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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Rail India Rail!!

One might always wonder, 'why a separate budget for railways in India!' Well you wouldn't ask if you dig just a little into what wonders this public enterprise is doing out there! Mahati is working on a research problem to look into how the oscillations of a train coach depend on its speed. She went about researching on what factors decide the speed of a passenger train in India and found out that it depends on details which she never bothered about ever!! Certainly, running a train in India is more complicated than manning a flight anywhere.

Mahati first went to the public relation officer to request access to details of train functioning and train accidents. In the building, she is surprised to see posters everywhere saying one thing: save energy. Indian railways would be soon moving to LEDs everywhere, solar powered stations at major junctions and the south central railway already uses 5% biodiesel. Plants are under construction to recycle water used in the railway station to grow plants and beautify the station premises. Mahati approached a peon, for it is such people who know the best as to what lures who in any department. All he had to say was that it is practically impossible now-a-days for corruption in railways. Thanks to the digital revolution, even contracts are mostly given out through e-tenders. There is pension adalat that takes place every month. The offices are all exceptionally well maintained. Railway stations are also quite well looked after, if not for public littering every where.

Yes, it s true that the Indian railways tries to offer the best it can, where as those benefiting by it are not that generous. That brings the topic of train accidents. While atleast 70% of train accidents are those where a tipper lorry has collided into a train at unmanned crossing or that a lot of people die when they try to cross the tracks instead of using the railway over bridge or an inflammable material being carried illegally by a passenger goes off, it is quite appalling to know that the majority of casualties that occur are those which occur to passengers who foot-board when they have ample space inside. Mahati felt disgusted when she read about an accident which occurred because bicycles were hung from the train windows. We definitely need to learn to respect the train transport.

It might be proud to think of bullet trains in India. But the speed of a train depends on hundreds of factors. One, the tracks, of course. In India, the most disastrous thing for a bullet train is the rail. Experts from China and Japan have been warning us about the curvy rails we have. We do love curves, yes. But not in railways. If we need faster trains, we need straight, level tracks which is not possible in the present scenario. Well, how could it be possible when a passenger in the last coach can see the engine and the front the coaches! Second, signalling. The red-green signal we just notice while we are on a moving train serve a lot of purposes including measuring the train speed and wheel rpm. The coaches, the couplers between coaches and other parameters are the third important parameter. It is interesting to know that the gravel which is around the tracks has particular measurements and there are complicated machinery to take care of this size. A trolley goes on a track, inspecting: keeping those which comply the required range  and discarding the rest. With the new forged wheel system, average speed would go as high as 150 kmph for certain trains with disc brakes reducing the wear and tear to a large extent.

Not an easy job. From signalling to coach design; from metallurgical technology to environment management to catering services, there is a lot to be taken care of in the Indian railway and there is hardly any research going on in this huge industry which is the eighth largest employer in the world! Certainly, all that bullet train money could go into R&D in railways-will lead to faster and safer trains. It would be good if Indians realise the importance of railways. Indian trains carry as much as Australian population everyday! Proud of Indian railways! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The People's city! Well, LOL!!

According to the Hindu mythology, Amaravati is the capital city for its roughly three crore Gods. Very metaphorically, the same name has been chosen by our democratic Gods, the politicians, for the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad is the combined capital for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for ten years. The AP government has got a lot of time to think over multiple possibilities, discuss pros and cons of various locations for a capital city and slowly build it.

One has to remember that even though N.Chandrababu Naidu is credited to have led to the development of Hyderabad that is now, Hyderabad has been a well established capital city for more than 400 years. He only contributed to the growth of Hyderabad as a software hub which has had a tremendous impact on its development. Here development does not necessarily mean good. The development of Hyderabad occurred in a haphazard way even when the revenues multiplied. Maybe this is the reason why the people of Andhra Pradesh voted Telugu Desam Party(TDP) into power(here, the role of caste in electoral politics has been neglected for greater good). However, Amaravati is no Hyderabad. It is not perfectly placed like Hyderabad is, for a capital city. And almost every great capital city known in the world has centuries of notable history. Just because Babu is responsible for one small aspect of a city development does not mean he can architect the building of a city from scratch with the same vigor. He has never done that! More over, it seems very likely that the idea of the world class city, people's city, Amaravati itself is a huge scam.

Who do they want to deceive by projecting THIS as Amaravati!?
Many questions loom over this scandalous idea. What is the hurry in building the capital city? A new one that too!! There are many other established towns which can be grown into administrative capital cities. Hyderabad can be used as joint capital for ten years and Babu vowed not to administer from Hyderabad. So much for people's choice. Why the fertile location and that too adjacent to a life providing river? There are other places where there is not much water problem and can be developed into cities. What about the land pooling technique used to acquire lands for the city? Its not about the way it is done. In fact, the government should be applauded for fielding this idea. They saved the public some 7500 crore rupees. It is not about those farmers but it is about the fertile lands that were taken away. There is another big problem. Is building a new capital city worthier than containing those fertile lands? Is building a new capital city worthier than those 20-30,000 hectares of forests that will have to be cleared for the 'development' of the NEW, world class, people's capital city?? Well, can it any longer be called people's city? Is Amaravati a boon or bane in making?

In his speech during the inauguration of Amaravati, Chandrababu Naidu addressed the Prime Minister more than the public. Speaking in an English which is not expected of a Chief Minister, he urged the PM. "Hand holding saar," was what he used. "There is Hyderabad for Telangana, Bangalore for karnataka and Chennai is there, for Tamil Nadu. We don't have any income generation city." were the lines he used while describing the new city? What source of income is he looking for, when the rice bowl of the country is in that state? Is that not income? Does only software or banking or automobile industry generate income? What if the global trading crashes suddenly? Banks will close but people will still eat rice. Why not develop agriculture better in the state? And more surprisingly, help in planning and development of the city is seeked from Japan and Singapore. Japan, where agriculture accounts for less than 1% of the GDP and Singapore which has not even one square feet of agricultural lands are assisting in developing a capital city in one of the most fertile lands in the world! Why can't the government consider other indigenous ways? When we can make movies like Baahubali on our own, we can also build a capital city on our own too. Why take example from Japan, whose capital city is one of the most crowded places on the planet? Why not take, say, Ghana as an example where huge investments in bio-energy and agriculture contributes to 54% of its GDP. It is one of the richest countries of Africa. Hey Accra is also a well known historical and mythological place!

That brings to the question, why build a new city? Why not expand a well established town into a capital city? There could be different cities for different roles. When the Andhra Pradesh chief minister mentioned Karnataka, why could he not have gone a little beyond and considered Kerala!! Thiruvananthapuram is hardly ten kilometers in radius and does not boast of any IT, financial hubs. But there is no need to talk about the income of Kerala and especially its human development index. Ten kilometers out of Trivandrum and one sees himself in a forest! What about the forest cover that will vanish once the 'people's city' starts developing? Not only the 20,000 hectare forest the government is asking now, but the cover that will vanish once the city is established. With the 'Make in India' initiative, the center is quickly giving 'green' signals when it comes to environmental policies. This might dangerously be exploited. Lastly, imagine what might happen to the Krishna river if such a huge city is planned on its banks? The Krishna river is no small river. It is a lifeline to crores of living things. History gives us numerous examples. From Thames in London, to the Ganga in Kolkata, to the Yamuna in Delhi, to the Musi in Hyderabad. All the rivers have been destroyed. Hey Krsna!! Building a new, huge city is no small thing and these politicians are making it look like no big deal!

How come the people are willingly getting duped? Everyone seems to know only one thing. Andhra Pradesh is so poor that it needs special status. And, what is the motive behind organisations like the 'Telugu Association of North America(TANA)' to rally behind this idea? What have they got here? If it is all about caste, factionism, land grabbing and money looting, the sight of the future of the so called people's capital is far from distant. To think of what might last forever in Amaravati which means 'forever lasting city,' We can only well, laugh out loud!!
Excellent depiction by the Hindu about Amaravati

Saturday, October 24, 2015

How Clean am I???

