Monday, August 18, 2008


It is a mystery why we fall in love. It is a mystery how it happens. It is a mystery when it comes. It is a mystery why some love grows and it is a mystery why some love fails.
You can analyze this mystery and look for reasons and causes, but you will never do anymore that take the life out of the beautiful experience. Just as life is more than the sum of the flesh and bones in the body, love is more than the sum of the interests and attractions that two people share.
And just as life itself is a gift that comes and goes in its own time, love too must be taken as a gift that cannot be questioned in its ways.
Hopefully at least once in your life - the gift of love will come to you in full flower.Take hold of it and celebrate it in all inexpressible beauty. This is the dream we all share. More often, it will come and take hold of you, celebrate you for a brief moment and then move on.
people, often try to grasp the love and hold it to them, refusing to see that it is a gift that just as freely, moves away. They want answers where there are no answers. They want to know what is wrong in them that makes the other person no longer love them, or try to get their love to change, thinking that if some small things were different, love would bloom again.
If you find yourself in love with someone who does not love you, be gentle with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. Love just didn't choose to rest in the other person's heart.
If you find someone in love with you but you don't love them back, feel honored that love came and called at your door, but gently refuse the gift you cannot return. Do not take advantage; do not cause pain. How you deal with love is how you deal with yourself.
All our hearts feel the same pains and joys, even if our lives and ways are different.
Remember that you don't choose love. Love chooses you. Remember this and keep it to your heart. Love has its time, its own season, its own reason for coming and going. You cannot bribe it or coerce it, or reason it into staying. You can only embrace it when it arrives and give it away when it comes to you. But if it chooses to leave from your heart or from the heart of your lover, there is nothing you can do and there is nothing you should do. Love always has been and always will be a mystery. Be glad that it came to Live for a moment in your life!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jim Corbett

