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Wednesday 31 December 2008

End of 08 : My last thoughts about the year

Its the last night of the very eventful year 2008, a year that will go in the history for the beginning of the decline of western economic and their political credibility. Events in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Palestine to name a few have proved that political will among the World Leaders and powers has diminished. Nobody wishes to involve in neighborhood affairs when their own house requires dusting and cleaning.
The cyclic fall and rise of US economy is common. US economy has faced growth and decline once in every or two decades. US economy has enjoyed its best years between 1989-2000 and as the saying goes anything that goes up has to come down! but this time the effect is felt world wide due to globalization. First Sub-prime Real-estate then Financial & Investment services then Auto Giants! (Analysts expect a L curve on economy but even they cant speculate till when!) Economy giants like US, UK, Germany are in red while others are in slowdown mode. It is unbelievable as to how rapidly the market and industry has changed from one of strong, hearty, cheerful to somber, sad, ailing, depressed one. In such turbulent times, we as students face a terrible dilemma. Should we accept the campus job offers and hope for the storm to pass off in the near future or go for further studies and avoid job market for the time being? Many have dropped off ideas of MS in USA for job prospective in US are also diminishing. Many in core engineering fields like Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical feel that they are better insulated than the IT and its auxiliary fields. However, India's industrial output figures are in red and show a drastic drop. These are tougher times and no definite answers or predictions are possible, making the situation more precarious.

The Mumbai terror attack brought the whole country together and forced the politicians to change their callous attitude and drove the caste, religion, region based political gimmickry to backseat. The small silver lining of the terror attacks was the uniting of Indians and emergence of a sudden need for change and the want to a part of the change. It has draw attention to the sorry state of the Police establishment and lack of co-ordination between various Intelligence agencies. I seriously hope that things do change for good!

The India-Pakistan Cricket clash doesn't interest any Indian anymore. Australia has replaced Pakistan as our traditional rivals and the Perth-Sydney tests acted as the foundation stone for the extreme rivalry. I am happy India has ended on a winning streak (I include draws also) against the Goliaths of the Game. Sports seems to be gaining focus again as India won an Individual Gold for the first time as also a medal in Boxing. Suddenly sports other than Cricket like Chess, Boxing, Football seem to be promising for many. A nice change!

Ah! Now my class has changed as well. Many might remember the IPC lectures. Oh it was remarkable! Paper balls, Rockets, Planes, Navy Carriers, Sabotages to name a few. It was a complete Balck Ops! - A
coup d’état. Boy! Initially I was against the coup but then the ops became justifiable and well deserved! I cannot reveal much but it was fun, exciting, and a struggle which brought us at par with our seniors.! Full stop!

Change is the only thing that doesnt change!
This year it seemed to be exceptionally strong. US prez in wait - Barack Obama has strengthened my feeling! So be it Change!

This year I will welcome new year watching the Pirates of Carribean-III and then go back to study Entrepreneurship Management. I hope I get a tripod for my camera and also learn new stuffs about photography.
Resolves are there but not for revealing!

Happy Peaceful New year !
Happy
10
00
00
1001
:-)

Tuesday 30 December 2008

My penultimate closing thoughts for 2008 - (2)

One more exam and I will fly off for my catalyst regeneration.

It has been more than a month after the Mumbai Terror Attacks and still I feel insecure like majority Mumbaikars. Railway Stations are still porous, with reports emerging that Home guards who have no weapons guarding the entry/exit points of the stations logging imaginary ghost names in the register, merrily chatting away, and sleeping on duty. Today the TOI. has reported the condition of Government Ammo (worse than "Made in China" Tag). At least, give them Bow and Arrow and Swords! Train them in Stone and Baton throwing. Airports are a balcony view from the high rise palatial Slums that greet travellers arriving into Mumbai. The Airport Fencing and Wall perimeter have more craters and cracks than the moon!

Many have forgotten about Accountability from Babus and Politicians. Today the government has successfully steered all attention from personal accountability towards Pakistan. We must force the government to remove this blanket covering for the cronies that rule our nation.

On the other side of the border, Pakistan has gone from defense to all out offense in the PR war between Indian and Pakistan.
It continues with its Deny everything and play War jingoism mantra.
It has neglected, denied or maybe even might have erased the Ajmal Kasab's Pakistani links like his parents, National Database Record, etc. It doesn't believe in Satellite Phone records and other substantial proofs. It is steadily beefing up positions along eastern border while India has not done so. Pakistan's PM, Foriegn affairs minister, Generals, President are all over the Indian channels explaining their position while Indian diplomats, Home ministry and others ( I am excluding our PM and president both Kaccha Limboos) are slow on PR attack.

Even the media turf war is getting hotter and fouler. Pakistani News channels point fingers at Indian counterparts for war-hyping while I personaly feel they are themselves to blame. Their caustic and bitter language is unbelieveable. Ugh! I dont know how media reporting can be so cheap and dirty! Indian media channel Times Now has disappointed me very much. They were working like sensationalists. (I donot think Aaj Tak, VOI, Live India, etc can be called news Channels. They are soap operas runing live)

India must force Pakistan to rise above neo-patriotism and make them understand that denial or just the gesture of joint co-operation wont work this time. How many times should India trust Pakistan? Lahore Bus trip is still in the back of every Indian mind! Since actions speak more than words, Pakistan must curtail the non state actors and hand over the fugitives! for future co-operation.

