April 30, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

In a place where dreams are hard to come by, one girl will start a journey.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

This film,
Akeelah and the Bee looks promising. I watched the trailer this morning. The film is about an eleven year old girl who is very good at spellings but has some mental block to overcome fear. The film shows how she transforms herself and works toward winning the 'National Spelling Bee contest', which she does in the end. I will try and watch soon.

You can catch the trailer of this film
here. The 'rotten tomatoes' player isn't rotten :D, infact it's better than many other video players (online) that I got used to.

April 23, 2006

Bondage to Freedom - II

These are a few rare photographs that I happened to come across this morning. They depict some of the most important moments in the history of India.

Nehru and Gandhi at AICC meeting in July, 1947.

Gandhiji addressing a mass gathering

Nehru and Liaquat Ali receive Mountbatten at the Delhi airport on March 25, 1947

Mountbatten swears in Nehru as the first Prime Minister of India on August 15,1947.

TRAIN TO PAKISTAN; India 1947. Trains packed with refugees - Hindus and Sikhs headed for India, and Muslims headed for Pakistan - were convenient targets for gangs of killers on both sides of the border. Inadequately protected 'Refugee Specials' were typically stopped, and the occupants butchered, several times in the course of the journey.

The dead Punjab, 1947.

1948: The news of Gandhi's assassination hits the streets. A stunned crowd gathers in Calcutta (Now Kolkatta).

1948: Crowds in New Delhi wait for a glimpse of Gandhi's funeral procession

A Library being divided at the time of partition, when people needed to hold hands and be united.

1971: Indira Gandhi reviews the troops, in the context of the military and diplomatic preparations for the Bangladesh War.

April 16, 2006

To hell

"Dare to look beyond?" The students of IIPM can tell you how true it is.

The students of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management have started a website which will give the inside information about the college and its operations. The students say that they are being cheated on everything and that the government should take an affirmative action against it.

The IIPM staff even threatened the bloggers who had written about this issue in favour of the suffering students. They left threatening comments at
Rashmi Bansal's blog, but could not do so at Gaurav Sabnis' for the comments were disabled in his blog.

The website run by the
IIPM students will reveal everything about the institute.

The website is called:

April 11, 2006

Only Reservations, No education

There have been lots of speculations making rounds in newspapers and websites these days. The topic- Increase in the reservations in education for OBCs at IITs and IIMs from the present 22.5% to a new 49.5%. I signed a petition like many others asking the Union Ministry to stop the passage of such a bill which can dampen the standard of these institutes.

I am copy- pasting the petition that I had signed online in this regard.

To: HR Ministry of Govt. of India

To, The Prime Minister of India, the HR Minister of India.
The decision to introduce a reservation for OBC Categories in the premier institutions of India, thereby raising the reserved seats to 49.5 percent comes as a too strong step in the direction of ensuring advancement of backward classes.
While we recognize the need for equal opportunities for the backward classes, such decisions can deprive the shining institutions of India of their quality of students. At a time when we are looking forward to project India as a global destination for excellence in the field of education, this step could wreck the image we have managed to project so far.
Sir, we earnestly request you to take into consideration all the possibilities for creating a platform for equal opportunities in education before implementing such a decision.


I agree that reservations for backward classes are made to give them an opporunity to progress along with others. But, the problem arises with such a huge increase in reservation percentage. How can anyone digest the fact that 50% of the seats would be kept separate, with only the remaining half left for competition?

I wonder why should anyone relate intellect with one's caste. What is the need to do so? You cannot judge someone's intellect by his religion or caste. Even a student from a backward class can top the JEE or the CAT if he has the requisite potential. I know that they were suppressed by the forward classes (our forefathers) in almost everything they did. But, things have changed. Our generation has changed. We don't look at people or judge them by their caste. I myself have a few friends who are OBCs and I have never given any importance to that. Infact, it gives me a strange feeling because this is the first time that I have chosen to speak about it. They are my friends and they are like me in almost any aspect. Moreover, one of them is more intelligent than me. She always tops the class. She has got a very good programming aptitude, unlike me. Then, why?

