Saturday, April 23, 2011

Moslem Arab Dating Sites * 79

Islam is a puritanical religion and with the world in ferment, the Arab world  in particular is ruled more and more by the Mullah. I was recently surprised that despite all the din and noise created by hardliners the Moslem Arab dating sites are thriving. There tens of these sites with servers located outside the Arab world and thus out of reach of the Mullah and his gun. The revealing part is that these sites have hundreds of thousands of members, who wish to get a line to a girl from the net for friendship and marriage.
One of the sites is Arab lounge and  is in action for over 8 years.I was surprised that it had over half a million members, of which a large number took paid membership of approximately $40 a month. This is a dichotomy hard to explain and shows that Arabs and Moslems from all walks of life want to enjoy life and not be restricted by strict laws and practices.
There are another dozen sites like the one mentioned and one has only to surf the net to come across them All of them offer free membership, but in case you wish to have access to premier services a paid membership is a must.
Frankly there is no harm in these dating sites mushrooming all over the world. But it just shows that Arabs and moslems are just like other people and cannot be kept in an iron cage for long. Some of the photos on the sites are enough to titillate the palliate of anyone one. They are revealing and again show that Muslim dating sites have a lot in common with other sites.This leads to the fundamental question that Human nature just cannot be caged. The desire is there and religion or no religion has little relevance.
An example of an AD on Arab dating site.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Has Anyone Thought of the Widows in Hinduism?

India is suposed to be moving forward, but the social ills are not going away. As an example the caste system is getting further entrenched as the Government supports it. Again the position of women is still low and the worst placed are the widows.The ancient Hindu texts place a woman on a high pedestal. Thus umpteen goddesses in the form of Kali,Saraswati, Durga,Lakshmi etc abound. They are the pillars of Hinduism. But despite what I have written above, the lot of the woman in Hinduism is not what is desired. In particular the lot of widows ia a disgrace on the religion itself.

Nobody has been able to explain how this neferious practice of treating widows as the accursed of society took roots.Yet the fact is that the widows are treated like the living dead. A Hindu widow is not supposed to marry nor wear any gaudy clothes or make up.She is to keep her head shaved and spend her time reciting bhajans. In fact the greatest curse is to be a widow in Hinduism . Worse a lot many families who do not wish to take care of the widow send them to widow ashrams.Here they have to pander to sexual exploitation as well. The sad part is that sati having been outlawed,higher caste Hindus in particular palm of the widows as unwanted members of society.

Despite protestations from the Hindu leaders,the fact that there are 33 million widows cannot be explained. The Hindu religion is debased and needs to be cleansed.It is a pity that social reformers of Hinduism have not addressed the problems of widows. Among other things they are not to remarry and have to eat bland food.In fact in the widow ashram at Delhi a lot many widows have not enough to eat.  Ever been to the widow ashram in Brindavan.Its just shocking and the less said the better.When will Hinduism rid itself of this stigma? This is the million dollar question. Can anyone think of a solution ?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Favorite Star- Charles Bronson * 71

When I was in school, I remember playing truant and bunking school to go over to the Rex cinema in Mumbai (now defunct) to see a movie with Charles Bronson. If I remember correctly it was Guns for San Sebastian in which he costarred with Anthony Quinn, another great star. Seeing Bronson in the role of a tough man, made him my hero and I saw almost all his movies, even those that were released a decade earlier in re-runs like The Magnificent Seven and the Great Escape.
The Macho Star
Charles Bronson certainly had a following in India, where his movies were well received. It’s a pity though, that he never visited India. Charles Bronson was a Hollywood actor in the classical mode. His career spanned a period when Hollywood was at its zenith. He certainly brought to life a tough and macho image. He was the original he man star.
One series of films that won him popular acclaim were the Death Wish series. The last of which he acted in 1995.He stopped acting after this movie as ill health over took him. He was also a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Bronson at the Top
Bronson’s place in the sun was at its apogee during the seventies and eighties. As he turned in some excellent performance in a number of films like Death Wish(1974), Once upon a time in the West (1969) Break Out (1975) and many more. In fact during this period, he was one of the highest paid stars of Hollywood.
 Bronson died in 2003 at the age of 82. But he left behind a legacy that will be hard to match, particularly in the genre of western and tough mans roles.
Last Word
 One other aspect of Bronson’s life was his family, which took preponderance over anything else. Married to Jill Ireland for 22 years till her death in 1990, he had a special affection for her and starred in 14 movies with her in the lead.
For me he was the ultimate macho star.Its a pity he is no more, but then we are all mortal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Can We Compare Gandhi and Bhagat Singh ?

