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Sunday, 30 December, 2007

The grim reality of Chocolate and slavery!

Yesterday, I happened to watch a documentary on slavery in Coco Cultivation in W.African States esp. Ivory Coast on BBC world channel. People especially children are forced to work in the coco fields day and night while there counterparts in Asia and America can enjoy chocolate! They are abused, tortured and face starvation. Many leaders in fact plead ignorance over this issue! The prices of chocolates have risen 300% in the years, however the W. African producer still earns what he used to earn earlier!

This grave issue was taken up some US senators and tried amending the child labor laws. However the chocolate industry opposed it tooth and nail. They have even stopped or reduced the funding promised to minimize the child labor and building schools. Lack of funds is killing the projects initiated to protect the children. Giants like Nestle have done little or nothing to assuage the pain of these farmers and children. These companies have failed to meet the deadline ( July 2005) to end child labor abuse.

Check for this logos before buying choco products. It signifies that no child labor or slavery was used in making the product and workers were treated and paid fairly.

It would be worth checking out these sites dedicated to this issue.

Chocolate & Slavery
IRLF Cocoa campaign
BBC News
Democracy Now , Audio/Video
Fair Trade
Equal Exchange
Global Exchange Campaign for fair Cocoa Trade
Yale Global Online

Fair trade companies for chocolates

Thursday, 27 December, 2007

Benazir Bhutto assasinated !

Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (P.P.P.) who recently returned from exile to Pakistan was attacked for second time within a year . However this attack proved fatal. Reports suggest that two AK-47 bullets hit her and then assassin blew himself up close to her. It is still not clear whether the bullets or sharpnel or both proved fatal. She succumbed to the sharpnel/ bullet injuries on her way to the Hospital. Many of her supporters accompanying her entourage also died. This comes just on the heels of another terrorist attack where around 50 innocent people offered namaaz died when bombs targetting former minister blew near a mosque.

With this, The Bhutto dynasty seems to have ended. Its really sad that her father and the two brothers also had unnatural deaths. Her father was hanged despite clemency pleas by many nations and skepticism over the fairness of the trial and both brothers were shot dead under mysterious circumstances. One in France while other in Pakistan. What a Fate! May their souls rest in peace and attain Moksha!

Her reign in power has and will always remain controversial for her open support for Talibans and the worst money laundering and kick-back scandals ranging from Dassault to Gold -imports! Recently she did a volta-face and took a tough stance against Taliban and their brotherhood! Though I would say it was a little late, still worth it!

Though speculations are rife that Army or even ISI might have plotted this. However I feel its the doing of extremists. It was believed that PPP was the favorite to win the coming election and Benazir Bhutto is its head. So targeting her would help in destabilizing the country and the sub-continent as a whole. These fanatics will stop at nothing to take over entire Pakistan and create a new haven for Talibanic fanatics. These mindless and irrational fundamentalists desperately need new grounds to unleash their terror.

Its actually strange, that Bhutto once a key supporter and aide of Taliban has now become its victim. This must be taken as warning shots by the Government of Pakistan(esp. ISI and Army) and the people of Pakistan . These fundamentalists share no allegiance to any country or religion. They are simply parasites in dormancy waiting for opportunity to strike at all, even hosts.

Though its a little late, still it can be made over. Pakistan Government and especially ISI must come clean over its support to militancy in India and must work hand in hand with its neighbours to comb this parasite. It must stop looking at India as a foe and work together for overall peace.

My Moto !

Well, after a long time I decided to play with my mobile Motorola SLVR L7.
Here are some of the things i played around with.

Itunes Corelets
It comes bundled with L7e or i.
Yes, Itunes from Apple! Its a good music player corelet that unlike java midlets is loaded when mobile starts. Its functioning is similar to ipod. I simply liked it. In legal versions media files are uploaded using Itunes. others use a nice software called Mototunes!
However this time(after I had my mobile serviced at Moto centre) it failed to run! God knows what those fellas at service centre have done. Still working on that!

Seem editing
This is the best part.
You can use it to edit and bring about excellent changes in your mobile.
I unlocked the different presets for video recording!
I used seem editing to increase video recording limit to 10Mb. (Thats a lot for a simple mobile camera!)
You can also edit gain table( increase/decrease sound levels of your phone)
The list is endless! Some person at Howardforums has charted a map for seem-editing.

P2K Tools is a good tool for seem-editing.
Motomidman is a good choice for loading midlets and corelets.
RSD Lite2.5 for flashing/flexing.

Though many sites are not known for Moto applications.
Two excellent sites that make up for this loss are mobilejunkies and howardforums.

Mobilejunkies seems to be an Indian-subcontinent based one. I like their rapid response and clear, concise tutorials for modding the Motorola mobiles.

Its really fun playing with hex and binary codes and manipulating tiny things to get such a reward. I am proud that I own a moto L7 rather than any rigid phone.

Thursday, 20 December, 2007

My stealth infra-red camera!

So, finally out of hibernation!

The past month passed with lots of activity and curricular happenings leaving me with no time to spare.I happened to come across an interesting article in Chip India Magazine. It was on how to check whether a remote control's (working on Infra-Red) battery has drained out or not.

Their advice was to use a digital camera to check the front portion of the remote control keeping any button on the remote control pressed. (ie. check the led in the front). You will see a white light beam on the LCD of digi-cam coming out of the front portion of your Remote control. Infact its the infrared beam shooting out of your remote onto the TV. So if beam is visible, baterry and the buttons are working else not.

My friend, Fish and I came to the conclusion that the light sensors in a digi-cam must be sensitive to spectrums other than visible range. Wow, I never knew that Infra-red spectrum can be seen on digital cameras. Though it can be explained easily by science, but the fact that seeing something invisible to naked eyes using common minimal tools as in here a little mobile camera is really fun!

Though the beam is not strong enough, I still managed to use it to click and shoot pics n tiny movies in pitch darkness. Voila! I have a stealth Infra-red camera! He.He.He..

Check them..


1)keyhole in Infrared and visible light

Pictures. (my remote, before pressing a key, after pressing a button )

Friday, 23 November, 2007

Serial blasts rock UP !

Blasts have once again shook the nation. This time it was India's largest state, U.P.'s (Uttar-Pradesh) turn to bear the brunt of the unholy radical religious extremist's attack. The banned Islamic ultras, HuJI (HQ - Bangladesh) and Jaish-e-Mohammad are believed to have carried out these diabolical acts.

This is not the first time that militants have killed people or bombed or attacked places of national interests and it doesnt seem to be the last either. Many innocents have died, filling me with grief and sorrow. However the politicians have again disappointed me. The cruel leg-pulling and blame-game by these irresponsible politicians fuel my anger towards them. When will they come together? and act responsibly when the nation is gripped in sorrow?
God, give them senses!