I just finished reading "The Man Eaters of Kumaon" and was absolutely blown away. This post is dedicated to the man who I believe at l;east some of you would have heard about
"A cool breeze blew over the lush Indian forest. Jim Corbett was being hunted. The tigress that stalked him was already credited with at least sixty-four human kills, and Corbett hoped that he was targeted to be next. Jim leaned against the rocky slope of a nearby hill and lit a cigarette. The Chowgrath Tigress had already sneaked up on him once in this grove, and he tried to give her the chance to do so again. As the afternoon waned, however, Corbett decided that she was too canny to try the same trick twice.
He opted to lay one last trap for his adversary before the sunlight failed. He led a buffalo into the grove, and tied it up securely as it grazed. If the tigress took the bait she would be able to kill the animal, but would be unable to drag it off. His intent was to circle behind the nearby hill, climb to the top, and give watch to the grove below. It would be a shot of over two hundred yards, but over the years he had felled many a beast from such distances. Even if his long-range shot only managed to wound the man-eating tigress, he would at least be left with a blood-trail to track, and therefore end his months-long hunt.
He set off at a quick pace, anticipating that the tigress would observe his departure and take the opportunity to prey upon the buffalo. As he rounded the hill in a dry riverbed his pace wasn't so hard as to shut out all distraction: in a shallow depression there rested a pair of Rock-jay eggs. As an amateur egg collector, Corbett could not pass up these unusual specimens. He used some moss to wrap them up, and carried the eggs delicately against his belly with his rifle crossed over his chest. He continued briskly along the sand, hoping to make it to the hilltop before the tigress finished her buffalo feast. As he squeezed past a large boulder which blocked most of the riverbed, something in his peripheral vision gave him pause: something orange and black, with a predator's eyes, poised behind the boulder and ready to pounce. In that instant he knew he had been outmaneuvered. With his hands full of Rock-jay eggs, and his rifle hugged against his body, there wasn't much he could do to deflect the imminent attack. He turned his step into an anti-clockwise spin, set the rifle butt against his hip, and managed to fire a single handed shot.
For a moment the tiger was unaffected, and stayed coiled on the verge of springing out. Then her muscles slacked and her head came down to rest on her forepaws. The bullet had entered the back of her neck, and plunged through to her heart. After ensuring that the Chowgrath Tigress was indeed dead, he returned the way he'd come, and believing he couldn't have made that improbable shot without the eggs in hand, he returned them to the nest. It was the least he could do".
Edward James Corbett was born in July of 1875, in Kumaon, India at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains. From the day he was allowed to walk to school on his own, he began taking long excursions through the jungles of India. When night would fall, he had no fear of sleeping anywhere in the wild with only a small campfire for company. On one such trek, caught the attention of the tiger napping. The tiger stepped from cover, and gave him a look that conveyed a message he interpreted as, "Hello, kid, what the hell are you doing here?" He believed that a tiger was keen to leave humans alone and keep to their own business.
As a young adult, Corbett was drawn in with the big-game hunting crowd. He often accompanied a notorious poacher on illegal hunts where Corbett was educated on the intricacies of India's big cats. He developed into a masterful hunter, learning to read the environment by observing the forest creatures' reactions to unseen threats.
In 1906, Corbett's hunting skills were called into action when he was called to use his powers for good instead of evil: to hunt the infamous the Champawat Tiger.
The Champawat Tiger was already credited with 200 human deaths in Nepal before the army drove her out. In India the tigress took another 234 lives. Many had sought her, some claimed to have shot her, but her reign continued unabated. After much personal debate, Corbett approached the ministry, and informed them that he would hunt the Champawat Tiger, but only under his terms: all the rewards for the tiger's kill were to be revoked. During the months that Corbett tracked her, she continued to prey upon the hapless citizenry. When Corbett's well-placed shot finally felled the formidable beast, he discovered the reason for her diet of tender human flesh: she had been shot in the mouth some years earlier, thereby destroying her teeth beyond use on her natural prey.
One such public calamity was the Rudraprayag Leopard. This animal was said to have a fearlessness which allowed it to push through doors or windows, and on at least one occasion, to claw through a wall. For eight years villagers between Kedarnath and Badrinath dared not venture out after nightfall, but despite their caution the Rudraprayag Leopard made meals of 125 people. After months of stalking, Corbett marked one of the leopard's favorite trails, set a goat as bait, and climbed into a mango tree. There Corbett spent ten nights, with only the anxious murmurs of the landscape hinting at the leopard's proximity. Just before midnight on the eleventh evening, he heard the distinct clamor of the goat's bell, and snapped on his weak flashlight. The beam caught a flash of pale fur, and a single shot rang out from the mango tree. The leopard disappeared into the gloom. Five hours later, when the clouds broke, Corbett left the safety of his tree to investigate. There in the silver light of the moon, he found the man-eating Rudraprayag Leopard dead.. He took no joy from the kill; the leopard's crimes were "not against the laws of nature," Corbett lamented, "but against the laws of man."
After having killed the Chowgrath Tigress with a one-handed shot, Corbett found that she was afflicted by a collection of porcupine quills in her right foreleg and the wound was so deteriorated that the tiger's muscle was rotted. Most of the big cats taken by Corbett were also assigned a reason for having become man-eaters. Between 1907 and 1938, Corbett killed a dozen large cats who were collectively blamed for more than 1,500 human deaths. While being hailed as India's most celebrated hunter of man-eaters, Corbett developed a vast respect for tigers and leopards. Years spent stalking intelligent and powerful predators through the forests convinced him that these were graceful creatures that deserved respect. Even these man-eaters held his respect, for he understood that they were merely adapting to their desperate circumstances. "The stress of circumstances is, in nine cases out of ten, wounds, and in the tenth case old age," Corbett once wrote, "Human beings are not the natural prey of tigers, and it is only when tigers have been incapacitated through wounds or old age that, in order to survive, they are compelled to take to a diet of human flesh." Indeed, Corbett admired the wild tiger as "a large-hearted gentleman with boundless courage", and he urged India's people to rally for the conservation of "the finest of her fauna."
In a time when a hunter was measured for how many fearsome animals he could kill, Corbett exuded pride at never having killed a large cat for sport or financial gain. "Those who have never seen a leopard," he said, "can have no conception of the grace of movement, and beauty of colouring of this the most graceful and the most beautiful in our Indian jungles. Nor are his attractions limited to outward appearances, for pound for pound, his strength is second to none, and in courage he lacks nothing."
During the 1930s, Corbett's hunt for India's cats had turned almost exclusively to shooting them with a camera. No one was able to match Corbett's knack for approaching tigers.
In 1875, there were more than 100,000 tigers in the world. In 2007 there was only one tiger alive for every fifteen that lived during Jim Corbett's childhood. Had it not been for the intervention of this large-hearted gentleman, it is almost certain that there would be far fewer–if any–of these remarkable animals alive today.
After 1947, Corbett and his sister Maggie retired to Nyeri, Kenya. He was at the Treetops Hotel, a hut built on the branches of a giant ficus tree, when Princess Elizabeth stayed there on February 5-6, 1952, at the time of the death of her father, King George VI. Corbett wrote in the hotel's visitors' register:
"For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess, and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience, she climbed down from the tree the next day a Queen— God bless her".
Jim Corbett died of a heart attack a few days after he finished writing his sixth book Tree Tops, and was buried at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Nyeri. The national park he fought to establish in India was renamed in his honour two years later and is now nearly twice its original size. It is a favoured place for visitors hoping to spy a tiger in the wild.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Animal Testing - Both sides

