Month: December 2013

2013

As every writer is obliged, I too am to write about the year which passed by. With a few more hours to go, it is almost time to bid adieu to 2013 and thus I shall recollect the events which made this year notable. I shall not be exaggerating if I would claim that the year has been a depressing one. On a worldwide scale, the Cyprus Bailout early in the year, put a dent in the much shaky EU financial system. Moreover, the Edward Snowden chapter raised questions on the fundamentals of human rights, while the Wikileaks latest release on the secret Transpacific Agreement further propagandizing the fact and alluded the ever-widening grip of capitalism in our lives. The ObamaCare programme fiasco and the US Shutdown marred Obama’s administration, while we are once again poised for another showdown between the Republics and the Democrats in the first half of 2014.

Closer to home, the UPA did not seem to have learnt from their earlier mistakes. The PM failed to adequately respond to allegations of him being involved in the 2G spectrum scam and the Coal Blocks allocation scam. The Food Security Bill passed in September 2013, which aimed at providing food grains at a subsidized rate was touted as a delusionary tactic in order to win over the masses before the upcoming elections. The Sand mining scam involving IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal and the NSEL scam further pointed out how incompetent the UPA 2.0 era was.

Nevertheless, the year did bring its reasons to be cheerful. The financial markets made a comeback with most indexes outperforming their corresponding debt market benchmarks; while Dow trades at all time high. The European Union finally stabilized during the latter half of the year after a rocky couple of years. Shifting focus back to my home country; as India was embroiled between a BJP – Congress war of words, there emerged another successor in the form of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejriwal. Not that I am a stout supporter of any particular party, AAP has managed to spur a nation wide movement against corrupt leaders, which had seemed impossible until only a short while ago.

Keeping politics aside, the year was dominated by youngsters; Magnus Carlsen (aged 22) managed to defeat Vishwanathan Anand to become the youngest World Chess Champion, Eleanor Catton (aged 28) became the youngest person ever to win the Man Booker prize for her book titled ‘The Luminaries’ and Quvenzhané Wallis (aged 9) became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for Oscars amongst others

On a much personal level, Manchester United winning the Premier league earlier this year did cheer me up while Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Bezos investing in various kinds of journalism reinstated my belief in its future.

In the end, a moment for those we lost during the year; Nelson Mandela, James Gandolfini of the ‘Sopranos’ fame, Martin Richard and others who were killed during the Boston bombings amongst various other people.

Concluding the post with a hope that 2014 be memorable. Cheers!

Advertisements

Britian to start rolling out plastic currency in 2016

It is official! The Bank of England will start issuing plastic money in 2016! Although that isn’t news as the central bank had gone on a country-wide spree explaining to the citizens of their country the benefit of plastic notes a while ago, what makes headlines is that Jane Austen will feature on 10-pound notes which will be issued a year later. In spite of the furore the Canadian plastic notes have been making, plastic notes, the Central Bank contends are more durable, difficult to counterfeit and cheaper to produce. However, the responses to the announcement was mixed.

One skeptical man told the BBC that the prototype felt “a bit like Monopoly money.”

The BoE too themselves admitted that the new currency “sometimes stick together . . . this effect is shortlived”.

Irrespective of the manner of change; for a country which loves and clings to its tradition, a switch to any form of currency would be difficult to implement.

Anon

Dear anyone,

I see ol’ Jack sitting out there alone. The boy thinks he’s in a limbo and he’s starting to get paranoid. What he is unaware of is probably the fact that almost everyone like him is living in a limbo. Unlike him, most are even unaware of this, and those who are have accepted the condition. Maybe even I fall into that class of people. Introspection doesn’t help anymore though. The myriad of confusion prevails.
Most of you’ll would consider this as ramblings, extraneous and muddled. That’s the way life is. I offer no solace.

Signing off,
Anonymous.

Reasoning

‘You seek solace in a place which does not exist’, said the man.

‘You fail to understand faith’, relied the priest.

‘Maybe I do. But I do understand that in the name of a higher power, you belie the significance of individualism’, he replied.

‘Such fallacy! Do you think there is no intelligent being the existence of this entire earth?’, questioned the priest.

‘And if you do prove that he does exist, you uproot the age-old belief of men in Science and the Big Bang theory!’ he countered, as he turned around, smiling.

‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, my son’, narrated the priest.

‘Argumentation has never been a strong point for your side, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be’, muttered the man as he walked out of the room.

Quote For The Day

The Dish

Mandela Accused Of Treason In 1956

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” – Nelson Mandela, proof that the final form of love is forgiveness.

It is rare that one soul can impact all of ours – and make us more patient, more powerful and more human. Mandela was such a soul. And he will never leave us.

Update from a reader:

Nelson Mandela is the greatest public figure of my lifetime – greater than FDR, Churchill, JFK, Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Upon hearing of Mandela’s death my memory instantly went to his speech to the Irish Parliament and subsequently to the Irish people whose history is also filled with oppression and sadness:

It could have been that our own hearts turned to stone. It could have been that…

View original post 119 more words