Friday, 16 May 2008

Vatican: Love thy alien

After centuries of earth and human centric propaganda and dogma, the Vatican finally agrees that there may be another point of view. So how did this change take place, however reluctantly it may have happened? And how do they justify all the crimes against free-thinking that they committed in years past? Which brings us to the next question: why should we trust or give any regard to their views at this point in time?

Vatican City, May 14: The Vatican's chief astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of "extraterrestrial brothers" perhaps more evolved than humans. "In my opinion this possibility (of life on other planets) exists," said Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, a 45-year-old Jesuit priest who is head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI.

"How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere," he told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in an interview in its Tuesday-Wednesday edition, explaining that the large number of galaxies with their own planets made this possible.

Asked if he was referring to beings similar to humans or even more evolved than humans, he said: "Certainly, in a universe this big you can't exclude this hypothesis."

In the interview headlined "The extraterrestrial is my brother," he said he saw no conflict between belief in such beings and faith in God. "Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in

contrast with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom," he said.

"Why can't we speak of a 'brother extraterrestrial' ? It would still be part of creation," he said.

Rev. Funes, who runs the observatory which is based south of Rome and in Arizona, held out the possibility that the human race might actually be the "lost sheep" of the universe.

"There could be (other beings) who remained in full friendship with their creator," he said.

Christians have sometimes been at odds with scientists over whether the Bible should be read literally and issues such as creationism versus evolution have been hotly debated for decades.

The Inquisition condemned astronomer Galileo in the 17th century for insisting that the earth revolved around the sun. The Catholic Church did not rehabilitate him until 1992.

Rev. Funes said dialogue between faith and science could be improved if scientists learned more about the Bible and the Church kept more up to date with scientific progress. Rev. Funes, an Argentine, said he believed as an astronomer that the most likely explanation for the start of the universe was "the big bang", the theory that it sprang into existence from dense matter billions of years ago.But he said this was not in conflict with faith in God as a creator.

"God is the creator. There is a sense to creation. We are not children of an accident ...," he said.

"As an astronomer, I continue to believe that God is the creator of the universe and that we are not the product of something casual but children of a good father who has a project of love in mind for us," he said.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

இன்னும் இருக்கிறாய் என் மனதுக்குள் இப்போது....

பிறக்கும் குழந்தைகளின் சிரிப்பு
பார்த்துகொண்டே இருப்பதில் சுகம்
எவ்வித இன்னல்கள் நேரிடினும்
காற்றினுடன் கலந்தோடிவிடும்
காதலின் தூதுவனாய்
புதியதாய் பூத்த பூவரசனாய்
சொல்லி அனுப்பிய செய்திகளை
சிரிப்பாலும் அழுகையாலும்
கொஞ்சம் கொஞ்சமாய் உதுரிவிட
சின்ன சின்னதாய் என் நெஞ்சில்
மின்னல்கள் சில வெட்ட
இழுத்து சென்றது என்னை
என் காதோலுடு, என் காதலியோடு

மறந்திருந்தேன் சில நாட்கள்
அவளது நினைவுகளையும், சிரிப்பையும்
என்ன ஒரு மாற்றம்
அதுவும் சில நாளிகைகளில்
மனிதனின் அறிவிற்கு புலப்படாமல்
அவன் மனதிற்கு மட்டும் சொந்தமான
இந்த காதல் கதை
ஆம் எவருக்கும் கூரபடாத கதை
கூறமுடியாத கதை
கல்லறை பெட்டிகளில் தூங்கும் கதை
அவரவர் மனதினுக்குள்
புதைக்கப்பட்ட கதை

என்று விடியும் இந்த சமுதாய இருட்டு
என்று கிடைக்கும் காதலுக்கு விடுதலை
மனதை மட்டும் மதிக்கும்
மனிதர்கள் எப்போது தோன்றுவார்கள்
பழைய புராண காலங்கள் முதல்
புதிரான இந்த கலிகாலம் வரை
ஏன் இந்த வேற்றுமை உணர்வு
சேர்ந்திருந்தும் தனியே வாழும்
இந்த நாகரீக மிருகங்களுக்குள்
காயப்பட்ட இந்த தலைமுறை
விழித்துவிட்டது ஓர் சரித்திரம் படைக்க
புயலை தவிர்த்து தென்றலினால் மட்டும்
தாகத்தை தவிர்த்து மழையினால் மட்டும்
துரோகங்களை தவிர்த்து அன்பினால் மட்டும்
புதியதாய் ஒரு உலகத்தை
செதுக்கி எடுக்க புறப்பட்டனர்