The Central Vigilance commission is the apex vigilance institution of the country and naturally is trying its best to demonstrate the necessity of vigilance for the country's good, to curb corruption. The vigilance awareness week will be celebrated this year from 26th to 31st October under the theme, "Preventive Vigilance as a tool of Good Governance." There is a joke that runs in the streets of Lutyens Delhi that the Prime Minister's Office even knows the amount of ink left in a cabinet minister's pen! But Mahati knows that the common man is no different when it comes to vigilance. She told her friend, "Even Facebook, a website that began as an alternative to the conventional slambook, now monitors the authenticity of the names of its users. Such is the heights to which vigilance on even common public rose to. Jeez, so much for chatting and sharing general information."

"Ofcourse, we cannot blame Facebook, can we?" wondered Mahati. "Do we not see every other day in the news about ISIS or Al Qaeda recruiting terrorists by posting provoking stuff on Facebook? It has become a platform for terrorist recruitment. How many times a week we hear about guys with fake profiles luring and cheating girls(vice  versa too), fake companies, fake tenders, fake organisations, events, pages. Cheating. Cheating everywhere. How, then can we blame Facebook for being careful about people misusing social networking? It is all about how clean we are! Before criticising others or even supporting or justifying the action of others, we should think that one thing. How clean am I?"

Mahati and her friend are students in a central university. She started by pondering on what possible scams that an average university graduate might be capable of. She should then begin with herself. Though she graduated and no longer is a student of the university, she is staying "on the campus" until she finds for herself an internship and subsequently accommodation. She then wondered, a bit shamefully, how many hundreds of more students possibly might be staying illegally for years, on the campus! In the class, there are hardly ten students whereas the register mentions atleast twenty five!
But hey, when there are teachers who bore the students and take loads of extra hour classes, what else can one expect
? How clean am I? In the mess, for every meal, there are double the number of students, no, people eating than the number that is supposed to be eating. She again, is one of them. "Well, should I justify my wrong doings by arguing that the mess secretary by the end of his one month tenure earns enough dirty money to buy a laptop and a motorbike? Of course not, its all about how clean am I. In the library, the computer center, printing, scanning, in the laboratories and everywhere. Not forgetting the examination hall. HOW CLEAN AM I?? Only once I check myself, does my blood attain the qualities required to boil looking at wrongdoings in the society."

As a government sponsored student, Mahati felt that one must realise that close to a million rupees are spent on them per annum, only to give quality education! How clean am I?

Finally, to be clean is just not enough. Keeping oneself in check and being clean is when responsibility comes into picture. We cannot individually stay clean and not bother about others. That would be selfishness. It is equally important to speak up against those doing wrong things. Feeling this as a duty and being responsible for ourselves and the society is the meaning of vigilance. For more information about the Central Vigilance commission, see this http://cvc.nic.in/

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Zak of all trades!

Nothing is more annoying right now in Indian cricket than the shoulder of Zaheer Khan. Well, except for the Indian team itself, nothing is more annoying. Clearly, the performance of team India in the recent past shows how much we need Zaheer. Now that he announced his retirement, we know we are doomed. We should start our SESI (Search for Eternal Seamer in India).

The generation I belong to would have started watching cricket feverishly from the 2003 one day cricket world cup. Of course, that is the tournament which set stage for the introduction of this mighty bowler. That match versus New Zealand at the Supersport park in Centurion, when the might of Astle, McMillan and McCullum fell like dried leaves, clueless to Zaheer's seam. His unending injuries did not stop him from being the prime bowler for India whenever he played. As Akash Chopra writes, the period between 2007-2012 has been his best, when he picked all his 'man of match' and 'man of the tournament' awards in test cricket.
Even though Yuvraj played his part and picked a lot of man of the match awards and eventually the player of the tournament award in the 2011 one day world cup, there is little doubt in who played the crucial part with the ball. The match India played against England in Bengaluru in the tournament is the best example. He came back in his second spell only to turn around the entire match. Even though the match ended as a tie, the fact that India managed to not lose is because of him. Of course, his great role in the world cup final, probably the most important match for any player is inordinate.

That ZAHEER'S celebration!!
The reason behind the title of the article is definitely his batting. The Indian tail is never strong. For eons, the average Indian fan switched off the television once the sixth wicket fell. It was in that match, against New Zealand in early 2003 that Zaheer proved that even when eight wickets are down, tail enders can win matches, that too with neat, big hits. Zak as been there, supporting Sachin, as the batting legend made his highest test score. Zaheer's monumental 75 helped Sachin achieve this feat. The present Indian bowlers should probably go to Zak for tips in batting too maybe.

There is no doubt about the huge influence Zaheer has, on Indian cricket. Sadly, it has been hazy, thanks to his body, his injuries. He definitely deserves a better farewell, but everyone knows that had he been healthy, he will always be the prime bowler for India, ever. His farewell suggestion to young bowlers to bowl as fast as they can when they are young needs to be pondered upon. Indian cricket can use this 'engineer's' services to cricket somehow or the other in future too.

Its time for Viru now

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kaaka Muttai brothers and co

For the last few decades, Tamil cinema has risen to its zenith. There have been a lot of creative movies, good directors, good actors, nice music directors and powerful producers. Already, south India is recognised as Tamil with the popular politics and that strengthened with creative cinema. It might take quite some time for Telugu to be recognised better, especially because of the dearth of movies like Kaaka Muttai in telugu.

Kaaka Muttai is a lovely film in which two young, poor siblings realise their dream of eating a pizza. Every part of the movie was a beauty, there was little exaggeration which we generally see in any tamil movie. The movie is crisp and to the point always. But what is the most intriguing is the entrepreneurial qualities of the two youngsters. They have a goal: getting their pizza. They work towards it severely, not realising the number of entrepreneurial ideas that they have created in the process. One more nice thing is that, in the process, they never lie or resort to wrong doings. Thanks to their mother and grandmother.

First, making friends at the right place. They never play cricket with other kids. They do their regular hunt and go for their coal picking. Here, they make friends with the 'power house.' Of course, for such pickers, who is more powerful than a gangman? They also make good friends with a kid from a richer background. For their rich dreams to be realised, who else should they make friends with? A boy jealous of them because they get to eat a cadbury chocolate once a week? They get valuable inputs from this richer kid and use them in their hunt for a pizza. This is one of the most important things for an entrepreneur or any body in fact. Interacting with people powerful than oneself is necessary to rise in the ranks in any field.

Secondly, they try all methods to get money to buy their pizza. They work extra hours to get coal. They only take the coal from the wastage area only when they are shown it. They don't go looking for illegal ways to get money. They carry drunk people home, a great idea, because you are sure of so many customers. Pamphlet distribution and what not, including Pani Puri exchange, a brilliant execution of business plan on customers who are ignorant. None of them wrong doing. Great fund raising. Another very important aspect for any business to survive. They are excellent at these two things. Well, you get stupid sometimes while you are fundraising, like trying to sell a street dog for 25,000 rupees. But that was innocence.

Most importantly, they are honest and outspoken. They know what they know and how NOT to reach their target which is much more important than just knowing how to reach the target. Their honesty is clear when they don't resort to stealing phones from trains like the other kids do. And oh! they all acted superbly. After its is a movie.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Safe From What!?

Mahati got bored of peace and started browsing youtube for some Arnab Goswami videos. She found one debate from 2009 about the failure of the Indian government in protecting the Indian students in Australia. The host asked if the Indo-Aussie relations would be skewed for which the guest replied that whatever the Indian government could do, they did. 'The Indian government is doing all it can, through diplomatic talks and assurances to make sure Indian students and citizens feel safe to go to Australia,' he said! Mahati wondered, 'Has the government ever done that in India??' She searched for related videos and got nothing. She finally lost her peace!!

She thought, ' Why is that there is no assurance of safety for people in their own country when those going away from the country get a lot of importance. Are they special or would it mean that those who stay back are not special!? Looking at the rate at which people are flocking abroad, definitely those who stay back will be treated specially one day,' she thought. We talk of safety abroad! How safe is our own country for us? The newspapers seem to have reserved one full section to report about the road mishaps which are killing many, especially students. We are still hurting and killing ourselves on the basis of gender, race, caste, region and religion. All this can be attributed to a single phenomenon: over population. But one thing really bothered Mahati. The killing of critical thinkers!

