Wednesday, April 29, 2009

50/2 in 103!!

With this I have scored a half century! No, I am not a cricketer and nor do I intend to become one. And I have not inhabited this planet for that many summers either. Any guesses??! No?! Well, this is my fiftieth blog!

Having begun blogging on the 16th of January 2009, after months of procrastination that is, (and here is the link to that very first post: My First Blog with my Green Thumb!)... I have today reached the magic figure of '50'... Yippy!! 50 blogs in 103 days... not too bad... what?? Even though I may not or rather will not qualify for a nomination to the 'Guinness World Records' or even to the 'Limca Book of Records', it is a momentous personal milestone for me. And I have every right to make a song and dance about it... after all I am only exercising my legitimate constitutional right as a citizen of India... I am expressing my 'Freedom of Speech and Expression'! Right?

I have several topics in mind... to write on this occasion... but I am going to settle for a couple of questions that I have not yet been able to find an answer and will pose them on this blog. Simple, na??!!

Each day of our lives we are bombarded with all kinds of things/events/phenomena... information or rather information overload, promises (mostly empty, and they take gigantic proportions once every five years), advertisement blitzkrieg, magic potions... that are 'guaranteed' to give rise to this or that or so we are told... including thick, lush crop of hair on bald pates (!). Quite 'hair-raising'... what say?? All kinds of best sellers (even though usually in the author's mind), reality shows, talk shows, spam mails, Page 3 tittle-tattle, pearls of wisdom from the lips of assorted gurus/analysts/experts (who incidentally are legends in their own minds and love to hear the sound of their own voices) and the incessant prattle of the 24/7 news channels. Even jargons. A simple 'heart attack' is made complicated and dare I say scary by bestowing such names as 'Myocardial infarction', 'Coronary thrombosis', or 'Coronary occlusion'. Calling a sudden, brief loss of consciousness 'Vasovagal syncope' and the like. It also includes 'Twitter' - a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as 'tweets'. Since its creation in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, 'Twitter' has gained extensive notability and popularity worldwide. Some NASA projects such as Space Shuttle missions and the International Space Station provide updates via 'Twitter'. Several 2008 U.S. presidential campaigns used 'Twitter' as a publicity mechanism, including that of the Democratic Party nominee and incumbent President Barack Obama. Media outlets are also starting to use 'Twitter' as a source of public sentiment on issues. On February 12, 2009, there was a global meet-up called 'Twestival' where 'Twitter' users came together in over 170 cities around the world to take the online community surrounding 'Twitter' offline. During the 2008 Mumbai attacks, eyewitnesses sent an estimated 80 'tweets' every five seconds as the tragedy unfolded. A certain Ashton Kutcher is the most followed celebrity today, being the first 'Twitter' user to reach the one million follower mark with singer Britney Spears close on his heels at number three. Certain high-profile breakups also trace their origins to... you guessed it... 'Twitter'!! But, I refuse to let a little blue bird rule my life!!! Period.

Matters have been further complicated by the arrival of 'political correctness'... we have got to be 'politically correct', no matter what. Now, see the results for yourself: 'Blind' is no longer 'in'... its 'visually challenged' or 'visually impaired', we cannot say 'handicapped' or 'disabled' anymore, it is now 'differently-abled', children with behavior issues, Developmental disabilities, or learning disabilities like dyslexia and Central Auditory Processing Disorder are to be referred as, 'Special Children' or 'Special Needs Children'. Even 'dwarfs' are no longer 'dwarfs'. They are 'vertically challenged' or 'height-limited'. I am all for 'political correctness', but... Can you imagine "Snow White and the Seven Vertically Challenged"...???

That was my first question.

Now, for my second question. I have mentioned it before (in one of my previous blogs) but have received no answer... so far... therefore, I am posing it again.

Just an observation... some years back the US slang term 'Bangalored' became a part of the lexicon. It refers to people who have been laid off from a multinational because their job has been moved to India - a business practice designed to save money that is arousing passions in some countries, especially Britain and the United States. I understand that due to the efforts of the government (of Karnataka) a while back, 'Bangalore' has become 'Bangaluru'... I seriously doubt if anyone or anything, even jobs, can be 'Bangalurued'... What say!??

Photograph: The original theatrical one-sheet poster for the "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" - the 1937 American film based on the fairy tale of the same name by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full length animated feature to be produced by Walt Disney, and the first American animated feature film in movie history. Walt Disney's Snow White premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater on December 21, 1937, and the film was released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 4, 1938. Photograph and info: Courtesy Wikipedia.


  1. Thank you! Looking forward to scoring my maiden 'century'!!!

    BTW, do you have any answers to the queries I have posed here??!!

  2. These days many people have become too pedantic and due to too much information, confused as well. Just renaming a few things/ places or changing words for every possible thing leads to "Snow White and the Seven Vertically Challenged". I have never believed in it. As you rightly suggested, with the title of Snow White, it is funny and tragically off the mark. That is why we have place names of some big cities being changed at great cost and time consuming clerical labor. But does it really matter? If it does, then why do we have Bluford Street, Chaffe Street etc. in a small town like Durgapur? Ask the people living on those streets if they have any idea who the names belong to. Changing of names does not solve the problem or the attitude of people towards it. And like you mentioned in another of your posts, it is attitude that matters and unless that is changed through awareness, just changing a name does not change anything.

  3. This is a very thoughtful post. So I did not want to reply in a hurried fashion. It is relevant to what is happening in the contemporary world and needs more thought and research definitely! Great that you brought it up.

  4. Hmm... being 'politically correct' is just a 'cosmetic' solution after all... with no real change! It does not reach the 'root' or even anywhere near the 'root' of a problem/situation... calling someone who is 'blind'... 'visually impaired' will not magically restore one's vision... I wish it did... but then we will have to be in 'wonderland' or 'utopia'...!