I have always written on this blog about topics that interest me immensely. But, what I have enjoyed more here is the responses that I get.Ever since my articles have been getting published on the Times of India site, I repeat the same post here 48 hours after it goes live on the TOI site. Some respond to me on the TOI site at http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tiger-trail/, while some respond on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharmila-Says/139906172713278 or on my Twitter page at http://twitter.com/#!/supershamz and some ( now very few ) respond here on this site. I do respond actively on the Times of India page, Facebook and on Twitter too. And if I get a comment here, I actively respond to it as well. I have been blogging for a a year now and I have no intentions of abandoning this site or ignoring it for any reason.There are many of you who comment regularly here and now have indicated to me that I have been “ignoring” this site. Let me reassure you, I have no reasons to ignore this site as it has taken considerable effort in the last year to write close to 200 posts that have received over 10,000 comments and has withstood over 130,000 visits! Some have also indicated to me that they have been largely disappointed with my involvement on this space and I have been making guest appearances here.

To keep your interest in this site and above all to ensure your continued participation on this forum which I immensely enjoy, I will now start writing exclusive posts for this site alone which will not go on the Times of India site and you can comment here on it ( like the good old times ). Your comments are always welcome irrespective of whether they are relevant to the topic or not and you can be rest assured of my participation on this forum. With regards to my Times of India blogs, it would be best if you could comment on the TOI site directly as your comments reach a far greater audience.

I look forward to your feedback, positive or not. Looking forward to the regulars reconvening here. All of you have well and truly have been a great support for me!




87 Responses to “Update….”

  1. Shubha M Says:


    I am happy to be back here with you. The TOI set doesn’t feel like your EF πŸ™‚
    Your EF is happy interacting between themselves here. Exclusive posts for this site alone, is an awesome idea. Thanks. I am glad to be back here.


    • Thanks Shubha! .. Many think the TOI is a formal space, but, it would be great if your comments are there on the TOI space for the TOI blogs. They get viewed by a much wider audience. Some of your comments there have been appreciated. Of course, I would be looking forward to your comments here for the non TOI ones πŸ™‚

  2. Aishwarya Says:


    Received your mail. I feel like a sulking kid being offered a lollipop it cant refuse! As I mentioned, I am doing a postdoctoral fellowship. The prof… is tough! Loads to read! Nevertheless, as an old regular, I look forward to being pampered with exclusive posts and hope to drop by whenever I can… πŸ™‚



  3. Shubha M Says:

    Aishwarya, Reader, Monalisa, Melwyn, Ninad, Anand, Muraliraja …Hello everyone!

  4. Muraliraja Says:

    As long as your posts are here, I will be here πŸ™‚
    Address or the medium doesn’t matter to me.
    Tiger trail or sharmilasays….wherever you update your post, I will follow.

  5. Sunil Jani Says:

    Hi Sharmila,

    I just luv the idea that u r going to write exclusive posts for this site. You r just amazing. This way i get to read more of whatever u write.
    Keep up the gud work. Luv u for this..

  6. Sharmila,

    Deal. Let the journey continue. Here we go…

    • Reader – You called me a braveheart. Not sure if I am anywhere close to Mel Gibson! But your comments here are refreshing and you throw an altogether different dimension to the trail. If I have been making sunrise / sunset appearances, it does not mean I am not reading all your comments. I most certainly do. But all of you discuss on so many subjects that I claim little knowledge of. This space has been on for a year and I have no inclination of breaking it up. Its made up of healthy minds, rare to find and best to keep!!

      • Shamila,

        We Indians are like this only. Diverse, full of variety, colors, moods and you name it.

        Thinking the Indian Way

        I see everything from the Indian angle. Full of different people, different ideas, different beliefs, different vocations with only one thing common: Each one is human. Each one is kind.

        An EF is a family. Our achievements or progress outside the house is secondary within the family. Outside the house, you may be a district collector or a celebrity, but once you are inside the house, you are a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a home-maker.

        This blog and the EF are house and the family. You can take it out on a picnic to TOI once in a while. But we must come back here to get back to normal.

