Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hot Parattas and the Head of State...

A few days back when my mom asked me to get some Parattas for dinner I took my bike and navigated through a few inner roads before joining TTK road. In the small stretch I crossed hardly a tenth of the whole road I saw 4-5 traffic constables waving the traffic on either side. At a four road junction which doesn't have a signal and is usually left unattended at most times I spotted 2 traffic constables and a traffic Inspector regulating the traffic, I knew something was wrong...

Totally baffled I thought I should ask the traffic Inspector who had held me up for over 2 minutes at that junction But then as he let us go I proceeded to the restaurant and purchased the Parattas. The hot parcel dangling on the handlebar of my motor bike I began my journey home 15-20 minutes later.

As I crossed the one way TTK road and entered I could see the waiting traffic near the bridge. As usual I wriggled my way through the traffic to reach the edge of the waiting traffic. After a while the pilot vehicles started coming on the bridge eager to catch a glance of the VIP I craned my neck to look at the bridge. Maybe our PM was in town... But maybe the US president was in town... Or Maybe it was GOD!!! Few minutes and several vehicles later an SUV blazed through... Guess who? it was our AMMA! Afterwards what looked like ambulances and security vehicles followed. A minute or two after the whole convoy had passed, they let us go, on the whole almost a ten minute wait.

Instead of regulating traffic and saving lives all over the city, the Chennai City Traffic Police is being misused to give AMMA's convoy a free ride home. These arrangements would put those made for our PM or a visiting head of state to shame. As I re-entered TTK road I made a check on the Odometer till I entered the streets leading to my home. unbelievable but 7 traffic policemen had stood in the stretch of about 350 metres I had traveled! Imagine how many traffic police men would've stood all along the way till Amma's new home on the Old Mahabalipuram Road!! Imagine all of the standing to attention saluting AMMA!!! Imagine this happening daily!!!!


Though the Head of our state must have reached home with her convoy in hot pursuit, The Hot Parattas were not so hot when i reached home!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Religion and its interpretations

'The Imrana Rape Case' as blown up by the media... A case that fuelled anti-Muslim sentiments around the country... But there remain several unanswered questions...

Did the alcohol inebriated Father-in-law really try to molest Imrana?
Is Imrana using the law as a weapon against her in law?
Does an attempt to molest constitute rape as blown out of proportions by the media?
If a woman willingly consents for a physical relationship with her father-in-law, then her relationship with her husband maybe placed in a precarious position... BUT for no fault of her own because her father-in-law tried to molest her should she be penalized?

that's why we've the police to investigate and the courts to Judge. But the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has overlooked these purely logical questions and has issued a 'Shariat' (a law) stating that Imrana's marriage to her husband stands nullified and she should live away from her husband!!!

'The Quran' states the punishment for rape should be death. When the Muslim Board is incapable of carrying out what 'the Quran' tells against the accused is it justified in issuing a Shariat against the victim?

Another case that was in the news at the same time... Though it had happened a few years ago...
A tribal council in Pakistan had ordered the rape of Mukhtaran Mai because her brother had an affair with a girl of a different class! One of the courts had even acquitted the perpetrators of this heinous act and now the case has reached the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

All religions say everyone is equal in the eyes of god but why this paradox when it comes to men and women? Its not jut Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are no exceptions to these Paradoxes either its just that the Islamic ways seem so harsh to us. The Hindu law doesn't provide for equal inheritance to daughters and sons for their father's property. How can we call India a land of equals when the law discriminates between men and women and between religions? We need a COMMON CIVIL CODE, But like every other remediable problem in the country the political establishment lacks the political-will to push it through.

No religion preaches that woman should be treated inferior to men, Its because of the people who interpret the religion have interpreted it so and the wrong interpretation has been propagated through the generations accumulating such muck. RELIGIONS WERE FORMED AGES AND AGES AGO, TIMES HAVE CHANGED A LOT AND SO HAVE OUR CULTURES AND PRACTICES, SO SHOULD RELIGIONS AND THEIR PREACHERS OTHERWISE THERE WILL BE MANY MORE IMRANAS AND MUKHTARAN MAIS

Monday, July 25, 2005

The One Minute Conservationists

Driving in Chennai is much better than in Madurai but for the numerous traffic signals! Driving my splendor I always manage to wriggle through the traffic at the signals and reach the stop line. But when I don't that's when I'm faced with these One-minute Conservationists

The countdown timers installed in the last few years on most traffic signals are a boon to people like me, I speed up if the signal is gonna stop soon and if I'm stopped at a signal I'm ready with the first gear down by the time its just a second or two to go.

But then I don't belong to the class of the One-minute Conservationists... You can spot the members of this class any day any time at a busy signal they switch off their engines even if they've to wait for just a minute at the traffic signal. They don't start their engines even when it goes 3..2..1.. But wait till the Green light comes on to start kicking their vehicles to life. The Worst of this class are the auto-rickshaws, these guys wait in a half crouched posture with one hand on the start lever and they too wait for 3..2..1.. to get over before they start tugging the lever But then these rickety old machines don't start in one go do they? Sometimes they even get down out of their autos, oblivious to the traffic behind, to have a go at the lever trying to coax the engine into life.

I've been made to miss signals because of these people even when I've been just 25-30m away from the stop-line. When the signal light goes green and you can't see any motor vehicles moving you know the front-line is full of these One-minute Conservationists. I don't understand what is it that these people are trying to Conserve... If it's the environment... They end up spewing a burst of thick black smoke from their vehicles when they start up and Vroom before they get moving anyway. If it's due to the sky-rocketing fuel prices I don't think the engine whiling for a minute would consume as much as fuel as fresh start not to mention the missed ones...

Its a free world people can do whatever they want BUT not at the cost of other people's time!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Exam Mode @#$%$%#^@@^#&

When its a month to go for a major exam, I'm always the same living in my artificial environs reading, eating , sleeping and of course reading the News Paper.
The Doors are shut so are my windows, the blinds are drawn and the tube lights are on even at 12 noon! The relative lack of noise and disturbance at night makes it the most appropriate time for my activities, inactivity rather in the physical sense;-)

So when I sleep at 5AM and get up 11AM I dunno whether I should Breakfast or Lunch... Then its books all day with a short nap in between. A Family dinner at 8PM leaves me drowsy for an hour and all hungry at 2 AM in the night.... Morning rather... After a nocturnal snack and an Ice tea which I make its back to the books for another 3 hours...

Now that my exams are over and so is my holiday and I'm Back!

Addendum to my previous post:
The Supreme Court reaffirmed my faith in the law of the land by quashing AMMA's order. But AMMA says she'll be back next year with something else!