'Where is the society headed to? Are we progressing or going back? This has been the trend in the entire sub continent. Every now and then, a rationalist is brutally murdered by some nut case fundamentalist who fancies a pistol or a knife. In fact, a teacher is supposed to think critically and pass on the same kind of attitude to the students. If critical thinking is suppressed this way and if narrow mindedness prevails through force, only two things might happen in future. Either there is no creativity, rationality and criticism or there will be a counter force, much like what Prabir Ghosh tells all rationalists to do, carry arms. A rationalist and a teacher, Prof. Kalburgi was shot dead in Karnataka. The murder might be committed by anyone, but in the end, a fine teacher got murdered. There is no replacement. Is this murder just for the fact that he opposed stupid superstitions? Rationalists are not going and killing babas, fakirs and saints!! The one time that happened, we are still weeping for the aftermaths, in Kandhamal!! Why is that no Arnab Goswami is holding a debate with the government which is not assuring of safety for thinkers in the country? What is the difference between our neighbours who we brand as religious fundamentalists and us, Indians? Can't we tolerate a little criticism?' thought Mahati.

'The west had done the same brutal things. Those who questioned were executed and those who supported them were jailed. Those who listened to them were banished. A Socrates was forced to consume poison, a Galileo house arrested and a Copernicus outcasted. Though this continued for centuries, the thinkers did not stay lumpen. They inspired a larger number of people to raise questions, think and search for meaningful answers and they succeeded. The surge in those seeking truth led to a renaissance and it still continues in the west. Probably that is the reason why attacking a student there is taken so seriously abroad whereas in India, even killing a rationalist teacher is not cared about. Actually, historically and even mythologically, we have had critical thinkers who were treated with a lot of respect. Probably if the Telugu poet, Srinath belonged to this century, he would have been chopped to pieces! There is an eminent need for a renaissance in the sub continent, else conservationist and fundamentalist ideas will bring progress to a standstill or much worse, regress! Those who kill should keep in mind that thousand other voices would raise by silencing one.' thought Mahati hoping that no body will hurt her for thinking! Mahati believes that a true ode to Prof. Kalburgi would be to pass the "Anti-superstition" bill sitting in one far corner in the Vidhan Soudha

Monday, August 31, 2015

For All the Wrong Reasons!

It took a Narendra Modi some twelve years to become as famous as he is now. It took a Bin Laden or a Mandela quite a lot of struggle to attain popularity. But they have all gotten fame for good or bad after a lot of struggle in their respective fields. Not only these, it might be a Red cross or a Kalam or a Honey Singh, all had some hard work behind them. They have all become famous for a reason. There are however few people and organisations who have become famous for all the wrong reasons. A few examples.

1. Hardik Patel
Another U-turn candidate. What he began was confusing, what he asked for is confusing and what he is trying to do is even more confusing because one different idea pops up from him everyday. A section of people might have been happy when he demanded to provide reservations to everybody or remove reservations altogether. A U-turn later, now he demands reservations only for the patel community. Coming southwards, the Jats, the Gujjars and now the Patels, all the rich and powerful communities in their respective states demanding for reservations is a disastrous thing for the progress of the society. Yet, this 25-year old got all the attention an average politician would crave for in just over a week! Sad thing is, political parties including the Aam Admi Party have come out in his support

2. Revanth Reddy
This Telugu Desam Party leader in the state of Telangana is the ever smiling one. When the media went to him with questions about his alleged role in the note-for-vote issue during the MLC elections, he was only smiling. Even when he went to cast his vote while in police custody, he put a brave, all-smiling face all the while. He was taken to jail later! After he was granted a bail, he rallied like Julius Ceaser after his victorious conquests. That is how he is as famous as he is. Not many knew who he was before this event. He is famous now!

Twirling mustache proudly!


Atleast in India, there is serious doubt about the number of people familiar with this app based cab service before that unfortunate event in Delhi. At least eight of every ten people in the country never knew what Uber was until it was cracked down in Delhi because of misbehavior towards a woman by an Uber driver. After that incident, a short span of ban later, the company came back to the Indian market only stronger. Now it IS everyone's private driver!

4. Radhe Maa
Love doesn't expect anything in return!
Now a superstar, there is little suspicion on whether this godwoman's name has gone out of Mumbai before her shopping mall stint. Apparently, she has now gotten a chance to enter the Big Boss programme!! Currently under scanner for several criminal charges, including alleged offences under the Dowry Act, indecency, leading farmers to commit suicide and fooling people for money, Sukhvinder Kaur a.k.a Radhe Maa is probably the one who has become extremely famous for the most wrong reasons. Some people are so obsessed with her godliness leaving many to wonder..."How??"

There are others in this non-exhaustive list, ever trying to attain popularity some how. Film industries are the most common grounds for this! Examples are Santhosh pandit in Malayalam and Sampoornesh Babu in Telugu...many more to follow

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hanging between Life and Death

'We have no right to take away somebody's life as much as he/she does not have the right to take the lives of other people.' Mahati was telling her friend sipping her coffee in the Barista Lavazza opposite Shivaji Park. 'I do not support capital punishment because one, no one has the right to take away somebody's life, whatever the crime they committed. Two, because its not punishment enough, for there are things worse than death, like starvation for example. You give the man only one meal a day or bind him in a dark room with no one to talk to. Three, because hanging for me is government telling me it is not working for them. Hanging is just a way to retaliate terrorism. Neither does it stop, nor can it stop!'

They finished their coffee and took a walk along the Dadar beach. Her friend said, ' The concept of capital punishment is definitely debatable, but not in this matter. This death penalty has been given to a terrorist who was behind nearly 300 deaths. This is not merely a punishment given to the individual but is a sentiment of the masses who were severely affected by the havoc created by the first and the bloodiest bombings the country has ever seen. What will the government achieve by torturing this man? Also, is torturing not worse than death? But what really worries me is that instead of debating capital punishment, people are giving this terrorist a hero's farewell. When they acknowledged him as a terrorist for 21 years, how can they all of a sudden idolise him just because he was hanged?'

They took bus no. 86 to home. As they passed Century Bazaar, Mahati's friend told her,' 22 years ago, a bomb planted in this very 86 number bus went off here, killing some 150 people. 150 common people of different background and injuring more than 250. My uncle who got deafened was among those who were injured badly while his brother died. Terrorism has no religion. Neither life nor death has any religion. It is only in between them that religion appears and in most cases brings death faster!' But, Mahati said, 'stopping such madness can happen only with vigilance, not vengeance. This fight by religious groups can be ended not by retaliation. Do you think terrorism can be stopped by linking it to religion and hanging people?'

'No, this is not vengeance or retaliation,' said her friend. 'This is a way to console the grieving families. Look at what happened in America. A mad man opened fire on a peaceful movie watching crowd. What wrong did they do to him? He will now not be hanged. Will the kin of the dead feel vindicated this way? Hanging such mad men is only a way to assure the affected that justice prevails and that they might be in safe hands. It is just an attempt to bring a smile into the devastated lives of those affected by the heinous act of the terrorist!! There is no justification in telling that the man surrendered himself because he was responsible for bringing in terrorists, accommodating them, storing the weaponry and arranging for scooters and cars to blast off! The death sentence is only a symbolism for assuring the people, no religion involved at all. Definitely no religion.' her friend explained as they walked along the bustling jewelry markets of Zaveri Bazaar.

They reached home. Her friend's uncle just returned from his Isha Salat and sat down in an arm chair and was reading the day's news in the evening paper. He finished reading the paper on the table, folded it with his single hand and looked at his brother's pictured framed on the wall, a tear rolling down his only eye.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Making a Live-able Planet!

The eligibility criteria for awarding a BharatRatna is still not properly defined and is ambiguous. Existing rules are being bent to give this award. But if we really want to assign a set of qualities one should possess for being awarded BharatRatna, with very less doubt a bodily shape can be given to those characters. His Excellence Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam might not be possessing the flesh part but the body form of his is eternal and is filled only with good words and deeds making him the most precious BharatRatna. What better can people like me ask for than us growing up on his stories and interacting with him!

