Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I read from WikiLeaks that its the end of year. OK! OK! Stop cursing me :)

I have 10-12 days of shutdown holidays every year around this time when both the humans and the machine take some break and "service" ourselves. I am at home all these days; I mean I didnt take a vacation off as everyone else does. But been busy cleaning the house, meeting friends and catching up on movies and reading books. I thought let me ground myself a bit after all those visiting places and countries this year.

2010 has been good for me. I did have a disappointing January though. Booked tickets to Sri Lanka and finalized all plans but had to cancel it during the nth moment due to my holiday dates collided with the Presidential election. I was sad and disappointed; but I got my dues plus bonus bonanza later part of the year. 3 countries in a span of 55 days :) ; oh yeah I am yet to start writing the travelogue of my Mauritius visit. I will soon.

Professionally and personally as well; all happy. Met new people, got closer to few people; met old friends, made new friends. Acquired wealth, knowledge and body fat :) Lost very very less of body fat, been lazy and bullied around at work. (I need to change these things)

Loads of entertainment at disposal; not from these hopeless movies but from politicians and lobbyists. Lobbying seems to yield a lot; its a glamorous profession. I am thinking of considering it as my main profession. Lots of drama -  Lalit Modi, 2G, Nira Radia, Raja, Burkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi, CWG, Adarsh society.......(Can you believe it? As I write these nouns, the spell checker is not giving me any red wavy underlines!!. These names have become so famous and are part of international vocabulary)

But the grandest celebrity of them all was Paul the Octopus. I enjoyed the FIFA WC season, keeping awake until 2 AM sipping tea and watching the games was so much fun. Seems Julian Assange is stealing the spotlight. If 2G is giving us sleepless nights here in India, WikiLeaks are doing the same around the world.

Lobbying is the new buzz world while 2G is the latest technological wonder(sic!) Talking of techno, I liked the techno beats in Endhiran songs. ARR has done justice to the movie's theme. Mr. Rajnikant created waves and the cash boxes clunked with profit. Rajnikant's jokes and one-liners gave way to Santa-Banta jokes and they were circulated like crazy as SMSes and online. Every friend of mine in facebook had one Rajni one-liner to share.

Facebook!! I have wondered if India can produce a Mark Zuckerberg? at 26 years old, CEO of the largest growing social networking site Facebook. Facebook is changing the lives of people; its driving the ways of the world. Why cant India produce a Mark Zuckerberg? Oh the answer is obvious! Lets not reiterate it again!

Few readers want to know my name. Most of them are on my Facebook list; so its not fair on my part to keep my name in secrecy only to some people. Initially when I started to blog; I did not want to reveal my identity; my name or my photo. You know you can be tracked easily on the web and your opinions might work against you at times; especially at work. So I was skeptical; but I am fine now. I am mature enough to realize that my blog is my own private space and my opinion and reader's opinion are their own and we are not advocating it and not be used as reference elsewhere.

Yup, so my name is Bindu. As its known, the lady of the house has a final say in everything and so was in choosing my name. From Sadhana to Sapna to Lakshmi; it was finally Bindu; my mom's choice. I am named after her Marwari neighbor. Few people ask "Thats it? Is this all your name?" Fortunately of unfortunately its just Bindu with my surname of course. But I would continue to write under Insignia.

Chitra ma'am, happy? :-)

Lets all look forward to the dawn of 2011. I am sure the year is going to be exciting.

Arnab Goswami will continue to yell on TV "This is absurd. Who is going to be responsible for all the innocent Sheilas and Munnis?. India needs an answer.

Akshay Kumar will continue to torture us all with his gawky laugh and his tasteless comedy.

Karunanidhi will continue to influence the center's policy and decision making.

Telangana will continue to be politicized and Osmania University students - I hope they graduate soon.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will continue to hold Carla Bruni's hand while walking in public and she will continue to look away.