The use of animals in medical experimentation has had been one of the most controversial divisive issues since the seventeenth century. Edward Freeman, one of the most distinguished of recent English historians stated, “The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the innocent, faithful animal race form the blackest chapter in the whole world’s history”. It is estimated that 200 million animals suffer and die in the name of research every year. People say We have rights over animals. At no point and time should we ever justify ourselves through the pain and suffering of another being. The better informed individuals are about the issues, the more rational and logical their actions will be. Humans use animals in experiments without noticing that animals can feel and suffer just like humans do. Humans are heartless, wicked and merciless towards non-human animals; humans have no thought for the feelings and suffering which they inconsiderately cause on animals. The Bible says; “Then God said let us make man in our image … and let him have dominion over fish of the sea and the birds of the air, and over the cattle … and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth” – Genesis 1:28. So many people mix this statement up, they’re like why should animals have rights, god doesn’t say they should! Well in the bible, it doesn’t say that we have the right to work the hell out of them, run them into the ground, brutally murder them, bash them, and maim them! It’s just like the way parents have domain over their children, they hold no right to use their children as tools, and they have no right to abuse them. It means they have the responsibility to care for them. Opposing to what many people believe, testing drugs on animals often give faulty results. Although animals may seem like the perfect species for testing new drugs, the experiments are unreliable and can cause unidentified side effects. Most medical and researcgers are of the view that humans and animals differ on a cellular and molecular level, and, importantly, that is where disease occurs." "We were finding, through scientific research, that extrapolating data from animals to humans is misleading, unnecessary, dangerous, or all three." Animal experiments do not solve medical problems or help us to improve in medical field. Opposite to a majority of the human population belief, animals are not perfect species to find treatments for diseases. An animal can experience different physical and psychological effects compare to a human experiences. It is also impossible to re-create a naturally occurring disease. The belief is held that animal experimentation is necessary in order for vaccines, cures and treatments for human illnesses to be effective. But, the fact of the matter is animals react differently than humans to various vaccines. Since humans and animals do not contract the same diseases, these diseases have to be induced onto the animals. In addition, experimental treatments that have been proven effective on animals need not necessarily work on people. Experimenting drugs on animals can keep safe drugs off the market and keep dangerous drugs available for humans. Animal testing is unreliable, and humans should begin to not trust the information given about a drug according to an animal test. Also, it is unfair to put them through excruciating experiments just to know if humans can wear a new sun block cream. Humans are better test subjects than animals are because it is impossible to re-create naturally occurring human diseases that arise from within, in a healthy animal or even in a healthy human. This is simply because once it is re-created it is artificial and no longer the original, natural disease. By re-creating a disease it is impossible to tell how the side effects have changed through reconstruction and the differences in the progression of the disease. When we re-create a disease, it is inevitable that vital information is lost to recreation alone, not even considering what is lost by the animal being injected with the human disease. There are many other ways to get the same results as humans receive from animal experiments. These methods are viewed as more moral, practical, effective, and less expensive, why wouldn’t we use these methods? Computers can often predict the toxicity of chemicals, including their potential to cause cancer or birth defects, based on their molecular structure. Computer simulations can also predict the metabolism and distribution of chemicals in human tissues. Animal Experiments have also put dangerous drugs on the market. "Protocol", a drug for heart disorders, that passed animal test was pulled off the shelves when the drug caused blindness in people. Also, arsenic, which is toxic and causes cancer in humans, has not caused cancer in any animals. More than half of the prescription drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in the past half century caused serious side effects that later caused the drugs to be removed from the market. Furthermore, animal experimentation can keep effective drugs off of the market. It’s very possible that many drugs that have been tested on animals were found to be deadly or involved serious side effects but if tested on humans could have been found to successfully cure or treat a specific disease. Even though animals sometimes have the same reactions to a disease or drug as humans do, usually the animals experience much different effects. There is also no way for experimenters to notice psychological effects on the animals; and the animals can’t tell experimenters how they feel and what they are experiencing. Animals cannot communicate through words so their frightened voices go unheard. Many important medical advances have been delayed because of misleading results derived from animals. Studies on monkeys falsely indicated that the