Every time blasts occur or terrorists carry out attack, the government representative gives a speech claiming India cannot be harmed by such acts, Indian spirit lives and so on.. This is followed by strained relations with neighbors(Pakistan and Bangladesh) for few weeks. Vigilance is increased in all cities and chiken neck regions. People travelling in buses and trains look at each other with suspicion. This is the best - Malls can be seen carrying out frantic frisking and other security measures. All of sudden; people, police everybody move around in high alertess.
1 Weeks...2 Weeks... 3Weeks....
Then, all these start fading. The government,People, everybody forget the blasts and casualness once again prevails till one more blast occurs.

This is the ground situation in India.
Till when will all these continue ? Till when will India continue to be a soft target ?

Today, in the name of Islam and Free Kashmir; thousands of Muslims are being brain-washed in Madrassas and training camps prominently spread across Pakistan, Bangladesh. Illiteracy and poverty assist them in metamorphing into a fighting tool.
Insurgency is the tool being used and facilitated by Pakistan's ISI and other government agencies when conventional armed tussle with India for Kashmir has failed. They plant sleeper cells through out India to carry out their diabolical acts. Today, these radicals have turned up against the Pakistan government. Many parts of Quasi-Taliban inspired Baluchistan, Waristan and North-West Frontier Province, once land of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan is on boil. Its like fighting the mythical creature Hydra, it simply resurfaces even after all actions taken against them by Musharuff.

Why is it that this sub continent simply fails to understand, that the more you fall for extremist ideology, anarchy is to follow soon. How can one religion come in the path of the other? When did any religion teach this? How can you curtail a man his freedom? His freedom of speech, his freedom to express, his freedom to question and understand his religion with clarity?

Today, this cancer is spreading majorly upon Islam, tomorrow it might take in some other religion. I strongly believe that the Islamic moderates must come forward and help in steering the tender minds from being brain-washed. Proper religious guidance, literacy, and help from government to inculcate them in the mainstream from isolation will repair the damage.

Saturday, 10 November, 2007

Indian Politicians - I am simply Speechless !

Has anyone heard of Ruling Party going on strike in its own state !

Well this recently happened in Tamil Nadu. The ruling party DMK, proclaimed strike(bandh or hartal) to pressurize the Union and show strength. DMK is in favor of going ahead with Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project over Adam's Bridge or Ram Setu. I am neither for or against the project, but the need for bandh evades my understanding! When you are the ruling party in the state and the your party is a member of the coalition in New-Delhi and that too no decision has yet been reached, why do you want to trouble the poor people. I am happy the Supreme Court took notice of it!
Hartals, Bandhs has lost its meaning! The political parties have diluted the concept!

One more case of Political Cheating or dirty politics !

This happened recently in Karnataka. Till October3, 2007 Karnataka was being ruled by BJP & JD-S coalition. As per their power sharing agreement, JD-S would rule till Oct 3 and then hand over power to BJP. However on Oct 4, JD-S headed by Kumaraswamy refused to vacate citing that BJP would destroy the communal harmony of the state. Finally, he resigned on Oct 7 and till date, President's rule is employed over Karnataka!
It is interesting to know that H.D. DeveGowda (father of Kumaraswamy) lead JD-S supported government (Congress coalition) was brought down by his own son(Kumaraswamy) and some more rebel leaders with the help of BJP! Then, DeveGowda resigned from JD-S leader post citing moral responsibility over the debacle. After some time when the matter cooled down, he withdrew his resignation and carried on! After that till Oct 3, he was openly justifying the BJP & JD-S coalition (Earlier he was a staunch opposer of BJP). After Oct 3, the pendulum swayed to the other side again! Now BJP has again become bad and unholy for him and his son!
Also this is not the first time BJP has been fooled! Earlier, even BSP has done the same in UP state(BSP ruled for half the tenure and then instead of power transfer brought the assembly down). They simply fail to get the point and move with short sighted goals! Disgusting!!

This coalition is unholy and make a mockery of the democracy and the people. Its funny that JD-S has suddenly understood that BJP could destabilize Karnataka, that too after its period in power! (I have read that both the parties are trying to form the coalition again but the governor has not answered back). The politicians follow a simple rule, ' Nobody is an enemy forever in Politics'.

This is a soap opera going on, but running on our Money! This must be curbed. People must recognise these moles of our democracy and outcast them.

Some links related to this'I~am~the~CM's~son,~I~will~get~this~hotel~blown~up'

Is Diwali festival of lights or festival of noise & noise & noise & NOISE !

When I write this post, my ears are being subjected to 100db noise (I think more than that) emanating from crackers being lit in my locality. Its like US recapture of Fallujah; every now and then there is a large explosion, rockets flying here and there. Then there are these electric crackers (high db crackers) which are like machine guns going rat-at-tat and the rassi bombs (crackers given extra tightness and covering with jute ropes or threads) nearly killing my ears. Then there are these rockets which go up and light up the sky. The thrust they produce shake my building. It’s like V2 bombing of London while we are below in bunkers. Though the sky gets lit up beautifully, I wish the I could mute the horrendous killer cracker noises!

In a densely populated city like Mumbai with serious crunch for open spaces; where there is not sufficient space for housing itself, even a medium decibel cracker can be a nightmare!
Lets take up my own locality. I am surrounded by buildings on three sides and an abandoned school on the other. The surrounding buildings are all very near by( I suppoz less than 40ft). Hence even a small decibel cracker echoes badly. Most of Mumbai is like this or even more densely packed. For me ,Diwali nights are like World Wars being fought over again. Aah! The headache is killing me!

I simply cannot understand how a person finds pleasure and happiness bursting crackers that in simple language is creating noise! I can understand Flower-Pots! They don't create noise but a visual treat for many. Hence they are popular among the tots. They too dont like noise! They seem to be more sensible than the elders who prefer noise over such visual treats! Also rockets need larger ground clearance to absorb the recoil force and noise during thrust! Hence, in localities like mine, its the biggest noise polluter. I am not against the festival or crackers, but you need space for them and much of Mumbai lacks them! Indians spend a large amount of money on crackers! Please dont justify as part of tradition! I wish they could spend that money on educating the underprivileged. They spend lots just to produce noise! Its simply insensible and atrocious! Its not just the teens, kids but largely the educated elders who are committing this crime! There are strict rules regarding decibels, pollution and time limit(cant go on after 10 pm) and people do know them, but neither the people nor the administration bothers about the rules! Infact, this time it has started only after 10 pm!

This is the worst time for the birds, plants, stray animals and humans like me who are sensitive to noise over 96db! But i suppose, we are in minority and hence they wont pay any heed! Diwali has become festival of NOISE! The festival nights are hell broken loose!

