Swami Agnivesh and friends..

Link to my new blog on Times of India http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tiger-trail/entry/swami-agnivesh-and-friends


266 Responses to “Swami Agnivesh and friends..”

  1. Good News first. I’ll comment about your blog post in the next one.

    Good News is that my book is accepted as a thesis for a Doctorate in Religious Studies. The panel discussions will be through video conferencing in the afternoon today. If all goes well I’ll be Dr. S. R. Kulkarni (PhD, Religious Studies) by the end of this year.

    Another year, another qualification.

    • Congratulations! This is splendid!

    • All the best for the noon session!

    • Still preparing. The web cam and set-up is working fine. I don’t know if I should only wear a shirt and tie on the top that is visible to the camera or a full attire.

      I mean if I get up in the middle of the conversation the guys will be shocked to see me in a office shirt, tie and bermudas!

    • Anand Khare Says:

      Doctor Sahab,

      Namaste, Ph. D. Mubarak. Which university? Under whom? Give details pls.


      • Sure tell you all Anand,

        Before all that, where have you been? How is your father? I left a message on the last page of the blog. Mails are bouncing off too. Seems like your inbox is full. No reply.

        Hope all is well.

        It’s not awarded yet. Still at the peer review and enlistment stage.

        My book was accepted by evaluators in New York as a thesis. So it’s not going to be a guided doctorate as the thesis is already accepted. There are 6 evaluators from different fields.

        I had given three proposals in an order of preference. Literature, Philosophy and Religious Studies. The first two were rejected as the content of the book is not enough/adequate for either. (They had suggested that I add to it for pre-qualification. But I am too lazy to re-work anything. I’ve accepted the last choice.)

        The process may take some more time. The panel presides each week for a discussion. I am called on a video conference, if required. The purpose is only to verify that the subject that is discussed has been given the right consideration and researched thoroughly.

        Like, yesterday, they covered a good deal of the Upanishads and also the origins of Religion. In the beginning, religion was the only structured science that evolved. The irrationality of worship and faith crept into the system with wide spread dissemination.

        There was some discussion on the ‘irrationality’ part. That is my personal take. And apparently original in some way. I accept the premise of religion but reject worship as a means to it’s purpose. That is one of the many aspects that qualified the book for a thesis.

        Many more milestones to pass before I reach there. But I will. The target is 31 December ’11… 6 more weeks to go.

    • Muraliraja Says:

      Congratulations Reader πŸ™‚

    • Life is good… πŸ™‚

  2. Sharmila,

    I wish you had not written about Swami Agnivesh. I don’t know if it is good or bad. But Swami Agnivesh is far too qualified for a blog post of 1000 words.

    Long ago, when reciting Swami Vivekananda’s speeches I had said to my father that he sounded like an Indian Oligarch. And my father said something, which may apply to you as well:

    He said, “Sudhir, don’t ever have opinions about people. Swami Vivekanand had more knowledge than all that your mother and I can ever give you in three more lifetimes. So just shut up and study”

    A guru is not an acharya. An acharya is not a Swami. A Swami is not a Hrishi. A Hrishi is not a Raj Hrishi. A Raj Hrishi is not a Maharshi. A Maharshi is not a Brahmarshi.

    Except a Brahmahrishi, none of them are reclusive.

    I’ll speak about brahmahrishis when I grow that beard. πŸ™‚

    • Begin that with a Baba is not a guru… baba is just a good man.

    • I dont care if he is qualified or not, but, I find his act of appearing in Big Boss despicable to say the least. Looking forward to hearing more about Brahamarishis!

      • I’m sorry, I fail to understand your point. Who do you think are despicable? The participants of the Bigg Boss house or Swami Agnivesh?

        A Brahmarishi is a boring recluse.

        The most intersting Hrishis are the Raj Hrishi (Those who are advisors to rulers) and Maharshi’s who indulge in science and technology.

      • Swamis are activists, missionaries. All of them.

      • Here are examples in the ladder of progression from beginners to the top:

        Saadhu Vasvani, Sai Baba, Guru Nanak, Shankara Acharya, Swami Vivekanand, Maharshi Vishwamitra, Brahmarshi Vashishtha.

        A Muni doesn’t appear on the ladder. He is mendicent.

        The actions of the Arya Samaj Swamis are surely better than paedophile Bishops in the US, Taleban Mullahs indulging in sodomy or convicted child molesters English and Australian missionaries in Orissa, India.

  3. Another Reader Says:

    I don’t know a lot about religion, unfortunately, but i completely agree with Reader in that there is nothing about participation that is despicable.

    Participation of anyone in Big Boss is no ground for him/her being immoral. Although, I don’t care what others think, if you look at most people’s comments on TOI website, it seems that everyone has formed a virtual coterie out to hunt the immoral. That trend is disturbing.

    All conclusions in the blog beat my logic and like Reader i will soon get a doctorate, but in Physics. Sharimila, if you allow me, may i suggest you one good author to read (i do this to most friends), J Krishnamurti. I’ve been reading this guy’s work since I was 19 it has always made sense to me.

  4. Aish,

    Session one is finished. Next one is next week.

    It was brilliant. Enjoyed every moment. The bengali person on the panel turned out to be a man. He was interested in my take on the Kathopanishad. He was quite amused by my rationale.

    I am quite a narrator you know. I just go on and on forever, specially when I find someone who is ready to listen.

    The close out was interesting.

    “Mr. Kulkarni, what’s your mission?”

    I said, “I am not ambitious, Sir. But I am selfish. I don’t learn for doing anything, or for teaching anyone. I just enjoy the knowing.”

    There was no discussion about literature. Only religions – from concept to commissioning!

    • Glad you had a great time, Reader. Interesting topics discussed…

      Good start to good times ahead!

      • Thank you. And yes, happy days ahead. Must improve discpline and orderliness. I am investing in furniture and housekeeping till December.

        Housekeeping in every sense. Internal and external.

        Here is a clip to remember this day. Its long but every moment is worth it. Please listen to the excellent variations of the word ‘lehar’ (wave) composed by Ghulam Ali.

