Monday, January 4, 2010

Can you hear a Pin drop?

Veer Savarkar once started addressing a public meeting in Hindi at Bangalore.
The crowd started shouting " Speak in Kannada. We will hear only in kannada."Veer Savarkar replied " Friends, I have spent 14 years of rigorous imprisonment in ill famous Andaman Jail where all freedom fighters were kept in jail. I have learned Bengali from the freedom fighters coming from Bengal, Hindi from those coming from Uttar Pradesh, even gujarathi and punjabi. Unfortunately there was none from Karnataka from whom I could have learned Kannada."
...and there was pin drop silence !

At a time when the US President and other US politicians tend to apologize for their country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some former US personnel handled negative comments about the United States.JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when Charles DeGaule, the French President, decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaule said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.Rusk responded "does that include those who are buried here? DeGaule did not respond.
You could have heard a pin drop !

When in England , at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if US plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.
He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.'
You could have heard a pin drop !

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'
You could have heard a pin drop!

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks when a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.
He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, 'Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'
You could have heard a pin drop!

Robert Whiting , an elderly US gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."
The American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France !"
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country,I couldn't find a single Frenchman to show a passport to."
You could have heard a pin drop!

-An email forward.

Close up:
"Change is one thing. Acceptance is another."
~Arundhati Roy

Sunday, January 3, 2010


The celestial talk of ‘Makar sankarati’ provoked these thoughts …
When I was in 5th standard, in History book I had read about Samrat Ashok, his figure was there too, next to it…Well I was surely taken by him completely, and another personality swept me off was Galileo Galilee ten years later. I had read about him in science supplement of local newspaper. Then on I have read everything I could about this guy.

Father of experimental physics; he joined the university as student of medicine and philosophy; Was appointed professor of mathematics, Was interested in the motion of falling bodies, spherical geometry, nautical engineering, and astronomy. (isn’t it enough to be stumped!)

Galilee proved that Copernicus was right that earth is circle around sun, not the opposite. Then he published, Church opposed. Then the church, tell him to change it but he refused. Then he was captive in jail until he changes his mind, but turn out until he died he never change his mind. "And yet ... it moves." Allegedly said by Galileo after, and accepting the church’s claim that the Earth was unmoving.
Sick – Aged – Truehearted scientist was house arrested till death still he put forward and defend the position of human beings in the universe. Through a telescope (his invention) set in his garden behind his house, Galileo saw the Milky Way, the valleys and mountains of the moon. He had hernia, insomnia & went blind at last checking his galaxies with his telescope.

The sentiments:

- This society and its rigid rules never left the great Galileo, where do we stand Buddy?
(Go on with what is important for you.)
- Where does the strength come from to stand with what you believe in for so long?
- Not only victorious write the history but the losers too.
- At last, the perpetrator was enlightened and the entire church was blind.
- We should be polite in dealing with authorities…Vatican did not trouble Copernicus but they were badly after Galileo. (Was that his ego? Remembering that Galileo also argued that science can know everything, Church will never accept this Man…)
- Why did destiny take the eyesight away from the old man after all that? When enough is enough?

I admire what Galileo was and I am inspired, how he did what he wanted to. Truly mindful.

Close up:
“Because reason is not sufficient to understand the universe.”