Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All about Corruption

Corruption is the hottest topic for discussion today - everywhere. Personally, I also feel that that is the biggest problem we have. Worse than all other social problems. More dangerous than terrorism, national security, communal-ism, economy, healthcare and other basic infrastructure related problems. Because, corruption is the root cause of most of these problems. If this one problem is solved, most of our other problems might get solved automatically. If I have to choose between a corrupt politician who is good in many other aspects and a non-corrupt one with some other major problem, I will vote for the latter.

In one of the discussions about corruption, one of our countrymen said, "Our social setup and culture is the major cause for corruption!". We always look for shortcuts - everywhere. We have been accustomed to approaching a known person or relative to get our work done instead of following the process - for ages; We use our family background to get things done faster; It's very common here to give compliments to people in power so on and so forth. Equality has always been an alien concept for us. That's the reason corruption is in our blood. I still hear a lot of loud voices against equality. They say it's a western concept and it won't work in this land. What to say? :(

If we are not okay with equality, we have to be okay with corruption. Equality is not natural but that doesn't mean you should justify it. It's not that we have only what is natural always. If inequality is natural so are 'might cheating the weak' and 'weak beating the might' when they get mighty. So, even if it is not possible in near future, we should work towards that. Cheating and beating have become way of life here because we never made an attempt to reduce the gap, if not remove it.

In any discussion about corruption, I find a couple of smart guys who come up with this same old argument - "Who is not corrupt? Are you not corrupt? Am I not corrupt? Don't blame the politicians for everything. We are to be blamed for all these!". Sounds good. It has a valid point - We should be the change that we want to see. But, it doesn't help us get rid of the problem. The bug stops there with us. If you look at it differently, it sounds like a trick to avert discussions around corruption. It sounds like a justification, too. Don't ask me what we achieve by discussing about it over and over again. It does help us understand our problem better, which may help us get some idea about the solution somewhere down the line.

If I have to buy their argument, I need convincing answers to these questions - Why do the foreigners that are not used to bribing end-up doing it when they come here? Who is responsible for it? Why do our people who are used to bribing everywhere don't have to do it when they go abroad? Who is responsible for that? So, does it mean it is those individuals' problem? It's the respective country's problem. Their cultural problem. I do accept that each one has a role in it and we can do our bit. But, whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not, culture is controlled and managed by few people - not all. The rest just follow what they say. We are followers of our leaders. We don't create our leaders. We actually have no control over it. It's the dumber lot (which is in majority) that decide our leaders in democracy. We can't take responsibility for their failures. So, if we have a check to control those people, the problem could be checkmated as well. So, it's wise to checkmate the kings than pawns blaming each other. That's is the objective of those of us who keep blabbering about corruption endlessly.

It's true that we have to change and the change should start from us. It's true that we should get smarter to identify the right people as our leaders, role models and those who determine our culture. To identify the right people, we should also talk about the wrong ones. We should be aware of what wrong is, right? That's the reason we talk so much about them and write so much about them. Some people bring in caste, religion and background there also. This is not the time to talk about those things. Corruption is corruption irrespective of whoever does it. It's a noble thing if you help us get rid of it irrespective of whoever you are. We are spineless middle class and low class people with a useless right to vote five years once. We would support anyone that has the spine to face these people head on. If a non-democratic approach can help us beat the evils of democracy, we are okay with that. What difference does a name make for us?

Now, let's leave alone the rogues that come well prepared to loot the nation. Such people are there in all societies. It's comparatively easier to identify and eliminate. But, there is another group of idealists who come with a lot of dreams to turn around things for their people. Even they are spoiled by us with the amount of power, money and fame that we give them. We have done that and seen that many times in the history. It's the undue respect that we give them that makes them forget the reason why they came to top and get busy in doing things to remain on top at all costs.

What is the root cause of that? We give too much importance for 'Who' than for 'What'. We rely too much on heroism and create too many heroes. Personalities are more important than purpose. It's a cultural problem. We are not objective. We are PEOPLECTIVE. We have to be very careful about this as well. Please note - I am not talking about the respect that people give to Anna Hazare; I am talking about the same respect that our people gave to the corrupt rogues that has made them so corrupt today. This is another thing that we have to start learning.

If I look around, there are some people who blame the new economic policy for all the corruption. It's true to some extent. But, only to some extent! They looted less when there was less money. They are looting too much when there is too much money. How can the economic policy be responsible for this? Inflow of more money is not the problem. It's our nature to loot irrespective of how much ever money flows in that is the problem. Please look at the picture that is given on top. All nations in yellow are liberalized economies. Why is the looting less there?

There is another group of people who blame our education system for this whole chaos. They say that we don't pay as much attention to values as we do to Maths or Science; We are becoming too materialistic. Sounds sensible too. It's not that in countries that have less corruption there is a subject on values. It may be that they don't need it. They are good even without it. But, a nation that has corruption in its veins may need it. I think it's worth considering it. What do you think?

Friday, August 26, 2011

From the Diaries... - Part 5

Wife (after a quarrel): "I was a fool when I married you!"
Husband: "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice!"

Man-1: "My credit card is stolen but I am not going to report it!"
Man-2: "Why?"
Man-1: "The thief is spending much less than my wife did!"

Man is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished.

A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?". The father replied, "I don't know son, I am still paying!".

Then there was a man who said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married; then it was too late!".

A man places an ad in the classifieds: "Wife Wanted!". The next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same: "You can have mine!".

It's not true that married men live longer than single men. It only seems longer.

Losing a wife can be very hard. In my case, it was almost impossible.

Just think, if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget once.