        My favorite lines in this ghazal:

        Kuch toh naazuk mizaaj hayn hum bhi
        Aur yeh chount bhi nayi hayn abhi…

        … … … I am a little bit sensitive by nature
        … … … And this injury is still fresh too…

      • What does shareeq-e-sukhan and hum-sukhan mean?

      • Shareeq is participation, sharing. Sukhan is joy. Shareeq-e-sukhan is the person who shares the joy.

        Hum-sukhan is the same like humsafar, person who is part of the joy.

      • Furnishing is fun. I love the hues of Nature for a home…shades of yellow, gold, orange, beige, wood, blues and greens…in pastels.
        Minimalist steel and glass with white walls is depressing…

        You have two homes to furnish! Lucky you!


      • Okay, as you say I shall make sure everything reflects the nature outside.

        Let me use my ingenious imagination on this:

        I’ll plant a few Nilgiris in the bedroom. Nice fragrance at night. Though, I think it might grow out of the roof after some time.

        I’ll cover the inner walls with a money-plant and outside with ivy.

        The floor in the drawing room should have a neat golf-course grassing with a large spinning sprinkler in the center of the room and drip irrigation lines along the skirting. That should be just fine.

        How about a small vegetable garden in the Kitchen? I can pluck from the plant, chuck it in the steamer and cook in a jiffy.

        I will make a borewell in the washrooms, with a long handle on the well-head. The spout shall look over the tub so that I can sit inside and pump the handle with one hand. Hmm… pretty good that. Egad! What a sight!

        For my study room, I’ll have a bonsai peepal tree. A bonsai peepal (banyan) is about 20 feet wide because the natural one is about 70 feet from there to there. I’ll place an armchair at a strategic position under it, and like Isaac Newton I’ll wait patiently for some apples to fall on my head.

        I know, I know, I know. Apples don’t grow on peeple. You really think I am not good at horticulture? I am going to tie and hang apples on the tree with nylon threads, and then wait for them to fall.

        After that I’ll discover the laws of physics at leisure…

      • Your house-warming gift will be a large jackfruit from God’s own country – dropped from the peepal tree.

      • For warming the house I had different ideas. But those are warm dreams…

      • Ahem ahem…

      • What ahem? Warm dreams, not wet or dry…

      • What wet? I was aheming about jackfruit halwa or coconut burfi. Warm.

      • Oh okay. The dreams were in the other string. I’m mixing up a cocktail.

        By the way jackfruit halwa puts me to sleep. I’ll go with the coconut barfi.

      • Done.

  5. The ideal voice of a shareeq-e-sukhan or hum-sukhan:

  6. My idea of a home and a hum-sukhan…

    “Farsh ho pyaar ka khushbuon ki deewarein
    Hum jahan baith ke chain se din guzaare..”

  7. A house needs the right ambience; I guess the rest falls in place

  8. Breaking News:

    As I had anticipated Swami Agnivesh has left the Bigg Boss house an hour ago.

    This episode should go on air tomorrow or day after.

  9. Anand Khare Says:

    Hi Reader,

    Sorry dear, I didn’t see any of your comments/mails. I had been very busy at work and off work. My mail box was overflowing. There is lot of turbulence going on at work. Pls see this link,



    I am one of those who has opted to go back to DOT. Many colleagues (300 across India) were relieved on Wednesday. I am not relived so far citing contingency plan. BSNL board is working on some restructuring in order to relive us all. It might take some time though.

    By the grace of God, father is recovering well. His neurological and urological issues are well under control. He has to undergo angiography /angioplasty in last week of Nov. It is planned at Medanta city hospital at Gurgaon.



  10. Anand Khare Says:

    This one is the latest in my work life.


    I am not one of them so far.



    • That’s alarming Anand. Will you report to the TEC if your name is picked?

      6000 Cr is an impossible gap. Like the IDPL saga in Hyderabad. IDPL was the pharmaceutical PSU which was raided by private investors and the bureaucracy.

      (In the private sector too, the Kingfisher bird is apparently being shot down by bigwigs in Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius and UAE, those who have invested in Jet Airways, Spice, Indigo etc. Seems like our nationalized banks and Insurance sector are going to pay for this. Private bankers like Citi and Stanchart are on the other side of the fence, so they wouldn’t save a stinking fish.

      Mallaya should contact Bajaj immediately. Rahul Bajaj has come out of such situations several times.)

      Never mind the commerce.


      • Anand Khare Says:


        Yeah, it is alarming. Like your own wedding bells;).But it may be good for me as I was trying my level best to come out of this rural posting. A blessing in disguise as they say.

        TEC would be a small stop over in the career as we are likely to move on to some other posting.Luckily,there is a huge demand of telecom professionals in Government. Young people no longer joining government jobs as they get huge compensation packs in pvt sector and abroad. So the demand for us is intact howsoever outdated our domain knowledge may be.:).

        What is the progress on book on vedas?



      • The book on Rig Veda is going very slow… I am in the middle of the second volume out of ten…

  11. Sharmila, Aish,

    Good Morning.

    There is something wrong. The silence is becoming longer by the day. Right now, I don’t know what I am doing here.

    My usual way of correcting a course is to think about it, find good evidences for speculative premises or drop them, and finally just do what is needed. The world gets to see only what I do.

    It’s never necessary to tell your audience what you are up to. But it is necessary to engage them with the aim of the forum, specially if the forum is the purpose or cause of the space-time.

  12. Reader,

    Good Morning.

    The blog will celebrate it’s second birthday soon. Yes, compared to last year, it is quiet. I feel many now are silent readers who drop in to read your comments. When they feel passionately about a subject, they comment.

    See the kind of crowd, trash and noise that AB has to deal with and I am glad this place is what it is. There are no manipulators here. No one who wants to befriend anyone for personal gains, to act in a movie, to meet AB, appear on KBC, be a free-loader, be a fake lover or whatever.

    There are no ulterior motives here. We don’t plan anything. We are busy people with full lives who enjoy a range of subjects and love reading your views and unique thoughts on them. We keep it healthy. I love that. The decorum of this place and the graciousness of its hostess is the USP of this blog.