The thing he most loved..what a smile!
That was a proud day for the entire nation. October 22, 2008 was the day when Chandrayaan-I was launched. It is so far the best day ever in my life. I watched the launch and interacted with Dr.Kalam both and I dream to become a space scientist. The funny but proud thing is that I explained about rockets to this wonderful rocket scientist. He listened carefully. Then he asked, "What is your aim?" I replied. "Abhishek sir." He laughed and said, "Not name, your aim" rising his fist firmly like he always did. I said shyly, "I want to be a space scientist." He left, appreciating me. I decided there and then that I would utter out my dream than my name. That is his influence. Not just a sentence but an impression. A clear one. 'You must think of nothing else. Only your dream!'

Any talk he gave, any place he went, he never forget to remember his teachers. He gave everyone his/her due credit. What an influence he is for the world. How difficult is it going to be to replace him! Difficult, yes but not impossible.Who ever said he cannot be replaced? He laid a path. Strong with concrete. All we need to do is traverse along that path, lay new roads and strengthen the route! But he will be remembered forever for having first laid that road. He can be replaced. Any one can step in his shoes. It is a responsibility only another person of that will power can take. We all shall take up the responsibility and carry his legacy forward. That would be enough. He has done enough things for him to be remembered till birds stop flying! Now no body need to name roads and buildings after him.

The people he most loved!...I was a kid when I met him too!!

The ever sincere, ever simple and ever smiling Abdul Kalam is probably the only man in centuries to have won so many hearts and so very less haters. How can the "missile man" be called the "People's president??" That too he was part of the nuclear programme of the nation. There is only one explanation. He loved his duty. As a scientist, as an Indian, as a human being. That is all. He has one unfinished lecture..."Making a Live-able Planet." Let us take inspiration from him and put into action the lecture he just started!

P.S: Dear Kalam sir, we promise to fulfill your vision and need your continued blessings which we already have. Thank you for, well everything sir.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bahubali - the beginning

Telugu is the third largest language in the country in terms of native speakers. But how famous is it? How many Telugu movies/directors have become famous all across the country when people belonging to the Tamil industry like Manirathnam and Rahman have carried their works to Hindi too. When was a Telugu movie discussed even in states like Punjab as the movie 'Robot' was? There probably was never such a Telugu movie. But now there is. Bahubali is the movie that is hot favourite of even the North Indians.

I watched the movie in Delhi to see how the response was for the movie.
It was excellent. Obviously, the huge promotions of the movie led to the large response it got across the country. I was convinced that this movie is a marketing genius. Be it roping in Karan Johar to present the film in Hindi or taking into the audience the fact that the movie is the costliest and the largest Indian motion picture worked wonders for the movie makers. The response was tremendous and of course the movie did not disappoint. Not a bad movie despite a sorrowful story and indecency on part of the protagonist!

Rana Daggupati as Bhallaladeva was brilliant in the movie

This is a special cinema especially when Telugu movies are increasingly depending on comedy for success. The movie only works on its taking. There is absolutely nothing new in terms of the story. It is that most common folklore story where two princely brothers fight for the throne. But that is the last thing one has to worry about. Apart from an unnecessary molestation of a warrior lady by the hero, the movie had nothing new in terms of scenes. It is the production value of the movie that impresses the most. The carefulness with which the movie is made is great. It is clear that neither the producers nor the director or the entire cast were in a hurry to complete the movie. It took them two years to complete the movie. This coolness in shaping up the movie is seen in the smooth flow of the scenes. The actors were all good and it is not the first time in a Rajamouli movie that the antagonist has impressed much more than the hero! The picturisation of the Chalakudy falls was beautiful!

The movie is not a trend setter like Magadheera was. One should watch it without comparing it to any other movie. This actually followed the new trend of creating complete new language. The sets which took 200 days for construction will probably be used better in the next part of the movie. But kudos to the producers of the movie. They are the highlight of the film. I have not known a producer who kept a careful ledger of the happenings of a movie. probably for Sholay? We all can look forward for a nice book on the 'Making of Bahubali.' The producers are keen on getting back the money spent. They have earned it well.

This movie can be a nice research project for management students. And Kamal Hasan can take a leaf or two out of their books for promoting Viswaroopam 2.
Bahubali is a movie which can be watched for all the hype built around it. Do not try to search for logic. One will need an atomic force microscope for that! Just marvel at what Indian film has achieved! This is an indigenous marketing and graphical genius! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

ICC could actually offer something to Greece

Well, that was one hell of a shockingly sarcastic article. The timing is either extremely hilarious or extremely rude. Whatever it is, it was fun. James Marsh brought out some light humour from the dire situation that Greece is presently in. A one and a half billion euro debt to the International Monetary Fund(IMF)!! Apparently, Greece needs 50 billion euros to get out of the sticky situation its political leaders have landed t in. If anyone is ready to come forward like the ICC is, I would want to request you to consider dropping 0.1% of that amount for me. I would rename myself after you if you want!

Greece and cricket have had historic ties. For instance, the rain rule is Greek to most cricket fans

On the human side of the situation, the Greeks have put majority of their faith in Syriza, the radical leftist party and gotten themselves a prime minister in Tsipras, who have not for one day thought of what the economic situation of Greece was when he gave all those promises to his people. He cannot go back on his promises nor can he not repay the debt. It is not a small amount too. So naturally, a blame game starts. In the end, everyone seems to have forgotten what would happen to those thousands of lives. The politicians are only interested in staying n power, the creditors in getting back their money.

A referendum in this matter is a very very bad move, a cowardly one.

On top of all this, the person sitting in the hot seat, the man who is responsible to take the most responsible decision for his country has lifted his hands in despair and 'left' it to those who put faith in him. The most important thing for the country is now left in the hands of 'majority.' Just imagine if the decision to revamp reservations in our country is left to the people to decide and a referendum is set up! I wonder what Arvind Kejrwal would have done if he is the prime minister of Greece! What if the majority decides that they have to  stay with the Eurozone? What if the majority decides that the old people do not need any assistance and can be neglected? The prime minister can still stick to his seat and go back on his promises!

Even though I am not even a speck before Paul Krugman, I disagree with him that Euro has been a mistake. It has been a boon in disguise for the entire continent of Europe. I feel a common currency s what is really keeping the entire region together. It should continue to do so. Even though it is written in a jovial fashion, it can actually be true. Top companies and organisations can come forward and invest n the country. That would in practical mean taking a loan to repay another but there should always be a way. A way to make sure humanity and the human nature survives rather than sticking to power and running away from responsibility. There is always a way to avoid that "Grexit."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I miss you!

A wise man once said, you don't realise that you love someone until 'you let her go'! Very poetic, nothing more was the first thought. But turns out that it is absolutely true. Or maybe the both of us were so together that I did not for 'two minutes' think that we would be separated. Anywhere I went, I knew I could be with you. Anytime in the day or night I was sure you were there for me. But now its all gone!!

Sad part is I could not even say a goodbye. Fate has taken you away so fast. But wherever you are, please do not forget that I am waiting for you. And I promise that when you get back, I am not letting you go. I don't care if you have one bad quality. I only see all those other wonderful things you possess. Its okay if you wear a lot of make up or if you don't at all, it is what that is inside that interest me. You are like a diamond for me. Yes, unless a diamond is polished a lot, it has no value. You are likewise. Who ever said you are bad? And why could I not say all this to you before? I feel bad for not confessing my love to you when you were with me. Now you are gone. Will you ever come back? I have no count of those difficult times you got me through. Please come back so I can at least thank you.

I would give anything for you to come back. And when you do come back,I am not letting you go. I do know that there are many others who like you and who would want to confess their love for you. Some might already have told out their love to you. But trust me, no body loves you like I do. There might so many others out there. But somehow I feel I cannot love someone like I loved you. You are the best. I am so desperate for you that soon, if you don't come to me, I might come in search of you. Wherever you are, any state or country, I will find you. Mumbai or Milan, Delhi or Dallas, I will come!

