Sunday, December 30, 2007

A soul died in Pakistan ...

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Bhutto died. She was a good leader.
Power is world's most addictive thing. Its hard not to do something that may not be totally right when one is possesed by power. The funny thing about power is that like all other things that we come across in our life (which are not too good), power, its acquisition and the desire to have it knows no limits. The limits to all other things are infact defined by the new set of 'limits' defined by power. What is even funnier is that most of the things that we want power for are things that we do to make sure that the power doesnt leave us. This is where the evil cirle comes into play. This is when Benazeers die. This is when a country mourns. This is when a soul escapes into the heaven while another soul dies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jai Jai Money

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I : There are a few thougts which are disturbing me and that i want to discuss.
Me : What...Tell me

I : Why are you working or doing job ??
Me : To make money , To keep myself busy , To learn something meaningful, Self-satisfraction..bla bla. Actual thing is 'Jai Jai Money'

I : But what will you do with this money ??
Me : I can get things of my necessity and luxury.

I : Then what ??
Me : I will enjoy my life comfortably.These things will make my life easy.I will fulfill all my desires.

I : But there is no end to desires and comfort ?? So, your chase will go on ??
Me : May be...chase for money to get easy life..tat is also interesting

I : Easy life will make you happy and is this is the only solution ??
Me : Ofcourse

I : But there are many others who are not in this race and dont have easy life but are still happy.
Me : Who ??

I : Take example of Buddha.He renounced all luxuries and became sanyasi
Me : Hey yaar..it differs from person to person..its individual perspective

I : But dont you think that avarice is root of evils ??
Me : Ya..i have heard about it

I : And is it money only that gives satisfraction ??
Me : Money is the symbol of power. It shows your worth.Your Manager is earning more than you because he is much experienced and have more knowledge.

I : My manager- ha ha ha..
Me : It was just an example.Money has power and its you who is going to control that power.Power in good hands is blessing otherwise disaster.

I : But if a person is satisfied with the things he possess and doesnt run for money..world will be in peace
Me : Probability is good. But without that chase everything will come to a hault..there will be no competition, no invention,no development.

I : But whats the use of inventions and development..if we dont have peace !!
Me : Actually ,its not money which is root of evils it is... {{tring}} {{tring }} "Hello"...Excuse me.I will return in a minute.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Though Successful but Criticized !!

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Take a break.Keep aside politics,philosphy,business,economy....Lets take a look at Indian Celeberities.Though Successful but Criticized...


AISHWARYA RAI (***)

Goddess or just Hyped ???As an actress,only few of her movies recieved wide acclaim.She had been in controversy with Salman khan,Vivek Oberoi.And is knocked for marrying Abhishek Bachchan..bcoz of influence of Bachchan family on film industry and politics.(However,she is my personal favourite :-) )


HIMESH RESHAMIYA (****)

Things worth noting about him is his adenoidal voice and his bent for repeating everything, from phrases to words to syllables to monosyllables.One thing is to be appreciated, he is always in lime light, whether it is his cap,nasal singing,mallika,music,acting etc. he know how get attention


RAKHI SAWANT (*****)

She succeeded in surviving in Bollywood and Indian media by her anticsHer comment: “Mein ek bharatiyan nari hun … mein gaal pe kiss allow kar sakti hu, lips pe nahin” (I am an Indian woman. I can allow a kiss on the cheeks but not on my lips) is quite popularThings to her fame- few item songs,Mika and the kiss,big boss,some C-grade movies...Kofee with Karan and now a Dance Show


SANIA MIRZA (***)

Has potential, but a little too arrogant, which would be fine if she actually won something. The perfect poster child: young, good looking woman ? The woman who will catalyse the tennis' popularity in India? Or will she be more a consistent winner on the world stage, a top ten ranker on a regular basis?


MALLIKA SHERAWAT (****)

Mallika Sherawat (Reema Lamba in Rohtak) Indian actress and model has a degree in philosphy from Delhi University Today,She is considered as the Sex symbol of India. She is well known for her kisses and outspoken bold statements


ABHISHEK BACHCHAN (**)

His flops are more than his hit movies.Forget that....there are only a few movies in which he had acted well.Had been in news because of his marriage with Aishwarya Rai and relationship with Karishma Kapoor.Biggest asset ,his father Amitabh bachchan"He is the best actor after late Raj Kapoor. He has recently been appointed visiting professor at Harvard" - Ya...you are right,it is 1st April.


SHILPA SHETTY (****)

As actress,there is nothing much to tell about her.The only thing to her claim is her success in Big BrotherOther things are - publicity stunt about Richard Gere kissing her,mafia links, obscenity chargesAfter receiving an honorary doctorate from Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, Dr Shilpa Shetty recently receive the 'Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award',just bcoz she won 'Big brother'...



Whatever,they are famous,successful and have brought laurels to the nation (not applicable to all of them )

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Om Shanti Om ... sheer delight !!!

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What is a movie ? If you are one of those people who can have a very regular and strict answer for this question then "Om Shanti Om" in not meant for you !!!
If it is only entertainment that you are seeking, if you just want to go to a nice theatre with your family, girlfriend, boyfriend, sisters, brothers to get amused for 3 or so hours then OSO is just the right movie that you would want to watch. I liked the movie, and if you ask me why I liked it I may be able to tell you just this, "I liked it cuz I liked it !!!" It is very difficult to categorize this one into one of the genres. I think its one of the very few times that we can call it a real 'hatke movie'. The best thing about a movie is the entry of the big names, heros, heroines, villans and this movie had such entries many many times (thanks to Zeek for this one). Each time the star enters the scene you look at him/her with awe. The sets are very rich and colorfull. Excellent camera work and art direction.
At no point of time you would feel that the scene is overdone though all the scenes are very much overdone. Extra emotion, extra comedy, extra melodrama, extra funda, everything is extra yet you would not squirm in your seat and complain because the cast of the movie and the director makes sure that you totally understand that this scene is overdone as much as they do.
For all of us who love filmfare awards nights or the star studded parties, this movie is a real delight. A number of stars right in front of you, having a good time while making sure you have a smile on your face all the time.
If this movie is taken to an alien audience it would fail miserably. One should not expect a very thought provoking insights into the human understanding of things from this movie. It is a fun movie and that is the best thing about it. It is for that audience which has grown with Bollywood, an audience which knows that a guy with his face covered with his hands is invariably Mr. Manoj Kumar, an audience which appreciates the stubbornly pathetic dance of Mr. Dharmendre, an audience which feels sorry when Sharukh's most beautiful co-stars (the likes of Rani Mukherjee, Preeti Zinta, Manisha Kohirala, Kajol) dance with him in the movie in the same song but Madhuri is missing.
If you think that you can get some clue about the story, plot of the movie then I should tell you (and please dont get dissapointed) that there is basically no story. The moment you enter the theatre you would know the story and also the movie is based and inspired by Karz or more correctly inspired by an old movie 'Madhumita' with the king Khan's inpiration Dileep Kumar (hmmm ... did anyone say that he is actually his dad in real life ?)in Sharukh's role.
Well, all said and done, just go out and you will surely have a great time watching the movie. Especially watch out for a song with the industry's who's who giving a guest appearance.
Till I see another movie and you get to read about it ... Om Shanti Om ...

(Almost forgot: There are some other things to watch out for like Sharukh's six pack, Deepika Padukone ... she's hot and sizzling, Farah Khan's special way of saying thanks to all the people involved in the movie, very special and well-done editing and mixing, ... ah there is so much to watch out for, dont sit here reading the stupid review go watch it !!!!)
And yeah, awesome publicity, it made the movie what it is ... phew ... there's so much to say about the movie (though there is actually nothing in the movie, a classic example of the fact that all we really want is to just be happy and that's exactly what this movie does to you).
And also, Shreyas Talpade has done a good job as always. Arjun Rampal has a larger than life presence on-screen.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

DIWALI WISHES !!!

