Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New year

Dear Friends,
Wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2006.
2005 have been quite a fulfiling year and lets hope that 2006 is even better.
Hope to make more friends. ;-)
Do keep visiting my Blog.

And special Wishes to Blogger friends


[Cranes Picture source: here]

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Meira Paibi Day observed in Manipur

Dear Friends and Random Visitors..

I wrote about, Nupi lal sometime back, and there I mentioned Meira paibi.
In a step forward, we have started to observe meira paibi day in manipur.

Meira Paibi Day, known as women torch bearers, was observed today across Manipur.The main function was held at Iboyaima Shanglen in Imphal East organised by All Manipur Women's Social Reformation and Development Samaj.

Samaj President Ms Ramani discussed at the function about the role of women in the state who worked hard to protect the rights of the people.Women in Manipur had launched a movement against alcohol and drugs, which was referred as 'Nisha bandh', she said.[more]

I have mentioned Ramani Devi as well. Read about her, here.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tsunami Remembrance Week

It is not as if I was never busy.
It is not as if I never knew how to manage time.
I have managed to work, read, blog, cook, cook and blog, and then work, and watch movies, and blog and have fun.
But suddenly I have been busier, we are just two working on a not so small project.
Its good that it is a major responsibility, but... been findin less blogging time at work.

And, it is also good that my parents are here, but I am finding even lesser blogging time at home too. Gee, leave aside movies, but managed to read two Louis L Amour ony my way to and from work. I like his books and devour them, coz its much to do about manhood. I wish I was born in the wild west, roping cows, breaking wild horses and Duel. Life was too simple then.

Oh, and so I have been finding less and less blogging time. But how could I not write about for the tsunami remembrance week. I was in Kolkata last christmas. And we were having ball of a time. No TV no Papers, just partying. Then it struck.

Tsunami was not a new word to me, then. I knew about Tsunami since i was a kid. I guess I have read about it in some encyclopedia or those tell me how series I love so much. I knew that Tsunami happened quite often in japan, and that it was just a weather phenomenon only new to Indian coasts. It indeed was, but it was much more than that. The death and destruction it caused was something Men seldom imagine about. We are all happy with the thought that calamities happen to all the people but us. We don't even get ourselves insured. How many of us get nsured? Buying an insurance policy is not getting oneself insured properly.

The Tsunami was a leveller. A friend of mine wrote in the egroup that it happened about 500 meters from from where he was staying. It showed us mere mortals that calamities strike at anyone and that Nature ain't RACIST. I don't know where my post is going, but the Tsunami had triggered a lot of things in mind than the death and destruction it left in its aftermath.What it caused was not very new to the poor and desolate of the world. Amit commented on this better.

What struck me more was the Why?
Why was nature taking such a nasty turn so suddenly?
And why in such a short period, so many natural calamities?
Few people have commented and those who did, did so to score a point in favour of their faith or belief or ism. Like Globalisation caused it blah blah blah.

But what we must remember is that we have abused the nature behemently.
No, I am not an activist, but it is of utmost importance that we find out a relationship between the calamities and the abuse that we have meted out on earth. And everytime I write about a natural calamity or it happens, I will repeat the fact I have mentioned gain and again. I am a great believer in preventive measures than treating symptoms.


To end on a lighter note, I got this poem as a forward.

When I born, I Black,
When I grow up, I Black,
When I go in Sun, I Black,
When I scared, I Black,
When I sick, I Black,
And when I die, I still black.......

And you White fella,
When you born, you Pink,
When you grow up, you White,
When you go in Sun, you Red,
When you cold, you Blue,
When you scared, you Yellow,
When you sick, you Green,
And when you die, you Gray.................

And you calling me Colored

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Humbled yet again.

Since I joined the current company, I have been humbled once too often.
First it was a group of blind singers[here], then, today.

Our company gives out an award to people who have made a difference, every quarter.
This quarter it was to a Doctor couple. The husband couldn't make it, maybe he was busy treating Tribal patients. His wife could come. And She talked. We gave a standing ovation.
My eyes swelled.