polio virus was transmitted via a respiratory, rather than a digestive route. This erroneous assumption resulted in the delay in development of a vaccine. These inaccuracies in animal experimentation can be blamed for many deaths. For example, "milrinone", a drug that raises cardiac output, increased survival of rats with artificially induced heart failure. But humans taking this drug who had severe chronic heart failure had a 30% increase in death. A rat is different than a pig, which is different than a human. Since every species has their own differences, it is hard to predict any side effects that will occur in all the animals. The arguments for and against animal experimentation are going to continue for some time, both between the general public and those directly involved. Those who oppose animal testing believe that all testing associated with the use of laboratory animals should be banned immediately. However, one could argue by saying that a total ban on the use of animals will prevent a great deal of basic medical research, and the possible production of certain vaccines, No new medicines would develop and the safety of people would be at stake. On the other hand, the supporters of animal testing say that humans have always benefited from the health care developments that depended upon the activities of animal research and would continue to benefits from animal testing. There is a lot of pain that these animals have to undergo for testing; hence animal testing cannot be supported. At the same time animal testing cannot be banned immediately because it is our only successful channel to develop medicines and cures. While there has been promise to find alternatives to animal testing, the best researchers can do is try to reduce the animals being used. They can resort to new scanning technologies, which can assist doctors to learn the diseases from human without the actual necessity of animals. Computers can be used to replace the animals as it would reduce the necessity of live animal experiments. The development of substitute to animal experimentation will persistently gain impetus as people become more aware about the problem. Though it is difficult to eliminate animal testing completely, humans can prevent the animal testing by stop certain products that don’t necessary need animal testing. All humans can do now is try to reduce the animals being harmed in experiments to aim for benefiting society.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I have a dream that one day the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life, known as abortion, will be abolished. Abortion is not fair to the child, after all he did nothing wrong and he deserves to live and not be killed. The child deserves a chance. I have a dream that Partial birth be considered a felony since the baby is aged nine weeks and partially delivered. Once the baby is partially born scissors get jammed into its neck and then a vacuum is applied to suck the brains out. This needs to be illegal because the baby is perfectly fine and ready to be born. It is murder in the first degree. I have a dream that all women and all men will be more responsible before they make big decisions in their life. They will live out the true meaning of their creed and have morals. They will not engage in irresponsible sex but wait until they are happily married. I have a dream that rape, assault, and molestation will be erased. A woman can be raped and get pregnant. She will not want to go through the nine months of pain and therefore abort her pregnancy. To eliminate this problem we must eliminate rape and any other situation related to rape. I have a dream that all alcohol and drug abuse will be eradicated. Both alcohol and drugs affect you neurologically which causes your brain to act abnormal. This makes you incoherent to your surroundings which can lead to rape. I have a dream that pregnant women will look at the fetus forming inside of them as a child and not a choice. Once the fetuses are fully grown it will be born and live a happy and wonderful life!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Does having a lot of money alone person make a person Happy? NO. definitely NO . but is it really NO? then why is it yes in our deeds? All of us want to make money to gain status, comfort and luxury. This money has brought; is bringing; and will bring so many differences between some of you and me. These differences will be later named as differences between the rich and the poor. One would experience happiness when a leads a luxurious life or when one has travelled around the world or when he had his meal in the most expensive hotel. Don't you feel I have missed out something in the above examples? yes, I have missed out the actual meaning of happiness. So - What exactly is happiness? Happiness is not actually leading a luxurious life but the luxury of living a peaceful ans content life. Happiness is not having a meal in the most famous restaurant but to have it with your most beloved family. Happiness is being sincerely able to wear a smile when you feel like crying. It is to shout at the top of your voice along with your family on the victory of Indian cricket team. Happiness is all about loving life. Chasing money will lead you nowhere because Money is like that shadow that tries to escape and runaway when we chase it; and chases us when we run away. Because money is like the sand which tries to escape more, the harder we try to hold it tightly within our fists. Therefore I feel money and happiness are not interrelated but chasing money and waste of time are in every way correlated. I feel one could not gain any thing more than what he is destined to. I feel that Money is only a Necessity but happiness is The Need of life. I feel it is now easy to answer the previous question; Is Money a Prerequisite For Happiness???

