Sunday, May 18, 2008

Leaving Austin..

My time at Austin draws to a close :-( . And this feeling is inescapable. Its like reading the last few pages of a novel. There is this quiet excitement of the new one u are about to pick next but also a strong nostalgia about the atmosphere it had created all this while. Austin would always be special to me as my first habitat out of India. Made even much more special by such a hilarious time spent with friends. One by one, many of them have left by now and I am left to roam through these streets we drove through, these restaurants we ate at, these movies we saw together, those jokes we invented, those songs listened together, sung together and these dead leaves which were strewn by the hail storm a few days ago. Very soon, I too will be gone. But Austin, you will be .. will be.. remembered.


Slang on tongue
No one sober
In Austin we were
In Austin we were

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Film : Indian Democracy, Starring : The Supreme Court

Three cheers to the Supreme Court of India for re-instating Prof. Venugopal as AIIMS Director. If you are unaware of the issue, the Central Government had, about 6 months back, terminated Dr. Venugopal's tenure unceremoniously with a Parliamentary Act. With the first hand information that I happen to have in this case, I agree with the reports claiming that all the reasons cited by the Govt. (read as 'The Health Minister'), were lame and that the real issue was just some personal differences between our Health Minister and the AIIMS Director. Should our premier institutions run on personal whims of our politicos? Is the primary duty of AIIMS/IIMs/IITs etc to serve the ego of their so-called man in the cabinet?

Dr. Venugopal, an internationally acclaimed surgeon, performed first successful heart transplant in India. He enjoys a great rapport among the students and the faculty. Students think he voices their interests and concerns up to the Govt. The whole community, including the students and a majority of the doctors, were very disappointed with the outrageous sacking of their favorite director. They tried to oppose, wrote letters, did strikes, but all the resistance was astutely crushed.

Anyways, the Supreme Court's judgement brought a welcome respite in AIIMS' life. They are very excited about having their mentor back (their wikipedia entry on AIIMS was updated the same day to celebrate Venugopal's homecoming) and their morale is high (which is very important in a doctor's case. You can't risk your doctor's anger :-) Can you? ).

Wow, its fun to be judgemental :-)

Before I end, I am unable to ignore the Supreme Court's role not just in this case but in the larger context of Indian Democracy. If I am not wrong there have been number of times when the Supreme Court came out pro-actively, thrashed the executive, and took decisions which were seen as correct for a 'progressive' India. Of course, here, my definition of progressive would be influenced by what my text books or what the media taught me about how the progressive India should be. So, instead of labeling those decisions as correct or incorrect, lets say that they at least changed the course of the nation. For good or for bad ?, thats another debate. One of these was the land reforms on the Zamindari system, another is the AIIMS one and may be several others. What surprises me is the fact that how come Supreme Court is able to take such tough decisions against the incumbent govt, when the Govt. has a role in the appointment of Supreme Court's judges (i think thats what those civics textbooks used to say). Hmm... I guess it would be a good study to pick some of these landmark judgements, check out the composition of the bench which took those decisions and research on how those judges were appointed to the Supreme Court. I shall keep it for my next post.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Just like that

When creativity knows no bounds ..

Sometimes, I wonder, in scenes like this, whether the stunts director really thought it would give us a thrill or if he intended it to be a comedy only :?)
[ I saw it here ]