Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Reason to Shop

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

USA has a lot of days where the shops advertise massive sales; just another way of keeping the prices very high and announcing a reduction in price due to sale.  As much as 50% or more and in some cases as much as 80% or 90% is offered as reduction from the original price.  There must be no place on earth the idea of sale is as widely used by the retailers as in the USA.  Everywhere you go, and just about every week the stores advertise in the newspapers, fliers and internet with sometimes on sale to keep customers coming into the store, and buy what they need and also on impulse.

Today is Memorial Day and one of the busy days for retailers who advertise massive reduction in their entire inventories.   Colorful advertisements show massive reduction in prices on everything that is available in stores; especially the big retailers make every effort to attract holidaying shoppers into walk into the store.  Along with millions of Americans and families, I too walked into the mall with the sale papers cleared marked for items that we wanted to buy at attractive prices.  Primarily the selection of stuff were things we need every day for the already here summer season.  A whole car full of us went to the mall, and I dropped everyone at the door and parked the car and walked into the store.  As always I forgot the papers that we spent time marking-up, and planned for a whole week to purchase.  After walking into the store is when I remembered I had forgotten the papers that had the list of things we wanted to buy.

After going through the store and spending at least twice the amount of money as we planned to spend prior to going to the mall, and getting back into the car and driving home is when we started to think that we did not buy one thing that we had planned on purchasing while looking through the sale papers and palling for the big spending trip to the mail on Memorial Day.  There are absolutely no regrets in what we did and how we spent the money, but the fascination with massive sales and how we simply forget to buy what we plan to buy, rather buy things that catch the eyeballs.

Along with a hundred million or more Americans in the malls and shopping complexes today, I am very sure we were simply a part of the crowds who follow the American way for shopping.  We buy on impulse, but we travel to the mall on a purpose.  I did ask the sales lady of she had a copy of the sales papers before we ventured into buying stuff.  She said they did not keep them in the stores.  I know for a fact if she looked she would have found bundles of sales papers, but she did not want to and simply said they did not keep them in the store.  It did not matter to us as we were already digging into the shelves in finding what appealed to us and started to stack them up to go the cash register.  It did not bother us that our focused planning on looking through the papers and making up the things we wanted to buy.  We all walked away with hands full of stuff, and looking at the sales on what we bought, and were happy with what we bought.

Only after driving a while we thought that we did not buy one single thing we planned to buy prior to making the trip.  Just like a 100 million others, we too have been religious American shoppers through the years, simply looking to be a part of a system that is so well planned to get just about everyone who lives or visits the USA to be drawn to a shopping complex at every major day (we have so many each season to name them all), and every season typically requires different things for people to be drawn into the mall.

I have no regrets or issues with just being one more average person who gets drawn into serious planning, but when the time comes to simply follow the isles of the shop.  Plans or no plans you got to keep buying stuff, even if you don’t have any place to put them.  Eventually you will have enough stuff to have a garage sale, but that is a topic for another day.

As much as you enjoy the time at the mall on holidays, it is fascinating how every time a major holiday comes we get drawn into the shopping mall buy only buy things that are really are not on the list.  A sale is a sale and especially at major holidays it is difficult to be drawn away from using the credit card, and pay later.  American way of life well orchestrated, but unplanned.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How Much Is Enough?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

In a never ending saga of professional atheletes continuing to display greater greed, we have the latest of the Cricketers throwing in the towel for money.  Literally throwing in the towel is a reference to playing for money, and nothing more.  They might have definitely influenced the outcome of the games where they cheated on behalf of the gamblers, and for very little financial gain throw away the games and the very hard work of their teammates and the great following of millions of fans.  It makes little common sense to throw games in the age of electronics and communications; as getting caught doing something (good or bad) is always a certainty.