    Hmm…lagta hai maine kuch zyaada hi bol diya. But I didn’t want you worrying about the occasional silence.

    The beginning of your work week after a loonnggg break! Vacation plans to make for next month and tickets to book! Good luck!



    • Aish,

      Yes, busy opening for the week. I may have to travel to the US instead of India. Still waiting for confirmations.

      I was in an ‘Ayn Rand’ mode early in the morning today. Woke up thinking objectivism.

      But these days, that sort of mood only affects my demeanour not the content or expression. I have crossed that teen age phase of faking attitudes.

      The internet often tempts people to relive those missed opportunities. Like saying or feeling things that were not felt or suppressed at the right time at the right place in the past.

      Earlier, as a fresh young lad in high school and college , I’d be carried away by the writers’ force and behave in conformance to their mighty themes. For several days after reading the books I’d talk like Howard Roark or John Galt or Zarathustra or Gandhi. That impact would fade out by the time my friends collected donations to admit me into the nearest sanitorium.

      In fact, Amitabh Bachchan, the most successful celluloid actor of the last millenuim, had the same impact on his admirers. People walked out of the cinema halls aping his style; throwing the knees out while walking, staring up at the ceiling, and then stumbling down the staircases. Even 4 feet dwarfs whispered like Amitabh Bachchan, “Haey… kya dekhta hay tum… tum saala sharif log, hum saala gunda, hayn?”


      PS: I am unable to see the full screen due to a technical snag in the display. So submitting this one without review. Unless a ‘not’ is missing, all sentences should make sense.. πŸ™‚ .

      • Oops:

        Re-writing Para 4:The social networks on the internet tempt some people to fake attitudes. In many cases I find it stems from missed opportunities in the past.

        In some cases it may be an escapist outpouring from a current real life conflict between ability and context.

        Who knows…

      • Reader,

        My intuition on people’s nature and intentions is rarely wrong. It has worked for me on the net as well without having to meet anyone. I am grateful for that. Why a schemer is a schemer or a gullible fool is gullible does not concern me because I am not here to take care of them. That I keep away from them is what is important to me. The noise decibels on other blogs was mentioned only to offer a contrast to the refreshingly calm ambience here…

      • Aish,

        Sometimes the silence here is deafening…

      • We’ll call it companionable silence…:)

    • Well said.. I am not regular on ABs blog as well. Cant seem to stand the fakery there.. But, if I have something to say, I guess I will appear there.

    • So sweet Aish.. thanks

  13. Anand Khare Says:

    Congratulations Sharmilaji,

    Having done two years of consistent brainstorming on this page running into two lakh comments. Most appropriately the birthday was on 11/11/11. Making it difficult to forget.

    God bless this blog with more life and information.



  14. Anand Khare Says:

    Ha ha,

    My b’day falls on 7th August. I thought it was blog’s birthday. I am really getting older by the day. Full confusion in life.


  15. At last, end of a rapid action day. Time moves faster than thought while one is working and slower than a confused turtle in a tsunami when one is idle.

    A good day on the whole, though nothing that can go on a public blog.

    Sometimes I feel, if the scientific and industrial community applied their rigid standards of work to their personal life, the world might be a more efficient place to live with.

    Just a general feeling, not referring to any particular occupation.

  16. Aish,

    I’ll begin a new string for this. I’m losing my way in the sharp darkness above.

    About uniform principles and practices in professional and personal conduct. As usual I’ll give my own example lest it sounds too cerebral.

    Back in 1994-95 I was not prepared for marriage. I was not financially independent and my method of working left little or no time for anything else.

    But my mother, her friends and kalmadi’s wife had other ideas. In their common opinion I was a wild horse that needed to be harnessed at the earliest.

    That was true in some ways. I would do a structural design in the morning, construction in the afternoon, estate agency in the evening, politics and performing arts at night. 24 hours were too short for my to-do list.

    They thought marriage would bring me back to the earth. I was a dreamer without any money. I hardly ever made money in those days.

    Besides, I firmly believed that a man who does not have money cannot afford a wife and family. Whatever be the purpose for which money is used, any relationship with a woman needs money in some form.

    And as I said, I was not prepared. I had everything else except time and money.

    The inevitable occurred eventually. I could not change my priorities. The marriage went to pieces. We parted peacefully on the grounds of incompatibility without either person feeling superior or inferior.

    The mismatch here is in the application of the same standards in professional and personal life.

    If I have to do a project in my profession, I state a concept or hypothesis, test its feasibility, do a basis for design, do an operability study, construct the project, commission the process and operate it for its designed life cycle.

    In real life I got married to someone who looked like a human female and was recommended by someone I trusted.

    • Reader,

      I was 17 when I fell in love with a typical M&B hero. He proposed to me because he thought I am hot. After 14 years, we know that those are not the qualities that keep a marriage going…

      I guess my words of advise to my daughter on this would be:
      1. Be prepared for marriage.
      2. Be willing to change priorities.
      3. Be aware that your partner is not a product designed to your desire.
      4. It is easier to be keep a job than stay married. The marriage project works only as long as you work on it.
      5. Trust your own instincts. Not mine. I married the M&B hero.
      6. Keep love and laughter alive in your life. Whether you choose to be married or not.

      By the end of my pep talk, I think she’ll be fast asleep…:)

      • Hmm.. 17 seems a bit too late. According to my authprized biographers I fell in love when I was 6 or 7. The girls name was Babli.

        As a social and legal contract, I think marriage means different things to men and women. The aesthetic expressions have changed with time but the gap in the perceptions has endured.

        That’s a good subject for a theme. To show how a perception has survived over the years regardless of changes in style and presentation.

        I can start from Dadasaheb Phalke, Bimal Roy, Satyajit Ray, to Barjatiyas, Kapoors, Anands, Chopras and Johars. All have the same theme in different formats.