        Nothing can match the homeliness of our own disorder! πŸ™‚

      • Like Mr. Bush in the video above. He goes out to catch a hen and comes back with a snake!

        The general commotion continues unabated!


      • MOnaLisa Says:

        Did he call you Mel Gibson or Jodi Foster..!?
        A family is a family when ppl take care of eachother without hurting eachother…
        Otherwise they are nothing but just sugarcoated pills difficult to swallow otherwise….
        I have been on this blog for nore than a year if I am not wrong..and I don’t abandone or break any relation which has been built with time…I am not that kind of person and I value every good relation in my life very much…but unfortunately..my pc got infested by virus twice during that time period..visiting your blog…the second time was just last wk.
        I appreciate if you take the required measures…
        Thank you…

      • Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Will send an email to the wordpress guys. And thank you for the lovely comment too.

      • Can you delete cookies , reset safari if you are a mac user?

      • Neither, he called me braveheart!

    • So well said Reader. In a way this blog is a bit like the chaos on the Indian roads.. And the Indian code of conduct fully on display, .. we enjoy the ride, no matter what..But , yes, it is the diversity which is most enjoyable.

      • Sharmila,

        The chaos of the Indian roads – I adore it – this must be why i like it here so much.

        Thanks for continuing. it’s so much cozier than on the TOI page.

        Does feel like a home to come back to.

      • Thanks Renate.. πŸ™‚

    • Mr Bush has never caught anything!.. not even a hen.. he is too mild..

  7. Muraliraja Says:

    Although I’m glad that you are planning to write more, I don’t want you to write under pressure to keep us engaged here. I (and I guess everyone here) want their favourite Blogger to be free from any compulsion & write her thoughts in her own way & pace. πŸ™‚
    Keep your good work going.
    Eagerly waiting for 2nd Blog anniversary post πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks again Murali! 2nd anniversary is a long way off. No, nobody can compel me. I was meaning to do this for a long time though. Just been caught up with too many things.

  8. Where is ?MonaLisa

    • No idea. She said she had written a comment here but it has disappeared, now she has too!

      • Check in the Akismet Spam box just below the dashboard window. Sometimes comments are quarantined for the admin to approve because of syntax errors. Some of the smileys when placed in the beginning of the comment are read as request for access to certain drives on the PC.

        Like, say πŸ™‚ is smiley at the beginning. If typed as : ), then the colon is a call to open a drive and is suspected by the Akismet software as a worm or a bug.

    • I did check.. None from ML, there was one angry face from you from an earlier post that was sitting there..

    • MonaLisa Says:

      Here I am..!

  9. Muraliraja Says:

    Yes! I’m like the kid who starts bugging his parents about next year birthday celebration right after this years party! Just to make sure they will organize one next year & ensure it to be bigger & better.
    Last anniversary this place was vibrant! I wish to see next anniversary with more posts, comments & participation.

  10. Anand Khare Says:

    Thanks Sharmila,

    For accepting the suggestion. We were dying to get some attention from you.:).

    I tried to submit a comment on your blog on TOI site but it asked me a mathematics question something like 3+2=?. It turned me off. What they mean by this? Half of Indian politicians will not be able to answer this. But why they put it to a respectable citizen like me? I know it is 6.


    Hi Shubha,

    It feels great if someone remembers you by name.


  11. Making Headlines:

    The DMK has opted out of the central government and supporting the Congress from the benches.

    Interesting politics in Tamilnadu. The stupid clowns on the national media are going around in circles. Even Cho Ramaswami has lost the plot.

    This has nothing to do with Raja or Karuna’s family being questioned by CBI under Supreme Court’s supervision. That’s so duh-duh.

    Everyone knows that the assembly polls are round the corner.

    It’s time for politicians to invest money – buy the voter’s stock and cattle feed. Stalin and Alagiri have been at it for over an year now.

    What is at stake?

    Tamilnadu is 5th largest industrialized state in India with a GDP of over US$40 billion. Add 30% deficit finance, the chief minister boots a state that is worth US$ 50 billion an year.

