Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What do YOU aspire to be?

What do we aspire to be in our lives? Do we chose the right path? How many times do we take the wrong route and end up running away from responsibility? Here is an example!!

Few years back, a boy got his class ten results. Looking at his marks, people started telling he was "IIT-stuff." He got inspired and enthusiastic. The clever boy could score well in the entrance tests and made it to IIT, a prestigious institute in the country. He graduated in mechanical engineering. God knows if he was really interested in the subject. Nevertheless, he completed his course and joined another prestigious place in the country, 'Tata Steel.' But his heart was not in that. He was not satisfied. He ran away from the job.
He prepared for the most prestigious examination in the country since the pre-independence times, the civil service entrance test. Intelligent he was, he cleared the test. He became part of the Indian Revenue service. He was also awarded the 'Ramon Magsaysay' award while his tenure for some good work. He was still not satisfied. He quit his job. He ran away.

He took up social service. Created a group called Parivarthan. He joined the team of Aruna Roy and played a crucial part in the Right To Information act, 2005. Well, it is nice. He started doing something nice, worthwhile it might seem. But he was still not satisfied. He quit. Ran away!!
He joined the team Anna in the fight against corruption after huge scams like the commonwealth games scam, 2-G band allocations scam etc. He became quite famous. But he was not satisfied. He then decided to join politics. He put a political party. He started off with Delhi, in the heart of India. His agenda was, 'common man'(middle class man, actually!) In accordance to his party symbol, he 'swept' away the congress from Delhi and became the seventh chief minister of the National Capital Region. As usual, he was not into this too. He was not satisfied. He ran away. Quit his job again.  He now decided to go for the Lok Sabha polls rather than just a state election. He very conveniently shifted his agenda from anti-corruption to anti-Modi. He came into limelight with one agenda because of which he was elected and now like many other politicians, he shifted course.

He hardly worked for three years in 'Tata Steel.' He worked for five years for IRS. His quitting from this came with a price. He took paid leave for three years because he wanted to pursue higher studies!! After rejoining, he again took unpaid leave for one and a half years and finally had to pay a fine. He could have continued in social service. His quitting that and taking up of politics came up with a huge price. He lost the support of the real hero, Anna Hazare. His quitting the job of chief minister also came for a price. Criticism, which otherwise would have been praise. By the way, he could not even score a half century. He quit in a record 49 days. Now, he wants to be the Prime Minister of the country. This aspiration of someone who keeps a kilometer distance from responsibility and always runs away from it comes at what price?

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Latest 'New's!!

With the inaugural events of almost all the sports around the globe over, there is a lot of "new" in the sporting world. In cricket, tennis and FormulaOne. There have been many firsts too!

In cricket,
1. Nepal, Hong Kong and Afghanistan.
These Asian nations have proved cricket has wider followers than in the subcontinent alone. They are contesting in International cricket for the first time.(okay, not Afghanistan!) That too with few miracles!! Hong Kong and Afghanistan beat Bangladesh, a team now being considered 'not' a small one. Bangladesh was well beaten in T20 and One day formats by the above teams respectively.

2. For India, Amit Mishra
This guy has come and gone for quite some time but was denied a permanent place in the team constantly. But this Twenty-20 world cup looks like the past would be erased for this wonderful spinner. He has almost all the necessary tools a leg spinner should be having. His spin is very nice to see too. Hope he continues this way.

In Tennis,
Not much but the 'new' news is only Stanislas Wawrinka winning the Australian open. His first ever grand slam. The fact that his win comes over Rafael Nadal is very saddening for a lot of people. Anyway, this guy actually lost a set against Nadal who kind of played in a wheel chair!! Be it. There has some thing new because he is only one of those four who have won a grand slam since 2005 other Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. Only 5 grand slams were not shared by these three athletes in the last ten years!! Domination!

In FormulaOne,
Four years now and I have grown bored of seeing the same Sebastian Vettel emerge as the winner of the year-end championship. Nico Rosberg has five pole positions to his credit to date and four grand prix wins but we are talking about people who won four championships. Then there is Kevin Magnussen, who is on the podium for the first time. He is a new guy I agree but that is exactly the point I want to make.
There is something newer this year!!  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Small World!!...No,no a huge one!!

On one end of the sea, in the largest peninsula in the world, India(lets say, the largest democracy in the world too!), in the city of Hyderabad, a new political party rose!, put up by a guy, fondly called the 'Powerstar' by his followers. Yup, he is a movie actor. But I don't think he is looking at politics as a post-acting career. After all, he is 42, an age at which there are people in the Bollywood who show how to flirt with college girls. He hopefully, might be genuinely concerned(about what?..later) that he put up a political party. He is very eccentric too. His party agenda: Unknown. He says, "Congress ko hatao." That is good enough I guess. For long, he had reflected in his movies, his revolutionary feelings. Ex: Jalsa

But, my concern is that even his brother(also an actor once, he was called 'Megastar'), exactly five years ago, started a circus, sorry, a political party with a similar agenda against the Congress. He, however couldn't stay alive with the same motive, succumbed to political pressure and merged his party with the Congress. And now the irony is, he comes out to the media and says, nobody can move the Congress, it is them who got India freedom, yeah, he is right! there was no Azad Hind Fauz back then; no Andhra Mahila Sabha and numerous other groups who worked for the freeodm of the country. There was only INC whose president became the first Prime Minister of the country. In fact, the dominant nature of the Congress can be dated back to those times itself! Everyone knows the story of Lal,Bal,Pal; Subhash Chandra Bose; Aurobindo Ghosh etc...So, one person floats a party, sinks it and one political term later his own brother does the same(there is time for/ hopefully he keeps this party afloat!!).
What a smaalll world!!

