Overcast In Vancouver

For the better, I have now settled down in my little room in Vancouver. After 3 days of dilly dallying and eating eggs, I finally picked up my lazy self and bought some groceries. Actually Salti drove me around in his newly acquired Ford F150 truck. That's how I managed to get the groceries, despite the rain. And dinner was a lovely gajar-matar subji (carrot+peas) with chapattis. So much better than eggs.

This is the first time I'm struggling with jet lag. The last 3 nights were sleepless, and not from the jet lag alone. I went to sleep this morning at 6am and woke up at 10am. It's now midnight, and I'm finally feeling sleepy. I'm so happy. Tomorrow is Monday, and I'll be headed to school.

The weather has not cleared up yet. I haven't seen the sun through the overcast sky and the thick gray cloud cover in the last 3 days. It has been drizzling continuously. It's dull and it's gloomy. Those of you who know Canadian winter or those who know what it's like to not see the sun for days at a stretch would know what I'm feeling.

I've finally managed to install a subscription mechanism on the website. Henceforth, every time I publish an article, it will be automatically emailed to those who have subscribed. If you visit my website often, I would suggest you use this mailing list, but it's up to you. To subscribe to the mailing list, click on the Subscribe link in the menu on the right side of the home page, and submit your email address. I will try everything possible to protect your email address.

I took the liberty of adding some of you to the mailing list. If you have received this article in your mailbox, then you're already subscribed. If you didn't like this, please just email me and I'll take care.

Off To Canada

It's time to get back to studies and flying. The weather in Vancouver has started to clear up and I'm headed back there. With a PPL (Private Pilot License) under my belt, it's going to be cross country flights. Wish me luck.

I fly(as passenger) British Airways from Delhi to London to Vancouver, a mind boggling 24 hour journey. Thankfully that includes a 5 hour stop over at London Heathrow. And thanks to Gautam for lending the £20, so I can have a good time at London airport.

Anybody know how to get the £ symbol on the keyboard? I had to do some fancy work to get it here!

Weird Is Normal

I was driving on the streets of Bangalore at 5.15 in the morning, the car stereo playing Ye Jo Desh Hai Mera (Swades); and my sleepy eyes went wet with tears; a feeling of gloom and sadness accompanied me into the silence after the song had ended. It’s only then that I snapped out of it, and thought to myself, “I manage such performances in the cinema theatre, while watching films. Now the sound tracks are getting to me. I know I’m sentimental, but this is new. I’m getting weird. But you know what? I feel normal.

Stray Dogs Gone Wild

Bangalore city is going to the dogs, literally. The front page of today’s newspaper carried the news of yet another child being mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs. Dogs don’t kill people. Wild animals do.

I feel strongly about such issues. The Government, for once, has expressed willingness to do what it takes to curb the menace, by opting to slay the strays. Animal activists on the other hand go up in arms against any such drive. Is there any other means to tackle five hundred thousand (5 lakh) stray dogs in Bangalore?

There are localities of Bangalore where local residents feed the area strays so well, some look healthier than pet dogs. Defense Colony is one such place. I’ve been told that the City Corporation had sent dog vans to catch the strays. The residents heard about this, and quickly collared the dogs with ribbons. Any dog that has a collar, or anything that resembles a collar, is not automatically a stray, even if found without an owner, and cannot be caught as a stray dog.

Yes, any life form has every right to live. By the same standards, I am against capital punishment. But when innocent lives are at stake, especially of those who cannot defend themselves, and from elements over whom we have little control, we have to take sides. Is this an issue over which we can afford to implement solutions like neutering that will take decades to eradicate the menace? Or is it important enough to take immediate steps? Aren’t the lives of two innocent children enough to wake us up? Or will we wait for one of our own kith and kin to fall prey to an attack by stray dogs gone wild?

I feel pity for the stray dogs. Do you wonder why thousands and thousands of couples worldwide choose infertility treatment over adoption? It’s about life. Dogs cannot speak to us, and we’ve assumed that it doesn’t matter to their lives if they cannot reproduce. Now how is neutering any more an ethical practice than culling?

The stray dog population had been estimated to have crossed seven hundred thousand (7 lakh). The Government spent upwards of Rupees twenty million (2 crore) running neutering and sterilization programs last year. This should result in curbing the population growth of the strays. This is either a joke, or a clear portrayal of our double standards. When human population in a city grows, we see crime rates soar. I propose that from today onwards, we enforce neutering in the city and eventually the crime rates will zero.

The whole thing disgusts me.