Tuesday, 6 November, 2007

Digicams (Digital cameras) for less than Rs. 10,000 in Mumbai

Hello netizens, Happy Diwali to all!
Diwali (Deepawali), festival of lights is just 2 days away and my practical exams and orals(vivas), have just finished !After a hectic, nerve wreaking week filled with Process Engineering drawing & PCT project submission followed by Practical exams and vivas; Diwali comes as a relief before the main month long theory exams begin. The time seems to be the best for a shopping spree. Discounts and price drops can be seen everywhere. Though Gold and Gas are at record highs, the World's largest importer of Gold, India seems going for it. This is the best time for buying Digital cameras.

My budget is around Rs 10k and my aim is to search for a high performance, value for money digicam backed with a sturdy warranty. For Rs.10k, donot expect to get high resolution or SLR cameras.( They start from Rs 19k! )

My lookout is based on, (few i have listed)
7MP, 2inch LCD view-screen with optical view scope, 3-4x Optical zoom (Digital zoom is trash), ISO >= 800, no of modes, warranty, goodies available and Lens used.

(My fav. here is W35, around Rs11k, comes with Carl Zeis lens and 3Years warranty)
W55 W35 S650 S700

(My fav here is A550 around Rs9k; wish I could think of A550IS)
Powershot A550
A460 (i dont like its shape)
A550 IS

Kodak (i like them but heard to power hungry!)

Nikon, Casio, Olympus,Panasonic,Pentax, Smasung are some more brands. But i didnt find much in them for less than Rs 10k.

Check their respective websites for latest product and pricing
I have provided a xls sheet with details and links. I hope this will be helpful in finding a camera for less than or around10k. Click here

Tuesday, 4 September, 2007

Religious Conversions

This is to clarify my stand on the post Pastor Attacked

I do agree that conversions in Hinduism aint that high, but is still there. It aint just limited to converting back the tribal.

I can understand when its said that some religion asks for conversions and may be the driving force for them. However, what I feel is that, it’s a human interpretation of the religion and not the real motive of any religion!

According to me, a conversion can occur only when a man entangled in the lust of this ephemeral world can untie himself and trod upon the path shown by Him - The Path of Peace, Tranquility, Renouncement and to Reach out to Him. This is what every religion asks for and not numbers. This is what I mean by no religion asks for conversions, based on numbers but conversions that can transform and enlighten the needy. If you read the Holy books, you will find that every religion sends the same message but in different styles, ways. But the core remains the same.

It does not mean shifting a religion just for numbers. What is the use of such conversions, if you still remain morally corrupt even after conversion? Conversion must occur within. However, people are obsessed with numbers. For them it might signify showing worthiness and power of the religion. However, they are actually corroding away their own religion; the very base of their religion. The very cause of conversion is defeated. If people feel, by enrolling all the sinners who haven’t improved even an iota can bring enlightenment or heaven on the judgement day; then I beg to differ.

I suppoz many feel that Hinduism is threatened by such conversions. I don’t think so. Hinduism stands firm rooted because of its belief in openness and elasticity to assimilate new emerging ideas. It was never old never new. It is timeless! Everything has a downfall followed by resurgence. Another Shri Adi Shankaracharya will appear to enlighten the people. Hence, when these so called saffron bastions assume the charge of saving Hinduism, its farce, unrealistic and inappropriate. They create more harm than anybody else does. What is needed is to understand religion more closely !
Can you justify what they did to the pastors? Its an act of cowardliness. Instead, provide the common man with basic needs and then provide him with spiritual food. A empty hungry stomach needs food first and only then, it can assimilate spirituality. My post was to condemn the attacks and also draw a point on conversions.
I assume I might have cleared the air now. Do write back for further clarifications

Saturday, 18 August, 2007

Honeymoon is over and Is Splitsville coming ?

Hello netizens, What a Week it has been ! Assignments, writing notices, minutes, agendas, collecting data and creating guidelines for the projects! Wow, a really busy schedule! Also, 60th anniversary of Indian Independence passed away peacefully without much terror acts! But there was something still to come! The on paper secular coalition Government of India got a nasty shocker from its prime ally - The Left Front.

The Left Front who can always be seen nagging over some or the other issues with threats of strike or withdrawing support which seemed hollow till now suddenly started becoming serious about it. The bone of contention is again the US and the 123 agreement. The Hyde Act and its clauses haven't impressed the Comrades. It seems the statement from our very own Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh asking the Left to 'take it or leave it' seems to have stirred the hornets' nest.

The Politburo of the Left Front has given the Govt. time till Aug. 22-23 either to go ahead with deal and breakup with Left or renegotiate over the deal.
Even though the Left fumes Red over any dealing with US, all its concerns are not unfounded. The main mistake that the government did was, by going ahead with the deal without taking the Indian Scientists or the Political system into confidence.
Check this article for info on Hyde Act issues. The Hindu8-8-07

If this deadlock doesn't break, India will have only two ways to make a move, both can be a fire walk for the Govt Of India.
First, suspend the deal as of now, but face embarrassment and lose a chance to stand firm and strong before the World powers esp. China. India will be considered as volatile and will be known as a country which fails to keep promises.
Second, go on with 123 agreement and risk breaking away with Left Front. The Govt. (UPA) will be turn into a minority forcing way to mid-way polls. Neither of the party is ready for election.

All eyes are set on the Left Front slated to decide on continuing or breaking the alliance on Aug 22-23.

Lets see whether The alliance continues after the honeymoon or will it file Divorce Papers!

Thursday, 16 August, 2007

Taslima attacked - A blot on India and its secularism and liberalism

    On August 9, 2007 Taslima Nasreen(Nasrin), noted Bangladeshi writer was physically attacked and verbally abused by members of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen(MIM), a political Islamist party with its roots in the Nizam era and based in the old Hyderabad region; when she was in Hyderabad for the release of the Telugu translation of her novel Shodh. They were protesting against the writer's book named Lajja.

    It was really very shocking to see goons along with MIM party members barge into the press meet and vent their anger on her n her colleagues. Chairs, Bouquet along with worst abuses were hurled at her. The MIM party members after the blitzkrieg came live on TV and justified their act. They even threatened to kill her with no fear of Law or Constitution.
When a news channel asked them whether they have read the book Lajja, first they fumbled with the name as if hearing for the first time and then the answer was NO ! They replied that they were protesting because they feel the book hurts Islamic feelings. I simply cant understand how they inferred that it hurts when they didn't even bother to read the Book ! The actual reason must be minority appeasement and to gather media attention. Tthere is no way their act can be justified. However, this is not the first time that she has been attacked or threatened.

    I am not saying the Book has insulted the religion or not; but the million dollar question is, How can violence be a method to protest in a democratic, liberal, just and secular country ? Doesnt an Author have his/her right to put forth his/her view, the same way as people have right to voice their disapproval ? If you finds it inappropriate, register/voice your protest. The public knows what is appropriate and what is not. There is no need for any political messiah to step in. Also, all those MLA's and MP's who sit in their respective peoples' representative houses to doze off and make a common man's life more miserable; please dont poke your noses into these matters and create a muddle of the situation. Politicians create a problem for their survival! They breed upon such petty issues which they using their aesthetic sense of magnification, make it into a national or even an international level issue! Politicians, how much I despise you and hate earnestly! Also, this is not withheld to a specific religion. Remember the attacks on art students by the Bajarang Dal and its other Saffron wings.

