January 25, 2007

God's diet

This is something someone sent to me by email a long time back, and I loved it. Since I feel overwhelmed by the nothing-much-to-do-but-busy-all-the-time syndrome, I will put this up just to share it with people who haven't yet seen it.

***
And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach and green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.
And Satan created McDonald's.

And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double-cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man,"You want fries with that?" And Man said, "Super size them." And Man gained pounds.


And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.
And Satan froze the yogurt, and he brought forth chocolate, nuts and brightly colored sprinkle candy to put on the yogurt.

And woman gained pounds.


And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."
And Satan brought forth creamy dressings, bacon bits, and shredded cheese. And there was ice cream for dessert.

And woman gained pounds.

And God said, "I have sent your heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."
And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak from Cracker Barrel so big, it needed its own platter.

And Man gained pounds, and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes, and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.
And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between TV1 and TV2.

And Man gained pounds.

And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil."

And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.
And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also.

And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol.

And Satan saw and said,"It is good."

And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.....
And Satan created Medical Insurance Companies.

January 18, 2007

Design

In an earlier post titled Colour, I put up a photo of an object coloured bright mustard with red spots, and on an impulse, asked people what it could be. This aroused the curiosity of quite a few people (by my blog standards!), and it was fun revealing the answer secretly, by email. I feel highly encouraged, so here's one more.
Any guesses what this could be?

January 11, 2007

The cop and I

Having handed over the last of a series of publications in the press, I heaved a sigh of relief and feeling exhausted but light-headed, drove straight to the supermarket to buy (unusually) junk food to celebrate the end of a busy period. Driving home from the supermarket, I turned a usually quiet corner and was stopped by a cop.

Oops! I had forgotten to wear my seat belt! The seat belt rule had just been introduced in Hyderabad, and predictably, many people forgot to wear it.

Cop: Seat belt nahi pehne?
Me: Sorry, bhool gayi.
Cop: Licence batayiye...

I open my wallet and produce a photocopy of my licence...a tattered A4 sheet folded many times over. When the cop opens the whole thing, it tears into half and threatens to tear into many more pieces.

Cop: Plastic card nahi hai kya?
Me: Last time card nahi diye.
Cop: RTA mein application diye to, platic card milega.
Me: Thank you...jaaoongi.
Cop: Aap ladies hai...fine dedijiye, main saab ko doonga.

The saab is checking another vehicle a little distance away, and has a 'chalan' book with him.

Me: Yeh seat belt ka...naya rule hai na?...abhi aadat nahi hai....
Cop: Ek baar fine bhar diye to aadat ho jayegi! (smiles)
Me: Kitna?
Cop: Sau rupe...

I open my wallet. I have exactly Rs 30 with me! I am not nervous or scared, in fact, still elated despite all this...I feel cheeky enough to show the three ten-rupee notes to the cop.

Me: Sau rupe nahi hai...sirf tees hai...abbi mai supermarket mein credit card se pay karke aarahi hoon...
Cop (smiles): Phone karke kisi ko paise laane ko boliye...
Me (smiling back): Phone...nahi hai...

The cop looks at me disbelievingly...then pityingly. I am wondering what trouble I was going to be in now. Decided on one last shot...

Me: Arre...jaane dijiye na?

He looks at his saab, who is busy ‘chalaaning’ someone. All of a sudden, he smiles. In amusement, perhaps. And says...acha, jaayiye!!

Did I hear him right?! Yes!!

I step on the accelerator...sometimes it helps to have a tattered licence, an empty wallet and no cell phone!

One more thing...I have never forgotten to wear my seat belt again!

January 05, 2007

Please help save our vultures, Prime Minister Singh

I attended a talk by Dr Asad Rahmani, Director of the Bombay Natural History Society, about the sad sad story of how the Indian subcontinent has lost more than 90% of its vultures over the last 10 years.

Research has shown the cause to be a veterinary drug—diclofenac—administered to cattle. This drug has proved to be a death knell for vultures, which have been dying after eating dead animals injected with this medicine. There is therefore an urgent need for a ban on this drug.

When asked what individuals could do for this cause, Dr Asad Rahmani said that it would help if people could write letters to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, asking for strict enforcement of the ban on diclofenac.

Here’s a letter to Prime Minister Singh. If this news affects you as deeply as it affected me, please copy it and send it to Dr Singh—for whatever it is worth.

Dr Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister
7, Race Course Road
New Delhi, India


Dear Dr Singh,

Sub: Plea for strict and immediate enforcement of a ban across India, on the veterinary drug ‘Diclofenac’, because it is the cause for the decline in vulture populations across India.

We are sure you are aware that vultures are now an endangendered species. However, please see below, a short account of how this happened and what needs to be done.

Decline in vulture populations: There used to be millions of vultures in India two decades ago. The numbers have declined at an alarming rate in recent years. Now there are just 1000–2000 vultures left.

The cause: Research over the last 10 years has zoomed in on an anti-inflammatory veterinary drug—diclofenac—to be the cause of the deaths of vultures. This inexpensive drug is used across the country by veterinary doctors. Experiments show that vultures are highly susceptible to diclofenac and are killed when they feed on an animal treated with this medicine.

Importance of vultures: Vultures play a very important role in the ecosystem, and their decline is having adverse effects upon other wildlife, domestic animals and human beings.

What needs to be done: In order to reverse the vulture decline, diclofenac must be banned. Although the Indian Government has announced its support for a ban on the veterinary use of diclofenac (March 2005), this obviously needs to be implemented and properly enforced before vulture numbers can even start to recover.

Replacement to diclofenac: Meloxicam, which is similar to diclofenac in its effectiveness for treating livestock, has recently become available for veterinary use in India and could easily be used in place of diclofenac.

We plead with you, Prime Minister Sir, to help in the strict and immediate enforcement of a ban on diclofenac across India.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,


Info from:
- Presentation by Dr Asad Rahmani, Director, Bombay Natural History Society, 23 Dec 2006, Vidyaranya High School, Hyderabad, organized by Nature Quest.
- http://www.birdlife.org/action/science/species/asia_vulture_crisis/solutions.html

An apology to Africans

We have had a professional connect with Africa for a long time. While at ICRISAT during the eighties, we met and were friends with sever...