Tilak Rishi's weblog

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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Phony Thoughts!

New Delhi, March 25, 2010
Lady Gaga's video scores billion web hits

Pop sensation Lady Gaga's eye-grabbing music video Telephone has propelled her into a new league by making her first artist in history to snare over a billion video Internet hits. Gaga's conversational video with Beyonce Knowles is considered to be her raunchiest video so far.

Reading the above news instantly took me back several decades down the memory lane to another era, another all-time hit song from film Patanga, featuring ace comedian Gope (playback singer Chitalkar) and bewitching Bollywood star Nigar Sultana (playback singer Shamshad) on long distance call: Mere piyaa gaye ranguun, Kiyaa hai vahaan se telifuun, Tumhaarii yaad sataatii hai, Jiyaa mein aag lagaatii hai ( my husband has gone to rangoon, has telephoned from there, your thoughts are tormenting me, sets fire to my heart).

That was in the Forties when phones in India were not very common and telephone connection at your home automatically included you amongst the elite in your town. Rotary dialing was the only way to dial that resulted in frequent wrong number calls and redialing. Thinking of then, I could never imagine the now, when I don't have to dial at all to make a call. On my birthday, my son gave me a new mobile in which Voice Dialing makes the call for you, when you say the name of any person in your address book. You can also tell the numbers to dial which is especially useful if you are using your mobile phone in the car. No more looking for telephone numbers. No more dialing long numbers. Call anyone you know - just by saying their name or number. Another equally simple way to make calls is to say "Call Back" after listening to a voice mail message. Voice Dialing places a call to the phone number of the person who left the voice mail. No more writing down phone numbers while listening to voice mail. Can easily call people back whether they remember to leave their phone number in the message or not. No need to hang up and then dial any digits - just say "call back".

It is now over two years since I got that gift. The fast growth in telephone technology must have made my mobile outdated, though I am still very happy with it for the convenience of just calling the number instead of pressing numbers, though it sometimes presents amusing situation, when I call someone while walking on a sidewalk. The person walking just ahead of me thinks I called him. This brings me to another interesting development during early years of the mobile. There was a time when I felt very concerned for the man on the road who was talking aloud to himself. Poor man, I thought, must be under too much stress or worse still, a victim of nervous breakdown. No more concern or compassion for the man now. Not that I have become callous or insensitive, but because I know for certain that the man is not sick, he is only using his cellphone, discreetly designed to be invisible to others. And he has company, most others on the road doing the same thing, talking to themselves while walking or driving.

Ironically, most of the time we all talk to ourselves when talking on 'phone. It is because of the prevailing trend not to pick up the phone, but to let the caller keep talking to the answering machine. Incidentally, answering machine is actually a 'no answer machine'. It loses its voice after the beep. You may keep talking into the machine but without expecting it to answer your queries. The right to answer rests with the owner of the machine, who may respond to your call at his will, or may not call back at all, depending on your identity as a caller. Gadgets like this motivate the modern man to play games with another man, rather than have the joy of reaching out to him with a warm response.

People have always enjoyed taking photos. This first started with the ordinary camera. With the changing times, the camcorder is the most used for taking pictures that we cherish and keep. Using your camera phone has never been more profitable. With the media offering big money to buy rare images, the age of People Paparazzi has ushered in. The age in which no celebrity in the world is safe from becoming victim of the people paparazzi. There are four billion mobile phones in the world today with cameras which have led the way in selling the public's images to websites, magazines, newspapers and TV around the world. Are you hooked up to the information highway? Stay connected with camera phones & camera cell phones.

As the cellular phone emerged into the public marketplace in the 1980s, the genius of wireless communications began to unfold. From their humble beginnings as simple wireless forms of communication, cellular forms have advanced to incorporate a number of amazing functions in their technological makeup, as was apparent from my son's Apple iPhone. With digital technology infused into its applications, so many things are possible, including: Email, Games and Internet Access. It has become his primary phone as well as his primary music player. You can also download other digital applications right onto it, including: PDAs, MP3 players, and GPS receivers.