In the same game where Dravid, Tendulkar, Kumble, Ganguly, Sehwag, Harbajan and others are still active, these youngsters worked for bookies rather than their teams.  They have had great teammates and leaders who have played the game for a long time and exemplified the hard work of a professional athlete.  They also are involved in the tournament which pays everyone a handsome fee for a short season and very short time on the field.  They still chose to chase a few bucks to toss games and destroy the enthusiasm of millions of fans.

The sad story is that these fellows did not learn from their counter parts who were involved in mat fixing before and got caught, and were taken to task.  The world over the lure of quick money and other incidentals along with the money are a constant lure to the sportspersons.  At every stage of a competitive situation, there a lure of throwing in the towel to the advantage of bookies betting from the sidelines, but the fame of a professional athlete is a lifelong and everlasting compensation which can never be measured in money; although the professional athletes of today make enormous amounts of money outside of the fame bestowed on them by the every adoring public.

The biggest lie is to cheat on your team and the bigger sin is to think you will get away in this age of constant monitoring by the media and enterprise; both police and criminal.  The communications and contacts once made cannot be erased, and if there is any doubt that someone will get away with a brazen act of public action such as throwing a game away is simply imponderable.  These guys are not just selfish, but plain stupid.  The very fact that they got to play at the level they were playing was a blessing in itself in a world with such vast amount of talent.  Outside of the luck they had in being picked for playing in IPL, they were also paid very handsomely for a few hours of work, and outside of money the fan adulation was immeasurable.  Still these blessing were not good enough, and they had to chase a few more dollars on the side and betray the trust of the team and people.

Whatever the repercussions of the deeds of the few, the game and the teams suffer consequences beyond just the few games of the season.  Everyone who is playing will be scrutinized for every action, and it will take quite some time to regain the fun of the game and the professionalism of the players who are hard at work.
 
Unfortunately there are always going to be a few bad apples in the bunch and will cause a whole lot of grief to the following public and the serious professionals who play hard every day.  However many times we have seen the match fixing saga in different continents, it may never seize to exist in professional sports, but attacking this with vigor is important for future of the sports; people who will think of cheating again must be made to see the consequences of their actions, so at least they will think twice about cheating again.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

No Way Out

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

What will happen to India and its people?  If we continue to be held hostage to scams, murder and rape, and disinterest in the society by the ones who are a privileged few in a large country with a vast population.  Earlier today one of the fellow NRI’s was wondering what will happen to India, if we continue to face such serious social issues that are highlighted everyday in India.  He wondered what kind of future the generations of today will have if we don’t make appropriate adjustments to the behavior of the general public and callousness in dealing with fellow human beings.  For a moment one has to wonder why a man 10,000 miles away from his home is worried, and what will be going on in the minds of the men and women who live in India, and have to deal with these instances every day.

Everyone loves the country, and no question about it.  Why don’t we show the same respect to our fellow men and women and children?  Why don’t we respect the other person space and property?  Why don’t we follow the rules and regulations?  Why don’t we work hard for what we have and what we need?  Why don’t we find ways of self-sustaining?  Why don’t we stop looking for ways to cut short the queue?  Why and how and what if; so many things we can be doing as a democratic and civil society, but we choose not to.  No one has the answer to the many questions on why we don’t want to be a society of laws and regulations.  Each and every person of Indian descent; if they live in India or living elsewhere must wonder what is happening to India.

A government full of yes men who got elected with the power of the money or on the name of the party, managed by a group of old men and women who are far too removed from the civilians, autocrats that are just sitting and following politicians orders, government agencies working on the whims of elected officials, any other agency or organization that is a part of the system that is not independent and cannot function to its principals.  Government in power at the center being far too removed from the states and functioning of each of the local bodies to be able to help and guide them to meet the needs of the people.  So much disconnect in the country that no one knows what the plan of action to deal with the ever increasing demand for resources and education and infrastructure.

While the country so how sustains on year to year basis; there is no plan for overall development and how the needs of the billion plus people can be met.  The continued emphasis is on keeping the seat or continuing in power at any cost.  The nation does have highly intelligent and educated leaders, who for some reason have forgotten their experience and education.  Many of the center and state level politicians have the ability to plan and implement programs for the requirements of the people, but they have simply forgotten their abilities and only focus on retaining their seats.