முரசொலித்துக்கொண்டு நானும் சேர்ந்தேன்
இப்படையின் ஒரு போர்வீரனாய்
எனக்கு துணையாக நீயும் வருவாயென
லட்சியம் ஒரு கண்ணிலும்
காதல் ஒரு கண்ணிலும்
அடிமேல் அடி வைத்து,
உன் வரவை எதிர்பார்த்து
கார்த்திருகேன் காதலியே
நீ விரைவில் வருவாயென

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Mother - The Only Human God

She's as soft and graceful as a butterfly,
yet as strong and courageous as a grizzly bear.
Her heart is large enough to hold everyone's pain and joy.
Her hands are always gentle and soothing.
Her arms are always warm and tender.
She works hard to make a home feel like home,
and she strives to make life pleasant
and comfortable for those she loves.

She never fails to go that extra mile to
make the holidays happy and memorable.
Her job is the most difficult and
demanding ever known to any human being,
yet she's fully dedicated to the task.
She's always there for her family,
guiding them and keeping them safe from harm.

She owns a magical way to raise spirits and make everything feel better.
And her sympathy, unselfishness and forgiveness are unending.
All that anyone is or could ever hope to be can be attributed to a mother.
She instills the teachings that will last a lifetime.
She sows the seeds of virtue and morality,
and in the process, she opens up love and vast horizons.
She's always watching and hoping that her children's goals will have meaning.
She always listens and tries to understand even when it's difficult to do so.
She's a true friend in every sense of the word.
She's noble and sublime, and holds all the beauty of a golden day,
yet even during the storms, she always shines bright like an evening star.
Her name should be honoured well, for she's the closest thing to God on earth.

"Can't you paint on walls like other children?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to
get that stuff off the ceiling?"

"All right, if you aren't hiding your report card
inside your jacket, take your hand out of
there and show me."

"Again with the stovepipe hat? Can't you just
wear a baseball cap like the other kids?"

"I'm not upset that your lamb followed you to school,
but I would like to know how he got a
better grade than you."

"The next time I catch you throwing money across
the Potomac, you can kiss your allowance good-bye!"

"Of course I'm proud that you invented the
electric light bulb. Now turn it off and get to bed!"

"I don't care where you think you have to go,
young man, midnight is past your curfew."

"But it's your senior picture.
Can't you do something about your hair?
OY! Styling gel, mousse, something... ?"

My Mummy:
"Do whatever you want to do, but please do take care of your health, keep smiling and be happy"

A mother is special, she's more than a friend.
Whenever you need her, she'll give you a hand.
She'll lead you and guide you in all that you do.
Try all that she can just to see you get through.
Good times and bad times, she's there for it all.
Say head up, be proud, and always stand tall.
She'll love you through quarrels and even big fights,
or heart to heart chats on cold lonely nights.
My mother's the greatest that I've ever known,
I think God made my mother like He'd make his own.
A praiser, a helper, an encourager too,
nothing in this world that she wouldn't do.
To help us succeed she does all that she can,
raised a young boy now into a man.
I want to say thank you for all that you do,

please always know mom, that I love you.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Marriage - Sharing or Dominating ?

Geetanjali, an ad executive and I have been friends for eons. I met her recently at a party. I was shocked to realize that Jill as we call her, had quit her career in advertising after her marriage to a lawyer. "With him in Calcutta and me in Mumbai, I felt it wasn't worth it," was her reason.

Can't really digest the fact that six years ago, this woman wanted to be the next Tara Sinha! Anyways, can't really blame her; isn't this what majority of the women do after marriage? Once the wedding date is fixed, her career is more or less history. All her career related goals and dreams go down the drain.

Today in most of the Indian homes, a girl's education is seen as a passport to getting a better match

Some serious minded and focused women even burn the midnight oil, so they can make it big. Was all that studying only to give it up so easily, worth it? It gets me thinking why a man can't compromise when it comes to his career? Why should a woman always make the sacrifices? Couldn't Geetanjali's husband have relocated his practice to Mumbai so she could have pursued her dreams?

When I discussed this with my other friends, Meera, one among them told me that it was all due to social conditioning and individual upbringing. In our society, the boy child is encouraged to play the dominant male role, while the girl child is taught to be submissive.

