Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Great Indian KItchen

This is not  a movie review but my own thoughts

A friend suggested I see this Malayalam movie, The Great Indian Kitchen.  To put it mildly I was shocked and stunned.  Having lived my entire adult life in USA, I could not believe this was happening in an educated family in India.

Nimisha Sanjayan is a dancer and brought up in Bahrain.  She gets into an arranged marriage with a teacher in Kerala.  Her in law home is a patriarchal family.  She tries very hard to adjust and be submissive.  But they test her patience.

Don’t want to give the end of the story.

The movie is directed by Jeo Baby.

The actress Nimisha Sanjayan did not just act.  She becomes a real submissive housewife.  She tries to adjust to their whims and fancies.  But she can tolerate only so much.

She tolerates some of the disgusting things:

The husband and father in law eat and spit the waste all over the dining table.  She has to eat there after men finished eating.  But when they go to a restaurant, the husband shows good table manners.  The wife asks him about it.  The husband gets made and ask her to apologize.

The father in law is a cunning character.  He asks her not to cook rice in a gas stove.  He wants his rice cooked only in fire.  He does not like his clothes washed in a washing machine.  He asks the daughter in law to wash his clothes by hand.

I don’t even want to go about her sufferings during her monthly period time.  She should be away from everyone else.  In fact, it was suggested she should not sleep in a bed.  She should sleep on the floor.

The movie is not about the “great” Indian kitchen.  It is about the Indian domestic slavery.  It is about a wife who is a cook, cleaner, and a sex slave.

Excellent movie.  Everyone should watch this.  Orthodox patriarchal families should learn a lesson.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sad Story

I was reading about Jagdish Chandra Bose.  He was a biologist, physicist, and botanist.  He had so many discoveries.  But was disinterested in patenting and commercializing.  Therefore Mr. Bose never patented any of his discoveries.

I then remembered a very sad story.   Here it is.

Robert William Kearns (1927 to 2005).  He invented the intermittent wiper systems (popularly known as delayed wiper) for automobiles.  He filed for patent in December 1964.

Mr. Kearns approached the Big Three automakers, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler for licensing his technology.  All 3 rejected his proposal.  Yet, they started to install this delayed wiper system in their automobiles beginning 1969.

He filed a lawsuit against these 3 companies.  He was a poor man with no money to pay lawyers.  So, he acted as his own attorney.  Automobile companies had big name attorneys.  They dragged this case for many years.

Case against Ford Motor company lasted from 1978 to 1990.  He asked for $395 million.  Court awarded him $10.2 million.  Chrysler case lasted from 1982 to 1992.  Court awarded him $18.7 million.

Kearns filed lawsuits against Ford, Porsche, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Lotus, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Rolls Royce Motors, Saab, Toyota, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz.   Several cases were dismissed after Kearns missed deadlines in other filing papers. 

In fighting these cases, almost all his money was spent on legal fees.

Kearns died in 2005 as a poor man living in a one bed room flat.

His life was made into a movie Flash of Genius.

Let us assume if these automobile manufacturers were honest and paid him at least $1.00 per wiper.  Think for a minute how many cars were sold in this world from 1969 to date.  At an average of 50 million cars in a year, he would have earned $2.6 Billion.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Napalm Girl

When I wrote last week about Heart-Wrenching Photos, I purposely did not include this tragedy.  I wanted to write  a separate blog post.

On June 8, 1972, South Vietnamese Airforce dropped the flaming napalm bomb on civilians.  9 year old girl,  Phan Thi Kim Phuc, who was playing with her cousins in the street was caught in that. Her clothes were burnt.  She had to rip her burning clothes off and run naked for safety.

This was the most iconic image of Vietnam War.

This picture was taken by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut,  He won a Pulitzer Prize for this. 

When this photo was published in the New York Times, the whole U.S. population shook.

Later Phan Thi Kim Phuc defected to Canada and she now lives there.

Want to know the effect of napalm bomb attack?  Major portion of a city will be burnt and destroyed.  When a napalm bomb is dropped, this is how the place looks like.

Here is a photo of that girl and the photographer on June 8, 2012 on the 40th anniversary of that incident.

Friday, March 26, 2021

A. R. Rahman pissed off

It was the launch of A. R. Rahman’s  maiden productions 99 Songs in Chennai.  The anchor who was hosting the event welcomed Mr. Rahman in Tamil.  Then addressed actor Ehan Bhat in Hindi.

Mr. Rahman got pissed off.

He was visibly taken aback and said “Hindi”? and exit the stage.