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Happy Diwali to all my readers. Today I read a blog from an 'old Allahabadi' about the diwali celebrations during his times in Allahabad. I was gripped with nostalgia; reading about all the 'old' stuff was really great. I remember when I was a small kid (in 1990s) Diwali used to be a lot more fun (and really, really long). For the last 4 years I have not been able to be at home during Diwali and the future doesnt seem very promising either. A lot has changed about Diwali from when I was a small kid to now. Its the evening before Diwali and I am here, sitting in my room writing a blog ! This is one of the rare occasions of life when the comfort of the room seems to feel so bad. Had it been like the olden days, I would have been out with my friends dancing, shouting, bursting crakers, celebrating! Earlier, Diwali meant a number of holidays, mischief, masti, sweets, people, troubling my sister when she was busy decorating small corners of our home, getting punished by maa, getting white-washed (on the clothes I mean) and what not. An overdose of all of these.
Now, things are different. Sadly, its not just because I've grown up; even for little children the meaning of Diwali is starting to change. Change is good, we need more and more computer scientists and nuclear technologists. And change is inevitable. I dont want to sound pessimistic and say that all this change is our celebration patters is bad, I just wish to remind you that a lot has changed and we are forgetting very fast. Happiness and celebration has got a totally different meaning now. Kids are maturing very fast, we have prodigies now in every street and each street is losing its innocense.
Sadly, there is nothing wrong with this change. And we all are "loving it" (as the popular slogan for McD goes)!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dil Dosti Etc ... Jab We Met !!!

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Its been sometime since I reviewed a movie here at CnC. This is partly because, first I've not been writing much here (my apologies) and secondly because I've not seen many movies worth a review (good or bad) lately. I guess its time now that I wrote about two movies that I've seen over the month.
First one is Dil Dosti Etc, a Manish Tiwari film. So, here are the facts.

  • The songs are very few and not all that impressive.

  • The cast does not have any big shot star.

  • The (relatively) new comers have done a good job.

  • The theme of the movie is interesting, to say the least.


The story revolves around this wierd guy (who happens to be Nassiruddin Shah's son in real life) Apoorva, who is from a rich family of Delhi and against his parents' wishes joins a college in DU. He wants to explore those nooks of life that dont seem to be very obvious all the time to an average person. How the life of a prostitute in a brothel may be is a subject which off-beat film makers or non-conventional novelists or some freak journalists may try to find out; the 'normal' man can only ignore this section of society as if this dark side of us never existed (some philosophers belive though that prostitution is the oldest occupation!). The other important character is this Bihari student leader (played by Shreyas Talpade) who is driven by his own values and principles and like all the people of small villages with big dreams, wants to make a very big impact on the society. Elections in the college campus mean power; power to control, power to flaunt and power to relish. At the same time we have Apoorva, trying to find love in places where the word may not hold any significance. Love in a brothel has no meaning. It is a place which may rightly be called the black-hole of the society where the ordinary laws of the society do not hold. Love from a brothel, sex from a school going, 'homely' girl and in the process finding answers to some lingering questions of a young mind; these are the challenges Apoorva faces. Sanjay Mishra (the student leader) tries to balance his life between a life where his princiles and values propell him to power and a girl who is of a free thought (to the extent that ... hmmm if I tell you the extent I would be spoiling your experience) and belongs to a modern world in which Sanjay is not comfortable. But, this is the girl he loves and the girl (though utterly confused about it) loves him.
The movie is rich with deep, thought provoking dialogues and situations. I would recommend you this movie. Watch it when you have a lot of time to analyse the movie after it ends!!! It doesnt mean that you have to take it as an art movie or a docu but there are things to understand and things to ponder on. I give full marks to Dil Dosti Etc.
Now, lets talk about a light movie that I watched in the afternoon today. Its called "Jab We Met". (I know quite a strange name). The movie is ok, considering that you have two actors in the lead who really cant act much, Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor. Both have done well because Kareena plays an eccentric girl who just cant keep her mouth shut (she is actually shown talking to just about any stranger; she speaks even when she's sleeping!!!), which I think she is always known to be in personal life. And Shahid plays a cute, rich guy who doesnt know how to talk much with people except for business. Both meet in a train, Shahid has been dumped by his girl and Kareena is making eloping plans with some nutty guy who comes into picture only towards the end (which is so good for the movie). This girl who just cant stop talking drags Shahid into trouble and both are pushed into some embarressing situations (which are shown to be love building occasions in flashback towards the end). There is really not much of a story in this movie to tell you about. It is a very light movie which is the best thing about it. Some of the scenes are funny, some fail to impress. Overall, an ok movie to go for if you have enough time on your hands and nothing important like going for a walk with your dog to do. (I liked the ending though, it was something unexpected, atleast the execution was a surprise).
My suggestion is that you go for an afternoon show of "Jab We Met" and after an early dinner watch "Dil Dosti Etc" and then sleep over it trying to figure out what you really want from your life. Happy watching.

Friday, October 12, 2007

LIFE GOT SIMPLE ...

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Life is getting simpler by the minute. Ease is the guiding mantra for all the emerging technological inventions and the golden principle of all research labs around the world. We wish to learn new things, we wish to explore and we wish to expand our grasp but we do not want to fail, we do not want to burn out the night lamp, we do not want to perspire. My friend had a dream of joining the army, and fight the enemies of the nation but he was not quite prepared to take the challenge of getting up before the sun, working hard all through the day and crash down heavy on the bed. He joined an engineering college and started his Counter Strike career. He kills a lot of terrorists all day, the only thing that burns now is the pack of cigarettes that he shares with his ‘clan’ mates after the cyber game session is over.
When I was small I was excited about my first bicycle just like any other kid of my age. My father and my older sister took the charge of giving me balancing lessons. They would make me trust their firm grip on my bicycle, with their support I was all set to tame this monster I was riding. I fell. I stood up. I fell again. My father helped me get up again. And I fell again. The few bruises that I got were tended to by my mother while father told her how brave I was and how fast I learnt riding.
My niece is a brave girl too. She’s about six years old and she always manages to beat me in whatever games we play! So, she’s brave and fearless but her mother is not. She’s ready to fight out the odds but her mother is always busy trying to make things simpler for her. She demanded a bicycle and like all ‘good’ mothers my sister got her a ‘safe’ bike, the ones which have little wheels fixed along the rear wheel to give support. The bike is safe. It won’t let her fall even if she didn’t balance properly. It won’t let her get bruised. It won’t ask for her father to stand by her while she explores the joy of learning. It won’t be required to clean any wounds, give words of encouragement.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

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Recently,I went to purchase raiments in bangalore.It was good to see that all brands were offering discount or having sales.But what grasped my attention was hoarding of Koutons.

Koutons,which is a reputed brand, was offering 50% + 40%= 70% discount on its product.I was ,both, happy and surprised to see that .It was a jackpot,the best possible deal.I thought it is efficacy of bangalore,a metropolis.But 70% discount, isn't it too much ?? Is that figure a delusory pleasure ??

Then my friend alerted me to be careful while choosing one because usually there are small defects in the apparels.You need to take heed when you are purchasing there.And also I came to know that in Delhi,it is offering 50% + 50% =75% discount.Moreover,these discounts are not for a stipulted period.These go round the year.
The company must be making profit at the new prices also.Imagine what profit company made,when there is no discount.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Self realization - -> "Aham Brahma Asmi "

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Religion is what ??
Some set of beliefs and practices held by a group of people which are being followed blindly. Or rules which helps in making society a better place to live.Dont Know !!

Whatever,the ultimate goal of each religion is to spread communal harmony.Community will be happy only if all its individual are happy.So,the solution lies at the individual level,the level of "self".

It has been said

"That life-energy isn't something which can be expressed verbally, yet it is the source of all languages. It is invisible, yet it makes us see. It cannot be known through logic or philosophy, yet the powers of reason and memory spring from it. It is the Self in every single being and experiencing it, realizing it, is our natural dharam"


Most present Gurus narrates Ramayana and Gita.Others stresses on the importance of fasts and charity.
Only a few are showing the path to the peace.How by individual actions one can spread harmony and how to manifest 'Knowledge in Action'.

Rather than bothering about religion,one should be concerned about 'self'."self realization" is very important thing.Once a man realizes this,he is able to differentiate about good and evil which will make him prosper ,his community prosper,his country prosper.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And the patriotism fever is back!!!!