    The civic budget is over US$ 4 billion per year that is spent by the state legislators on sundry expenses.

    Add the potential worth in real value. The state is sitting on a fortune of untapped natural reserves: Graphite (~20 b tonnes in reserve), Zircon (~7 b tonnes), Magnesite, Titanium, Bauxite and nuclear power.

    Tamilnadu is the 3rd largest industrialized state in India, nudged recently by Gujarat. Maharashtra leads the nation in Industrialization as well as foreign investments.

    DMK’s withdrawl from the center has nothing to do with the 2G scam. Politics of economic power flies way above such trivial issues. If Raja or anyone related to Karuna is smeared by 2G they will not cease to be Karuna’s family members. Voters in Tamilnadu give a damn about New Delhi.

    The media is over-rating it’s influence on the franchise and also at a complete loss to make sense out of DMK’s independent stance.

    In the Queen’s Open Gambit of Chess, the opener gives up a minor piece for a position of advantage.

    DMK will now play for maximum stakes in the state. More seats, more ministers, more portfolios, more business!

    Even at a modest 20% royalty, Tamilnadu is worth US$ 8 billion per year for the party that wins!

    Opinions… or call them votes… that’s what makes horse racing a game…

    • The DMK is scrambling, this time I think it is the AIADMK who will inch through in the assembly. JJ Is going hammer and tongs. Whoever wins is winning a lottery. I agree with the economics of Tamil Nadu. It will be interesting to watch the dynamics post Karuna. DMK will be split by the butcher sons Alagiri & Stalin. The Marans will continue to get stronger, who knows , they may float a new annexure to the DMK.

      • I doubt there is a serious power struggle in DMK. There is enough space for everyone.

        Ruling over a state of 70 million people, 32 districts and turnaround of 40 billion US dollars is not a one man’s job.

        I think the personality factor plays a big role in TN politics. Cult figures have always loomed large over the populace from the days of Annadurai and MGR.

        So, Karuna, Stalin, Maran, Alagiri have to keep their larger than life profiles in the public.

        It’s similar to the apparent divisions in the territories of the Ambani brothers. Both the brothers hit the fortune 500 list separately but they remain tied to each other’s interests at the ground level.

  12. But, there is one Chief Minister slot alone. Kannimozhi, MK’s daughter is also one who should not be ignored. She is a shrewd poet like the Father, and is supposed to be at the helm of managing the affairs for him. MK lately has been busy attending wedding receptions and naming ceremonies of all and sundry in Kollywood. He gets wheeled into these events, but, despite his age, he remains an astute politician.

  13. Why you should not waste time on the 2G scam:

    In Q2 of 2006, Anil Dhirubai Ambani Group (ADAG) floated six companies, all named after birds and animals: Swan, Tiger, Parrot, Zebra, Penguin and Giraffe. Each company had an initial share capital of INR 1 lakh i.e. ~US$2000 and came from bank accounts of ADAG staff.

    All the six companies were renamed later once the game plan was rolled out.

    Of the six companies, Parrot, Zebra and Tiger had inter-collapsible shareholding. That is P and T were owned by Z, Z & T were owned by P and P & Z were owned by T.

    January 2007: Shareholding pattern of Swan Capitals changed. Tiger acquires 10,000 shares.

    Department of Telecom Rules: 1. Existing telecom company cannot hold more than 10% equity in New Telecom company. 2. For applyin for licenses of 13 circles paid-up equity required is INR103 Crores and net worth 1,030 Crores.

    15th February 2007: Swan Capital changed to Swan telecom.

    25 February 2007: DB Realty (UAE) takes over ADAG’s Giraffe Consultancy.

    1 March 2007: Paid up capital increased from 1 lakh to 110 Crores in equity between Tiger (99.1%) and Reliance Telecom (ADAG) (9.9% as per rule). On the same day, net-worth requirement of INR 1,030 Crores done by Reliance Telecom by purchasing 99,20,000 preference shares of Re. 1 at Rs. 1000 each (overvalued by 99,900 percent)

    2 March 2007 Swan Telecom applies to Raja for License.

    Same day 2 March: Reliance routes INR 100 Crore to Siddharth consultancy.