      • Correction: Line 2, authorized biographers…

      • Let me see if I can find relevant clips on youtube

      • OMG! How many times have you been in love? πŸ™‚

      • I have never been out of it. It’s impossible to measure a ocean… πŸ™‚

      • Arre wah! Lol…

  17. Damn Shemarooent:

  18. Same year 1973… paradigm shift… by Raj Kapoor.. who else?

    • The 1975 ‘Julie’…

    • The bold woman of the 80s…

    • The Pause…so I don’t go on and on…:P

      • I have to see my dentist now. The stomach is burning with all those antibiotics.

        But here is one that set a different trend after the bold woman became a conspirator.

        The background is:

        The man uses his girl to lure a high value target, get married and dump him for a rich loot. This was the first footprint of Himesh Reshammiya:

      • My favorites after R.D., S.D. and Ilaiyaraja would be the duo’s/trios…Shankar Jaikishan, Jatin Lalit, Nadeem Shravan, Shiv Hari, Shankar Ehsaan Loy… Also Pritam Singh, Pritam Chakraborty… Not much an AR fan now… Himesh…I have never thought much of…

        Hope you are pain free soon. Tc

      • *Uttam Singh

        Also, Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal… So many great composers…

        For me, the style of Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik and Himesh are over the top…

    • The 90s…bubble-gum romance…

      • Ooty!!! πŸ™‚

      • I think you are on a different theme.

        I am trying to demonstrate the perception gap… not lemon popsicle…

        Wait, let me take it further.

        Where were we? The bold girl becoming a conspirator. Okay… coming up next…

      • Continuing from the bold girl of Himesh Reshammiya… Next evidence of the perception gap…

      • And finally, the status of the perception gap as of February 2011:

      • The woman was not always negative and bold. Which is why I mentioned bubblegum romance and gender differences in perception of love and marriage. Guess you want to speak of the male’s perception only…Cool…

      • Look at the long journey.. from hum aur tum aur yeh sama of Shammi all the way to Darling aankhon se aankhen chaar karne do…

        The gap is still the same from the first to the last. An adult woman personfies passionate belonging in love. The adult man personifies ownership.

        The perceptions differ and continue to differ…

      • I am not calling one negative or another positive. It is whatever it is.

        For me it is interesting. Not gender based, hopefully. I can’t deny that I have a man’s opinion.

      • That is the magic of movies. And a viewer’s freedom to perceive what he/she pleases. There is no ‘prescribed’ pathway. I was hoping for a more fruitful insight. Too bad it got narrowed down to nothing.

      • I started with a disclaimer, na? Not going cerebral on this…


      • From bold to conspirator to alcoholic to murderer was not convincing. That too with box-office disasters as examples and Himesh as the composer!

        Boys and girls are fun together. The fun is in their differences…as kids or adults…

        Good Night…

  19. More later in the evening.. leaving for a scheduled meeting…

    • On the gap in perceptions that has endured and how…in words too…


      • Coming up first clip after I return from the office: (No youtube here)

        The irrational and unreasonable morning after …. mera kuch samaan tumhaare paas pada hai…

      • Mera kuch saamaan.. happened in the last phase of of RD’s innovations.

        In my opinion, the rightful heir to RD Burman’s legacy is not AR Rahman. Even before Allah Rakha Rahman surprised bollywood with his holly-bolly-molly-tolly-lolly fusion, there was one named Himesh Reshammiya who swept music lovers off their feet with his extraordinary taste for the right combination of lyrics and rhythm. (Rahman ignores the lyrics in Hindi when it comes to rhythm and scale).

        Unfortunately some of Himesh Reshammiya’s best compositions cannot be watched without parental supervision. The hum-tum-kamraa-and-chaabi from Bobby seems religious in comparison.

      • What I feel has changed in the female leads over the years is that she is no longer the clingy dependent thing that needs to be constantly protected and at times of trouble runs to the temple and screams ‘He Devi maiyya, mere pati ki raksha karna!’

        Today’s woman is independent. One favorite character is that of Konkana Sharma in ‘Wake Up Sid’. Alone in the city, she finds herself a job she enjoys, and helps out a friend in need. Anushka Sharma in ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ is another. Yet another non-clingy character, but with shades of grey, would be Aishwarya Rai in ‘Dhoom 2’.

        The woman needs a man in her life now too. But as a partner. Not a breadwinner and bodyguard. Good for the guys. Kudos to the girls!

      • Hmmm.. do I sense feminism here? Let me double check…

        key words… female leads… clingy dependent… partner… breadwinner.. body guard…

        My personal take is:

        A woman has to deserve the man she admires, if she expecting establish a relationship. There is nothing subtle about that aspect.

        The days of swayamwar are long gone, when knights in armours proved their valor to win a princess.

        It has in fact turned around a bit now. Earlier, women were accepted by their pedigree, by the lineage she belonged to. These days no one believes in that sort of thing. She has to prove that she is fit for purpose, same as a man does.

        It’s a new trend for some parts of India. But it will prevail in due course. The advantage of being an underdeveloped nation is that we can look to the developed disasters and predict our own.

      • Your take is ‘male opinion’ and my take is ‘feminism’? Hmmm…fine…

      • What does, ‘Hmmmm… fine…’ mean?

        It’s a typical womanly ‘Okay’ that means ‘not okay’. Part of feminism. I can’t imagine saying that.

        If you think male opinion is always chauvinistic, would you wish to hear something that is neither male nor feminine?

        “Mayn jaa rahili thi naaaa, tabbich unne aake naaa.. he touched me you knooowwww… Mayn boli chal hutt saaaale…”

        Prakash Mehra, Manmohan Desai and Mahmood had at least one scene for these types in all their films, supposedly as a good luck charm..

      • Seems like there are many pyar ke dushman, not only Tayyab Ali…

      • I am not going to put up any clips on this type.

        Watched a spectacle called ‘Lakshmi’ last week on Bigg Boss. Funniest part was when Swami Agnivesh was under the same sky for 3 days.

        It did not dare talk to Swami Agnivesh. I was hoping the Swami would talk to it like he spoke to others. But there was such a freezing cold distance between the two, neither of them made any attempt to break the ice.

  20. Okay going cerebral, if you insist.

    I’ll begin with an apt quotation:

    When you live in a rational society, where men are free to trade, you receive an incalculable bonus: the material value of your work is determined not only by your effort, but by the effort of the best productive minds who exist in the world around you.