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It was a fine morning and i was running on time.I reach my office and realise that the day is 14th august.How i realise that ? I see them distributing our national flag and pin at the reception asking us to wear it on.Being the rebel i am, i don't wear it nor do i take it.
The above act of mine engenders a discussion between me and my colleague Tarun . In the discussion i raise issues pertaining to how people treat our independence day as another holiday and wear the tricolor just for the fun of it.Also the focus shifts to the fate of these flags my fellow colleagues had arrayed(most of them would find their way to the garbage dump).The conclusion given by me then being that i would rather not portray myself as a patriot rather than insult the symbol of my country's "dignity" and "integrity" .
The discussion was over and a sense of victory had settled with a lingering thought which raised another discussion as our day ended.The "4th of July" being the culprit behind it.The ambience in India on the 15th of august and the US on 4th of July were juxtaposed and a comparison made.The streets are filled with people bursting fire crackers, gathering in large crowds and making a rather ostentatious display of their nation and its pride in the US while back home we have NOTHING!!!!!
Nothing was being done by the masses and when i say masses i don't mean the administrative wing of corporate, govt. offices and educational institutions which quite dutifully perform the ceremony of the flag hoisting etc. etc.In fact it was a day when all the theaters ran house full all roads leading to hang out spots were jammed and people were having a nice holiday...!Now i don't intend to say that there should be a gloomy or very serious atmosphere around on the 15th Aug, in fact there should be joy and celebrations around,but some part of that joy in the masses heart should represent a feeling of pride in their country and its achievements which was missing,sadly.
I remember seeing an old woman with flesh on her body as much as a wrapper on a chocolate near a traffic signal,trying to make her buck for the day by selling our national flags on our independence day..It was a scene that could move any stone hearted guy. The man sitting in the Innova however did not spare her a 5 rs for the flag and went away..It was a day of national pride and some helpless person was trying to make a living by selling the national flag to people on a day where she expected people to buy them in large numbers cause this day came only once a year and by far was supposed to be the most important day of the year.
Anyway the crux of the above example and preceding paragraphs is to set forth a picture of the sham Indians call as patriotism..To abuse the cricket team,to help the Gujarat earthquake victims,to help the tsunami victims etc..is not an example of patriotism..maybe adrenalin rush and a bit of humanity.I have always viewed the achievements of my country to be basically achievements of a single individual who at every step in their life were only discouraged by the people and institutions around them.People here are so lost in doing their work that the impact of their actions on their country is never a thought that crosses their mind.
We show pride in our heritage,a heritage which if you keenly observe always lacked patriotism but had a rich culture.We have always had a majority of leaders who were power hungry people waiting for their turn.More than that we have always been people who always think we are great but never live up to it.We are a diverse nation, an amalgamation so volatile that it could erupt at the slightest prick. We are Indians...but do we understand what it means to be an Indian...? I wonder...

Ps: while i write about patriotism above ..i do so cause i fail to understand what it means ..maybe cause i have never felt it that strongly or never felt it at all..but i have always viewed my country with a sense of respect dignity and most importantly pride ...pride which will never cast away..

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Politics in student's life !!

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" Abstrain from politics...its dirty...it will lead you no where..waste of time...no gain "

Gone are the days when these words were common .. mentality has changed.Students are matured enough to know what is good & what is bad for them.

I am not talking about politics at state/national level or involving political parties.Rather,its on politics in schools/colleges.

Politics has become a part of student's life .It can be being the class-monitor, head boy, organizer or chairman of some student association...even in taking photocopy of notes for the class.There are fights for the power.

But why student gets involved ??
- For self... to prove their mettle... for personal gain...in search of something new....some are maniacs....to show themself superior....

Whatever,it gives the chance to develop their skills.It develops their ability not just to act but to act in concert.They learn to work in a team..bla..bla..bla ( but its true)

However,the following four situations will help one to grow and learn --

* facing the stiff competition from 'adverseries' and neutralizing their effect,
* listening the views of ur own 'friends' and accepting/dejecting them strategically
* crafting your own ideas
* Also there is 'third neutral party' who is always there for suggestions but for no work.

Planning the moves such that no one gets annoyed...Keeping people happy ...facing the allegations..balancing the adulations..bearing up your nagging team members..if ur adroit enough to handle all these ,then only you will survive and thrive.

Adverseries are the greatest motivators ,friends are the greatest strength....but one should be careful enough to differentiate between friends n foes

Some says that student should keep away from politics.But I dont whats the harm in it unless it doesnt gets dirty.Afterall,its a part of the learning process.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Are we growing too fast?

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The world as we see today is plagued by a number of problems. We have people, population, pollution, poverty as the chief concerns of all major nations of the world, India is no different. At the same time we are witness to what some may call phenomenal growth and advancements in almost all frontiers of social concern and significance. Economies around the world are strengthening, technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, and the buying power of people is increasing without constraints. The minor fears of the world evolving into a society devoid of cultural and ethical values are largely unfounded. So, how can we explain the various troubles that are dominant even in this expanding growth environment?
Let us try to solve this puzzle by taking a scaled down example of the world (or a nation like India). Consider a company which has emerged as a major player in some advancing sector of a growth oriented industry, let us call this company X (you could as well like to call it Apple, Google, DELL, etc. because the story is not too different). Now, when X started off as a small business venture, just beginning to surface up, showing small sales (but huge growth rates), the managers at X got a bit dizzy with the ‘alarming’ growth rates. They tried to improve their infrastructure but at the same time had to maintain sufficient liquidity so in short it was hard time playing the balancing game. Sales figures rocketed to unimaginable heights, revenue flowed in uncontrolled, workforce had to be increased exponentially, growth became a really ‘too hot to handle’ commodity. Largely unnoticed, the company X became such a big firm that some sections of the company always had troubles. Asking the planners of X to slow down on the growth rate was unquestionable but something had to be done, and something was done in the end. So, the question is what was done and what should be done when you are faced with a growth epidemic? Apple met the growth crisis by siphoning the revenues into new projects, innovations and facilities. Google was (and is) growing at such a fast pace that it had to ask its engineers to STOP INNOVATING and instead channel the energy and resources to make the existing products more efficient. DELL had to segregate the company into smaller, manageable sections so that the accumulative growth may be sustained while dealing with growth scattered around in smaller packages would be an easier task.
As you can see, there is no standard mechanism to fix this problem. But the first step towards solving any problem is to acknowledge that the problem exists. The fallacy that growth is always good has to be challenged soon. The solution may not necessarily lie in curbing the growth deliberately but rather finding out means of controlling it at will.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pepsi and Christian missionaries

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The marketing and sales strategy of Pepsi co. has always been to project its products in a ‘local’ flavor. In India we have Sachin and his ‘gang’ running around the ground sipping Pepsi and in Pakistan a similar setup with more greenery (the green clad players gulping down the drink). Its interesting to note how the two neighbors are oblivious to the fact that when the two nations are fighting it out on the cricket ground the commercial breaks are inspiring both the nations to cheer for their players by drinking the beverage which has make the players strong enough to beat their arch rivals.
This same marketing practice, interestingly, works marvelously in another area. This is how the message of Jesus is spread in the whole world (and in India). If you visit a temple you would notice that the prayers (mantras, etc.) are all in Sanskrit and the Holy Scriptures written again in the same language which has become indecipherable for most of us (which is a matter of shame indeed, but a fact!). On the contrary, when you attend a mass on a fine Sunday morning in a church you would notice that the people are able to communicate with God in their own mother tongue. The priest would deliver the mass in the local language and offer the prayers in a way which all can understand!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

AWAKENED FOR THE 6th TIME...

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Today marked the opening of movie club at NIA, and it started with one of my personal favourites, Rang De Basanti. When announced couple of days back, my first impression was “O! Not again...”, because I had watched it over 5 times and didn’t want to spend Rs 20 on it. But then on second thoughts I and all my friends decide to go for it.
The show was at our college auditorium 6:15 with a mixed crowd of students and executives at our campus. Everyone was on top of their spirits and we started cheering for everything, the opening words, entry of the actors and all the humorous lines and songs. We compared the character with people amongst us and had a parallel humour track running. Some of the hilarious ones are like comparing the act of Laxman stopping the party with our warden disturbing the late night birthday celebrations in hostels and so on.
But then there are certain things that made me feel as if I am watching it for the first time. I did get goose flesh during some scenes just as earlier. I was surprised to note this impact and wasn’t expecting them to happen for the sixth time.
The moments in the movie which touched me the most were:

* Laxman coming to Sue, offering to play the character of Ram Prasad Bismil. The poem “Sarfaroshi ke tamanna ab humare dil mein hain…” put silencer on all our mouths and I started feeling very patriotic.
* Then came in the scene depicting Jalanwala Bagh; I needn’t describe it. We all know how bad it was; indeed one of the most shameful incidents in the history of mankind.
* The engagement between Ajay and Sonia was again very emotional.