Great minds discuss ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but looking outward in the same direction.
- Antoine de Saint Exepury

Love is the desire to be irresistibly desired.
- Robert Frost

Whatever God's dream about man may be, it seems it cannot come true unless man cooperates.
- Stella Terrill Mann

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.
- Will Rogers

There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group, there is less competition there.
- Indira Gandhi

Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.
- Jawaharlal Nehru

You were born an original. Don't die a copy.
- John Mason

Most people are alive only because it is illegal to shoot them.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
- T S Elliot

If you speak the truth, you do not need to remember what you said last time.

The chain is as strong as its weakest link.

Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

Pay attention or pay the price.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.
- H L Mencken

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than an hour. That's relativity.
- Albert Einstein

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a god and a man.
- Mark Twain

You never fail until you stop trying.

When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt so many times. He said, "I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.".

Wilma Rudolph was the 20th of 22 children. She was born prematurely and her survival was doubtful. When she was 4 years old, she contacted double pneumonia and scarlet fever, which left her with a paralyzed leg (left). At age 9, she removed the metal leg brace she had been dependent on and began to walk without it. By 13 she had developed a rhythmic walk, which doctors said was a miracle. That same year she decided to become a runner. She entered a race and came in last. For the next few years every race she entered, she came in last. Everyone told her to quit, but she kept on running. And then another. From then on she won every race she entered. Eventually this little girl, who was told she would never walk again, went on to win three Olympic gold medals.

In 1962, four nervous young musicians played their first record audition for the executives of the Decca recording company. The executives were not impressed. While turning down this group of musicians, one executive said, "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.". The group was called Beatles.

In 1944, Emmeline Snively, director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency, told modeling hopeful Norma Jean Baker, "You'd better learn secretarial work or else get married.". She went on and became Marilyn Manroe. In 1954, Jimmy Denny, Manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired a singer after one performance. He told him, "You ain't goin' anywhere (nowhere)... son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck.". He went on to become the most popular singer in America named Elvis Pesley.

The finest steel gets sent through the hottest furnace.

A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the pants.

People will believe anything if you whisper it.

Nothing impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walk out.

Team work means more 'we' and less 'me'.

Nice guys finish last.

From the Diaries... - Part 4

Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled up in a paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other.

Love affairs: Something like Cricket where one-day internationals are more popular than five-day tests.

Dovorce: Future tense of Marriage.

Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through the minds of either.

Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

Compromise: The art of dividing a cake is such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.

Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine will power is defeated by feminine water-power.

Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on.

Ecstasy: A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before.

Classic: A book which people praise, but do not read.

Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.

Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouty.

Father: A banker provided by nature.

Etc.: A sing to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together.

Experience: The name men give to their mistakes.

Atom bomb: An invention to end all inventions.

Miser: A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

Philosopher: A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.

Diplomat: A person who tells you to go to hell is such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.

Opportunist: A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into river.

Optimist: A person who while falling from Eiffel Tower says in midway "See I am not injured yet".

Pessimist: A person who says "O" if the last letter in ZERO, instead of the first letter in word OPPORTUNITY.

Criminal: A guy no different from the rest... except that he got caught.

Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

Politician: One who shakes your hands before elections and your confidence after.

Doctor: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I am not sure about the former.
- Albert Einstein

Sweater, n: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
- Ambrose Bierce

All women become lie their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
- Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.
- Jewish Proverb

More than one mouse is mice, more than one spouse is spice! :)

People leave bosses not companies.
- Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

It isn't the 100th blow that knocks a good man down. It's the 99 that went before.

If you want something you never had, do something you have never done.

To err is human, to forgive is not a company policy.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but if you think again, neither does milk.

In order to get a loan, you first need to prove that you don't need it.

If at first you don't succeed... destroy all evidence that you ever tried.

Anything dropped on the floor will roll over to the most inaccessible corner.

42.7% of all statistics is made on the spot.

Once you have bought something, you will find the same item being sold somewhere else at a cheaper rate.

When in a queue, the other line always moves faster and the person in front of you will always have the most complex of transactions.

You will pick up maximum wrong calls when on roaming.

All buses are crowded. Corollary: buses in opposite direction always go empty.

The door bell or your mobile will always ring when you are in the bathroom.

After a long wait for bus number 20, two 20 number buses will always pull in together and the bus which you get in will be crowded than the other.

If your exam is tomorrow, there will be a power cut tonight.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

The last person to be fired or quit is responsible for all the errors until another person is fired or quits.

Irrespective of the direction of the wind, the smoke from the Cigarette will always tend to go to the non-smoker.

Name one village out of India's 6,00,000 villages where the Dalits are permitted to stay in the center of the village. Not only are they banished to the outskirts, but in most cases, they are required to live in the south side so that the wind that blows over them doesn't pollute the village. That's the extent of discrimination they still suffer.

When the first college was set up in Madras in the late 1850s, British records show that the pass marks had to be reduced from 40 percent to 33 percent and a whole new concept of third division was introduced to help the sons of Tamil Brahmins. So, the Dalitists are asking, "If it can be done for them in the 1850s, why can't the same concession be given to the Dalits today?".

Be concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
- Dale Carnegie

Courage isn't the strength to go on, it's going on when you don't have the strength.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

Doubt your doubts and believe your belief and don't doubt your belief and believe in your doubts.

Luck has a particular habit of favoring those who don't depend on it.

When the American cartoonist Ranan Lurie asked him who the best Indian cartoonist was, Laxman flashed back, "I am". "The second, third, fourth, fifth best men on the job?". Laxman continued to repeat, "I am".

You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.

Do you know the relationship between two eyes? They blink together, move together, cry together, see things together and sleep together but never see each other. That's what friendship is. But when a beautiful girl comes in front, one eye goes blink and the other remains open. Moral of the story: Girls can break even the best of friendships!