    Examples are many but lessons learnt are a few! For the survival of Independent sovereign secular and liberal India, its people must learn to respect other's feelings and allow them to express it independently. If you find it inappropriate voice it but shun violence! How can a single opinion hurt a religion ? Is any religion so soft and brittle that it cant withstand such a trivial blow ?Religions were not formed in a fortnight or so. They have strong bases that no such opinion can shake! Its simply dirty politics that snowballs the situation. Stay away from this breed!

A new term and a new approach towards life

So finally the 5th semester of Chemical Engineering has started!
For a student, this semester is special in many ways.

  • His vision is clear(for some it begins to get clear). He sees his aim in front of him.

  • He has become more career and indutry oriented.

  • He can be seen preparing himself for the Industry.

  • The attitude change can be felt and seen among the students.

  • Reading Newspaper especially Editorial section has gained importance. GD (Group Discussion) and Debate start making sense

  • Students can be seen preparing for GRE/TOEFL/GMAT for US university MS/MBA programs or GATE for Masters in India or CAT for MBA from India or for On-Campus Interviews and Placements.

  • They see PCT and Final BE Project in everything Chemical!

  • Finally all subjects sound chemical.

They know life will take a new turn after BE. They know or start knowing that the coming two years are their springboard to reach out for their dreams. Most understand the importance of the coming two years.

The Two years of Engineering has passed swiftly and now we have reached the mid of our BE course. It has been a fantastic experience with ups and downs with lots to learn and understand, be it technical or non-technical.

SO Welcome to 5th Semester! Best Of luck to all!

Saturday, 4 August, 2007

Rhain Davis-Future Face Of Manchester United and Football?

Rhain Davis has signed up by the prestigious ManU for its academy.
His grandpa send Rhain's DVD showcasing his talents to the academy and the Manchester United Academy has prompltly signed him for an year.

His video has turned into a most sought after, on You-Tube turning him into star.

He appears to be the next Wayne Rooney and dribbles so aesthetically like C. Ronaldo. Check out his video

Video will truly speak more than simple words.

Some Stats About him.
Name: Rhain Davis
Age : 9 yrs
DOB : 15-10-97
British Citizen presently staying in Canberra,Australia
Grandfather still in Britain.

Isnt he a Child Prodigy? Watch out for him!

Tuesday, 31 July, 2007

How to make an animated gif badge !

Hi there, I recently got the latest Adobe Creative Suite 3 (trial ware).
So I thought why not try make an animated gif (badge) as ready made ones are hardly enough.I have provided pics links to make it easier.
So here goes!

Software I used: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional
Knowledge reqd : Adobe Flash.( A little bit to create a small flash file)
OK! So Lets Begin!

(1)Start Flash CS3. A flash screen appears.Open a New Flash File. Since our aim is to create badges with width around 80 to 85 pixels and height around 15 pixels, change size from Property window.Pic 1.1
Pics 2 3
Choose whatever background u wish and other stuff as per your creativity. Go on experimenting as you wish!

(2) If you want some background image or any file then first import it into flash library as follows; File menu, Import and in it Import to Library. Pic4
If you want to edit an already present gif, import it onto stage.

(3) Goto the Timeline section. Pic 5
Create a set of frames as u require. Pic 6 (I expect a minimum knowledge of Flash).Pic 7

(4) Then publish it as a gif. simply goto File menu and then to publish. in publish window check the box next to gif for publishing gif and then check settings of gif. Pic 8 9 10.

(5) Your gif will be published.

Sunday, 29 July, 2007

On a Rainy Day

So finally the dry spell seems to be over atleast for now. The dry spell following the torrential rains have been bad. The good news is that the rains are back to work.
Its raining a lot nowadays. I thought to share some of the pics I recently clicked from the Mumbai Local Train on an rainy day.
The Pics are clicked from a VGA Camera of my mobile in a moving shaking train. Hence clarity in some cases is less.

Sunday, 22 July, 2007

Sahib, Plz try our product !

He is a person in formal attire and oil slicked hair at our door-step. Oh, How can I forget his tie which neither suits him nor the hot n muggy Indian Climate. His language is also polished to the limit! He then speaks with utter most respect,
" Sahib, plz try this product. This is the best and the latest. This was researched in JAPAN. Sahib, plz buy it. Its the cheapest and of the best quality. "
" Madam, this is our latest offering. Buy one and get one free. Buy it now as offer is limited. "
Nowadays, Sahib has been replaced with Sir.
Sound Familiar ?
Yes, He is our very own "Door to Door Salesman". A sight common in every part of India. Its not only small scale companies but also Telecom giants, Home-Care Companies, Financial Institutions who use them.

He has to be a perfect speaker and user of Communication skill. He must posses excellent attention catching power and convincing power. He looks out for the customers' weak points and must exploit upon them safely without invading their privacy. He must prove his product's competence and must convince the customer for buying it.
After all he has to impress his customers.

Like a CEO of a company, he has a target to achieve before the deadline. He is as important as business executive for the company. However neither is he a CEO nor a business executive but a simple Sales Man with polished looks and habits. He works at the grass root level for the company and reaches out to the remotest of remote of viable markets.
Where other forms of product exposure fails, salesman has a vital role to play. After all he interacts directly with his customers.

However, they also belong to the worst irritating class of people whom a person would want to meet at door step. As technology has advanced, so are their skills and format or canvassing.
Telephone and e-Mails are the latest trends.
Every Mobile/Land line owner might have received calls from Financial Institutions regarding Loans and Credit Cards.

Recently I had an interesting experience in dealing with a new genre of sales-man. The invitation to friends house for dinner turned out to be a bait for enrolling me into a group forming scheme, which he was a part of. Since he was bad at canvassing he had invited his another friend who had enrolled him to persuade me into it.
Well the general modus operandi of such schemes are as follows:

Step 1 : Data Bombardment. They storm you with lots and lots of data to get you interested.

Step 2 : Now they mention the name of the company whose scheme he sells and tries relating it to the data he earlier bombarded.

Step 3 : They then start telling you about the importance of money and the so called "economic freedom" and start telling you about making groups.
If you try asking them, why to join or what about investment part; they quickly tell you that all your doubts will be answered later forcing you to keep mum and listen! He then explains that how easy it is to earn loads of money by enrolling simply a few people. He then tries bringing interest by extrapolating the data for a year and gets the amount you will get to Lakhs and Lakhs!

Step 4 : Then he gets to the main stuff about enrollment or Investment slowly and safely.