Then it was the time for interval; but most girls walked back to hostel as they were back after watching Harry Potter – Order of the Phoenix and didn’t wish to spoil their mood by watching the second half of RDB. They complained that the characters die in the second half, and they don’t like to see film without happy endings. Rating Harry Potter over Rang De Basanti.. can’t believe it..
Anyways, I never understand girls, so no point in discussing their choices.

* The movie continued with another tragic scene, Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan were tortured and hung, and the background score was the merger of prayers of three different religions.
* Bhagat Singh and his peers going on a fast for 114 days, facing all the atrocities but not giving up.
* Then the song “Lukha chuppe”, along with all the scenes like the handling over the national flag in which Ajay’s body was rolled for his last journey. It did fill my eyes with tears, but then I safely rolled them back.
* My blood started becoming less viscous and flowed at greater pace while watching the protests against the corrupt Defence Minister. Especially the “Kyoon chala” song and the laathi charge..
* And finally, the last 15 minutes; their confession on radio and people’s reactions were really very lively and did awaken everyone and brought in the josh to do something good for the society and the country at large.
But not sure how many seconds it took to fizz out and get everyone back to their normal routine..

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Ray Of Hope............

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Last night i had a conversation with a friend of mine and we happened get into a discussion as to how the mentality of people can get very conceited, and how people tend to start behaving wierdly.
Just a little while ago i came across this poem which i had penned down a few years back and it seemed quite relevant with all that we discussed .so i thought i should probably put it up here.
so here it is..........

I still remember that day,
When things were not this way
The lovely gaze of those eyes,
Would stealthily pass by

The past seems to fly like
A frustrated butterfly
And nothing else will ever comply
To the request of dear thy

Witnessing someone in distress,
Has become something very blessed!!
Grabbing someone’s joy,
Is all that people enjoy!!

Talk about the selfishness,
That fills the world’s breast.
Talk about the envy,
That one’s face can convey.

Just when the fact gets to be known
That, one is greater than what he is shown
People begin to bloom with hatred,
And relatively cease to do things that are sacred.

Oh God, thy ought to know
How people could be so low
And cross all limits somehow
To be the lowest among the low!!!

Where is that love??
That shows people do care
Where is your dove??
The peace propagator when allowed!!!

Hatred has become the thing of today.
The waves of kindness having flown away
Only thy ought to know the birthday,
Of yet another wonderful day……

A day which is promising,
Amusing and encouraging.
A day which will make
A lonely man’s day……

A time which will come,
And make one’s life handsome..
And fill once again his soul
With all the happiness that it stole…..

Head bowing low
I pray to thee dear lord
To make some broad way
For the dawn of that new day.

Midnight's children

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At 5 A.M. last night or rather should I call it this morning!! I realised that they is a big change in the sleeping habits of young Indians. Two songs that I can corelate this situation are "Amma dekh.. aa dekh tera munda bigda jaye...." and "raat ko bara bage din likalta hai.. subah ko shai bage raat hoti hai..". Well, I am not talking about the disco and party culture, although that maybe the first thing that might have popped up in your mind. But I am going to speak about the different sectors of people who are very busy during late nights. Firstly, all the employees of BPOs are busy through out the night attending calls and delivering quality service. But then a big cluck of the student community also gives them a good company.
Even I find myself to be quite active between 10 PM – 4 AM. And the best part is that I do find a nice company during this time, as most of my friends also have similar traits. This time period is utilised in two ways; first the more useful one - it being the best time for preparation before exams (of course it's just my personal opinion and I am not challenging those who prefer studying early morning). A good smart work and efficient use of this time before the exam does help people to do well in their academics and score decent grades.
The second and even more popular way of utilising this time period is by using the internet. We find quite a number of people online and then getting into chats and scraps (for people on orkut) and the conversations go long and sometimes interesting and helpful too. Mind it, this is not restricted only to people who have an access internet, there are quite a number of them who get busy with other communication channels like SMS, phone calls and help to make most of the discounts or attractive offers provided by the cellular services (free SMS, cheaper call rates from 9-9 and many more).
But then the short coming of this is what I'm having these days. I feel sleepy in class and loose out on the knowledge that the esteemed staff is delivering. So while one makes good use of the late nights, he/she must ensure that this doesn't affect their performance during all the crucial moments in the day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Employment 4 all by 2010........

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At a recent press meet, the Economic Adviser, to Prime Minister, Mr. Rangarajan said “A study that I have done shows that by 2010, the labour force and the work force will almost be equal in the sense that there will be no unemployment even assuming a growth rate of 8 per cent. In fact the economy will grow at a higher rate than this. Therefore the question that remains is not so much of quantity employment as the quality and this will depend on improving the total factory productivity both in agriculture and unorganised sector”.
Isn’t this interesting?? While most economists are trying to predict the year in which India will outshine America and eventually China to become a world leader, here comes a prediction that’s quite meaningful and brings in a ray of hope to all the budding Indians who are worried about the increasing competition to enter the corporate world since they are busy cooking sweet and sour.
I truly pray that the unemployment issue gets sorted out at the earliest; because it will indeed help solving many other problems in the country like poverty, child labour, exploitation, and will also help in bridging the big gap between the rich and the poor. It will also reduce the crime rate, and help in the social and economic development of all parts of the country. Remember, every fourth poor person is an Indian. So once employment is generated to all and then their wages start growing, we can minimize the number of people below poverty line and bring in prosperity to all.
Even then we need to be cautious and make sure that this supply-demand ratio for man-power is well maintained. Population should be kept under check and the growth of industry, services and agriculture should constantly open more doors for employment.
But hang on! Doesn't all this ring a bell?? I can still hear echoes of "India Shining” campaign by the NDA government. So I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope this too doesn’t turn out to be mere election propaganda for the parliamentary elections. Hope the prediction does come true and all of Indian truly Shines!!

Corruption and "ME" the future "Indian"

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"Be careful ". "Ok mom, I will be" and i raced off on my bike to meet a couple of friends on necklace road in Hyderabad. In my hurry, or rather carelessness I had forgotten to put on my helmet and as fate would have it, I was apprehended by the traffic police guys and pulled over to the side of the road. The scene described in these few lines is not uncommon, infact i feel most of the riders reading this article would have been in the above situation, and i am very confident that most of them would have done what I did. Guesses??? Yes! you are right. "Kya sahib, chod do na sahib chaalan bahut zyaada hai sahib"."To? Galti to aapka hai na, aap helmet nahin daale, ab aap hi bolo hum kya karein?".After that i don a very innocent look on my face and hint towards a possibility of an "outside settlement"."Theek hai side mein aao aap", I take out a fifty and he says-"ye to kam hai,aapke paas Dl bhi nahin hai challan total 500 hota aapka..",and i make it 100 and he pockets it and lets me go free, and i dont even realise that i have just become a part of this cancer called "corruption at a very grass root level. "I", "Me", "The future Indian".
I had the opportunity of being involved in clubs at my university and many other groups of teenagers and elders alike in the past few years and one of the hottest topic of discusssion was always corruption, be it in politics or law enforcement or public services.I distinctly remember how all of my compatriots,including yours truly would lash out at the corrupt government, the corrupt officials and the list could go on,the point being that we would point out and depricate those we held guilty of it.These issues generally also led to a discussion of our development ,growth,blah blah blah..with each of them resulting in a conclusion that we were the future of this country and we are not only aware of the cancer but also have the hatred and strength in us to stay away and free from it.I guess even i had a very high self esteem and had many a times made derogatory comments against the "corrupt".
Now hypocrisy has always been one of the most sordid attributes of a man according to me and yet today when i look back I see how I myself was a follower of it,and here I use "I" to refer to myself only,but if there is a reader whose gone through similar discussions and a similar situatuion then it applies to them too. The point is that while i was in that situation I paid no heed to my anti corruption policies and was more concerned with saving some cash and infact honestly I never realised what i was doing.In fact, the sad part is how i would boast about having done it to my friends and yet again call the same guy i bribed a "Chor",while condoning the fact that I myself had become a bigger one, as i was the source of the incentive to that chor.
The whole issue burns down to the point where everyone wants to save his own skin and wants to be out of trouble the cheaper way,and well the oficials too are like us,they want easy money and hell they know I am not a maniac,I wont kill someone tomorrow,so no harm in them letting me go.While I have majorly concentrated on law enforcement guys here,people will always raise questions regarding other fields like government offices etc..etc..Now I can discuss them too all day long but it would be of no use! would it??
The realisation I had today was that I need to worry more about me being honest and following the law than worried about who is not and what names he should be called by.We are a young country they say, and i most certainly believe we are a very capable one at that.So guys if there is anyone out there like me,who has been a hypocrite,please realise what we are doing here and how "We the people" we the "Bundle of sticks" are making hollow our own future.I have realised by paying a challan that I will never again not wear a helmet,or forget mi DL at home.but more importantly I have learnt that if I am not corrupt on ten occasions,I stop 10 other people from being corrupt.We will be every where,guys like me,who are not very strong willed ,I request you all to just try...and hopefully succeed...
PS: the following lines are something i came up with while I was on a holiday this month..
"The only thing that brings down a rising tide in an ocean is a receding wave"