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax.
- Abraham Lincoln

A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.
- Grace Murray Hopper

When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.
- Ed Macaulay

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
- Rodney Dangerfield

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.
- Milton Berle

The secret of happy marriage remains a secret.
- Henny Youngman

From the Diaries... - Part 3

I prefer an accommodating vice to an obstinate virtue.
- Moliere

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
- Albert Einstein

When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.
- Billy Graham

A shy failure is nobler than an immodest success.
- Khalil Gibran

And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course.
- Khalil Gibran


The road to success... is always under construction.


Humans seek happiness as an end in itself, not as a means to something else.
- Aristotle

Progress lies not in enhancing what is but in advancing what will be.
- Khalil Gibran

When life does not find a singer to sing her heart, she produces a philosopher to speak her mind.
- Khalil Gibran

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, the pessimist fears this is true.
- James Branch Cabell

Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me!
- Samuel Beckett

The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's coincidence.
- Harper Lee

Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.
- Sydney Harris

Men use love for sex. Women use sex for love.

We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.
- Marcel Proust

Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep.

The differences between theory and practice are greater in practice than they are in theory.

We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance.
- Benjamin Disraeli

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
- Benjamin Franklin

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
- Chinese Proverb

Hard work never killed anybody. But why take risk? :)

Trust, but verify. Don't be afraid to see what you see.
- Ronald Reagan

A man's private thought can never be a lie; what he thinks, is to him the truth, always.
- Mark Twain

You can't save the nation by saving the government.
- V P Singh (The man who quit the posts of UP chief minister, India's finance minister and defense minister and prime minister)

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see Beauty.
- Frank Kafka

Never take solemn oath. People think you mean it.
- George Douglas

No man is a failure who has friends.

There is only one best son in the world. Every mother has it. There is only one best wife in the world. Every neighbor has it. :)

Since light travels faster than sound, people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Whenever I find the key to success, someone changes the lock.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
- Walter Bagehot

A perfect match can only be found between a blind wife and a deaf husband.

What is the link between politeness and politics?

Deserve before you desire.

A successful relationship requires falling in love many times - with the same person.

My mother said to me, "if you become a soldier, you'll b a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the pope". Instead became a painter and wound up a Picasso.
- Picasso.

Santa was standing in sun on a hot sunny day. Banta asked, "What are you doing?". Santa replied, "Drying sweat!".

How does Santa dial "98860 98860"?
He'll dial 98860 and then redial.

Santa (to Doctor): "Wherever I touch my body with my finger, it pains!".
Doctor x-rayed Santa's whole body and found his finger was fractured.

Let bygones be bygones.

Santa: "Oh god! Please make New York the capital of Punjab.
Banta: Why are you praying so?
Santa: Because, that's what I have written in the exam.

One of my friends from Harvard aptly quoted, "Two of my greatest challenges are - How to get my Japanese students to speak up and Indian students to shut up!".
- Narayana Murthy

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help!".

A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice.
- James Callaghan

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

Remember that after the game, the kind pawn go into the same box.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

There is no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes.

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.

From the Diaries... - Part 2


A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
-Michel de Montaigne

What we love to do we find time to do.
-John L Spalding

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
-George Orwell

Never explain - your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.
-Elbert Hubbard

The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.
-Confucius

It's easy to be brilliant if you are not bothered about being right.
-Denis Healey

It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.
-Moliere

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
-Voltaire

Tell me who admires you and I'll tell you who you are.
-Charles A Sainte-Beuve

Anger is a brief madness.
-Horace

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Don't take the casual approach to life. Casualness leads to casualties.
-Jim Rohn

It doesn't matter where you are coming from - all that matters is where you're going.
-Jim Rohn

Ethics are not definitive, but relative.
-Aristotle

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.
-Eric Hoffer

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong than to be always right by having no ideas at all.
-Albert Einstein

Values were meant to be costly. If it doesn't cost much, we probably wouldn't appreciate the value.
-Jim Rohn

Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.
-Jack Lemmon

If everything seems under control, you are just not going fast enough.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

He must have truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.
-Oscar Wilde

Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
-Clarence B Kelland

There is no difference between a wise man and a fool when they fall in love.

It was the speakers of Telugu who rebelled first and stridently for linguistic states. After Potti Sriramulu succumbed to a hunger fast in December 1953, the Center conceded the demand for a separate Andhra Pradesh. Then, similar movements among Marathi and Kannada speakers forced the formation of a States Reorganization Commission, which mandated the creation of other linguistic provinces as well.

To rule is easy, to govern difficult.
-Johann W Goethe

A problem cannot be solved with the same consciousness that created it.
-Albert Einstein

General knowledges are those knowledges which idiots possess. To particularize is alone the distinction of merit.
-William Blake

If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings - and put compensation as a career behind it - you almost don't have to manage them.
- Jack Welch

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.
- Peter F Drucker

Life is plurality, death is uniformity.
- Octavio Paz

Finance is the art of passing currency from hand to hand until it finally disappears.
- Robert W Sarnoff

A man can be happy with any woman as long as he doesn't love her.

What you know should be more important than who you know.

What makes us jealous:
MEN:
1. Rich neighbors
2. Successful colleagues
3. Someone better-looking
4. Rich relatives
5. Close friends of spouse
WOMEN:
1. Close friends of spouse
2. Someone better-looking
3. Rich neighbors
4. Rich relatives
5. Friend with better-looking partner

No emotion is negative, it's how you handle it that makes the difference.

One Bengali is a poet; two Bengalis are a film society; three are a political party; and four are two parties - both leftist.

A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.
- Ivern Ball

A woman never forgets the men she should have had; a man, the women he couldn't.

