Sunday, May 31, 2009

Facebook reunites mother with long-lost son

I was not able to believe this story, when I read it.

'A woman whose three-year-old son was abducted and taken to live in Hungary has been reunited with him 27 years later after finding his name on Facebook.

Avril Grube last saw Gavin, when his father (Paros), took him on an outing to Blackpool Zoo. That was in 1982.

Instead of going to the zoo, however, Joseph Paros took the boy to Budapest in defiance of a court order.

Despite appeals via the Hungarian Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Budapest, and an appeal to Margaret Thatcher, then the Prime Minister, Mrs Grube heard nothing more of her son.

Then last October, her sister, Beryl Wilson, typed the name Gavin Paros into Google and found a link to someone of that name on the social networking site Facebook.'

Read further, to know about how the mother and son got together and the son is 30 years old with three children. In the meantime, the son also had been searching for his British parent. At last, with the help of 'Facebook' they got each other.

Looks like a Hindi film plot with a good climax. But in reality, the mother must have gone through so much pain, when she lost her son. The mother's sister was instrumental for this reunion and she should be appreciated for her relentless search for her sister's son.

At last, they are happy and together and it is a nice feeling for us, readers.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kavya Shivshankar - the new US National Spelling Bee Champion '09

I watched this programme in the ESPN channel yesterday. But I did not watch Kavya's winning scene. Read about her in the Times of India today and wanted to see her winning scene. So, thanks to 'you tube' and 'hisunand', I got to watch her and her family's interview. Her habit of writing in her palm, with the finger, is fascinating. She says she is visualizing the word in this manner.

She is so young, just 13 years old and in 8th grade. She is learning to play violin too and wants to become a neuro-surgeon!

This championship is being conducted for the past 10 years and 7 Indian Americans have won this title. We Indians give a lot of importance to education and give 100% attention and so, the children excel than the other nationals.

The Times of India says, 'What’s undeniable is that with the passage of time, the Spelling Bee championship itself has taken a new aura, with big time prize money (Kavya picked up $40,000 in cash and prizes and will most likely breeze through college on scholarships that could amount to as much as $100,000) and wall-to-wall media coverage.'

Congratulations to Kavya and us, brainy Indians!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I am a happy Indian, today.

I feel very very happy today. After a long long time, I and my family watched the whole swearing-in ceremony of the Congress Government today. Though a second part is going to be there next Tuesday, all of us felt happy and part of the celebrations, watching Manmohan Singh taking the oath as our Prime Minister, that too for the second time, with absolute majority, which no one expected to happen.

Everyone was talking about 'hung' government, this time too. But, I am proud of our Indian people, who announced that they want a stable government, which can take bold decisions, without any one's permission. Now, this government can do wonders and I am sure India will prosper and no one can prevent it from coming out of the 'third world' brand. The Ministers (without port-folio also) seem to be a good selection. Most of them are very well educated and we hear that youngsters are also going to be included, next week.

The only dampening news is the DMK drama. Manmohan is trying his best to keep a taint-free cabinet, but A.Raja and T.R.Balu are rumoured to be Ministers too. Don't know why Congress should agree for Karunanidhi's blackmailing now. Maran seems to be worth a ministerial post, but Raja and Balu...hope this decision is re-considered. Good to know that youngsters like Jyothiradithya Scindia, Pilot will be in the new ministry. So it is visible that steps are being taken to bring in Rahul as our next PM?! Why not?!

I love and admire, Mamta Banerjee. She seems to be like a down to earth person but is so bold. My family always argues about which language she was speaking, whenever she started speaking...English, Hindi or Bangla...! Will she be upto the mark, like Laalu? He has set a high standard, in the last government. I pity him now. He took a wrong step before the election and now has to face the music.

Anyway, I am happy and feel like laughing and dancing like the zoo-zoo's of the Vodaphone advertisement!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lok Sabha Elections

I came back just now voting for the Lok Sabha elections. The booth was empty in the morning, it seems. It was too crowded now. My husband and myself had to wait in the queue for more than an hour.

I don't mind waiting for 2 hours also. As soon as I came back, we switched on the TV and Cho Ramaswamy and Jayanthi Natarajan were on the screen. Cho says that Jayalalitha has taken a sensible decision - she will decide, AFTER election results, which party to support - BJP or Congress!

I feel like a complete fool. Our India is supposed to be a democracy and the people will decide on the person/party, to rule our country. This system of alliance AFTER results, is against the democratic system. I don't want to support BJP which will promote fanatics even more, if they are elected. Congress is not VERY good, I know, but Manmohan Singh is a dignified person and I would prefer him to be our PM. I shudder at the thought of Mayavathi, Shrad Pawar, Mulayam or anyone else, becoming our PM.

WE DON'T HAVE A CHOICE. The so called self-promoting leaders will decide on our/our country's fate.

Monday, May 11, 2009

SC Judgement - Is it a bad precedence?