Sunday, July 15, 2007

BEFORE.............. AFTER..........

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Of late Indians are becoming increasingly health conscious and are using various techniques to keep themselves fit and in good shape. All major cities are teeming with gyms, health centres, beauty clinics, parlours and spas. People are discussing and trying to implement various methods like yoga, jogging, exercise, rigorous workouts in the gym and then most importantly giving a lot of emphasis on their diet and food habits.
This health and fitness sector is going bullish, forcing many people to give it a serious thought. Everyday other day, the newspapers carry advertizements pertaining to issues like weight loss.
But then have you noticed the common link between all these ads??
They all carry a pair of pics; an ugly one termed "before" and a good one termed "after". Many a times,I have pondered whether they regard people to be so foolish to believe that both the pics are of the same person. But now a recent observation has changed this myth totally.


















Pics of adnan 'before' n 'after'

Yes the above two pics are of the same person, the famous singer and music director Adnan Sami. He stands testimony to all those people who think on my lines that it is very much possible to cut the extra adipose and trim down to a healthy body.

Adnan has lost over 100 kilos by participating in a 3 month course at America. He was going good as far his professional life was concerned but then a doctor in London cautioned Adnan's father that Adnan might not be able to live long and that if he did not pay attention to his health ,then he would not be able to survive for more than six months. From then on, Adnan left all his professional commitments behind and went all out to reduce the excess fat in his body.
Now as u might have seen in the videos of this upcoming album. He is almost half his previous size (as he proudly calls it the 'better half'). He lost over 100 kilos and is looking better and a lot fitter.
The same thing applies to many others like Sekhar Suman who has donned a look muscular look and is also into open chest and shirtless acts.
So now with these living examples in front of us, many can aspire to improve upon their physique and get fitter and better..

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Love your nation not for what it is......but despite what it is!!!

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Well this being my first post I m a bit nervous if I will be able to match up to the standards of CnC…but anyways I will try to do my best!!!! And so here it begins….

I would like to start with a recent experience of mine which has had a profound impact on my thoughts and my feelings. Last week I was just back from a trip to Dubai (now don't think that just like any foreign return guy I would start bragging about it…..but yes I will talk a gr8 deal about it as I ve noticed several points during this visit which made me think deeply.) I tried to enjoy every moment of my stay there but always there were constant nagging thoughts in my head which kept pestering and annoying me. When ever I saw a sky scrapper there it pinched me that there are hardly any comparable buildings in the whole of our country, the lush green road sides and parks made me wonder how they could maintain them at temperatures soaring past 40 degrees on a daily basis when our own parks and city gardens are in a pitiable condition despite abundance of water, how is it that in a matter of 3 years they have built the tallest building in the world and are well on their way to building buidings as high as a kilometer and a mile(refer burj dubai and al burj on wiki)when we are struggling to build something even one quarter that high, the quality and cleanliness of the rods there made my head hang in shame when I compared them with our own roads back home, how is it that despite the depletion of its oil resources(oil now contributes only abt 3% to its GDP) the economy of UAE is still booming, and the fact that UAE has shown such tremendous economic growth without charging a penny of income tax(or sales tax) from its residents made me wonder where all the taxpayers money of our country is going, how is it that Dubai international airport can manage a landing and take off every half a minute when we are struggling with to provide even basic amenities at our international airports.(when I landed at Ahemedabad Int'l airport it was a total chaos. There were no basics facilities like trollies, the toilets were horrible, there was no AC we were sweating at 4 in the morn though it was raining out side, the conveyor for luggage was spoiled. all this made our exit very difficult and my parents, both about 60years had to literally run for the fear of missing our domestic flight to chennai)

Such stark contrasts made me realize how far behind we still are in very many aspects even in comparison to countries like the UAE and I thought that I will never be able to love my country again and was worried that I might even develop aversion to it. But when I landed back home I was surprised to note that I in fact felt very happy to be back. Not that I missed some one here (because my whole family was with me) but I really did miss my country. Yes our country has several defects and is very very backward in some respects but despite everything it still is our own country, our very own homeland (mathru bhoomi). (Though polluted) it has given us air to breath,(though contaminated ) it has given us food to eat, (in spite of high levels of pesticides and germs) it has given us water (And pepsi) to drink, (though lowly paid than abroad) it has given us lively hood to raise our families. how can u ever hate u r own country. I ask of everyone that would you dare hate your mother if God forbid one day she gets mutilated in say an accident. I think that our mother land is mutilated by some selfish people who ve hampered her from exhibiting her full potential for their own gains and the onus is on all of us to love and take care of her(ya I know I m sounding too boolywood or even tollywoodish but this is how I really feel). I m not telling that India is the best country(or mera bharat mahan!!!) in the world because I know that it is not but let this not deter us from showing our love to her.
and now I wonder that when a selfish boy like me (I always as a child dreamt of becoming an American citizen) could feel this way how can our politicians and bureaucrats who have sworn their lives in the service of this country hate her so much that they often commit despicable acts of crime which bring shame upon the entire nation???i guess like all my other questions I will never find answer even for this question of mine!!!!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

WHO ARE U??

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"YOU" have been voted by the TIME magazine as 'The Man of the Year'. But, who are 'YOU'?
Well, this may be one of the toughest questions to answer at times.The answer could be multi-fold. It could range from a person's first name, his/her father's name, place on one hand to his/her religion, caste, school, college, academic scores, social status, hobbies on the other. But just think again......... do these include every single thing, which when fudged together help to portray your entire personality?? This aspect surely does need a bit of reconnaissance.
A very important process in understanding one self is the process of self analysis and introspection. But then, who is a better person to judge and rate us?? Is it I- myself or a person who is watching me and knows about me?? I may be a little biased to myself and my ego may come in between while judging myself, but then the other person may not know the real me.. he may be just looking at the 'mask' that I put on when I am with him. We as human beings are governed by a hoard of emotions. Our decisions and actions in response to various circumstances are also dependent on these emotions to a great extent. We are different while at home, while with friends, with teachers, during our profession.. So who can tell us who we really are???
To make these queries simple there is a concept called ’The Jo-Harry window'.
This window points out that there are 4 different facets to the personality of a human being, which are present in every individual. So let's analyze them individually:











OPEN OR ARENA
SELF : Known
OTHERS : Known

KNOWN OR MASKED AREA
SELF : Known
OTHERS : Unknown

UNKNOWN OR BLIND SPOT
SELF : Unknown
OTHERS : Known

HIDDEN OR DARK DEN
SELF : Unknown
OTHERS : Unknown




  1. Open or Arena: This is an open facet that we put up in public and so we
    know these things about our self and also the people know about us. So
    it's always preferable to be in this facet as much as possible as the
    analysis becomes easier and better and also it reduces the task of
    multiple masking.

