Sunday 16 December 2007

Lord of the Rings....

Yes, I'm finally done with the very famous book series which competes with Harry Potter series in terms of popularity and fame.

It took a total of three days,(with full day college) and late nights to finish off the six books(clean sweep,eh?).Well,JRR Tolkein certainly knows how to captivate the attention of the reader, is all that I can say....

Review?

Well,it's a book full of new strange creatures,just like HP,but a little more in number!It's all about a ring!!The book has many similarities with HP,but I didn't feel the kind of high I do while reading the Harry Potter series.I guess being the same age as the protagonists also contributes to the level of understanding of the emotions.....and waiting for every book for an year also contributes....

The story is well known to all,thanks to the super hit Hollywood adaptions of the movie,(I'm yet to see all! and that too,despite of having them with me.......time,why art thou so less??????) .

I think,I'll put a post after seeing the movies.....As for "when",I have no idea!!!!

New coaches......
















OK, I know this has been long in coming.........


And no,I'm not talking about cricket coaches(waste of time!!),I'm talking about the new railway coaches which have been introduced.


While travelling back from Indore to Nagpur,the train,much to the amusement of many, and annoyment of others,had new coaches......but the catch is that these coaches also have new designs.Where earlier only 2 people could occupy the side berths,now three people can travel, which means that in one compartment nine people will travel and in one bogie 72 instead of the previous 64.......and the person who occupies the middle side berth(I'm assuming that is what it is going to be referred as now!) will be seated with the passengers on the other side to avoid clutter on the side berth.


The extra berth during the day time,can be neatly packed right below the upper berth so as to avoid any inconvenience and so that the window remains a source of light and air(non A/C coaches obviously!)


The pictures above are of the 3-tier A/C coach.


One good feature about these coaches is that reading lights have been provided with every berth and it is a boon for voracious readers like me who like to read late into the night.Upto this point, there's been a serious dearth of facilities like these,and every time I've travelled through the night in a train,I've had to face glares from fellow passengers asking me to switch off the lights!!!But India being India,(sigh!)on the very first trip that this new train took(I was in it) two of these lights weren't working!!!


Even the lavish dark brown colour is loads better than the ancient dull grey colour,which had got once got firmly attached with Indian Railways.


But well,some passengers didn't seem to be taking the change too well.I overheard a big fat lady fuming "Saala Buddha sathiya gaya hai!!!"(Apparently,she was one of the first ones to be receiving the honour of gracing the newly installed side berth) and without bothering to look at her face,I fled chuckling away!!!(For the sake of the dim-witted,Buddha=Laloo)


What does it mean for the Railway ministry?Simply this that instead of increasing the number of coaches,number of seats in each coach have been increased so that the ministry is going to earn more......As it is,the ministry faces losses in passenger trains,only to cover 'em up in goods trains!!

I think this was one of the first trains with which this change was experimented,and soon the others will follow,if it meets with success..


My take on it-Not bad!!!Finely designed having plush interiors.But suitable for aam Indian junta?????


*shrugging shoulders*
I have no idea!!!Let's wait and watch!








Tuesday 20 November 2007

I'm in luv...



Ok!so u guys wanted know about my luv life?????hmm......OK!!!!






This is it-



















Yep!the coolest gizmo in town!(which is not available here).
(WHAT were you thinking?????)


Presenting apple's ipod nano........


sleek,slim,memory of 4GB,and an even cooler price-239 singapore $(which is equivalent to somewhere around6,500 rupees)cool,eh?
And for more details,go to-


For the benefit of those who are alien to the computer lingo,this means ample storage of songs, videos,photos n even movies!As for the battery,it has a great back-up!24 hrs of non-stop audio (tried n tested) or 5 hrs of non stop viedo(have to take their word for it).It takes around 3 hrs to get completely charged, the only hitch being that it requires high speed (2.0 or higher) USB port(usually available on laptops but may not be on all computers).But yeah,there is a provision of a travelling charger using which anyone can charge it on normal DC supply.So everybody is happy!!!!!
Especially me!

Sunday 4 November 2007

Impacts of Emergecy

So how's the rest of the world taking it?According to what the TOI and rediff have to report,the US is ready to downplay the whole thing.

Here's the complete article from TOI:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Musharraf_defies_Bush_snubs_Rice/articleshow/2515610.cms

The article clearly indicates that the US for the time being,is still supportive of Musharraf and his policies.

While India has not issued an official take on the matter(as of now),yet it's wary of the developments taking place in Pak and is keeping an eye on them.India has a lot more to worry about when it comes to security of its own border,because with the implementation of the emergency,militants or 'jihadis' are bound to try and infiltrate the Indian territory.

This decision to impose the emergency has come at a time when the SC was due to announce its verdict on whether Musharraf could hold his post as the Pak Army Chief or not,besides being the President.

The most immediate effect of emergency seems to be complete disruption in the life of an ordinary countryman,the confusion and chaotic situation in the country and the next elections seem to be put on a hold!

Pakistan sure seems to be heading in for ,not a downfall,but a pitfall,with Musharraf leading the way.

P.S.The Indo-Pak cricket series is to continue against all odds!

WATZ going on???

One day everything seems fine and the next day,we find that Musharraf suddenly declares an emergency in Pakistan!Although if the reactions of the US are to be taken into account,then it was already aware of the crisis that was to shortly befall the country.

The TOI reports

Washington though clearly had the inside scoop on Musharraf's impending moves. Besides sending Fallon and Jordan's King Abdulla to persuade Musharraf not to go down the Emergency route, the US also baled out its current prima donna Benazir Bhutto, who fled to Dubai hours before the military action, ostensibly to meet her family.

But the scuttlebutt in Islamabad and Washington is that Benazir -- and the US -- knew the crackdown was coming, and she was advised to leave. How Washington will handle this public defiance by Musharraf of the line it laid down -- besides defying popular opinion in Pakistan -- will unravel over the next week.

This came as an extreme surprise to India.Although the sudden move of Bhutto to Dubai to "meet her family" should've rung an alarming bell,yet not much attention was paid towards it.

But,the question that remains is,Why,was the emergency declared?According to Musharraf,the deteriorating security and the "interference beyond endurance" of the judiciary in the political matters of the country forced him to impose an emergency.At this point,we may as well remember the case of Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhary,who had been removed for a brief period earlier and had fought it out in the court and won back his position.But this time,when a panel of 8 judges headed by Iftikhar Choudhary condemned the move and rejected it, using the emergency as an excuse,Gen has removed him from his post and instead appointed someone else,no doubt one who would do his bidding and carrying!

This is what rediff has to report:

In a statement, Musharraf said: 'There has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth in particular. Constant interference in executive functions, not limited to the control of terrorist activity, economic policy, price controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government, the police force has been completely demoralized and is fast losing its efficacy to fight terrorism and intelligence agencies have been thwarted in their activities and prevented from pursuing terrorists.'

'Some hardcore militants, extremists, terrorists and suicide bombers who were arrested and being investigated were ordered to be released. The persons so released have subsequently been involved in heinous terrorist activities, resulting in loss of human life and property. Militants across the country have thus been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued.'
'The humiliating treatment meted to government officials by some members of the judiciary on a routine basis during court proceeding has demoralized the civil bureaucracy and senior government functionaries, to avoid being harassed, prefer inaction.'


'The law and order situation in the country as well as the economy have been adversely affected and trichotomy of powers eroded; Whereas a situation has thus arisen where the government of the country cannot be carried on in accordance with the constitution and as the constitution provides no solution for this situation, there is no way out except through emergent and extraordinary measures.'

In short,Musharraf's not happy with the way the law and order situation was being handled by the court,leaving no place for his dicatorship!

After the declaration of the emergency,Pakistan has been cut off from the rest of the world with the phone lines being cut off,the mobile services being disrupted and the private channels being taken off air i.e. they don't want the rest of the world to know what's going on and they don't
want anybody to be able to do so.

Next:A lot more on the other aspects of the issue!

Thursday 1 November 2007

N-Deal--Still No place to save your face!

To continue with my previous post on the Nuclear Deal(with all the updates),
It seems that the Left is not satisfied with lollipops this time,or have there been less lollipops than it would like to have?What with the politicians busy with trying to punish Mr.Ronen Sen for what was apparently correct(Unfortunately,the Left differs;but then it differs on almost everything),and some others busy with the general protest,the deal doesn't look likely to get finalised some time soon!

The UPA has finally decided that it is more interested in retaining the power at the centre,which makes it look like mid term polls are out of the question for the time being!Wonder how long is the US going to wait till it decides to pull the plug!The deal had faced enough opposition from the US Congress as well,and with the US set to go in for polls,if the deal is to get finalised,then the maximum time that can be granted is the year end.After that,the deal surely falls through!

And Indian scientists have agreed that if the deal is not signed,India will fall short of the fuel required to keep the nuclear energy going.

