Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Cosmo City?

[Caution: Potential heated discussions ahead. No personal attacks please. As always, let us share our views in a civilised manner :-)]

So I was having a very interesting argument with Mochachilo the other day. It started with his post describing his recent trip to Chennai. My ears perked up the moment I heard the word ‘Chennai’! Now, like all cities, Chennai is unique in its own way. Unfortunately, it did not meet the author’s expectations, for reasons that were valid to him.

The die-hard-Chennai-ite that I am, I obviously took up the gauntlet and challenged some of the sweeping generalizations made against the city, which I felt were incorrect and biased.

Please note: I am certainly not here to attack my friend Kartikay 🙂 AND I am not here to defend Chennai by arrogant (and ignorant!) claims that it is heaven on earth.

I am merely going to state facts – from MY limited experience.

I love Chennai for its unique culture, the manageable pace of life, the distinctly gorgeous old-world-charm that is still preserved in places like Mylapore Tank.

I love all that just as much as I hate the muggy weather, the conniving auto drivers and politicians, and the pollution.

So there! I do not aspire to call Chennai the best city in the world or anything of the sort. Like my darling sister always says, ‘That-that person, that-that favourite city’!!

The crux of this blog post is this: Kartikay stated that considering it is a metro city, Chennai is not cosmopolitan.

This is what he says:

I was disappointed that Chennai, as a top-tier metropolitan city, has not exemplified itself as an example of cosmopolitanism. It’s not a melting pot of diverse sets of people, and cities which do have a knack of incubating diverse views, opinions and unconventional arts and sub-cultures.

Fair enough!

However, as someone who has lived most of her life in Chennai, I would like to throw some light on the place that I lived in, and still do.

This is a quiet residential area. In this typically old-fashioned and ‘non happening’ part of town, there is a famous Temple, a Church of historical significance, and a popular mosque, all within exactly 10 minutes walking distance from each other. Infact, right opposite the mosque is a temple.

Believe it or not, we wake up to the call of prayer from the mosque, and also hear the evening aarti at the temple. There has never been a religious problem – ever! Touch wood!

People understand Tamil, English and a bit of Hindi too. You don’t necessarily need to know Tamil to speak to auto-drivers. They are a bunch of thieves, and they fleece everyone irrespective of caste/colour or language!!

Yummy Chinese!!

Cinema theatres air all sorts of movies (some of the posters can make one cringe :roll:!).

Restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisine! You name it, you can find it!! From super-soft idlis and golden crisp masala dosai to dal makhani and gobi manchurian, its there for the asking!

We love both Sheela and Dhoni 😉

You walk into a shopping mall or even a roadside shop – and find people dressed in all sorts of clothes – ranging from saris, salwar-kameezes, skirts, shorts, jeans and tees, shopping, eating and making merry.

Amidst the excited chatter, one gets to hear not just Tamil, but also lots of Hindi and English.

There are shopping malls, libraries, architectural wonders, and more. There is a steady influx of Oriya students pursuing higher studies. Our dear Marwadi brethren have set up flourishing businesses (clothes, diamonds, etc) in the city. I have a Punjabi friend, whose entire family has been settled in Chennai for the last 2 generations, and plan to continue to do so! I have so many Mallu friends, who form a lovely part of my life!

(Edited to add:After reading LR’s comment)

And hey, we even built a damn temple for Khusboo!! 🙄

To quote LR: ‘Temple for Khusboo… Temple for Namita. Now we are more accommodating than any one could imagine 😆 :lol:’

I can go on and on, about what a melange Chennai is (rather, has always been). But that might be a biased picture too. So I will just stop with: Every city has its fair share of pros and cons. To focus only on the negatives and brand a city as ‘dull and boring’ is simply not correct.

One does not go to a city known for its temples and music seasons and focus only on the seeming lack of nightlife!!

This is like visiting Egypt and whining about ‘broken down buildings and the lack of a disco!’

So a statement that Chennai is ‘not happening’ or ‘not cosmopolitan’ – to me – sounds pretty loaded with prejudice, and to a small extent, arrogance too!

Chennai, like any other city, is famous for certain attributes. One learns to appreciate those, and not slam a culturally-rich city for lacking in nightclubs and not conversing in a language familiar to ‘you’!

