Saturday, October 23, 2010

On the cusp of new things

Before the clouds of epistemic arrogance set forth largely across the land,let me know.
O I know of you,and you are a menace,the 'Casper-the friendly ghost' of the ilk
A well meaning older brother who chastises and gives a timely well-aimed blow
The toiling student rejoices in small victories
And you smile back warily, fully aware of the vagaries of one's knowledge
Grant me the wisdom to not measure wisdom by the days spent in pursuit of some goal
For the greatest lesson is of love and the good one can do.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On National Library

The fate of this email is yet unknown ,and I hope some good comes off it.


From: Aby Johnson
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 7:10 PM
To: publicity at in.penguingroup dot com; sales at in.penguingroup dot com
Subject: Penguin India mentioned as a defaulter in Comptroller and Auditor General Report

 Respected Sir/Mam',

I had recently gone through the Comptroller and Auditor General Report(2010-11) (http://www.cag.gov.in/html/reports/civil/2010-11_3PA/chap1.pdf) on Audit activities done in the National Library.

As a loyal customer for many years of Penguin, I was dismayed to find it's name in the list of defaulting publishers as mentioned in Appendix 1 ,who do not contribute a free copy of every publication in India within a month of its publication as per the
Delivery of Books and Newspapers(Public Libraries) Act 1954.The report mentions the defaulters have been sent notices but usually they do not respond(see page 7 of the link given above).The list of defaulting publishers is given below of which Penguin is talked about at number 7 in the list.


 Public libraries are a source of being with books and many lakhs in India depend on them for getting acquainted with the latest books.

Sir,Mam',
The course of action is simple .If you could in future ensure that a free copy of each of your publications is sent to the National Library, it would reinforce in a small way what Sir Allen Lane (founder of Penguin books) had said "
We believed in the existence in this country of a vast reading public for intelligent books at a low price,and staked everything for it". Sir Allen, I am sure, would be glad that you could continue the spirit of his enterprise by contributing to India's National Library as well.

Thanks and regards,
Aby Johnson


 




Sunday, October 03, 2010

Let the games begin

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finally the book

Kaminey nazar se dekha gaya manzar
Aur jaana ki ya tho mukhauta pehen kar jaam mein shaamil ho
Ya phir apnay vasool se peeche na hatke,kaam mein shaamil ho

-The hard working beaver and 'Smart' work:Collected works.

Coming soon,a collection of English rhymes with Urdu euphemisms on higher education and finding pots of platinum at the end of rainbow.Diwali release :-)


Of course,it's going to be illustrated and a free E-book.This is going to be fun and my gift to my niece.My sister used to read me stories (and so did Dad, grandpas and occasionally mom )and introduced me to books, my way of completing part of that cycle. :-)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Bharat Bandh(ook)

Dear children,

I am your friendly Constitution writer. Yeah, that book we wrote long back in the late 1940s hoping to put in words what many of us then had this fad about : freedom , social justice and rest of the things we thought were nifty. Sure the French and the Americans (and the Brits whom we had just said adieu to ) had their own editions some years back , but we wanted an Indian edition .Mighty amount of debates it took : we even debated whether we should debate on Sundays. We thought we did a good job , eh ?


So what is this now I hear of sweet cherubic looking seventy year political types running a joint called "Bharat bandh" tomorrow. Fuel hike ? So we built you guys a Parliament House for that, did we not ? We gave you MPs , MLAs :the works . We even gave you PILs , and now I hear you spring chickens have something called RTI too. What's it with the bandanna wearing 20-something hockey-wielding two-day old stubble looking guy who says he will break your femur into four or preferably five pieces if you go to office tomorrow ? Fuel hike ? What happened to learned debate ? I hear you kids now like to vote to for parties with young guns :it appeals to your sense of what India's current age demographics are . What have you asked your young Parliamentarians to ask on your behalf in recent days ? No ? Oh, I see , you are not really into the Question hour thingy , are you ? Drab news, never cut ice even those days .

I flip through the pages of today's newspaper and it seems the angle the newspapers are covering is that ideologically different parties have joined hands for tomorrow's bandh .Sure as hell did not think that freedom of expression would be used in this manner.

What's that ? For the greater common good, the few temporary inconveniences should be tolerated. Nice quote . Where did you get that from , son? WikiQuote ?

Grow a spine , kids.And yes, we wrote the Constitution hoping you would use it for some good.


Yours truly,
Politician from an age long gone

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The inner-Barbie, feminism ,elitism and IPL


This battle of pens has been going on for a month and a half.In fact, not just woman journalists, opinion seems to be flowing freely from the male journalists too.


Time for a re-play for the innocent Indian reader:

The story-line is as follow:

Vrinda Gopinath writes a racy profile of Sunanda Pushkar, Got A Girl, Named Sue, and this invites the ire of other journalists who deride the article as "elitist" and "slander"

Other journalists write rejoinders severely chastising Vrinda for what she wrote.

Retort 1 :In The Hindu,Vidya Subramaniam, writes a retort:This journalism requires no sweat


Retort 2
Tehelka's Shoma Chaudhury interviews Sunanda about her take then :The Parable Of The Vamp

Retort 3
Shefalee Vasudev writes about how the perception of fashion may have been a casualty in this war of words in the June 2010 issue of Elle ,In the dollhouse

Rejoinder 1:
Vrinda then writes a rejoinder about all the objections raised by her peers in the media watchdog website:The Hoot, Trashing Sunanda Pushkar

The glass ceiling , as seen by Indian journalists.Watch this space.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Spare the rod and spoil the Youth Wing

RJD's youth wing , was dissolved last Friday, owing to the fact that its two leaders flashed pistols at each other(http://bit.ly/bqvrT3 ).

'You and your organization are grounded', spake the Lalu.
Leader 1:"But he started it."
Leader 2 :"Liar, liar, pants on fire."

All is well in Bihar tonight.