Thursday, May 31, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 22: Review of John Dayal's book

John Dayal has been untiring in his effort to fight for the rights of all Christians in India. I read his postings on this issue which reach me here in Finland almost daily.

Being far removed from India presently, John certainly covers the urgency with which this subject should be treated.

This morning, a link arrived in my email which was a wonderful review of John's new book Christians: A Faith Under Assault In Secular India by Vidya Bhushan Rawat dated 30 May, 2007

Two sentences in particular got my attention:

The bitterest critique of Christendom comes from those who were educated at these prestigious institutions. They will not targets prestigious institutions in Delhi, Mumbai or elsewhere because most of their family members come out from these colleges.

Just ask Arun Shourie where he studied.

He was my hockey captain in St. Stephen's College in 1961-62!

Arun was a great journalist, worthy of the Magasay award that he received, till hatred and the need to get power to get back at his "enemies" entered his heart. From then onwards his journalistic talent went down the toilet and his hypocrisy has adorned his shoulders!

I am particularly taken with Padma's comment that appeared in relation to an earlier post, and like John, I give kudos to this wonderful young lady.

Although John is much junior to me, I watch his tireless work with awe and admiration.

Monday, May 28, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 21: Be warned or die

(Cross-posted on all my major blogs.)

One of my alumni friends sent me this post which I think is very important.

Coke cans stacked in a warehouse.
Not all warehouses are so clean and tidy!


This incident happened recently in North Texas.

A woman went boating one Sunday, taking with her some cans of coke which she put into the refrigerator of the boat. On Monday she was taken to the hospital and placed in the Intensive Care Unit. She died on Wednesday.

The autopsy concluded she died of Leptospirosis. This was traced to the can of coke she drank from, not using a glass. Tests showed that the can was infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis.

Rat urine contains toxic and dangerous substances. It is highly recommended to thoroughly wash the upper part of Soda cans before drinking out of them. The cans are typically stocked in warehouses and transported straight to the shops without being cleaned.

A study at NYCU showed that the tops of soda cans are more contaminated than public toilets (i.e).. full of germs and bacteria. So wash them with water before putting them to the mouth to avoid any kind of fatal accident.

Same goes for the envelopes, do not lick it.

I do not know how many times I have drunk directly from cans. I have been lucky but may not be next time.

In an article which appeared in an English online paper Milton Keynes Citizen dated 22nd May 2007Rat infestations on the increase this was stated:

Among the 70 diseases that rats are known to carry are cholera, typhus, bubonic plague and leptospirosis, a bacterial illness spread by their urine contaminating water or food.

Leptospirosis is also known to infect anglers who can come in contact with rats' urine when fishing on the riverbank.

Council environmental health officer Simon Teesdale warned that bird feeding is one of the top causes for attracting rats to residential properties.

I am not an angler, so I need not worry about that. Annikki is planning on feeding the beautiful birds that visit our garden. We will now follow rules that will endure that no rats come to eat at the same bird house.

My thanks to my good friend 55er Bunny Rao of the Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai, for sending me this message. He may have saved many a life, including mine, with this one.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 20: Part 2: Why do I do the things I do?

(Cross-posted on all my major blogs.)

The reaction to the first part of this blog title was so overwhelming that I thought I would share another of my very simplistic theories with you.

This blog entry covers the subject of physical and mental endurance.

Beautiful Rauma.

Two scooters belonging to my friends had to be delivered to Rauma, a lovely small town in south Finland. In the normal course I would have just booked them in a truck service and sent them on.

Not having done a long distance drive since 2003, when I drove 1300 km to Helsinki and back the same day, I wondered whether I could repeat part of this by driving to Rauma and back the same day - a total distance of 1100 km up and down.

When I told Annikki my plan, she said I was crazy. She tried to talk me out of this foolhardy mission. But my mental make-up was such that I knew I had to do this trip.

I loaded the scooters onto the trailer. Just as I was tying them down as firmly as I could, my Zambian friend, Kamutaza Tembo, turned up. He did the job of tying both the scooters down as tight as he could.

It looked as if we had done a good job.

Friday was a busy day. We had been invited to dinner by Indu and Asheesh, an Indian couple newly settled in Oulu. Their 4-year old son, Karthik, is a real whiz kid. I get on famously with him.