God knows where this crisis is leading us to! The western nations have again shown they are just vermins. Zimbabwe, Dafur, Iraq, Iran, N-Korea, Russia and the US Weapon Shield, Afghanistan every crisis has been mismanaged by them and their irresponsible media partners. Investigative and Righteous journalism is at its ebb! While i write Israel is busy pounding Gaza strip after weeks of Economic blockade. I consider it miscarraige of the western just policies. US has reiterated it considers only Israel causalties as causalties. I have no hope from such bigots. I just remembered Junior Bush's Axis of Evil statement. I understand from history, this world has never been a just world!

But I did manage to laugh today!
Today, Singhvi of Congress in his article in TOI had written, "halve the mourners had come to confirm that He is dead while rest have come to make sure he is buried !" and what Churchill said about Atlee, "He came to 10,Downing St in an empty cab" Less but Well Said :-)

My penultimate closing thoughts for 2008 - (1)

Oh! My Antulay, you vouched for infamy! When you could have simply kept mouth shut and let the present generation not know of your shady past and the oldies forget your heinous crimes; you simply couldn't ! Now every Indian knows your past and your present. Indians feel that the Union Minority Affairs post is apt for you, as your contributions to the minority is negligible.(This has been vouched by the minority leaders and statesmen alike). Seems like, he has done justice to his post as a true IP. Its stands for Inert Politician or Indian Politician, doesn't matter. I hear of his noble works for the destitutes(pension schemes) and others but infamy is a permanent dye that stains the noble deeds.
I am amused to know he was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra during 1980-82. Well, such a short tenure for an IP? Does one have a chance when you face heat after Bombay High Court ruling Jan 13,1982 pronouncing him an extortionist. Guess who was behind the expose? None other than the Indian print-media jewels: Indian Express (Goenka, Arun Shourie,Manu Desai) and Maharashtra Times(Govindrao Talwakar). Many buildings were built like mine during the Money for Cement Quota scandal. Maybe the cement in my building might have a lot to speak on it!
I
My take on Karkare-Gate : In a democracy, every person that includes Mr. Antulay also has the right to speak ad voice his concern, be it through the blog or through the parliament. However, Mr Antulay must have synchronized himself with the government. In such tender times, its better not to have conflicting views emanating from the cabinet. Antulay must have had discussed his suspicions with the cabinet before going gun blazing before the parliament and media. Every cabinet minister or leader must hire a PR to assist him/her. Its better to raise the hypothesis and prove its falseness rather than leave it around for the rumour mongers. The Opposition made the issue the most important and left the parliament thereby making it easy for the UPA to clear record no. of bills in least time. The ruling government must have officially clarified this earlier itself that there is no saffron link.
Karkare-Gate Outcome: Antulay's own goal has costed his party Congress, though the opposition has not been awarded the goal while Antulay's personal record shows the goal as his achievement!Pakistan is happy with the outcome, as Congress Vs BJP vs Antulay tussle has resulted in Pakistan leading by Goal difference!


Has anyone heard of President Mrs.Pratibha Patil lately? Looks like she has disappeared into oblivion! Lately, I hear of no media reports of initiatives/activities from her office. . During Dr. A.P.J. Kalam's tenure, there was a lot of activity to hear about in the media. Aah! Well, the presidential post seems to have normalised back into inertia after a high efficiency and yield tenure of Dr. Kalam.
Recently, the President had visited the family of slain decorated police officer, Vijay Salaskar in Goregaon (E). The roads were re-tarred and cleaned for the presidential entourage. This reminded me of the Mahim Railway Station being white-washed after the 7/11 Train blasts before the arrival of the then president. Seems like every place the president steps foot is cleansed, bathed and beautified. I would suggest that every president must visit rural areas devoid of basics (road, water,house,electricity,sanitation etc). Maybe then the politicians can focus on issues other than Roti, Kapda and Makaan!
My friend, SilkRoute15 clicked pics of the tarring in Goregaon(E)






Monday 1 December 2008

Mumbai Terror 2 :Time for interospection and action !

Politicians and World Leaders have begun praising and TV channels have begun airing the cliched "Resilient Mumbai! Brave Mumbai! Spirit of Mumbai!".

Today, Mumbai has rebooted and is back for business; but deep anger seethes inside everyone.
Do not mistake this for hatred for the other community or a nation. This is the anger towards the system and the administration. Its towards the bureaucrats and the Politicians. Its towards the inertness, inefficiency of the leaders, towards the uninspiring cabinet ministry.

This anger must be channelized and every individual must be forced to question himself/herself,
  • "What can I do to stop this ?"
  • "What is my role in the system ?"
  • "How can I make the system more responsible and responsive ?"
  • "Where has the government gone wrong ? "
  • "Why shouldn't the Article 105 be scrapped to make corrupt politicians face justice ?"
  • "How can I prevent the Law-makers from becoming Law-breakers ?"
  • "Can I expect the government to be clean when my affairs are itself shoddy ?"
and many.

Is the latest terror attack different from the Local Train blasts or the '93 blasts or the many blasts that have gone into oblivion ?
I am not calling it different because this time the elite from Mumbai or India or the world were attacked. It is not because the modus-operandi of the attacks is new to Mumbai or because we saw the commandos in action in Mumbai for the first time.
The fact that people are recognizing that there are far more greater terrorists inside the country than outside is new. People have awakened from their slumber. The slumber caused due to the feeling of helplessness, government inactivity and inefficiency. People recognize that these attacks are an aftermath of a cycle of events that recorded itself on the radar of responsible people but failed to act! Failed to act when they needed to! Common public, suddenly has a will to change this! The WILL to break from the never ending cycle of terror and government haplessness!

People mean business! and they mean it! Never has Mumbai looked more awakened and united. They know that unless something is done today when the iron is hot and hammer is in sight, they will lose Mumbai. So what is this "Something" that must be done ?

