There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I bought my first book ever

... with my own money that is. "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Neil Gaiman is one of my favourites from Vertigo comics, especially the 'Sandman' series. Terry Pratchett is quite possibly one of the funniest authors I've read - his 'Discworld' series totally rocks.
I'd read "Good Omens" before, but some books you must own, know what I'm saying?
I've got this whole list of books I will buy (probably half-a-million dollars worth ;-P) when I get rich. Don't snigger, this is right up there on my list of priorities along with the black Murcielago, the matt black Augusta Brutale Serie Oro, world peace and long life for all.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The silly buggers are at it again

Yet another terrorist attack. Looks like someone, somewhere is worried that Manmohan Singh's attempts at resolving our problems with Pakistan might just be working. (Read about it here, here and here).

You see, Manmohan Singh, in his own quiet way has turned out to be considerably more effective than the previous BJP government. Oh, the BJP were tough, no doubt, and we all wanted someone in power who wouldn't let anyone mess with India. But we've seen where that goes when taken too far - Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and countless others are testimony to that fact. And of course, the BJP was unavoidably tied to that shame of the respectable Hindu, the RSS.

Manmohan is smart, subtle and clean. He is the only good thing about the miserable Congress party and their idiotic coalition government. Without him, it is nothing more than a bunch of sycophants, without one single backbone among the lot of them. As for the good lady of Amethi - well, let’s not go there.

Manmohan Singh seems to be utilizing his considerable background in economics in several far reaching ways - ways the BJP never considered. One must admit though, that deploying the army along the Indo-Pak border for eight months as the BJP did, takes balls, especially in the face of criticism by the least responsible nation in the world, the US of A. The friendly President Musharraf did get a bit of a shock then. It was worth it for that alone. But that didn't pay attention to the crux of the issue, one that most of us tend to miss - Pakistan is incidental, a mere fly. Remove the American and Chinese support and it will crumble in months. It has long been used to keep India distracted from the important things in life - economic development, economic development and of course, economic development - first by the US and now by China.

The US of course had its reasons in the good old days - India was pretty friendly with the USSR, and they wanted a lapdog to keep us occupied. With China, it's harder to tell. It is an open secret that a significant fraction of Pakistani nuclear tech is of Chinese origin. So is their entire cruise missile tech. After the Pakistanis withdrew from Kargil in 1997 after attempting to invade India, all the handguns and such left behind were of Chinese manufacture. What the Chinese hope to achieve, beyond keeping India distracted (if anything) is beyond me. Because disbursing nuclear tech and cruise missile tech to an unpredictable, fundamentalist and terrorist neighbour just to keep the other, democratic, non-aggressive, but economically competitive neighbour distracted doesn't make sense. Of course, they could just be repeating America's mistakes, but somehow I think they are much too smart for that.

But Manmohan is trying for a more long term approach. He is focussing on building relations with the Pakistani people rather than the Pakistani government - a radical approach. He is also refusing to lose focus on economic improvement, by keeping focused on improving our energy sources and gain access to new ones before the US or China grab those as well. But ultimately, he understands subtlety, and cause and effect. I have a feeling that anyone who messes with India with him around will regret it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What's with the rain?

The incessant torrential downpour that's been going on here for the past week or so is playing merry hell with Banglore's already strained infrastucture. For me it means an excuse to stay back in the office and play some Unreal or AOE, but it isn't a joke for all those people who've been flooded out of their houses. I've been in this city eighteen years now, and I can't remeber it being like this for so many days.

Heck, to keep my feet dry on the way home today, I was forced to first climb onto the compound walls and then onto the roofs of houses to avoid a flooded road (okay, I wasn't, the water was just a foot deep at the deepest point, but I was just looking for an excuse to monkey around :-P).

The weather is going haywire these days. Back in Kodagu (or Coorg if you prefer) which is where I'm from, the last four years have been dry. Almost a drought, with people running around frantiacally trying to arrange for sprinklers for the coffee crops and managing the household on a half-dozen bottles of water (this really happened at my maternal grandad's place - 6-10 litres of water a day!).
Now this year, its rained so much that the coffee has started rotting off the crops. Crazy.