Indu and Asheesh decided we would dine at the Indian Cuisine, the new Indian Restaurant in Oulu. The owner, Michelle, was there to look after us. She produced an absolutely great meal. For the first time in the last 10 years we had tandoori chicken which tasted as much as tandoori chicken from Moti Mahal on Chandini Chowk in New Delhi.

After this meal, eaten slowly and enjoyed till the last mouthful, Indu and Asheesh suggested we visit their new home. Indu has done a wonderful job with this flat, bright and airy and really home-like. We chatted and finished with ice cream. I had to drag Annikki away, as I planned to leave at sunrise, about 3:30 am.

When we got home, I go a shock.

Annikki said she would also accompany me on this long journey! Although grateful to have her company, I was wondering how she would last this journey, as I had no intention of stopping halfway!

She has not done such an arduous journey in the last 15 years.

I had a shower and hit the sack. I was tired when I went to bed, but I was up, fresh as a daisy, at 3:30 am. As it was raining I decided to wait till it got a bit brighter. I let Annikki sleep while I got all the paperwork for the trip ready. Just as I was going to fill the petrol at 4 am, I told her that she should be ready in about half an hour.

As soon as I hit the first bump on the road, I realised that the scooters would give me trouble en route. After filling the petrol, I thought of a great idea and put the spare tyre between the two scooters, wedging it in tight. I then re-tightened all the ropes. When I tested it driving home, I was sure that for the most part there would be no damage en route.

I was home by 4:30 and we were able to get on the road by 4:45.

We took a route which is non-traditional. Although driving slowly because of the load in the trailer, we made good time. We stopped at a petrol station for a cup of tea. I stopped another 3 times to ensure the ropes were tightened. By 12 noon we were in Rauma.

After unloading the scooters, we dropped in to see our friends, Padma and Mika. It was Mika's birthday so we had a piece of cake and some great Indian tea. We had to refuse the meal that Padma had cooked for us as Annikki and I had eaten crisps all the journey down to Rauma.

Kannan is moving to a new flat at the end of the month. We went to see his nice new apartment. Then we drove to a lovely restaurant, HR-Kala in Olkiluoto, which specialises in Fish.

The lunch, two pieces of beautifully smoked salmon, a large fish cutlet and sliced gravey salmon served with freshly cut vegetables was superb.

HR stands for the name of the fisherman, Hannu. He has two boats, a 5 metre and a 10 metre one. He fishes in the waters of Olkiluoto and sells his fish at the Rauma market. He and his wife run this great fish restaurant.

We had this delicious early dinner. By 4 pm we set on our way back, Kannan taking the trouble to put us on the highweay.

We took another route, the main road between Rauma and Oulu, but we discovered it was a ghastly mistake.

This route is lined with camera speed checkers. I am not averse to camera speed checkers, but in the Swedish-speaking section in Finland, the Police have deliberately placed the cameras in a way to catch offenders by creating them.

The cameras are set up in one speed zone (say 100 kmph). Then, all of a sudden, one hits a speed limit change sign (say to 80 kmph) and even before one has the chance to reduce one's speed to the new speed, less than 50 metres away, they have placed the camera.

In other parts of Finland the cameras are at least 200 metres after a speed change sign.

Keeping the cameras so close to the speed change sign, has one hitting the brakes, causing the cars behind you to focus on why you are braking, and then they too realise they are being forced to brake to reduce the speed dramatically to avoid being caught for speeding.

This is catastrophic and causes a great deal of mental anguish while driving.

The whole object of this exercise is to trick drivers into a mistake and then they get caught for speeding.

It was close to 11:30 at night that we were on the last stretch home. I had been driving well within the speed limit, but as the last 5 minutes were ahead of us and we were on a motorway, I told Annikki we would be home in 5 minutes and I speeded up.

Just as we were pulling of the highway I saw the Police car behind me. I pulled up, knowing my mistake instantly.

With a trailer one is limited top a speed of 80 kmph. I had been at 110 kmph. I knew I was going to be fined. The Policemen were courteous and sympathetic, but I got my dose of the correct medicine!

Because if this slight deviation from the routine we got home just before midnight.