What is this something that can make the Lawmakers realize that it is not good to mistake our inaction for stockiness? Common man can make a difference when made to face back to the Wall! What is it that will prevent the politicians from getting recurrent amnesia over the promises made ?

This "something to be done" must begin from ourselves. How many times have we paid bribe or baksheesh to get our work done early ? How many times have we escaped Chalaan by bribing the traffic cop ? How many times have we destroyed public property because some leader's bust is defaced or because some party says so ? How many times have we broken rules and said, "So what? There are many who do so?"

How can the country change or its leaders be expected to do so, if ones acts are itself not in proper place?

At the higher level,
there is a need for a major shakeup. The politicians have too much power wrested with them. They amend constitution as per their need and play with the social, religious,economic and even geographical fabric of the country! This is from Brigadier Arun Bajpai (Retd)'s article Indian politics-Corrupt Fighting Corruption,
"Indian Constitution had allowed reservations in the country only up to 1960 and it was expected of the politicians that by this time they would have provided sufficient facilities to the down trodden in education and other fields to enable them to come at par with others. Instead, to garner votes our politicians both in states and center have taken the reservation quota policy to ridiculous levels of almost 60% to 70% reservations in total disregard of Supreme Court ruling that reservations should not be in excess of 50%. "
Article 105 of constitution needs to be scrapped which grants immunity from legal action to the politicians. We ourselves must think, which leader is better ?
The one who advertises his caste, creed, religion or region to win votes, who simply promises of free power, free education or who gifts Color-TVs, Rice or Wheat or even Money to win votes, without even presenting a plan.
Should you allow a Color TV or Rice or free power to influence a vote ? Shouldn't you think for a longer period ?

However,
The Big Indian Political Drama has already begun!

It's Election time in India with State Assemble elections in many states and will act as litmus test for the Main Lok-Sabha(Parliamentary) Elections next year. Knowing the terror attack will create a big anti-incumbency factor, the ruling INC(I) has begun purging. Yesterday ,Shivraj Patil resigned from his ministerial post while many bureaucrats could be in line. Will this be sufficient ? Will this stop terror imports from our neighbours ? Will it make us feel safer ?
Will these politicians ever change ?

I wish to write more and pen my thoughts, my emotion but must wait for next post.
Got to study!
Bye! till next post!

Saturday 29 November 2008

Mumbai Terror 1: Enough! We had it!

One more terror attack!

While I write, Indian Elite commando units are engaging terrorists at Taj-Mahal Palace. Every Tourist i have seen visiting Mumbai, visits Gateway of India and Taj-Mahal Palace (If from outside or at least for a coffee) for sure. Its what Statue of Liberty is for New-York and what Eiffel Tower or Arc de triomphe is for Paris or India Gate is for New-Delhi. Even the ones with less on pocket wishes to sit in and sip a tea or coffee. Its the only heritage hotel of Mumbai and is a century old.

Terrorists have carried out the most daring, planned and coordinated attack on the very symbolic hotel Taj-Mahal Palace along with Trident-Oberoi and also indiscriminate firing at many places which are tourist hot spots.

Terrorists are getting more bolder and the body count has risen exponentially from previous one.
So what has changed ?
  • We : Every time Mumbai is attacked, everyone speaks of resilience and the spirit of Mumbai that cannot be touched. This time, Mumbai has decided to speak out!
    • Why should we be the sitting ducks, all the time ?
    • Why should the Financial Hub of India be turned into a Punching Bag or Dart board for the terrorists ?
    • How can we allow ATS chief, a sharp shooter, a dignified IPS officer, an elite commando major, a jawan, dozens of constables be killed ?
    • Why should the Israeli kid be an Orphan on the day of his birthday ?
    • Why should a boy doing Internship shuttling between Haryana and Mumbai die away from his parents? Why should his ambitions be killed ?
    • Why should I hear the same old Pakistani conspiracy theory with no result ?
    • Why should I wait for Centre to sanction forces from Delhi for an operation in Mumbai?
    • Why should I have to hear Shivraj Patil speak out the same words that he has been iterating for many past terror attacks ?
    • Why should I have to hear the PM give out a speech that was the most boring(i must say BORING and UN-INSPIRING !) speech I have heard over a decade? Our PM can't even inspire people who are shaken to the core ? Its a pity that the PM and opposition leader couldn't make it to Mumbai on a single plane. These are times when every gesture speaks out much more than it means!

    • Mumbaikars are thinking and thinking hard, as to how we can prevent such attacks in future. Debates about leadership, crisis management are happening at all places on the island. Debates on how to get a effective leadership and better politicians has started. THE DAM HAS BURSTED ! Mumbaikars wont forgive the leaders for letting them down for the last time. Things will change for sure! One thing Barack Obama campaign has done is inspired Mumbaikars to go for change! and YES! We can change and will bring change!
Many are wishing for our neighbor's annihilation. But that wont still help us ?
The rot is also amongst us ? Our display of helplessness is taken as our resilience and stockiness. We must make our leaders understand that this must change. We will not swallow this time. We need and mean change. We need a change of attitude, the way our external and internal affairs is run, our members of parliament must face the public. They must be accounted for every penny they spend or siphon in most cases. They must be fired if their attendance is found to be poor and barred from contesting if their performance is meager. Corruption must become capital punishment!

The National Security must be unified and under a central control which reports its actions to a Union minister and takes suggestions but not orders. Stop using the intel for spying on rival parties. Establish NSG at every state such that they can fly to any required position in an hour. Otherwise, I will call it New-delhi Security Guards. All parties irrespective of region, religion, no matter if you are a Red or Saffron or Green or White; must blend together like our tricolor flag to bring Peace back!