    26 March: Giraffe officially renamed as Siddharth Consultancy.

    4 April 2007 Siddarth Consultancy buys stakes in Parrot and Zebra.

    5 December 2007: Reliance Telecom sells 9.8 % holding to Delhi Investments (Mauritius) at a loss of INR 750 Crores. This is the amount that Raja has allegedly got. DB group financed by Etisalat Mauritius.

    January 2008: Telecom license awarded.

    Key Players: Anil Ambani and Co., Sarin (Anant Raj, Delhi), Balwa and Goenka (DB Group), A well-known Maharashtrian politician and A. Raja.

    Source: Ashish Khetan for Tehelka, New Delhi


    A. Raja gave 122 unified access service (UAS) licences and 35 dual
    technology licences, and with it the precious 2G spectrum at 2001 prices, thus causing a loss of Rs 1,76,645 crore to the national exchequer, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

    The 122 new UAS licences went to nine telecom companies including Swan and Unitech, while a majority of the dual technology licences went to Tata Teleservices and Reliance Telecom.


    • Correction: Not Delhi Investments – Delphi Investments in Mauritius, which is another front company.

    • Whoa.. this is staggering!! .. Tehelka is a breath of fresh air.. No other has reported these “facts”.. Yes, Delphi in Mauritius tax haven..

    • OMG.. I am in splits with the way you have compared Barkha to Ma Baker.. lol.. yes, I agree Butt has her hands dirty, she should be charged for sedition.. her continual stance on Kashmir is another reason why I get irked by her..

      • Actually I changed her name to Burkha Butt after her that ridiculous farce she put during the Kashmir roadshows under the garb of engaging extremism.

        The Kashmir epsiode was a pilot test of what’s happening across all the Arab world today. Even a bystander like me could tell that from 5000 miles away.

        Burkha should have stayed away if she had any proper ethical standards of TV journalism.

      • She was probably hoping she could turn NDTV into the media voice of extremists in India like Al Jazeera in the ME. That was not very smart.

      • That is an extremely extremely stupid plan from Dutt. Not sure who rules NDTV anymore, Prannoy is a whimper off late!

  14. And what is the Burkha Butt doing? This…

    • Bharka is trying to increase TRPS for NDTV, she is in Libya .. defying danger she says..

      • I meant what Burkha Butt was doing in this 2G episode.

        I know she is in Libya. Her butt needs all the burkha she can get right now even if she has to go to Libya or timbuctoo. She can be charged for anti-national intent if the JPC probes a conspiracy against national interests by Radia and her wings of flight in Swiss banks and London.

        The CBI is only probing the economic offences alluded by CAG and the money laundering part which may not come to anything.

        The JPC is empowered to explore the ‘Banana Republic’ and ‘Crony Capitalism’ that Ratan Tata indicated.

        Burkha was not merely one of the streetside scavengers like Ma-Baker and her lunatic pigs dancing for freebies and alms at someone else’s wedding; Burkha was also a information courier (between Radia, Sonio, Raja etc) who benefitted professionally from the whole episode.

        It is not clear if she was working on the tip-offs from CPI leaders who spotted the scam while it was hatched back in November 2007. That is likely too. After all Burkha Butt reports to Prannoy Roy who is allied to the CPI.

      • I have put NDTV on my list of websites I have sidelined. They are pro-Congress through and through just like Hindustan Times.

        It would be great if you guys list out the websites you frequently visit for news, blogs, opinion, ideas etc.

        I read Outlook Magazine, Open, Economist.com, WSJ, Guardian, thepunch.com.au , DNA India Blogs, TED, MoneyControl.com and Google News (aggregator)

        My fav is the Economist.

      • Venky Vembu is a friend of mine from DNA. I enjoy his blogs a fair bit. I read The Hindu, Hindustan times, Outlook, Deccan Herald ( for local BLR news ) and of course TOI daily. For Fin news, it is economic times, but I pick up news more quickly on moneycontrol.com , one of the best sites for Indian business news.