    When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible: for the work of the industrialist who built it, for the work of the investor who saved the money to risk on the untried and the new, for the work of the engineer who designed the machines of which you are pushing the levers, for the work of the inventor who created the product which you spend your time on making, for the work of the scientist who discovered the laws that went into the making of that product, for the work of the philosopher who taught men how to think and whom you spend your time denouncing.

    The machine, the frozen form of a living intelligence, is the power that expands the potential of your life by raising the productivity of your time. If you worked as a blacksmith in the mystics’ Middle Ages, the whole of your earning capacity would consist of an iron bar produced by your hands in days and days of effort. How many tons of rail do you produce per day if you work for Hank Rearden? Would you dare to claim that the size of your pay check was created solely by your physical labor and that those rails were the product of your muscles? The standard of living of that blacksmith is all that your muscles are worth; the rest is a gift from Hank Rearden (The Inventor).

    AR – Galt’s Speech in Atlas Shrugged

    • If we apply some of these simple principles to personal lives, each person would strive towards perfection.

      In my opinion, Love, affection, caring or sharing are not charitable acts. I agree with AR upto that. But I also believe that they are not negotiable instruments. Anyone who tries to negotiate human values is a fake.

      • And I believe, with all due respect to AR’s intelligence, that she is a spanner in the wheel of Love.

      • I have just taken 1 hour 15 minutes for dinner… biting like a rabbit…

        AR is too easy to understand for becoming a spanner. Tagore, Einstein, Thomas Hardy and the likes are almost impossible…

      • BTW, IF it was a gender dispute, I wouldn’t call AR a spanner…:)

        When OUR beliefs propogate love, I feel AR lays down rules on how to love. I feel that can mess up with the thinking of a young person trying to decode the world through her words… But I may be wrong…

      • Good Morning,

        AR is one of the greatest thinkers of her time. She has done us a favor by leaving all her thoughts in print.

        The best part of her nature is in her systematic process of thinking and eluciditing. She always begins with a definition, and keeps defining things right till the end. That’s an extraordinary skill. You call it decoding, and you are right.

        She didn’t know anything about Vedic civilisation. And what she saw or heard of its practice was shocking. I won’t blame her if she found it unnatural.

      • I believe the beauty of the Vedic teachings is in the format. Discourses in poetic form with situations and stories by some of the earliest and greatest ‘thinkers’. The teachings offer space for the reader to think and form their own definitions. The ‘Who knows’ that you often quote, I feel, is in itself, freedom for the reader…

        There are some things in life beyond the realm of the known that when defined, becomes restrictive to the freedom of thinking. I feel AR’s writing limits the reader’s thoughts. Her style and tone is that of a revolutionary. But I feel that would be apt for a person with a rebel’s spirit. May be I am too laid-back for her style. Too comfortable in my beliefs to read another school of thought. That may be my drawback…

        Who knows…


      • πŸ™‚

        A very common lapse about ‘Who knows…”

        If I am speaking for myself and about myself I cannot say ‘who knows’.. I know.. who else?

        Ayn Rand has to be read in isolation. It cannot be merged with any existing philosophy unless it matches with hers.

        Her style does not allow the reader to decide what she should think. She does all the thinking by herself, doesn’t leave blanks to fill. That’s a relief for lazy fellows like me.

        If I am accountable and responsible for my own life, I should also know the difference between learning and getting influenced.

        That takes some effort, usually a severe mid-life blue to shock and awe, and conquer.

      • You shift and shuffle statements to make your side right…


        Mr. ‘You know…’

      • I am biased about AR. Nothing on earth can make me see spiritual violations in AR’s writings. On the contrary, she celebrates human spirit like no one else has ever done.

  21. The lower jaw is numbed by the injections. Doctor saysI should have a cataflam before the effect recedes. She has drilled into the premolar like halliburton drills for oil…

    Good Night…

    PS: I love such thematic discussions. Doesn’t change my choices but gives me a different perspective. It’s only fun. Not life changing philosophy. I hope you are not making it a gender dispute…

  22. Male psychopaths on the loose. They don’t go well with songs like women with the haunting melodies of Lata.

    So, scenes:

    I am told that this one was a remake of Kamalahasan’s art film in Tamil.

  23. This one shifted the focus from the pure hatred of Jack the Ripper, to a psychological disorder.

  24. Anand Khare Says:

    The following is an email explaining love and arranged marriage to IT students-

    Love Marriage –Resembles procedural programming language. We have some set functions like flirting, going to movies together, making long conversations on phone and then try to fit all functions to the candidate we like. Similar to object oriented programming approach.

    We first fix the candidate and then try to implement functions on her. The functions are added to supplement the main program. The functions can be added or deleted. It is a throwaway type of prototype as client requirements rises with time thus it is a dynamic system and difficult to maintain.

    Requirements are well defined so use of waterfall model is possible. Family system hangs because hardware (called parents) is not responding. Compatible with hardware(Parents). You are the project leader so u are responsible for implementation and execution of PROJECT.

    Arranged Marriage — You are a team member under project leader (parents) so they are responsible for successful execution of project (Married life). Client expectations include exciting feature as spouse cooking food, etc. All these features are covered in the SRS as required features. Acceptance test possible you can try before you Buy. Product is sold on an as is where is basis. Product once sold will not be taken back!

    * Love Marriage is like Windows, beautiful … Yet one never knows when it will crash….
    * Arranged Marriage is like Unix… boring n colorless… still extremely reliable n robust.


  25. And finally the baap of all the baaps… the one completely over the edge… and how!

  26. Anand Khare Says:

    Reader bhai,

    I am reading all the chat between Aishwarya and you now. If you guys keep on writing such good stuff here, I am sure Sharmila will take a copyright on comments also.

    ‘Dil me ek lehar’ sunane ke baad college days yaad aa gaye. just shared it on my fb page. All old friends liking the stuff. Hostel nostalgia, you know..