All said and done,it took me just a few sentences from an imminent personality,Mr.Suresh Chandre,to set me thinking!And now I think there's been something really fishy going on over there..I mean, why is the PM refusing to divulge the terms of the deal,as demanded by the opposers of the nuclear deal????And even the people have a right to know what exactly is India heading into!But the PM has been constantly refusing,all the while claiming that it is in the interest of the country.If it is,then why the refusal?

There really is something cooking over there,and if it is headless chickens,then I think India is soon going to be in a sorry state of affairs!

Njoying to the hilt!

So,it's college life for me and I've been enjoying myself,with friends!Just a little wave of guilt when I see the name of my college,cause this was not where I wanted to be,but anyway, determined to make the most of it!

We've been visiting some cool hangout places,some of the most popular ones in town,those that stay packed 24/7.Yes,I'm talking about CCD(VCA ground) and REDS(previously Hot Breads,right next to CCD).Although I'm sure every teen in the city has been hitting these places fairly regularly,yet,for the benefit of those who haven't,I'd say,grab the very next chance,although you might want to stay back and watch out for the other branches of CCD,cause this one doesn't keep half the things they've put up their menu.Maybe the one at PC(Poonam Chambers) would be better!REDS has its share of accolades,but it's a little crowded and being situated right next to CCD makes it less spicy than it could've been at some other location.But overall the food is good, and the service being slow at CCD,we gave the guys there something to think about by filling in the feedback form quite ungraciously!!!!!He's going to watch out for us the next time ;)

Besides,the new development in town is the coming up of 1....2......3......radio channels at one go!And radios have suddenly become hotter!With the incoming of Radio Mirchi,My FM and Radio City,don't be surprised to see every second person with ear phones stuffed into his(where else?)ears.And this is at a time,when I'm getting my new ipod!!!!!

Anyway,I could still be enjoying both!

No,it hasn't been all fun and no study,cause we've already had one exam,but yeah,it feels better to finally study just for the sessionals and your own college score,after slogging for 2 years,,where one had to keep the BIGGER picture in mind;I'm talking about the competitive exams!

So,this was all in the update of all that's been happening on this front since my post in August!So long!

BACK!!!With a BANG!!!!!!!!!!!

OK,If people have been wondering about the absence of posts on the blog,fear not,cause I haven't gone anywhere,I'm right here,just been a little busy(still am,for that matter)but anyway, I hope to find enough time to blog regularly!

Monday 20 August 2007

N-Deal--Save your face!

I always knew that all politicians are mad,but I never knew that to fulfil their own whims and fancies,they would take India to a level where there would be no place for the country to even hide its face!



The Left parties are balantly opposing the N-deal without waiting to figure out the pros and cons of the nuclear deal,all the while claiming that the deal would lead to slavery of the US.And we know it extremely well that China is waiting with bated breath for the consequence of the deal and is keeping its fingers crossed for the deal to fall through!Besides,India stands to lose its image,its rate of growth and development and of course,support from US and allies.India is at the moment,recognised as a future super-power and all development may take a back seat if support does not come in from all quarters.There are other smaller countries which are looking up to India to end the US reign.Of course,US would never let it be a smooth sail for India and India may have to be always wary of US and on its toes even after the deal is signed but it would be atleast better than not signing the deal.Besides,India can very well place the condition that the agreement is being signed only in the present condition of the deal and no changes which are not in the interest of our country,would be entertained thereafter!And when,India has always portrayed itself as a nation which opposes violence,then there is no reason whatsoever for the Left or NDA to oppose on those grounds,atleast,and India is getting a better deal than most of the other countries.We are getting the cake and a chance to eat it too!India keeps its weapons,the research and development for nuclear energy can go on unhindered and besides,India will need alternate forms of energy with its ever growing population.

This being the state of the country and its image and portrayal worldwide,an even greater crisis awaits India from within.



I am of course,talking about the internal politics of the nation.The Left parties are opposing the deal and seeing that,NDA has taken to opposing the government on each and every issue,it is no surprise to see the opposition from that side.The Left has threatened to withdraw support from the Congress-led government,which would invariably lead to a poll election.But is India ready for another mid term poll?



I don't think so!India is extremely vulnerable at the moment and the fact that there is no party which can alone,on its own, hold power at the centre doesn't help either!The politicians and the political parties are I think,acting,in an extremely selfish manner and the nation is about to suffer at their hands.There are I think,demands by the common man to call for expert opinions on this matter,namely that of the scientists and other IAEA experts directly involved in the matterAnd it is extremely good to see that people want the matter to be turned to somebody like APJ Abdul Kalam,who is in a state to offer expert opinion on the matter.I can't, as of now,hear any expert being vocal about non support to the deal as was the case earlier,when the terms of the deal had not being revised!

Pleae note,at this point though,that I am not a Congress or a UPA supporter as some might make the mistake of concluding.I am highly critical of the way the government functions,but in this matter,I believe that the best way out would be signing the deal,of course,after ensuring,that there are no loopholes!

The sooner India resolves the issue,the better it is going to be!Although seeing the stand the Left is taking,the going does seem to be tough!But as we all know,yeh Left parties ki bahut purani aadat hai,pehle oppose karte hain,phir baatchit karte hain aur phir candy dikhane par maan jaate hain!Hopefully.this is going to end the same way!

Tuesday 31 July 2007

Go Goa!

If you've been wondering about the absence of posts on this blog,rest assured, as there's nothing to worry about.It was just that I've been in Goa for the past one week,having a perfectly lovely holiday and even now,I'm not in Nagpur,but in Mumbai(leaving tonight).

OK,so this post is going to describe Goa as I saw it!

The very first thing that strikes about Goa is the lush greenery spread out just about everywhere you look.We'd disembarked at Madgaon and since we had a reservation at the Royal Goan Haathi Mahal Resort,we proceeded directly to the place.The resort is situated in Mobor,very near to the Cavelossum beach.It is a peaceful place and an extremely ideal place to be at if you are going at this time of the year i.e. during the monsoons,coz you can never tell when it's going to start raining.The five days that we were there,we were greeted by the rains every single day,which did spoil the fun to some extent,but then we did not give up and went sight seeing while having a bath(rain bath that is).


The first day,we went to tour North Goa.Our tour included Dona Paula,Panjim city and a Boat cruise.

Dona Paula-

The name sounded really attractive but it was actually not very interesting.At that time we didn't know the history of the place and it just looked like a very boring place to look at the sea.It was much later that we got to know the history when the bus driver on another tour mentioned it.Apparently,it involves a local tale of a rich girl Dona falling in love with a poor boy Paula, and not having the parents' consent, they commit suicide at that place,(hence the name),a Romio Juliet or a Heer Ranjha kind of a thing.

Then we went to the city of Panaji or Panjim as it is locally called.Not really too much to look at or admire there,so let's proceed to the next destination.

We then went for the Boat cruise over the River Mandovi and it was awesome!!The whole scenery is just so beautiful that you feel like letting your camcorder keep running and recording every moment. The cruise lasts an hour and it takes you right up to the edge of the place where River Mandovi meets the sea.It gets quite rocky when you near the sea,and the light drizzle really brightened up the evening,coupled with the songs which drifted up from the lower deck where dancing and partying had been going on.Frankly,I know I wouldn't have had even half as much as fun on the lower deck as I had on the upper one.It was just amazing!!!!!!!



Then we returned to the resort and rested for a while before having our dinner.Almost nowhere in the whole state of Goa will you find a place which serves exclusively vegetarian stuff, and that becomes a BIG problem for rigid veggies.Also one can easily substitute chai in our lives with hard drinks in theirs.Like in every nook and corner of the other cities,one can find a chai ki tapri, here one can find that almost every shop sells these drinks!

Day 2 -
The day was wasted almost entirely,thanks to the rains!We did go the Cavelossum beach but it turns out that it's an extremely desolated kind of a spot,atleast in the half season which in hotel terminology is called white season.There really wasn't much to do,except standing alone on the beach and letting the waves wash the sands from under your feet and honestly, it gets boring after a while!So we didn't really stay for long.But there is a distinguishing feature of the beach and that again,we discovered later.It is one of the few beaches which have whitish coloured sand,and it is supposed to make it look different and more beautiful!Though I really didn't feel so.

Day 3-
This time we were determined to beat the rains and so proceeded without a fixed destination in mind.We went to Madgaon,roamed about a bit in the city and well, the only place that we visited during the day,worth mentioning is the Colungate beach.It is the most famous beach of Goa and people throng to the place in huge numbers,especially during the full season.When we visited the place,there were a tolerable number of people out there but the environment somehow wasn't the same as one would find on say,the Juhu beach or even the Chaupati beach.

Day 4-Wasted!Except that we changed accomodations to Hotel Goa Woodlands in the main Madgaon city,partly due to the extremely high taxi rates to just about anywhere from the resort.The hotel was almost as good as the resort.