      • Ninad,

        On TV: I usually browse the headlines (those news strips running at the bottom of the screen) on all the channels including Hindi, Kannada and Marathi. That takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

        On BBC and CNN we have to wait for a few minutes more as the breaking stories are spread between fillers.

        Then, whichever headline seems important I chose to select the media, for and against, most suitable for that.

        For instance, the scams are actually better covered by the print media and even among them those that are CPI driven from the politburo in WB.

        For Tamilnadu politics, there tit-bits in The Week, Hindu etc.

        For Maharashtra politics I need to only call my friends in Pune and Mumbai. Ditto with Bengaluru.

        For economics, I still find it diifficult to trust any one source. The stats are mindboggling at times. I mostly, brose through as many e-papers I can.

        Closest to statistical correctness (with a margin of 30-40%) are government web sites on nic.gov.in

        For parliamentary affairs it is best to watch Lok Sabha aand Rajya Sabha TV Live and the corresponding web sites where the agenda and various bills anf acts are given in detail.

        Doordarshan is definitely the most reliable channel for precise and pro-government news. I watch it mostly for foreign affairs.

      • I do like Venky Vembu’s blog, good to know you guys are friends.

        I like reading the anti-Congress rant in the Hindustan Times comments. TOI is very comprehensive, it has heaps of news.

        Reuters has amazing detail about the company data. Many more ratios, numbers etc

        Do you guys know about http://khanacademy.org ? Great concept, would have been useful 20 years back.

    • That is exactly right! After her good work in Kargil, the Taj coverage on 26/11 was again a disaster. I disliked her at this time, then Kashmir and now the 2G scam..

  15. When people fall in bad times, they are often mislead by the company they keep.

    Desperation displaces due diligence. Amar Singh, Anil Ambani, Burkha Butt, Sanjay Dutt etc are stark examples.

    I think Anil Ambani is only one in that caucus who is not blogging. He is not deprived of well-wishers to that limit.

  16. No pressure Sharmila. Write anywhere you want, we will still read it. I do comment in both places.

  17. Shambhavi Says:


    I really like the topics you write on your blog and I read the posts put up on TOI ones they are on your blog. I really really enjoy the comments there after by Reader, Renate, Monalisa and of course you yourself and others who have become a part of your EF and I educate myself on so many matters. So, do keep up the good work and I loved the fact that more writings are coming on the blog. That is really a good news.

  18. There are ~40,000 registered trade unions and cooperatives in India covering every working person from a farmer, state and central government employees, banking services to the private enterpreneurs and teachers. The total memberships is over 100 million. This is not counting the NGOs, Charities and religious organisations.

    At a least some of them are on strike, protest or shutdown every day for some reason and a few 100s of thousands are on the streets in different parts of the nation with flags and banners.

    A fraction of these numbers are causing entire regimes to collapse in the Arab world. Rulers are unable to respond like Indian politicians. They have always prided so far in providing safety, stability and security to their citizens. They have never seen anything like this before.

    The result is a new kind of trauma both on a sudden political awareness of the subjects and the lack of diplomatic acumen of the rulers.

    Constitutions are being reviewed and re-written overnight, Ministers are being sacked, currency is being distributed at random and people are being inducted into the armed forces.

    Reforms are being forced on the people and their communities at the point of an imaginary gun.

    There is another fundamental reality that is driving the change.

    The monies hoarded by the feudals is held in countries that have turned against them and supporting the rebels.

    It’s a sort-of white-mail. Fall in line or quit!

    This method will never work in a nothing-cracy like India.

    • Well said! .. I also support the idea of compulsory stint in the Army like Israel does. Makes us more “forceful” against atrocities. What is nothing-cracy? ( last line ).. BTW, my new blog is out.. One post a day uh? Gosh!

      • “Nothing-cracy” is my term for complete jungle raj.