  2. Known or Masked Area: These are things about us that are known to us but
    not to others. We deliberately put on a mask and deceive people but our
    conscience knows the
    truth.


  3. Unknown or Blind Spot: These include the things that we do
    not know about ourself but the others may point out. While
    introspecting ourselves we may not be able to recognise these
    things but others may be able to get to know them through their
    knowledge and interactions with us.

  4. Hidden or Dark Den: These are those things that neither we know nor
    others are able to find out. But, when the situation demands
    they come to the
    forefront.



So every person is a combination of all the above 4 categories. The proportions for each of these categories cannot be set. It varies from person to person. But generally one should try to keep the Arena as the largest chunk and shrink the Masked Area as far as possible. Blind Spot should not be null, because that gives us a chance to know new things about ourselves and our hidden talents come out. Dark Den should be ideally zero but then, we must try doing new and different things to keep a check on all our capabilities and also to understand our hidden potentials and talents.
Now try to carry on self introspections repeatedly keeping in mind the above and taking few feedbacks from people. It will certainly help you know the real you and will help you to become a better person.

15,000 + 15,000 !!!

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Very surprisingly we got to see the significance of the number 15,000 twice this week. First when our Cricketing God Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman ever to reach the score in One Day Internationals and secondly when our Sensex rose to 15k after a long wait and high hopes.
Quite similarly both them rose well at good pace but recently had tough time and took longer time to reach this benchmark then the expected and anticipated time.
Anyways let’s hope both of them do well and keep all the cricket enthusiasts (who are on a decline after India's bad run in the World Cup) and all the investors, market-men, analysts and brokers happy.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Israeli visitors !!!

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Israel is one place which I’ve always heard about and never heard the right thing. I guess to most of the people it stands as a complete mystery which they claim to know quite well. I was traveling from Trichy to Thanjavur and met two amazing people from Israel with huge backpacks, carrying everything they would need on their shoulders (this included camping stuff for a camp in Kerela). The things that they spoke among themselves were all Hebrew for me (see the pic above) but we started our conversation in English and all of us were comfortable with the way each other spoke (except for a few words). Coal was a dancer and Hogard a musician (I know, quite a people to meet!). I didn’t have a really tough time starting the conversation, unlike other foreign visitors that I have met these were very friendly and we picked up our conversation instantly. We spoke of so many things that made me form a totally different image of Israel than what I had before (the image which was painted by the news channels for me).
They said that they were Jews but not religious and though it sounded like the coolest thing to me it was quite a dangerous statement to make for a person living in Israel. It sure must be a very pitiable situation when you cannot express your own views in your own country. Coal said that it was sad that in their own country they were under immense pressure to ‘behave’ in a ‘religious’ way. It was dangerous to such an extent that they had to think many times before visiting a place of religious significance in Israel. The collaboration which seems so natural to us as Indians with the Israel is in fact only on the political level, the people of Israel do not welcome secular thoughts very often (though the number of Indian students in Israeli universities has increased drastically and Coal expressed her happiness for the fact).
Political instability is something that they have got accustomed to now and the constant feeling of unrest is not alien anymore! The most depressing thing that I heard was that even Jews who preferred to stay secular (and peaceful) were scorned at and felt unsafe in their own land. I read about a similar situation prevailing in Turkey (Orhan Pamuk’s Snow), where being secular was not always an option for an individual without power. As Indians I think we are much better off.

The land of the poor :-(

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“Jobs arrived in India barefoot and threadbare. This is how he chose to dress, as an expression of a specific ideal or aesthetic. In India he was confronted for the first time with people who were poor – not the way California hippies were poor, by choice, but poor by fate. It was an eye-opener for him. The complete contrast with the material comforts of American life was intense and shocking, and it challenged everything he thought he knew up to that moment.”
The above is an excerpt from the book iCon by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon. The book is about Steve Jobs, the man behind the company which challenged the way people thought and gave them things beyond their imagining, Apple. He came to India much earlier than he became the man the world recognizes today, in search of peace, in search of true knowledge, in search of his ‘guru’. It has been many years since then. Governments have changed, people have become more ‘educated’, industries have been flourishing; money has been flowing now in India like never before. Today the world talks about Ambanis and Mittals and the world of technology has had the Indian impact in the western world which even Jobs recognizes today.
So, what would be the picture in front of Steve Jobs if he happened to visit India in the near future? He would perhaps land on the Mumbai airport, his plane caressing the world’s largest slum, Dharavi. He would then be escorted to his hotel and along the roads would notice small children thrust into begging. As a face of the technology world, he may want to visit the mecca of Indian technology, Bangalore. He better choose either to go on a chopper or make a trip at the time of a public holiday else the traffic would kill the good old man! And ironically, these are just the few of the ‘best’ places that any visitor to India may want to see. The Himalayas and the other tourist attractions are replete with so much commotion nowadays that the ‘firangis’ are easily baffled.
Today we may be able to boast of some of the richest men of the world belonging to India, but the fact remains that poverty is not abating. The number of people living below the poverty line is increasing by the hour. ‘Every fourth poor is an Indian’ has become a cliché (and is sadly true). Diseases like AIDS, cancer are engulfing the urban and rural alike and we still feel ashamed to discuss sex in front of our children while make no fuss about the tobacco that we smoke even with little children at home. Beggary is a bigger ‘industry’ than 'khadi'. The money is indeed flowing into our economy and India is getting rich but the percolation of this huge wealth is not yet happening. Add to these the troubled borders of India. Surrounded by arch rivals, petty beggars, infiltrators, have-nots, politically unstable nations and those that have a long history of stabbing on the back, India is indeed not in the situation which most of the European nations enjoy (with all of them surging forward competitively). Add to this our internal security threats and civil agitations like the ‘gujjar’ uproar recently. Sadly for India, though a lot of positive things are happening, we still are years behind the true independence that every human being dreams of; the true happiness is still elusive.

Tree plantation@ NIA

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Here goes another personal experience. This happened yesterday at my college – National Insurance Academy, Pune. Our Director tries to implement innovative ideas to get maximum returns of very small deeds. One such practice is what the above picture depicts. Each and every student is made to plant a new plant in the campus and is considered its foster parent and thus has to take care of it till his stay at campus. Also this activity has lot of hidden advantages added to it.
Firstly it makes the campus greener and makes the place more peaceful and cooler. We all know how quickly we are moving into an environmental catastrophe. So everyone on this planet should share some responsibility to avoid this and planting more trees and maintaining the greenery is the basic step that we should undertake.
Then this activity will remain as a remembrance for all students in the campus. All the plants carry the names of its foster parent and the college ensure its maintenance after the student leaves the campus.
This also increases the responsibilities of the students. He has to check and make sure that his plant is growing well, water it regularly and take care of all its needs.
Thus to conclude I loved this activity and feel it as a good initiative taken by my college. Hope more and more people get involved in similar activities and improve the health of our mother Earth which is down with fever (global warming)..

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

HINDU PRAYERS AT US SENATE

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It wasn’t long that not many Americans knew about India and the only things the country was associated was with animals and snake charmers.. But thanks to the nuclear tests in 1999, the brain drain and the rise of IT; our country has gained immense popularity in this century. Slowly Yoga, Indian food, and even Bollywood are making their entries into main stream American culture.
But history will be created on July 12th when Hindu prayers will be recited at the opening ceremony of the US Senate. Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain has been asked to deliver the prayer for the first time since its inception in 1789. Zed who is busy choosing lines from the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita says “July 12 will be an illustrious day for all Americans and a memorable day for Indian Americans when prayers from ancient Hindu scriptures will be read in the great Hall of democracy”.
Isn’t this looking a feel good factor after the recent tough run for the Nuclear Deal and the arguments surrounding docking of USS Nimitz at Chennai..

