Some Observations From Singapore

Well, the first observation is actually from last year when I had visited both Singapore and Hong Kong…For some reason, I had this thing in my head that the locals in HK spoke English because the country had been a British colony till 1997…But lo and behold when I landed there I realized that the local Chinese did not or didn’t want to speak the Queen’s language…As a result, we had a tough time negotiating our way through the island…Our host’s landlord wrote down his address (the host’s) in the local language on piece of paper and we showed this to taxi drivers when we wanted to get back home…But Singapore is different…The locals speak English (thank god!)…Why is this so? Did Lee Kuan Yew force people to learn the language because he himself was Oxbridge educated?

The second observation is a phenomenon I thought was uniquely Indian – the obsession with ‘fairness’…The other day I saw an ad selling something called a whiteness chip which when stuck to your face makes you fair…OK, I know these creams and chips don’t actually make you fair and that they just help remove tans but I’ve never seen a tanned Chinese…Have you? Also, as far as I can see they are pretty white so why do they want to become whiter?

Singaporeans are extremely efficient…I got a shock when I reached the employment office (a division of the Ministry of Manpower) to register my daughter and myself as dependants…The office was not only clean and well lit, there were four well dressed and courteous young ladies waiting at the door to help us around…We had reached there 15 minutes early but since the place was empty, we were taken in immediately…The registration and fingerprinting (a new rule) took all of 10 minutes…They even had a play area for children which my daughter took full advantage of…Why are 2 countries which started off nearly at the same time so different? Do Indians lack motivation to better themselves or are we by nature discourteous and dirty? Do we need a dictator like Lee Kuan Yew?

Have Landed

As the aircraft touched down at Changi, I realized that my month-long holiday was over and the grind of settling in was about to begin…The weather was no different from Kolkata so I felt at home in that respect – nice and sweaty all the time…

The apartment my husband has chosen is pretty good – nice and spacious and the best thing about the complex it is in is the olympic size pool…My daughter went mad when she saw it and wanted to get into it immediately…The grind began after a bit of rest…Although the packers had unpacked the stuff there was a lot of organizing, dusting and food ordering to do…The first thing I had to do was go and buy a mop!!! Eeks!!! Life was good in Gurgaon where I used to sit back and blog all day long…

I’ve made some inroads in setting up the place…The handyman came yesterday to put up the paintings and the place is thankfully looking more like a home, my home…

Today I made the pilgrimmage to Mecca (no, no not Mecca, Saudi Arabia but Mustafa’s)…I couldn’t sleep last night at the thought of it (I HATE shopping especially at Mustafa’s) but I needed masalas, daals etc. and that is the best place for Indian stuff…That place is not only huge but jam packed even though it is open 24 hours…

More later…Gotta to take my daughter for swimming…

Tag: Sw…Swi…Switcheroo!

Thanks Indyeah for tagging me…I was hoping I wouldn’t be because I really don’t know what men find sexy other than a woman’s figure…I think women in general use a different lens while checking out guys – maybe we are more intelligent 🙂 and realize that six pack abs and chiselled jaws are just fleeting while a sense of humour, intelligence, sensitivty, depth and money 🙂 are more permanent…

If I were a man, I would dream about these sexy women every single night:

1) Aprilia RS250

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This 249cc Italian sex machine is a winner all the way…She’s the ultimate track tool due to her high power to weight ratio and hard-edged racing technology derived from years of Aprilia racing experience…

2) Ducati Apollo

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This 1260cc V four Italian babe is truly unique because only two of them were ever created…She enjoys a mythical reputation, revered and lusted after by millions…

3) Ferrari 360 Modena

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This 2 seater 6 speed lady leaves me speechless! She’s perfect in every way…

4) Aston Martin DB5

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The James Bond car…Look at the figure – absolutely perfect! No wonder James Bond was in love with her…She appeared with him in Goldfinger, Thunderball, Golden Eye and Tomorrow Never Dies

5) Jaguar XK120

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A classic beauty…Not only does she have beautiful curves but she has character too…

Edited to add:

Since I don’t know what men like other than a curvaceous figure, t & a and pouting lips, I’ve included a photograph of Angelina Jolie…Hitchwriter, this is in response to your request…

Vinod thinks I’ve missed the point entirely – maybe I have…He thinks thinks guys like cars and bikes to get girls…

So, to make both of them happy I’m adding this photograph…Hope you guys like it!