        I would even call it demo-cracy if it demonstrated something. I’d call it capitalism if we had any capital of our own. I’d call it communism if there was a harmonius community. I’d call it socialism if there was a homogenous society. I’d call it aristo-cracy if an aristocrat was not a air-bag. I’d call it feudalism if there were any feuds among the rulers. I’d call it a monarchy if the president wore a crown. I’d call it anarchy if I was poor.

        I cannot call it anything specific.

        India is such a melting pot of social orders.

        Hence, “Nothing-cracy”

      • Nothing cracy indeed.. can vouch for it!

  19. Hi Sharmila,

    Truly glad that u are gonna be completely active on ” Sharmila Says” We will always be around to read and comment on everything that u write, wherever you write – the TOI site or your blog. But this place feels like home, and we would miss it ! So as i said truly truly glad ! Thanks !

  20. Blocking out the bloggers

    The blocking of a blogging website, even if only for a short period, raises the disturbing question of curbs imposed on free speech in India through executive fiat. There is a clear pattern of Internet censorship that is inconsistent with constitutional guarantees on freedom of expression. It is also at odds with citizen aspirations in the age of new media. What is worrying is that the rules governing online publication are being tinkered with periodically to facilitate such filtering. This is done under the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Department of Information Technology recently published the draft Information Technology (Due diligence observed by intermediaries guidelines) Rules, 2011 that specifically mark bloggers for scrutiny, and require intermediaries such as service providers not to themselves host or publish any information. Evidently, this can be interpreted to cover blogs and other websites. What is worse, the rules propose to authorise the intermediaries to remove access to β€˜infringing’ material if they themselves have actual knowledge or are asked to do so by a mandated authority. These are retrogressive provisions that weaken constitutional freedoms and the parent law. As it stands, the IT Act merely requires the intermediary to exercise due diligence and does not talk of not hosting or publishing information. Ideally, the only criterion online publications should have to meet is compliance with the general laws of the land.

    The emergence of the WikiLeaks phenomenon and the use of online tools in North Africa and West Asia to inform and organise people underscore the power of citizen publishing. This is a new reality governments must learn to live with. Conflicts are bound to arise if the rules for online publication are modified specifically to prevent such publication. For instance, draft rule 3(2)(a) for intermediaries requires the user not to publish or display information that belongs to another person. Potentially, secret documents ferreted out by investigative journalists or whistleblowers in the public interest may be interpreted to belong to a third party β€” and blocked from the public domain. It is inconceivable that such a restriction could be applied to traditional media, which have a robust record of exposing corruption in high places. What all this makes clear is the need for wide public debate on any move to impose restrictions on online publishing. It is unacceptable that access to some websites is blocked through executive orders issued by technical bodies such as the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, with no explanation on why such action was taken.

    Source: The Hindu

    • Lawsuits against bloggers in the US have risen rapidly in the past 3 years. Usually bloggers like Sharmila have to only keep two things in mind.

      Not write something which would mean a lawsuit in libel or defamation.

      Not copy something from others without permission. And give credit wherever appropriate.

      See, http://www.chillingeffects.org/

      • Hmm.. interesting.. Reader& Ninad . what about the sin city series??

      • The sin city series is aligned with the executive fiat. The act prohibits disclousre of information without the explicit permission of the third party.

        The sin city series is a spoof. Bush, Sonio, Mammo, Barney, Maddy etc are welcome to claim that they really did what they did in our series. I’ll be the first to accept the charges of illegal disclosure of state secrets.


    • I am covered under HK law. Thank God.

      • HK law would be no different when it comes to libel, defamation and copyright.

        On the contrary, court cases must be coming up faster in HK. You would be safer if you are under Indian law. There is a current backlog of I think 3 crore cases in various courts of India.

  21. I hear you Ninad.. asked you guys your take on the sin city series.. defamation you reckon?

    • I went and searched google to see what you guys meant by the sin city series. Ok now I realised you guys are talking about your posts called Sin City series. Sorry I didn’t read any of those as it was like some fiction story or something

  22. I see Reader already has a view.. liked his point.. πŸ™‚

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