I am sure you like me too. Why else would you be with me on those wonderful trips to Ponmudi in Kerala and Mussorie in Uttharakhand! Now, if I go to those places, your memories are definitely going to haunt me. Don't do this to me and lakhs of other people. The empty shelves in supermarkets are also waiting for you. They are reluctant to let any others to take your place too.
Miss you maggi. We all know you'll come back strong.

A college hostler

Saturday, June 13, 2015

One of the worst things!

Mahati went about her daily chores. Wake up an hour after the alarm ring, get ready to slog for ten hours in a crammed cubicle in a centrally air conditioned building which largely smelled of coffee from the cafeteria. She made sure she got her lunch box, lest she has to spend seventy rupees on a muffin. She also made sure she wore the right shoes so that she would not slip on the highly polished floor in her office.

In the quarter hour she managed to get to grab a bite, she finished her lunch. She had no option to sit down and relish the taste of every morsel of food. She, however made sure she did not waste any food. She ate to the last piece carefully. "There are millions of people who don't get this one tiny box of food for an entire day," she thought. "Every farmer when he gets the harvest to his hand, feels one thing more than anything else. He is not worried about how much profit he gets. All he is worried is whether his hard work would be useful for some purpose or will it go waste? Profit, he might get a lot sometimes. Sometimes, he might not. He just have to understand the demand of the market. But will his sweat-child feed people? Or will the harvest lay wasted in those useless go-downs? Will it be enjoyed by those disease infecting rodents?" Mahati felt an increased respect for farmers in the country. Their love for the land and its gift to humankind. "This is definitely the mindset of an average farmer. His hardship should never go wasted. We should consume only how much ever we need. Not a bit more, not necessarily a bit less!"

She looked around in the dining area. People got food from the cafeteria in trays, filling them with a plethora of the non-local food they could find. Mahati observed that nobody ate fully. A farmer's heart is welling up somewhere in this world, she thought. Wasting food is one of the worst things man can ever do. It should be considered a sin. Maybe, wastage should be made a part of gluttony as the seventh deadly sin. It should be propagated well by the world leaders. Every religious and scientific text talks about the importance of food. Why don't people see the greatness and the difficulty in germination, in growth? It is very easy to throw away food. You need not check the soil condition, need not worry about manure, rain, irrigation, pests. You need not constantly monitor the food when you throw it away. You just drop your food in the bin with no second thoughts. "Well, yeah India now has the highest number of hungry people. They could be fed if the food is not wasted in such huge amounts. If the wastage in a small cafeteria itself is so huge, what about big restaurants, marriage ceremonies and even those silly birthdays which are celebrated as grandly as the independence day celebrations! There is enough to feed everyone in the world. Only that everybody does not get the access! There is one password. Money!," thought Mahati and left the place furiously.

"On the top of all this, the most disgusting thing is that, those who waste food do so in the confidence that there is always somebody or the other who will accept those leftovers. That is pathetic. That kind of thinking should definitely change" concluded Mahati as she traveled to her flat. She saw her roommate and asked what they should do for dinner. She got one immediate reply.
"First, throw the leftovers in the rice cooker from lunch to some dog!!"

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Super-rich telugu movies

There is a flurry of new trailers in Tollywood, the telugu film industry. All the major movies look very rich or have a lot of graphics.All the 'big' actors seem to be acting in very high budget movies. Also any role involving those actors come with rich, with brand new bikes, cars, high-end restaurants and shopping places. Probably doing a movie involving the common man is out of their league and new, small actors seem to have shouldered that responsibility. If this is the trend, it is sad and bad.

A latest movie involving the superstar of the industry is titled, "Wealthy Man." According to the trailer at least, the protagonist seems to be a super rich guy who is bored of all the material pleasures and goes to some village. There he is seen in v-necks, riding a bicycle, again a very expensive one. Just the location changed. Not the richness. Not only this movie, for quite a long time, almost every movie involving 'big' heroes have shown them as a billionaire philanthropist type guys. Even if the story needed a middle class set up, it was only the creamy layer of the middle class. Probably the hero would be a software engineer or an architect which are the 'rich-middle class jobs.'

None of the present generation heroes appear as auto-rickshaw drivers or daily wage laborers or even as bank clerks unlike their previous generation which entered the film industry with practically no background. In fact, today's heroes cannot play any role which is not rich because they do not know how it is not to be rich. They were born with a silver spoon if not with a golden or platinum one. All the acting experience they acquire is from those acting schools which charge a lot of money and employ well known actors to teach acting. It is however, impossible to teach things like poverty, hunger and employment. They are to be experienced. No other way.

Of course, one cannot blame the film makers for showing what the majority audiences really want. The larger portion of the audience is the middle class. No middle class person would want to see their lives again on the screen. They want to see what they want to be. Living in huge flats, driving sedans and dining in five star restaurants. Even the 'poor' audience are not interested to see what the real society is. Everybody seems to be longing to be how their favorite hero/heroine is: rich, fair and beautiful. No body is interested to see their most revered hero to be like how they are: poor and routine looking. 
There is no movie which makes people feel that the lead role is from their neighborhood. People are living in a virtual reality. The definition of reality itself is a tough and complicated one. There is no explanation for a virtual reality!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mother and Motherland...always lovable!

A short story. A boy of about ten, probably the son of a fisherman was weeping near the sea. He was weeping so badly that the sea goddess felt very sorry for him and went to him and asked what the matter was.
He told her, "I can't find my mother."
The goddess asked him to describe his mother.
He stopped crying. "Can you get her to me??" he asked.
"Why not, definitely I will find her for you. Just tell me how your mother looks like," the goddess replied. "Well, she is the most beautiful woman." said the boy.
The goddess summoned the newly elected Miss World. The boy started crying again. The goddess asked why he was crying even after she got the most beautiful woman on the planet.
"She is not at all as beautiful as my mother." replied the boy.
She got the Miss Universe. Same crying. Same reply. Miss Africa...same thing! Miss Angola, princess Kate, Jennifer Anniston, Julia Roberts, all were summoned. None were as beautiful as his mother!!

Then she came. His mother. He stopped crying, smiling as wide as his ears, he ran to her and hugged her. The goddess looked at her. She was carrying fish, had a stink on her. She was limping a bit, was very dark and had a squint in her eye. Not even one who would be allowed to house keep the beauty pageant arena! Yet the boy found his mother the most beautiful person in the world. There is much more than looks alone, something that cannot be explained in a sentence/paragraph, realised the goddess and went away.

We all love our mother and motherland irrespective of what kind of idiots her sons have become, irrespective of how much we all fight against each other, all of us love our motherland. We were never and are never ashamed of it! We do not need some one to come and change our lives, get money pumped into the country and thus make us lift our heads in pride. I don't want India to be a powerful economy. I want India to be a happy nation" said a great frenchman. He is a true Indian.

I don't believe the Prime Minister too being a nationalist would say something like that. Thank you media. Anyway, stop criticising your own people abroad Mr. Prime Minister.   

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just Justice!

Mahati's friend came to her for a help. He wanted her to accompany him to the prison as he wanted to meet his jailed father. He wanted some mental support too. Mahati gladly agreed to help her friend. Also, she has never been to a prison before. So, she wanted to check it out too. It wasn't exactly cinematic. It was so informal. There was no bullet proof glass, no telephones, barricades. It was normal. A little stricter than a hostel visit. They waited while his father was called for.

He was arrested for a bank fraud. A relative of his took a loan of ten lakhs from the bank in which he was working as a clerk. Since it was a relative, he himself gave assurance and granted him the loan with a gentle warning to not mess the money and his name. That was it. He never again heard from the relative again. The routine Indian drama where everybody knows who the gentleman is. Well, on the outer side, the richer guy is always the gentleman. He can buy things. He is smart. The sincere man got arrested, sentenced for seven years in jail, his house seized and felicitated with the name 'gadar.' No bail. He had no money, how would he get bail?

Mahati friend's father entered the place slowly. He lost all energy. Most importantly lost hope!! He was carrying newspapers of three different days. As the father-son duo were exchanging niceties, Mahati looked at the papers. They read,

News 1
A "celebrity" actor was granted bail not two days after he got arrested in hit and run case. Well, there are thousands dying daily. Is a bus driver or conductor arrested if the bus runs over a bike? The biker has to be careful. What if the "celebrity" hunts down a black buck? Was a train driver ever arrested for the hundreds of elephants that died by getting hit by trains? The elephants got in the way of the train. The black buck got in the way of the bullet! The case was under litigation for 13 years.