Our Honorable PM will continue honoring the '2G' - Sonia G and Rahul G

And Insignia will continue to write. 

Good-bye 2010 and welcome 2011. I hope we will have newer and more sheep to graze and more meat to chew :) Happy and a Prosperous New Year To Ya'all

Friday, December 24, 2010


My eyes put up a valiant fight with me; trying harder to not get bogged down by my mind's signals to open. It was this morning. Deep in slumber, waken up by chatters; medley of chaotic noises of various frequency. My eyes finally gave in; I fumbled and got hold of my phone to check the time. It was 5:45 AM. Thats the time devils go for leisurely walk; at least for me. I am not an early riser. No, not at any cost.

It took me some time to figure out that those chaotic noise were rhythmic chants of devotional songs and drums. A group of devotional people chanting hymns in God's praise. No sorry, though I was still dreamy eyed and sleepy; I remember it was not one God they were singing the praise of. Innumerable Gods, He God and She God, they were fair enough not to let any God out of their chants; lest offend any one of the innumerable Gods we have.

They probably woke up the entire neighborhood. For a change it wasnt the howling of the dogs or the vroooooom of those silencer-less 2 wheelers doing a wheely . This episode is a very trivial one which just prompted me to write about this; certainly only a trigger point. I have witnessed more torture; this was such a sober one. Just beside my house where I previously resided was a temple; they had "Jagran" everyday for one reason or the other. A cacophony of devotional songs and chants blaring out on the loudspeakers. I wonder if the audience present there were really interested! Of course the peacefully sleeping mortals and those poor animals on the roads elsewhere were least interested either..Nay! not even the Gods.

Now if I want to celebrate or perform religious activities, why force others to indulge in this activity; willingly or unwillingly? Celebrating the spirit eh? What I find amusing are the jarring combination of devotional songs being played alternatively along songs as "Beedi jalaile" or the latest "Sheila ki jawani" and "Munni badnam hui" . This orchestra comes complete with an all night active music jockey; playing songs one after the other to please the Gods; much to the displeasure of the ghosts and spirits that take a leisurely walk at that time.

Why is this impudent callousness? Do they really need to use loudspeakers? Why is there no consideration for the sick? the old? the animals? the infants? the weak? the tired? and of course people of other faiths? This tastelessly clamorous activity starts when everyone else wants to go to sleep; and gets louder and louder as the night progresses. Rejoice, appease the Gods, but please have a bit of consideration for others. You certainly cant appease the Gods by displeasing your fellow beings.

Merry Christmas; wish Santa Claus sends his elves to bestow each one with gifts :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blog, Blogging and Bloggers

What binds us all here is one sole purpose, our passion for writing a.k.a Blogging in virtual world. The budding writer, the amateurish writer, the professional writer - all play in the same arena and each one has their own readers and fans and followers. Here is where you can rant, discuss, crib, complain, flaunt, debate........

Most of us start a blog to pen down our thoughts or to maintain a journal and then forget about it. The doubt if you can even frame one sentence and write it down is what lingers on; and the blog gets buried deep down. Few of them build the courage to resurrect it and start writing. And then, there is no looking back.

To Blog or Not to Blog....hmmmm.........

The best thing to happen here is interacting with so many fellow bloggers and sharing and exchanging views and learning whole lot of new things. Some of them crib, rant or write about personal life. Its their own space, few write beautiful poems and enchanting fictions; giving a run for a money to an established story teller. Few share recipes. fashion tips and few others share their travel experiences through journals and photography. All in all, a place for suckers of knowledge.

Here is where you can claim "Man, you are wrong" and fight for it :-) Or give lots of unsolicited advice or even better - plan someone else's life or have a take on others' decision or anything and everything happening around you

Bloggers - few of them continue to become good friends and go beyond the one that brought them together. Few stay on and continue to encourage and support and yearn for the same. Still few drift away - their work calling; they get sucked into their busy schedule and cant take time for the blog. Few of them gradually lose interest; for few its a temporary halt and they bounce back. Few other still stick on and keep writing and in the process make new friends and miss old ones.