On the way out, he asked the anchor in Tamil “Mudalliye kattene Tamil pesuveengalanuttu” (I asked you before the event started if you can speak in Tamil)

The anchor replied in Tamil: Tamil than.  Idhu chumma welcome than sir. Kovikaadheenga sir. ((Yes I am Tamil.  This is just a welcome intro sir.  Please don’t get angry sir)

My personal opinion is I agree with Rahman.

Before the event started, Rahman asked the anchor can you speak in Tamil.  Also, the person she was addressing knows English.  The anchor knows Tamil very well.  Plus the event was in Chennai.  Therefore, she either should have addressed in English or Tamil.  She thought would have one-upmanship with Mr. Rahman.

Being a gentleman, Rahman came back to the stage and participated in the launch.

My question is if there was a Tamil actor being introduced in Mumbai, will the anchor welcome that Tamil actor in Tamil?

I think it is ok to speak in English if there are non-Tamil audience.

What do you think?

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Heart-Wrenching Photos

Incredible photograph of a German soldier going against direct orders to help a young boy cross the newly formed Berlin Wall after being separated from his family, 1961.

3 Year old John F Kennedy Jr. Salutes His Father's Coffin with The Honor Guard

Chinese teenager stands in front a column of tanks – Tiananmen Square – June 5, 1989.  He was not seen anywhere after that.  Rumor has it that he was executed a few weeks after that incident.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Thala (Dhoni)

M.  S. Dhoni was in New York on vacation.  He had shaved his head.

Indian cricket player Wasim Jaffer who is famous for his Twitter added a quirky caption to describe Dhoni’s picture.

Thalai Lama

Almost everyone in Tamil Nadu loves the captain of Chennai Super Kings.  They affectionately call him “Thala” which in Tamil means Leader.

I was talking to a friend of mine (Madhu) about this.  He said if Dhoni run in a Tamil  Nadu election as a Chief Minister candidate he will win hands down.

I was thinking about that afterwards.

Many Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers do not have Tamil as their mother tongue.  Annadurai and Karunanidhi are Telugu origin.  MGR is a Malayali.  Jayalalitha is Kannadiga born.  Rajnikanth who wanted to be a CM is Kannadiga/Marathi

So why not Thala (Dhoni) be the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu?

What do you think?

Sunday, March 7, 2021


On February 4, 2021, I wrote a blog post titled RealHero.  I had described how a Spanish cross-country runner helped a Kenyan runner (who was leading the race but not know where the finish line was) to win the race.  The Spanish runner could have won by overtaking him.  But he did not do that.

Here is just an opposite incident.

Year 1999.  Comrades Marathon is a grueling ultramarathon race.  The distance is 90 kilometers (56.1 miles).  It is held in South Africa.  More than 20,000 people start but 95% of them could not finish.

Here comes our friend Sergio Motsoeneng.  He is from an impoverished Central Eastern South Africa.  He came is 8th and won US$1,000.  Fellow Runner Nick Bester complained he never saw Sergio passed him in the final stretch.  The race officials dismissed that charge.

But a reporter for the African newspaper The Beeld decided to investigate it.  He looked at several photographs.   Finally discovered the runner had his watch in his right wrist in some photos and in different photos his watch was in his left wrist.  Also, he had a scar on his left shin and in other photos there was no scar.

It turned out the runner Sergio has an identical twin brother.  They both switched running the race every 10 kilometer.  One would duck into a porta-potty and his identical twin brother would be waiting there inside.  Then the other guy would run 10 kilometers and switch places.  Sergio removed his shirt, bib, hat, and even shoes, and gave them to his brother, who continued the race.

They were caught.  Money was taken away from them.  They were banned for 5 years from competing in any race.

They said poverty was their reason for cheating.

Monday, February 22, 2021

What a Way to Win

November 19, 1999. The TV contest: Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Host: Regis Philbin. Contestant: John Carpenter. He won. 

John did not just win the game, he won it with style. He was the first-ever to reach the million-dollar question. There were several lifelines. He did not use any lifelines. But during the very last question, he called his father. 

During the last question, Regis Philbin asked the following question: 

Which of these U.S. presidents appeared on the television series Laugh-In? 

A. Lyndon Johnson 

B. Richard Nixon 

C. Jimmy Carter 

D. Gerald Ford 

He saw the question. Just smiled and called his father for help. When his dad answered the call, the host gave the question to John’s dad and passed the call to John. Here is the conversation between John and his dad. 

John: Hi dad. 

Dad: Hi. 

John: I don’t really need your help. I just want to let you know that I’m going to win the million dollars. Because the President that appeared in Laugh-In is Richard Nixon and that’s my final answer.