Now, coming to the moot point here: Mochachilo’s statement that Chennai is NOT cosmopolitan and someone entering the city does not feel ‘at home’.
.
He has infact given a really wonderful definition of ‘cosmopolitan’.

If a city can make diverse sets of people ‘comfortable, almost as if they’re at home’, then that city is cosmopolitan. We can possibly extend this to ‘most people don’t feel marginalized’

Lovely!

Now, Going by that definition, I can say, while (I innocently assume!) ‘MOST’ people in Chennai DO NOT feel marginalised , I am not certain that ANY Indian city is truly cosmopolitan.

Friends and acquaintances of mine, who usually claim that Chennai is ‘not happening’ are usually looking for:
(1) Nightlife
(2) Booze
(3) Hindi being spoken commonly
(4) People wearing modern outfits.
.
But, my friends, Nightlife, booze and Hindi do not make a city cosmopolitan!!! There is much, much more!

So, what counts for being cosmopolitan? What makes one feel at home?

* Known language?

* Weather?

* Familiar attire?

* Familiar food?

* Friendliness of people?

Let’s take a look at what we claim to be cosmopolitan cities.

Our so-called uber-cool metro cities – for example – Delhi / Bangalore / Mumbai – WHY do we think they are so cosmopolitan and a ‘melting-pot of cultures’?

How much of South Indian culture do we see in a North Indian city?

How much Tamil can one hear in Delhi? If any, at all, for that matter!

Does most of Mumbai celebrate Onam in a huge way?

Do people enjoy Telugu movies and songs (er, the non-rain-non-gyrating-ones)?)in your city?

You might even think it sounds ridiculous! Yet, you consider your city to be cosmopolitan! This is like an old joke on America (I cannot remember the exact thing, for the life of me!), where America cannot look beyond itself, and thinks they ARE the world!

Despite our top tier metro cities being so straight-jacketed (unsure if that is the right word!), we proudly state that they are ‘cosmopolitan’.

However, any other city with the exact same characteristics (local dialect, unique weather, city-specific attire) or similar characteristics is NOT cosmopolitan?

Is that correct??

Or have we all become so self-obsessed that we think OUR city’s culture is THE culture of the whole of India, and the cities that do not ‘conform’ to our city are actually not cosmopolitan?!!

Those of us who CLAIM to live in a cosmopolitan city, let us think it over. Does our city really reflect a blend of cultures ACROSS India? If one thinks his/her city is a melting pot of cultures, I think it is time to think again!!!

As for Chennai, I do not claim that it is entirely cosmopolitan. I appreciate that a non-Tamil-speaking person might find it difficult at first (exactly the same way that a Tamilian who cannot understand Hindi, is bound to struggle in Mumbai or Delhi, until the time he/she learns the local language or finds people who speak English!).

If you asked me, India is simply too vast for any city to be truly cosmopolitan. Even the most ‘modern’ metro cities are steeped in a culture of their own. There is no way it is reflective of the COUNTRY.

I am not sure if a Tamilian who enters Karnataka or Delhi for the first time, feels ‘at home’ in that cosmopolitan city. Or is made to feel at home by friendly locals or any initiatives by the local government?!!

I am not certain that a Keralite visiting Calcutta (a metro city) would feel at home if he/she did not understand Bengali!

IMHO, Mumbai might score a notch above other metro cities, for sheer number of immigrants. However, we do have a Thackeray who defeat good intentions there!!

Therefore, I cannot confidently say that ANY Indian city scores high on being cosmopolitan.

It is up to the visitor/immigrant to fit into the place by learning the local language and adjusting to the local weather/attire/culture.

At the risk of sounding biased – I’d just say in Indian cities, it is immigrants/visitors who put in efforts to blend into the local culture. The local people do not necessarily take efforts or facilitate such blending. One just takes baby steps to try to fit in.

On the contrary, take a look at a city like London, for example. To be fair, I’d say THIS is a city that is cosmopolitan. You have people of diverse cultures living under the same roof, aka sky. They speak their own distinct language. ALL the major festivals of EVERY community are celebrated with pomp. If people celebrate Christmas, they also equally enjoy Chinese New Year and Diwali. People love croissants, sushi AND curry. There are churches and temples, functioning smoothly ALL the time. Everybody is eligible to vote. Believe it or not, some council offices even have a full-time Bengali translator for the non-English speaking immigrants. Touch wood. You find people of every race and colour walking about the streets.