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Freedom fighter are indeed "amar"

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An interesting report in Times of India (02/07/07) which points out that the number of freedom fighters in India is on a rise, considering the number of them collecting pensions.
While anyone would expect this number to go down with time; our home ministry’s list of people under the “Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension” is increasing, that too 60 years after the Independence!!
In fact there isn’t a single state or Union Territory in which the numbers are declining. From a total of 1,67,873 in July 2004, the list kept on increasing and now in March 2007 it reached 1,69,984.
Now everyone lets try to reason this out.. either none of the freedom fighter who must be atleast over 70 years by now hasn’t met dead in the last 3 years(though the average life expectancy of Indian is between 65-68 years) or they might have left behind widows or independent unwed daughters who are eligible for the pension.
But even if we consider the above two to be feasible reasons, can some one explain me why the numbers are on rise in every part of the country??

Monday, July 02, 2007

REALITY TV: NOT SO REAL AFTER ALL

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The modern day is the day of information. Not just the availability of information, but the ease with which you can have it and how easily can it be dissipated! TV made its way into the Indian homes in the early 1980s. From the early days of the good old ‘doordarshan’ the television has come a long way. The early 90s saw the advent of a number of private channels with Zee leading the crusade against the friendly ‘Deepika ji’ ads in the crisp breaks of serials like ‘Hum log’. The enhanced vibrancy of the new age TV made people opting soap operas over a matinee show in a hot humid afternoon. Color television sets soon became a necessity and if you see a commercial for a television set on your old TV nowadays, you’ll find a number of options which reduce the strain on your eyes so that you can watch the repeat telecast of your favorite show (the fact that all soaps look like the repeat telecast of each other is another debate). I am a staunch enemy of the soaps operas basically because they steal my right of the daily dose of sports and music and news (which is happening all the time on TV now), and I have to submit meekly to the demands of my mother wanting to watch ‘Prerna’. With the world of entertainment changing so fast, we have got a new entrant. Well, not very new if you think of it but the way the ‘reality shows’ have captured the imagination of the people is something incredible.
Any channel you tune into has its own reality bite for you. People trying to make a lot of money through ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, people trying to be the ‘Indian Idols’, people trying to become the ‘Biggest loser’, people trying to ‘live together’ with ‘Big Boss’ around, etc. etc.! The TV today is full of such real shows which we know are mostly staged and well rehearsed.
Instant stardom has become such a common thing today that the next person I see at a mall seems to be belonging to some ‘Fame Gurukul’. The much hyped fame evaporates as easily as it was got. But the most intriguing aspect of this instant fame is how a few of the most ordinary people have been able to change their lives overnight. Take for instance the typical couch potato of the ‘Numa Numa’ fame. This Romanian song was lip-sung by a fat (and interestingly cute) male which he recorded on his (ordinary) web cam and broadcast it over youtube.com. This video became one of the most watched, shared and downloaded video of all times and the fat gentleman became a celebrity with offers for live shows pouring in.
So far so good! But when it comes to news the same reality TV type of hoopla created around local issues and non-important news items to catch the viewers’ eye is beyond imagination. What the news channels are being doing recently is opening the doors of our homes to the world; the private life is a myth with a number of journalist fighting hard to bring that very special ‘hatke’ report of a local issue perhaps which would give them an edge over their competitors. The universal pretence is ‘we bring to the people what they want to see…’ how far do we want to see a ‘real-life’ couple fighting on national news channels provoked by the news anchor is for us to decide!!! As far as I am concerned, I don’t like to watch an ugly, fat manager of some call centre beaten with ‘kolahpuri chappals’ by his employee for some alleged sexual abuse as part of my daily news update in the night.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

IIM-C now has international students

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The demand for Indian CEOs have always been on rise.. People like Indra Nooyi, Arun Sarin are at top posts in the some of the largest organisations of the world. And the biggest factory for this is the prestigious institution called Indian Institution of Management.
We all know how much every Indian craves to join this institution. But now the success stories of these institutions are now reaching all corners of the world. A 26-year-old Californian, Travis Donselman is now the first foreign-origin student to join IIM-C for the regular 2 year PGP program. His decision is not because of the cost but its because he received some great feedback from Indian students as well as the faculty as the University of California. The institute’s curriculum and calibre and its previous placement records were, in fact, the clincher. Now after spending 1 week in campus, he is overwhelmed by the economics and financial planning and said “very few universities are as strong as IIMC is in finance, barring a few like the University of Chicago, MIT, Wharton and Columbia”.

So now along with the reputation, even the intake of IIMs are going global..

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Banyan Tree..

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Infrastructure is quite the fastest growing sector in India and even most parts of the globe.. And for a developing country like India it is the need of the hour. But unfortunately this growth is coming at some cost, the cost of felling of trees.
Pune has been very famous for it Banyan Trees, which are all over the city especially on the side of the highways giving them a scenic view..
The Municipal Corporation of Pune counts and number the trees in entire city and makes sure that the count is well maintained. But now, because of the new wide roads and other infrastructural demands.. the city and its surrounding lost a lot of these green lives. The effect of this might not be faced instantaneously but we know how badly we are heading to a catastrophe due to environmental problems. Banyan tree are one of the largest manufacturer of oxygen and are the only home for birds like owl and hornbill. Further our culture attaches a lost of relevance to this tree and worship them at quite a number of occasions.
So, the National Highway Authority, the Airport Authorities and all other organisations which are in development spree must ensure that they compromise for the each tree that they shed..

Is ZAPAK Doing it Rite??

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Now a days advertising has become very important for all companies and they are coming up with new and innovtive ways to attract people. But did you all check the ad for zapakmail.com??
Not sure how many of you felt the same way.. but I feel that the ad offends the Indian postal service and its glory of being one of the biggest chains in the world.
The mascot of zapakmail is a man dressed like a postman, travelling on a rocket with an emergency light at front.
While the postal services are spending crores to modernise and make its service more efficient this campaign by Anil Ambani's venture Zapak is trying to bring in a disgrace to its slow delivery process.
While entering into e-mail services Zapak should try to compete with the other players in the market and prove its efficiency in comparison with them, not Indian postal services which quite efficient and reliable for its mail and other services.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MAYA-wati starts glittering b4 her state does..

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Mayawati is bringing in lot of hope and goodwill amongst all people of Uttar Pradesh. But while she was busy was the election campaign and as the leader of opposition, she simultaneously increased her assets by 400 %. While filling a nomination for Lok Sabha elections in 2004, she declared her assets at a little over Rs 11 crore. And now according to TOI’s latest report, she declared her current assets to exceed Rs. 52..5 crore..
But then the boom is real estate is a crime factor behind this.. She invested at some prime properties in Delhi – one at Sardar Patel Marg is worth Rs 18 crores (though the real estate agents quote a much higher rate).. Commercial properties – 2 at Connaught Place worth 3.3 crores and 1 at Okhla worth Rs 15.5 crores.
But at the same time she added jewellery and diamonds worth ove Rs 70 lakh and money in banks and other financial institutes have grown from Rs 9 crore to around Rs 13 crore.
Now she is getting busy to pay a penalty and settle the I-T demand.
Before I end listen to this interesting fact: she doesn’t own a car, agricultural or non-agricultural land.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Be careful while preaching HR Skills

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Days back I was reading “The Week” (June 10 th edition).. The cover story of this magazine said “Paid to Play” and it dealt with how the HR department in various companies both public and private are now trying innovative techniques for recruiting and retaining the best people in their organisation. Few examples that were highlighted include Continuous Computing which allows all its employees to take a 45-minutes post lunch nap called power-nap; Microsoft GTSC in Bangalore has set up a hi-tech gaming room, christened the X-box, for its employees; and the list went on with lot of creative techniques being implemented to keep people energetic, motivated and thus more efficient.
I still remember the workshop conducted by Wipro Technologies for the fresher recruits, to motivate them to join the company, give them a good feel about the company and a little insight to corporate life. One of their HR department executive Rajesh Venkadri was at our campus for the 2-day workshop called Synergy. There were number of activities (even a few games) which involved lot of fun and folic and each one of us were in our top spirits.
But at this moment I recollect a very disturbing incident that happened and now regretting for not bringing into light then. Mr. Venkatadri just folded a 100 rupee note very badly and then even took it into his mouth and spit it on the floor, and the with in flash of a second a classmate of mine happily picked it up and won all praises from the HR man. According to him, a 100 rupee note is a hundred rupee note and it not a matter of shame to do anything to get it. Basically it was just an extension of the heated argument we had on the fact that not all jobs are treated alike and rag-pickers and maids are looked very lowly.
But he didn’t realise the offence he performed in the process. It is an offence to fold an Indian currency note more than once or trying to spoil it in any form.