As the blog evolves, so does the blogger. If you want to know how a blogger writes and the true style, start digging into the archives first. The present one might not be his true style, as the blog evolves and as the blogger churns up post after post, the creative juice flows away and topics dry. So the best of the posts are always in archives. :-)

I have been fascinated by innovative concepts like Tags, 55-er, Wordless Wednesdays, Muscial Mondays, Thursday Challenge, Blog awards and so on. Yes, I did want to receive those digital image as awards, wanted someone to tag me, wanted to write a 55-er. But then again, thats the "teenage" years of blogger. :-) You mature as a blogger and then look back and laugh at your desperate act to gain readers and comment count. All that mattered then were number of comments and number of awards and tags.

I have known bloggers as to what kind of a person he or she is with their writing, their passion towards life and purpose of life becomes evident by the topics they write. Those few people who constantly encourage and give constructive criticism keeps us going on and on, churning posts one after the other. Oh! there are few hypocrites out here as well; who follow you and throw in comments just to lure you into visiting their space. For them, the number matters. Few who just comment to keep their presence without even reading what the blogger has written or trying to say is common here. You can as well read different styles of commenting if you are observant.

I had an humorous take on comments sometime back. Check that our here - I Love Your Comments

Whatever......we continue to write; we continue to read, encourage and share; there's an untold Good-Bye when a blogger vanishes; we interact with different people at different point in time....

For bloggers may come and bloggers may go,
But our blog goes on forever :-)

PS : I dedicate this post to all you wonderful bloggers and also who have vanished from blogging world now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We the IT folks

Information Technology Industry - the much talked about industry that is directly or indirectly contributing to our country's economy - be it in the form of R&D, services and outsourcing and business processing. The engineers who work in the IT industry - lets talk about them.

They are smart, pragmatic and the elite ones; agile, geniuses who can churn out new technology and new products at the snap of their fingers. If you thought this is what I am going to say; sorry! We engineers are as normal as everyone else; with limitations galore. We are not THE CHOSEN ONES. In fact, we are the most amusing and entertaining creatures one can find :-) Why so? Because we are so confused ourselves.

Most of them get enticed into the creamy seeming IT; and they remain confused - neither here nor there. They graduate from a different stream; major in a totally unrelated subject but get submerged in this mighty ocean. Systems, application, R&D, domain, development, QA, support, technical writing, analyst, consultant...........all these seem so very trivial and unimportant when all you want is a IT job.

Its only much later that you realize you are not meant to do what you are doing; you want to work on core product, but here you are working on some banking application. Gosh!! but yet its IT!!!! So yeah, we are consistently confused, always on the run to grab opportunities, constantly learn something new. We work hard to prove ourselves only to be told "You are not proactive". You successfully complete all your assignments only to be told "But why don't you write a paper? An IP? A Disclosure? You are so capable you now" and this stalls your promotion :-)

Amidst all this, we are a bunch of fun loving people; insane and confused. Only among us will you see the maximum and optimal use of technology that is offered to us. Two mates sitting beside one another would 'talk' to each other via internal messenger communicator than just turning back and talk directly. Here is a sample

A and B sits next to each other. A initiates a text conversation

A : Hi B, what is the status of the module you were working on?

B : Hmm, I am working on it. I think I can leverage some of your functionality.

A : OK, I need Pinky tonight. May I?

B : Sure. I am done with Pinky. Go ahead.

A : Cool, come lets go for tea.

Both go for tea. By the way, Pinky would be the name of a server or some piece of hardware.

We think we can get more out of technology. Like; we try to call from our desk phone to our own extension.....or keep punching the keyboard after powering off the laptop....or more; use our office badge to swipe to unlock our house gate :-) We are smart, didn't I say? We foresee a lot and thats how we invent new stuffs.