Mentally, emotionally and physically the human being is designed for a long childhood followed by a short adolescence and then adulthood. What we see children experiencing now, however is an ever-shorter childhood, followed by a premature, prolonged adolescence from which ever fewer seem to be emerging.
- Benjamin Hoff

Loss is nothing else but a change.
- Marcus Aurelius

The see of defense brings offence. I want physical security; I create sovereign government; I create sovereign government, which necessitates armed forces, which means war, which destroys security.
- J Krishnamurti

The thrill of being right is a drug that few can resist.
- Bill Purdin

It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Love your neighbor, but don't get caught!

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.
- Henry J Kaiser

Love is a hole in the heart.

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
- Commander Armstrong on July 20, 1969 when he became the first man to step onto the lunar surface.

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
- Arnold H Glasow

If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we would all be millionaires.
- Abigail Va Buren

Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and begin all over again.
- Andre Gide

Do not cry if the sun sets at the end of the day, because the tears will not let you enjoy the beauty of the stars.

It is better to be roughly right than to be precisely wrong.
- John M Keynes

We are far more concerned about the desecration of the flag than we are about the desecration of our land.
- Wendell Berry

You aren't wealthy until you have something that money can't buy.

A person who envies another is prepared to make both persons worse off to reduce the gap between them.
- John Rawls

Direction is more important than distance.

Experience is a comb, which nature gives to man after he is bald.

What do you do when your dreams come true? Find new ones.
- Yanni

There is no greater fun than hard work.
- Sir Thomas Lipton

From the Diaries... - Part 1

I had written about my affair with Diaries in one of the previous posts. As I had mentioned in that, I am giving below the notes that I had taken down in all my diaries from 1997. It's mostly quotes.

The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep
-Robert Frost

Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.
-Mao Zedong

The ultimate tragedy is not the brutalities of the bad people but the silence of the good people.
-Martin Luther King

Indecision is often worse than wrong action.
-Henry Ford

Marriages are made in heaven. So are thunder and lightning.
-Clint Eastwood

A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
-Thomas Szasz

No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in it.
-Fernando Pessoa

I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they're entertained.
-Walt Disney

Only dead fish swim with the stream.
-Malcolm Muggeridge

English and Sanskrit do not have gender-based verb endings, whereas the Dravidian languages do.

There is no greatness where there is no simplicity.
-Leo Tolstoy

The less you talk, the more you are listened to.
-Abigail Van Buren

The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
-Pablo Casals

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it...
You will never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
-George Bernard Shaw

If you make people think they're thinking, they will love you, but if you really make them think they will hate you.
-Don Marquis

Poor and content is rich and rich enough.
-William Shakespeare

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
-Oscar Wilde

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
-Albert Einstein

By the time a man realizes that may be his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.
-Charles Wadsworth

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.
-Aristotle

The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
-George Bernard Shaw

A person is not hurt so much by what happens, as by his opinion of what happens.
-Michael de Montaigne

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
-Mark Twain

My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.
-Botherton

I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money.
-Pablo Picasso

God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.
-Jacques Deval

From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.
-Sigmund Freud

Try and fail, but don't fail to try.
-Stephen Kaggwa

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
-Goodwin and Harris

The first Indian seen in the US was called the 'Madras Man'. As the name suggests, he came from Madras on a ship around 1790 and was seen in Massachusetts.

Ability may take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
-John Wooden

The greatest motivational act one person can do for another is to listen.
-Roy E Moody

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
-George Washington Carver

The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.
-Victor Hugo

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.
-Lao-Tzu

Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
-Isaac Asimov

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
-Oscar Wilde

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.
-Margaret Fuller

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics
-Benjamin Disraeli

Manusmriti
Verse 356: If a man speaks to another man's wife at a bathing place, in a wilderness or a forest, or at the confluence of rivers, he incurs the guilt of sexual misconduct.
Verse 357: Acting with special courtesy to her, playing around with her, touching her ornaments or clothes and sitting on a couch with her are all regarded as sexual misconduct.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

USAAA To USAA+

Another mail from Saravana Kumar to go global - asking, "Why don't we discuss about USA's downgrading from AAA to AA+ this time?". Yes. Why not? Here you go...

As usual, let's start from the basics and stop where we feel tired and exhausted. Before that let's see my connection with economics. In school days, I always used to enjoy the company of my seniors. I had a senior friend by name Sadak Abdullah in our street, who was many years elder to me. Many years? Ambiguous! How many years? Be specific. OK. 5 Years. When I was in my seventh standard, he was in his 12th standard. I was mostly 2nd in the class from third standard to eighth standard. It was not one person who came first in all six classes. I always ensured the competition was only for first rank, not the second. So, I would be the second one to get seat in first group (MPCB - Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology) when I go to higher secondary. But, Sadak was studying in third group (HEPG - History, Economics, Political Science and Geography). This group was called fourth group in some nearby towns where MECA (Maths, Economics, Commerce and Accountancy) group was called the third group. In this case, third group is called Commerce group and fourth group is called Arts group.

Sadak taught me two things very early in my childhood (I consider seventh standard also as childhood now though I wouldn't have agreed to it then!). One - "You should never mug-up your lessons; study only what you understand and leave the rest; the message is important not the marks!". He also used to show me how to 'understand and study' when he studies. I never forgot this lesson until I wrote my last paper in college. Second - "Arts is much more important and valuable to the mankind than Science!". I used to argue with my friends on this almost till I joined my higher secondary. I am not so convinced now but I do think that Arts is not given the amount of importance it deserves. When I say Arts, I don't mean drawing pictures or any other art form; It's the Arts subjects like HEPG (History, Economics, Political Science and Geography).