  27. I am just a cook…

  28. Anand Khare Says:


    Reference recent price cut in petrol. Pls throw some light on this,

    1. How much refined petrol (Octane 93) can be obtained from one barrel of crude (we assume 125 USD for one barrel including the transportation to refinery)?
    2. What may be refining cost per litre of petrol in India?
    3. What may be the distribution cost including permissible evaporation?

    I want to know how much we are fooled by oil PSUs.


    • Anand,

      There are lot of misconceptions about the pricing of hydrocarbons in socialist countries like India.

      Firstly, crude oil is not sold or purchased in barrels. That is for the futures markets and stock trading.

      Crude is traded in metric tonnes. 1 barrel can weigh between 6 to 9 tonnes depending on the specific gravity. Some countries like Oman have heavy crude while some like in North Sea have light crude.

      In a refinery the cheapest and most abundant bi-product is petrol. It is about 30-35% by volume.

      The rest are comprised of naphta, kerosene (aviation fuel); Diesel, lubricants and tar.

      We are not considering hydrocarbon gases in these. Only fluids.

      In countries like India the pricing is inverted. The cheapest product is costliest while the costliest is cheapest because of the regime of subsidizing.

      If Vijay Mallya’s proposal to allow private industrialists to import fuel is accepted, the fuel mafia in India will go bankrupt.

      One barrel of crude costs about US$ 25 dollars from exploration, production, up to delivery. One barrel is 158 liters. So in terms of dollars per liter it is 25/158 which comes to some cents.

      Refining costs less than half of the production.

      It is a monoploy industry. There is nothing anyone can do about it.

      But Indian market is particularly devious. The pricing structure is absurd.

      I am in the middle of a program. Rushing out now. See you later.

  29. Anand Khare Says:


    More questions. When exploration cost is $25, how it is being traded at $100. Where is this international mafia?

    Is it safe to assume that petrol is costing about Rs.10/litre in India. But in order to sell kerosene @Rs. 10/litre, it is sold at Rs 70 a litre (incl state taxes). The retailer mixes half a litre of kerosene per litre of petrol and sell it @rs. 70 in market. OMG. This is a windfall.

    Why nobody makes a noise here while poor Kanimozhi is behind the bar for accepting few diamonds and sarees?

    Take ur time. No hurry. A student can wait.


    • Anand,

      Logically, petrol should cost 22 Rupees per liter including all incremental markups. Diesel should cost 20 and kerosene should cost about 45 Rupees per liter.

      That is at the current price of crude at 85 dollars a barrel.

      But hang on. There is always a but.

      Firstly, let me clarify that prices are NOT decided by demand and supply. That’s a gross deception. Prices are decided by the capacity of the buyer to pay.

      The fossil fuel industry is run by cartels across the world. In the US it is owned by the private sector. In the rest of the world it is owned by government arms. In India that arm is called a PSU.

      Petroleum is the mother all organic chemicals.

      Except food (if you exclude fertilizers), everything around us has at least one association with a petroleum product. Including pharma.

      90% of all aromatic compounds are derivatives of hydrocarbons.

      Even among inorganic compunds, for instance, the largest source of sulfur and mercury is crude oil, as also the largest supply of naturally occuring radioactive materials and pyroforic chemicals.

      The list is endless. From fertilizers, to food, medicines, explosives, plastics, textiles, metallurgy, you name it, every industrial process uses petroleum products.

      Having said that, this does not create a supply and demand gap. That is false. The world consumes ~85 million barrels a day against a production of 86 millions barrels per day. Don’t convert to liters, its mind boggling at 158 liters in a barrel!

      There is no shortage of supply.

      The economic strangel hold is with the cartels.

      Crude is auctioned in the open market. Not sold through bilateral agreements.

      These auctions are of two types. Spot sales and futures. Spot sales are for desperados and it works like a black market outside a cinema hall.

      The futures market is where the price is fixed at a future date of transaction. This was in US dollars for a long time till some anti-US lobbies started dealing in Euro. The US dollar still holds the largest share.

      Countries like India whose own production is a fraction of its needs have to buy the crude at the rates of the auction.

      Thats how it reaches 100 dollars a barrel.

      (Compare this to the MEP (Minimum Export Price) regime for export of food items from India. For instance, MEP for Sugar and onion are fixed by the government. The only way an exporter makes money is by sending larger consignments than shown in the shipping bills and under invoicing the actual amount, diverting the rest to foreign accounts. )

      I feel Mallya’s proposal to allow him to import aviation fuel is a step change.

      Unlike europe, middle east and africa, India does not need hydrocarbon for producing electricity, which is the major component in other countries. We prodcue hydel, thermal and nuclear power.

      If the market is opened up to international suppliers, fuel mafia in India will be choked to death.

      • The extra 2 Rupees of petrol over diesel is for removing the lead and sulfur dioxide to improve the fuel efficiency. Part of refining.

      • Forgot to say what is a cartel.

        A cartel is a company of individuals or group of companies that own the technology and the entire process from exploration, upstream drilling, gathering, production and delivery of the crude.

        They have enough money and resources to assassinate rulers, wage wars and invade any place on the planet where they find crude oil.

    • Anand,
      Your first question has the answer in it. “Traded”. Like how gold & sliver, crude prices are determined by the demand. For Eg. Now gold is trading around $1700 to $1800/oz. It doesn’t cost $1800 to mfg one oz of gold. The average gold mining and extraction costs were about $317/oz in 2007. This year it is around $1000/oz.

      Retailer mixing 50% Kerosene is a myth. If that is the case all of us would be covered with black smoke when we are in traffic. There is some adulteration happening in petrol supplied at retail units. Particularly in rural areas. But that is little & with some test we can find it out. In fact every common man has the rights to ask the retailer for a live check. Very rarely people check this. But still retailers maintain quality to some extent. Thanks to OMCs effort to curb adulteration.

      In present situation neither the OMC nor the retailer can make windfall profits. If that is the case politicians would leave politics & be full time owners of multiple petrol pumps. (Yes. There are some politicians who own many gas stations. Eg. Kalmadi. But that is not as lucrative as minister post.)