Day 5-
This was the day when we actually visited the older version of Goa.We first reached Ancestral Goa,the place where the only house of Portugese architecture has been preserved for public display.It is a 252 yrs old mansion which belonged to Arujo Alvares who was an advocate.Since the nearest court was at Panjim,therefore he judged matters from his own house.The ancient ways of life have been preserved quite well.The history of the place is deeply related to the spread of christianity in Goa.Apparently the Portugese gifted houses of this type of excuisite architecture to the 35 families who converted their religion,about 6 generations back,but that still fails to explain the spread of Christianity to the extent it has spread, to me.The house is now maintained by the 6th generation of his family.It also houses a collection of different types of statues of "Ganesha" to which the present generation still adds.Then we visited the museum Big Foot which has a history attached to it as well,and it is famous as a "wishing spot".There was also the sculpture of Saint Mirabai which has reached the Limca Book of records for being the longest sculpture made out of a single laterite rock.
Then we visited two temples-Shantadurga Temple and Mangueshi Temple,the first one dedicated to the Goddess of peace and the second one to Lord Shiva.
Then we visited the very famous and very ancient church "Basilica of Bom Jesus".It is said to contain the sacred remains of St.Francis Xavier enshrined in a silver casket,entombed in a marble masoleum.It is indeed very huge and a very very ancient place to be at.
Then we visited the Colva Beach,which is second to the Colungate Beach in fame, but has apparently more activity,as I perceived.Maybe it can just be attributed to the Sunday but whatever the reason, this beach was certainly a more lively place.

Day 6-Departure!But we visited Vasco in the morning and the rains once again marred the prospects of visiting the markets,so we did a bit of sight seeing from a taxi,and it so turns out that the city has nothing really interesting for tourists to see.

So this was an extremely dispassionate version of Goa from me.But I would like to mention a few facts.I never imagined Goa to be as it was,thanks to the exposure,coming mainly from movies,serials and books,maybe.So naturally,with such high expectations,Goa was kind of disappointing!

I for example,never in my wildest dreams imagined that Goa was absolutely lush green.Anywhere you look,it's either green or blue.I never knew that Goa was such a major industrial hub.Ports,I knew,but industries,I didn't!There are many many industries which have their plants and factories in Goa,yet there is not even the trace of pollution.I often wondered what the people of Goa did for a living,besides hotels and now I have the answer,Industries!Usually local people are employed in these industries.The people here are quite talketive and helpful,if you know how to approach them.And after every few miles, on the roadside,you can see a small temple kind of structure,just like anywhere else,only with the cross inside.The local population is mainly Christian and the people speak usually Konkani or English or Marathi with a definite Konkani touch,which is a little difficult to understand!

But the next time I am in Goa(yes,there is definitely going to be a next time),I'll be going during the red season i.e. sometime between October and March,preferably December end to be able to experience Goa in it's full vigour,colour and passion!!!!!!

Sunday 22 July 2007

And it's here!!!FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!

Yes,I am indeed talking about the book which has been making the world go reeling for goodness knows how long,exactly,HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.Yes, I've just gone through the book and it's been simply.....AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I settled down at around 10 in the morning and got up just,on the whole,four times till 6.30 in the evening.Those of you,who are expecting a review here,I'm sorry but I'm going to be ripped apart from limb to limb by Harry Potter fans who haven't completed the book as yet,if I reveal anything about the book,so I'm not about to even try!

But I must mention that Times of India spoilt the whole BIG surprise for me before I read the book.My brother was reading it yesterday and I was spending the day online.Their site had put across the deepest secret as a big bold headline and to I had to prevent myself severely from going into it.Huh!Talk about sensitivity and spoilers!How many people do they think can finish the book on the first day,and that too in the afternoon.I'm SHOCKED!I mean,c'mon, you can't print the whole secret of the book and that too as a bland headline without pointing that it was THE greatest spoiler.For fear of finding the same thing again in the newspapers(and of course there would be lots more in it),I just completely abandoned the newspapers this morning.

I'd request the newspapers to be a little more sensitive to such things henceforth on their websites as well as the newspapers.

Wednesday 18 July 2007

Harry Potter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow!It was just amazing, the movie adaption of the fifth in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.I saw the movie today(actually wanted to see it on the first day but my friends found a fine time to fall ill one by one) and it was just fabulous but I guess seeing it in Hindi spoiled the effect to some extent.Apparently, the sole multiplex(upto this point) of the town decided that the movie didn't have a market in the city in English :(

Oh,anyway,I'll take the CD after a month when it comes out.And I know it fully well that I would not have sat down quietly till I saw the movie.So,anyway,it's no use my telling the story to anybody since everybody who's read the book obviously knows it.

But I would like to say that I found the movie going too fast.Unrelated incidents came up together.Dialogues originally by someday were put forth by somebody else in the movie adaption.And strangely enough,I'd cried bitterly when I had read the book after Sirius died, but I was quite calm while the movie was going on.Maybe I can attribute it to the pizza,sandwiches and pastries we'd shared amongst ourselves, but maybe not!Infact I'm pretty sure I can't.

They left out way tooooooo many things.After just 15-20 min I found that half the book was over.I understand the need for compression but I really can't help feeling bad about it.And hearing some of the things being translated in Hindi made me laugh and cry about at the same time.It was horrifying to hear some of these translations.But anyway,I'll have to give credit to the filmmakers for the movie they've made.

My suggestion?HP fans, if you still haven't seen the movie,shake your legs and get going.Non HP fans,I'll still say, don't miss!So long.

Monday 16 July 2007

HOWGRBM

What??????????????Come again!

These are your reactions,Right?

OK,I'll solve the mystery.It actually stands for "How Opal Will Get Reviewed By Me", undoubtedly a result of reading about HOWGIH and HOWGAL.This is about "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed,Got Wild and Got a Life", one of the most controversial books of last year.I guess I'm late by an year in reading and reviewing the book, but that hardly matters!

For those interested in knowing the controversy surrounding the book first(I preferred reading about it at the end),here it is:
http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=512948

So, what is the story all about?

It revolves around a 19 year old gal(Before reading the book,I really thought Opal was a guy) whose life's aim is to get into Harvard,undoubtedly the dream of her parents!Opal is a geek, a nerd who has no business getting into fun or anything for entertainment.For 17 yrs all she and her parents have cared about is getting her into Harvard.Every moment she eats, sleeps, drinks, walks, talks,it is all about Harvard.

And then,the hard hitting reality is like a pail of cold water when the Dean Admissions at Harvard tells her in her early application that despite all her academic abilities,she needs to get a life!(Is Harvard really that kinda place?)

And then starts her family plan to make her wear skimpy outfits,oodles of make-ups,get a boyfriend,become chic and blah blah blah.......

But one thing about the book I noticed was that it was way tooooooooo over the top.I mean, how many parents are you going to find who are going to be willing to let it all happen to their kids. How many parents are going to ask their kids to have to have gfs/bfs and (*gasp!*)kiss them too and (*double gasp!!*)an Indian family at that??????Even if it is a family of NRIs,fine, progressive too but to this extent?I doubt it!

The book has been written by Kaavya Vishwanathan,a to-be Harvard graduate herself,born to an Indian doctor father and a doctor mother.As an NRI,she has experienced her Indian side and used it well in the story but she's blown it over the top!

While everything else may just be believable,the parents' point of view is nowhere near realistic,even if it is just fiction!Just how many parents sit and discuss their child's future as if they're signing some kinda big money wiggling contract,complete with conferences and meetings and websites???

Well, but the book does state one true fact, the pressure the kids feel due to the parents and the society is too high,so much so that a child may be required to sacrifice the whole life in trying to achieve which in the first place,he or she is not interested in pursuing!!

Overall it makes a good fictional read and I expect the gals are gonna enjoy it more than the guys i.e. if they really are what they project themselves to be,not interested in girly stuff like fashion and nails and manicure and pedicure and blah blah blah..................Well,so long!

P.S. For those who are interested in knowing more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaavya_Viswanathan

Thursday 12 July 2007

Goooooooooogle It!

This is 'The Google Story', written by David Vise and Mark Malseed.It is a book which describes the journey of two teenagers from the PhD at Stanford University to the glorious heights of success.The Google Guys as the starters Larry Page and Sergey Brin are popularly called are two people who have converted their passion into a profession and a very successful one at that!

For the first time ,this book reveals the most intricate trade secrets of Google.It talks about the initial dificult times the founders had to face and the problem that every upcoming project faces, i.e. raising funds.These are perhaps the only people in the corporate world to have never never compromised on their principles, even in the thickest of times.

Their dream stemmed from necessities and the lack of availability of good searching options.As students they faced a lot of problems because of lack of good search engines that would provide relevant search results over the internet.So young and talented, these guys decided to make a search engine keeping in mind the consumer,instead of being business-oriented.And indeed the end result is what we all see today.