Its getting late. Rest in next post.
Thought the post ends for today, the anger, resentment and fire remains !


Shobhaa De has acted as an catalyst for this and for many! Her interview on NDTV was path breaking and inspiring.Check her blog at http://shobhaade.blogspot.com/

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Beetles and Wasps Photographs

My assumption that all Wasps are dangerous and have a sting was thankfully changed by this yellow wasp. The tail or sting sort of part is actually a egg laying tube which it uses to lay eggs on leaves or if it is a parasite, it will inject it on some other insect.




This Beetle looks beautiful in its green armory. Its an assassin bug or shield bug.










Tuesday 11 November 2008

Month after Insect photoshoot and tagging

What a Month! I created Profiles and did Photoshoots for many.
Many of them were 6-legged, 8-legged and of classes and sub classes that spin my head! Many had antennae and sting like tube at the back for laying eggs.

Now, before you start imagining, let me clear the air!

I was chasing around Insects and capturing them onto my Sony DSC Cybershot W80 camera. Well many would ask me, "Got nothing else better to do, Eh ?" Well, it seems I am an Insect lover who likes to take their pictures without troubling them!


Macro mode of the digicam is my favorite as it lets me explore fine details of insect body structure from their photos.


This comical and cutest Insect is a Dragon Fly. The best part is they eat mosquitoes and hence generally live near water.

Their Body structure reminds me of Helicopter and I must say their wings are large and strong!

More insects in further posts.

Meanwhile check all of them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/prashantmaxsteel

Thursday 11 September 2008

Borivali Railway Station (Platform-Train) TimeTable1

Borivali to Churchgate trains. Trains starting from Borivali for the time being.

I always wanted to create a Platform based Railway time table for Borivali Station. Though my work is not complete, but just a start; I wish to share my work with others who need the time table. This table has Timings of Trains that Start from Borivali on platforms 1,2,3,7,8.

I invite browsers and surfers who have further information or data to contribute. They will be duly credited.


Monday 25 August 2008

Pakistan : Friend or Fiend ?

I am forced to ponder, when and where, India will draw the Line and say "Pakistan, this is it. One more step and pay the price". I am no extreme rightist or nationalist, but a peace loving countryman wishing to live alongside Pakistan amicably. However, I am deeply concerned over the growing ISI and Pakistan sponsored militancy in India. Not a month passes when an Indian common-man or armed personnel is not killed or hurt by I.S.I. sponsored activities.

Pakistan is my country's biological sibling who left the family in 1947 after years of spilling blood over separation and ownership. In 1947, after the old, stubborn tenant - Britain was evicted and the old house was brought down; two new houses were constructed next to each other
, namely India and Pakistan

Partition or division of ancestral wealth was not enough. Pakistan wanted the princely states to side with Pakistan and went to great lengths to accomplish so. Kashmir is one such example. When Hari Singh of J&K princely state was not willing to side with Pakistan, it dispatched Pakistani tribal warriors and rangers to capture Kashmir by force.

Pakistan has never grown up or matured. It envies India's glory, diversity, liberalism, democracy and stability. Pakistan always blames India for the religious, political, social, economic unrest in Pakistan. Pakistan fails to differentiate a friend from a foe. It considers India as its foremost enemy in all fields. All its policies are meant to act as deterrence against India. It spends a whooping portion of budget on arms & ammunition meant against India when its economy is crumbling. It uses the double edged sword of terrorism against India when conventional wars couldn't succeed. This terrorism is now backfiring. It has virtually lost all control over North West frontier provinces, SWAT, Waziristan, Baluchistan to name a few. It faces Al-Qaeda menace after decades of supporting and harboring their activities in Afghanistan and westen regions. It faces constant brutal suicide bombings by rival Muslim sects. Pakistan has always acted against the Geneva Conventions. It never recognizes Human rights and brutally treats POWs. Infact it still hasnt reclaimed bodies of rangers and of armymen who had fought the Kargil Proxy war. Its ISI has constantly beaten Indian consulate members and has implemented diabolical acts of terrorism. against India.

Pakistan's democracy is a failure. Multiple Military coup is the proof. It is a country where Army is the king maker and major player. It fails in the field of IT and other fields while India flourishes. Indians and Pakistanis have the same blood running in their veins. Both speak same dialects, languages, follow same traditions, customs and culture and share the same PAST. Indians and Pakistanis share the same brain and soul, after all we are brothers! Then why is Pakistan in such an horrible mess ? The country faces an ever lasting dillema as to who is the actual head ? Why is India excelling while Pakistan is plumetting to new lows?

Pakistan suffers from skewed vision. It fails to reconcile with India and come out clean. It misinterprets Islam and has misused the wonderful religion to spread hatred. It needs to alter its constitution to prevent another democratic miscarriage. It needs a complete religious, social, political and economic make over. It must focus on Industrial revolution rather than terrorist revolution. It must stop interfering in Indian matters and start minding its own matters. It must change its attitude and strategy to prevent an all out political, social, religious and economic turmoil.

But will it ?

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Kerala : God's Own Country but managed by Devil's Own People

Dont come after me over the title. You will hear this from many Malayalis themselves.

I just stumbled upon a blog and that seemed to share my views on Kerala.


This is a comment from the blog.

"Great initiative folks. I am a malayalee who has been in kerala till my graduation and even had contested election as chairman in one of the notorioulsy famous govt college in kerala:)). Thankfully sense prevailed to me and i left kerala for my MBA and from there i have only seen growth. Today i am an NRI and lead an american company abroad, but if someone asks me if i will ever invest in Kerala , the answer is a big NO. I love my country and i may even retire there but i see no sense in doing anything for the development of this state."