And I had thought this happened only in the Stone Age! Some women select courses in college, as they would look good on their resumes. We're not talking about career; we're talking about marriage. It amazes me that even today in most of the Indian homes, a girl's education is seen as a passport to getting a better match. How else can you explain a boom in computer related courses... girls looking for NRI software engineers know their chances get better when they're technically qualified.

I think the parents are to be blamed for reducing their daughters to this state. They not only stereotype her but also stand and watch her ambitions being thwarted. I can't believe my ears when I hear one in the group saying, "It's easier when he decides. It's so difficult to cope in competitive fields after marriage. New responsibilities now play a major role. When the kids come, things only get worse."

If women can take decisions in boardrooms today, why can't men whip cream and change nappies at home? After all what's wrong in sharing responsibilities? Why should a woman be the lone homemaker?

Men better get this straight, shape up and help her pursue her dreams. After all, marriage is all about sharing.

Are Marriages made in heaven ?

Marriages are made in heaven?? Who says so?!? Whoever said that must have been drinking and he ought to be shot in the head for doing so!

Well, I wish I knew. I think I'd gladly serve the sentence of life imprisonment for it too. Why? Personally, I think marriages are made in hell. Does Satan have anything to do with it? Not that we are aware of it yet. We have always known that a man and woman join in holy sanctimony. Things might change and so will perspectives. Until Galileo the church used to think that the earth is flat and that sun orbited around the earth.

What's the big deal about marriage anyway? I personally support live-in relationships. At least when you walk out of this kind of a relationship you won't be called a divorcee. It'll just change your status from engaged to available and in both cases you are still single. What's more, you can have many relationships simultaneously. On one weekend you could spend your time with one while you can keep the next weekend open for somebody else.

Marriages... well marriages on the other hand can be quite the contrary. Either you live with the person the rest of your life even though you cannot tolerate the sight of each other or you just go ahead and get yourself divorced after long legal procedures (trust me, they don't come easy). Well whatever you have to say about it, this is my point of view and I think I am entitled to it.

What's with this whole arranged marriage thing anyway? You get married to a complete stranger and you are to live the rest of your life trying to discover your partner- I wonder if they even get beyond a certain point with it.

Geeta Shah got married five years ago and has three children out of her wedlock. But, she still dreads at the thought of spending the night with her husband! Geeta is the victim of marital rape. She is not the only woman to face such abuse from her husband. Diana Russell, a prominent rape researcher in America interviewed over 900 randomly selected women and found that while 3% had been raped by a stranger, 8% had experienced rape by a husband.

Illicit sex, sex on demand, forced sex and sometimes brutal, humiliating sex is experienced by innumerable woman in a marriage. When a stranger rapes a woman, she has to live with a frightening memory. But, when her husband rapes her, she has to live with the rapist. Marital rape is extremely destructive because it betrays the fundamental basis of marital relationship. It questions every understanding the woman has of her partner, her marriage and also of herself. It is worse than a murder. The victim dies a thousand deaths, even when she is alive out of a feeling of betrayal and humiliation. In almost every case of rape, the woman is held responsible and made to feel as if it is she who is the criminal.

Marital rape is generally sub-divided into three categories - those rapes that involve a degree of violence, those that use enough force to control the victim, known as 'force-only' rapes, and sadistic rapes.

Violent rape occurs when the abuser through physical violence cause injury to the victim. This is excluding the injuries caused due to the rape itself, i.e. injuries to the genital area. Many abusers will also force their wives to submit to sexual acts after a physical assault, either to prove her forgiveness or to further intimidate and humiliate her.

'Force-only' rape means using force by the abuser to control or hold his wife in position, eg holding down the victim by her arms or wrists to prevent her defending herself or escaping. In most cases of 'force-only' rape, coercion plays a large part.

Sadistic rape is when in addition to the rape itself, the victim is either forced to comply with or undergo deeds designed to further humiliate her. The rapist might hit or cut the wrist of the victim or urinate on her.

Despite the unwillingness to recognise marital rape as a crime, the fact remains that it is prevalent throughout society regardless of the woman's education or status. Did you know that many women, especially in India are not even aware what marital rape is all about! That of course happens because in our culture, women are discouraged from openly discussing sexual matters.

Are there any laws against this most brutal act? Will women ever come out in the open and fight for justice? Will the guilty be punished?