John got the right answer in the best possible way. He got to the million-dollar question without using any lifelines, only using it to tell his dad that he knew that answer all along. He’s the first-ever to win the game to top it all off. 

What a way to win.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Acquitted Again

Democrats in both the House and Senate got their chance.  Tried to impeach the ex-President Donald Trump.  But it failed.  House which has Democrats majority impeached Donald Trump.  But the Senate has to convict him.  

In the 100 member Senate, there are 50 democrats (including 2 independents who support them) and 50 republicans.  To convict him, they  need 67 votes.  Everyone knew they cannot get 67 votes to convict him.  Waste of time and money.

It was evident at the very beginning.  They had a vote whether the trial at the Senate is legal or not since Mr. Trump had already left office.  56 Senators (all democrats and 6 republicans) voted it is legal.  At this stage it was evident "this dog don't hunt".

After the arguments were over, the final vote was 57 senators (all democrats and 7 republicans) voted Mr. Trump is guilty.  43 republican  senators voted not guilty.  So Mr. Trump was acquitted again for the second time.

The whole drama begins now for the next 4 years.

I was watching the arguments from both sides.  I thought the prosecutors (House Managers) did a slightly better job.  After everything was over, Nancy Pelosi (Speaker and second in line to become President) came on tv.  I take umbrage what she said.  She said those republican senators who voted not guilty are cowards.  What if some republican senator says Nancy Pelosi and the democrats are "mentally retarded"?

This is uncalled for.  If there is a court case, and the judgement was 5 to 4, you don't call 4 dissenting judges "cowards".

This will come back to haunt Biden and the democrats.   Republicans are dangerous.  They don't forget easily.  They have a long memory.  They can give lot of trouble to President Biden.   In 2022 or 2024 if they become majority they may bring impeachment proceedings against Biden or Obama on some trumped up charges. 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Reply to a Comment

In my previous post, a reader (Destination Infinity) wrote the following comments. 

“I wonder how a competitor was not shown the finish line beforehand. These are standard procedures at that level. In spite of that if someone is confused, it's a UX issue which is rare at big events. It's possible that the entire episode was rigged to generate a newsworthy incident. I hope not.” 

I was going to reply there. Then I thought it may be a long reply. So I decided to make this reply a blog post by itself. 

Thanks for your comments Rajesh. I certainly do not think it was rigged to generate a newsworthy incident. What could be their benefit in rigging this? It was an international competition and already a newsworthy incident. 

Make a mistake or a gaffe is entirely possible however meticulous you are. Here are a few example. 

S. M. Krishna, India’s then Foreign Minister was about to speak at the United Nations Security Council. Behind him seated and helping him with the speech were 4 Indian Foreign Service Officers and his deputies and secretaries. What S. M. Krishna did? He read a prepared text from the speech given by the Portuguese Ambassador. Five minutes into the speech Indian team realized the mistake. Then Mr. Krishna took the correct Indian prepared text and started to read. 

President Bill Clinton was about to give an important State of the Union Address to the joint session of the Congress in 1994. All the House of Representatives, all the Senators, the entire cabinet members (except one*), all the 9 U.S. Supreme Court Judges, and chiefs of different U.S. military branches, and ambassadors from almost every country in the world were present. And, millions of Americans were watching. 

When he started to give his speech he realized his teleprompter was loaded with the wrong speech. He had to stop and ask his assistants to load the correct speech in the teleprompter. 

In 1976, President Gerald Ford was speaking in a conference. His prepared draft speech was reviewed by several people. President Ford said “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under Ford Administration". 

Everyone in the world knew, in 1976 Russia was completely dominating the entire Eastern Europe. 

Therefore Rajesh, mistakes can happen anywhere however prepared you are.

* Before the President gives the State of the Union Address, he always designates a Cabinet Member to stay away from Washington, DC, during his address.  Reason: In case the whole U.S. Capitol Building came under attack and everyone dies, at least one Cabinet Member will be alive to take over as President.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Real Hero

It was December 2012. Cross Country Race in Burada, Navarre. Kenyan Runner Abel Mutai was leading followed closely by Spanish Runner Ivan Fernandez. A few yards before the finish line, Mutai got confused where the finish line was and stopped running thinking he crossed the finish line and won. 

Ivan Fernandez realized Mutai did not know where the finish line was. He shouted in Spanish asking Mutai to keep running and finish. Mutai does not understand Spanish. Ivan Fernandez then pushed him from behind to cross the finish line and win the race. 

After the race was over, a reporter asked Fernandez why did he let Mutai win the race. He said I did not let him win, he was going to win. The race was his. 

The reporter insisted you could have won the race by overtaking Mutai. His reply was a class act.