News 2
This "celebrity" actor turned chief minister was acquitted from an disproportionate assets case. All she had were ten thousand sarees, 25 Kg gold, 750 Kg silver among many other valuables, farm houses, lands and buildings. She only drew a salary of Re.1 as chief minister. After a litigation of 18 years, she was convicted for seven months and then acquitted. Her supporters are jubiliant. They all cannot wait to fall on her feet, stand behind her with their head bowed in reverence to the great warrior lady. She is the 'mother' after all.

News 3
Another "celebrity" who has been praised as the 'Bill Gates of India' by many, who even sat along side Mr. Gates in a function was granted bail finally, after a struggle for 33 months, hundreds of 'poojas,' 'yajnas' and donations on his name! The person and his brother were involved in the biggest accounting scandal the country has ever seen. Beat that Harshad!! In the scandal which shook the country and put the future of IT in India in jeopardy, there was a manipulation of accounts by $1.47 billion. Start counting!

Mahati then put down the newspapers. She then looked at the title of the newspaper. "Witness," it plainly translated into English. 'The money invested into running this newspaper itself is manipulated money, darker than black and the owner of the paper is leading the opposition of a state while on bail and all the innocent and powerless people can do is read in his paper about those who could "buy" things and only blabber about bad things going on in the country, have food, watch cricket and go to offices, accepting that the country will never change. If the leader of the opposition is out on bail and running one of the largest circulated newspapers in the world, what about those sitting in the all powerful seats? And those who supported those in power?' Mahati wondered while the poor man and his son talked as much as they could in the little time they had together.
The police sentry blew a whistle indicating that the visiting hours were done for the day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Once a King, always a King!

This article has been copied from www.sportskeeda.com.
For the full article, please visit

This is the first time in ten years that Rafael Nadal has dropped out of the top five ranks. More importantly, this is the first time ever that he is going into the Roland Garros without atleast one 500 Masters trophy. There is the Rome Masters but do not expect him to win it because there is a reason behind it. The reason, he wants to win the French Open this year too without any stress.

Let us once compare his pre-French open statistics of 2014 and 2015.

2014 Result 2015 Result

Qatar Open

First Round

Australian Open
Finalist Quarter Finals

Rio Open

Semi Finals

Buenos Aires Open
Did Not Play Won

Indian Wells Masters

Third Round
Quarter Finals

Miami Masters

 Third Round

Monte Carlo Masters


Semi Finals

Barcelona Open

Third Round

Madrid Masters


Well, there is not much of a difference in the number of major titles he has won. Probably, the Madrid Masters?? That too which he won against an injured Nishikori in 2014. The only big difference between the two years is that he could not save a lot of points. But, one can be sure that all this is mostly set up.

Back in 2014, before the finals of the French Open, there was a war of words between Nadal and Djokovic with either of them praising the other and all. That was a mind game never seen during French Open, at least. With Nadal winning the tournament every year, there is an increasing urge for other players to snatch it away from him and there is definitely a pride for Nadal to keep it with him. But time travels and even the strongest lion becomes weaker. It is then that it should use some wits to remain the king of the jungle!

Nadal has done exactly that. By praising Djoko last year, he literally removed all the heavy expectations the fans had on him. Remember him and Toni say that the ................http://www.sportskeeda.com/tennis/once-a-king-always-a-king-nadal-2015...................


Friday, May 1, 2015

Life of a METRO!!

Mana Metro! Hamara Metro! Namma Metro! Now, governments have got another reason to show how much they are "concerned" about the public. Building Metro everywhere. Something which remained in our imagination as an underground privilege in Kolkata some fifteen years ago has now come above. It is everywhere on the land. Every city or to put it right, every town wants a Metro for itself.

Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad. This is a fine list. The traffic woes and pollution horrors of these cities is a known fact and the introduction of a fast, traffic and pollution free way of conveyance is readily welcomed in such places. Especially because there has been an unprecedented, rapid growth in the last 20 years, the expansion of these cities has been haphazard. Also, the city limits have exceeded so much that they are eating into the neighbouring districts. Even though construction of Metro is such a pain when the city itself is not planned and built, once it is done somehow, it is a blessing.

But Kochi? Vijayawada? Visakhapatnam? Kozhikode? Kanpur? Ahmedabad? Seriously, is this some race going on between the metropolis? What is the urgent need for Metro everywhere? Just because Metro in Delhi is such a huge success does not mean it should be applied everywhere. Smart cities does not mean Metros bustling everywhere. Smart cities should be self sufficient. For that, they should be planned well. Planned so that surrounding villages are connected to them and they are well connected to major cities. But what use is it to plan a Metro before planning the city? Yeah, honey moon can be planned before planning the marriage ceremony but you don't eat dessert without first having the main course, do you?

Both the public and the public servants must be careful before planning out something. All these should not be done as issues of pride. They should be carefully planned. Because, anything involving trains is risky and generally such high end ones end up as 'white elephants.' So, while bidding for Metro or Olympics in your city, Mayor saab, think twice!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Neutral about Net Neutrality

Recently, a group of professors from IITs, IIMs and IISc came forward and supported the net neutrality. Their argument was that network providers are not at loss due to this. They also came up with a solution that one could charge differently for every Giga Byte of data used. That would go with net neutrality and also the network companies could be benefitted.Maybe!

They say that the term given to applications such as Whatsapp, Wechat, Skype, Facebook etc. is a nice, funny one. Over The Top (OTT) applications, they are called. A school might be benefited by the road laid to it, but it is wrong to say that the school is running only because of the road. But that is not the case here. If a person rents a home, he might be charged some amount for the house rent. If #hem(he/she) wants hot water, Television, wi-fi and furniture, #hem is charged extra for each of the benefits. That is because neither hot water nor electricity comes for free.

Similarly, if Whatsapp wants to provide messaging and voice calls for free over the internet, it is actually fine. There were many messaging applications on the internet earlier too. But now, through an internet package on a SIM card of a company, if messages and voice calls are being sent, it is basically grabbing away the market of the network providers. It would be like saying since the house was taken on rent, there should be access to hot water and wi-fi too. That is at the cost of the owner, is it not?

Fine. Now, the network providers start charging for these "OTT"s(yes, this name is funny!) and not the customer. Say, now, to have the application running on mobile phones, the companies providing voice calls over internet or those who provide online television or the e-commerce web sites start paying the network providers. There is healthy competition and the mobile companies are benefitted too. Since there is competition, the end prices might still be the same for the customer. But, what about small companies? New start-ups who felt they can do something just using talent without any necessity for paying? Talent is lost because of vested interests.

It is like, there is a shopping mall and those who can afford for rent there only can open a shop. Others cannot. This is bad for a progressive society and even for young entrepreneurs. Probably, the best idea would be to properly filter which websites are posing a threat to network companies and charge them accordingly or as the professors said, charge for every GB of data.
The solution should be such that every one is benefited. They were, in the past. Why not in the future too!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

To Kill a Mocking Bird!

Every year, thousands of birds from the Siberia region come to nest in India, a land of ever increasing number of castes and sub castes among human beings even though historically, there has been discrimination based on caste! Probably the animal stock and bird population of the country have started having the differences too. The entire flock of the Indian birds, which earlier used to welcome the birds from Siberia with warmth, like a whole family treats visitors, now no longer do so.

Few birds stayed on a beautiful tree, as beautiful as a central university in the capital city of Hyderabad. The birds have had their differences and started various unions, but never failed to welcome the birds from Siberia. They are special. Special because, when they go back to Siberia, they should tell among themselves what a wonderful place they had been to and more importantly, they should feel like home and go back not wanting to. They should be happy. As happy and free as they had been always! That is the reason why, even if there had been differences among various unions of the hosts, they never let that affect the hospitality the guests received.

