Friday, December 19, 2008

I believe I can Fly

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

I love this song by Kelly (1996)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sarada Devi, the divine Mother

She is considered the epitome of a "mother" who was selfless and always giving.

A few of her quotes -

"I am the mother of the righteous, I am the mother of the wicked as well. Never fear. Whenever you are in distress, just say to yourself 'I have a mother.'"

"If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own."

From Sri Sarada Devi's last words, spoken before passing away on July 20, 1920

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There Was a Queen

This is a film of conflict and peace in Kashmir. This is about Kasmiri women.Atlast, we hear the voice of Kashmiri women on terrorism, militarism, peace and their daily life. It is a record of political voices of women from many sides in Kashmir.

The film was in the competition section of MIFF-2008 and was screened in VIBGYOR-2008. It was screened in the First International Video Festival of Kerala in May 2008.

“Give us guns and we’ll play our role!” - These are not the words of a hardened criminal,these are the words of a teenaged girl in Kashmir less than a week after her sister was buried.

This film is being telecast by NDTV in two parts on 17th and 18th December at 9.30 PM IST and also the full film is telecast on 21st at 1 PM.

The documentary "*Yi As Akh Padshah Bai*" or *There was a Queen* was made by an all women crew! It was a conscious and a deliberate decision as it was our belief as producers that since the film was about women in conflict situation, it would be appropriate to have a team of women who would be more sensitive and understanding in dealing with the subject and that the Kashmiri women would find it easy to articulate their views. Our objective initially was to make one film, on women in conflict situation, which includes the North East of India too. But in the process of making the film, we decided to work on Kashmir first as it was distinct from the North East though there are commonalities of situation, issues and concerns.

Pic- Other Communications Media

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Remembering Rajaji

Today is the 131st birth anniversary of Rajaji ( Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari). He not only played a very important role in the freedom movement but also was a collosal giant who strode the firmament of Indian politics post independence too with great foresight. He was essentially a statesman.

I had read his Ramayana and Mahabharata when I was in Class 7, and was deeply impressed by the way he has in a simple, plain and lucid language dealt with complex situations and made it very easy to comprehend.

It is sad that we do not remember him even once a year, and which will relegate him to the obscure corners of the History Books for a while before that too being considered not so important and the future generations not knowing anything at all about him

M. S. Subbulakshmi has immortalised a beautiful composition of Rajaji which stands testimony for the genius that he was.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

India connects to the North East

It does sound weird, but the North Eastern States of Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura have received the Cabinet Committee on Economic affairs' approval for the proposal of the Manipur Government to extend the broad gauge 27- km line from Tupur to Imphal thus providing the direct rail connection of the State capital with the rest of the Country.... 60 years after India became independent.

It has been a longstanding demand of the northeastern state to connect its capital with the rest of the country through a railway line to end the transportation bottleneck. On the request of the Government, the survey of the line was again done so as to connect Imphal directly by railway line.

The proposed new broad gauge line will be providing rail connectivity up to Imphal as well as make possible direct movement of freight and passengers from this region to other parts of the country. The increased expenditure of the extension proposal is estimated to cost Rs 2,650 crores.

In the North Eastern Region, rail connectivity had been intensified recently after the Centre had taken up many rail projects as a National Project. Recently Agartala, the State Capital of Tripura had been connected with the railway line with the rest of the country. Tripura’s State capital Agartala on October 5 this year became the second Northeastern capital town, after Guwahati, included in the railway map with regular train service beginning between the State and other parts of the country. The survey for construction of the railway line from Dimapur to Kohima, the State capital of Nagaland is being taken up as a National Project with the process of laying of 125-km long railway line between Dimapur and Kohima began from November 25 this year.

Do we need anything else to show the utter disregard of all our governments at the Centre for the past 60 years towards the North Eastern States? It is time we bring ourselves together and end any step motherly attitude to any State, Province, Region or People.

Well, atleast now than never!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Media, Politicians or a Bunch of Jokers?

It has always been a doubt, but now it is proved beyond all that, that indeed most of our politicians are a bunch of jokers. Take the case of R R Patil of Maharashtra who said that the Bombay attack was a small thing..saying.... "bade shahron mein aise ek adh hadse hote rahte hain. Woh 5,000 logon ko marne aye the lekin humne kitna kum nuksan hone diya ." (Such small incidents happen in big cities. They (terrorists) came to kill 5,000 people but we ensured minimal damage)”.

Then there was the reluctance of Deshmukh to quit. And his terror tourism of the Taj with his son and a film director.

There was the resignation of the Home Minister Shivraj Patil and the subsequent quip of Laloo that this should have happened earlier. And the advertisement issued by the BJP in Delhi during the Delhi elections.

While the Politicians are going full throttle to upstage one another, there are the media houses, which covered the terror attack saying "Breaking News, Exclusively covered by Us and such...". Are we interested in one upmanship at times like this?

And then the fiasco of Naqvi leaving the BJP blushing. And the CM of Kerala's spat with the slain martyr's father who refused to meet the CM.

By the way,there was this mail I received as a forward and I cannot vouch for its authenticity, but these people by the behaviour they exhibit do show that it might well be true!!

This is the state of Kerala Poticians, it seems!!

Taking Achudananandan or any other politician's remarks seriously is in actuality a waste of time...mine inclusive. Look at their Educational qualification and thereafter you could continue with your remarks!!!!
M. A. Baby - (Education!!!) degree fail

Premachandran - (Water and Irrigation) 10th class PhD (Passed with highest Difficulty)

A. K. Balan - (Electricity and SC/ST Welfare) 10th fail

S. Sharma - (Fisheries) 10th fail

Elamaram Kareem - (Commerce and Industries) 10th fail

Paloli Kutty - (Rural Development, Town Planning etc) 5th class and drill

Kodiyeri Balu - (Home, Vigilance and Tourism!!!!) 8th class and gundaism

Achu mama - (CM) 4th class - pass or fail doesn't matter
(Kerala Chief Minister)

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Want Peace

“I am afraid now the war is raging inside my house and not on the country’s borders. My PM is telling me not to be afraid and to keep calm and maintain peace and harmony. He is not angry and his body language conveyed that everything is under control. But my PM has Z Plus security which is perhaps why he is not agitated. I am an ordinary citizen. How can I remain calm when my own house is on fire?” – An anguished Indian, Naresh Kumar Jain’s letter to the PM published in “The Hindu”

A Placard held by an Indian Citizen infront of the Taj Mahal Hotel on 29th November read-

Mr. Terrorist, I am alive, What can you do?
Mr. Politician, I am alive despite you...


This indeed reflects the mood of the whole of India.