Monday, November 27, 2006

Breaking News: The Great Indian Conspiracy!

India sits up and listens anxiously with eyes glued to the News Channels – the “Great Indian Tamasha” has begun! This festival has a speciality – no one knows when this would flare up, announcing its arrival on stage. One fine day, the average Indian wakes up to it and realises this is already underway!

This usually involves two main parties – and a lot of others jumping on to the bandwagon, cruising along in the spirit of the gala. One of the two parties is a permanent player and the other one is selected on a rotating basis. The permanent one: Board of Confusion and Controversy in India, the BCCI. The opponent that has decided to entertain the public this time around is the Parliament, also called the Body of MP’s, also known as the Body of the Mentally Perturbed. The two warring parties have joined hands to entertain the bored Indian citizen. In this gala, as per the rules, something needs to be held at stake. A “stake” is an object that is hit from one party to the other, very much like the Tennis ball hit vigorously between the courts. A very magnanimous Mr Greg Chappell has volunteered to take the role of the ‘Stake’.

The gala begins this way: The Indian cricket team (it is actually not a team but just a group of people working with totally incongruent goals aimed at maximising each one’s personal fortunes), which is basically composed of some boys picked from the side walks of different towns of India, fails miserably in the second One Day game. (The rain Gods of South Africa lent a badly needed helping hand to the yet-to-mature kids in the first game). As if to reconfirm the ‘team’s’ terrible state and to project an image of consistency, the kids buckled under absolutely no pressure to dig a trench all for themselves and settled comfortably in it, piling up one over the other.

That did it. The Mentally Perturbed hit the ‘stake’ and the stake gave a weird sound out on being hit, that let the billion dollar secret cat out of the Parliamentary bag into the open – that the MP’s were very good commentators and deserved to be travelling with the cricketing kids, rather than locking themselves up within the old, decaying walls in the Capital City of India. (What Harsha, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri would do then if the MP’s took positions at the commentary box is a totally different issue altogether – Clearway would look at the issue at a later date in a special episode). Now, the BCCI, very true to its name, protects the stake on one hand, appeases the MP’s on the other hand and is actually confused on its third hand. Thus began the Great Indian Tamasha in South Africa!

However, there is a conspiracy to the whole issue that Clearway has unearthed with its Secret Intelligence Bureau! As in most detective stories, the culprit happens to be someone who has not been suspected at all, but one who was brutally hit earlier and is on an avenging spree! The culprit comes on the scene, but only along the sides and shows the least involvement in the proceedings to create alibi. And the culprit is . . . the former Indian Captain, Sourav Ganguly!!!

Clearway has learnt from totally unreliable sources that Sourav had a series of telephonic conversations with Master batsman (and Super Model) Sachin Tendulkar. From the records, Clearway has found that the two conspired to throw two people – the Indian Captain Rahul Dravid and the coach (the ‘stake’ in this case) Greg Chappell - out of the Indian team. Sachin has made the necessary arrangements in the ‘team’ so that they perform really badly (a not-so-difficult proposition for the Indian kids anyway) to put Chappell and Rahul in a spot. And when Chappell is busy facing the Mentally Perturbed, Sachin, with the rest of the team, somehow managed to get Rahul’s finger fractured (and how they did it is still being investigated by Clearway). With a fractured finger and a beleaguered team, Rahul is out of the competition now. That was the plot in Phase 1 of Plan A.

With Chappell cornered and Rahul out, it is child’s play to guess what Phase 2 is all about: Sachin has conspired with Saurav in making a grand entry of Saurav into the Indian team possible, this Festive Season!

Whether the twosome succeeds in their ulterior intentions, remains to be seen in the days to come.

Whatever the outcome, the Indian public is always at the forefront of any festival and the average Indian citizen is bound to benefit immensely from the proceedings. And as for the Mentally Perturbed, they did need something to keep them busy this winter – the Speaker of the Parliament (who so very often develops a sour throat shouting at the unruly gang in front of him) was always chiding them for sleeping and snoring on the floors. At least now, they have an opportunity to give their opinion to Television Channels. And having an opinion on Cricket is a basic criterion to be an Indian, after all.

For the sake of the average Indian, Long Live the Great Indian Conspiracy!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Why do blogs lack sting and bloggers, spine?

