it just the passage of time that has blunted the pain or was it just the rush of being part of reality TV that is now giving way to the now breaking news?

Tough questions but ones that need to be answered if we want to move forward with hope.

An aside, I dont find the music of Slumdog particulary outstanding when compared to Rahman's body of work. Comments?

Mutton Dalcha


This post was written at a time when this blog was more of a personal journal. It was much later, when I was trying to learn about online writing and I started studying the art and science of blogging that I realized that this post was picking up an enormous amount of traffic. It also went on to be featured at a couple of blog events. I have allowed the post to remain as it is except for adding pics and links later, since it is the recipe that is important, not the packaging, and to me, a lot of its appeal of this post lies in its amateurish presentation.

I was the assistant for this preparation recently, but it turned out so well that I had to post this. The pictures got added later, from another round of cooking this dish. When I cook, I usually manage to take a few pics, but when I assist, well, you know how it is. This goes well with hot chapatis, or with basmati rice, and recently I discovered the Hyderabad combo meal of jeera rice with dalcha.


You will need
Chana Dal 300 g (the original recipe that we worked from called for 500 g)
Diced lamb 250 g  (go ask my Dad how to buy the best meat ever!!)
Ginger 1 inch piece chopped fine
Garlic 6 cloves chopped fine
Green chili 2 chopped
Cinnamon 1 inch stick powdered
Green cardamom 2 powdered
Onion 2 medium size, sliced fine, fried crisp
Onion 1 medium chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Red Chili powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Oil (groundnut or olive oil) 3 tbsp
Salt to taste

1. Wash the dal in several changes of water. Soak it for at least 30 minutes. Add a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of sugar (skip if not to taste), and pressure cook for three whistles. Mash once cool and keep aside.
2. Clean the lamb. Do not wash in water, use a damp towel to wipe clean. Pat dry
3. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the chopped onion, fry till brown, add the ginger, followed by garlic, followed by green chili, followed by mutton. Stir frequently till mutton browns and oil separates.  Dont worry about your pan, it will look worse than what my pan does below, the worse the cleaning task, the better actually.  Add remaining turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder. Stir for another 2 minutes.
4. Add 1 cup of water or enough to just cover the mutton, and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
5. Once cooled, add the dal, the fried sliced onions, cinnamon and cardamom powder, lime juice and salt. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The pic at the bottom is from before letting it cook again.  The one right below this is the bhunoing lamb.
6. Serve hot.

Tips
1. I have only one pressure cooker, so I had a rush with the washing. You can also cook the lamb in a deep skillet and instead of pressure cooking it, double the quantity of water and let it simmer/boil for 15 minutes.
2. I had the bagara khana dalcha (jeera rice and mutton dalcha combo) at a standard restaurant and it is loaded with garam masala but tastes great. I also thought I tasted black pepper along with the red and green chili.
3. You could experiment with a mix of the yellow dals for this. I was also reluctant to go with the 500 g that the recipe asked for but later realized it would still have been fine.
4. Keep the lime juiced, and the onions fried crisp. Make sure you are not using the current days TV listings to soak the oil of the fried onions.  I got fried later in the day for having done this.  In case you do this, here is the remedy.
5. You can reuse the oil that you fried the onions in for the main prep. Start with 3 tbsp, and dont fret that it will not be enough, and add some more, which is what we did. The lamb will contribute some oil too.
6. The secret of cooking lamb is to not wash it in water. Use a damp towel to wipe it clean and a kitchen scissor to snip gunk off if needed. When buying the meat, make sure it is red and glistening. The fat is always welcome. (Edit: The fat is welcome a dozen or so times a year!!)

Thanks Mona, for including this in your Bakr Eid roundup at your fab blog, Zaiqa.
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