Step 5 : he then gives his own example as to how much money he has made and how his life is better because of this. Then he will ask you when r u joining ?????

Initially I thought maybe he has some doubt in studies as he is a junior from my own engineering branch. Then I could feel he was using his skills in Marketing. How he was trying to relate his buisness with things related to me(mother-tongue,Native place etc). As time passed I was getting tired of this continuous data bombardment and simply asked him to cut the crap and come to the point.
I felt sad that my good friends uses such method for selling their products.

I simply hate facing them on my doorstep!

Wednesday, 11 July, 2007

Remembering 7/11, Mumbai

  Today is July 11 or as we Mumbaikars remember it as 7/11, a date that no Mumbaikar can easily forget. Previous year on this very date, Mumbai was struck and STRUCK where it hurts the most. The Life-Line, Local trains of Mumbai were bombed, that too during the evening rush hour in the elite First Class compartments. OK not elite, but meant for those with larger wallets and obeying the rule of 3 seats per row. This rule of triad or 3 seats per row is that only 3 persons can sit in one row (In Second Class, the linear packing fraction ie. people sitting in a row is more than 3). Infact this is used to test whether a person belongs to the class or not.

  As always, the brain behind these unpardonable terror acts are safe in their haven in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Huji and Hizbul-Mujaheddin and ISI have been blamed. Even though all available evidence have been provided to Pakistan's government, I doubt they will co-operate. They still haven't thought about extraditing back Dawood Ibrahim (who also finds place in the wanted list of international terrorists) and others convicted in the Mumbai 93 Serial Bomb blasts. Infact as per Intel. sources,he operates under the patronage and protection of ISI and is teamed up with terror outfits.

Though a year has passed, the security situation hasn't improved much. How many times have I seen, security check points (Whoa! don't imagine much, I mean tables put up on platforms for frisking and checking!) void of personnel on duty. Also, when they tried frisking every person entering at Church gate station, it led to a build up and angry protesting crowd.I hope the cameras put up are still working and used by police. The Stations and track are porous and anyone can easily enter and leave with no notice.

Apart from placing flowers and lighting candles on the day, neither can any improvement in security situation be seen nor in the alertness of public n police. Mumbai seems to have forgotten the blast and the victims. May be not they wanted to, but the hard life forces them to do and move forward. People still use trains as there is no alternative. They know trains are and were never safe, but no way trains can be avoided in a linear city like Mumbai. With Roads having craters bigger than that on Jupiter! and traffic snarls that make a 1hr drive a endless journey and with waterways completely ignored and underused, the Government has left Mumbaikars with no option. But, i will not complain that my State Government has neglected My Mumbai, as they have meted justice to all districts of the state by neglecting all of them!

Some Pics.

For More Photos

Saturday, 7 July, 2007

Revisiting the metal beast called Mumbai's Life-Line

So finally, after a lot of chaos, rioting, violence in the previous year,the quadrupling work between Virar and Borivali appears to be over. Posters warning of the new 'very high voltage' overhead cables have been put to warn the elite roof travellers to refrain from dare devil acts on train roofs. Our Union Railway Minister, flagged off the first train. My friend has captured some moments before flagging off --> Click here

For the occasion, the Borivali station was cleaned(literally washed clean!)and painted. It was like a bride getting ready to married off!
The same had happened in Mahim, after the train bombings. The station was cleaned, whitewashed and maintained spic n span for a dignitary was going to visit the station.

So if any big-shot visits the station regularly, it will be maintained. cleaned and white-washed! Hence, I request them to pay a visit to every station at least once a month. We, in general public would be grateful to them!

I stumbled upon this interseting blog -->Virar local
Check my other posts
Mumbai   Local Train Post1   Malayalam Language posts
Railway signs in India --> Railway symbols

Mumbai Floods AGAIN !

Oh, Not Again!
On Saturday June 30, Mumbai was again brought to knees by the mighty Monsoon, evoking terrible memory of July26,2005 deluge.

Santa Cruz recorded 430mm rain
Colaba recorded 187mm rain
(24hr rainfall. Source: Regional Met Centre,Mum)
As always Suburbs, being the catchment area received highest rainfall.
Avg. rainfall(2.30am-2.30pm)
Tulsi Lake(381.1mm)

    This is second time (June 23-24 and 30) within 2 weeks that Mumbai has faced the brunt of torrential rains. However the situation was no different.Life-Line Of Mumbai, Local Train Services were very badly affected. Central railway n Harbour railway were completely stopped. Western Railway fared better and ran with delay of 30-40 min.Low lying areas like Milan Sub-way,Kalina,Airport region,Bandra,Hind Mata,Worli, Harbour routes to name a few got flooded.

    I am thankful to God that my locality didn't get that flooded on any of these deluge days. However many were not so lucky! 5 have been reported to have died due to electrocution, wall collapse, strong currents on June30.

Times Of India quoted, "Everything goes down the drain except Water!"

link rd malad rope_trick
26July2005 and 30June2007 pics.

    Every year, Mumbaikars face the same problems during monsoons but the intensity is increasing at an alarming rate! Dug roads, pot holes, clogged gutters and storm-water drains, inundation, car and other damages and monsoon related diseases are the core issues that need to be tackled. Tax paying Mumbaikars account for a sizeable amount of the total tax collected in India, still gets ill-treated. Various departments like MMRDA, BMC and others failed to work in tandem. One example of that was flooding observed in East Andheri, where water from Western Express Highway flooded parts of East andheri.

    Instead of trying to make Mumbai, an another Shanghai; lets first get it back to the Old Mumbai, that the British handed to us. Our state govt and central govt fail to get a grip on the situation and every year Mumbaikars are left to fend for themselves. But we as citizens, should awaken and actively work for it. The Land Mafia,corrupt n spineless politicians and bureaucrats, passive public are the roadblocks to be cleared.We as active citizens must find time for active paticipation. We should actively and enthusiastically take up responsibility of our locality, look after it and preserve it. We must aggressively protect the last remaining mangrove reserves n salt pans and prevent the greedy Land Mafia and govt from snatching them. We should actively take part in ALM's (Area Local Management) and restrain ourselves from spitting, filthing on Roads and drains. I still dont understand, why people spit and add to the filth when they see filth on road!

Better start now than its too late. Lets revive the old glory back!

Thursday, 5 July, 2007

Day 5 - Malayalam links and others

I will be giving you some nice sites related to Malayalam as i had promised.

Did you know, Islam and Christianity first touched Indian soil at Kerala!
Jews arrived in Kerala around 537BC.
St. Thomas,one of the 12 apostles of Lord Jesus arrived in Kerala in 52AD.
India's first mosque and believed to world's second mosque is in Kodungalloor believed to be built around 629AD.