Back home I grew up in a strict environment where I was given corporal punishments quite so often being wild, yet I wasn't allowed to cry, for a cry warranted me further whips. No pain ever made me cry as a child, but there are moments like today when my eyes do get a little wet. Maybe it is all the tears that I fought back. It made me physically tough, but give a sweet touching speech and I am :-( !!!

The couple was none other than Dr Abhay and Dr Rani Bang. I had the good fortune of listening to Dr Rani, who could come to our company's monthly meet and accept the award. Extremely qualified doctors, who 21 years back turned down offers from Geneva, Mumbai and othercities to work with a group of tribals who would eat grass-roots (no pun) for survival during the rainy seasons when they are cut off from civilisation by flooded canals. When they could have chosen luxury and riches, they chose to work with the down trodden and contributed not just to the immediate tribes they touched but to the world at large. Their studies have made many study materials for rural health care.

This couple, gold medalists in their MD, who went on to do their superspecialisation at the John Hopkins, and came back to India looking for WHAT they could do. They wanted to make a difference, but didn't know where to look or start. This lady was reading a Birbal story to her boy child who also is a doctor today. The story of 10 fools, where birbal found the 10th fool searching for his lost diamond ring under a light on the other side of the yamuna when in fact he lost the ring on the other side. Since it was dark on the other side he was tryin to find it on the side which was lighted. Birbal found the 10th fool, and the Lady her Clue [she narrated thi story to us]. Alas! They have been busy looking elshwhere when they should have gone to darkness, the problem lie in the darker innards of India. She and her Husband went to Gadchiroli, a region in Maharastra inhabited by the gonds. And the couple started their journey, and started a trust called SEARCH [Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health] .
[Note: I am writing what I have registered on my mind listening to the speech, and have not googled anything yet. I wanted to give it a human touch. I will link only what she mentioned.]

The work this couple have carried out have been exemplary in the truest sense. Their work have set many trends in rural healthcare and are being followed by the WHO and other organisations including India Govt.

They found that Pneumonia and not Diarrhoea was the main cause of most child deaths, and since the nearest hospital was very far, most child deaths occur because basic medication or care could not be provided. The couple started training Village/tribal women on basic health care and teach them how to treat children with pneumonia. The results have been phenomenal, child mortality[which is the no. of death of child per 1000 child before they attend the age of 1 year] reduced from 130+ (I didn't note down the exact number) to about 80 [in a modle sample of 36 villages they have chosen for the research]. They also developed what they would term as Verbal Autopsy which came to be recognised all over the world.

Again they found that most child deaths occur before they attend the age of 1 month. This was something she termed Neo-natal care. They also learnt/discoverd also that a women have many reproductive woes or problems between the time they fist have menstruation till they attend menopause which laid a foundation of the reproductive healthcare foundation. I can't recollect exactly what the terms were, but a line of study that was erstwhile called some other term was recoined after their research.

Now, since the tribal people were ignorant of neo-natal care and they rarely went to the hospital, there were many child deaths before they attend the age of 1 month. They started traing mid-wifes and other tribal women on neo-natal care and now they take care of the tribes' neo-natal needs.Since they started the training, child mortality at the model villages have gone down further to...... take a deep breath 30 which is the target the GOI have set to achive by 2010 for INDIA. The system is being followed all over the world.

They have also started a Hospital there in a way the tribals wanted because the Tribals never visited the Govt. Hospitals which was because
-the concrete look very alien to them and had no element of the nature
-every one is clothed in white which reminded them of the Death sinch the death are wraped in White.
-And the doctors act like god and they had only one God.

The Time magazine have honored the couple as Heroes of global Health.[here]
Just saw that Sepiamutiny had mentioned the same on a post.[here]

I salute you Dr Abhay and Dr Rani Bang.
And I love my company for recognising the same, and bringing them to the dias.

Many more to read about the couple. I suggest that you google for more.

Update: My other Blog is updated

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Today is Nupi Lal

Today is Nupi Lal. It is a state Holiday in Manipur.