The visitors were never restricted to any limit. They wandered free, sang happily and played joyously. The hosts either played along or did not, but they never restricted them. They had to go back smiling, thinking of the wonderful reception. One day, one league of the hosts had a festival. Since it was a strong league and felt that they had a strong reason to celebrate, they filled the tree with their feathers, including the residing place of the visiting birds! How much ever beautiful the feathers are, they looked bad in such huge numbers. When few other birds questioned them, they reminded them of their previous mistakes. Two wrongs make a right!!
Some birds were even threatened in the middle of night. 'Save our wings,' a new revolution started among the rest of the birds. Every bird chirped its own voice. This would have been better without the threatening but such massive discussion and 'tweeting' would not have occurred otherwise!

Unfortunately, when a visitor bird quavered its opinion, it was pushed to a corner. The bird, which was used to moving freely, was confused at this and decided to discuss with one of the host birds. It was told to stay within its limits. Never wander beyond it. Then it was told all about how certain birds historically did not have certain privileges. It could not understand why when there was a possibility for each and every bird to "tweet" its opinion and know others opinions, there had to be such a large feather show!! None of the explanations by the host bird came close to answering any of the doubts the visitor had and they could not even explain what its limits were in the tree!
The bird will go back wondering why it was called a white racist just because it was from Siberia and would doubt what racism really is!!   

Friday, April 17, 2015



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Preparing the Home for Home-Coming

Religions spread by conversions. Christianity in Europe spread after emperor Constantine ordered his subjects to convert. Even in India, it is very well believed that the apostle St.Thomas came to convert settled Jews and inspired many others as well. Mass conversions as large as hundred thousand people at the same time started with the conversion of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar and his followers into Buddhism. It is not of much doubt that every religion has arisen solely due to conversions. Probably Hinduism spread due to conversions of various nature worshiping tribes because there are a lot many similarities!

There is nothing wrong with conversions. If that is how religions spread, how else will the religions be preached? In fact, the freedom to convert to a more convenient religion allows a person the benefit of development but of course there probably is no religion which is better than the other. All have their flaws. Big flaws. Maybe accepting no religion would be better than to convert to some other religion, but then there is fear of antagonism by all religions!
If conversion is fine, then so is re-conversion. But why should some one convert back? The true form of Ghar-Wapsi would be us all converting back to the nature worshiping tribal forms!

Mari Marcel Thekakara, a famous Dalit activist says that she too abhors "rice conversions" where poor people are lured by missionaries into their religion. She argues that theoretically and theologically too this is not conversion. She argues though that if people are not respected in their own religion, why would they not seek an other religion at least in the hope of equality even if they are offered or not. The only way they should be called back should be by preparing the house to make them feel that they are back "home!" As Bhagat Singh said, we should mercilessly criticise old beliefs. If after a lot of criticism too, if they still stand, fine, else certain old beliefs should be rejected and find place for rules which suit the present world and generation. After all, this is all to live and frame a way to live!

The Apex court of India, some years ago declared Hinduism as a way of life. But that does not mean it is flawless. Why else will there be such huge conversions from Hinduism if it was the perfect way of life!? In fact, the beauty of Hinduism as a way of life must be seen in the fact that it can be adjusted in accordance with the surrounding cultures just like physical life is adjusted with change in seasons. If the caste system was good millennia ago, it is not now. It is time the system is changed with the changing times. Nothing will fall upon Hinduism. The entire might of the British empire could not shake it even after trying so vehemently.

For all that to happen, mindset must be changed! Most importantly those of people like Sakshi Maharaj, Asaduddin Owaisi and Ambika Soni. It would be truly appreciated if the media stopped giving coverage on Sakshi Maharaj and Prachi Sadhvi. This 124th birth anniversary of Asaram Bapu, every political organisation is busy trying to hijack him, just because he appreciated ideologues at few occasions. The true tribute to him would be restructuring the "home" before calling back people who abandoned it. That would be a huge leap for mankind.   

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Art of Asking

I started to write a series involving a common, thinking youth, Mahati. The second of such articles. This series is thanks to people who stood as an inspiration to me. I hope to make a difference, at least among one or two people in this small world.

A busy and a go-around Sunday was planned. Mahati and her friend decided to do a lot of things for the Sunday outing. No time wasted, they set out. Breakfast at a big hotel. The ambiance was great, the waiter hefty, serious and prompt, the food tasty and the bill...high. Mahati wondered how many home made Onion Masala Rawa Dosas one could possibly get for the amount spent on one at the place. The waiter came with the receipt and the change and looked expressionless at the payee. She gave him a fifty rupee note as Mahati looked on. The waiter gave her a refreshing smile and accompanied them to the door.

Next destination, Temple. Slippers were left on the ground though there was a counter to deposit slippers for a small fare. The temple was old, clean and well maintained. Free prasad was being distributed too. The deity looked simple though, ever smiling. Few priests were busy inside reading out hymns and mantras. A man with a pot belly stood at the entrance, pushing away people who stayed looking at the God for more than ten seconds. As their turn came to look at the God, the person blessed them on behalf of God with a serious face. Mahati's friend took out twenty rupees and offered him. The man gave a refreshing smile and allowed them to have a long look at the God.

Mahati thought deeply. Only if the plump waiter and the pot bellied guy at the temple had a smiling face throughout, they would have probably got more money. A smiling face always earns respect, which means more rewards. Just then, an old lady of about sixty years came to them with a bright, expecting face and told them that she had been guarding their unguarded slippers and asked for some money. Wow! thought Mahati. A smiling face and that too by a person who have done something without asking!! Such favours will be well rewarded.

Mahati's friend searched in her purse for some time and took out a rupee coin and dropped it in the hand of the old lady.
The old lady continued to smile. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Dream Come True!

Nothing to cheer about for three months. As a continuation to the loss of Viswanathan Anand to Carlsen, Nadal lost pretty badly to weak opponents at Qatar, Melbourne, Rio and Indian Wells. Alonso crashed at Barcelona, the Indian cricket team lost in the semi finals and Saina Nehwal fell at the last stage at the All England club. But wait, after 88 days of 2015, I, we have got a news to cheer about, one of the sweetest news for me in the last 5-6 years. SAINA NEHWAL's name would be on the top of the Badminton World Federation women's singles rankings which would be released next week.

It might have been a dream come true for Saina. But for me, it is still a dream. In 2010, I promised my friends a party if Saina ever became world number one. She came close back then, she rewrote history by becoming number 2. I hoped she would reach the top spot the itself, but she took her time. It is now 2015. Five years after she came second for the first time. Five years!! No body can continue this streak of form for five years. Not even in cricket! Not even in Integrated Masters programme. Not at all in India. But I knew she would do it one day. Like the PSLV-27!!

When Saina became the first Indian woman to reach quarter finals at Beijing olympics, that was when I first took her notice but then her feat was over shadowed by a gold in shooting for the first time. She soon followed it up with a win at the Indonesia Open, stunning many a people. I started following her. With a lot of victories in 2010, I became her fan and promised a nice treat if she came first. She would, eventually. So thought her coaches, be it Arif or Gopichand or Vimal, so thought her parents and so thought her fans, and I am among those. If doing something out of the box, stunning the world and creating history is one part, winning consistently, maintaining fitness with growing age is tougher. Probably this is why she had to part ways with her mentor Pullela Gopichand. She is a gem. She definitely deserves a bigger Padma award.

Criticism comes. The biggest one was, when she said that she knew she would win the Olympic Bronze at London, many criticised her because the opponent gave her a bye. She flew over to Copenhagen and won the Denmark super series. Cool way to shut mouths. When people criticised her for bad play in the all England club finals recently, here she is, at Delhi, into the finals again. Saina has conquered China long ago. She had also built a "Sainese" wall last year when she won the China open.
All Saina has left to conquer are the ever increasing expectations and her physical body. There is still a lot to win for Saina. All she has to remember is that, win or loss we are behind her. If her eyes are on the Olympic Gold, go for it!
Kudos to a great deserving player!!  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Match of the Tournament

Even as Virat Kohli is practicing to perfect those square drives, Rohit Sharma sleeping for probably the last ten hours at least and Mitchell Johnson practicing all the swear words he could just in case, to be handy on the ground tomorrow, I still haven't got out of the brilliance of the first semi final between South Africa and New Zealand.