Hope this comes to his notice soon and I request people reading this article it practice and preach people to respect our currency notes and do not spoil them.

VOTE FOR TAJ!! (Reloaded)

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Is the young generation becoming less patriotic??
Well it’s a matter of shame that being a young Indian I am myself doubting my peers.. This doubt came into my mind see the fact that Taj Mahal is far away in the race to be among the Seven Wonders of the World. Even smaller nations with smaller populations are ahead in the race. I am really not able to find valid reason why many aren’t voting. It’s definitely not that we are not aware of the voting systems because our media is very active and really sells on such information. And we have quite a big cluck of our population using the internet and mobile phones and spending a lot of time on them..
Then what is the reason..?? Are we so busy that we can’t find few seconds to vote? Is it a national pride that we have one of the Seven Wonders of the World in our country? Won’t it be a big boost to our tourism sector which is trying out its best to fight out the Malaysia and South East Asian countries? And increase in tourism does benefit the government and thus everyone in the country someway or the other.

So I request every one to get awaken again and let to the maximum we can to get Taj Mahal in the new list of Wonders..

RTI

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Remember last year, we had an aam admi’s protest that brought in the Right to Information Act. I was dying to see the results of it.. cause even I believed it to be a very good move to fight corruption in our country. And guess what found.. this shocking news in today’s India Express, Railway ministry paid for the case study done by IIM-A. The case study in the year 2006 talked about the remarkable change in the turnover of the railways. An amount of 4 lakh rupees plus and all the service charges, expenses of professors, computer usage and overheads of at IIM-A.
The author of the study, an IIM-A professor was also provided rail travel (complimentary passes)/air travel, accommodation (rest house), local hospitality, data covering and analysis support. This entire truth was out because of an application filled by The Sunday Express under the Right to Information Act.
It took two months for them to finish a 26-page report, with a 45 page annexure praising the “style of the minister”, his “non-interference” in dealing with the Railways Board, his “direct approach” while communicating with zonal General Managers, “caring attitude towards staff and unions”, his image building through the media. And even his ability to identify the “right people as reflected by the coice of his choice of his OSD Sudhir Kumar”.
After the report was complete, IIM-A rolled out the red carpet for Lalu on September 18 when he visited the campus, with new tag to his name “management guru”.
Things didn’t end here; Lalu then met delegates from Harvard Business School, Wharton University, American Defense Institute, U.S. Financial Services Industrial Study Group, MIT’s Sloan business school who visited Indian Railways to hear the “turnaround story”.
So now its upto you to interpret this piece of news as u wish..

Monday, June 25, 2007

Homosexuality in small towns.

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The Indian metros have long been considered the mecca for homosexual activities, with a few other cities like Nagpur, Hyderabad, etc. being constantly considered. The media hype and the amount of information overload (with the internet and websites like orkut playing a major role) has changed the scenario a lot now. Even small cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Patna, to name a few have recently seen a surge in the amount of queer activities. What is astoundingly noticeable is the fact that almost all towns have ‘gay meeting points’ which are just a google away! A number of NGOs are doing some work, mainly to make the ‘communities’ aware of the protection they need to have against STDs. While sexuality is a very complicated issue it is incredible how the number of people who have ‘come out of the closet’ has considerably increased over a few years in India.
I tried to find out more on this issue on the backdrop of a ‘gay marriage’ between two girls hailing from Harrayana. Journalism can be a very complex experience and I experienced it first hand in my first stint with ‘true journalism’. Getting a chance to interview a person who flaunts his sexuality openly over the internet was much tougher than I had imagined. I contacted a few people through orkut.com but it was a futile attempt. (I wanted an interview for my podcast as well but it could never happen!). Having set my mind on the story I went the illegal way. I created a fake orkut account and joined a few communities which openly expose the lack of securities and the slackness in the implementation of the ‘norms’ of google.com and its associated sites. As I browsed through the various communities and their members, a few facts were evident:

  • Getting ‘hooked up’ is very simple on the internet.

  • Nudity and obscenity is the order of the day.

  • For many it is just a medium to escape the monotony of their lives.

  • Pornography is not restricted to the business aspect; many sex chats (C-2-C, as they are called) show the individual and non-economic angle.

  • For quite a few fame hungry men and women, violating the norms of the society is the easiest option and internet provides them a private audience with secret admirers.

  • The serge in the queer behavior may be just a lack of opportunity with the opposite sex (even over the internet) and the strange restrictions that the Indian society imposes on such individuals (especially belonging to small towns).

  • There are however, a number of fascinated first timers who may have been ‘inspired’ by the MTV and other outlets of metro-culture. (If a big football star is Gay, it’s so ‘cool’).


Like always, I don’t wish to leave you with an overwhelming opinion that may obstruct your free flowing thought process. I just had my side of the story to tell you and encourage you to voice your opinions here and have a fruitful discussion.

PS: I’ve deleted the fake profile I had created on orkut.com!!!

COOPERATIVES: A PERFECT MACHINE TO BRING ABOUT ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT

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It is very rare that solutions to problems of overblown proportions exist and be perfect in all respects. The idea of cooperatives is one such solution. For a country like India which is moving up in all frontiers and fast emerging a power to be reckoned in the world, there’s a need to make the foundations stronger than ever. This nation building is possible only when all sections of the country are economically strong and socially secure.

The basic principles on which a cooperative system works advocate empowerment through responsibility, power and profit sharing. This form of a set-up does a two fold job. First, it makes sure that the collaborating parties share the profit thus bringing about an atmosphere of economic independence. Secondly, it improves the managerial skills of the whole society involved in it and hence they get a social elation based on their acquired confidence.

We all know how small fishes of the sea team up together to scare away the big predators underwater. Think of a cooperative as a similar setup. While the isolated people would have to face tough times and may wilt and perish, the joint effort of such small seemingly powerless islands would make a giant landmass which would not only float and be self-sustaining but may be able to encourage other organizations as subsidiaries to thrive on its support.

Some may argue that even a cooperative setup may turn out to be a private-profit-maker for a few who would exploit it. This is in fact the sorry story of some unsuccessful attempts. What we need to realize is that such failure would exist only when long term gains of a cooperative are not properly communicated to the people. They need to understand that trust is a very important building block of any cooperative organization.

India has a very long history of cooperatives. A large number of success-stories of our nation communicate to us the power of cooperatives. One must question why the cooperative system has more often than not worked wonders for our nation. The answer is simple; a cooperative helps in harnessing the versatility and potency of the cottage industries. With more than 70% of Indian population living in villages with little or no access to the development that our nation now boasts of, it is logical to think that instead of thrusting the big profit ravenous industries into the villages the underprivileged would be far better off if cooperative industries were able to grow amidst them.

The “India Rural Infrastructure Report” has pointed out that providing telecom connectivity alone to this 70% of India would require funds to the tune of more than Rs. 92,690 crores. Add to this an additional Rs.55, 243 crores for power supply, Rs.5, 892 crores for roads and transport and Rs.4, 488 crores for water and sanitation. As is evident from these numbers, the fact that infrastructure in villages is largely owned by the government faces a funds constraint. Now, consider the fact that 9/10th of village households do not own telephone and 50% of the households do not have power connections. Imagining fully developed rural areas and hence a developed India is impossible without solving this desperate situation; dearth of funds and huge requirements pose a problem that seems hopeless. The only viable solution can be envisaged through the installation of proper cooperatives involving the occupational activities of the region. Right now every 4th poor person on this planet is an Indian. If this scenario has to change we would need to empower each and every individual by heralding a cooperative revolution across the borders of the nation.

I wish to illustrate a simple example which can act as a prototype for an ideal cooperative. The “Yashasvini micro health insurance scheme” which is an initiative taken up in Karnataka, has ensured health care surgery in good hospitals to 20 million farmers in the state. This includes expensive heart surgeries as well. All this is made available to the farmers at an astonishingly low cost of Rs.5 a month! This proves beyond doubt the power that a cooperative system can yield and the far-reaching effects that it may have.