Leaving History aside,
Kerala is one of the few Indian states with high sex-ratio(1058f:1000m) and high literacy rate(90.92%). results from kerala govt

Check out these malayalam related websites:

Learning Malayalam

Tutor cd

debian fonts

Kerala Govt Websites:
Kerala CM
for Kerala district websites, the general address is
http://[district_name] or

Akshaya - Akshaya is the pilot project of Kerala government’s IT mission, which aims for 100 per cent e-literacy in the state

Hope you find them interesting!

Other posts:
Poltical India
Moto SLVR L7,7i,7e,l9
My college

Wednesday, 4 July, 2007

Day 4 - Learning Malayalam Language

Ok after Consonants, its the turn of Vowels
They are

അ ആ ഇ ഈ ഉ ഊ ഋ
(america art erect eel usha ooh! Rishi )

എ ഏ ഐ ഒ ഓ ഔ അ. അ:
( apple area i orange vote ouch umm Aha )

Lets now check the last set of letters ( called chiluh aksharam )
[iNN(stress), inn, irr, ill, iLL(stress)]
usage: baloon rain deer drill stool
They are generally used at the end of words.
However there will be little difference in some Malayalam words and letters as some still use older Malayalam script.

Check out the pics i have clicked using my Moto SLVR L7 mobile. the pics are from my Mal learning book, which i had misplaced years ago and unfortunately found it only after learning the letters. But still good enough to revise!
Devnagari script and Malayalam Script
devnagari scriptmal script
Chilluh Letters and others( used to add vowels in words)

Other posts:
Taj Mahal
Reservation in India

Monday, 2 July, 2007

Day 3 - Learning Malayalam Language(Modus-Operandi2)

Sorry Folks, I couldn't post new articles in the last weeks of prev Month, as my internet connection wasnt working up to the mark.
Lets finish consonants.

ട ഠ ഡ ഢ ണ (Tta Ttha Dda Ddha Nna)

Simply S !
Simply Letter 'O' !
Write 'n' and smooth curvy 'w' together. 'w' starts from the right leg of 'n'.
Write (Nja), but the Ta()in the Nja() is replaced by na().

ത ഥ ദ ധ ന (Ta Tha Da Dha Na)

(Ta) and (Na)
Letters revisited!
Write L, with little bigger horizontal line. take the leg and take it to left as in the letter.
write the usual Rra() but replace the right left with 3.
Also u can say it is hriswa 'इkar' attached to letter 3(Oo of Hindi)
simply smooth curvy w or rotate Na() by 180deg.
പ ഫ ബ ഭ മ (Pa Pha Ba Bha Ma)

Similar to Va(), but with a longer horizonatl line
Similar to Pa, but the leg is reconnected to base line '_' like a hindi 'इkar'.
This is what u get when left leg knotted Rra() is joined to Va()
write hindi 'इkar' to S or to Tta()
first write Rra(), then join both legs with a base line '_' followed by a slant line( acute angled)from first leg to upper part of right leg.
Row6 n Row7

They were easier now as i had been practising and accustommed to above letters. hence i am not posting about them

Other posts:
Taj Mahal
Ant-grasshopper Story Retold Directory

Saturday, 23 June, 2007

Day 3 - Learning Malayalam Language(Modus-Operandi1)

Hi Guys! So let me unravel my modus-operandi for learning the consonants.

First, I went through the different consonants and tried to group the similar ones.
Rra (റ) and Ra (ര)
Pa (പ) and Va (വ)
Cha (ച) and Chha(ഛ) and so on.

This helped me recognise some of the basic letters.
They were:

Rra (റ) [most basic, used in creating many letter ]
Pa (പ) [smaller hump, longer '_'line ]
Va (വ) [bigger hump, smaller '_'line ]
Cha (ച) [similar to Pa, but hump doent touch ground]
Ga (ഗ) [similar to infinity symbol or S turned by 90deg anti-clockwise ]
da (ദ)
Na (ന)
Ta (ത)
I used them as building blocks for other letters!

Then I took 5 letters at a time(ie. a row at a time).

ക ഖ ഗ ഘ ങ (Ka Kha Ga Gha Nga)

I found (Ka) to be similar to hindi Ka( ). Just replace the middle with oval 0

Curl the left leg of Rra() part of Va() initially to obtain it.

The infinity type

Write a Pa(), then take its antenna( ie the up pointing tail), draw a small hump to left followed by a L and a mirror image of L.
All those knowing hindi can do this ->
After writing Pa(), draw a इ kar on tail of Pa followed by L turned left. the hriswa इ
kar is in between hump and tail of Pa()

Put a knote on left leg n write Rra() first; then join it to da()

The instructions given were to get you familiarised with the letters.
Therefore donot draw them.
Dont try drawing them in parts. Write them in one go.

After every 5 new letters I learn,I used to write them down many a times untill I remember them
ച ഛ ജ ഝ ഞ (Cha Chha Ja Jha Nja)

write Cha() first, then deerg इ kar followed by a knote on right leg.

write left leg knotted Rra()followed by another joined Rra(). then take it below as shown in letter.

write left leg knotted Rra() and join it to Ta()

Other posts:
Political India
Ant-grasshopper Story Retold

Thursday, 21 June, 2007

Day 2 - Learning Malayalam Language

Whoa Guys! This language has so many letters. On first look, it looks all the same.

Today, I learnt all the consonants. I hope I can remember them!

Generally, when a child learns malayalam language, he begins with Rra( ).
The reason being, Rra being the most easy and basic letter to draw for beginners.

But since i have already learnt Hindi / Marathi (Devnagari script), I found it easier to learn Malayalam letters from Ka Kha Ga Gha series.

I purposely avoided vowels as they are too complex to begin with.

These are the consonants.

ക ഖ ഗ ഘ ങ (Ka Kha Ga Gha Nga)

ച ഛ ജ ഝ ഞ
(Cha Chha Ja Jha Nja)

ട ഠ ഡ ഢ ണ
(Tta Ttha Dda Ddha Nna)

ത ഥ ദ ധ ന
(Ta Tha Da Dha Na)

പ ഫ ബ ഭ മ
(Pa Pha Ba Bha Ma)

യ ര ല വ ശ ഷ സ ഹ
(Ya Ra La Va Ssa Sha Sa Ha)

ള ഴ റ
( La [eg. Tilak] Zha [eg. Allapuzha] Rra)
But thats not the end. My next post will be my Modus Operandi to remember letters and write( initially it is drawing! )them properly.

Also I will give you excellent links for online help in this matter.

Do leave your comments

My other posts
Motorola L7
Ant n Grasshopper story retold

Wednesday, 20 June, 2007

Day 1 - Learning Malayalam Language

Hi, there, so finally posting after a long long dormancy!

With the Exams over and a week in hand before getting back to studies, i decided to utilize this period constructively like never before.