So, in my arguments, I used to give philosophies like - "Science will take you ahead but only Arts can teach you about your past without which we would be advanced human beings with no values", etc. I think it's still true. The societies that do not know history will end-up wasting their time in repeating the same mistakes, right? So, I wanted to join the third group even if I came first in my tenth standard. It was revolutionary thinking at that time! Luckily, common sense saved me at the right time. I took the road more traveled. Maybe I might have become bigger than this but it wouldn't have been a smooth sailing. Though I joined first group in my higher secondary school, my love for the Arts subjects never died. Even at that time, I used to discuss a lot about their subjects with Arts students.

What can a Science student become at the max? Scientist! But, what can an Arts student become at the max? Finance Minister! Who is bigger? Finance Minister! Only later did I realize that a Scientist can also become a President of the nation. Who is bigger - Finance Minister or President? No idea! So, somewhere in a corner of my mind I was dreaming that I would become the Finance Minister of India before becoming the Prime Minister. To make matters worse, someone from our region became the Finance Minister (Chidambaram... He was a very honest politician at that time!) in Deve Gowda's cabinet (I don't know how honest Deve Gowda was at that time!). So, I was calculating the distance between his native place and mine, and counting the number of Finance Ministers that will come and go between him and me. That dream chased me after History books and Economics books.

Even when I was in college studying Computer Science, I used to borrow Economics books from friends and try to read. Please note - Only trying... no doing! After all the rigorous trying, I never understood anything other than these two terms - Macro Economics and Micro Economics. And, I also understood that I need not understand Micro Economics to become Finance Minister. It was very late when I understood the real secret - 'You don't have to understand anything to become a Finance Minister. The bureaucrats will understand you. That's enough!'. So, that's the introduction about my connection with Economics. Heck... already so many paragraphs! Let's jump into the subject now...

AAA to AA+? What's this ABC business in Economics? It's called Bond Credit Rating. What is that? It's a rating given to indicate a country or corporation's credit worthiness. What is credit worthiness? It's nothing but the ability of someone to payback loans. For individuals, we have credit cards in different designs, right? Titanium card, Platinum card, Gold card, Silver card, etc. It's just like that. If you are a General Manager earning more than 20 Lakhs per year, you will be given a Titanium card. If you are a Senior Manager earning more than 15 Lakhs per year, you will be given a Platinum card. If you are just a Project Manager earning more than 10 Lakhs, then Gold card. Others earning less than 10 Lakhs may get Silver card. These are assigned by many agencies like many banks in our case. Moody's, Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Fitch are some agencies who do this. Starting from AAA, AA+, AA, AA-, A+, A, A-, they go on till D. Here '-' doesn' t mean negative. They are the lowest in that letter combination. That's it. So, AA- is better than A+. AAA is called Prime and D is called Defaulter. Even B and C series are not considered good. This combination standard is slightly different from agency to agency.

US has always been AAA in all the above three agencies' rating throughout despite all recessions the global economy faced from the day this rating system started. Of the three, S&P has downgraded US to AA+ and also warned that it might even become AA in the long term, though Moody's and Fitch have not done that. Moody's is still rating US high but Fitch has told, "We have not concluded our review yet!". This may mean that they may also downgrade. While giving this rating, S&P has also scolded US saying, "You are less stable, less effective and less predictable!". In our language, what does it mean? "Hey, friends... relatives... neighbors... Don't believe this guy as much as you have been doing so far. Don't give him too much money. You can't take it back. Don't pay the same amount that they quote if you are buying anything from them. They are not worth it. Even if you ask for half the price, they would come down. Be smart!". They also say that these guys have no concrete plan to counter this problem in visible future.

OK. Why did it happen? Because, they have been having deficit budget year after year. It's not new for someone like us. But, for US? No. It can't happen. They are the largest economy in the world. They are the top most super power. Why did they have deficit budgets year after year? They spent more than their worth. Where did they spend all the money? In wars, in producing weapons, in many unwanted things! Were their wars unwanted? Were they really inevitable? That is the million dollar question. I am not sure. But, my two cents of knowledge says at least the Iraq war could have been avoided. Not sure what you think.

What would happen now? The simplest thing that comes to my mind is another recession. In economics, boom and doom have become like full moon and no moon now. Even then most people don't realize the value of savings. They celebrate in booms and calibrate in dooms. All we need is a conservative thinking and behavior in financial matters. Be patient. Don't throw money like peanuts. You shouldn't even throw peanuts when there is no need. I mean the need to throw, not the need with peanuts! Other countries that have invested heavily in US markets will start taking their money out if the panic gains momentum. US will have to spend a lot of time lobbying and convincing them.

What would happen to their citizens? They will have to pay higher interests for everything and may even have to pay more taxes. Prices of all their assets would go down. You can't sell a house for the same price that you bought for. It will be much lower. Even then there won't be anyone to buy. US dollar would depreciate against other currencies. So, some of our cousins drinking chilled bear in the land of opportunities also would feel the heat. But, at the end of day, there will be a lot of corrections is what experts say. How far is the end of day? I don't know. Those experts might know. No bank can go to the government for help now if they are bankrupt. Why? The government would say, "You bloody fool, I am myself in trouble and in need of someone to bail me out. You are asking me!!!".