Friday, July 18, 2008

The art of Lying!

I am not a firm believer in the proverb 'Honesty is the best policy'. While I'm not denying that lying is morally incorrect, I truly believe that 'cushioning' the truth with a few white lies in our daily lives is more than acceptable.In fact, most lies are harmless. Untruths like 'I can't wait to read your book!', ‘Your pudding is divine', or 'that coat makes you look so handsome' are often told to make someone feel better. These fibs or white lies come up so often that the person on the receiving end can hardly feel betrayed or deceived.Often, people lie or rather exaggerate to get something in return. For instance, I sometimes tell my mother that the food in our office sucks and I’m so tired doing the laundry all by myself over the week. Well... as a matter of fact, the food really does suck and I’m really tired doing the laundryL..!! This never fails to strike a chord of sympathy with her and so I always end up getting royal treatment at home when I visit during the weekend. Now, can you imagine what my day would be like if I didn't say this? I'd be living on bread and biscuits all weekend!!!People also lie at the workplace or at school. Though the old 'the dog ate my homework' routine may not work any more, you might just get away with something else. And who is to say you are 'deceiving' your teacher? A tiny deviation from the truth is nothing to be ashamed of!Thus, deception to a certain extent is justified. In most scenarios, it makes people get along better or sometimes it is just a means to an end. Either ways, as long as there is no serious harm done, I believe a few white lies are imperative for any relationship to flourish.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Euthanasia - Mercy Killing or Plain murder?

Euthanasia, more commonly known as ‘mercy killing’, is a contentious issue that is debated more and more these days. Euthanasia is mainly associated with people with terminal illness or who have became incapacitated and don’t want to go through the rest of their life suffering. This subject has come to be a subject that has became very debatable in society. The sides are well distinguished with one group portraying the idea that everyone has the right to die because it is our life and we should be allowed to terminate that at anytime we feel the need. The other side of the argument is that this is wrong and it goes against religion and that this could very easily get out of control if not taken care of now.The Oxford English Dictionary defines euthanasia as `a gentle and easy death: bringing about of this, especially in the case of an incurable and painful disease`. One of the more common arguments in support of euthanasia is that it stops the pain of the terminally ill sufferer once and for all, so called ‘mercy killing’. Some people argue that if a patient were in a lot of pain and distress it would be better to give them an `easy` and humane death.
I feel that every human being has a natural inclination to continue living. Life should be valued, not abused, since everyone is only given one chance to live. Because death is final and irreversible, euthanasia contains within it the possibility that mistakes do happen and in fact an incorrect diagnosis is possible. If society condemns patients who are terminally ill and in the end a mistake in the diagnosis is discovered then the suffering and blame would not fall on technology but on society itself. Suffering is surely a terrible thing and society has a clear duty to comfort those in need and to ease their suffering when it can. But suffering is also a natural part of life with values for the individual and for others that we should not overlook. Knowing that a life can be taken at any time will incline people to give up too easily, hence seeking an escape in euthanasia.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reservations- Boon or Bane???