India has skipped the industrial revolution, financial revolution and information revolution, web revolution and whatever other revolutions that might have been a part of the global phenomenon in the last three generations, and only embraced the intolerance and impertinence of a whole country’s population.  Whatever gains the country makes in participating in the global enterprise, gets quickly erased by the deeds of its citizens and specially politicians.

In a country where there is no respect for laws and the country cannot embrace adopting laws that will protect its citizens, it will be very difficult to find its way out of indecency and incompetence.  Just a few pockets of excellence cannot be termed as guiding lights to the entire population.  We must do soul searching and self-respect for the country, its citizens and the society as a whole.  It is improbable that the current leaders and the standards they have set and the path they leading the country, will be ever a basis for a true and independent democracy.  We have become a society that has no respect for our fellow beings, and we are run by leaders who neither has the courage to tackle the nations wrongs nor the encroachment by the neighbor nations.  We are simple in run by leaders who are looking out for their seats and how to win the next election, and while in power making sure that they make as much hay as possible.  There is no way out for the citizens from the vicious circle of scams and incompetence.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Self Respect Of Telugu People

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
Vasureddy@aol.com

NTR is probably one of the most beloved Telugu leaders and long after his passing away he continues to be in the hearts of Telugu people.  World over NTR and Telugu folks associated with one another, and his passing away has never diminished his aura as a man of the masses, and a man who represented the self respect of the Telugu people.  When I left India NTR was still romancing Sri Devi, Jaya Prada, Jaya Sudha and other young ladies, and entertaining our people prior to the age of TV serials and Internet.  There was absolute adoration of NTR along with other heroes of his time and the movies were a great source of entertainment and relief to the people of all generations.

For many generations of people NTR will be and continue to be the foremost bearer of the pride of the Telugu People.  He was on screen and off the screen a man who had great command of the language and issues and the pulse of the Telugu people.  He reached out to all around him and was simple yet charismatic in his approach to delivering to his audience’s heart and mind; together and appealing to the sense of pride of a language and its people.

Hundreds of movies portrayed him in just about every social, political, historical and mythological get ups, and he enthralled one and all with each one of them.  When he entered politics, his simple formula for success was self-respect of the Telugu people, which appealed to every man, woman and child who was of Telugu descent.  The message was simple to reach to the people from their favorite star reaching out to each and every one of Telugu ancestry as the self-respect is a matter of pride.  It strikes a chord with every person to speak of their language and its people in terms of dignity and respect.  It doesn’t mean that NTR was the first person to raise the consciousness of Telugu pride, but no one spoke of it in terms of reality of the situation in India and treatment that was being meted out by the center to the state.

NTR was magical with his performance on the screen and equally electrifying in politics.  He had no experience with politics when he entered into the scene, and he really did not need any experience to reach out to his Telugu brethren.  The man knew how to reach to each any every person who was listening to him, and was very effective in communicating his message to the people; and the message was what the people wanted to hear.

Politics are a profession where words that are said and deeds that are delivered after elections are like day and night.  In case of NTR his promises were also simple; outside of the pride of Telugu people, he offered simple schemes and implemented them effectively.  It is not to say that his rhetoric was delivered to every bite he said, but he did deliver to his major promises, outside of highlighting the self-respect of his people.

His statue once again is well deserved and well place in the Indian parliament.  He belongs with the Indian greats and politicians who defined the charisma of individual brilliance and the ability to reach to the masses and also deliver to the masses.  NTR belongs in elite company and as time goes by his legacy as a performer and a politician will continue to shine brighter.  In a long list of gaffes and goof-ups of the government, the unveiling of NTR’s statue is one bright spot of politicking for the current government.  Whoever initiated or help place NTR at Indian parliament deserves applause, and all those who appreciate the great man’s legacy also need to be applauded.