What a match! Easily the best match of the tournament so far. Made its mark in history books. Wow that was close. That was really close. It was not that one team was the better one. The cooler team won. That is it. There is definitely the effect of rain on the South African batting. But then it is in such circumstances that a captain like Ganguly is needed. There always was a fear of rain, so South Africa should have realised that they had to maintain a competitive run rate from the beginning. New Zealand was better prepared in that aspect and they got their calculations right, huge runs in the beginning. Result, even though their run rate dipped to around six in the middle overs, they kept their cool and the required run rate was kept in check!

One most important factor why New Zealand won the match is definitely "the grand old man of New Zealand," Daniel Luca Vettori being at the crease in the last over. Years of experience will certainly inspire one himself and the partner too. Even in the final over, Vettori was rotating strike! New Zealand would want to give one of the most favourite all rounders of all time a grand farewell! Well done Elliot, you deserve the man of the match.
No body choked. New Zealand too dropped a lot of catches. Just because the word chokers is long used for South Africans, it is improper to say that they have choked at the right time. The match would have belonged to either side. What if the blind swing of Grant Elliot's missed the ball? Would South Africa have worn off their chokers name? Most of the stops on field by the South Africans were just brilliant, including Hashim Amla's!!

I once said that I have been looking forward for a New Zealand-South Africa final though deep in my heart I always support India. This was a feast, a final in itself. Such was the match. Just gripping. We were all in the laboratory, doing our experiments or rather all watching the match on phones. The five minute delay was too much for me and I ran to the research scholars room and follow live commentary on ESPN cricinfo and Yahoo cricket! None of the New Zealand supporters (all the Indian supporters would definitely have supported!!) jumped after the gripping match. We could not!! Not after we saw ABD, Faf, Morne and Steyn cry. Cry loud for the world cup. You will do it one day!! #Proteafire

All those who want to #GoGold today also will #BleedBlue because, #wewontgiveitback


Monday, March 23, 2015

Circle has no Ends

This is the first of the series of articles involving a young, passive, educated Indian who only does anything but think of bettering the country. This series is a tribute to the "common man" of one of the most imaginative and not silent cartoonist, Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Iyer Lakshman. You said it sir!
The name's Rajnikanth! Naam tho sunaa hoga! But then it would be routine, so I will use my favourite name, Mahati

Mahati like every other day, stood on the platform waiting for her never-on-time local train from Vidyanagar to Lingampally. After a long wait which included watching the same advertisement on the television on the platform for 23 times, she got into the train and obviously had to wait till two stations before the destination to get a seat. As Mahati sat down looking at the passing buildings and dump yards, about to drift into thoughts about the fate of the country, the train stopped at a station and passengers poured in.

Mahati's attention was caught by a beggar who entered the train along with the crowd with her 3 year old child singing famous songs hijacked by beggars in the local train. After successfully reproducing the songs in a most repugnant way, she sat down on the floor in front of her, counting the hour's earnings, bundling certain things and carefully tucking them below her elbow, staring out of the door. Mahatis attention turned to the child.

It was obvious that the kid though is quite well fed, was growing up in poor conditions. There was no proper clothing and it did not seem that the child would be ever sent to school, forget getting quality education. Mahati's thoughts drifted again. What if the kid was given proper clothing and sent to school? The biggest problem is at the grassroot level. Primary education. If that is achieved, the country reaches heights unknown before. Just then, the child started spitting on the train floor and making designs. The mother was still in her thoughts, looking out of the door. Only if children are well directed and properly taken care of, Mahati thought, he/she could be anything hem wanted to become. Who knows, the discipline lacking child could become like the trim bodied, neatly dressed policeman standing in one corner of the train compartment, only if educated. Every body in the country should go to primary school, high school and later get atleast a degree for the country to prosper, concluded Mahati.

The train stopped at her destination - the final stop of the journey. Mahati was walking towards the exit as the policeman from the compartment crossed her, walking briskly. Mahati felt proud as she saw an elegant public servant and hoped one day the kid would be like this and would not grow into a person who spit at the wrong places.
The policeman turned his face left and smoothly spit on the platform.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Last Generation!

Living with, interacting with and being a youth is really irritating. I guess that might as well be the reason for a lot of crazy results. At this age we either screw it or do it. Naturally, it feels funny yet special to interact with people who we had just been. I went to meet my friend's younger sister who is just about to finish her senior secondary school.

It was special. I know the luck that comes with having an elder sister but it is only today that I got to see through her eyes; to see the younger generation. I saw, standing in a corner, my friend and his sister discussing things. He trying hard to present himself as a gentleman to his sister so she gets 'inspired.' It was fun. More fun since she is in her 12th grade in a corporate college and stays in a hostel. It is not like I was reminded of my childhood days or something, I am still fresh from them. But some feeling. Probably because that generation is the last one of its kind that might be.

A 12 year old kid now studying in the same school I studied once owns a smart phone as huge as my face. Today, we met the hostel girls and offered our 4 inch 'smart phones' to them so they can talk to their parents and siblings. It was a treat to watch those 17 year olds see in awe these dabba phones. When one girl could swipe the screen to answer a call, the others were stunned. "Wow, you know a lot!!" was their response. And in the evening as I returned to my room, I got a message from my cousin in the same class on whatsapp.

It was a beautiful evening, seeing innocent aspiring-to-be doctors. No smart phones, no whatsapp, no "the country has become smart. did you's!!" Sadly, this might be the last of such generations!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Most Discussed Apart From...!!

In one end of the world, there is the most friendly war going on, the cricket world cup: I don't know why football has so many fans!! People seriously do not understand the beauty of cricket. They just don't. Well, Indians have always been ultra smart and they understood the fineness of cricket and struck to it! In an other part of the world, in a small region called Haryana, there are stupid attempts of worsening an already worse education system and also to raise a dead river. Well, I guess Haryana is quite well irrigated. Maybe they want to help other states too. They better think about the unification of rivers.

Anyway, amidst all the excitement due to cricket and anger due to stupidity by few Sanghs, there is one event which everybody is talking about. Probably for the first time in my life, I am seeing the Annual Budget which the finance minister proposes get this much attention. Be it the land acquisition bill, the increasing growth rate or the markets, this budget probably is the most talked one in recent times. It got so much talking about it that I read people wanting it to be like the budget of 1991 which changed the fate of the country. So much attention. That is why, fingers crossed!

There obviously is a lot of decentralisation by the central government and it is evident in the 14th Finance commission. Few things I like very much in this commission is that there was discussion about increase in forest cover and the economic benefits of it. Also, the breakage of funds to Panchayats, Municipalities and corporations. Especially, separate fund for disaster management. Now, states need not beg the center for money when there is disaster. It is good that states like Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh are receiving more. There is a lot of poverty there. The northern Karnataka is horrible and Arunachal Pradesh is vulnerable. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are rich.


No body wants to give away land. We are no Vinobha Bhave. Boeing had to abandon a project which might employ a lot of people just because people sat for a dharna about a small strip of land. Then there are these NGOs. Moreover, the compensation still remains the same and consent of owners is not taken only when it is a defense or nuclear or rural project. Apart from this, almost everything else remains the same. The only thing that is worrisome about the new act is the "social infrastructure" part. It would be pretty scary if this means real estate! That is a demon. The new ordinance is pretty much similar to the old one. I don't know why Anna had to hold such a huge rally!! Maybe there is some fault with the act, else why would he stage a dharna?

The railway budget was designed in a light way, though the markets went down. But just announcing new trains will not do. This is a wise and more importantly, non controversial rail budget. This makes the financial budget even more interesting. As Jim O'Neill says, if the expectations are met, markets would rally! The entire nation is looking forward to how the budget satisfies the share markets and the vegetable markets!!


In the prime minister's words, "Khela aamir ka phal nahi hai, khela garibon ka phal hain" It would be fascinating to see how the finance ministry balances the equation. The economic survey shows good work and its continuance. But then, it is done by the finance ministry. Personally, I have only one wish, economy boost should not be at the cost of ecology. It would be nice if the good work is truly continued.


Looking forward for comments on the budget to the experts and the critics tomorrow!