It means Women's War or A War fought by Women. I had written about it earlier in my Blog on Manipur .
Women have also played major roles in the politics of Manipur. Not that there have been many many politicians, but women groups do have a say in many matters. This can be dated back to 1931, when a very important event took place called the Nupi Lan. Nupi Lan marked an important event in the history of Manipur. Nupi Lan means the women's war, Nupi meaning women and Lan meaning war, when women stood up in an uprising againts what we called chak tangba( inflation of food ie rice). The war or uprising started at the said Ema Keithel, when women protested against exports of Rice to Assam to feed the Brittish when Rice itself became scarce in Manipur. But since the British were paying, more local prices shot up making it very expensive in Manipur thereby causing a lot of problems for the local populace. We rememeber the brave women who fought in nupi lan with state holiday every december the 12th. More.........

It marked a very important event in the History of Manipur and on empowerment of Manipuri Women. I don't know of any other war on a War or uprising solely by women other than for a cause solely feminist[ eg. Bra Burning]. We have also heard of Women Warriors in Jhansi Ki Rani or Joan of Arc, But Nupi Lal, was uprising by women solely for a social cause. We call elderly Manipuri women by the loving word "Ema" meaning Mother and the uprising was led by most elderly women. Even today, women groups are very strong today in Manipur as everybody must recall the Manorama Incident[Read more], when some elderly women had protested in front of the military. Even today, an informal network of local Emas (motheras) roam the streets of manipur with improvised torches. These women are called Meira Paibis or torch bearers. Started out as an informal group to punish drunkards and other social evils, they are now a very strong force who even have a say in political matters. Read about Meira paibi here.

And I believe seeds of the empowerment of women in Manipur was sown during the Nupi Lal. Everybody could learn a lesson from this historic event that equal participation of sexes can only but uplift a society. Note that, Manipur is not a Matriarchal society and the Men are not lazybums and have a history of being fierce warriors. But women have been very effective in many an event. In Manipur, women don't beg or fight for their rights and respects, they earn it and the men are fiercely protective about their women and vice versa. Do link this post and let the world know.. Crossposted at my Blog on Manipur.

# Update:
Had an eventful day, couldn't do justice to the post. It was written in less than 10 minutes, that I managed to squeeze out my schedule today. Many things had to happen today. Believe me I took 10 minutes to finish my lunch and back today, but I had to write this post. And I had to give a paper too, fortunately I passed. It indeed was a historic event for the Manipuris, and I had almost forgotten about it when my father called me up from home and told me today was Nupi lal. It is spelt as Nupi lan too. I am not so good in linguistics but both the words are used interchangeably.. You will get google results for both Nupi Lal as well as Nupi Lan. We say "Lal-hou" for uprising but "Lan-mi" for Soldier. But, now I realise we use Lan for war, but somehow I felt that Nupi Lal was what had registered in my head than did Nupi Lan.

More about Women of Manipur.

I have mentioned that Manipur is not a Matriarchal Society. But let me take this chance to explain more about the Women of Manipur. Manipuri women are not very outspoken either. In Manipur also women leave men to do the job of men, and you will find it very rare when you see a women joining in the discussions of affairs considered to be of Men. Not because, we are sexist and don't allow women to enter a converstaion of the elderly male, out of respect. The respect for men is women is Manipur is also awe-inspiring , and Men return the respect and women are not restricted by society to do anything. I have never seen a women without a head cover in front of his husband's elder brother, and I have never seen them talking too. But where it matters, women have shown enormous courage and men have never stopped them.

Women groups form small imformal credit unions and do what could be termed as microfinancing at the most grass root of levels. Though the interests are huge, there have been no case of suicide and since most the imformal financiers are women who lend to women business women, they are much more responsible and I have seen debts in lakhs written off. The knowledge of Finance like returns and yield that mother demonstarted to me made me dumdfounded. I promised my mom, if I turned entrepreneur, she will be the Finance consultant. I learnt the concept of amortization from my mother, not the definition but the concept. She who doesn't know who the Finance minister of India is.

I was just thinking what made Manipuri women what they are today. they learnt the strength of unity early on. If Shri Mahila Griha Udyog could do a lijjat papad, which was no mean feat, why can't the rest of India follow.

Manipur today is in a very bad shape, embroiled in unimaginable problems, yet I always say that I haven't lost hope. Our women are empowered.