The Blog named "Dog's Own Country? - The Save Kerala Initiative" is an excellent blog with views on the never ending (worse than the Saas-Bahu Soap operas -i can bet millions of $) political gimmickry in Kerala and its effects on Malayalis.


Don't pity for the fellas getting beaten up by khaki clad policemen/women. These khadi clad people belong to the worst genre. They are the political activists or followers (worse than the politicians)

This my nariyall phod over the issue.
Wait for next blog.

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Ladies marooned on the Atlantis. Where r the Boats ?


Ladies marooned on the Atlantis
Originally uploaded by prashant maxsteel

Ladies queuing up on the right pavement, contemplating how to cross the river (I mean once a road!). I must say now Maruti Suzuki and Tata must concentrate not on Rs. 1 Lakh Car but on Rs 30,000 or around boats. well might save many lives in future.

Mumbai on Wheels n Legs


Mumbai on Wheels n Legs
Originally uploaded by prashant maxsteel

Man! Travel by 4 wheels or 2 Wheels or legs, you aint anything infront of the mighty Mumbai Monsoon and clogged drains.

Worst part, this ain't the normal rain-water, but the water gurgling up from the drains and getting diluted with the rain water !

Location : S.V. Road, Bandra, Mumbai

Mumbai- The New Atlantis


Mumbai- The New Atlantis
Originally uploaded by prashant maxsteel

Mumbai is THE NEXT ATLANTIS !!!
It is low lying, with major portions reclaimed from sea. So going by the book, what u take from the Sea needs to be returned back. Now the Sea seems to be wanting it back !

Oh Come On! I don't blame the BMC completely for this at all ! They have other problems like Pot-Holes , open man holes, etc.
This photo was taken at S.V. Road, Next to IIPM, Bandra, Mumbai.
Seems like BMC fails to manage the road next to a buisness management school !

Monday 4 August 2008

Politics of Immigration and Mumbai 1

"All ye Flamingos n others! from Baikal and other lakes and regions in Cold north. Listen up!
Don't come to India during this Winter. Our Local Birds are not getting enough of water and food. You simply eat and drink and leave after the winter ! What do you give in return ? Why should we protect you ? Go back to your havens in north and find some other place for winter !"
Nowadays, Many Mumbaikars are searching for a meter or calibrator that can provide instant data on how much Marathiness you have in you and how much of a Mumbaikar you are ? :)

Gone are the days when you would proudly strut around saying "Hey! I am an Indian!". Today You can be either 'Urban Indian'
or Bhartian (Rural India) or Uttar Bhartiyite (states of UP, Bihar,etc) or 'SOUTH Indian' or simply 'MADRASIS' (the re-casted state from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, AP, Karnataka), and what not ! Now even Mumbaikar!

This trend must not be mistaken with pride for one's motherland or local flavor. This is Parochialism in its best form! Motherland fervor is simply a tool being used to awaken up the dormant serpent of doom ! (Ok! i take that back!) but yes this is an issue which must be looked upon. I see high scope for high potential and high voltage 'danga-phasaad' (Riots!) in future over Parochialism.


This is the reaction i can think of :

(Ignorant+Idiotic+brainwashed) Mob + (Ignorant/non & innocent) People

Politicians + Dirty Politics
--------------------------------->

Death of Democracy + (Local suffering) + (immigration shifts to better safer place.)


  • Mob will react upon instigation and initial help from Catalysts - Politicians and attack the Common public.
  • The reaction will be Exothermic and Heterogeneous.
  • Undesired result is very high. So yield (for good product, as believed by some that parochialism will give) is low.
  • Result is, People lose hope on democracy creating extreme polarisation, the locals suffer the most as economy, culture bleeds while immigrants detour and go to other places with greener pasture!


Every month I hear of threats emanating from Raj Thackeray's fortress with words of threat to bash up people they consider outsiders - The Immigrants. After his initial tryst with law over his speeches, he has started giving speeches that don't cross the line but neither is behind the line!
Nowadays they are focusing on Bihiaris and Upites whom they collectively bunch as bhaiyyas living in Munbai. They bring out skewed data showing Biharis and Upites are the root of all problem for Mumbai.

solve ?
x - [ Sqrt ( Mumbaikars' problems ) ] = 0

Voila !
if, x = Bhaiyyas!


MNS(Raj Thackeray's party) and some other like minded accuse outsiders of making Mumbai inhospitable, inhumane and dirty. I am sure many of the Localities had their origin in migration during British raj and even before that. (In fact, Humans have migrated from Africa! So by that logic, all of us are migrants! Just a simple extrapolation). So, Which year, month, date and time are they setting for defining Migrants and Locals ? Many of my friends are also getting swayed or polarized by this new magnetic field. They feel only bhaiyya cab drivers are ruthless and rude. They alone spit and defecate on roads. They are the only people who bring corruption into Government machinery. They usurp all the jobs meant for locals. They don't pay taxes and take back all they can to their native places.