      The reason owners of retail gas station make above decent profit is-consumption. As you know, we had several price increase in the recent past & everyone(incl me) raised their voice against it. But next day, most of us, as usual, went to the bunk to pump some petrol & moved one. I never seen the crowd(Yes! Day time in Chennai, every bunk is crowded-always!) in a petrol bunk reduce due to hike!

  30. Ufff… tired…

    What a day! Went like a breeze… got out of bed at 0500 hrs in the morning and before I know it’s 0600 in the evening…

    I need to freshen up and eat something. I hate meals in 5 star hotels… tasteless, colorless, odorless… they say it’s good for a long life.. who wants live long eating that kind of food?…

    I am running out of energy… I don’t have the strength for a full song.. I’ll just humm a chorus and a tune… back in a jiffy…

  31. I am too tired now to say anything further. This blog has become an addiction.

    I’ll think about it tomorrow. If there is one. I don’t care if there isn’t.

    Good night….

  32. Weekend begins… enough time to think… but I must to a landing on this thing about the blog addiction.. can’t let it drag on.. a blog is not home…

    Off to see my beautiful dentist…

    She reminds me of this song…

    • Correction: i must come to a landing on…

    • Jane Austen wrote ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in the 18th century.

      This is its 21st century version… ‘Blind and Beautiful’

    • Hope the dentist leaves a few teeth. This song may not sound good when sung toothless.

      Thanks for posting this song. I love Sanaya Irani.

    • I need to rethink on posting songs frequently too. Sometimes I forget that my love for songs need not be a Universal phenomenon. Need to keep that in check. No blog addiction as such. But big time music addiction and I am not getting off it. There is no better high.

    • Blame it on the season. It’s freezing cold here. Deserts are cruel on live human bodies.

      • That’s another Himesh reshammiya.. As I said he is strictly adult…

      • Comparing with the fusion music of AR Rahman. He kills the lyrics for his music, but he makes up for that by selling it ahead of the release, because it takes time to sink in.

        Here’s an AR Rahman which is music with all lyrical sense wiped out, (even though the words are written by a veteran):

      • I like ‘Aye ajnabi’ in Dil se, lyrics and music…

      • AR’s music is classy even when the lyrics are suggestive. Songs like “Rukmani” in Roja, “Humma humma” in Bombay, and the latest “Katiya Karoon” in Rockstar are a few examples.

      • I am not able to hear the lyrics and the music at the same time. Both are excellent in their own places with nothing in common. That’s AR Rahman. He records the voice without music and the music without the voice and fused them in the final package. Something seems to be missing.

        Contrast this with a song in the same season by an unknown musician: (words, tune, music all are aligned to the same theme)

      • Well, it’s nice that you put up a Himesh song…I was going through that ‘What’s-so-great-about-AR?’ phase…NOW I know!:)

      • AR Rahman’s music is like Google translation. You can type it in Tamil and play it in any language in the world. You still don’t need the lyrics to like the music. You can feel the class of greek symphonies and sufi music in Rahman’s songs.

        Himesh began as a night club musician like Aadesh Shrivastav. Himesh was noticed by Salman Khan and Aadesh was noticed by Amitabh Bachchan. Himesh has moved on to be a part of the Khan coterie. Aadesh is now doing religion; his latest is a remake of Hanuman Chalisa written by Tulsidas during the reign of Emperor Akbar. (When Aadesh was a struggling keyboard player he played for the D-company in Dubai. The video of that show was released on Aaj Tak by someone who was jealous of his success.)

        That’s the simplicity of modern music. It can be trusted to have a source.

      • Himesh is awful. That’s my opinion. No big deal.

      • Here is AR Rahman’s sufi mix (picked off Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan).. whose class? Rahman’s or Fateh Ali Khan’s?

      • The greek inspiration:

      • You can feel the presence of Yanni in Pardes and Yuvraj.. all the songs, background scores and concerts!

        There is no such thing as fusion in Indian music. Originality is impossible.

      • The MUSIC is class. The follower trying to copy his idol is not a crime as long as the mentor was not offended. I doubt Fateh Ali Khan was or they wouldn’t have done Gurus of Peace together…

        After listening to this, you still feel the music of AR and lyrics are disjointed?

      • I don’t understand a word of Tamil. I don’t understand sindhi either. But I love sufi music.

        Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan composed his own music, which is a tradition in those parts, like Ghulam Ali, Jagjit Singh etc. They pick a famous ghazal or song and compose the music to express the words correctly. I like that kind of work even if it doesn’t always hit bulls eye.

        Yanni’s copositions are legendary. Again, like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, they cannot be integrated backward.

        I have nothing against Rahman. He is inspired by the best and able to show that he can also do their kind of work. No doubts about that. In fact he even adds digital flavor to the raw sounds of Yanni and Sufi music.

        In Hindi, he is quite dismissive about lyrics. The emotional content of the words and his electronic tunes never match.

      • Reader, Tamil katthukkonge!

        Learn Tamil…


      • Imagine Himesh compose Kehna hi kya…

        Kehnaaaaaaaaaaaa hi hiiii hiiiiiii..(nasal twang and two grunts later)…kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

      • Himesh would never sing such a song. he is from the Salman sector.

        Himesh makes himself crystal clear in his songs. Doesn’t leave a trace of doubt about what he means…

        If he says, ‘jhalak dikhalaaja, ek baar aaja aaja.. etc..’ by the time he is finished you are sure what he means…

        I am told that doctors are prescribing this one on the iPad for patients of constipation…

      • Lol…Reader! Himesh ke gaanon ka kuch toh faayda hua…

      • I dont’ respect this kind of music. You hear one song and you can tell what’s coming next. Mostly same wine in different bottles. Like participants in KBC.

        You probably assumed that I was preferring Himesh to Rahman or vice versa.

        I only said that the first one in bollywood to open that front was Himesh. Not Rahman.

      • BTW, there is only one song which is not composed by AR Rahman. That is humma humma… It is done by a goan guitarist named Remo Fernandez…

        (You can feel the difference in the instruments used and the goan-portugese touch including the beat in the voice. AR Rahman chooses voices with classical training.)