And then things like this do happen, still.[Read at mumbaigirl's]

What do you say in Hindi, "ek se bhale do, do se bhale chaar". Unite Women Unite!!!!! Take on the World..

This post is linked at IndianWriting , Globalvoices and our beloved Desipundit. My Heartiest thanks.

BTW, I just found out that this is my 50th post here on A Journey called Life, of course I haven't counted my posts on my old blog and other blogs. I am becoming a blog fanatic and more than 2 yrs old .. Silverine also had her 50th post.

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Indian Advertising and Sex.

Does Sex sell?
This used to be one very common GD topic, and a subject marketers and Ad-men love to discuss at the drop of a hat. [more]
Gives much fodder for controversy among the moral police brigades as well.
To the right is the imfamous Ad from Tuffs that started it all. It created a small flutter from the Moral Brigands. [image from here.]

Wait! I am not here to debate on whether sex sells or otherwise.
My question," if the ads mentioned were SEX afterall"?
To me, showing a little skin is not sex, just a little improvement to the torn Cobweb scenes of Ganga Jamuna Saraswati or two flowers banging each other.

Some creative head of a famous ad company once gave a guest lecture( no, he was not a guest faculty from Wharton, just an Admen who was kind enough to give us some insights on Indian Advertising). He showed us some very beautiful ad campaigns from around the world from a video. I rememeber what he told about the Indian Ad making, "We are just not bold enough". Then, he proceeded to show us a series of bold commercials.

I particularly liked the ad about the fruit flavored condom.
It showed a very polished lady (in a restaurant or waiting for something I don't remember), and a fly was hovering around her mouth. It didn't suggest anything till the product was shown. A fruit flavoured condom. It was funny as hell, but the commercial didn't end there. The Coup de grace was the ending when it showed another scene and the fly was buzzing around a guy's mouth. Now that was bold. No skin, no sex. Plain creativity. Have a Dekko here.

I like the Ikea ad campaigns as well. Very clear Messages. Tidy up, or see what your kid nis playing with... trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

To be bold, and to convey a sexual tone, one don't have to be so gross silly as in the new condom ad where the girl riding pillion on a bike is nibbling at the earlobes and neck of her man. And to the scene where the maid was servant hiding her face and giggling when she discovered the packet of condom..( Was it durex long last, or was it extra ribbed? I don't quite remember) . But then we have come a long way since the Nirodh campaigns..

Have a look at this Puma Ad... A little gross but.... BANG ON ..literally

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Barkis is Willing...

Barkis is willing! And Miss Peggotty's family who lived in a Boat. One of my earliest memories, as early as I remember the ghost who Walk. I have read David Copperfield many times, different versions. Just as Charles Dickens, David was my favorite child too. Around the time when I used to dream of being Dante and Monte Cristo. I don't know if I remember the spelling right. Let me see who or what else I remember; John Silver, The drunk captain of treasure island, what was his name. He used to sing 'yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.' And of course Oliver Twist. But David Copperfield remain my favorite child. Oh! how I hated Aunt Trotwood, though always loved her later. And, that sinister Mr. Uriah Heep. He forged the signatures of Mr Wickfield, didn't he? Maggie Smith as Betsey Trotwood was both hated and loved.

David Copperfield sometimes used to give me nightmares. What if I were suddenly orphaned? I used to think up how I would survive with my brother, funny, I have never told this to anyone in my life. My Childhood secrets, something ominous that I never felt it right even think about it. Remembered it as I watch David Copperfield, I felt like writing it today, and open up to the world, those childhood fears. I was always afraid of such a possibility and spent many afternoons thinking how I would bring up my kid brother who always fought with me though. I was maybe 10 or younger; ten because I remember it was before I had left for boarding school.

I wanted to watch some good international movies, and since we didn't have a Netflix, I thought the best place to start would be the British council library. I had my company's corporate membership card, but learnt they don't issue DVD on corporate membership, so without checking out the collection of DVDs that they had, I enrolled for one in haste, and made myself 1800 bucks poorer. Well, I couldn't find any Akiro Kurosawa or Polanski, I should have known better. He was no British. So, I rented David Copperfield(TV) and Jabberwocky( because I thought Jabberwock must have chosen the namesake after this movie, which also I learnt wasn't to be).