Google is not just any search engine,it is more than just synonimous with any query, any project, any kind of curiosity which is answered almost instantly with the most relevant search results.At the time when I started using the net to gain information,google was the one and only site that I used and I hadn't even imagined that the search engine was such a recent phenomenon.So naive I had been to assume that it had always been there,and I had never bothered to find out the story that lay behind the scenes.Of course,I'd always been curious about how the company made money because all search results seemed to be free.But now I know that the Google Guys,smart as they are,have used the ingenious method used for decades by the television i.e. through advertisements.But there's again a catch, in the sense that these people have never waivered from their initial purpose of serving.Therefore,ads displayed on Google are only the ones which are the most relevant to the topic currently being searched which gives not just Google it's money but also helps people who are serious enough to buy, the best places to buy the stuff from.

The Google guys have not had it easy but then they aren't the kind of people who would fall too easily.This book is an absolute must-read for those who are interested in going in for business as also for those like me,i.e. people who get inspired by success stories or even those people who are just curious enough to know what lies behind Goooooooooogle,which of course has become a very intricate part of every net savvy person!

Wednesday 11 July 2007

CEO woes II

This in in continuation with the first ever article I wrote on my blog redarding CEO woes which can be reached from over here http://yehhaitadka.blogspot.com/2007/05/ceo-woes.html

I have no idea about the authenticity of the statistics displayed over here but it could be as true as the Prime Minister's resume I posted earlier http://yehhaitadka.blogspot.com/2007/05/prime-ministers-resume.html. Same source, you see.


Anyway,have a look at this:-

Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)

Monthly Salary : 12,000

Expense for Constitution per month : 10,000

Office expenditure per month : 14,000

Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : 48,000 ( eg.For a visit from kerala to Delhi & return: 6000 km)

Daily DA TA during parliament meets : 500/day

Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train: Free (For any number of times) (All over India )

Charge for Business Class in flights : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)

Rent for MP hostel at Delhi : Free

Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units

Local phone call charge : Free up to 1 ,70,000 calls.

TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year : 32,00,000 [i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]

TOTAL expense for 5 years : 1,60,00,000

For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years : 8,54,40,00,000 (nearly 855 crores)

AND THE PRIME MINISTER IS ASKING THE HIGHLY QUALIFIED, OUT PERFORMING CEOs TO CUT DOWN THEIR SALARIES...

This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities...... And this is the present condition of our country: 855 crores could make their life livable !!
What a great democracy we have.............

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Life ho toh aisi!

This is the importance of Life Insurance.And to explain this, the advertisers could just not have chosen a better advertisement.The latest ad featuring veteran retired "children" playing cricket relived a well chosen and an extremely common scenario in this cricket crazy world.

I did try to sift through the net to find out if the video was available online but to no avail.But anyway, anybody who watches even a little bit of TV must have seen this ad.

It shows retired old gentlemen enjoying life and playing cricket, while two young kids do what most elders do.It starts with the cricket ball falling in somebody's house where two kids are "busy" playing video games.The "children" apologize in that cho shweet childirly manner holding their ears and saying "sorry" but the "elders" are very angry and refuse to hand the ball over to them.Just then another "kid" who'd been watching the match comes forward and remarks "Buddhha bahut khaduus hai,mere paas dusra ball hai" meaning "this old uncle is very sour but it doesn't matter cause I have another ball", after which the "kids" start teasing the "elders" because they have found another ball.The ad's closing scenes include a "kid" bowling with another batting and the rest of them fielding, when the wicket keeper shifts the wickets so that the ball promptly goes and hits the stumps and then the players start arguing about whether it is "out" or not.

What touches one's heart is the common placed scenario with a role reversal.Young kids acting like the way elders do and the "oldies" enjoying life after retirement.Besides this,the acting of each and every person present there on the screen enlivens the whole concept.The young kids are so flawless with their acting,they go straight down one's heart forcing grins and smiles out of the most grim looking faces.

But there's one fact that's hidden away in it most subtly.The young kids were cooped up inside their houses playing video games,when kids are usually the ones on the fields.Well, this is not just role reversal taking place, it also clearly indicates the position the young kids are in today.They have become slaves to electronic gadgets and no longer care about those outdoor games.Well, this had better change soon! *sigh!*

What I have described here about the ad can't get even close to the visual effect.So try to see the ad for yourselves and put some smiles on your faces.I'll try to record it myself and put it on you tube for everyone to share and if anybody's listening,please try to do it.

Monday 9 July 2007

Wanna Know My Mood!

And so The King remains THE KING!

Wow!that was some 4 hours of adrenalin pumping action going on at the centre court.I'm talking,of course about the much awaited Wimbledon final match between the two legends,to borrow from the commentators,between the King of Clay and the King of Grass.

And well, that was some match.A five setter and a nailbiting finish with Federer fianlly getting the luck in his favour against Nadal,as he so modestly acknowledged himself!And I will say that I'm going to have to agree with him.Both the players looked so even from the beginning through the match right up to last set where with Federer breaking Nadal's serve,finally the scales tipped in his favour.After this match,I think I'm going to never never miss another match between the two,final or not!Not if I can help it!

This is the stuff legendary battles are made up of.It was a great going.As for the details of the match,I'm sure that's available on every news website.So I'm not going to put it up here.Much as I would love to!But I will go to the extent of saying what probably,newspapers are not going to recount!The cameramen sure knew Federer's girl friend very well!For after every shot, the camera zoomed right onto her face.;)

Well, anyway,if someone loves tennis and missed the match,my greatest sympathies and Go and Catch a Replay if you can!

Sunday 8 July 2007

The Cool Clock!!!!!!!!

It's WILLIAMS Show Time Again!

Venus Williams put up a grand show to defeat French woman Marion Bartoli in the Wimbledon Finals yesterday.Venus has come a long way from a time when people thought that the reign of Williams sisters is over forever after the two sisters struggled against injuries.Although Marion lost 6-4,6-1, yet anyone who saw the match knows that she did never gave up without a fight.Bartoli had come up excellently against other competitors

Yet,there seems to be a lot of difference in the Venus of yesterday and the Venus of today i.e. the pre illness period and the post illness period.Both the Williams sisters are heavily built and although Venus has always been the sturdier one,yet while watching the match,she did come across as slightly ill to me.I mean, her cheeks looked punched and she looked a lot leaner.

I must say,that I've never really liked the Williams sisters too much.But it could be because of the tendency of supporting the under-dogs.There was a time when they were like the 'Roger Federer' of today.The result was well-predicted even before the tournament started.But with Roger Federer we do have Rafael Nadal who could put an end to his winning streak as we once saw Justin Henin Hardene do it, who incidently is my favourite Women Tennis player.

So,we have another day of action left at Wimbledon with the Men's Finals and I'll be looking forward to catching all the action live from Wimbledon.

Saturday 7 July 2007

The new Lux Advertisement!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEYjshPwnXQ

This is the new Lux commercial, which undoubtedly set many heads turning to the TV sets during the "break-time".I don't know about the others but the Hindi jingle did catch my ears.Even after watching the commercial, what I'm still unable to understand is that what exactly is the advertisement trying to portray?Is it the feminity,or is it the beauty,or is it simply trying to tell that hot air balloons are cooooooool?

The ad is undoubtedly one of the best.But it would be so much better if I knew the exact meaning of it.Anyway,I'm hoping you'll be able to help me.

So keep watching!

I can't xplain it any better than THIS!



Please pay attention and start when you are ready.Please don't forget to wish good byes to your family,friends and relatives.If possible,leave good bye cards.

By the way,please notice that once START comes into function,Quit becomes kinda useless!

Another prince(ly) act!!

A young kid-fell into a deep pit/borewell,condition and situation-critical,incessant rains, army employed, worked for hours to save the child.

Sounds familiar,eh?

Well, this is something similar to what happened a few months back.I am talking about of course, the much-too-hyped story of the young kid 'Prince' of a village in Haryana,who if was not a prince earlier, then became one after falling into a deep pit, and being rescued by the army.But this time it was a similar story with a few changes, like the name and the location.This kid was 6 year old 'Suraj' and was a resident of a small village near Jaipur.

But there's another marked difference in the outcome of things as well.Where Prince survived, became a real prince and the photo gleamed from the front page of the next day editions of the newspapers, complete with the coverage for the whole day from different news channels,and the story about the bravery and the consistency of the army was the talk of the town,Suraj perished.And what about the coverage?One would have to peer and poke at every corner of the newspaper before being able to locate the very unnoticable and quite illegible column to get to know about the fate of the boy.

So what exactly is it that I want to point out?

There are two things,actually.One is the fact that after "The Prince Incident",the news channels have made it a point to cover every such incident with this news preceeding the one about the attack on the Lal Masjid and the alleged but unconfirmed air attack on Musharraf and the one about Indian docs and engineers being involved in the failed terrorist activities in London.Indeed, one would think that those matters would hold more importance than these ones,being of international level with close relation to national importance!

Secondly,the way the two incidents were portrayed in the newspapers.I don't have to even start saying anything about it!!!!

Will our media ever GROW UP?

Sunday 24 June 2007

Touching!!!!!!!!!

