AN UNCLEAN THOUGHT

Posted on September 17, 2016. Filed under: OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL, BLOGGING CONTEST | Tags: , , |

As a student of Statistics, I have gone through the concept of ‘Nonsense or Spurious’ Correlation. To the challenged, it denotes a mathematical relationship between two or more variables, when there is in fact, none. I can give an example to explain this. Sometime this year, government employees are going to receive higher salaries as part of the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. This also includes teachers at different levels. It so happens that more students are successful in the examinations of 2017. The teachers will argue that the improvement in the performance is due to their efforts while the students and their parents have a different take.The government can argue that everything is because of the timely implementation of the Pay Commission report. Economists can make a better analysis. But the fact is that nothing concrete or mathematical can ever be brought out in support of the different reasons. This is the spurious correlation. 

There is another example that combines the population of pigs and the production of pig iron in the country into a single equation. However hard we try, there is no way of establishing any possible cause and effect relationship between the two.

My post is also something along the lines of establishing a spurious correlation between the slogan of the day ‘Swach Bharat’ and the huge spurt in the case of vector borne diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya. Add to it the case of Malaria and the picture is complete. Don’t open your mouths in surprise for there may be mosquitoes flying around you!

It is not that there was no death before the coning of the term  Swach Bharat from the likes of dengue. What is surprising is the rise, almost in an exponential rate, the number of people affected by the mosquitoes almost coinciding with the increase in the time, money and people involved in making India a cleaner country.

In the days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi first talked about Swach Bharat, everyone hitched on to the bandwagon. My principal of that time who is not in the habit of waking up early, posed for photos with a new broom in his hand, cleaning a tiny part of the college ground. Every alternate day there would be a procession aimed at creating greater awareness on the need to have a cleaner India. Even the municipality got involved. Slowly , everyone started to talk about the need for the people to develop an attitude that would clear the garbage, paving the way for a cleaner country.

As time has passed, things have taken a turn for the worse. There are now garbage mountains almost at every street.  Everything is blamed on the people and their lack of a desire to have a cleaner street and country. It is true that I want my house to be clean and so I dump the waste in front of the house of my neighbour and this process continues. But I do not have the resources to take all the garbage of the street or the town and dispose it off, safely. That is where the authorities have to step in. In the name of Swach Bharat and the poor participation of the common man, they have neglected their duties.

It is this negligence that has resulted in the rise of the number of people suffering from the likes of Dengue.

An idea which was to make the country cleaner has ended up making the worse even worse than before.

It is for the readers to determine the cause and the effect, if any.

This post is an attempt to post for Tangy Tuesday Picks by blogadda.com as part of the #CelebrateBlogging campaign. I also intend to lay my hands on the sunglasses from #MiamiBlues

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SHARE THE LOAD TO BE A MAN

Posted on March 11, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized, BLOGGING CONTEST | Tags: , |

We live in a society where people are judged on the basis of variables like caste, religion,family name and even gender and sadly not on the basis of qualification, ability etc. This what development economists call as one indicator of underdevelopment. Of course, when it comes to the opportunities for women, things are not pretty much different even in the most developed of the societies.

Women are stereotyped when it comes to their choice of occupation. They are considered unsuitable for certain occupations that are regarded as manly. Even when women decide to stay as housewives, things are not better. There are certain tasks which are supposed to be taken care by the mother or the wife. At the same time, women are not even taken into consideration when it comes to some important issues.

It is considered unmanly when some man decides to do something as trivial as making tea or coffee for himself. I often have come across friends and colleagues who boast about their lack of any talent in the above mentioned area. If someone opens up, he is laughed at and in the worst case, he is ridiculed. There are also instances where the wife does not allow her husband to stay in the kitchen for any length of time, for she does not want to break the tradition.

In this context, I recall my personal experience. My father from the southern part of India is an expert in the art of making filter coffee. He would start the process before going to bed for the filter to do the magic so that the morning would witness the strong aroma of coffee. My wife from a different part of the country only knew about one variety of coffee-the instant one. She was not happy with my father being the master coffee brewer of the family for that would bring shame to the daughter-n-law and she decided to set things right. But for a considerable length of time, my father would beat her to the first cup.

So think of one task that is the exclusive domain of the women-washing of clothes. Many of the menfolk boast loudly that their clothes are cleaned and also pressed by the ladies at home. Before marriage, the mother and post marriage, it the turn of the wife to wash the dirty linen, albeit, not in the glare of the public eye. For the poor, the women wash the clothes of their families at public taps.

My mother was a teacher in a high school who always had her hands full with the task of managing the house as well as her occupation. With four kids who often were like Dennis the Menace, things were difficult for us. Come Sunday she would spend a lot of time taking care of the dirty clothes, when washing machines were not accessible for ordinary folks like us.

As me and my siblings came across some friends who washed their clothes, a tiny bit of load was taken off the shoulder of my mother. Later, all the four of us spent varying amounts of time in hostels for our post graduation studies, washing of clothes became a necessity and to this day the trend continues, much to the chagrin of my wife. It is not that I am here to give any sermon to anyone, but I honestly believe in the sharing the load. I cannot take the load related to cooking and taking care of my son, and I can lend her a hand when it comes to the washing of clothes. I must confess that I only wash my clothes since my wife does not allow me to take care of her clothes as well as those of our son.