By stats, only 3% Indians pay taxes honestly. Rest it is all Swaha! I am also sure 3% of India's population is not Maharashtrians alone. Can't be! So discriminating along the basis of payment/non payment is unjust.
Now, majority of bhaiyyas are employed in menial jobs and work on contractual basis as laborers, carpenters, plumbers,etc. Their earning is very low to be even taxed. Still they live in a costly city like Mumbai and pay for food, clothing and shelter. They don't bring food,clothing and shelter from their states. They pay and avail many of the services. What does the MNS expect these people to do by asking them to spend more in the state? They have hungry mouths to feed back home. Should they splurge more on unwanted non basic stuffs in the city or send the money back to quell the hunger ?
Corruption. I must say the politicians must speak the least on this matter. Aren't they the alumni and visiting faculty of the University of Corruption ? I have seen corruption amongst all irrespective of his/her region. Well at least, one one point the country stands together !
Many usually grumble; Bhaiyya Cabbies are very rude. I must ask such fellas to under a glaucoma and cataract test for their inner eye. Their vision is getting diminished. I have had experiences of bad cabbies from all regions. Well Indians, have forgotten courtesy and the 5 golden rules while interacting with customers.
Many feel all the outsiders who come into Mumbai live in slums and shanties defacing the beleaguered city. You must accept that Mumbai is a growing city and this must reflect on its physical boundary as well. The government must develop and take up newer better plans rather than wait for the judgment day! The BMC must be tough on slum establishments. Nip it in the bud. Make the message clear that Mumbai wont allow slum dwellings.

Also why target only Biharis and Upites ? when reports show majority of new comers to the city are from Rural Maharashtra. Over the years the Rural Maharashtra influx into Mumbai has exceeded Northies and Southies. I personally feel, Mumbaikars are completely dissatisfied with the lack of basic needs,infrastructure and other vital facilities and resources that any growing city needs. The political party MNS can sense this discontent, but instead of channelising it to pressurize the government to go on over drive with the pending projects, the party is blaming the outsiders over the issues. The party is trying to play the Marathi Asmita Card and divide the Mumbaikars as Localities and Outsiders. One thing must be accepted that, it is the contribution of Gujarati and Marwari Businessmen/women, Parsis' Entrepreneurship, South Indian Office and clerical staff, Bihari and UP carpenters, plumbers, watchmen, etc along with the Locals that gives the city its color. The city would not be where it is today without their contribution. MNS must stop poisoning youths. As city grows, people who cannot keep up wither away. Well thats the Natural Law of 'Only the Fittest Survive'. So If MNS feels Locals are loosing edge over others, I ask MNS to come forward and take up the initiative to educate/train Localities for the present scenario. Do what Shiv Sena once did ! Train Local Youths so that they can compete with others in all sectors. Make the facilities available to them.
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Mumbai was a city developed (I must say joined & developed) by Britishers during British Raj with a vision for acceptable number of years. But then, after Independence years of Red -tapism, babudom (that's what i call going 'merry-go round' around Government babus and their offices), lack of vision, lack of urgency, corruption etc, Plans after Plans lay under and above heaps of more plans and recommendations in government offices. The government seems not in a hurry to undertake major overhaul of its infrastructure even though its Roads, Rail are bursting to its seams. Local Trains are really worse than the Hitler's Concentration camp transportation wagons. Every year, BMC speaks of flood less monsoons. This year the first rainfall itself showed the otherwise. Potholes are getting bigger so are the pockets of rich and holes in the poor. Man Holes remain open while BMC vehemently deny any such stuff and admonish US embassy over its travel advisory for Mumbai!
This city is going no where! The CM can enjoy luxury of his new posh jetliner while Mumbaikars are stuffed every day into Local Trains just to reach their office. The Government can envisage installing one more C.Shivaji.M. statue, this time in sea while Waterways remain closed for commoners.
The government has failed over security n times. People simply have become numb over this issue. This is the grim story of Mumbai (Maharashtra it is worse, maybe next time). MNS is simply exploiting the poor tired Mumbaikars !
Alas! People consider his fiery speeches as nice. God !

Wednesday 9 July 2008

LEFT has Left !

Left has finally left the Congress led UPA after years and years of threats to pull out. After all, there is a limit to how much you can nag and black mail. No wonder, the stock market showed very little concern over this issue. In fact the market heaved a little sigh of relief and went into positive The LEFT policy of "Support from outside to UPA "after the Lok-Sabha election became clear to be "Oppose from Inside". Seems like the LEFT had done their English grammar homework well ! Had Chanakya been alive today, he would have been happy to add one more chapter to his treatise - Arthashastra on
"how efficiently you can make the ruling party inefficient by supporting them rather than sit out as opposition party."
The LEFT has withdrawn from the UPA as UPA went ahead with the Nuclear Deal against the wishes of LEFT. It blames the UPA government of giving more importance to Indo-US Nuclear Deal while neglecting spiraling inflation, commodity prices and others. I simply cannot understand, were they not part of the government ? Isn't it part of their responsibility to help government chalk out a plan to curb the crisis affecting India and government. Left simply tells this is wrong, that is wrong! but when it comes to action plan they turn their faces away! They simply want to act as deterrents within the government. They speak the language of Opposition party in the skin of Supporting party! Was it this that the Lakhs of voters who voted for Left wish to see ? A party with no action plan but with advisories. Left must have the spine to accept responsibilities and also most importantly adopt an optimistic attitude!

My coldness towards the Indian LEFT is chiefly because they hardly think and when they think it is too late. They simply make decisions with their heart and never use their brains. Their policies towards US are obsolete and irrational. The simple fact that other Left induced nations are progressing and accepting the principles of capitalism hardly triggers anything in their head. Years of LEFT rule in W-Bengal and Kerala has hardly alleviated the sufferings of poor. The popular saying is that LEFT requires poverty to survive. It is quite funny that Left Government in W-Bengal is literally in arms against the poor peasants over the Singur issue. I was surprised to see gundas and henchmen owing allegiance to Left raping women and killing peasants who oppose the Singur Deal. Today the Left is failing miserably to adapt to the new world and is still stuck in the age old principles which are irrelevant today. They must understand "Change is the only thing that doesn't change.Change is imminent". Left must change its approach towards the western nations. It must understand no country out there wishes to be our ally without any personal gains. Hence the party must keep the National interest over idealogical issues to extract the deals which are useful for India.