Gadgets - Aaahhh those are our toys! How we love them! From those complex multi-core processor servers to  latest phones and music players to cameras to laptops. We can learn the functionality of these gadgets faster and so remain always ahead. We are crazy! When others use desktops, we use sleeker and less bulkier laptops, when they start switching to laptops, we use netbooks. When people start using netbooks, we use a 17" massive laptops. We are different! adapt to technology soon. The same with any gadgets. When you all use a "mobile type" mobile phones, we use a matchbox size phones, when you guys think that's cool and switch to these, our new toy is a 4" display keypad-less touchscreen smart phones.

We think too high as well. Engineers you see; computer engineers :-) Our lingo, our talks are on a level beyond comprehension for most layman. We can "fix" the most impossible of the issues; we "leverage" and "optimize". We "boil down the ocean" to get issues resolved. We are super humans who can multitask and yet deliver with perfection and remain proactive and consistently over perform :)

We are software engineers. Our world is a 4x4 feet cube. Oh! even those are for the privileged ones. Our companion is our laptop and desk phone. Our friends are messengers, emails and websites. We emote, we talk, we cry, we feel within this world. We are branded as geeks or nerds. Some of us are zombies, but all of us are morons. I found this apt image online.

Image courtesy -

No questions asked, not even promotions :-P

PS : I dedicate this post to all the engineers working in IT industry

Friday, December 10, 2010

Partner or Buddy?

Remember your first car? How well you treated it. That innumerable wiping until that last speck of dirt vanished and your car was all spotless and sparkling. You sulked for days when you saw the first scratch on the bumper. Your heart ached whenever the car's ground hit the speed breaker.

An interesting and amusing conversation popped up between me and Gautam. He bought a new car; his first car. But is not excited as he should be! During the course of our mundane conversation; I asked him how was his car doing. To which, he answered "i have left the poor thing out in cold. :-( he is having a layer of frost everyday"

But isn't car a SHE? For most guys? But the reasons he gave me as to why he thought his car was a HE was so amusing. Snippets of our conversation.

Gautam : it sounds kind of hard on a she thing to drive 'her' all the time... step on the gas... brrrrraaakkkkkke!!!! he is better me:-P she is soft he probably can bear it :-p poor fellow... staying out in the cold all night... and makes my life so much easier i get to work in 15-20 mins

I asked  thus - so you mean to say "he" is strong enough to tolerate the cold? if it was 'her', she wouldnt have?

Gautam replied - well, i am saying that i first gender, subconsciously that struck me when i was referring to the car was the word 'he' and then i was thinking how he is out in the cold all day it so happens that, out of all the hes and shes bearing the cold, i referred to the car as a he

Read on......................