Yes, there are problems. But absolutely nothing like the ones we find within India!!

So, dear readers, what do you think of your city? Is it truly cosmopolitan? Or do you think any particular Indian city is really cosmopolitan?

Is there any such city in our country where an ‘immigrant’ (I am not referring to the upper strata of society or people like expats) feels completely ‘at home’ and ‘not marginalised’?

Please share your views on an Indian city that you think is truly cosmopolitan?

Categories
Humour Incidents Thought and Reason

I know I’m old when…

I know I am old when…
1) While filling in any application (even a darn credit card), I have to scroll, and scroll, and scroll a couple of pages down, to reach my ‘Year’ of birth!!! I mean, seriously, it wasn’t that long since I was born, was it?

2) I watch the Idols of our teenage years (SRK or Juhi Chawla) on screen, and realise they have considerably aged!!! So if a young and vivacious’Ghoonghat Ki Aad Se’ Juhi is a comical-looking old woman now, that makes me.. er.. Ok, let’s skip!

3) My kid asks me, ‘Mummy, which is bigger? 4 or 33?’ I reply, with a smile, ’33’. He laughs happily. When I suddenly realise, the ’33’ he is referring to, is … me!!

4) An Alumni meet is planned, and we realise it has been TEN YEARS since we left college! How could T-E-N years have whooshed by??! 🙄 I mean, I don’t know what happened in this decade!

5) For the first 5 years of my career (or say, all 5 years of my career), people who used to report to me were double my age! I used to feel sorry for them. I suddenly realise, in a few years, I will be one of them!!!
6) All the ‘kids’ in the apartment block that my parents live in, greet me with a cheery ‘Hi AUNTY!’. I have gotten quite used to that one. But the next lines are what shock me out of my wits. I ask them ‘How is college?’ and they guffaw and reply ‘Whaaat Aunty! I have been working for 4 years now!’

7) I meet my parents every 6 months or sometimes, more frequently than that. And every time I see them, they seem more ‘sober’ and ‘quieter’ (considering that we are a strange family, in the sense that none of us acts appropriate to our age!!!)

8) I log into Skype to chat with an old friend, and we realise, that it has been 9 years since we saw each other!!! I mean, NINE years is a long, long time.
9) I read this lovely post on ‘decision making’ and the start of a promising career!! I realise I have come a long, long way. I mean, not that I have a career, but it has been a couple of centuries since I was at that juncture of ‘opening my first bank account’ 🙂

10) When you lovely readers read this post, and send me loving ‘Awwws..’ and kind ‘Hugs’, then I’ll feel like a total piece of crap. Aged crap!!

And on that cheerful note :lol:, I wish you all a very happy week ahead!! Live life to the fullest folks. You just don’t realise how Time flies. And very soon, you might be writing a post like this yourselves!!!!

Categories
Humour Incidents Movie Review Thought and Reason

Love, Lust and Tamizh Cinema

1990: Chennai’ – Old, dull city. Faded tin-like PTC buses plying across dusty roads, passengers hanging out from all doors and windows too, much like grapes spilling out of a basket! Dark-skinned auto-drivers harassing their ‘savaari’ (passenger) for extra money.

Marriage was ‘arranged’ by matching horoscopes and families. And Love signified something forbidden. Passion, lust and seduction – three words used interchangeable, but sadly, all meant something borne out of duty to one’s spouse, or for someone else’s!

Seduction took many forms. Some were naive and delightful, like this:

And marriage meant a mature (beautiful, nevertheless) relationship between two equally serious adults.

Now this song is really old, but still amazes me! http://shankari.wordpress.com/, for putting this on FB 🙂

And one cannot forget this ‘then trendy’ song… (if you can stop laughing at the sensational 🙄 dance moves, that is!)

1992: For a community of people used to Hero Bhagyaraj’s hilarious flirting techniques…

… Perceptions of Love and Lust changed… with the arrival of suave fellow-south-Indian Arvind Swamy!

Suddenly, marriage changed from being a life-threatening-sober-event to something more fun and sexy.