Just as charity should begin at home, so should the so-called empowerment of women. The sharing of the load as far as washing clothes is concerned, is just a small token of our gratitude to mothers and wives. It is manly to care and protect our women. This should not be very difficult in a society where even the top job could be handled by a woman. Of course, there is the most developed country in the world which is yet to witness a contest involving a woman for the top job.

With apologies to Bob Dylan, I am paraphrasing the lyrics of the great song “Blowin’ In The Wind”

“How many tons of clothes should a lady wash to be called a woman.The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind”.

I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation

There is the following video to help #ShareTheLoad

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MOMENTS OF LOVE TO LAUGH

Posted on February 11, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized, BLOGGING CONTEST | Tags: , , |

In the journey called life, marriage is an important station in the process. The station can make us better persons by revealing new facets about you and your partner, in my case the missus. There are misunderstandings and things lost in translation that can make everyone less confident at the prospect of going forward in the journey.

Even as mine was an arranged marriage, I decided to marry outside of the comfort zone of the same language. The language difference was not an issue as everyone in my home are quite familiar with it. There were some differences when it came to customs and traditions. The learning curve was not too steep.

After a few months of marriage, I took my wife out on a long drive-of more than fifty kilometres to a small town where the wife of a friend was recuperating after a major surgery. While returning home along the road covered on both sides by greenery, my wife was pleasantly surprised as she came from a city where the trees were made of concrete.

WIth wind, small mangoes fell from the trees on to the road and my wife picked some. She wanted to make a tasty dish and prove her culinary skills when she did not have any ! The following day I was greeted by a strange looking dish and it was the mango one. Before I could have a go at it, my wife took it away and ran to the kitchen. After a few minutes she emerged with tears in her eyes. I got worried and after cajoling that went for a few hours, the secret was out. She tasted the chutney and found it extremely unpalatable. She took the blame on herself for not keeping upto the standards. It did not help that I tried to dissuade her the previous day about the poor quality of the mangoes. Now after all these years, my wife has become a good cook and now whenever we sight raw mangoes, the above mentioned incident comes to mind and we laugh uncontrollably. It was love on her part that she tried too hard and failed for no fault of hers and it was the same love that is making us both laugh wholeheartedly.

My wife was very much of the opinion that I was not prudent when it came to the spending of my rather small salary. She took it upon herself to set the matters right with regard to the fiscal position of the household. She brought home a diary to list all the details of the income and expenditure in a manner that would be a lesson to any budding accountant. To her horror she noticed how it was difficult to manage the finances, leave alone save something substantial. The ball or rather the keys of the treasury were handed over to me ungrudgingly. I do not make any budgets, for they cause more unhappiness with things like inflation going to dominate our discussions, even in the bedroom ! We both laugh at her inability to manage the finances and my inability to earn a bit more.

Where there is love, there is laughter. The laughter can only make the love for each other stronger even as sometimes, the laughter is due to pure helplessness.

One of my favourite cricket player while growing up was Desmond Haynes of the West Indies who still wears the golden chain that has the words ‘Live,Love & Laugh’ I believe that to live one has to love and be loved and laugh with the partner to make life appear less troublesome than it actually is.

This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.

There is the video from Caratlane

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I AM A CRICKET FANATIC

Posted on April 21, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

I find it extremely painful not being able to watch live cricket on the television. The timings of the matches mostly coincide with my work hours or with the requirements of my wife and son.

When it comes to the Indian Premier League (#IPL), things are different as far as the timing is concerned but in the evenings, my son always wants to go for a long ride on my motorbike or my wife wants to go out just to beat the heat or to damage my badly damaged wallet.

With the advent of mobile phones, keeping track of the matches became easy at anytime and anywhere thanks to the text messaging. The latest score was just an SMS away. Now with most of us having smartphones with dedicated apps for cricket that work best with high speed data connections, things have go to a different level altogether. Text messaging for scores and results has become so old fashioned.

I remember the time when I was new into my job and had to take a class while India was playing. I mustered enough courage and asked the students about them not watching the match. The students admitted that they would rather go home and watch but for my class. I felt flattered for the students chose my class over the match, At the same time, it also gave me an indication of the desire of my students and asked them to leave the classroom and the college without attracting any unwanted attention of the Principal. Of course, the Head of the Department and the Principal came to know of my escapade and had a laugh a few days later. It helped that they were colleagues of my father.

I remember the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup of 1996 when India clashed with Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens. I requested people in charge of the examinations to exempt me for the day. No matter how persuasive I was, they simply wouldn’t budge and I had to supervise. Of course, India finished on the losing side and the hurt over the refusal of the colleagues was far less in relation to the anger resulting from the loss of the match.

For the last few months, my wife makes me go to the bed early, partly to enable me to go for walk in the morning and partly to help my son get up early for his school. With the current edition of #PepsiIPL2014 in the middle-east, some of the matches go past the curfew hour fixed by my wife. So I have devised a new plan. I sit before the television with some text books one day and answer scripts the next. I am dreading the day when she finds out that there are no classes in the college since the examinations are going on. So much planning has to be made for a simple game of cricket.

Starsports.com has launched a number of mobile apps to whet the appetite of cricket fans. I would love to watch the matches of #IPL #PepsiIPL on my mobile but for the poor data connection. The next best thing is the scoreboard app that is really fast.Besides, there are statistics and videos to make for any missed action.

This is my entry for the fabulous contest put up by starsports.com and blogadda.com at starsports.blogadda.com. There are great prizes on offer.
This post is a part of Cricket just got better! Activity by starsports.com in association with BlogAdda.com.

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