Do you know how Obama responded to this? He said, "Irrespective of whatever any agency calls, we are United States of America and we are always AAA!". Looks like he has forgotten the short form of United States of America. Mr. Obama, You are always USA, not AAA. Have we not heard this kind of speeches enough? Even our Lalu speaks like this. Will it impact his second term presidential aspirations? Most likely! There was so much hope when he took over. He was even honored with Nobel prize. Everything looked so rosy. And, today it has all become thorny. Unfortunately, it has had such a tragic end now. Is it all his problem? May not be. But, he is responsible. They may need their Manmohan Singh (I mean, a strong economist!) to head their government now. But, they shouldn't end-up having our problems as a by-product. :)

What lesson does this have for other countries? Not just for countries... It has a very good lesson for individuals as well. If you can't pay back, don't take too much loans. Building new houses for living, buying new cars for transportation, buying weapons for safety, going weekend shopping for more comfort, spending in pleasureful activities for fun, taking loans for time pass... all can wait. If you spend more than what you can afford, you would be called a defaulter and you will have no one to support you in the end. Don't call all your wants needs. Be conscious of every penny that is spent from your pocket or credit card. Otherwise, you will end-up having no pocket and no credit card.

Are these all exaggerated statements? Maybe. If they have proper policies and cost-cutting measures in place, they may be able to bounce back. But, even their own experts are saying, "It's possible, but not in near future!". Some even say that getting back AAA may take time but handling the panic and immediate problems are easier. It's more of a prestige problem than anything else because there are more than a hundred countries that still fare worse than them. And, more importantly, life still goes on for all of them. They can take some tips from us, too. Please go to the end of the article to see how we fare. :)

How will it impact India? Some people say that it would have some impact because we are piggybacking too much on them. It's true that we have become the first nephew of Uncle Sam in recent times. Others say that ours is a resilient economy and nobody's recession would affect us so much as it does other nations. As usual, I am confused on this! It would be great if a smarter soul explains this in our language, i.e. layman's language in the Comments section - without any political bias. So, the story ends here.

As package offer, let's look at who else is still AAA. The trustworthy... sorry... credit worthy guys (Saying both are same?!)... There are still 16 nations. Including a small boy called Isle of Man (I haven't heard of this name before!). The remaining 15? France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and New Zealand. Different lists give different names. So, I am not sure! The second largest economy China is AA-.

By the way, where is India on these lists? BBB-. Not bad! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Aryan Invasion - A History or Story?

A fellow blogger asked my opinion on the Aryan invasion theory. For the last few days, for everything she asked me, I was asking her to refer to one or the other post of mine for the answer. Looks like she was fed-up with the mechanical answer she was getting for all her questions. This time, she asked me about something that I have not talked about before, not knowing that I have another type of mechanical answer for such questions. The answer is either – “Yes, I have been thinking of writing a post on this!” or “Yeah, I already have it in my pending list for a long time!”. So, I gave one of these answers to her as well. With this, she may stop asking me any more questions. J

Yeah. Now let’s jump into the subject. What do I think about Aryan invasion theory? Those of you who know me very well may know this already. I am not a guy who has an opinion on everything. Opinion formation is still “work-in-progress” on many areas. I think it’s absolutely okay to be like that. I know that I may become brainless when I am not able to call one of the parties brainless. But, I still consider myself to be a learner so I am not able to judge which of the two groups is more intelligent than the other. As of now it looks like both the groups are more intelligent than me. That’s it. Aryan-Dravidian issue is something on which I do not have any strong opinion. When you hear two straight opposite views on something, each as loud as the other, the best thing to do is to take a mid-path or stay wherever you are. It’s the most productive thing one can do. It saves a lot of time.

In any issue, you can easily predict most people’s stand by their background. We generally tend to get inclined towards the theory that is good for us than what seems more sensible. There are some internal parts of our brain which work in lightning speed to decide whether something would be good for me or the group that I belong to in the long run before taking sides. There is another factor which usually influences our views is our surrounding. Generally, people from certain background are supposed to be viewing things in a specific way because that is how everyone from that background views that specific thing. For example, if you say someone, “You are this and this land belongs to you from time immemorial!”, they would generally accept that theory. On the other hand, if you say someone, “You are this and you came from elsewhere to occupy our land in so and so century!”, they would generally ridicule that theory. Why? It questions a very basic right of theirs. So, I don’t get influenced by such theorists as well. If it is so true, it has to be accepted by the people in opposite camps as well. Even the issue that we are talking about now does not have such consensus. So, that makes my decision making all the more difficult.

I generally don’t like any theory that tries to single out a specific community or the ones that try to prove that they are outsiders. I don’t believe in secondary treatment for any human being based on their caste, religion, language, race or nativity. Be it the Dravidians calling Aryans outsiders or Hindus calling the Muslims outsiders or the Tamils in Tamil Nadu calling the Telugus outsiders or the locals in Bangalore calling the Tamils outsiders. Anyone that has moved to another place should be treated like a human being and shouldn’t be reminded about their origin unnecessarily on daily basis. At the same time, such things become a problem only when those who came from elsewhere do things that disturb the harmony of the people who lived there peacefully all along.

So, before even talking about whether I accept Aryan invasion theory or not, let’s try to understand what it is. What is it? Alas, there is no one version. There are multiple versions around it. By virtue of being a Tamilian, I could hear and read about many such completely contradicting versions from childhood till date, some of which I am sure you wouldn’t even have heard of before. I am planning to use this post to bring to you as many versions possible than to talk about my version. To tell you upfront, I am still confused on this and I actually don’t care too much about it. I have no version of mine. But, that need not restrict us from discussing about it.

As I have always been saying, a blogger need not help his readers get clearer on issues always. He/she can feel fulfilled even if they could leave their readers more confused at the end of the article than the beginning.

Version 1 is a simple one. All South Indians are Dravidians and all North Indians Aryans. Aryans came from elsewhere and chased the Dravidians down south. According to this theory (there is actually no theory, it’s only a notion by common people who haven’t read any theory!), all those who speak the Dravidian languages are the Dravidians. The rest are Aryans. Which are the Dravidian languages? Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu and few more unknown ones! It includes the Brahmins from South India as well because they also speak one of the above languages at home and not Sanskrit. This is sensible in a way. Language has been one of the major deciding factors in identifying ethnicities from the day languages were born (if not from the day the human race was born!). If they are speaking Tamil or Kannada today, their forefathers could not have spoken something else some centuries ago. But, there are no many advocates of this version.