And this innocent young girl’s idea of fun being frolicking about under waterfalls….

took the nation by storm!

Subsequently, ofcourse, we know how Bombay re-defined war, religion and passion among other things.

And suddenly, love was not ‘taboo’ or ‘gross’ any longer!!

This song, from Kalaignan, was as sensational (despite the heroine’s hair-do) as it was melodious. (Thanks, Vimmu & Scorpia, for reminding me).

Over these years, we had a deluge of ‘young’ movies, starring fresh and happy faces. ‘College life’ changed from ‘girls wearing dhavani and oily pig-tails’ to what-was-then-hep outfits 🙂 and Life also meant Fun 🙂

2000: And finally, while one could celebrate Youth and its associated freedom and carelessness, one also realised that beautiful sensual side to love.

This song from Alaipayuthey in particular was both naughty, and sensual. It showed that ‘marriage’ need not mean an always-behave-serious-relationship-of-two-mature-adults. Marriage could also mean ‘friendship’, ‘fun’ and spontaneity :-)

2001 onwards: Now, strangely, my mind goes blank when asked about songs that tingle the romance buds over the last ten years.

What songs redefined love and lust over the last ten years? Do fill in!

And on that happy note, hope you have a very good weekend, filled with sunshine, laughter and romance 😉

EDITED TO ADD:

Current faavvvvvvvvvvouurriiiiiiiiiiitttttttteeeeeeeeee:

Categories
Short story

Princess of the Dark

Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 5 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

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The secret diary of a little girl who sometimes believed she could be a Princess too..

01-Jun-10

I watched through the corner of my eye, as the ‘Princess’ distributed her birthday invites in the class. I had heard how the last year’s party was themed on ‘Treasure Island’. I wondered what it would be this year. Hmmm.. And yes, all the girls received their invites and were giggling excitedly all day long. Only three boys were invited, and even they were whispering about the party during classes. Phsaw! As if a birthday party was such a big event after all. It is silly!

02-Jun-10

Math class. I muddled with my numbers as usual. I honestly do not understand why we need to learn Trigonometry?! I mean, does anybody even use it? What a waste of time. Everybody laughed when I couldn’t answer the question. But then! Who cares? This isn’t what I want to pursue in Life! I want to be a dancer. A ‘famous’ one. Mummy says I will be ‘popular with clients’.

I think what she means is ‘Famous with a lot of fans’. She isn’t very educated, you see. She has not studied much, so she says she cannot even find a regular day-job like the Mummies of my classmates. So she works from home.

03-Jun-10

Gosh! Anu has been struck with chicken pox. The entire class is afraid now. Mummy says I had not been vaccinated against it when I was a baby. I asked her ‘Why?’. ‘None of your business!’ she retorted sharply.

The girls in my class say they have had the vaccination, but it could still strike them. And then, their face would be covered with dark spots and it would look awful at Rhea’s birthday party. Personally, I couldn’t have asked for more 😉 They deserve this, all of them. And guess what? The theme is ‘Disney Princesses’. Isn’t that silly? I think they are way too old to be ‘Princesses’. Nevertheless, I guess it is quite interesting.

04-Jun-10

It is official. Five girls are down with the pox now. Today is Friday, and the hot topic was ‘will the birthday party be called off?’ Not that it matters much to me, but I wouldn’t be too sad if it is 😉 After all, I wasn’t invited.

Mummy says I need to learn dancing. I am excited, of course. I really want to learn ballet. But she wants to teach me Salsa, as it is a very ‘in thing’. I wonder why! She said in her days, she used to do some other weird-sounding stuff called ‘mujra’. I don’t think I have a choice, anyway, but yes, I would be very happy to dance 🙂

05-Jun-10

My first dance class lasted about an hour. And boy! My body aches a little. I did not like the way my teacher kept sliding his hands down my back and breathing into my face! He needs a mouthwash! *Giggles* But Mummy says I need to master salsa, as it is very popular. Well then, I will do it!

I’m a big girl now, I turn 12 this month end, you know? The strange thing is, I share my birthday with ‘Princess Rhea’.

My classmates do not know this, but I am going to have a ‘private’ party too!

