Conrad, Apples and Wine.

My friend Conrad had this to say about my earlier post ‘Sartorial Splendour’.

“Marvelous! Might I say that you look as comfortably dressed as any clothing combination I can imagine would offer. I also notice that you have retained the devilish good looks of your youth, but ripened as does a fine wine. I am certain the attraction of women continuously to you is an annoyance, but all of us have problems in life.”

I have promised to dedicate this post to him. The following comment was sent to me by a lovely lady from Scotland. She has got just the right response for Conrad’s comment.

Apples and Wine.

Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that are not so good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Now men…… are like fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it is up to women to stomp the s**t out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Conrad, I look forward to comments with eager anticipation. All my other readers, please feel free to add too!

Sartorial Splendour.

Conrad in his latest blog post has asked me one, oops two questions and instead of providing him with a photograph of me in a suit, I have offered to share a photograph of me in our native costume. This is the one that I am most comfortable in, and in which most people who call on us see me.

What I am wearing on top is called a kurta which is a loose fitting shirt with half collar and instead of trousers, I am wearing a lungi. The lungi is just a long piece of cloth stitched in the middle to form a cylinder. I alternate between a coloured lungi and a pure white one. The kurta is also white or coloured but most of mine are white.

The question/s that Conrad asked:

“One question I have for you. Do you think that India will now drop its American imitation and return to more Indian tradition? Or do you see instead a very different cultural alloy in the Indian future?

Wait, does that count as two questions?”

No, India will not drop the western style clothing in the foreseeable future. By Western I mean, predominantly trousers/jeans/slacks and shirts/t-shirts, jerkins etc. You will come across in cities most men in such clothes as they are functional and easily maintained. Women too increasingly are wearing slacks, jeans etc though mostly they wear what are called salwar kameez combinations. These are loose or close fitting trouser like bottoms and long kurta like tops. These choices however or in the cities and particularly in the Northern parts of the country where the winters are extremely cold.

Rural India though is predominantly still wearing traditional clothes which will be either dhoties, which are long pieces of cloth worn round the waist or passed between the legs to form a kind of trouser effect. Change towards trousers is taking place quite rapidly there too. For the top, a long collared shirt worn outside or a kurta is still favoured. The colour is almost always white.

In cities, in certain professions and positions people wear suits and ties though they are much less in number. This is a growing trend particularly with organiztions with international dealings.

The Nehru jacket as Conrad calls them, are still favoured by some and almost all our political bigwigs wear them for formal occasions. I used to, but gave them up because I could not easily access my upper inner pockets like I could using jackets.

Ladies still wear saris in various ways. These are increasingly for formal wear and the switch to the more convenient salwar kameez is quite rapid.

Change is taking place but I expect that all the traditional and modern styles will continue to co-exist.

India is a land of contrasts and you will see a wide variety of choices of personal clothing and styles as well as the way of wearing of them. To change the whole 1.3+ billion of us completely to some kind of a uniform dress will take a couple of centuries, I should imagine.

Do I Have A Chance In The USA?

My friend Jerry had posted a blog in Indiana and I had commented on it. That was the first indication that I may give serious consideration to emigrating to the USA. Later, he posted another blog about a forthcoming meeting where he was to talk about his book. I emailed him requesting for a transcript and he replied – I quote him, “What, do you mean? Can’t you simply hop on your private jet and fly here? :)” I replied that I would first settle in the USA, make my money there and then would buy my private jet.

Another friend, who is now an American citizen has been very disappointed that I never gave serious consideration to following him there. As an incentive to suggest ways of making quick money in the USA, he recently sent me the following note. He said that I was inventive enough to get into some scrape somewhere and do what the following seven people did.

It’s time again for the annual “Stella Awards!”

For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?

That’s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratchier handy.

Here are the Stella’s for the past year:

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps.
Go ahead, grab your head scratcher….

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count ’em, EIGHT days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish.

Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000
for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.
Keep scratching. There are more…

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella’s when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a
pellet gun.