In the modern age with the enlarging technological advancements, the future looks all the more interesting in the use of cell phones. Sometimes in our life we should do some James Bond things to trace folks to reveal the truth. The technology has simplified our task to trace the people. The cell telephone spy software is a development in communication field. It is really a computer program that may be installed in a person's cell telephone. By employing that we will be able to trace his / her calls and messages. It may also help us to find people using the GPS. Aside from the private use it will be useful for police and security folk to trace wrongdoers and terrorists. GOOGLE is developing software for the first phone capable of translating foreign languages almost instantly. If it works, it could eventually transform communication among speakers of the world’s 6,000-plus languages. Google also has a voice recognition system that enables phone users to conduct web searches by speaking commands into their phones rather than typing them in. And all this and more to come is a reality, not just phony thoughts.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Voice Of Empowered Indian Women

“You can judge the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”.. These are the words of the first Prime Minister of India, Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. It remains a valuable vantage point, a time to take stock and look ahead. India has the world’s largest number of professionally qualified women. India has more female doctors, surgeons, scientists and professors than the United States or any other country in the world. There is a National Human Rights Commission for Women that handles all human rights violations against women. There is a National Council for Women that advocates policy for Women. There is an entire ministry for women that formulates and implements policy for them. Through the Panchayat Raj institutions, over a million women have actively entered political life in India. As per the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, all local elected bodies reserve one-third of their seats for women. Womens Reservation Bill to guarantee 33% seats in Parliament and state legislatures is most likely to be passed in the current session of the Parliament with the support of all major political parties. If the Bill becomes law, it will be one of the largest exercises in empowerment of women anywhere in the world. The women's movement in India is a rich and vibrant movement. It is true to say that they are among the most liberated, the most articulate and perhaps even the most free women in the world.

In India, women have been respected since ancient times. In Hindu mythology, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are famous as Trimurtis ('The Trinity'). Of them, Brahma's wife is Saraswati, Vishnu's wife is Lakshmi and Shiva's wife is Parvati. Saraswati is the goddess of education, Parvati is the goddess of might and Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. Man needs all three - education, might and wealth. Women of the Vedic period (circa 1500-1200 BCE), were epitomes of intellectual and spiritual attainments. The Vedas have volumes to say about these women, who both complemented and supplemented their male partners. Scholars believe that in ancient India, the women enjoyed equal status with men in all fields of life. Works by ancient Indian grammarians such as Patanjali and Katyayana suggest that women were educated in the early Vedic period. Rigvedic verses suggest that the women married at a mature age and were free to select their husband. Scriptures such as Rig Veda and Upanishads mention several women sages and seers, notably Gargi and Maitreyi. The Rig Veda contains hymns that are accredited to Maitreyi, the woman seer and philosopher. She contributed towards the enhancement of her sage-husband Yajnavalkya's personality and the flowering of his spiritual thoughts. The Rig Veda also has long conversations between the sage Agasthya and his wife Lopamudra that testifies to the great intelligence and goodness of the latter. Gargi, the Vedic prophetess and daughter of sage Vachaknu, composed several hymns that questioned the origin of all existence. When King Janak of Videha organized a 'brahmayajna', a philosophic congress centered around the fire sacrament, Gargi was one of the eminent participants. She challenged the sage Yajnavalkya with a volley of perturbing questions on the soul or 'atman' that not only confounded the learned man who had till then silenced many an eminent scholar, but also bamboozled other great Vedic men of letters. The Vedas and the epics have upheld the equality of men and women. In ancient India the culture was based on Vedas and called Vedic culture. In those times women were not only revered and respected but also very protected and the motto was: A woman should be protected by her father in the childhood, husband in the youth and sons in the old age.