The entire day for me was from 3:30 am till midnight: 20+ hours approximately, in which I had driven 1155 km. The real pick-me-ups on the way had been three extra strong cups of tea, two lie-downs of about 5 minutes each to rest the eyes and limbs, and a couple of stops to fill petrol and stretch my legs.

After a quick sauna, I hit the sack at a quarter past midnight and I was asleep in less than a minute. I slept like a lamb till 9 am, five hours longer than normal, but on waking up I felt on top of the world.

The moral of this story is quite simple.

Test your endurance capacity regularly as you grow older. It is important that you know where your body stands. Any weak links will be shown up immediately when stressed to the limit. Then, you can work to correct the problems.

My weak link is that when driving for a long spell, I get an ache at the knees. Stopping and walking around for a couple of minutes eases this ache completely for the next couple of hours.

I must find out the reason for this. That was the only problem I had during this 1155 km 20 hour drive day. Mental agility and reactions were as perfect as when I used to drive like this in my younger days.

Annikki also lasted through this trip without any problems. We mid-60ers can claim to be in a reasonably sound condition as our bodies have spoken!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 19: A genuine "Finnish" misunderstanding by me

(Cross-posted on my major blogs.

When I was told by Ville Suomi that we would have two visitors from the Palam Rural Centre in India, I believed that they were from New Delhi, assuming Palam to be related to the Palam Airport.

However, when I went to the chappal making demo on Tuesday noon, I saw a humble "moochi" sitting on the floor making a sandal using his traditional skills.

Daniel Jesudasan, and his boss Benjamin Sundarkumar, are from Tirupur in Tamilnadu.

The real name of the organisation should be Paalam. Paalam mean "bridge" in both Tamil and Malayalam.

Tirupur is the major textile centre of India producing undergarments and t-Shirts by the millions and these can be found in even the most exclusive of shops around the world.

Daniel is a humble cobbler, having learnt the profession from his uncle over 30 years ago. In the period since, he estimated that he has made over 50000 sandals plus a variety of different products as leather bags, key ring holders, and many other leather products. His wife and his children have also been part of his professional activity.

Range of fragrant soaps "literally" lovingly hand-packaged in beautiful hand-made paper cartons from the Paalam Rural Centre.

Benjamin Sundarkumar is the Secretary of the Paalam Rural Centre, which is a cooperative of around 130 families, who are working to create an honest and good life for themselves and their children. They are producing leather products and also about 30 different fragrant soaps at their facility. They now intend to diversify into liquid soaps and shampoos.

Over the last 30 years the cooperative, started by a Swedish pastor, has taken legs of its own and has become part of the Fair Trade worldwide programme. (After Oulu, Daniel and Benjamin were on their way to Sweden so see this 80 year old pastor, now living in retirement in Stockholm.)

Kati Hjerp of Juuttiputiikki introduces the visitors from India.

In an evening programme at the WALDA Youth Centre, Benjamin said that the prices they received from the Fair Trade programme was certainly "fair" and had helped the cooperative to develop itself. The small profit had been wisely invested in improving the livelihood of the families that form the cooperative.

Impressive was the Primary School which was equipped with computers and which they hope, with further improvement in profits and help from a few friends, that they can develop into a High School.

Daniel and Benjamin at the Tropical Botanical Greenhouse.

On Thursday, I took the two of them for a tour of the city of Oulu, showing them the Oulu University Central Hospital, the Medipolis area, the Technopolis area, the University of Oulu including the fascinating Botanical Gardens and the Zoological Museum, and then a trip to the Oulu Nallikari Beach including a visit to our friends at the Children's Park.

The first ground bloom flowers in Kampitie.

View of the Kampitie garden.

View of the Kampitie garden.

View of the Kampitie garden.

Annikki's new experiment this year - peat bricks as a border.

After this I took them home to meet Annikki and view the Kampitie garden, which today is a splendour bathed in much colour.

We had a delicious Indian meal at the Indian Cuisine Restaurant. Then, I dropped them off at Juuttiputiikki, where Daniel was once again going to demonstrate his artisan skills to a much larger audience than on Tuesday.

During our conversations, many serious thoughts struck me.