Version 2 says that this entire nation (what is currently being called India) was occupied by Dravidians who were the people of the land; even Indus valley civilization was Dravidians’; the Aryans who came from Central Asia captured mostly the northern part of the country, chased away the locals down south and started ruling most part of the country. Some even say that the Dravidians were driven out to even the eastern side of the country. As per this theory, the Brahmins are the Aryans and the rest all are Dravidians. Does it mean a Brahmin in South India is an Aryan and a non-Brahmin in UP is a Dravidian? Yes. But, I haven’t seen a single North Indian non-Brahmin guy who proudly identifies himself as a Dravidian. It’s only the South Indian non-Brahmins who talk too much about this.

Some people say, since it has been many centuries since they came in, there have been a lot of cross-breeding as well so you can’t really say who is an Aryan and who is a Dravidian in clear terms. Someone gives a clarification there – “Irrespective of where you are from if you look dark you are a Dravidian and if you look fair you are an Aryan!”, It sounds funny but it does make sense in a way. Going by the theory of Brahmins being the Aryans and others being the Dravidians, if things have got mixed up later, that is the only way to make out, because Brahmins are generally fairer than others. But, if a Brahmin family works in field for multiple generations their descendants would be darker than them sometime down the line. Likewise, if a non-Brahmin family does some indoor job for generations their descendants would be fairer than them. But, all these are exceptions. Generally, an average Brahmin is fairer than an average non-Brahmin so we may accept it half-heartedly.

This theory also says that the Dravidians were not as intelligent as Aryans so they lost all their land to the invaders and ended up getting ruled by Aryans. They also say that there was nothing called religion in this land then and the language spoken at that time was called Dravidian; only the Aryans brought Hinduism and Sanskrit from elsewhere; they introduced a new concept called caste, which would ensure their supremacy forever.

My only question for the advocates of this version is, if they were so powerful and able to impose anything that they wanted to, they could have very easily imposed their language also to native Dravidians, right? Why did they adopt the languages of the Dravidians as theirs? Generally, people can change their native place from one place to another or convert from one religion to another but nobody changes their mother tongue. So, the Brahmins could not have changed their mother tongue from Sanskrit to Tamil or Kannada or any Dravidian language.

At the same time, I should also accept that there are exceptions. All invaders attack everything except the language. Even the Muslims that claim to have come from Cairo in some parts of Tamil Nadu speak Tamil at home today. The Christians that came from Portuguese speak Malayalam at their home in Kerala. That means it is still possible that the Brahmins came from outside speaking some other language while coming in and changed their language to the local ones. Another reason to believe that this is possible is, it is easier for the more intelligent outsiders to pick up the local language than to expect the less intelligent locals to learn their language.

Another supporting argument for this is, the European languages have a lot of Sanskrit influence. So? Sanskrit came from Central Asia. OK. It came from Central Asia to India. But why is it alive only in India and doesn’t have any trace in Europe or Central Asia? Does it mean that all Aryans vacated Central Asia and migrated to India? It doesn’t sound logical to me. But, I am also aware that the history has seen plenty of illogical events. So, All I can say is I am not qualified enough to judge anything yet.

There is another related question – If Aryans came from Central Asia to India, why is their culture alive only in India and there is no trace of it anywhere in Central Asia now? Does it also mean that all Aryans left Central Asia and migrated to India? It is possible if there was a persecution like what happened to Jews or Tamils in Sri Lanka. But, I haven’t heard of any such persecution in this case yet. Even then I have a question - If they are so clever and could be so powerful in a foreign land after migration, why were they not able to handle the other locals in their own land? So, this whole thing sounds fishy to me.

Version 3 says there was no such thing called Aryan-Dravidian divide in the beginning. It was only after the British came in, they wanted to divide and rule us so it was their mischief to introduce us to these theories. This also makes sense. They did it in different forms. It was them who created the Hindu-Muslim conflict also. The same people who blame the British for dividing us in the name of race and want to be united ignoring it, don’t want to do that when it comes to Hindu-Muslim divide. They try to prove that Muslims are outsiders. Some sections of Dravidian theorists even say that the Aryans exaggerate the Hindu-Muslim conflicts just to remove Aryan-Dravidian conflict from people’s mind. Sounds logical too…

And, if British were able to create a rift between two groups of people, any two groups, then there was some room for it. There was something that separated one from the other. It could be the culture… or belief… or something else. That means they ‘might’ have been from different parts of the world. Not sure though!

For example, the ones that are being called Aryans are all vegetarians whereas most Dravidians are non-vegetarians. That means that they may be from different parts of the world. But, there are also vegetarian communities in Dravidians, who prove this wrong. Nobody calls them Aryans. So, this proves more similarity between Dravidians and Aryans than between Central Asians and Aryans. So, what does it prove?

I have even heard that the person who introduced this invasion theory himself (Max Muller) backtracked later. Then, how do we prove him right?

Version 4 is the most surprising one that I am hearing of late. I should call them the neo-Dravidian theorists. These people say that both the terms Aryan and Dravidian refer to the same community, i.e. Brahmins. They say that the North Indian Brahmins were called Aryans and the South Indian Brahmins were called Dravidians. This whole nomenclature was introduced by Brahmins to identify their own people based on the region they belong to. They also ask, “Why then does a South Indian Brahmin Rahul Dravid have a surname like Dravid when no other non-Brahmin has any such surname?”. I don’t know what these people say about the invasion theory. Both Aryans and Dravidians invaded this part of the world or there was no invasion at all??? J

OK. This is theory. How was it applied in practice?