PS : Leftists please take a page out of China's policies and their progress chart.

Sunday 18 May 2008

Borivali Platform No 8 Train Time-Table

(Click on the pic for enlarged view)


Hi there, Borivali Railway Station commuters ! How many times have you fretted and fumed when the Western Mumbai Local Trains terminate at Borivali Station Platform 8 ?

Majority of Borivali (W) Commuters come from LT Road, Chandavarkar Road or from SV Road (Dahisar Side). Its really time consuming and taxing to walk from Platform 8 then 7 and finally 1 before touching the road. It takes almost 10-15 minutes to cross. It is always better to catch the next train which arrives upon platform 1 / 2 / 3 / 7 than one that touches 8th platform.

Platforms 8,7,1 (South to North) lie one after the other like bogies of a train. The start of Platform 8 is the end of platform 7 and start of platform 7 is the end of platform 1. (See diagram)
Platform 8 is almost in between the Kandivali and Borivali (platform1) stations. The only direct west exit for the 8th platform is at the beginning of the 8th platform ie. end of 7th platform. Outside this exit point some autos can be seen parked. However only some agree to take passengers. Also its a wastage of money to take an auto from there! Hence many continue the great walk onto the 7th platfom. 7th platform has another exit point at its start. This happens to be opposite to Anupam Stationary and much nearer to LT Road than earlier exit. Some end their walk here while many continue towards the First Platform.
The walk is approximately same as walking from Borivali Adidas Showroom(near Fly-over and Mc-Donald's Restaurant) to Chandavarkar Road. (Almost entire Borivali stretch along SV Road !)

To make things worst, by the time we have finished crossing 8th platform and reached 7th. Another Local Train touches there. Suddenly the platform is crowded and chok a block as everyone want to exit from 7th platform entry or from platform 1. After successfully managing to reach platform 1, we find oneself caught in same situation on platform1. Another Train arrives on Platform 1 and its hell broke loose!

Put yourself in this situation. It is the Evening Peak hour and very hot and humid. You have struggled to catch a train to Borivali. The train is jam packed. You are crushed like anything and sweating profusely! You just wish to reach home as early as possible. The Local Train from Churchgate side arrives at Borivali much to your relief. However you relief soon turn to disappointment as the train stops at platform 8.

I have collected some data related to train which end up at Borivali Station Platform 8 and incorporated it with the Railway Time Table. As and How I get more data it will be uploaded ! Users and surfers wishing to help in would be gladly accepted. As a mark of courtesy their names will be published!




The given Data is to the best of my knowledge. However no one can be held responsible for errors occurring in the data. If any, plz let me know. It will be rectified !


Sunday 4 May 2008

Ending of the Semester !

Yup! Thats an engineering student towards the end of semester !

The semester is ending and study leave will start ! Nay man! still no respite! In fact this is the tightest time of the semester. Daily Oral Examinations, Experiment Exams, Journal Certification, Submissions and what not!

Everyday, notice-board vigil is kept. Any day the examination dates and Practical exams n vivas can be displayed. Its also the time when the empire strikes back ! Professors start displaying Attendance Lists and Defaulters' List is proudly highlighted . Those who fall short of attendance (75%) can be seen running from pillar to post.

Everyone assumes the role of Note Scouter . Every suspicious page or bundle is assumed to be some study note and charged upon. Photocopying shops are crowded with every thing possible being photocopied! Libraries are noisy with paratroopers creating strategies on which book to issue and where it probably lies! Intellectuals fail to safeguard their study notes and Copyright fails to look right!

This is the worst time to pick a fight with Lab Assistants and Peons.

Why is it some people find pleasure in other's hardship and pain? What causes them to play brother to devil ? Sadistic Pleasure is what they seek. How much i abhor them! Engineering Colleges play host to many such two legged sadists. Most of them are the Lab Assistants and clerks . Every day we face their tantrums. A greeting fails to bring smile on their face. At most expect a grin! Sarcasm are the vowels in their language. Asking for apparatus or college utility or urging them to carry out their work is considered sin. They consider themselves elite, in fact many professors don't dare to come in their way! Practical examinations are when they lash out at students who have rebelled against them. Cross their path once and you will be marked forever. They will go out of the way to put hurdles in your path. Project and Semester File submissions are made Hell. I am fed up of being nice to them !

This time of the semester, Engineering seems more of paper work and HR management. This is surely MBA where marks are our sales target; projects, files and assignment are assets to be safeguarded and Peons, Lab assistants are the people to be buttered up to achieve Perfect Sales!
Still got some more semesters before I pass out! Profits are to be Maximised and Pangas (Fights or Tiffs) are to be minimized! Got to hold my nerves intact and put up a smiling face !


Message 4 Amar : Amar Sudhar Ja! Before It is too Late !

Tuesday 15 April 2008

CRT Colors and Dog napping Photos

Check these interesting pictures!

(a) A macro photo taken of CRT Monitor Screen.

The Image1 can be seen to made of combinations of Red, Blue and Green in Image 2.
Click here for original Image (you can see better resolution. size around 2Mb)


Image1



Image2




(b)I hope the dog does not fall off !