I cannot invite them, though. Mummy says they won’t come. When I asked ‘Why ever not?’ she laughed and said ‘Because they think I’m ‘dangerous’’. I have never heard anyone say so, in the last four schools that I have been to! Mummy is just beautiful, not ‘dangerous’!

It is a pity though, that she does not allow me to invite my friends home. They do not invite me either. The only people who come to my home are the other pretty Aunties and fat Uncles who smile inanely at me before Mummy shoos me off to my little room in the attic.

 

06-Jun-10

My body aches very slightly, from the dance. But my teacher says I’m a natural!! I don’t like the look of him, though.

Nevertheless, Mummy is so happy she has bought me a new salwar kameez for my birthday next week. It is a peacock blue, with red chiffon dupatta – and it is studded with little diamonds. She says it is befitting of a ‘Princess’ like me. She says I can wear this on Friday night, for the movie.

Didn’t I tell you about the movie thing? Mummy has booked a ‘private box’ for us, to celebrate my birthday! She, me and the new Uncle. Just the three of us. There’s going to be a huge pack of butter popcorn, chocolate cake slices, buttery sweet corn, and Pepsi 🙂

I love Mummy. And do you know a secret? ‘Mummy’ is actually my mum’s sister. I never knew my mum. My real one, I mean. She died when I was really young. But this Mummy looks after me like a Princess 🙂 You know, I go to one of the best schools here. Mummy works so hard for me.

But she says ‘Darling, you are a worth-while investment’. I love it when she calls me ‘Darling’.

I do not like the dark streets where we live. I feel a little scared sometimes. Especially when the men try to grab my hand as I rush past them, on my way to the bus-stop.

Mummy is so beautiful. But most of the men on the street call ‘me’ princess instead. They need to check their spectacles properly!!

I think I am just an ‘Ugly Duckling’ 😦 But then, Mummy says I am becoming very beautiful these days. And that everything is going to change soon 🙂

I am so lucky to have her!

07-Jun-10

Boy oh boy! I hate Mondays!! Math, History, Science… gets me, really! The only subject I like is English. I think I will be a famous writer when I grow up. I might just write about Princesses 🙂

Mummy says if I am a ‘good girl’ on Friday, the new Uncle has promised to buy me a new pink laptop. Woo hoo!

Oh, and there’s some spicy news. Something I have been secretly pleased about all day. ‘Princess’ Rhea’s birthday party may not take place after all!! Nine of the girls are now down with the Pox, and everyone else is worried they will ‘catch it’ too. Well, I, for one, am not affected, as I will have my private party anyway 🙂

08-Jun-10

Guess what? Guess, guess, guess!!!!

I got invited to Princess Rhea’s birthday party!!! ‘Come if you like’, she shrugged as she said it. But she really wants me to come, I know. Even though she ignores me during classes and even in the canteen, she still wants to be my friend 🙂 I am so excited. I need to buy a nice BIG gift for her.

I know, once she gets to know the real me, we will become best friends, after all.

Mummy has so many friends! The women are in awe of her, and the men really admire her. I want to be just like her!

09-Jun-10

Dance practice has started during the week days too! It is tough. And it leaves me no time for my home-work. But it makes Mummy happy. Mummy says, if I am a ‘good girl’ on Friday, she will give me LOTS of money to buy a huge gift for Rhea. Mummy will buy us both a big box of ‘foreign’ cosmetics. The new Uncle is returning from Singapore tomorrow night, and she will ask him to bring it from there.

Gosh! Whoever thought all this would happen!! Usually, nobody talks to me at school. Except Ramu anna, of course. But then, he is the canteen boy, so when I ask him for something that isn’t on the menu, he has to reply 😉

Anyway, now, here I am – a proud ‘invitee’ to the Princess’s party…. excited owner of a bejewelled chiffon dress. And the happy would-be owner of a big foreign cosmetics case 🙂

I feel like a Princess myself 😉

10-Jun-10

School was so much fun today. I was allowed to have lunch at the same table with the Princess and her friends. They didn’t talk much to me, but all the same, they didn’t ignore me either. So that’s a really good sign. They have all bought gifts for Rhea.

I have decided to keep mine a secret. I will stun them on the day 🙂 Mummy says she will find out if Uncle can drop me at Rhea’s party on Sunday and even bring me back in his luxury car!