 “What would be the meaning of my victory? What woud be the honor of this medal? What would my mother think of this medal?"

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Two Different Extreme Judgements

A Bombay High Court Judge Pushpa Ganediwala has ruled that groping a child through their clothes  not amount to sexual assault. The guy was fondling a 13 year girl’s boobs without removing her clothes. That is OK with that Bombay High Court Judge. According to the judge the accused did not make skin to skin contact. 

The same judge, in a different case, ruled unzipping a girl’s pant or holding her hand do not amount to sexual assault. 

This is one extreme judgement. I wonder how the judge would have ruled if the victim is her own daughter or any relative. In my opinion she should be dismissed from the job. 

Indian Attorney General called the judgement “very disturbing” and brought this to the attention of the Indian Supreme Court.  

Different country, different judge, similar case – same day 

In Malaysia, a female judge Gunasundari (Malaysian Tamil), for a similar case (a man sexually assaulting a 12 year old girl) sentenced him to a corporal punishment of 24 caning and 1050 years in jail. 

This is another extreme judgement. Caning 24 times as a corporal punishment is fine. But 1050 years in jail? Is this a show off? Does the judge expect him to live 1050 years? If she wanted him never to get out of prison, she could have given a judgement of 125 years in jail without parole. (He may not live for more than 100 years,  125 years just to be on the safe side.)

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Trump - Unsung Accomplishments

The hatred TV media (especially CNN) has for Trump doesn't allow them to recognize anything good he did. To be fair and objective, here are a few samples: 

He ended gag orders on pharmacists which had prevented pharmacists from sharing money-saving information with customers. 

He added new tools to help states fight sex trafficking.

He signed a law requiring airports to have a space for breast-feeding mothers. 

He signed a law to fund $10M/year to clean plastic and garbage from the ocean. 

He enforced a provision of the Affordable Care Act forcing hospitals to publicize their prices with another executive order. 

Competitive corporate tax rates. 

He ordered the military to totally destroy ISIS and they did. 

He is the first president in forty years not to start a war.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Trump Impeached Again

President Donald Trump was impeached again for the second time by the House of Representatives.  What a waste of time and money.

Nothing will happen by impeaching him 1000 times unless the Senate convicts him.  Senate Majority Leader (the current leader) Mitch McConnell said he will not even bring the matter for discussion until after Trump leaves his office at noon on January 20.

Even if the impeachment proceedings by the Senate were taken up after he leaves office, will there be 60 votes (out of 100) to convict him? I doubt it.

My advice to Democrats.  Just leave him alone and he will leave office in a week.  By impeaching him you are giving more popularity and publicity.

This will also give Trump a great campaign speech in 2024.

"Look, I pissed off the democrats so much that I was the only President to be impeached twice by them.  Therefore, all democrat haters vote for me".

PS: After publishing this post, one more thought came to my mind.  Can they impeach and convict a private citizen?  After January 20th noon time, Trump is a private citizen.

The relevant text of the Constitution reads as follows: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." (Article II, Section 4)

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Riot

January 6, 2021. The joint session of U.S. Congress (House of Representatives and Senators) was meeting to count the electoral college votes from each state and declare who won the presidential election. This joint session was presided over by the Vice President Mike Pence. 

While the counting was in progress, thousands of hard core supporters of Donald Trump marched to the U.S. Capitol. They were instigated by President Trump. Violence broke out and the mob breached the perimeter. They broke down the barriers. 

Trump supporters forced lawmakers to evacuate the Capitol and stop the formal count of the 2020 Presidential Electoral College Votes. 

The Capitol Hill Police could not control the situation. They asked for help from the National Guard. They arrived promptly and brought the situation under control. 4 protesters died. One person was shot dead. Three others died because of “medical issue” as per the police. 

Joint Session of Congress finally, after a 6 hour delay, certified Joe Biden as the next U.S. President. 

My thoughts: 

Rioting is a bad idea. If they think there was election fraud, go to the court and file a suit with strong evidence. Storming the Capitol building will not change the electoral college votes. 

Trump has only 12 days as President. Now there is talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. That is another stupid idea. This will bring more riots and mayhem. 

There is a talk of arresting or impeaching Trump. This is a useless idea. President can pardon anybody for any crime. Most likely, Trump will pardon himself, his family, his advisors and his friends. Can he pardon himself? It was never done before. U.S. laws do not say anything about a President pardoning himself. If he does that, there will be law suits. Finally, Supreme Court will decide. 

My advice: Hey you lost the election. Instead of rioting, work towards the 2024 election. 

As the famous American Football commentator, “Dandy” Don Meridith would sing at the end of the football game 

Turn out the lights. The party is over.