Malayali New Year - Vishu






Photo: Vishu-kanni (click for enlarged pic)
[ early morning in between the brahma muhurtam 4am-6am, vishukanni is seen. Vishukanni is seen in the light of oil lit lamps. Photo taken without flash to show how it looks. ]



M
alayalis all over the world celebrated Vishu - "Spring Harvest Festival or New Year Day Festival" on April 14th. It marks the start of the Malayalam astronomical calendar's first Month, MEDAM. Though Official Kerala(govt.) New Year starts with Chingam, many still consider this as the New Year Day. The festive day is also shared by Bengalis, Punjabis and Assamese.

The day begins with parents waking you up early morning.
Wait! that's not the end.
You will wake up with eyes closed and parents will guide you to the Visukanni (Vishu-kanni). Slowly-slowly you open your eyes adjusting to the lights of the oil-lamp. Placed before you will be the Lord's Idol (Bala-Gopalan - Krishna as a child), "valkannadi" (symbolizes Devi) along with the "Urli" arranged with Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers especially "Konna Poov". Coconut cut into halves with cloth "kiyyhis" dipped in oil placed inside them are lit. Malayali's favourite item - Gold also manages to find a place among them. All items symbolic of prosperity will be displayed. It symbolizes prosperous New Year.

This is followed by receiving blessing from Elders. This is the best part!
In childhood days, we used to wait for this moment with eager breath. After falling on their feet, we would get "Vishu Kai-nettam" - a small amount of money from our elders. In my father's days, he used to get a "anna" or "rupee". Then hierarchy played an important role and decided how much you will get. My father being the eldest Male son used to get a little higher than other siblings. In my childhood, I remember getting 10 rupees or moret from each of the elders. My cousins and myself would pester the elders to give more till they yield. The money accumulated would then go into buying Ice-creams!

There are pujas or prayers and hymns are sang praising the Lord. Food for Lord Ganapati - Vigneshwara is served . Its a Hindu ritual to serve food to Lord before commons. Then comes the afternoon "Sadhya" - the grandeous meal. This is one day when I get to eat Malayali delicacies on plantain leaves. The other days being my birthday and Onam. These are days when Chappatis wont be made in my house. My sadhya favourites are Avial, Olan, Thoran, Mooru-Kuttan, Ingi-tair and Papadam. (Kerala Papad). Paysam(Kheer) is served as desert at the end of the lunch.

Vishu and Onam Sadhyas meant a lot to my father and his brother-sisters during their chidhood. These sadhyas brought happiness and joy and helped them forget their poverty for a day. For a day, they could feast and have many things to eat! It was a day when they would get to have Papadam and payasam and get a change from Kanji or sometimes nothing!

Today, Kerala like many other Indian states have very less agricultural land and many few people pursue agriculture. Today, Vishu may hardly look like a Harvest or Spring festival and more like a Gold or Silk Sarees purchase festival. Also as Inflation and Food Scarcity hits the market, Vishu may have lost its traditional essence; however, for many N.R.K. (I mean Non-resident Keralites) like me, it helps me connect myself to the Malayali Culture. Its one festival I enjoy every year.

This year Maharashtra government has declared a state holiday on account of Ambedkar Jayanti. This has helped many Malayalis like me to stay at home and enjoy the festival. Thanks to the Government!

Other Photos :
(1) With Flash (unfortunately the flash has masked the Lord's face)
The "Konna puv" flower can be seen near the Lord's photo.

(2) The "Urli" (utensil's name). Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers filled Urli. (I tried to maintain symmetry while placing the fruits n vegetables in the "Urli" for Vishukanni ! The small metal item in front is called "Valkannadi". It means hand-held mirror(kannadi).

(3) This time I decided to keep some of my favourite Foreign Coins along with the usuals.
I have kept Briton's 2Shilling, US Quarter, Euro 50Cent, Belgium 5Francs and Saudi 0.1Riyal.

(4)

Check the wikipedia site for more info on how others celebrate Vishu.

Friday 28 March 2008

Calanguate Beach:Goa

Some more pics from Goa.

Pics of my friends before we went to play beach football.




Monday 24 March 2008

Revisiting Infrared Camera

This month's Chip magazine has an article on Using white LED's on breadboard to act as supplementary light system for shooting pics in less light.

It struck me with an idea! Why not do the same with Infrared Led's ?
So I bought one breadboard. (I dont prefer Soldering for such small works) and 5 White LED's and 5 Infrared ones.

Simply plug the LEDs (check out the anode-cathode) in the breadboard and connect it to a external supply.

Voila! There you have it!

Since I didnt find proper wires, I used a metallic scale and Screw Driver as connectors and Telephone Wire as Current source!

Photos:
1. and 2. White LEDs in action
3. Infrared LEDs connected with tubelight
4. Infrared LEDs connected in Darkness

Now many will think, this can be achieved even with White LEDs. though white LEDs seem better Light Supplementary; Infrared is invisible to naked eye, so adds up the thrill. Think of it as a better option for Stealth Camera!



Saturday 22 March 2008

Animal Instincts





Photos :
1. Husband and Wife having a stand off!
2. It amuses me! Dogs in my compound like sleeping on boundary walls. Hope they dont fall off!

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Check this out

Check out this blog, http://ajt.iki.fi/blog/

He has visited many places and his travel manuscript is fantastic !




Friday 21 March 2008

More Goa ! - Mangeshi Temple



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Photos :

1. Photo taken from my Hotel
2. Mangeshi Temple Bell Tower

Goa2Bombay







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More Goa ! - Basilica & Museum





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Photos :
1. Helmet for the concerned!
2. Stegya posing
3. The Museum in Old Goa
4. Inside Francis Xavier Basilica
5. Inside the Basilica
6. The Basilica


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