I decided to learn to read and write in my mother-tongue, Malayalam.
Even though i tried it before also; i never tried it seriously enough.
This time however, i am determined to learn it.
Being born and brought up in an another state(Maharashtra), I can read, write and talk in English, Hindi, Marathi and to some extent Gujarati.
However I neglected my mother-tongue, and hence presently can only talk in Malayalam.

The language being my mother-tongue and since, i can talk fluently in it; I hope learning would be easier.
My Mother actively and enthusiastically teaches me with patience.
Even though, i found excellent sites for online help; I still feel a person around is better.

Everyday, I will be posting about my experience in learning the wonderful language,  Malayalam.
Check this out! The word Malayalam is a palindrome. WoW!
So expect posts from tomorrow!

I also found this site extremely useful -- Omniglot

See my all Malu Language posts

Check my other posts
Political India
Motorola SLVR L7
Reservation in India

Tuesday, 12 June, 2007

Taj Mahal - The Epitome of Divine Sacred Love

Deacades, Centuries may pass, but the apostle of eternal LOVE, clothed in pure white marble stands immortal on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra(state: UP,India , near N-Delhi).

In the present age of infidelity and treachery, it still stands facing bravely the Pollution and encoachment while reminding us of the deep love the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan had for his wife.

Lets pay tribute by voting for TAJ in new 7 wonders selection.

Vote for Taj Mahal

This is an excellent photo taken by premasagar and posted here under CC licence from his flickr photo stream

Vote for Taj Mahal

Monday, 11 June, 2007

Ant and grasshopper Revisited

I suppose everyone might have heard of the "Ant and Grasshopper" story as a child.
If u havent, this is the original story

The ant worked hard all summer, building his house and stocking up supplies for the harsh winter. The grasshopper thinks ant is a fool and laughs and dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper neither has food nor shelter, so he dies out in the cold."

The Story has changed.

he Modern Version:

"When winter arrives,
The grasshopper calls a press conference & demands to know why ant should be allowed to be warm & well fed while others are cold and shivering.
Media shows up to provide pics of Shivering grasshopper next to video of an ant in his confortable home with a table filled with food.
The world is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor fellow is allowed to suffer so?

Activists stage a demonstartion in front of Ant's House.
They go on fast along with other grasshoppers demanding their relocation to warmer climates during winter.
International Charity Org. and World body criticizes the Indian govt for not upholding the fundamental rights of grasshopper.
Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper.
(many promising heaven and peace for support else Wrath of God)

Opposition in Indian Parliament stage a walk-out.
Left calls for "India Bandh" (ie. strike) in W.Bengal n Kerala
In Kerala, law is passed preventing Ants from working hard in heat to bring about Equality of Poverty
Rail Ministry allocates one free coach to grasshoppers on all Indian railway trains, called 'Grasshopper Rath'
POTAGA (Prevention Of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act) is passed.
Education Ministry, makes special reservations for them in edu. institutes and Govt services.

Ant is fined under POTAGA, house confiscated and handed over to Grasshopper in a cermony covered by Media.
Grasshopper is invited to address UN General Assembly.

Many years later.... Ant has migrated to US.
He sets up a multi-million $ company in Silicon Valley.
Hundreds of grasshoppers still die of stravation despite reservation somewhere in India.

As a result, we are loosing a lot of hard working ants and feeding the grasshopper, India is still a developing Country...."

This is a story i came across as a forwarded email, a few days back. The message it carries cannot be ignored. Even though it is written with an Indian Backdrop, it is valid for many other countries.
This point of view towards Social Justice cannot be ignored when implementing it.

Thursday, 10 May, 2007

Pastor attacked, conversions a need ?

A pastor was recently beaten and terrorized very badly by some masked teenagers in Rajasthan, India. It is alleged that the youths belong to the Hindu outfit, V.H.P./ Bajrang Dal. This is no first incident where Christian missionaries have been targeted. The reasons generally cited are forceful conversions, offering them money on conversion, faking miracles, targeting etc. I have been thinking about penning my thoughts about this, that another incident occurred in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

The questions that arise before me are :

Is the public loosing faith in the police and judicial system ?
Is the public even behind all these ?
Is minorities being targeted?
Is conversions really useful ?
What is the aim of Conversion ?
Why kill each other over religion ?

I am totally against such barbaric acts conducted by these self appointed guardians of the religion. Conversions occur in almost all religions. People must learn to be tolerant towards other religions. If conversion is carried on unlawful basis, inform the police. I am sure police will help in most cases, but unfortunately if they are not cooperating, call the Media, the powerful fourth estate. They are always looking around for sensational news. Use media to tell the world what is the ground situation.This will put pressure on the police and administration. How can u take the law into your own hands? The problem with this issue is that it is so sensitive that it can be misused by political parties and they have done so in the past. The result is Communal tensions and polarization of society. The political parties must act responsibly and prevent such acts by remaining within the framework of constitution. Instead of taking law into ones hands, they must assist the public and administration.

At the same time, what is the need for conversion? No religion asks for conversions. According to me it is the wrong interpretation of any religion. Religion must be used to guide the person towards the supreme truth. How can anyone offer, money and kind as bait for conversion ? Is it mere number of believers, that a religion should go after? I like listening to sermons and preaches of other religion. There is something to learn from every religion. After all, the aim of every religion is enlightenment and finding the aim of life. Every religion has some rituals and discipline which are necessary for its functioning. However, one mustn't get entangled in them as religion is a tool which enables us to entangle from the complex life cycle. Why cant one believe in Krishna, Allah or Christ at the same time? Even though approach is different, ultimate goal is same! In fact, do we understand our own religion deeply before converting otherwise it is simply futile!
Just like, if you stop drinking water from red mug and shift to yellow mug, the final goal of quenching thirst remains the same. Mug is immaterial!
This is just my view and is not aimed to hurt anybody or anyone's religious feelings. Please take it in the right spirit!

Plight of Fourth Estate in India

Reporting a news item has become really dangerous in India. If any particular group is dissatisfied with the article, arson and riots are their methods to show displeasure. The Fourth estate is under immense pressure when they report truth. It is difficult to express ones views openly in present times.

Today, the Madurai office of a Tamil political party mouthpiece was torched and bombed killing at least 2 people. Reports suggest that petrol bombs were also used. The newspaper had carried out a survey as to which son among the two will lead the political party after their father, the present leader. The results was not liked by one faction of the party and resulted in this barbaric, inhumane act. I have started thinking why call it inhumane, i should start calling it humane as these acts are increasing exponentially.

The main question to be asked is, Does our media have freedom of speech and expression? Is the society becoming intolerant and doesn't wish to see others point of view. These acts are not a good sign for a democratic nation like India. How can painters, musicians, film makers, media persons work in this atmosphere? How can democracy survive without them? How can we expect another renaissance, if they are not allowed freedom? Every political party has acted irresponsibly and continue to do so, keeping short term selfish goals in mind ? They use their muscle power to bring the entire village, town, city, state or even nation to standstill. They are the people who make mockery of democracy. The dalit fiasco in Ulhasnagar and Mumbai, the frequent bandhs in Kerala and W.Bengal, riots by shopkeepers in Delhi all have the same story to tell. When will they learn ?