me: thats DISCRIMINATION!!!!!
Gautam: well once hes and shes are in cold, it doesn't matter if the thing is a he or a she
  it is damn cold!
  thats all that matters
 me: hahahaha
Gautam.: hmmm
  it is kinda interesting that i referred to him as a he
  dunno how that happend
 me: hm yeah most guys want to refer their car as a she
  you are the second person i have come across who refers as a HE
 Gautam.ya i know. i know that cars are referred to as shes
 me: :)
 Gautam: but i wonder how i am referring to the car as a he
  and even now it seems like he suits him better
 me: hmm why do you think ? was it impulsive?
 Gautam: i have no idea
 me: is this the first time?
Gautam: it was the choice of the subconscious brain
  and moreover
  it;s kind a good for him that he is a he
 me: haha
 Gautam: cause there are so many shes out there!
  ha ha ha
 me: lol!
and your he might be abused by so many shes
  dont you think so?
 Gautam: ya that is something to consider
 me: hmmm you are putting him in jeopardy
 Gautam: i think the reason i referred to the car are he is because the way he looks
me: macho?
 Gautam: if you think that a car has a face
 me: aggressive?
 Gautam: ya it is probably not like a woman's face
 me: all cars?
 Gautam: look at this
me: :)
 Gautam: a jeep and a hummer look more like body builders
  even if women work out they can have muscles like that
  they are not supposed to
 me: :) hmmm
Gautam: he is dirty already
  i made him dirty
  full of papers
  mud on the carpet
me: hm bad'
 Gautam: plastic bags
  books in the truck
i guess i am a dirty fellow
 me: :)
 Gautam: what do you think
 me: you continue to remain that way...keep him clean
 Gautam: the car is a he or a she
  may be it is a 'it'
 me: It is a IT
Gautam: i have thought of him only as a it till you asked me
 me: :)
 Gautam: and then the more we talked about it
  the more 'he' suited the car
  i should say you triggered it
me: aaahh i just asked hows your car started by referring him HE
 Gautam: ya... you question was so 'human like' as if you were asking how a human being was doing then i thought
  oh no
  poor fellow
me: yeah!! even the car would have feelings
  according to me :)
me: isnt it
Gautam: ya. :-) ha ha ha
  tell me one thing
  what do i think of my car as a he
  i wonder why
me: hmmm i know
 Gautam: i mean why do i think of my car as a he
 me: i know i think
 Gautam: i am a straight guy
  ha ha
  but i feel the car goes through so much rough stress
 me: hahaha just because you mentioned a HE doesnt mean you are not straight
Gautam: i don't think i could emplace so much force on it
  if the car was a she, stepping on the pedal if she was a woman
 me: lol
 Gautam: man that does not sound right
 me: hahaha
 Gautam: brrrrrraaakkkkkkkkkke
  amuku            (Step on)
 me: morality and ethics huh
 Gautam: on a woman
  i don't think it is morality and ethics i think i would feel bad to put so much physical stress on women...
 me: :P
 Gautam: should maybe try a bit to make their going a little easier
maybe thats why
 me: i have a question
 Gautam: oh boy! o.....k....
  go ahead
 me: suppose your car is washed and looks sparkling nice
  wont you feel like running your fingers across the car and feel?
Gautam: hmmm. not really
 me: sure?
 Gautam: i hadrly touched my car
 me: ok..then your car being a HE suits
 Gautam: the only parts i have touched is the steering
  and the door
  not even the hood
  ha ha ha
 me: hmm :) so its a HE
 Gautam: ha ha ha
 me: :P
Gautam: well there you have it
  if i thinking of the car as she was natural to me
  then i would have surely
  felt it
  like you aid
  but even scooby is a he ----------Scooby is his pet dog
  and i pat him and feel him
  and i love doing it
 me: :) haaa
 Gautam: so i cannot really relate the patting and feeling
me: scooby is different     
 Gautam: car is also like that only na
  i mean the feeling and touching part
 me: nah....
  scooby is like your kid
  car is like your companion
 Gautam: hmmm
  true i guess
 me: hmmm :)
Gautam: may be like a buddy
  i won't caress it.. ha ha
 me: yeah :)
 Gautam: and hug and kiss
  ha ha
 me: hahaha

Once we made sure why the car was a HE; we went on to discuss the GPS fitted to the car. This went on -

me : one of my friend thinks his car is a HE
  but he has a GPS system
  whom he calls Jill
 gautam: ha ha ha
 me: :)
 gautam: wait
  i don't get it
 me: ?
gautam: you said he thinks his car is a he
 me: hmm
 gautam: and then Jill is a girl's name?
  so it does not make sense
 me: yeah...thats what i said..he thinks his GPS system is a she
  only the GPS system
 gautam: i would have a girl's voice in my gps
 me: yeah so only
 gautam: ya
 me: he has a girl's voice and he calls her Jill :D
 gautam: gps is the car's buddy ha ha ha
 me: companion is fitting word
 gautam: Jill stop bugging mE
  ha ha
 me: yeah or "Enna Jill, unna nambi vandha, nee ippdi thappa thappa route solra"
(This can be appreciated if you know Tamil. It means "I trust and follow your instructions Jill, but you are giving me wrong directions")