Reservations have today become a big reality in the present day India. All the governments that come and go are only busy in giving more and more reservation to the different castes or groups in the society. It is time we cease judging people based on caste focus on their true character. For two pivotal considerations -- that Reservation harms its intended beneficiaries, that it punishes the most innocent and industrious of persons, Reservation in India is to aid previously persecuted minorities, yet, in reality, such initiatives harm their intended beneficiaries. Today many of our countrymen will refuse to visit an SC/ST/OBC/Dalit physician or dentist because of their assumption that he or she was admitted to medical college through 'special preferences', set-aside quotas, and relaxed standards. The same is true for many other professionals and for other beneficiaries of caste Reservation. Even if a minority professional is a qualified practitioner, he or she would be shunned due to the stereotype, created by Reservation, that he or she is a puppet of special interest.Moreover, Caste based Reservation punishes the so called upper class/non-minority workers and students, many of whom would be the most innocent and industrious of persons. Through Reservation, people are kept down because of the past actions of their ancestors. The innocent are punished because of what the guilty have done.
Reservation has today become a major social issue and therefore needs a more depth solution for this problem. So far most of the governments have used reservation for more political benefits and less for the benefits of the people
At present, we need to get the right solution for the peoples’ problems and not just implement newer and newer reservations. As per our constitution, there should be no discrimination on the basis of the religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth but unthoughtful reservation policies are only altering with the basic right of every Indian. Moreover, these reservations are also dividing Indians on the name of castes or groups which is a sign of a concern for our nation in the long run and if not properly dealt, can have harsh impact on the calm social climate of India.
Some ways by which the playing field can be made level for all are:
-Provide improved primary/secondary education so that the Dalits can match steps with the others.
-Offer quotas to the economically-deprived across all communities.
-Increase the slice of the educational pie by creating more seats in the open category.

Please share your thoughts...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Capital Punishment - Both sides

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with an intentional or criminal intent. Many believe that these criminals deserve one fate: death. The death penalty, is the maximum sentence used in punishing people who kill another human being - and is a very controversial method of punishment. In most states, a person convicted of first degree murder has the potential to be given the death penalty. Capital punishment is a subject that can be counted upon to stir emotion and controversy into
any conversation or argument. The very concept provokes a profusion of valid questions and opinions. Today's daily world of crime and violence calls for punishment of a severe nature, and many citizens argue that the punishment necessary is the death penalty. These people quote passages such as the "an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" concept from the Old Testament of the Bible.
Opponents of the death penalty claim that sentencing a person to death does not change the reality of the situation; the harm already done simply cannot be fixed from a vengeance standpoint. You cannot bring the murdered person back by taking the prisoner's life and that by executing a prisinor, you are only making the person vanish or non existent and that doesn't give them the opportunity to repent or even suffer for the crime that has been committed. Proponents of capital punishment tend to defend their opinion mainly on two grounds: death is a fitting punishment for murder, and executions maximize public safety through incapacitation and deterrence. So what do you think? Share your thoughts!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Taliban

We are all aware about the brutality that was unleashed by the taliban regime in Afghanistan. Khaled hossani has tried to bring the plight of the Afghan Women with his book "A Thousand Splendid Suns". I was horrified beyond words to learn aboout the barbaric regime that the people of Afghanistan endured.