Wednesday, 2 May, 2007

MotoSLVR L7 java applications

Unlike Nokia and Sony phones, few java files and applications exist for moto phones.
However the market is broadning and many companies like Gameloft S.A. are creating applications and games.
I have a good collection of games for L7. Interested users can try them by e-mailing me request. (I need to check the legal point of view before giving links or uploading them online).

Also the most important corelet available are Itunes from Apple and MediaViewer.

To install all these, please first install Motomidman, p2kman, Motokit and mototunes (or their equivalent) onto your computer. You can search them online or request me.

The procedure to install itunes and other softwares and much more in next posts.

MotoSLVR L7 specifications

Motorola SLVR L7 (now L7i has come) is the best phone in the under Rs 8000 range.
It is a class apart!
Its so slim ( 11.5 mm thick) and trendy; yet not compromised on the quality point.
Its so beautiful compared to the bulky N series Nokia mobiles and others.
Its keypad appears as if its wafer thin.
Its typical blue color from the keypad region adds to the beauty.
Also to be noted is that the keypad is light sensitive (ie. in region of darkness or less light, the blue light beneath keypad glows)

The screen or OSD is 176x200 TFT with 262K colours. I can personally bet that the screen display is better than V3i, Nokia 6600 or W550i.

The speaker is good enough and the headphone is excellent. The music quality is far better than Nokia or Sony phones of the same cost. Clarity is remarkable.

Bluetooth is little slow compared to Nokia and Sony phones. I havent tried bluetooth on other moto phones. Will tell u soon. Also all files cant be transferred or recieved on L7. However after modding and flashing this can be achieved.

The camera is VGA 640x480 max. resolution, 4x.zoom. However unlike the Nokia phones, which have the lens and its big border bulging out of the mobile; this fits very beautifully on the mobile.

For specific info;
official motorola company's spec

MotoSLVR L7 start

Hello folks, i ave decided to start a new label entirely dedicated to Moto SLVR L7 mobiles. Check it out for the features, applications, tweaks, java-corelet files, pc suites etc.

Mail me if u want something else

Saturday, 31 March, 2007

OBC reservations - A political agenda or Need for Social Justice ?

Recently, the Hon. Supreme Court stayed the 27% quota for OBC's reigniting the quota debate : Is Reservations the only way ahead for the upliftment of underprivileged ?

The questions that haunt me are :
  1. First of all, what is the basis for education; merit or is it for implementing Social justice ?
  2. What is the criteria for eligibility of quotas?
  3. Will reservations result in fall of standard of the education and work atmosphere?
  4. Will the really underprivileged really benefit from quotas?
  5. How long will the certain class of people enjoy the benefit?
The government aims and wants (atleast in the papers) to uplift the underprivileged and bring them at par with others by giving them the power of Quota. My question is how does the govt come to the conclusion that so and so people are backward? The government is dependant on the data and stats of pre-independance period (1930's) and of the time of Mandal Commission. It is totally unacceptable, to depend on aeons back data.

First, The government must increase the no of seats, improve the infrastructure reqd for basic education and provide fundings for the same before raking up the quota issue. The government is trying to provide social justice at upper levels of education when its base, the basic primary education policy is itself in tatters. The no of drop outs in schools per year is humungous and should put the govt to shame.
A recent report in a leading newspaper showed how a school in a remote village functioned. The so called school had just one single room for all standard and divisions, where sudents of every class sat in their respective groups. The single teacher attended to each class turn by turn. The corner of the room was leased to a caterer. The school depends on them for money to run the school. It is really a paradox, that the Govt. is aiming for higher level educational reforms when its primary education policy itself is a complete joke!

What about the people who have been enjoying the creamy layer till now ? The Court had asked it to be reviewed. But the political parties, fearing this would hurt their vote bank, simply rejected this. Also why call the Open seats as Open or for the majority if the %seats avilabe to them is less than 50%. Well, how can majority seats be reserved ?

According to me,
  • If quotas are the need of the hour then only go for it and also the max should not exceed 50%.
  • If quotas are introduced, equivalent no of seats in the open must be increased. this will prevent fall in the standards of education.
  • Quotas must be time bound and dynamic and flexible. If there is just one or two seats for the subject, merit must be given upper hand over social justice.
  • Public and Private Funding for primary and public education must be made mandatory.
  • Industries and Companies must fund and take care of schools in their vicinity. this will help them in the long run.
  • Governments which dont seriously allot funds or mismanage them must be removed! ( I wish!)
  • Underprivilged people must be identified and must be economically, socially helped. In the education front, create separate institutes for them. It is seen that many of them drop out of the colleges without completing the course. This sudden vacancy created is then exploited by the management and sold to rich students or else the seat gets wasted. This must be taken to consideration.
Also, i personally feel the govt had tried to pass the bill in a hurry, without taking the public into confidence. I seriously feel that the entire class of politicians are not serious about social justice. For them, it is all about vote banks and dividing people among communal, social lines. Finally, It is the student who suffers from both ends.
Please comment and pen ur views !!!
U can also mail me at mailto://

Thursday, 15 March, 2007

Mumbai - Churchgate Borivali Fast(Western) Local Trains

It is the brown-red or blue or simply silver colored metal beasts with a tender heart, that no Mumbaikars can avoid. I am talking about the Lifeline of Mumbai - The Local Train; the fastest, cheapest means to travel across Mumbai. People from all strata of life, be it rich or poor; everyone must have traveled at least once by it.

Getting inside train in Morning(6.45 to 11.00) and Evening (6.00 to 10.00) is Mission Impossible for many. Everyday morning, the locals fully packed and bursting to the seams, leave Borivali station on its journey towards churchgate. Getting into the train is in itself a great achievement. The already packed train is further pushed to its limit at stations between Borivali and Andheri. I suppoz this is the best packing fraction I have ever seen, better than any crystal lattice. Infact, hardly anyone tries getting into the train at Jogeshwari, one station before Andheri. One thing needs to be clarified that, here packed trains doesnt mean all seats are occupied and some are standing!It means not even a bee can traverse across the compartment!

As Andheri station reaches, there is a sudden pandemonium as some alight and some board keeping the total no of passengers almost same. I call it (Conservation of Passengers) for condition Station=Andheri, where, alighted = boarded. Moving further, the next station is Bandra followed by Dadar after which u can breathe comfortably. Now the void space is greater and the total no of passengers present is the ideal condition required in a local.

The same situation repeats in the evening, but now in the opposite direction ie. Churchgate to borivali)

Still, it is efficient and improving. Train traveling is part and parcel of Mumbai's Fast Life! This is life here! I salute the spirit!

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