Mr. E. V. Ramaswamy Naicker (who is fondly called ‘Periyar’ by his followers in Tamil Nadu) flagged off this politics by naming his party “Dravidar Kazhagam”, which just meant Dravidian Party. His politics mostly revolved around issues related to Tamil Nadu. All he tried to say was that Tamil Nadu will not get its due share as long as it expected things from its Delhi rulers. By allowing Hindi to be the official language, we would be guilty of killing Tamil, and our kids would have no advantage over the ones that speak Hindi as their mother tongue. So, he could have named his party “Tamilar Kazhagam” as well. Why didn’t he do it? He had developed a kind of uncontrollable hatred towards Brahmins. He thought all problems that the backward and scheduled castes were going through were because of the caste system introduced by the Brahmins; they would do anything to keep it alive; if he kept them in his side, he would never be able to achieve social justice; the only way to achieve social justice was to remove their dominance. So, he wanted to have a party for the non-Brahmin Tamils. Since there was already a theory that said all non-Brahmins were Dravidians, he just named his party Dravidian party. Today’s DMK and ADMK have their roots in DK that was started by Periyar. Today, DMK doesn’t do too much anti-Brahmin politics and ADMK doesn’t do it at all. Ironically, ADMK is being headed by a Brahmin lady today who defies all principles of Dravidian politics.

Is it worth spending our time on it? My answer is a strong No. I don’t get attracted by any kind of divisive politics. Let me repeat again – Any. Any could mean caste, language, religion, region, race, nativity, nationality… any! You may just observe it to understand their point of view but not worth following them.

But, every such divisive move has a social significance in the current environment than a historical significance. As far as I see it was just a move towards removing Brahmin dominance in politics and other important fields. It just got named as Dravidian politics in Tamil Nadu because of which the whole state had to go after the researches on Aryan-Dravidian history and revive the forgotten theories of Max Muller. Otherwise, it’s just like the Gowda politics in Karnataka, Reddy/Naidu politics in AP, Yadav/Dalit politics in UP and Bihar and so on. Now the political power has shifted from the hands of Brahmins to majority communities few decades ago. But, most of them who came in using the anti-Brahmin card have failed in almost all the above states now. It’s time they prove their mettle instead of relying on this single agenda however valid it is. So, do I think they are valid? It’s another major controversial subject – Merit Vs. Social Justice. Isn’t ironic to see merit standing against justice? It does, but it has its reasons. Let’s not get into it now. That would result in another few dozen paragraphs. Let’s keep it for sometime later.

Conclusion: I am not interested in looking at someone’s history to decide as to whom to vote for or whom to work with. That someone should be clean, maintain probity in public life and work for the upliftment of people more than anything else. I don’t get blinded by their history or background instead of performance or quality. I have already seen many debacles because of such blindness.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Modern Arts

I have never been able to understand what is being called Modern Arts. I only used to wonder why these people harass us by drawing such vague stuff and expecting us to understand and enjoy them. When I see people that get excited looking at such pictures, I used to doubt them. I even used to wonder if they really understood them or were just pretending so to show off. But, this is how all forms of inability are exhibited, right? It's just a normal way of expressing the jealousy. Once I realized that, I wanted to understand them at any cost. But, I couldn't. OK. I wanted to at least understand why they draw like that. When I squeezed my brain to understand, this is what is the outcome...

In olden days, the artists' job was to draw pictures with exact resemblance. They should even look more real than the reality itself. So, what they were doing was the same job that cameras are doing today. The kings and rich who wanted their pictures to be alive even after their lifetime called such artists, paid them huge money, made them draw their pictures and enjoyed it. Now that there are cameras and computers to do that, what is left for them to do? So, they have to do something new and innovative. That pressure - the necessity to do something that cameras cannot do, has resulted in the invention of modern arts. Necessity is the mother of another invention! It would take some time for the computers to become intelligent enough to draw modern arts. Until then the artists can continue to do what they are doing now. Before that, they will have to invent some new forms of drawing, too.

When I look at these pictures, they look like a child's scribbling. But, I know that they are creations that look immature but are actually more mature than the ones that can't understand it. Maturity may be a wrong word here. We may say that those artists are in a different level of thinking than ours. Some people speak and write in a way that others can't understand. Even they sound like a child's babbling to most of us who can't understand. It's just like that. It doesn't mean that they are not intelligent enough. It only means that we haven't understood the tricks of understanding them. For someone like me who can't even understand the mystery in Monalisa's smile, it may take too long to understand all these.

Another thing that I don't understand in these modern arts is that half of these pictures are about nudity. I am not sure if they are same as the other glamorous things that are added to all creative stuff or if there is any other significance. Please explain me in the Comments if there is any expert around. Let me see if it helps my mediocre brain understand them. Just like in literature, even in this, there are a lot of isms. Modernism, Post-Modernism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, etc. Just like in literature, even here, I don't understand what they mean. But, just like there, I know that there are people who get maddened by these here also. On one hand, I want to become one of them. On the other hand, I am wondering if it is all worth it.

There was a time when I wanted be a jack of all. I didn't want to leave anything as impossible or not interesting. I used to do a lot of bird's eye viewing. Then at some point in time, a new wisdom dawned on me, which said, "It's not wise to get into everything that comes your way; do only what interests you and leave the rest to others!". It is because of that wisdom that I don't break my head to understand modern arts. But, this question has been haunting me - Should I leave them like that as someone else's cup of coffee or is there something that I would miss by doing so, which no one born on this planet should do?

What are your views? :)

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