The following list offers only an abbreviated glimpse of the hellish lives Afghan women were forced to lead under the Taliban, and can not begin to reflect the depth of female deprivations and sufferings. Taliban treated women worse than they treat animals. In fact, even as Taliban declared the keeping of caged birds and animals illegal, they imprisoned Afghan women within the four walls of their own houses. Women have no importance in Taliban eyes unless they are occupied producing children, satisfying male sexual needs or attending to the drudgery of daily housework.

Taliban restrictions of women:
Complete ban on women's work outside home, which also applies to female teachers, engineers and most professionals. Only a few female doctors and nurses are allowed to work in some hospitals in Kabul.

Complete ban on women's activity outside home unless accompanied by a mahram (close male relative such as a father, brother or husband).

Ban on women dealing with male shopkeepers.
Ban on women being treated by male doctors.

Ban on women studying at schools, universities or any other educational institution.

women wear a long veil (Burqa), which covers them from head to toe.

Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women not clothed in accordance with Taliban rules, or of women unaccompanied by a man.

Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.

Public stoning(till death) of lovers.

Ban on the use of cosmetics. Women wearing nail polish have had fingers cut off.

Ban on women talking or shaking hands with males who aren't Mahram.

Ban on women laughing loudly. No stranger should hear a woman's voice.

Ban on women wearing high heel shoes, which would produce sound while walking. A man must not hear a woman's footsteps.

Ban on women riding in a taxi without a mahram.

Ban on women's presence in radio, television or public gatherings of any kind.

Ban on women playing sports or entering a sport center or club.

Ban on women riding bicycles or motorcycles, even with their mahrams.

Ban on women's wearing brightly colored clothes. In Taliban terms, these are "sexually attracting colors."

Ban on women gathering for festive occasions such as the Eids, or for any recreational purpose.

Ban on women washing clothes next to rivers or in a public place.

Modification of all place names including the word "women." For example, "women's garden" has been renamed "spring garden".

Ban on women appearing on the balconies of their apartments or houses.

Compulsory painting of all windows, so women can not be seen from outside their homes.

Ban on male tailors taking women's measurements or sewing women's clothes.

Ban on males and females traveling on the same bus. Public buses had been designated "males only" or "females only".

Ban on flared (wide) pant-legs, even under a burqa.

Ban on the photographing or filming.

Ban on women's pictures printed in newspapers and books, or hung on the walls of houses and shops.

Apart from the above restrictions on women, the Taliban had:
-Banned listening to music.
- Banned the watching of movies, television and videos.
- Banned celebrating the traditional new year (Nowroz) on March 21. The Taliban proclaimed the holiday un-Islamic.
- Disavowed Labor Day (May 1st), because it is deemed a "communist" holiday.
- Ordered that all people with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones.
- Forced haircuts upon Afghan youth.
- Ordered that men wear Islamic clothes and a cap.
- Ordered that men not shave or trim their beards, which should grow long enough to protrude from a fist clasped at the point of the chin.
- Ordered that all people attend prayers in mosques five times daily.
- Banned the keeping of pigeons and playing with the birds, describing it as un-Islamic. The violators will be imprisoned and the birds shall be killed. The kite flying has also been stopped.
- Spectators in stadia who clap their hands or cheer shall have their palms chopped off.
- Anyone who carries objectionable literature will be executed.
- Anyone who converts from Islam to any other religion will be executed.
- All boy students must wear turbans. They say "No turban, no education".
- Non-Muslim minorities must distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their dress to be differentiated from the majority Muslim population. Just like what did Nazis with Jews.
- Banned the use of the internet by both ordinary Afghans and foreigners.
And so on...

Faith and Reason

How many of you think that God is an external entity waiting to punish us for the mistakes we commit? Often I have seen friends of mine offering considerable sums of money to temples, churches etc... Do you believe that such offerings will actually help "God" in carrying out special favours for you? Then what is the difference between 'God" and a corrupt politician? Is this faith or some kind of fear or rather superstition? What exactly is the basis of faith in God? How is that all the cultures in the world, however disconnected they were from each other, came up with their own idea of a God? Is this a mere coincidence? How can we explain God? And if we can, there are religions which contradict another religions beliefs... so does that mean that some religions are right and some are wrong?????