 gautam: ha ha
 me: :)
gautam: then followed by... intha ponnungale ippidi thaan ya...
  nambave koodaathu...
  nice a kondu poi kauthiduvaanga
  ha ha ha
(This means Girls are always the same, we should not trust them. They take along and later ditch us)

 me: exactly!!!!
 gautam: aanlum unakku kurumbu jaasthi Jill :-p
(You are very naughty Jill)

 me: ha ha ha oh my god
  imagination wild!!
 gautam: ha ha

So is your car a HE or a SHE? :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Insignia at IIT

Last 3 days were a bit hectic. Now I was sent from my company to interview graduates for potential job opportunities in my organization. Now! dont raise your eyebrows as mine have already been raised! Yes, me! out of all those intelligent, smart and technically sound people in my very large organization, they chose to send me. Yeah, call those candidates' fate suddenly taking a U turn or their luck itself was bad, they had to put up with me.

I have interviewed lot of people earlier but not IITians. I was more jittery than them.  Gosh! I lack the brains man!! Fine! I thought this would turn out to be a good experience and off I went to IIT-Kanpur. Experience I gained was no different but my impression for sure changed.

Sad to see where our education system is going; most of them believe that the brand name will land them a plum job and so take it easy. Others tend to be so methodical and task oriented that I could not stop thinking about the cows being yoked at a beam and they keeping moving in a circle because they have been taught to. Just deviate a bit and give their brain some cud to chew, they are lost! There were very very few who were really good and learnt things due to passion and for knowledge. Its to do with our society and system; study to get good job. So studying to gain knowledge and learn new things becomes secondary.

Traveling to that part of India was new to me. The winter was harsh and chill; the food was amazing, phulkas, rotis, naan and kulchas with that simple and tasty daal. Not to forget that soft and melting cottage cheese scrambles a.k.a paneer bhurji. Mornings began with sweet and yummylicious jalebis and awesome ginger-cardamom tea.  While we visitors ate their food; the locals gorged on Masala dosa, idli sambhar and uthapam :)

About the place; I did not get a chance to see much as interviewing a dozen candidates took away all my time. Whatever I saw was when I traveled from Lucknow to Kanpur and back. I did laugh at my transliterations of few sign boards I saw like "Bijli Ghar -  Electricity House, "Angrezi Sharab - English Liquor", "Krupya bachche hai - Please kids present". Was helpless without my camera; I wanted to capture so many snaps like those colorful band vehicle with speakers and lights, the amazing kulhads(clay cup) in which tea was served, the colorful rickshaws...............

But it was sad, I felt that part of country is at least 2 decades behind. It was not a pleasant sight to see cycle rickshaws being pulled for measly sum of money. Bad roads, poorly maintained infrastructure, pathetically dirty river Ganga, eons old buildings with no maintenance whatsoever; dusty lanes. Dull looking people, struggling hard to make their ends meet...

Its really really sad. I realized one thing. This part of the country I am living is much much better. I am blessed. I hope things change there for the better. Where has all the money Behenji?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blow your own trumpet

We feel so bloated when people look at us with awe and appreciate us hearing to our success stories. What if the success story is a bit exaggerated? We all want to feel great, believe we achieved a bit more than normal. When sharing our stories, we do tend to embellish with spice. Though this quality is as normal as gossiping in us, there are a type of people who have specialized in this. They inflate possibly everything, right from their appetite to their weight to their phone bills to their salary.

This type of people do not know the meaning of austerity; generosity is the mantra. But sadly, more often that not, they become laughing stocks, an object of ridicule. How far can they stretch their lies in the name of glorifying themselves? Overheard in a train journey was this conversation between two men; each one trying to glorify his own self. One said he donates blood every month; to which another said that the last time he donated blood; 1.5 bottle of blood was sucked out from him while it was just 1 bottle from others. The first one then went on to insult this guy by saying he doesnt donate blood which gets stored for future but only those cases where his blood is immediately injected to someone else! He went onto tell that he is the first person to be called by doctors in the whole city whenever there is an emergency. An universal donor with unlimited supply of blood....Ahem...ahem....