Firstly, with the children of the now cooperative members being educated presently in modern facilities, it is most likely that the artisan skills of Daniel and his friends will not be passed on to the next generation to follow. It is, therefore, imperative to develop their cooperative in a manner that does not drive these educated children away from their roots and homes as they are forced to seek employment in the metropolitan cities.

Secondly, I felt that as water is a scarce resource in Tirupur, when making their liquid soaps for export, it would be far wiser for them to export the liquid soapconcentrates, and market these concentrates in the Fair Trade outlets, just as Juuttiputiikki is doing of products from many other producers of liquid soaps and shampoos.

Thirdly, the cooperative should cooperate with Universities and other organisations to ensure that the water scarcity which plagues their region is solved using modern scientific methods. Otherwise the entire region, which today depends on fast depleting groundwater, will be led to total ruination!

And finally, the manufacturing facilities are truly primitive, but yet they produce a great range of products suitable for the elite of the western world. Here, I am caught in a dilemma as to what to say. If I say that the facilities should be modernised, it will take away the glamour of the humble way of life of these people. But if they do not modernise, their competivity will be lost and they could grind to a halt in the not too distant future.

The primitivity is what impresses me, YET depresses me. To think that India, with its explosion on the world economy, still has such manufacturing primitivity is extremely hard for me to accept.

Having spent many years with Annikki in villages around Karnataka - I know this is a reality. Maybe someone will help me clarify my thinking!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 18: 71er Rev. Valson Thambu officiates a Principal

I was greatly overjoyed to read that Reverend Valson Thampu had taken over as Officer on Special Duty as Principal of the College on yesterday. He used to serve as the Chairman NCERT Curriculum Review Committee.

Rev. Thampu is detested by the Hindu Fundamentalists as he has an aura of love about him, which irks those who wish to promote hatred between the religious factions in india.

Rev. Thampu and another Stephanian, John Dayal, have been among the greatest spokespeople of the Christians in india, bringing to light that the Christian heritage in India is not one from our Imperialistic past, but that it is an Apostolic Faith.

In a story entitled Homecoming for Thampu at St Stephen’s College, the Delhi Newsline covered this important development.

Rev. Thampu certainly echoed what our college residence was in the 1960's. I feel especially proud that I was President of the JCR at a time when we had [What I think :-)] a great atmosphere in college.

"The founders wanted it to be a residential college so that students from all sections of society could come and stay together and oneness of India could be experienced... I sincerely believe my classroom is India," he said.

This was a note about his first days in the college:

He first joined St Stephen's College in 1971 as a post-graduate student of English from Mabelikara district in Kerala. By the time he passed out, he had decided to stay on. He joined the college's English Department in 1973 as a teacher and continued for the next 30 years.

I wonder whether there is a misspelling of Mabelikara. If it is Mavelikara - it makes him a lot closer to me than I realised.

I must do a check-up to see his relationship with my roots!

And sitting here in Finland, I must put great value to his words:

"It's not important where you are but who you are. Trust me, you can grow wherever you are."

It is sure that the College will grow leaps and bounds under his stewardship. Please join me in wishing Rev. Thambu well.

KTWV 08 Issue 17: Why do I do the things I do?

(Cross-posted on all my major blogs.)

Recently there was a programme on an American internet radio station about how humans were less developed than animals. Examples cited included the fact that all the animals moved to higher ground before the tsunami struck. Several other examples were given and it reinforced my view that animals are infinitely superior in all respects to human beings as far as knowing themselves and their environment.

The programme also highlighted how much we have to learn from animals. For instance, when the super-fast train was being built in Japan, there was a sonic boom when the train emerged from a tunnel at the high speed. This was solved by watching how a kingfisher enters the water with its specially formed beak and it moves effortlessly from one medium into another! The front of the train was designed to be like the beak of a kingfisher.

I have been a strong believer in the philosophy that my body tells me exactly what I should eat or drink. As a result I have never been a pill popper AND I have not been seriously ill for many a decade. In my 23+ years in Finland I never missed a day at work.

People find it hard to believe my very simplistic theories. Usually, when I draw their attention to facts when they are published later, they forget that I had told them the reasons well before scientific evidence had proven something.

I must go back in time when I was a heavy smoker, consuming nothing less than 80 Charminars a day, drinking several bottles of beer and finishing the day with a bottle of rum. This was also a time when I drank about a dozen cups of coffee per day!

