Saturday, June 28, 2008

And new ones

Leopard’s spots

I was watching the second one day international between West Indies and Australia, and was disgusted by Mr. Ponting; once again. A caught behind appeal was rejected, and Mr. Ponting showed his displeasure in his usual infantile manner. The umpire was officiating in his first one day international, and to his immense credit, was not overawed by the Australian captain. Mr. Ponting’s visible contempt for anybody disagreeing with him is condemnable. He is back to his old habits, and leaves us dismayed at his consistency to belittle opponents, officials and everybody who he can threaten. Kumble was correct; when Mr. Ponting plays the game there is one person less playing in the spirit of the game.

Oil’s not well

I was watching a programme called “crude realities” on CNBC with a bit of curiosity, not the least because I am involved in this field. A commodity trader, of Indian origin, was being interviewed, and I was fascinated by his greed, concealed by a thin veneer of sophistication. The supply not keeping up with the demand was the reason mooted by this ’expert’, a fact well known in the oil and gas industry for at least five years. I guess a number of other people would have known this a long time ago, but the well kept secret of the Middle East countries, did not come out easily. Anyway, take it from me, oil above $100/ bbl is a fact we will have to live with in the foreseeable future ( 5-10 years). After that who knows!

Digesting the digested

It was with nostalgia I read the Guardian Review’s digested read- The Great Gatsby. I read the electronic version of this novel in office, trying to pass time, when business was down. So, getting paid for doing nothing was nice, but it did not last long. Reading the book then felt different than now. But I was reading a much shortened version, and obviously the mystery of the storyline was missing. The conclusion was as much as a stunner thenn as it was now, and parallel;s between 1920’s America and present New Delhi is a bit of shock. The sheer superficiality of society’s rich and famous is stunningly similar.

Are war drums beating?

Did you read that Israel carried out a dry run of an air strike, apparently against Iran’s nuclear facilities? I am amazed that such sensitive information could leak out. Has anybody in India ever heard of a similar exercise carried out by the Indian forces? This information was leaked out, and not surprisingly, oil price peaked at $140. I don’t believe it is possible for Israel to carry out such an attack easily and without penalizing recuperations. So what is happening? I could spin out a few conspiracy theories, but who cares. They might all be true.

Old Promises

14 January 2008,

On anonymity

I have decided to keep this blog anonymous, and have sought support from all unknown quarters to justify this decision. Watching Barkha Dutt rail against anonymous blogers spreading vicious rumours on her Sunday circus did get my attention. And so did the Guardian Review main article; a review of the book “Anonymity” by John Mullan. Interestingly the review mentions that writers like Lewis Carol, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott published anonymously; so why can’t we? Some other advantages may also come by; revealing closely guarded secrets would be easier. Of course, it is not impossible to track down a person in today’s wired world, but who would want to spend time and effort in trying to nail down a poor blogger? Hoping it stays that way!

Recalling China

Everyday I hear a new horror story emanating from products made in China. The decibel level is not too loud in India, but the developed nations have just about had it. Apart from toys containing lead paint, dangerous products include toothpaste containing a carcinogen ( Ethylene Glycol- the coolant in your car; which degenerate mind would put coolant in a toothpaste?) and artificial knees ( containing too much Iron). I wonder what else is happening in the Indian market with its notoriously lackadaisical regulations. Hey, tell you what: for starters let us stop buying anything made in China. Hope this does not put a spanner in the PM’s trip.

Desperately seeking Green

With green being the colour of the year, it is with interest I read about General Motors buying a stake in a start up - Coskata. Apparently, Coskata has discovered a process to make Ethanol out of waste by Gasification and bacterial action. Well, good for them; but what made this interesting was a) a car maker is now trying to make fuel. It is like GM and ExxonMobil joining hands. One can just see the birth of an ultimate Big Brother company and b) Vinod Khosla, the ubiquitous rich Indian American which every NRI hopes to become, has invested in this. Now what is a silicon valley die-hard doing in a dirty, sleeves rolled up company? I smell something- dal me kuch kala hai. Or hara hai?


I had heard that the British Library had put up images online form their archives, and on exploring the site it was a delight to see decent quality images ( photos, paintings and maps) available online. I searched for images from India and 21 pages spewed out. On casual browsing I was impressed by these.