Overheard that a farewell dinner of a top-notch yesterday (October 15, 2009) cost around Rs. 6,600. I don’t think I need to add that this price was for each person!

Consider this: In India, a family of four can survive a whole month on approximately $150, which comes to around Rs. 6750. This is true to close to 50% of the population in our country! As per the World Bank, about 42% of Indians are in the below poverty line (BPL) zone (surviving on less than $ 1.25 per day).

At around the same time that folks in the party were enjoying the expensive meal, I couldn’t help, but notice a family of three on the footpath on my way back to CST Station. A little kid, oblivious the world around and the condition his family is in, as old as my nephew Jonty, trying to reach to something unknown; a lady sitting still, looking at the third member of her family – her husband, who was trying to hide/cover his face supposedly crying! The scene, still as fresh as a daisy in my mind, hit me hard… Really hard!!!

Ironically, the (note the singular) dinner (@ Rs. 6,600 per person) was hosted just a day before UN’s World Food Day (October 16, 2009), celebrated this year with the theme – ‘Achieving food security in times of crisis.’

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Voted, not after a few hiccups though, which ain’t surprising if you are a voter in India. Firstly, couldn’t dig out my name from the ‘online’ voters list. Secondly, I was told the Sr. No. that I had used for voting during the General Elections would do.

On reaching the booth, I was told that my vote has already been cast. Double-checking revealed that the name next to the Sr. No. belonged to a certain Shetty ! Had to wait for a few minutes till the Poll Officer dug out the name – Virgis Blissin Thom! Yes, that’s how I am recognized in the official electoral list.

Finally, the finger was inked and the button was pressed – my fifth such experience!

For the record, all candidates that I’ve cast my vote so far have lost… It won’t be any different this time around too! 😀

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Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize


And here are some facts that you might have read or heard:

  • Date of Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony: 19 January, 2009
  • Last date for nominations for the Nobel Prize: 1 February, 2009
  • Nobel Committee’s statement that accompanied the award, “Obama has as President (in 11 days?) created new climate in international politics.”

Do I need to say more?

And FYI, Mahatma Gandhi has never been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace!

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