Coming to think of it, I feel people badly deserve strong doses of drugs that would induce them to think. The human mind is something that would go rusted and rotten if left unused for relatively long periods of time.

Blogs were discovered when inventors researched and found out that the creativity in the human brain would dry out completely and stereotype would become the world’s (inter)national anthem if there was not a medium of expression that was free of any inhibition. Web logs came to be man’s perfect means of speaking his mind. I could call people names, post porn, call for freedom, admonish the President, advocate homosexuality, condemn terrorism, preach free-trade, promote piracy . . . well, the choice is just endless, virtually.

So, why don’t people shoot it straight? Why the mask when the person himself is invisible? Why would someone want to fall in line with a stereotype so desperately, be absurdly ingratiating and make heroes out of molehills so timidly?

Some posts and their meek comments are plain ridiculous. Yes, this is a free world and you are free to do whatever you want to do. But then, why not do something that you really want to do? Whom are you trying to please? If you can’t talk straight virtually, what could be expected of you in reality?

Whatever you are, be just that. You don’t have to change the world – you can at least speak your mind. You will not be gunned down for stating your view; but there is no point walking around in your body if you are already dead.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Saving Lives: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. I was taking a walk when I chanced upon the board at a Day-care Centre for the elderly, which encouraged people to be “Life-savers”. The service is being run by Nightingales Medical Trust, Bangalore.

It was an exciting prospect to know what it would take to save lives. Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation – or CPR, as it is known – is about the first aid that is to be administered to people who suffer from sudden Cardiac and/ or respiratory arrests, when the victims’ hearts stop working or when victims are unable to breathe. This leads to cardiac arrest, which may eventually be fatal. The purpose of the workshop was to educate participants to resuscitate people who are sinking after heart attacks or heart failures.

The workshop lasted for a couple of hours and cost two hundred rupees. Given the potential benefit to people through the programme, the cost in terms of time and money was virtually negligible. Apart from the theoretical part of it (which was administered by practising doctors and was extremely informative), there were practical sessions where the resuscitation process was practised on mannequins that made participants get a feel of the nuances involved in the simple yet critical procedure. And the interesting aspect of the session was that practising physicians and medical students were part of the participants! That was not something one would expect to find in a session on first aid.

Given that anyone could fall prey to sudden cardiac attacks under any circumstance, I found it was absolutely essential that we need to be armed with these vital skills that may save lives in the precious moments immediately following heart failures. After all, two hours over a weekend could make a world of difference to someone.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Marriage Portals: Mere Money Machines? In Focus -

What’s your idea of a marriage portal? Cool? Friendly? Pleasant? Have you ever wondered about these adjectives, rather? Marriage portals can be obnoxious, irresponsible and dangerous! The portal in focus:

The profile of Mr X in, a unit of was copied word-to-word by another member, Mr. Spurious. Clearway has evidence to this in the form of e-mail interactions with where Mr X represented the issue to the portal and expected a response and some action. The first of such interactions occurred in the first half of October 2006. As of today, no action has been taken to bar Mr Spurious or to cancel his account.

Well, what’s the big deal about copying a profile? To put things in perspective, Mr X says he loves taking risks and he conveys the implicit message that he is honest in what he says about himself. And Mr Spurious says the same, using the same set of words. Mr X loses nothing when some stupid copy-pastes his profile. The loser would be the girl who trusts the profile of Mr Spurious as true and her family who arrange for her marriage with a fraud who steals words to project himself as a candid enterprising individual. If you were a parent or a guardian of a loving daughter, would you want to see her married to a rogue?

Clearway’s charge-sheet: Parents trust with the lives of their kids when they post and browse for profiles of prospective brides and grooms. It is Bharatmatrimony’s responsibility to screen through profiles and prevent the cheats from luring women into the vicious webs they weave. Now that they claim to have entered some record books for the number of marriages that they have arranged for, it is a question worth asking if they really are worried about the Quality of marriages that they facilitate, as much as they do about the quantity. Perhaps, they believe in revenue rather than in sincere service?

If Bharatmatrimony doesn’t wake up from its coma and realise what’s at stake, Clearway will take every step to make sure the portal sits up and listens. And this is a message to every other irresponsible website that wouldn’t care any less for its patrons. A link to this post will be sent to for its reference. Clearway awaits a response.