Even with this I had never been drunk. I lived and worked hard, usually a grueling 20 hour day.

I also had an unbelievable memory where I could recall facts instantly. My ability to scan a letter and pick out errors was uncanny. My secretaries were astounded by how I glanced down a sheet and faster than they came in they were out of my office with a pageful of corrections on the sheet.

Then, one day I walked into my office in Bangalore and could not find an important paper, I realised my memory was failing. My body immediately told me to lay off alcohol.

Within 24 hours I had given up not only alcohol, but also coffee and cigarettes, as the consumption of one to the other was interlinked.

People were astounded how I had such enormous will power - but it was not me doing the choosing, but my body.

It has taken close to 25 years to rebuild the small portion of my brain that was damaged. Although it was a small partr, it was quite a considerable portion.

My alma mater web sites and my blogging were part of a long term programme which helped me rebuild my damaged brain.

When I quit all the "harmful" parts of my intake, I went on to consuming water for several months. Then my body told me to take to tea.

From then onwards I have been consuming anywhere between 5 to 8 cups of tea per day. The effect on my entire body as well as my brain has been so invigorating. If I told anyone that my tea intake was being controlled by my "intuitive" need, I would be laughed out of the room.

Today, when I read this article on BBC Tea 'healthier' drink than water, I knew my body was the one which had been right all the while.

I quote a couple of passages from this article:

Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers.....

....Experts believe flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promote health.....

....These polyphenol antioxidants are found in many foods and plants, including tea leaves, and have been shown to help prevent cell damage....

...Other health benefits seen included protection against tooth plaque and potentially tooth decay, plus bone strengthening.....

Besides tea, I also consume about 5 to 7 litres of water per day, as my body demands that.

It is my contention that tea not only prevents cell damage, but it helps restore damaged cells, although that is a painfully slow process and needs much outside stimuli to repair the cells to its original form. Maybe this will be discovered in 10 years!

That is how my brain cells have been regenerated!

So I say, learn to listen to your body!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 16: Rahul's company split up

(Cross-posted on the Mumbai Cathedral and John Connon School Seventh Heaven Blog.)

There was news in the Financial Express of 18th May 2007 of Rahul Bajaj's business empire to be split in three.

Rahul is a Cathedral School 54er and a 58er Stephanian.

I am quite interested that Rahul has adopted this step rather early on in his giving up the full time responsibility of his companies, although he remains as Chairman of all three new companies.

It is obvious that Rahul intends to pre-empt what may arise if the two brothers, Rajiv and Sanjiv, should fall out, and even if the two are best of friends, this could happen.

This can be witnessed in several other family managed companies. So long as there is someone respected by all at the helm, the semblance of family unity may appear on the surface.

It is a wise father who ensures that all will remain calm once he is no longer on the active scene. The way Rahul has chosen to do this can ensure that the Bajaj Empire will continue to grow and become stronger, at least in Rahul's lifetime which, with the advances in healthy lifestyles of today, can be assumed to be at least another 25 years.

Only two weeks ago I wished my uncle, Mr. K. M. Philip, father of Cathedralites 53er Sen Philip and 58er Dr. Peter Philip, the latter who is also a 62er Stephanian, a happy 95th birthday.

I got my 59er Cathedralite classmate, Ashok Kapur, Chairman of YES Bank, and also the immediate next door neighbour of Mr. Philip in Mumbai, to drop in to wish my uncle and report on his health and well-being to me.

Ashok informed me that 95 year old Mr. Philip is still playing a daily round of golf, plays a good game of bridge and is still raring in his mental energy to do business!

My wife, Annikki, who has observed many of my family members, told me that the secret of Mr. Philip's long and healthy life is that he is always happy and content. His life is filled with laughter.

I can vouch for that as he is always wanting to do new things showing that his mental age is as when he came to Mumbai over 7 decades ago and started his businesses.

Considering that Mr. Philip was instrumental in MRF Ltd. entering the tyre field and then he later became the World President of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), presiding over a group probably larger than the population of India, and yet he lived a life where he treated all who came across him as equals, his long life is because of his youthful outlook to life around him.