Bhagat Singh was hanged by the British on 23 March 1931 and Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu patriot on 30 Jan 1948. When Bhagat Singh was hanged he was only 24, in contrast to Gandhi who was over 70. However now after many decades we know that Gandhi was lukewarm to Bhagats  hanging. Frankly he appeared dis interested.

Gandhi is universally recognized as an apostle of non violence. Much if this myth is propagated by Richard Attenborough in his film Gandhi. Bhagat Singh by comparison took a violent stand against the British rule, while Gandhi was more accommodating and that perhaps is the reason that he is not that eulogised.

Bhagat Singh was a serious challenger to Gandhi’s leadership. This was perhaps the guiding principle for Gandhi who failed to intervene decisively for Bhagat Singh and his companions with the British. In fact at the Karachi convention of the Congress party 3 days after Bhagat Singh hanging, Gandhi had the mortification to be greeted with black flags by the people. It is on record that Pattabhi Sitaramayya, a top Congress leader and Gandhi loyalist, conceded: "It is no exaggeration to say that at the moment Bhagat Singh’s name was as widely known all over India and was as popular as Gandhi’s".
The real issue was the threat to Gandhi’s leadership. What if Bhagat Singh had not been hanged? There is every chance that he would have galvanized the youth and weaned them away from Gandhi. This was what Gandhi wanted to avoid, a challenge to his ideas. Even much later he wrote that he did not agree with the concept off Bhagat Singh, as violence was not a creed he could accept.
Bhagat Singh was too young to understand that an organization was necessary to channelize a movement and thus his act was a sporadic act of violence that was doomed to failure. On the other hand Gandhi mindful of the future could not allow Bhagat Singh a place in the sun, where he may have been eclipsed, hence his Luke warm stand on the hanging of Bhagat Singh. Apologists for Gandhi have their work cut out.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Hotel in Cairo Which I Like * 73

Egypt is a land of wonders. It houses the remains of an ancient civilization when the Pharaohs ruled this land. Over the centuries Egypt as a world power has lost its luster, but the grandeur of the monuments has remained. Where else can you find Pyramids that dwarf the sand dunes and the Sphinx that again is a wonder in this world?

Egypt is in a state of turmoil with the exit of President Hosni Mubarak and the take over of a caretaker government. This may alarm a visitor, but the Egyptian government has made elaborate arrangements for tourists.

For a tourist from either the East India or Japan or the West the USA and England Cairo is a must see place. It is the heart throb of the country and is nestled on the banks of the Nile, a gracious river the like of which is seldom seen.

Obviously you will be keen to stay in a place that is luxurious and also gives you access to the beauties of the country. I will suggest the Four Seasons Hotel located in Cairo on the banks of the Nile. This is a luxury hotel and has all the amenities associated with a five star hotel. In addition because of its location on the west bank of the Nile it has glorious views of Great Pyramids. This view is over the ancient Zoological and Botanical Gardens. The Hotel is at the centre of the prestigious new First Residence apartments and shops.

The Four season’s hotel is fairly large hotel with 269 guest rooms and suites. This makes it one of the larger hotels in Cairo. From the hotel rooms you will get an excellent view of the river Nile as it snakes forward as well as views of the Pyramids and the tree tops of Cairo’s botanical gardens.

There is also an excellent swimming pool on the 4th floor of the hotel that will beckon a swimmer. But don’t expect to see any local Egyptian girls in bikinis, Islam does rein this in. However in the hot climate a dip in the pool is welcome relaxation. The pool is above the podium that also houses the shopping mall. But items are a bit above the price line of the Cairo bazaar and you will be better of buying souvenirs and trinkets from down town Cairo.  Lastly the food outlets are fine but a bit pricey.All in all a wonderful place to stay.
Update  . Dont go there now as the entire area and Egypt is in a mess.