The Conquest of Happiness – Bertrand Russell


Finally, I got to read the much talked about works of Bertrand Russell. What new can I add to the panegyrics that already have been bestowed on him.

All I can say is that he writes with lucidity and critical analysis. The gist of this work is that moderation is a prerequisite for happiness and that the interests of a person should be located in outside world and in other people and not within himslef because if it is inwards, the constancy of the subject is bound to get boring and leads to boredome etc.

This is a book of which a personal copy should be kept and should be reverted back to whenever in doubt. Despite the fact that it was written in 1930, almost all of it is relevant in the lives that we live today. A classic!

The fact that he was a logocian endears him more to me. I somehow feel that he is like my grandfather. In looks and in virtues,he reminds me so much of my babaji.

Seinfeld


Am sold on it!! This is apparently a show about nothing and that’s true. It’s pure nonsense but it is hilarious!! It took me time to get started on it. After 3-4 episodes I started getting the hang of it and have been addicted since then. Storylines are not very great, as a matter of fact, there are hardly any storylines as such, but the situations, the acting: top class, too good.

The best character: George Costanza. He is such a big LOSER that you can’tdo anything but enjoy the character. He is hilarious. The acting done by Jason Alexander is supremely good. Now Jerry Seinfeld is a very quick witted comedian but not half good an actor. However, every other character on the show is a gem. Be it Kramer, Elaine or George. They are the true stars of the show.

I love it!! I laught it !!

Identity and Violence – Amartya Sen


One could not ask for a more articulate, detailed and supremely intellectual analysis of the relation between identity and the problem of violence erupting in the society. He finds out that the problem lies in imposing a narrow outlook on a person’s identity and making sweeping generalizations based on that for a whole group which might otherwise be a complex set of infinitely diverse identities.He also argues the merits of multiculturalism and the demerits of plural monoculturalism. What emerges out is that the identity perception of an individual by himself and by others plays a very major role in the social, political and economic situations and that if we are ever to solve the problems of religious/civilizational clashes we will have to do a deep analysis of identifying identities.

This book is engaging, witty, analytical and intellectual.  One feels highly enriched after reading it. Such a powerful presentation of wonderful ideas is exactly what is expected of a scholar like Amartya Sen. This is a must read for all those who wish to think and engage in problems of society.

What India needs?


Two things should be the most imporant things to look after. It is not that other things are not important but if one has to point out just 2 things that have to be done to solve the problems fast, I would bet my money on the follwing two:

1. Removal of Abject Poverty

2. Ensuring Gainful Employment

Now, the NREG scheme started by the government is a very positive step in the direction of first goal. In the least it will ensure food for two times. But that is not sufficient. There is a hell lot more to be done.

As for the second option, nothing is working. Nothing. People are graduating and not getting a job. That is the worst thing because that breeds all kindof ills. An educated idle mind is more dangerous that uneducated idle minds. So, the whole effort of improving higher education will be wasted if we do not provide employment to te people who are getting graduated.

What is the solution? How can the government empower the people to make themselves useful. The easy and temporary solution is to establish institutes and such to employ. But this is unsustainable and inefficient and costlymethod. Other way is to boost industry and service sector. As of now, only nearly 25% people are working in industry and 16% in industry/manufacturing. These statistics together have to shoot up to at least 60%. If that happens we will have achieved muchof our goal.

I am sure there are many innovative solutions to overcome this, just when and where they will come into play is the question. I hope soon.

I Dare – Kiran Bedi


As a matter of fact, when you think about Kiran Bedi, that is the first word which comes to mind, Daring. She is a woman of so much substance that I am afraid , no other will be able to match her up soon. She takes up every challenge and converts it into success. She does what she is told is not possible and she does it in such style that naysayers have to bite their tongue.

As for the book, it is not very well written. I have a problem with the style where events are described, time of happeneing not withstanding. I prefer the chronological order, specially in books meant to be factual or at least for the most part factual. This book is not. The woman we are talking about is so extraordinary here that I feel the book was not able to potray all that she is as well as it could have. The subject is immensely interesting but the presentation is a little lackadaisical. Nonetheless, if one wants to read and know Kiran Bedi, this is the document to pick up.

It certainly has inspired me, as I am sure several other girls and told them that there are no limits. There are only those limits which we create for ourselves.


So, I have a few things to write about now. My trip to the Bharatpur bird sanctuary on the new year eve, the concept of ethno mathematics, the dhrupad sangeet of Indian Classical Music by Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, and the Energy 2020l. Now, I have something to say about all of it. But there is an inertia which sets in me from time to time with respect to blogging and right now I am in like a stopped stage. So, there is required some(great) force to get me moving. In the meanwhile, I will do a short book review and leave there topics to be written on someday, sooner than later I hope.