Grrrrr, scratch, scratch.

Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Hang in there; there are only two more Stellas to go…
Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000, oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

1ST PLACE: (May I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please)
This year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32 – foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave
the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set the Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Are we, as a society, getting more stupid?
Maybe it’s our courts. Yeah!

Most of you have got a rough idea about me by now. Do you think that I stand a chance in the USA?

Pakistan’s Response To India’s Dossier on Mumbai Attack.

My posts recently have been rather morbid and just in time, cartoonist Ajit Ninan of the Times of India has come out with a brilliant cartoon.

A little background information to my readers. India submitted a dossier to Pakistan, containing all the evidence gathered by us on the attackers, the boats used, the weapons seized, documents seized, transcripts of cell phone conversation between the terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan etc. Most of this evidence was also corroborated by the FBI of the USA. First, Pakistan’s highest authorities said that they received just information and not evidence and subsequently said that they were proceeding on their own investigation on the evidence produced and so on so forth. Pakistan has been in denial and confirmation and there seems to be no coordination between various players on the matter. Some comic statements have been coming out of Islamabad and Pakistani leadership is the biggest joke in India today. So much so that there is a current school of thought that President Musharaff was better to deal with and perhaps would have handled this matter with far more finesse and diplomacy.

This cartoon sums up the general mood about the situation.

I hope that you enjoy this as much as I did and continue to whenever I see it.

Start Telling All The Truth Now. Pakistan – Afghanistan War.

What a heading for a post!

Start Telling All the Truth Now

• Stop “bs-ing” the American people. Tell them what new draft US intelligence assessments say, provide the level of transparent and honest reporting that prepares them for the necessary level of sacrifice. Do not issue another vacuous Department of Defense report like that issued in the June. The December report should at least equal the level of similar reporting on Iraq. Prepare the nation for a long war; build up credibility and trust.”

Have you noticed something peculiar in life? I recently bought a new book written by one of India’s iconic businessmen. I am very impressed about it and the only reason that I have not blogged about it is because it is one hundred percent India-centric. I however want to give the book a lot of word of mouth publicity and I talk about it to any body who will listen. Amazingly enough, in about 80% of the time, the listener has either already heard about it or bought it. It seems to be the rage just now. When I mentioned this in passing to Ranjan, he said that when he bought his new car, a new model, he found that he kept coming across others with the same model everywhere.

Just like these two examples, I seem to keep running into the Indo/Pakistan/Afghanistan conudrum being written about a variety of people in very different publications.

The opening paragraph in bold letters of this post is not something that I have cooked up. This is from an American source. For my American, British and Australian readers, whose citizens are in Afghanistan, this is vital reading. This particular report was written in October 2008. I got reference to it from a report published on January 29, 2009. In the earlier report, the author clearly states, and I quote him – “We are running out of time. There will not be any single moment of crisis in the Afghan-Pakistan War, but we cannot afford to go through another year in which we fail to deploy key capabilities, giving the enemy the initiative. This is all too clear from recent CSIS reporting on the course of the war since 2005. This reporting is entitled “Losing The Afghan-Pakistan War? The Rising Threat,” and is available on the CSIS web site at: You can copy paste this in your browser and have a look. In the meanwhile, another exhaustive study, which is even more alarming has been presented in another pdf file which you can read by clicking here.

Dear readers, particularly my American ones, you have access to your Congressmen and Senators and other influencers of policy. Almost all of you also have your own blogs.

What I have written above comes to inform you of what is perhaps not given wide enough publicity in the USA, despite the source being a highly reputed American foundation. That being the case, other countries with their men in Afghanistan, would have had even less access to these alarming findings.

My interest in the matter is known to all of you. I dread the prospect of Pakistan imploding. The ramifications for India are too serious not to take whatever action as an Indian that I must take.

Please spend the time it will take to study the links in detail. You will understand my anxiety and I hope that you will realize the seriousness of the situation.

If we do not take concerted action, which may well include action from India in some kind of cooperative venture, it may be too late for the world as we know it to be now.