This is the about a real incident.It's about the way the Priyadarshini Mattoo case was handled.It has been written by the person who was responsible for triggering the public agitation and giving it the coverage it deserved which ultimatley led to JUSTICE.Although this a matter which might have gone a little stale and nothing much has happened since then to convince the existence of the court for JUSTICE TO ALL,yet I stumbled upon this mail while going through all the folders and after I read it ,I felt just as I had after reading it for the first time.I felt that sharing it with everybody through my blog would be the best way to do so.Here it is.


"Justice For Priyadarshini"… My experiences with the fight against injustice!
- Aditya Raj Kaul

Initiator, Justice 4 Priyadarshini
"Priyadarshini Mattoo" was the name that used to haunt me every now and then a few years back. I had heard and read a lot about this case, but never did I actually bother to see what had happened in the case and its current position. The picture in my mind was hazy.

It was in February this year that Jessica Lall case was in the headlines, because of the acquittal of all the accused in the case. This verdict gave me a tremendous shock. I could never believe my eyes watching the criminals going scot free just because of the lack in investigation. That was the time when I realized that now is the time for the country's youth to take charge. I used the best weapon at my end; which was writing. I wrote to editors of various newspapers, followed by discussions on this case in various youth forums and groups. I could not believe that a public outcry in this case immediately helped as the Delhi High Court took a sue motto notice. It had given me a hope, that we are united against injustice.

During this time, another case, which I had earlier as well read about, caught my attention. It was the Priyadarshini Mattoo Case. Media was trying its best to highlight it as far as it could, but nothing really was coming out. My 12th board examinations were on but my mind was as well following this case.

Priyadrshini Mattoo Case: A Brief History

Priyadarshini was brutally raped and murdered on 23rd January 1996 in broad daylight in a posh South Delhi locality by his senior at the Law Faculty, Delhi University, Santosh Kumar Singh. The accused was son of a senior IPS officer.

In the verdict given by Additional Sessions Judge on 3rd December 1999, Justice G.P. Thareja said, " Though I know he is the man who committed the crime, I acquit him giving him the benefit of doubt."

The judge also went on record saying, " The CBI in the matter of DNA evidence has not acted fairly. It tampered with the evidence of clothes of the deceased and also the blood sample of the accused. It even fabricated the documentary evidence and also the Malkhana Register of the CBI as is clear from the discrepancies."

The CBI filed its appeal challenging the courts verdict in the Delhi High Court in 2000, since then 7 years have passed without a single hearing of the case. It was a shame for the Indian Judiciary.

Online Campaign Begins

On March 22nd this year when I read an article of Mr. C.L. Mattoo, Priyadarshini's father, in a national daily, it sent shivers down my spine. My heart cried at the agony of the father, a father who had been fighting; for more than 10 years to get justice. I was determined to do something, which could still give some courage to him to fight this battle. Finally, on that very day I decided to start an online signature campaign, which had a petition addressed to the Honourable President of India and Chief Justice of India asking for retrial and reinvestigation in this case.

I had found a new modern way for people to speak against injustice and discrimination. I was thrilled to get an overwhelming response from people across the world; thousands of signatures were collected, my inbox was filled with mails and at every nook and corner people were discussing about this very case. It was towards the end of my board examination in March when NDTV contacted me for a story on my petition. The story was telecasted the next day. Later that day, NDTV asked me to come for a very special live panel discussion. I was asked for my opinion and what motivated me to start this campaign. I clearly remember the last question by the anchor Nidhi Razdan: Are u hopeful that justice will be done in the Mattoo Case? After a brief gap…. I replied "No, not at this moment"

Later, another channel CNN-IBN covered a story on my petition, and I was again invited for the evening live panel discussion with Rajdeep Sardesai on the `Face The Nation'. It was a bit similar experience.

Our Team : "Justice For Priyadarshini"

Even though the case was on and off the media's attention, not much was happening on the ground. But I decided to take this forward upon request from all my friends and others. Many youth contacted me from around the world, mostly from India. After brief research of two months in this case me and my friends decided to form a group of volunteers who were determined to work for the cause. This led to the formation of "Justice For Priyadarshini", which soon became our campaign name.

A friend from USA who was actively involved with me in this group introduced me to his sister a journalist working in Delhi with one of the top media houses who was interested to work for this cause. In our first meeting, we decided to meet Mr. C.L. Mattoo, Priyadarshini's father.

It was on May 4th that our small group comprising of me, that journalist friend and another of her friend, took the courage to meet Priyadarshini's father. On the one hand my heart and mind was involved with the anti-reservation protests, but my soul was stuck with justice for Priyadarshini. This was the day when President of India invited me and my group for talks on reservations.

It was hard for us to face a father who had completely lost the courage to move on. As we entered his room, he greeted us and directed us to make ourselves comfortable. After the introduction, he told me that there is a young boy who has just finished his 12th and had started a campaign for this case. He asked us to contact him. I was surprised as he was referring to me. The journalist friend sitting with me introduced me as that very boy who had started that petition. The moment he heard this he stood up and hugged me, he thanked me for unknowingly helping him. I could see drops of tears coming out his eyes. I could feel my heart crying, I was motion less. I did not know what to say. I replied that it was my duty to raise my voice being an Indian citizen. Though I wanted to say more, I stopped. At the end of the meeting he asked me to continue my efforts, I assured him that day, that I will do whatever I can in my capacity to get justice. The journalist girl with me was equally enthusiastic about this case. She decided to study the case in detail and then work on it technically. She was with me in this campaign at each and every step. I felt Mr. Mattoo was now somewhat hopeful of justice being done as the youth had taken charge.

I believe this was the first day of our campaign and gradually more people started to volunteer for the cause. We decided to have a protest march on 23rd of July, which was Priyadarshini's 34th birth anniversary.

We started working hard towards our goal, organising door-to-door campaigns, meeting various groups and individuals for support became a regular affair. In a short span of time, more than 25 Delhi based civil society groups, NGO's, women's bodies, students groups etc. pledged their support for this cause. One of the first groups to lend a helping hand was Delhi University based students neutral group United Students, who had started the anti-reservation campaign in the country. They mobilized nearly each and every college in the campus area by distributing pamphlets, sticking posters, organising corner meetings etc. Even the faculty and students of the Law Faculty, Delhi University where Priyadarshini used to study, joined this movement. Many other organizations like Jagori, People's Action and Human Rights Law Network just to name a few raised their voice for this cause.

Just days before the protest Mr. C.L. Mattoo decided to visit Delhi to support the group and raise this issue on a larger scale in front of the media. We organized a joint press conference, which strongly demanded an "immediate reinvestigation and retrial within a stipulated timeframe". This conference became the headlines next day. In the meantime many electronic, print and radio media organizations extended their support to the cause.

The Protest that Shook the Country

Finally, came the day that we were awaiting, it was 23rd July. The entire group was nervous, we had spent the previous night planning strategies, discussing various other things and completing last minute work for the protest. As we moved to the protest site, India Gate, a few hours before the protest, we got a message that our venue was shifted to Jantar Mantar due to some last minute security concerns. It was a very hard decision to change the venue; we hardly had any option, other then to follow the advice of the Police.

We immediately decided to plant our volunteers on different corners of India Gate to direct people towards the changed venue. I had never expected this last minute change, this was a shock, but we had to tackle it and make our rally a great success.

I checked the time in my wristwatch, it showed 4:30 pm, the scheduled time for our protest to start. I took a round of Jantar Mantar. I tried to figure the exact number of people present. The figure was shocking; there were hardly 25 people with 30 journalists standing and staring at this small crowd. I had anticipated a much larger figure. I was disheartened.

After a few minutes, I jumped with excitement when I got a call from a volunteer standing at India Gate, he told me to be prepared, hundreds of people had already landed at India Gate and were now directed towards Jantar Mantar. My elation knew no bounds when I saw countless number of cars and other vehicles coming from the Janpath side road towards Jantar Mantar. I was re-energised.

Media swung into action. The electronic media started their OB vans, with live coverage as the protest began. Photographers struggled to get space. Entire Jantar Mantar was full of people. Soon after, many personalities who had pledged their support for the cause landed at the venue, it included actors Anupam Kher, Roshan Seth and M.K. Raina, politician and activist Manika Gandhi and film director Ashok Pandit. Even Neelam Katara, mother of the murdered Nitish Katara, who has been also fighting for justice, joined us in the rally.

The air reverberated with slogans like, "We Want Justice" and "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied". The depth in that one united voice from the crowd touched my strings of my heart. It was totally different atmosphere, a new experience for me.

CBI Action

The very next day CBI filed an early hearing petition in the High Court due to immense public and media pressure. The High Court heard the case on August 30th and set it for regular hearing on daily basis.