        I love this song for a different reason… I was stumped by that marathi girl…

      • I mean in the movie Bombay…

      • One of Sonali Bendre’s best songs… I mean one in which she takes the audience for a long ride… πŸ™‚

      • Humma Humma was composed by AR. Remo is the singer.

        What front did Himesh open in Bollywood?

      • That’s not right. Rahman did not compose that song.

        Remo was not credited for the song in the titles. He claimed it after the release. And I have seen him live at Anjum where he announced that.

      • Must be the Marathi factor… You love everything Maharashtrian…:)

      • You asked, what front did Himesh open in bollywood?

        hey bhagwan, puri Ramayan ho gayi aur ab aap puuchate hain ki Sita Raam ki kaun thi…

        Devi ji, Sita Raam ki saans thi… saans manne mother-in-law

      • Okay. AR is not responsible for your root canal. Let’s leave the poor guy alone for a while.

        Remo and Rahman! Chalo dosti karo! No more katti. Humma is Remo’s. Remo, take it and go sit in your corner.

        That’s settled.


      • Himesh kaun? πŸ™‚

      • Okay. Peace.

        I am going to take a power nap and dream that Sonali Bendre is doing the root canal on my tooth…

        Back in an hour…

      • Ab Himesh ke baare mein hum kya bataaye mausi ji… buss khandaan ka pataa chalte hi aapko khabar kar denge…

      • Koi zaroorat nahi bitwa…tum so jaao…

        Sonaliji! Dentistji! Inke saare ke saare daant nikaal do…

      • No…no extractions…

        Sweet dreams with Sonali…

      • Oops… Overslept… very bad.. sleeping at odd times in the day.. now I’ll stay awake all night… gesundheit…

    • Hope there is total pain relief and teeth to chatter by the end of the session. Tc

      • Just back. Lower jaw is frozen by the local anaesthetic. Can’t talk without biting the cheek, tongue or lower lip.

        No pain. I chat anyhow.

        I am the patient and the dentist is patient. She is not as blind as Kajol in that song. That’s a positive I think.

        In fact, I have to close my eyes when she works on the root canal, to avoid distracting her. That’s a preventive measure as you may have guessed.

      • I haven’t had many eye-closing moments lately. College was a different story…

        During final year orthopedics, in a rush to catch the bus to attend noon classes, I sped through my case presentation. “Family history. Married. 3 kids. Third kid after physiotherapy.” The handsome asst. prof, brow raised, asks me, “Doc, you think that’s how we make babies…?”

        Aaargghhh…major eye closing moment…!

  33. Anand Khare Says:

    Thanks Reader and Muraliraja,

    Now at least I can open my mouth whenever crude and petroleum products are talked about.

    My gratitude,



  34. Muraliraja Says:

    Tadap Tadap from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam song composed by Ismail Darbar. In fact he won National award for the music of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam in 1999. Recently he took a dig on ARR.

    • Thanks Murali,

      I didn’t know he had got an award for that. I saw him in Bigg Boss last year. Quite pathetic in person. But very innovative in terms of folk music from UP and Bihar.

      I hope his tadap tadap was not a one-off adrenaline rush. That was wonderful work!

  35. Why am I addicted to this dark space? Why do I spend so much time in this silent all absorbing solitude?

    It is not a retreat. Not at all. It is actually a reflection of this room I sit in. Equally speechless and distant.

    I do not seek shadows for company. They come and go with light.

    I smile and grow within my own loneliness. Be it here in my life, or there in cyber space.

    • That is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.. the maestro… in sufi style… words… notes… rhyme and rhythm.. all blending into one single emotion… a gifted artist… originality in every breath…

    • Sad that after all my comments, you prefer to refer to the blog as silent all-absorbing solitude.

      • Don’t you feel that way? As if with every comment you are lighting a small lamp in a dark, abandoned temple?

        The black background probably raises the pitch.

        As Sahir says:

        Uff, yeh bedard siyaahi, yeh hawa ke nohe
        Kaun jaane iss raat ki sehar ho ki na ho…

        … … … Uff, this feelingless darkness, the sharp arrows of the wind

        … … … Who knows if this night will ever see the dawn…

      • The temple is abandoned when the deity deserts it, not the devotees…

    • AB has clarified some details on Aish’s delivery. Was not expecting it. Surprised!

  36. Just one more. Another original work which was remade into several languages in Asia. Even Aamir Khan picked up this one for one of his films called Raja Hindustaani.

    • I am not taking a dig at AR Rahman. I am just saying that I am yet to hear anything from him that has never been done before. That doesn’t mean he is bad. He is excellent at what he is doing.

      • Have you watched Rockstar?

      • I have heard all the tracks on youtube.

        I think you should not lower your expectations if you are paying to hear music. You deserve better than that.

        Here is the producer’s official release about the soundtrack:

        The music for the film is scored by A. R. Rahman replacing Imtiaz Ali’s previous associate, Pritam. The soundtrack features 14 tracks overall, with all lyrics penned by Irshad Kamil. Mohit Chauhan had lent his voice for nine songs. The audio rights were bought by T-Series. According to Rahman, Rockstar is “a character driven film and as one can guess from the title, there will be lots of guitar”. Rockstar is a musical journey that sails through classical rock, ballads, Gujarati folk, the Sufi music and even a gypsy note from an unheard Czech tradition .

        AR Rahman is not a genre like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (sufi), Yanni (ensemble), Elvis (Rock and Roll), Deep Purple (Hard Rock) etc. He copies right left and center with little or no regard for the lyrics.

        What’s a song without respect for words?

        Never mind, don’t answer. I am not coming back here again.

        Bye. And I really mean it Sharmila. Nothing personal.

      • Ciao for now, Reader.

        Past experience and statistics indicate that you will be back after a certain time has elapsed.

        Your small attending crowd will be here and waiting.


  37. Okay. This is it. I have thought over this.

    I am going to take a sabbatical. I don’t know who is in the hospital, Aishwarya Rai or Sharmila. Or both.

    I feel like I’m encroaching this space.

    Happy New Year, if I am not back by then.


  38. Miss your comments Reader…

  39. Interesting discussion here. Any more original videos to share?

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