I read this article a couple of days back and wanted to do a post immediately. The Times of India carried this article on 8th May, '09.

SC gives widow's wealth to in-laws who drove her out.

NEW DELHI: Law is blind. Nothing illustrates this phrase better than a recent Supreme Court judgment in which the court upheld the law but, perhaps, failed to deliver justice.

It was a dispute related to the self-earned money of a woman, Narayani, who had been widowed within three months of marriage. Almost immediately, Narayani had been driven out by her in-laws. She fell back on her parents, who educated her and helped her get a job. She died without a will but left behind considerable savings in her PF and bank accounts

Who should inherit her money — relatives from her parents’ side or the in-laws with whom she had had no relations after being driven out of her matrimonial home? That was the question before the court. Read further:

How should we take this judgement?
The Court did not take into account the traumatic experience of the widowed Narayani nor the cruel indifference of her in-laws, nor even the support given by her parents to make her self-sufficient. It was just focused on Section 15(1) of the Hindu Succession Act that permitted the in-laws to inherit the properties of a woman who dies without having made a will. Only property given by her parent would be inherited by her relatives from the parents' side. Now the sons of her late husband's sister would get Narayani's money and not her brother's children.

Will this case become a bad precedence for the future cases like these?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chain Snatcher nabbed - How...

My sister-in-law had been on a tour to Hrishikesh-Hardwar and some other nearby places with her family and other relatives and returned a couple of days back.

All these days we have read 'news' about chain-snatching but this time my close relative went through this horrifying experience:

They had visited Hrishikesh, Hardwar etc. and had come to Dehra Dun. They were on their way to Ambala. They had to change trains, in-between, at Kalka station. They caught the train at 7.30 pm. It was a non-a/c second class. The journey was just for 4 hours. They were altogether 5 persons. They were chatting for sometime and except my sister-in-law and her nephew (around 26 years old), others were sleeping. My sister-in-law was sitting near the window and the shutter was closed. Her nephew was sitting opposite her. At around 9.30 pm, a man with a khaki dress entered and roamed here and there and was standing near their seats. These people thought that the man was a railway policeman! My sister-in-law says, he was drunk also.

Suddenly, the man made a loud sound and just dived towards my sister-in-law and snatched her chain. Nobody expected this action from that man. She just got scared and holding onto her chain, started shouting loudly. Her nephew tried to catch hold of him but the man was sticky (may be oily) and slipped from his hand. He then caught his pant and then my brother-in-law woke up and both of them started hitting him. Then other passengers also joined and somebody went and locked the doors of the compartment, so that the thief would not run outside. They tied his hands with some towel and went to look for the ticket collector. He was handed over to the police at the next station (he was thrashed thoroughly before that!).

The chain she was wearing was joined with a thin chain with mangalsutra, by two thin rings. The ends of the rings were not welded together, but just closed with a plyer. This came off when the thief pulled the chain. She had pinned the chain to her blouse and the chain itself was in between the buttons in the blouse. So she did not miss the thali (mangalsutra).

With this personal experience, my SIL is advising everyone not to wear gold chains while going on tour or to be on the safer side, when you go by train anywhere! She just escaped with some bruises in her neck, this time.

One more important point is, the other passengers also helped them in catching the thief, instead of just watching the drama. If all of us act together when such things happen, we can be assured of a safe journey.

Monday, May 4, 2009

No more smoke rings, please.

I read just now, in the current week's issue of 'Outlook' magazine, about how our ex-Welfare Minister Anbumani's order, banning cigarette smoking in public places, got positive results in some quarters! Here it goes:

Chain Of Smoke Rings
It’s been over six months since Dr Anbumani Ramadoss’s killjoy decree changed the clubby atmosphere at the Outlook office forever. The air on the first floor, where six of us chain-smokers sit, is now so pristine it hurts to breathe. Without that white weed in our fingers, it hurts even more to find the mot juste, let alone render into intelligible English reports filed by our stringer in Jhanjharpur. We smokers have been banished, along with withered potted plants and broken office furniture, to the rooftop terrace. But there’s been an unexpected bonus—climbing three flights of stairs, several times a day, has done wonders for our fitness levels. So has cutting out all those cigarettes mindlessly puffed at one’s desk. Thank you, Dr Ramadoss...

Read further...

I loved this article of Nandini Mehta. I had been noticing for sometime now that smoking in public places like theaters, railway stations or shopping malls has come down drastically. I don't see many people smoking on the roads also. I am very allergic to cigarette smoke - I start coughing within seconds of inhaling the smoke. Anyway, this is a good sign.

Sometime back, I had read some article saying that girls also have started smoking and it is increasing day by day now in cities like Bangalore, Chennai etc., though, I disagree with this. I have not seen girls, here in Chennai, smoking. If they do so, I just sincerely hope that this new trend comes down fast - with some sincere leader/Minister's action! Not, Muthalik type leaders!
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