The case continued for a month, around 14 hearings and finally the judgement came on October 17th 2006


The entire country was eagerly awaiting the Judgement which was scheduled to come in the afternoon on 17th of October 2006. I was sitting in the Delhi High Court, praying in my heart. The criminal, Santosh Kumar Singh was sitting in the next row in front. The judges entered the court at about 2:15 pm, Justice Sondhi announced the verdict before the jampacked court in complete silence. The Judge said, "From an overall analysis of circumstances that have been discussed above and held to have been proved beyond any doubt by unimpeachable evidence, we are of the view that those circumstances form a chain so complete which leads us to the only conclusion that it is the respondent, Santosh Kumar Singh, who had committed rape upon the deceased and then murdered her."

Immediately, after this statement I could see Santosh's face turning pale and his lawyers as if mourning in grief. The Judge continued, " The circumstantial evidence in the case is absolutely inconsistent and incompatible with the innocence of the respondent. There is no circumstance brought on record by the respondent suggesting his innocence or the possibility of anyone else having committed the ghastly acts. The trial court, however quite amazingly, after holding almost all the crucial circumstances in favour of the prosecution, has ordered unmerited acquittal of the respondent by taking a perverse approach in the matter. By acquitting the respondent despite being convinced that there was no doubt in the prosecution case (at least for the affence of murder) the trial court has mauled justice, its decision has shocked the conscience of this court."

I took a deep breath and a sense of relief…finally truth had won and justice had been done. Santosh Kumar Singh, the cruel murderer had been convicted and immediately arrested by the CBI. Media inside the court rushed out of the court, to cover the event live and first. This case was historic in many ways.To capture the historic event; it was history in the making right in front of everyone's eyes.

This case will set a precedent for all similar future cases. But the delay in this verdict is a cause of concern. Judiciary needs to set a stipulated time-frame for all extra special cases of murder, rape and national security etc. The Judicial process in India is very time consuming, and no one is sure of light at the end of the tunnel. Judiciary also needs to be overhauled in order to expeditiously deliver justice.It is unfortunate that the investigating agencies be it the Police or the top most CBI, have been found lacking in discharging their duties. Its high time that they get awakened from their deep slumber to discharge their duties in a systematic manner.

Facing The Mattoos

The next day i.e. 18th October 2006, early in the morning I decided to gather some strength and call up Mattoo uncle and aunty. It was hard to face them. But I decided to give them a ring. When I called the voice at the other end told me that uncle was downstairs and asked me to call back after 5 minutes. But soon after my mobile rang, it was Shri Chaman Lal Mattoo...

As soon as I heard Mr. Mattoo's voice, my heart started pounding; it felt as if the world had shrunk on me and the time had stopped. Mr. Mattoo was deeply appreciative of the efforts of each and every individual, organization and, in particular, media. It was hard for both of us to weave our emotions into words. Mattoo uncle thanked me and told me to convey the same to our entire team. He said that he was very eager to talk to me after the verdict but failed establishing contact with me.

There was a lady behind who was insisting on speaking with me. Uncle handed over the phone to her, she was Rageshwariji (Priyadarshini's mother)...Very emotionally she thanked me like anything, more than that she blessed me and the whole group. I'm unable to translate her Kashmiri ex-pressions... I was touched...I could feel it very much that she was no doubt in pain of losing her dear child, but at the same time there was some sort of satisfaction and relief to her.

I could feel a bruised, yet relieved, heart pouring all the love and affection in the world on me. There's only so much a man can take. Tears flowing down and heart screaming I wanted to console her and convey her that it was their strong conviction that helped the case most but I couldn't utter a word....

Our Verdict
We at "Justice For Priyadarshini" firmly believe that the Priyadarshini Mattoo case fits into the category of "rarest of the rare" and hence the guilty should be awarded the death penalty.


Though there are philosophical reasons for being against death penalty, I think death penalty should be struck upon the culprit so that spoilt brats of power know that they are not above the law. It will set precedence and act as a deterrent.

All I can add to this is,I salute to thee,the initiator and all the people who actively stood up in favour of justice.I'm proud of all youngsters,me falling into the same category,as well as relieved that there is at least one soul that rests in peace!

Saturday 23 June 2007

Shame on you POLITICIANS

I can't even start to express the amount of regret I feel to see Pratibha Patil taking over the reins of the position with the highest authority,not because I am in some way, predisposed against her as the President of my country,but because the one whom she replaces has the capability and the intellect to be there for atleast five more years.Kalam has become the victim of shameful politics and it is indeed a painful sight to see such a deserving person step down from his post.

Congress has played a very good political game,dividing NDA by choosing a Maharashtrian, thus obtaining the support of Shivsena.I suppose it was the birth plan of Mrs.Sonia Gandhi!Choosing a woman,thus obtaining support of feminist groups as well as ensuring sympathy votes and wooing the female population of the Parliament.Pathetic!They have chosen a person who they think will be indebted to them for the post and will be merely a rubber stuffed doll.If I remember clearly,Congress hadn't supported Kalam the first time and at that time also, they had introduced a woman candidate!Choosing someone with a clean track record, so that no objections could be raised to that regard.Choosing someone whom I can only suppose to have done something favourable to some minority group,given the fact that the Left groups are all ready to support her.About a clean track record,well, she's been accused of providing refuge to her brother who's an alleged murderer, but seeing that the media is not giving it enough coverage,indeed if I may venture to say is not giving it the deserved coverage,so that it is not going to reach too many ears!I am yet to hear any kind of clarification on that.I do not want a tainted personality sitting at the highest position of my country.I'd rather any day,have a scientist,a non-politician who has atleast done something for the country,even if on the face of it, it's been limited to being a source of inspiration for young kids!

Kalam has decided not to contest presidential polls,for he could not bear to see the way the politics was underplay.It is indeed a matter of great shame for the country, but it wouldn't really be the first time the country has failed to provide the deserved honour to the deserving!On one hand, we have Congress which is still living in the Gandhian era,earning votes using the name of Gandhi,Nehru,Indira,Sanjay,Rajiv and now we have Rahul!I wonder how many people are really aware of the fact that the surname of these people stemmed from nothing else but 'vote ki rajniti'!On the other,we have BJP, correct in essentials, but containing too many ingredients!RSS,Shivsena and VHP,namely.One going ga-ga over Hinduism,the other over Maharashtra and Maharashtrians!Hmph!And the rest of the people are engaged in dividing junta on the basis of caste,category,religion,region,race,sex.......Kuch nahi choda hai distinction karne ke liye!

I really wonder when this country is going to get sensible leaders.Not till we get some sensible and responsible voters,I think!And that is going to take decades seeing the present level of awareness and education among the public.It really grieves my heart to see this kind of a situation prevailing in the coutry I'm calling my own.

I'm about to turn 18 in a few months, which gives me the right to vote,but I don't want to vote for any candidate.I'm certain that each time I can't find a suitable candidate,I'm going to seek permission to be excused from voting.Very few people are aware of the existence of this kind of this provision,and I'm going to try and quote the whole article in a few days,if I can.I'm certain I've got it stored with me somewhere.

In the meanwhile,I can't help but grieve over the loss of this nation,all because of a bunch of idiot,stupid politicians!!!!

Update:-Oh my God!If I had any doubt about the candidature of Pratibha Patil as the President of my country,they've all faded now!Now, I'm damn sure I DON'T want to see her as the President of my country.Don't we deal with enough superstitions by the unlearned folk that we need a super superstitious President now?TOI reports about her "divine" inclination that preinformed her about the upcoming incidents in her life.

"I had a pleasant experience," Patil recounted to a TV channel about her recent meeting with the head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Hridaymohini, popularly known as 'Dadiji'. "Dadiji ke shareer mein baba aye...," she said, referring to Dada Lekhraj, who founded the Brahmakumari sect. Lekhraj died in 1969.

To read the whole article, go to

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pratibha_believes_in_spirits/articleshow/2152156.cms

P.S. Can she quit her pallu on her head for God's sake!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday 21 June 2007

Snip Snip Snip SNip SNIp SNIP

OK,if you are wondering what the hell is this,it's nothing.I'm just trying to say that I got a hair cut yesterday evening.But wait!there's more to it.But this is all girlie stuff!Guys,you have an option of quitting now!

I'm really sick and tired of layer cut now.But invariably, every hair-setter I meet looks at my face(which I confess is round) and says "Ma'am, layer cut is what is going to suit you". Hmph!!!!!!!From Touch n Glow to three different outlets of Belleza, I've tried all and I am yet to get a different reply.Earlier this year at Touch n Glow,when I said, I'd like to have some curl and bounce in my hair,I was immediately given the option of getting them curled.Since I wanted something new,I just said yes,but I immediately regretted.Although it did look nice on me, yet it was too baby doll typo,not what I wanted.The hair stylist told me they'd go down after some time and sure enough!by the time my didi's engagement party started,all the curls were down. Complete fiasco!!!!!!!!

All I'll say is, if somebody can pleeeease give a suggestion on what other kind of style can suit on me,just put your id in the comment and I'll send you a pic of mine.

