Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy Diwali

Here wishing you all a very Happy, Safe & prosperous Diwali.
Play it safe. Keep an eye for our environment too..
See ya all after a long weekend..

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tech-savvy mumbai

Overheard on a Mumbai Local train

Hey boss, your Digicam is of how many MPs? And howm many x zoom??
Arre yaar, Compact Flash cards are better than SD??

Another occasion…
This is an AC/DC train. So careful while you jump into get a seat. It comes & goes faster…

You should buy a mobile with Smart phone technology. See you can install various softwares that you can download from net. SIS file, Jar file you know… And GPRS, EDGE etc is there. Arre yaar while on the move you could watch news & your e-mails on your cell…

Home theatre? Buy one with 5.1 channels amp.

Mumbai is definitely getting tech-savvy, won’t you say?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Denial Mode.

Recently there is widespread panic in Kerala at the speed with which Chikun Gunya is spreading. But the health ministry is keep issuing circulars to newspaper offices.
Chikun Gunya is not fatal. Those who died (the last count is somewhere close to 100), died due to other illness”. The question is if they didn’t contract Chikun Gunya, would they die now? No answer.
The dreaded disease polio is rearing its head in Mumbai once again. All this concentrated effort to eradicate it failed miserably. Now the administration is blaming it on the “Influx of Immigrants from UP & Bihar”. It’s not our fault, you see.
After the floods and subsequent epidemics such as Leptospirosis, The civic chief famously said “It’s the weather. We can’t do anything about it. Due to unprecedented rains this year, there is flooding and epidemics”. But last year also we got Unprecedented rains. So there is precedence.
When dengue hits the city it is squarely blamed on Mosquitoes. “Due to the uncontrolled encroachment of mangroves & other natural resources mosquitoes are breeding very fast. This is causing the current outbreak”. See, none of their / our fault.
This year upmarket areas like Napean sea road witnessed a surge in Malaria cases. Who to blame? Ofcource the mosquitoes. They came from the sky. We didn’t do anything.

Nobody is responsible, you know. The government blames it on administration; they promptly put it on weather, flood, inefficiency, over-worked staff, inadequate funds and trade union problems. Those who are in their list, and can respond (can’t you see, weather, inefficient workers can’t respond to it) put the blame on whatever they can come up with. We, the public, throw all the waste onto the gutter and roads, making it a breeding ground (or rather breeding pool) for mosquito and blame the government of doing nothing. The vicious circle starts all over again.
Who will take the initiative? Who can do something that set off a chain-reaction? I say the government. The government says you start. Now what?

Some photos from my trip

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Rude? Who, us Indians? get a life...

A few months back there was a big furor about a survey that found Indians among the rudest of all people. Every one was outraged at that blatant statement and protest notes were all over the place. Blogs, articles and TV shows competed to prove otherwise. Yours truly also joined the bandwagon and wrote how the Mumbaikar was not at all rude but how much compassionate during the recent bomb blasts that shook the city. It is true that in adversity we go out of our way to help others but in everyday life are we that lenient? The everyday fight for a seat in a crowded local train, the abuse-hurling nature makes me think otherwise. And my recent trip to Kerala doesn’t make me think otherwise.
We – me, my wife and my 18 month old daughter boarded a sleeper class reserved compartment from Kalyan on Mangala-Lakshadeep Express. Unfortunately my seat was in the next coupe and due to my daughter’s continuous whining I decided to stay with them. A family was sitting next to our seat and they occupied the rest of the coupe except one seat. A man in his forties was sitting on that seat. When he left his seat to stand in the doorway, I decided to have breakfast. While we were having it, he came back and asked me to vacate his seat. I have no other option but to stand up with Idli plate in one hand, coffee cup in the other. I cursed the moment when I decided to have breakfast together. I could have let my wife eat first while I baby-sit, and once she finished I could have mine!
Throughout the journey the family next to us was very accommodating and kind, but this guy was outright rude. Once or twice my kid laughed loudly and he made it clear that he is irritated. Luckily he got down at Ratnagiri, a 6 hour journey from Kalyan, along with the family next to me. It felt like a lifetime!
From there till Madgao (Goa) we had the entire coupe for us. We reached there about 10:00 PM and my daughter was in a playful mood. I had to restrain her many times from climbing down the seat and walking barefoot. She made friends with a guy who was sitting on the double seat across the aisle and by now he too was sleeping on his berth. Suddenly two foreigners came into our coupe with heavy backpacks and luggage. They put all their belongings on to their reserved berths and all the while chatting and laughing, albeit in a low voice. When they noticed that my wife and child was sleeping she politely said “Sorry about the noise”. I mumbled something and got ready to sleep as well.
The next morning while we were having our breakfast, the women from upper birth woke up and checked her companion. Since he was fast asleep, she went back to sleep. This repeated for some more time and every time she gave us a sweet smile. Finally he too woke up and they started shooting the passing landscapes on their digital camera & camcorder.
After some shooting they came back to the seat and struck up a conversation. The first question was “Did we bother you last night?” to which I replied in the negative. Suddenly they two started talking. By then my daughter was fed up with not getting any attention and decided that enough is enough. She started making faces and doing her version of a conversation and these two responded with equal naughtiness. The way they spoke and behaved was amazing. I never remember any of my co-passengers talked to me like that. In a couple of hours we become friends.
Sebastian & Nathalie were from France. He is from Paris and working as an Insurance Marketing executive. She is from some other place (I don’t remember the name or her nature of work since her accent was heavy). Both were on a tight budget (hence the second class railway) and been to Varanasi and other Hindu pilgrim centers. After visiting Goa, they are heading to Kerala. Sebastian was full of questions. Why Indian women wear the “bindi” on her forehead? Is it a symbol of matrimony? How many languages are there in India? How do you manage with all these languages and cultures? Etc…
Natalie wasn’t far behind. She wanted to know how to wear Saree. And is it a costume to wear only after marriage etc. The whole day we spend in talking and myself asked about their culture and living in Paris. By the time we had to get down, we exchanged e-mail address and promised to contact once they went back to France.

Now I strongly believe we have a lot to learn from westerners, particularly from Europeans. Not their free society culture or revealing clothes. But how to behave in a society. How to talk and how to be kind.
Ps: Sebastian & Natalie, we enjoyed that trip tremendously. It was just because of your company. Here is a big Thank You!