In the medieval period also many women excelled in the fields of politics, literature, education and religion. Razia Sultana became the only woman monarch to have ever ruled Delhi. The Gond queen Durgavati ruled for fifteen years, before she lost her life in a battle with Mughal emperor Akbar's general Asaf Khan in 1564. Chand Bibi defended Ahmednagar against the mighty Mughal forces of Akbar in 1590s. Jehangir's wife Nur Jehan effectively wielded imperial power and was recognized as the real force behind the Mughal throne. The Mughal princesses Jahanara and Zebunnissa were well-known poets, and also influenced the ruling administration Shivaji's mother, Jijabai was deputed as queen regent, because of her ability as a warrior and an administrator. In South India, many women administered villages, towns, divisions and heralded social and religious institutions. Mirabai, a female saint-poet, was one of the most important Bhakti movement figures. Some other female saint-poets from this period include Akka Mahadevi, Rami Janabai and Lal Ded. Kittur Chennamma, the queen of the princely state Kittur in Karnataka, led an armed rebellion against the British in response to the Doctrine of lapse. Abbakka Rani the queen of coastal Karnataka led the defence against invading European armies notably the Portugese in 16th century. Rani Lakshmi Bai, the Queen of Jhansi, led the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British. She is now widely considered as a nationalist hero. Begum Hazrat Mahal, the co-ruler of Awadh, was another ruler who led the revolt of 1857. She refused the deals with the British and later retreated to Nepal. The Begums of Bhopal were also few of the notable female rulers during this period. They did not observe purdah and were trained in martial arts.

Sixty years ago when India became independent, it was widely acknowledged that the battle for freedom had been fought as much by women as by men. Women played an important part in India's independence struggle. Some of the famous freedom fighters include Bhikaji Cama, Dr. Annie Besant, Pritilata Waddedar, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Anjali Ammal, Aruna Asaf Ali, Sucheta Kriplani and Kasturba Gandhi. Other notable names include Muthulakshmi Reddy, Durgabai Deshmukh etc. The Rani of Jhansi Regiment of Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army consisted entirely of women including Captain Lakshmi Sahgal. Sarojini Naidu, a poet and a freedom fighter, was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India. Her presence was a signal for hundreds of other women to join the freedom movement spearheaded by Mahatma Gandhi. Sarojini Naidu's spirit lives on in thousands of Indian women today, who are to be found all over India form part of one of the most dynamic and vibrant of political movements in India today, the women's movement. That makes it possible for there to be women who can aspire to, and attain, the highest political office in the country - Mrs. Pratibha Patil is currently holding the position of the President of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was India's most powerful Prime Minister (1966-1977, 1980-1984) and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, who declined to be prime minister, is the charismatic Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance, the ruling coalition in the country. Consider women like Sheila Dikshit, Chif Minister of Delhi (1998-incumbent), Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan (2003-2008), Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of Tamilnadu (1991-1996, 2001-2006 ), Mayavati, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (2007-incumbent) ), Sushma Swaraj, Chief Minister of Delhi (October-December 1998) and incumbent Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mamta Bannerjee, the incumbent Railway Minister in the central government and many more women holding high position in the central and state governments. The astonishingly wide social and political spectrum spanned by these "women in power" challenges popular assumptions.

Much progress has been made to protect and promote women’s rights in recent times. However, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the UN. The majority of the world's 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 percent less pay than men earn for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide. The UN drew global attention to women's concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women's Year. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly then invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace in 1977. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development. Several milestones have been achieved in terms of education, freedom of choice and liberty, equality etc., especially in India.With growing literacy and financial independence women feel more empowered today to assert their right to a life of dignity and self worth. The International Women's Day celebrated on 8th March is a universal day for all women around the world. It endows them with a sense of honour, dignity and self respect for being the person that they are. In India this day marks acelebration of the economic, social, cultural and political achievements made by women over the years. Thanks to the voice of empowered Indian women.