On the other side of the sea, there is another peninsular country, a small one called Malaysia, which is still searching for its 'lost' plane.(Though it is saddening that some 239 people have disappeared for about a week, it is little happy to know that many countries, including India are actively participating in the search activities!) Highly sophisticated technology is still insufficient to locate the airplane. After a week's search, the head of the country comes out to say it was a 'Deliberate Action', that the aviation transponder which, if kept on gives signals for radars to detect was switched off deliberately and that the plane was shifted off course!! Guess is that the airplane was definitely in flight up till four hours after communication was cut off! This happened just one hour after the plane was into flight. But what about ground based radar??

But then, will it not land somewhere, is it still hanging in the air, or is the plane circling above an airport for a vacant runway? What reasons will a person(who, in the plane is unknown! Authorities just say a hijack is conclusive!!) have, to divert the flight from over the south china sea towards the Indian Ocean crossing which is a really long process. Will he not take it towards some land to land?? It is said switching off the transponder and a subsequent left turn were kind of 'pre-programmed.' Did the hijacker direct it towards Europe where there are country conflicts at present? But then, it has been a week!! No trace of the airplane. C'mon, I think it should still be there somewhere in the South-China sea/the Pacific(/Bay of Bengal??)!! But how come it is not found yet!??
What a laargee world!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

One Day is worth 24 hours

I don't understand a thing with these days. Mother's day, father's day, this and that day, women's day. We need not wait for a special day to acknowledge the achievements of women in our past and the present! or to celebrate their presence!! I am happy with Sunday to Saturday! However, dedicating a day to someone is still a great idea. Happy Women's Day! Ironically, on the eve of women's day, eve-teasing took place in my locality; three boys were accused by four girls for teasing them. Of course, there were a lot more supporters for those girls than the four guys though who the real 'bad guy,' is unknown!

For now, keeping aside the sadly bad things and flipping on the other side of the coin, it is well known that women have topped in almost all the fields of human capabilities. Be it science or shuttle, poetry or politics. Proof? Google for 'Battle of the Sexes(Tennis)' or for 'Nobel Laurette in Literature, 2013.' In India, women are really strong in politics. One women in the far right of the country slaps hard on the strong 'left.' The other in the southern most region is so strong that she successfully converted the dream secretariat building of her opponent and previous chief minister into a government super specialty hospital!!(seriously one needs guts to do that especially the opponent being, you know,....)

Sudha Murthy
The role of women in the present political scenario, as said by Nirmala Sitaraman, first is to be a good voter. She says a woman takes a better decision, a sharper decision and more importantly correct decision compared to man! May be she is right. So, house wives, no cooking this April-end, go show your boiling anger though your vote!
Many of the influences of my life are women. The list (excluding, of course, my mother and sister, who have been an integral part of me!!)  includes, Mrs. Sudha Murthy, Prof. Rama Govindarajan, late Kalpana Chawla and Kamala Nehru. More details about these people, wait for few days!!  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Hail" the Storm!

"Yesterday, as we were trying to write a program on Matlab in our lab, we heard stone pelting sounds. We ran outside to see hailstones falling. This is my third hail storm!!", said a student of my university excitedly. Well, I did not miss it too. 'If not now, then when' is the motto and here I am, suffering from cold and severe head ache. Anyway, it was a very nice experience, hail hitting on us and we hitting on others!! And....hostel room being flooded!!
Hail Stones 

Actually, one of my friends asked, "Why do these hail storms occur only in summer?" Well, they do not occur only in summer (by the way, it is not summer yet!) but summer heat gives a boost. That is all. Basically, every thunderstorm cumulonimbus cloud brings with it ice pieces, but these melt before they reach us. But the hail storm goes much higher and thick ice stones form and fall. A hot surface would only boost it because air near the surface gets hotter and more wind and the clouds get better push towards the hail forming region. As a matter of fact, hail storms are really dangerous(of course!, the very reason enough to play in hailstorm!) and create a lot of damage to crops. Silver Iodide cannons and missiles are developed to tackle this issue. By the way, these are not part of those generally occurring Mango Showers. These are something else. Actually, there is a depression in the South Pacific!

This on one side. The other thing is that we are awaiting a drought. Yes, I typed it right. A drought only. It might be not so joyous to hear that a storm brings a drought with it. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and some other research institutes, an El Nino is 75% likely to occur this year, bringing along with it, a drought in India, Australia and parts of Africa. It seems in India, it had occurred last in 2009 leaving damages never seen in the last 40 years. Since one of the results of El Nino is rise in surface pressure in Indian Ocean and subsequent spread of warm water from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific carrying the rains with it, we can be sure of a drought in India. For a country which looks towards the skies to grow crops, this is a devastating news. By the way, El Nino is the other word for Baby Jesus since it generally occurs during the time of Christmas!
El Nino

A publication in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, USA gave a very early warning of El Nino this year. For once, let us believe Remote Sensing and not New Year predictions and do all we can to save ourselves from a possible disaster. First let it be started off with better storage of food grains by the Food Corporation of India (heyy...I am not joking, it should be done!!)