By the way, something interesting happened at school today. There is a new subject called ‘Sex education’. It was so yuck! I can’t believe men and women do ‘that’! The boys were smirking right through the class. Many of the girls covered their mouth and giggled. I copied them. But I thought it was all really gross.

When I told Mummy, she just laughed and said ‘You’re a big girl now. It’s time for you to know, anyway!’

11-Jun-10 – am

EXCITED! Today’s my big day. I’m off to school now, but Mummy says she will send the car to fetch me at noon itself. She has planned to take me to the ‘Spa’ 🙂 I am so lucky, aren’t I? I bet even Princess Rhea doesn’t get pampered so by her handsome Dad! He’s a film star, by the way. Did I mention that before? And he has some really cool friends, and they have really cool cars and all that. They are all supposed to be ‘shooting’ for a film in Singapore this week. It seems he has actually flown back in his private luxury jet last night, just in time for her birthday party! How awesome is that!!

 11-Jun-10 – noon

No time!! Got to rush!! Off to the Spa now. Then I have to deck up in my gorgeous new outfit. And head to the cinema from there. Mummy did not mention which movie it is. I bet it is the new Hritik Roshan one. She knows how much I adore him!! Oooh, I am so excited!! Mummy reminded me twice that I must impress Uncle today! ‘Make him happy, and our life will change forever’! Ofcourse I will. My poor Mummy. She is so stressed with taking care of all of us. I will be ‘a good girl’ tonight. I promise!!

11-Jun-10 – pm

No entry.

12-Jun-10

No entry.

13-Jun-10

‘Happy Birthday to me’. I did not go to Princess Rhea’s birthday party. I feel sore. Every time I try to get out of bed, I feel like throwing up.

 14-Jun-10

No entry.

15-Jun-10

I am still bleeding.

Mummy says there is nothing to worry about. She wants me to get back to school and resume dance practice soon.

But it still hurts all over.. thighs.. lips…everything.

16-Jun-10

I did not go to school today either. I feel so Dirty!

Mummy is furious. She says I must have more respect for ‘our’ profession.

But I haven’t actually chosen my profession yet. Or have I?!!!

P.S: I do not feel like calling her ‘Mummy’ any more. Am I being ungrateful?

17-Jun-10

Mummy dragged me out of my bed today, and said I must ‘look after myself’. She says she cannot feed me for the rest of my Life. She says Uncle is going to visit this Friday too.

She says he is ‘our most desirable client’ and that I should be grateful that he flew back in his private jet to meet me last week.

I hate him. And his friends. And her.

I told her that. She just laughed. ‘Your mother said the same thing! Avoided my high-profile clients. And look where she landed. Contracted the disease and went to her grave. Atleast you have some sense. This is far more than you can ever dream of’.

For the first time in my life, I miss my real Mummy. If she were alive, she would have taken me far away from this hell.

Or….would she?!

Actually, I do not know any more.

18-Jun-10

Friday mid-night again. Did I tell you? ‘Uncle’ does look so much like Princess Rhea’s daddy. He looks old, from up close. He is bad at doing the Salsa. And he’s not so handsome, after all.

But he’s really very heavy. And rough. He hurts me so much. Even when I cry, he does not stop. It is very strange. The more I cry, the louder he seems to laugh.

He says I am delicious. That’s stupid, for a man his age. Only cakes or pastries can be called ‘delicious’. I cannot stop wondering how Princess Rhea’s birthday cake had tasted. Delicious???!!

I hear him promising his friends, that it will be their turn soon. They guffaw aloud. Mummy joins them. I want to die.

I have to go. He is calling for me again. ‘Stop hiding, my Princess of the Dark’.

 

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Do read posts of my fellow TIGERS, aka Team-mates, here:

Neha: http://www.nehasilam.com/2010/06/adult-education-english-lessons.html
Saurabh: http://stuffilearnttoday.blogspot.com/2010/06/12-commandments.html
Debs: http://debosmita.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/graduation-ceremony-fiction-55/
Debs again: http://debosmita.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/destinys-child/
Sudhakar: http://idlivadasambar.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/hey-there-you-idiot/
Arpita: http://soulrenaissance.blogspot.com/2010/06/with-love-to-mankind.html
Kanagu: http://kanaguonline.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/education-equality-and-excellence/

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