You just need to keep your ears open to hear to such gems. Its really an immense talent to keep your face grim and not laugh when you hear these jokes. I once took pride in saying how we solved division problems where one single problem stretched beyond 2 pages :-P Math problems for a grade 3 student. The lady and the 10th grade schoolgirl whom I was speaking to were smiling; I did not realize it there smile was wicked then :) But I felt really good about myself and a sense of achievement in solving a very long problem.

But what we fail to realize is the listeners are not fools. Why else would one say gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa) is white in color. Things get more interesting if it comes from older people when they try to show off their knowledge. But more often than not, its thwarting and tiring to keep listening to such self-glorifying details.

So its just a sense of achievement :-) So, whats your most interesting blowing your trumpet story? :-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FOR SALE! - God's blessings

I am a passive worshiper. When I say this, its that I believe I don't have to go to a temple to pray to God. I believe God is all around us, within each of us. God is omnipresent and omniscient. I don't even give a form to the spiritual being, that's why I cant say if God is a HE or a SHE. Another belief of mine that has welcomed criticism and disapproval especially from my mom is that when I say God knows what my needs are, so I wont ask for it while praying. My prayer are just thanks to God for what I have been bestowed upon, what I would be bestowed, for giving me beautiful people and this beautiful world.. God knows best, why ask, just thank. It has not been easy for me coming from a traditional family, my mom doesn't approve my ideas even a bit.

Yeah, but there are few unavoidable situations/pressure from elders when I have to go to temple to appease the Gods :-) Its not that I don't like going to temples; in fact I really like that peace one gets; what I dont like is the experience with people. Yes, the drama and the business put forth by the priests and the sevaks.

Its really disheartening to see Gods as mere exhibits to milk money from the devotees. I have either experienced it or witnessed it each time I have visited the temple. Right from the special darshans, VVIP queues; the funda seems to simple. More the money, sooner the God's darshan. More the money, more blessings, more closer proximity to the diety, more longer time you can spend chanting hymns.

So, does it all boil down to money? Is God only for those who have money? It would seem too hard to believe when I say that nowadays temple management have professionally qualified MBA gurus to set up strategy for earning. Few months back, I visited a famous temple and opted to donate a meager sum of money to sponsor lunch for 2 kids for an entire year. The sevak who doubled up as marketing and sales consultant was trying to sell me a 'package' where I could gain closer access to the main deity of the temple, chant hymns as long as I wanted on one day every week, savor tasty prasads, gain backdoor entry, closer access to the deity and get special VIP invitations on festivals and special puja days in addition to sponsoring lunch for 2 kids for a year. All this, hold your breath fellas, for 25000/- ONLY

It took me too much of an effort to explain to that gentleman that my main intention was sponsoring the lunch and nothing more. I had to firmly tell him that I have no interest in getting special invitations or gain any special status. Is he asking me to buy God's blessing for 25000/- per year?

At another temple, right after the pooja, a priest came by with the aarthi and as tradition goes, I dropped Rs.10 in the plate. It seems that it was another priest's turn to carry the aarthi plate. So now, he lost his 'earnings' to this guy who had his turn already. To the shock and dismay of the devotees, this guy started blaming him and the other shot back and later these 2 guys started yelling at each other. Priests yelling at each other in the sanctum sanctorum. How do you expect devotion?

Not to forget the fees for numerous darshans, offerings, miraculous wishing ponds, strategically placed donation boxes and cups and yeah! a poor helpless elephant which begs!

I tried lot, but I cannot comprehend why the level of accessibility to God depends on how much money I can spend. Anyone of you have any idea?