I'm quite desperate,but I guess I'll have to wait a few months to try it out.I just got an already belated layer cut yesterday.The only positive being,I asked him to cut it short and it's shoulder length now.Better!I was getting quite sick of long hair!

P.S. Gender bender:Has anybody noticed that most of the hair dressers tend to be male?Ok,I know every guy who started reading it MUST have finished it. ;)

Wednesday 20 June 2007

Books Booooooks Booooooooooooooks!!!!!!!!!!! II

Here's second of the lot!


OK, this is not about a specific book, it's about a series of books by the same author, not in continuation with each other.Two of these are highly recommended by loads of people and one of them has been converted to a highly controversial movie.The author I'm talking about is Dan Brown and the two most famous books are "Angels and Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code",other good ones that I've read being "Digital Fortress" and "Deception Point".As far as I can perceive from his website http://www.danbrown.com/ he's written only four books up to date and he's working on the fifth,a sequel to "The Da Vinci Code".I can't say I'm going to be too excited about it and at the same time, if I can lay my hands on it,I'm not really gonna stop!Confusing?Let me explain. But here's a warning first, if you haven't read any of these and are planning to, there're potential spoilers ahead.

We shall basically leave out "The Da Vinci Code" from our discussion,the reason being,I've read it just once,about 2 years back and I can't find my copy now.I think one of my 'friends' had borrowed it!!!(I've really learnt these lessons the hard way.Maybe that's why I think 10 times before lending a book to somebody.)

So anyway, the attractive features of Dan Brown's books are the protagonists,invariably, a man and a woman, *groan* who more often that not,end up together.These books are like Bible to techno-savvy people.There are so many high tech instruments,technologies and stuff, that you can't possibly believe their existence.I'm still dazed whenever I read any of his books and wonder if it's really possible.His books travel all across the globe.Either he himself is a travelling bug, or if he's got his information from somewhere, it's damn accurate!It makes you want to go and be a travelling bug yourself.It makes you want to go and see it yourself and most importantly,his books always concern big parties.White House,Prez of US,the secret NSA for decrypting codes, dealing with terrorists,the NRA similar to NASA but more of national security organisation rather than educative!Big question,Existing or not?Oh well........dunno.....I still wonder about all those paintings in Da Vinci Code.I'd like to see them myself someday!

Ok, downslides now!These books get really synchronous with each other.In every book,except probably Da Vinci Code,things start as prettty big,then you have a snag and you realise it's nothing except a bundle of lies.And oh, the 'controller' is always the bigwig,best interests at heart, yet fails and does not hesitate to kill people.The least suspected is always the culprit, something common to Perry Mason books by Earl Stanley Gardner.But I love the way Dan Brown manages to keep up the curiosity.Right upto the end, you can't guess the culprit and it hits you in the face like a bucket of icy cold water,of course,not the case if you've read my spoilers first or read three books already and are smart enough to make the connections.

Whatever,I'll still have to say, this guy does his research work really well,which is more than I can say for a lot of authors!!!!!!!!!

Saturday 16 June 2007

Books Booooooks Booooooooooooooks!!!!!!!!!!!

Aw right,as promised,here is the first review.


This is about a book titled "What should I do with my Life" by Po Bronson.In case you are thinking that it is a book by a high tech professional or an educatonalist ,giving you the details about the various careers that you can take up in your life, think again!!!For this is not that kinda book,it is a book that is based on real life stories and what makes it different is not that it's a true story(for almost every book or part of it is inspired by some real life incident), but the fact that it a book which narrates the experiences of those who decided to go where their heart(call it conscience, if you like)pointed out, rather than being a part of a rat race.Although it's quite an old book,yet it seems absolutely significant in the present day scenario, atleast in India.

It is a book that describes the trauma that people went through and the fact that the book is not really about all winners helps!This is a compilation of the stories that unravelled through interviews by the author and the author's own story nicely blended in the book speaks volumes about the fact that he himself believes what he describes in the books.

There are people who abandon high-tech perky jobs simply because you have just one life to live and you can't be wasting it thinking "I'll do what I want to tomorrow,let me first do what I have to."This is pretty much along the lines of my thinking.Lots of people there felt that it would be a good idea to first earn a lot of money and then use it to chase your dreams.I myself had that notion which in most cases proves out to be woefully wrong.

The author adds a disclaimer saying that it is not a self help book,rather a narration of the experiences of a few who put the question to themselves and the answers they got.I think he's quite right!No where did the book ever signify how the question would get answered if you put it to yourself,yourself being any individual.Po says putting the question to yourself is the first step of trying to put yourself out of the box,something like, out of the ordinary,because not everyone wants to have the question answered.A lot of people are quite comfortable with the way they are and don't wish to change.*sigh*I think I've taken the first step.(Not because I read the book!It's actually the other way round.)I've started questioning myself over every task,asking myself if I really want to do it.

All in all, this book is not for everyone,for example,the likes of my brother.He just gave a fleeting look at it and when I questioned if he'd like to read it,he simply replied that it was "high level" stuff and he'd read it later.For all of you out there, all that I'll say is please decide for yourself before buying the book.It costs a fortune(Rs.438.00)Not all that costly,but worthless if you don't like the theme of the book itself.The best place to find out?

This: www.pobronson.com

There are some sample stories(about ten of them) which you can read and decide if the book's worth for you or not.This'll prove out to be a repitition later if you buy the book,but it's worth it if you like the concept.

So long,hope you enjoy the book!!!!!!!!! ;)

Saturday 9 June 2007

Journey through the pages!

So what is this?words vs screens?print vs electronic?book vs ebook?encycloedia vs CD or net?

A very deep question with equally deep answers.A child today, would anyday, like to play with electronic devices,rather than with live counterparts.Or in a number of cases, is forced to.But we shall keep our discussion limited to that about reading books,and the importance it still holds today,even with the present circumstances.Being a person avidly enjoying both,I choose to strike a balance.So then, what prompted me to write this stuff?

It took a very nice article(not exactly an article,a real life instance) on a blog which can be reached at www.youthcurry.blogspot.com.

So how was it that I got hooked to books?I think it was loneliness that first prompted me to go crazy about books.I mean,I enjoyed reading even as a youngster(or so is evident from each one of my kindergarten report cards) but it was the lonely evenings that made me do a beeline for books.All my friends in the building were busy with their tuitions in their evenings, so I had little option beyond getting bored.But when I did take to books,I did it in a very big way.I visited the school library(it's still the most cherished spot of my memories) almost everyday to borrow a new book.I remember particularly enjoying Enid Blyton stuff(still do, for that matter.It still makes more sense to me than 'To kill a Mocking Bird' by Harper Lee).Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys were other favourites.But among the two,Nancy Drew always won,which I think can be attributed to a large extent to gender bias.And I don't seem to be the only one.After all,I still remember my brother getting mostly Hardy Boys!And before that, there had obviously been fairy tale stories,princes,pricesses,fairies,pixies,elfs,................every thing a child's innocent and honest mind usually is attracted to.

Then came along Roald Dahl!I haven't read too many of his works,and they weren't in the library till there was some competition based on his books,in which a large number of students wished to participate.I liked the way he wrote,although I never participated in the competition.
Then came along Ruskin Bond,again thanks to the same competition in another year.This time I did participate,but being a person reading simply for pleasure, more than for remebering each and every detail, the result was well predictable.

Then I got hooked to works by Agatha Christie,Earl Stanley Gardner and others doing detective stories.Oddly enough,I never found Sherlock Holmes interesting enough!It felt just tooooooo out of the blue,something you just could not participate in, but forced to retreat to the sidelines.In the end, it made the reader feel extremely humbled.I still enjoy all these works,and whenever I can,I'm glad to be able to get my hands on every good book.

Among other favourite titles thatI enjoy are "The Only Alien On the Planet" by Kristen Randle.I think I have to be lucky to place my hands on it because when I ran a search for other books by the same author,I discovered that she hadn't written many and had done so quite long ago.'Tis a very very sweet story about a girl aged 17 and the life she led with all the people who were a part of it.The story is very different,very touching and oh,so sweet!Get your hands on it as soon as you can!Then there is "The Count of Monte Cristo(unabbraiged)".Set against the French backdrop,it is a stunning tale of rise from near death."What Katy Did" and other two succeeding titles also caught my attention and the purity of it stared from the very depth of the book.

There are lots and lots of titles of which I hope to be able to provide reviews soon.

But I think,the biggest addiction is easily guessable,yes, the most popular book the world has today,Harry Potter.I'll be really sorry to see the end of it,which is quite close by,seeing that JKR is going to deliver the last installment next month(I'm waiting................).I think this is the first ever series which holds this kind of an anticipation for me.The rest of the books were always right under the nose.You just had to pick it up!But it's different this time round.With all the frenzy,it's really different.So just look out,bookworms and otherwise,it's round the corner,but oh damn! so far.........................

Holidays over!This is RESULT time

Hey!Everybody got their results long back.So what is this about???This is about what are traditionally considered to be trademarks of life(I mean it literally),things that can change your life, make it or destroy it, as it seems from the blaring headlines of the newspapers.But is it really true??????