Reservations in education are understandable, but not so much that people find them repulsive enough to start a nation-wide movement against it. Such high reservations can reduce the standards of good institutes drastically. The only reason that can be stated for such a bold step would be that most of the backward classes are still living in distress, unable to meet the expenses even in day-to-day life. But, there are many such poor souls even in the forward castes. Are they not human beings and don't they need help to come out of their economic distress? So, can't the reservations be alloted only to those who are in distress, who cannot afford good education? There are many others in the backward classes who are leading life just like any forward class person- good education, good job, good money, good position in society. Should their children also be entitled to such reservations? No, because they have the potential to come up on their own. Infact, they should. When their parents could, can't they?

Women reservations. I hate this phrase. I have always been against it. I don't think there should be any reservations for women too. Ok, I agree that there are women who still suffer abuse at the hands of men, be it depriving them of their right to education at home or harassing them physically. Anything indifferent done against someone is an abuse. But, there are many women who are living a deserved life, women like me who were always treated just like their brothers or any other male in the family. Why do such women be entitled to reservations? They are ready to take over. Give them a chance to prove themselves. Such women don't need reservations to establish themselves along with men.

There is this 30% reservation quota for women in engineering in Andhra Pradesh. Even if a girl secures 3000 rank in the regional entrance exam, EAMCET, and gets a seat in a good college, the only thing she gets to hear is that it happened due to the 30% quota and not her merit. Why doesn't anybody realize that she got the rank only because of her hardwork, whereas, most of the other guys might have secured ranks anywhere between 20,000 - 40,000. Tell me, is 3000 not much better and deserved than a 50,000? Give her some encouragement, make her know that you have belief in her as much as you have in your son or probably more than that. She won't look back again doubting her worth.

There's another solution for this. Make such reservations only for those who cannot afford education, who live in villages, in slums, who cannot afford coaching classes like you and me, who cannot earn more than a fixed minimum. Make reservations for those women who get abused in their homes, who are not given the rights they ought to have. Make reservations only for those who need them. Not for those who can do without them.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions presented here are solely of the author's. These are in no way meant to offend any religion or caste, whatsoever, and were used only to discuss the current trends in the education system in India.)

April 07, 2006

Book Tags

Tag- this is the happening thing in blogging world lately. I was tagged by dc long ago. But, I couldn't write anything on it and couldn't tag anyone in turn. So, I am writing now on it.

Tagging something or someone is very simple (as I got to know about it). A person who is tagged (book tagged, in my case) has to write about everything that he/she is asked to about them.

For book tags, you need to write about the number of books you own, the last read, the last one bought, the book you are presently reading, books that mean a lot to you, and finally, you need to tag five other people for this to pass on.

My list-

Books that I own - A lot, but like I had mentioned in the comments on my previous post that I own nearly fifty books that I can count on for starting a library, I will mention a few here.

- Kite Runner
- Life of Pi
- Papillon
- Mahabharata (by C. Rajagopalachari)
- The Fountainhead

I'll stop here, otherwise, it will go on and on.

I like a lot of books. So, there's no point in mentioning the whole list.

My last read was Kite Runner, by Khalid Hosseini and I had written about it in Kite Runner

I am not reading anything presently. :-(

Books that have been with me for a long time, yet couldn't be read are Leo Tolstoy's famous classics, Anna Kareina and War and Peace. I bought them just because I wanted to have them as a part of my collection.

Now, for the last part of this tagging business, I don't choose to tag anyone. you are welcome to take up the tag on your own.

April 03, 2006


Ten things I wish to do before I die-

  1. Publish my own book (Bestseller!)
  2. Cut an album
  3. Make a hit film
  4. Render stage performances in Carnatic classical music
  5. Have my own start up (Company)
  6. Become a people's politician (Not for power, but to deliver)
  7. Receive the Best Citizen award (If they give any)
  8. Own a huge personal library
  9. Contribute something great to the field of Mathematics (ala Madame in Madame Curie!)
  10. Travel, travel and travel (Across the globe too!)

I am not sure about all these wishes, but I will definitely try to make at least three of these come true.

UPDATE: Read comments

April 01, 2006

Name sake

Sigourney Roux

This would have been my name if I were French. So claims Blogthings. For once, I want to thank my parents for having given me such a good name in comparision to the so called French name. The concept of providing the French similitude of your name is understandable but what really doesn't make sense is that each time you enter your name in it, you will get to see a different French name, i.e., any name will randomly appear out of their database. Not a good one to rely on. Curiosity hasn't proved to be of much fun this time.