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Kangaroo Justice

We (including myself) laugh and cry at the ridiculousness of the justice meted out by Taliban courts in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but our rural courts are no better…A ‘court’ in the tribal village of Dumurkotha, W.B.  branded three women as witches (and even ‘sentenced’ one of them to death for being the chief witch) because a minor girl Mamoni Murmi died last Saturday after a severe bout of delirium…The three women were accused of using black magic to kill the girl…

“Mamoni went to bathe in a pond on May 30 with her maternal aunt. After that, she fell sick. We came to know that those three witches used evil forces with Mamoni’s hair as strands of that were found on the soap she had used for her bath,” said Baidyanath Murmu, Mamoni’s father. 

Hmmm…Waterproof evidence – strands of hair on a soap cake…The ‘judges’ didn’t take into consideration the fact that Mamoni had been ill for the past three months…

On Saturday evening, Mamoni lost consciousness after a severe bout of delirium and later died. When her father, Baidyanath, tried to take the body to a yard where bodies [of] unmarried girls are dumped alongside carcasses of cattle, according to the ritual, the villagers wouldn’t let him do so. 
“They wanted to know if Mamoni had mumbled the names of the three women and held them responsible for her illness. When I said yes, they dragged the three out of their homes and locked them in the room where Mamoni’s body was kept. Since then, the women have been confined to the room and the villagers are bent on lynching them if they can’t revive my daughter,” Baidyanath said.

This story is not new or unique…Such incidents (or similar) are an every day occurrence in our country because of superstition resulting from low literacy rates and domination of women by men…That is why I get irritated when people talk about the Women’s Reservation Bill as a means of empowering women…It’s nothing but a vote getting gimmick…Instead of going for the top first (political empowerment), the government should get the bottom (social, economic and educational empowerment) right first…Oh, I forgot…The fruits of such programmes are not visible immediately and therefore not particularly newsworthy so why should any politician whose only purpose in life is to get votes encourage such programmes?

 


Can Pakistan Be Fixed?

I think not…I think it will always remain in a state of anarchy…Ahmed Rashid’s dispatch is chilling…

In Pakistan there is no such broad national identity or unity. Many young Balochs today are fiercely determined to create an independent Balochistan. The ethnic identities of people in the other provinces have become a driving force for disunity. The gap between the rich and poor has never been greater, and members of the Pakistani elite have rarely acted responsibly toward the less fortunate masses. The Taliban have gained some adherents by imposing rough forms of land redistribution in some of the areas it controls, expropriating the property of rich landlords. Education and job creation have been the least-funded policies of Pakistan’s governments, whether military or civilian, and literacy levels are abysmal; there are now some 20 million youth under age seventeen who are not in school. The justice system has virtually collapsed in many areas, which is why the Taliban demand for speedy justice has some popular appeal. Moreover, the Pakistani public has to deal with the differing versions of Pakistani policy put out by the army, the political parties, the Islamic fundamentalists, and the press and other components of civil society. There is confusion about what actually constitutes a threat to the state and what is needed for nation-building.

What Kind Of A Person

donates torn and soiled clothing to charity especially when the charity hasn’t specifically said “Give me your tired, your stained”? Are you shocked? Don’t be…I can assure you there are people who don’t think twice before donating unwashed, worn out or torn clothes…Yesterday, I went to Bharat Sevashram Sangha in Kolkata to donate clothes, bed linen and food for the victims of Cyclone Aila and was shocked to see what people had left to be distributed amongst the needy…Most of the clothes weren’t washed and some had holes in them…Are the needy not people? Don’t they have dignity? I’ve never given anything to anyone that can’t be used and till yesterday, I thought everyone thought and acted like me…

The people who donated the unusable stuff are probably gloating to others about their good deed but did they really do anyone any favours by donating goods that were worn out or damaged beyond use? They in fact created more work for the ashram as the latter will now have to find a way of disposing the junk…

Am I being stupid or is it common courtesy to toss the disgusting and the unusable in one’s own garbage?