Let us wish our Rahul a similar long life presiding over a group of companies which are a tribute to India and Indian business acumen.

Friday, May 18, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 15: Comments - My Open Apology to Rahul

A couple of blog entries ago, I gave an extract from 91er Rahul Siddharthan's blog, which got me a lot of email.

Rahul decided to write in a comment on this blog.

My blogs are not really meant for comments as they usually do not help, as people stand by entrenched views.

The grave error of mine was replying to Rahul's comment, and so we had some protracted to and fro.

My most sincere apologies to Rahaul, who being some 30 years my junior, did not realise that I was playing around with him - 60s Stephanian PJ style!

Rahul took it on himself to compare our humble college with an entire University which has huge funding, and several departments with great Faculties.

We Stephanians must say no contest, as we are nowhere near that hallowed institution of Harvard, or Yale, or Oxford, or Cambridge or any other major University in the world. We are just a humble college in Delhi with pretensions, as Rahul correctly alleged, of greater institutions!

The only thing I must add, in defence, is probably that we may not have produced an Alberto Gonzales!

I was greatly impressed by the Harvard classmates of Mr. Gonzales who lambasted him in a full page ad with an Open Letter in the Washington Post! This is the ad that ran in the Washington Post.


May 15, 2007

Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

Twenty-five years ago we, like you, graduated from Harvard Law School. While we arrived via many different paths and held many different views, we were united in our deep respect for the Constitution and the rights it guaranteed. As members of the post-Watergate generation who chose careers in law, we understood the strong connection between our liberties as Americans and the adherence of public officials to the law of the land. We knew that the choice to abide by the law was even more critical when public officials were tempted to take legal shortcuts. Nowhere were we taught that the ends justified the means, or that freedoms for which Americans had fought and died should be set aside when inconvenient or challenging. To the contrary: our most precious freedoms, we learned, need defending most in times of crisis.

So it has been with dismay that we have watched your cavalier handling of our freedoms time and again. When it has been important that legal boundaries hold unbridled government power in check, you have instead used pretextual rationales and strained readings to justify an ever-expanding executive authority. Witness your White House memos sweeping aside the Geneva Conventions to justify torture, endangering our own servicemen and women; witness your advice to the President effectively reading Habeas Corpus out of our constitutional protections; witness your support of presidential statements claiming inherent power to wiretap American citizens without warrants (and the Administration's stepped-up wiretapping campaign, taking advantage of those statements, which continues on your watch to this day); and witness your dismissive explanation of the troubling firings of numerous U.S. Attorneys, and their replacement with others more "loyal" to the President's politics, as merely "an overblown personnel matter." In these and other actions, we see a pattern. As a recent editorial put it, your approach has come to symbolize "disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law."

As lawyers, and as a matter of principle, we can no longer be silent about this Administration's consistent disdain for the liberties we hold dear. Your failure to stand for the rule of law, particularly when faced with a President who makes the aggrandized claim of being a unitary executive, takes this country down a dangerous path.

Your country and your President are in dire need of an attorney who will do the tough job of providing independent counsel, especially when the advice runs counter to political expediency. Now more than ever, our country needs a President, and an Attorney General, who remember the apt observation attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." We call on you and the President to relent from this reckless path, and begin to restore respect for the rule of law we all learned to love many years ago.

Yours truly,

David M. Abromowitz, Boston, MA, Jonathan B. Baker, Bethesda, MD, Valerie D. Bell, St. Louis, MO, Raymond Angelo Belliotti, Fredonia, NY, James S. Berkman, Boston, MA, McKey W. Berkman, Boston, MA, Scott Brown, Hanover, NH, Robert D. Chesler, Roseland, NJ, Armond Cohen, Cambridge, MA, David Currier, Freeport, ME, Stuart W. Davidson, Philadelphia, PA, Daniel M. Elkort, San Francisco, CA, Matthew E. Epstein, Newton, MA, Mary T. Esposito, Cape Elizabeth, ME,

Gary M. Fallon, Seattle, WA, William L. Fleming, Seattle, WA, Jonathan A. Funk, San Francisco, CA, Keith Halpern, Cambridge, MA, Matthew M. Horgan, London, UK, Elaine Johnson James, West Palm Beach, FL, Keith A. James, West Palm Beach, FL, Emily Joselson, Middlebury, VT, Cheryl D. Justice, Los Angeles, CA, Meredith J. Kane, New York, NY, Susan Kaplan, New York, NY, David Karnovsky, New York, NY, Gregory F. Keller, Great Neck, NY, David Kelston, Cambridge, MA,