But ah! David Copperfield opened many a floodgate of memories. I was watching the movie just as a movie, feeling sad for David, wanting to crush the head of Mr Murdstone againts the head of miss Murdstones, feeling helpless and frustrated at watching Mrs David Copperfield being manipulated by the Murdstones than the magic words "Barkis is Willing" open a sudden floodgate of memories. This was something I always remembered. I don't now why? When Barkis, the coach driver, asked David if he could convey the message that Barkis is willing to Peggotty, I remembered my childhood. And of course the movie did justice to my memories and Daniel Radcliffe was so adorable as kid David. Better than Harry Potter.

But I still feel pissed at the fact that I didn't check thier DVD collection before fishing out my CC even though I carried the corporate membership card. And, I really wanted to watch Mifune's walk. Where do I get them other than at

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

English and Bloggers

Time and again, mostly by professional writers who blog, have pointed out how awfully most of the bloggers write. Bloggers don't care about grammatical mistakes, typing mistakes, punctuations, have-has-had, Plural-singular, 's . Which is quite true, I would say. Many bloggers, I believe, started writing only after they started to blog. I don't remember writing anything since my Class-X English paper, but for the tons of emails that have done more harm to our writing skills than 4 years of engineering could have done. We started neglecting even capital letters to start a sentence, writing i in capital, an interrogation mark, what!!!

I ran a "ctr+f" for the word wierd (not weird) and yes I got two of those on my blog. More often this are typing mistakes, not having learnt typing via the lazy fox route, we often type O for I or P, I have written "fpr" in place of for many a times. Grammar! well, many of us are indeed poor in grammar. Problem could be, not enough of grammar in the curriculum or the habit of reading just the story in a book not the language. I would have mastered the intricacies of English Grammar, I was indeed privately tutored by a great teacher, famous for his peculiar way of teaching, but he died after the second lesson. May his soul rest in peace. This teacher, who used to stay a few houses away from mine, had quit a teaching job to coach anyone and everyone and "make them better than MAs in English grammar", he used to say. He used to give his own degree sans the certificates, and introduced me to other students who will complete his MA or BA. Mind you one had to begin at scrath. But he was already old when I was old enough to attend his class, and he expired as we started the basics. I didn't take a private lesson after that, and resorted to gorging on Sidney Sheldon, Harrold Robbins and Louis L Amour for the story of course. I was such a sucker for a good story, and by the age of 13-14 there was no "Novel" in any best seller list I haven't read, from Ken Follet, Archer, Grisham just name it. For the story, of course. And, I never learnt Grammar.

And of course there is someone else to blame for my grammar. Remember, Raj Bapna. The Indian mail order guru of How to read faster. Well, I had subscribed to his read fast technique, and eversince I read his course on "how to read fast", my formative years were spent counting how many words I read in the last minute. I still do it, his technique of reading sentences in glance, reading 4-5 words at a glance. That way one end up reading just the story, and that have trickled down to writing as well. You must have seen that many times I miss out very crucial words froma sentence. "How did I ____ it"? I sometimes write with a missing miss.

And, since we are not used to copywriting or editing, we just press the publish button and forget about it. I have corrected my posts many a times. In fact I have had to edit some posts 4 or 5 times. We, the non-writers, always happen to miss or ignore those small mistakes, but imagine a Copy writer or an editor or a proof readers who earns a living by doing just that. To their trained eye, a "wierd" stands out like a puss filled sore thumb. We non-writers of course don't even notice where it is wrong. And I bet some people are still wondering...

Not your fault friend, it is the human brain.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod actulaly uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteersin a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos notraed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!

We just know how to read. If all of us start to write and edit as well as the professional writers, their jobs will be in danger. So we blog some, we work some. BTW, I still haven't editted my post today though I was a little more careful as I wrote it.(or is it carefull)

Also read these definately...
But seduction, to me, isn’t making someone do what they don’t want to do. Seduction is enticing someone into doing what they secretly want to do already. More here

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