Let's try to explore.

Let me start with the thing that I start my day with,yeah, the newspaper!Blaring headlines declared the first and second toppers of the Maharashtra HSC examinations,why just one, take any public examination(Of course, it is any thing except public).So the result is out, the toppers are there, smiling from the papers,fresh from the press,with detailed interviews of each one of them.At some point,it starts sounding like they're trying to teach a particularly difficult potion to prepare, with carefully measured ingredients, exactly how many hours did he/she(this is more likely, nowadays ;)) study in one day,sleep at one go,what they ate, what their parents did,what their teachers did,siblings,blah....blah....blah....................................

I am not saying that the students who have worked all the year round should not get their glory and fame,it is the media that overdo(s)es it, to compete with their rivals, maybe, but 's still more of exaggeration.Please understand!I have nothing against those who score well and study well(actually, I can't because I'm one of those kind of people,it's just that it starts sounding like more and more of a melodrama every time I ask myself the relevance of it all).So,it is two things that we wish to discuss here, the portrayal of results and their relevance.

For science students, their 12th standard is a whole lot of junk,a burden,that becomes overbearing.Anybody among the "public" who is even remotely related to some student from the science stream,especially one aspiring to go for engineering or medical must be aware of the present day rules by which the things go.So what is important is the entrance tests that would actually give them admission to the colleges they desire.But what about preparation for these entrances?Glance around dears, the sight of advertisement boards is going to really make you sick!!!!!!!!!!!Coaching institutions have cropped up just about everywhere.

Then come the results of the entrance examinations.Year after year,I can see number of candidates increasing.Each year,it seems to be a mind numbing figure,but each year it just rises and it probably will never never fall.What with the increasing population and the increase in the lunacy with which people look at the engg. and medical fields,even those who don't want to be there, irrevocably are,usually succumbing to the demands of the world,the parents,friends, relatives,neighbours(yes, never underestimate the level of their nosiness and the degree of craziness to which they can drive you!) What I wonder is,when will this end?and how?or will it??
Tha last one frightens me most, not because I myself am one of those thousands of people going in for engineering(the choice for me seems to be coming by the method of elimination), but because I can already visualise the scene.Everybody, a technician, handsome salary, good job, but satisfactory?I really doubt it!

Please undestand, I may be sounding naiive,too much, maybe, but I am.I really need to find my way out of all this frenzy,and so does everybody else,for that matter!!!!!!!!!

So it is with a huge sigh that I sign off from here.

P.S. If you thought the article was confused,it is, and it is the confusion of the mind trying to bring things out into the open and deal with them.

Tuesday 5 June 2007

Saturday 2 June 2007

Potter mania

38 days, 14 hours, 3 minutes and well some seconds..........................................

But for what?What else?

The eagerly awaited movie of the year HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. Add seven days to the figure and get the time remaining for the release of the even more eagerly awaited "Book of the Millenium" HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.I personally prefer the book because the movie simply can't encompass the whole book.Also, maybe because I'm a bookworm myself.

Yeah, although the fake version of the book is already available and I've already gone through it.(For those who haven't and want to,it's at www.uploadwiz.com. I can't give exact instructions because it was actually my brother who downloaded it.)The novel(fake one,I mean) answers quite a few questions in quite a fascinating manner.Fake or real,it did keep me preoccupied for some time(a total of 2 days,actually).

So what sets this book apart from the other books?I think,it's simply an altogether new world,a world that can exist only in the dreams of a writer.Of course,JKR was able to make it a part of every child's and quite a few adults'(The Principal of my school is a huge HP fan) dreams and fantasies.A book set apart from most of the others.Something different!I won't attempt to review any of the books, because there are some things you just can't think bad about.

So what set me to it?Mmmmm........ just the reading habbit, guess.I still remember it took me two attempts to set me to this book.The first time I read Sorcerer's Stone,I left it as a boring task(The beginning is quite slow.This interestingly,goes for many books, actually,some of them being my very favourite ones).I went back to it after Azkaban and then there was no stopping me.

So all I do is wait, wait for the book,of course with mingled sadness(it's the last time we're going to get to read about Harry Potter).But it's tough,for HP fans and bookworms,it is............................

Tuesday 29 May 2007

Attention Smokers AD(D) V



Oh,come on now, ab to smoking karna chhod do!!!!!!!!!!




Of course! only if you wish to live.

AD(D) IV


This is an award winning ad of Fevicol.Oh, by the way,these ads are those acquired from MHO. Thought I'd acknowledge.

AD(D) II



This is the best one I've come across so far.

AD(D) I



No comments on this one.Although for those who didn't get it(my bro didn't),this is a the image of a brain that is formed using the magazine

AD(D) III


Sorry for different posts but it was posing so much of a problem that I decided it's better this way.Anyway,Enjoy!!!!!!

Addd-vertise-ments I



With the increase in the reach of media, whether print or video or audio,advetisements have started gaining a lot of importance in every sector.Making an article of good quality is not enough.It needs to be promoted equally properly.Here, we shall discuss some of the best ads with great creativity.This series will continue.




Monday 28 May 2007

Prime (Minister's) Resume!!!

Just for the benefit of those who wish to take a look at the resume of our PM,here it is(courtesy Mumbai Hang Out-MHO, a yahoo group that I've joined)


RESUME
EDUCATION /Qualification:
Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh,1952

Stood first in MA (Economics), Panjab University, Chandigarh,1954

Wright's Prize for distinguished performance at St John's College,Cambridge, 1955 and 1957

Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge,1957

DPhil (Oxford), DLitt (Honoris Causa)

PhD thesis on India's export competitiveness

OCCUPATION /Teaching Experience:
Professor (Senior lecturer, Economics, 1957-59

Reader, Economics, 1959-63

Professor, Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1963-65

Professor,International Trade, Delhi School of Economics,University of Delhi,1969-71

Honorary professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University,New Delhi,1976

Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi,1996 and CivilServant

Working Experience/ POSITIONS:
1971-72: Economic advisor ministry of foreign trade

1972-76: Chief economic advisor, ministry of finance

1976-80: Director, Reserve Bank of India; Director, IndustrialDevelopment Bank of India

Alternate governor for India, Board ofgovernors, Asian Development Bank;

Alternate governor for India, Boardof governors, IBRD

November 1976 - April 1980: Secretary, ministry of finance (Departmentof economic affairs); Member, finance, Atomic Energy Commission;

Member,finance, Space Commission

April 1980 - September 15, 1982: Member-secretary,

Planning Commission1980-83: Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-Japan joint studycommittee

September 16, 1982 - January 14, 1985: Governor, Reserve Bankof India

1982-85: Alternate Governor for India, Board of governors,International Monetary Fund

1983-84: Member, economic advisory council to the Prime Minister

1985: President, Indian Economic Association

January 15, 1985 - July 31, 1987: Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

August 1, 1987 - November 10, 1990: Secretary-general and commissioner,south commission, Geneva

December 10, 1990 - March 14, 1991: Advisor to the Prime Minister oneconomic affairs

March 15, 1991 - June 20, 1991: Chairman, UGC

June 21, 1991 - May 15, 1996: Union finance minister

October 1991: Elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam on Congress ticket

June 1995: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha

1996 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee for the ministry of finance

August 1, 1996 - December 4, 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary standingcommittee on commerce

March 21, 1998 onwards: Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha

June 5, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on finance

August 13, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on rules

Aug 1998-2001: Member, committee of privileges

2000 onwards: Member,executive committee, Indian parliamentary group

June 2001: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha

Aug 2001 onwards: Member, general purposes committee


BOOKS:India's Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth -ClarendonPress, Oxford University, 1964; also published a large number ofarticles in various economic journals.


OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Adam Smith Prize, University of Cambridge, 1956
Padma Vibhushan, 1987
Euro money Award, Finance Minister of the Year, 1993;
Asia money Award, Finance Minister of the Year for Asia, 1993 and 1994I


NTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS:
1966: Economic Affairs Officer
1966-69: Chief, financing for trade section, UNCTAD
1972-74: Deputy for India in IMF Committee of Twenty on InternationalMonetary Reform
1977-79: Indian delegation to Aid-India Consortium Meetings
1980-82: Indo-Soviet joint planning group meeting
1982: Indo-Soviet monitoring group meeting
1993: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Cyprus
1993: HumanRights World Conference, Vienna


RECREATION:Gymkhana Club, New Delhi; Life Member, India International Centre, NewDelhi


Name: Dr Manmohan Singh

DOB: September 26, 1932

Place of Birth: Gah (West Punjab)

Father: S. Gurmukh Singh

Mother: Mrs Amrit Kaur

Married on: September 14, 1958

Wife: Mrs Gursharan Kaur

Children: Three daughters


Our Prime Minister seems to be the most qualified PM all over the world.

Whoa!If with this kind of qualification,India cannot receive a makeover, then I swear nothing will enable it to.