Otho E. Kerr III, New York, NY, Marisa Lago, New York, NY, Kathleen Larocque, Santa Rosa, CA, Karen Levinson, New York, NY, Christine A. Littleton, Los Angeles, CA, Nancy R. London, Pacifi c Palisades, CA, Beverly R. Lopez, Dallas, TX, Julian W. Mack, San Francisco, CA, Andy Miller, San Francisco, CA, Barbara Moses, New York, NY, Beth H. Parker, San Francisco, CA, Wendy E. Parmet, Newton, MA, Brendan J. Radigan, Providence, RI, Catherine Redlich, Ridgewood, NJ,

Michael B. Reuben, New York, NY, Clifford S. Robbins, San Mateo, CA, James Rosenthal, New York, NY, Rusty Russell, Cambridge, MA, Eric Schneiderman, New York, NY, Eric Seiler, New York, NY, Jeffrey P. Smith, Evanston, IL, Lorna Soroko, Tucson, AZ, Alan M. Spiro, Boston, MA, David S. Steuer, Palo Alto, Califonia, Kelvin R. Westbrook, St. Louis, MO, Mary Whisner, Seattle, WA, Jeannette Anderson Winn, Greenville, SC, Marshall Winn, Greenville, SC


It is from ALL of his classmates from the Harvard Law class of 1982. It chastises Nr. Gonzales reckless disregard for the constitution for the wire tapping, suspension of habeas corpus, and the recent politically motivated firings.

I wonder if any of us had the same feeling about some Stephanians who helped Indira Gandhi introduce Emergency Rule in the 70s!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 14: Deep regret - Passing of a Principal

(Cross-posted on the Cathedral and John Connon School Seventh Heaven Blog.)

It is with deep regret that I must inform you of the passing of Col. Eric Simeon, former Principal of the Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai.

He passed away in New Delhi earlier today, just past noon. He had been ailing with cancer for the past few months.

Our condolences to his son Dileep, a Stephanian and a well known historian, and also to the larger Simeon and Lobo families.

I must especially thank the President of the Cathedral School Alumni, Rajiv Bhatia for rushing me this information.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 13: Provocative statement about us...

Some of you may have read a comment left on one of my blog entries giving a link to another blog, pointing to it as being interesting and provocative.

Well, I did take a look at that blog where I read this interesting statement:

.....reminded me of my own alma mater -- St Stephen's College, an institution that (I say this while donning my flame-retardant vest) offers all the pretentiousness of Harvard with none of its accomplishments.

I think I went to St. Stephen's knowing nothing about Harvard, and when I left, I still knew nothing about Harvard. Harvard was non-existent in my life until one of my juniors from school got a scholarship to it because he was a great squash player!

Impressed by Harvard, - not really.

My contact with ex-Harvardites has been from hot to very mild. My closest mentor was Prem Sadanand, who was the Staff Assistant to the Managing Director cum Chairman of MRF, the late Mr. K. M. Mammen Mappillai (whose many nephews and grandchildren are ex-Stephanians) in the seventies, till a massive heart attack took him away. I did not respect Prem because he from Harvard, but because he was a great and colourful personality.

My impressions about Harvard were to be formed much later when I subscribed to some magazine being offered which included a "free gift". The free gift never arrived, but the bill for the subscription did. It was some sort of management magazine. I wrote to the Editors telling them that if they were so inefficient not to fulfil their "promise", then they could not be very good managers, and hence cancelled the subscription. I never did get a reply!

Rahul Siddharthan who maintains the blog
E's flat, ah's flat too - Horizontal thoughts
on which this comment was found was in college between 1991 and 1994.

I have a faint recollection of an email from Rahul when he was at the Indian Institute of Science. He did make a comment that he was not much emotionally driven by any thoughts concerning his alma mater!

Correct me if I am wrong, Rahul.

Take a look at Rahul's blog and do let me know what you make of it!

And many thanks to Rita for pointing me to it.