Saturday, December 20, 2008

Travails of a picked pocket :(

Exams and a bit of shopping done it was almost time to start back to Chennai from the Capital City. Rushed from Pallika Bazaar to Collector's place for a quick bite and to pack up my bags. Collector took a while, but, managed to cook up something good for me. It was kinda getting late for the train and I had to rush back on the Metro from Karol Bagh to the New Delhi Station via Rajiv Chowk. Rajiv Chowk was crowded as always, I dunno if I lost it on the escalator or at the exit of the Metro... But someone had picked my pocket and I had about 30 minutes to catch the train to Chennai.

As soon as I reached the platform of the train to Chennai I started calling up my banks. I had the customer care numbers of both my credit cards so I started off with them first. Both Deutsche Bank and HDFC took less than two minutes each to block my cards. I'm used to Deutsche bank's great service, but, I must admit I was and am surprised at HDFC's quick work... the bank is slow in everything else :-/

I didn't have ICICI's customer care number, neither did any of my friends or anyone in my whole compartment... Called Anuj in Chennai who took a while to get me the number. As I started calling ICICI bank the train started off... I had to listen to the stupid music while on hold for almost 6 minutes and it was more irritating than the noise the train was making. The executive was asking me stupid questions instead of blocking the card. By the time the thief who picked my pocket had swiped my card at a cinema hall!!! The executive refused to move a finger against the culprit as long as I didn't give him an FIR number. I pleaded with him to do something but to no avail... I tried explaining that I was on a train to Chennai and he couldn't have been more inconsiderate... In the noise the train was making he also tried advising me against storing my card number on my phone!!! :-/ It took me almost ten-12 minutes and the call got cut off without signal as the moron at the other end was still advising me!

36 hours later: Me at Chennai... I called all my banks. HDFC and Deutsche bank have already dispatched replacement cards... ICICI tells me that the moron at the Delhi Call centre had only blocked my card and not dispatched new card. The call centre guy at Chennai tried to convince me that I could lodge an FIR about what happened at Delhi in any Chennai police station and also gave me a false promise that all the money would be refunded!

No wonder people have problem trusting ICICI bank with their money and they have to pay Sharukh Khan to endorse them!

24 hours later (that's like 2 working days) I'm in for more shock when my HDFC card arrived. I still can't believe that the bank which take 5 days to credit a cheque dropped at their own bank can act so fast...

1.5K down the drain and a lesson about trust learnt from the 'Hum Nahin Hain na' bank: ICICI!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why does BHUMI do whatever it does?

Why does BHUMI do whatever it does? Why Education & the Environment?

It's a question lots of people have asked me... Why not clean the beach? Why not fight politics? Why not feed needy children? Why not fight corruption? The list is endless as are the ills that plague this country...
Obviously there are a lots of things a young group of individuals as large as ours can do to Make India a better place but why the focus only on Education and the Environment?

The answer is quite simple, 'We believe that these under-privileged children whom we work with are the latent potential India will need for the future and if we don't act against climate change there simply is no future for India or the human race'

Lastly one of my fav quotes... I think it explains a lot :)
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margret Mead

Cross Posted from The BHUMI, Chennai Blog

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Say ‘No’ to an unsafe touch

November 19 is Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse Day. Having to spend more and more time away from parents, it is necessary for you to know how to take care of yourself.

Shreya is nine years old — a happy, smart child. One day, when no one was around she was touched in a way that left her confused; by a favourite uncle. He said he would teach her about growing up and slid his hand under her dress. He told her that this was to be their secret. Shreya was puzzled and didn’t protest. She liked her uncle but didn’t like what he was doing.

When Rahul comes home from school his parents are still at work. He has to wait at his neighbour’s house till his mother returns. The neighbour’s son Naresh is in the final year of college. He owns a motorcycle that he likes to show off. He allows Rahul to sit on it and pretend he is riding it. But there is a deal. Every time Rahul sits on the bike he has to return the favour by touching Naresh’s private parts. He has also scared Rahul by threatening him that if anyone other than the two of them got to know about this, he would kill him.


Have you ever been in a similar situation? If you have or if you find yourself in one, here is what you can and should do. Remember what your parents always told you about not playing with fire, looking to the left and then right and left again before crossing the road and not talking to strangers? These are warnings that ensured you were safe when you were doing certain things.

Now there is another aspect of safety that you should know about — i.e. personal safety. With you having to be home alone with both parents at work or having to travel in the school van or auto with other little children or walk back by yourself from tuition class or dance class or music class or tennis coaching or whatever, in the evenings, keep the following tips in mind to help protect yourself :

If you are home alone and there is someone at the door that you don’t know if you could let in, call mom or dad at once to check or ask the visitor to come back later.

Danger signs
Sometimes people with not-so-good intentions may suggest playing “pants down” games or “doctor patient” games or “Amma Appa” games or may touch your private body parts ( any part of your body that is covered by your inner garments or underclothing) or want to play around with your lips.

If the van driver pinches your cheek or the auto driver places his hand between your legs or the tuition teacher tickles you every time you get a math problem right or the servant strokes your ear in a way you hate or if your family friend or cousin squeezes your breast or grabs your bottom and it feels uncomfortable don’t ever remain silent at such times.

Always keep in mind this important touching rule — if some one touches you in a way you don’t like or that leaves you feeling unsafe or confused or uncomfortable or forces you to touch them in a funny way just say a firm ‘NO’.

Protest loudly and get away from the spot and immediately tell someone who will listen to you and protect you — like your mom, dad, aunt, grandparent or teacher. Keep telling someone till you get help to make the abuse stop.

Nobody can touch you in a way that leaves you feeling unsafe or confused.

Your body is very special and belongs to only you. Nobody has a right to touch your private body parts but to keep you clean or healthy. If when you are being given a medical examination or a bath and the person is making you insecure or uncomfortable, say ‘NO’.

And yes you can always ask for your parent to be with you when the doctor is taking a look at you.

Whenever a person breaks the touching rule (no matter who it is — a relative, family friend or a tuition teacher or someone who works at home) and hurts you not only physically but also by causing you worry and fear, don’t ever blame yourself. It is not your fault at all. The important thing is to tell a trusted adult quickly and get help. Stay safe always. And say ‘No’ when you have to.

From the Young World by Sudha Uma Shanker

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Encounters of the Third Kind!

Warning: May seem insensitive to those who haven't experienced all what I've gone through!

The week before I left for New Delhi, when Y text-ed me, asking if I was scared of Eunuchs... I sent a big YES in a flash! She started laughing... But it brought a flood of memories... I had just been reminded of one more reason why I shouldn't be looking forward to the impending train journeys :(

Riots were just subsiding in Gujarat, a group of 6 bold 20 year olds, we undertook our summer trip to Himachal Pradesh... It was a un planned series of treks and happy memories packed in 13 days @ 5000 bucks a head! When we were heading to New Delhi by GT, somewhere in MP... a bunch of Eunuchs got into the train and started begging... we ignored them like we were ignoring all other 'normal' beggars and continued playing amongst ourselves. Suddenly they started doing funny things and one of them pinched P's dick!! :-O Shocked... we coughed up 50 bucks!

Our happiest trip ever done... we were on our way back, the eunuchs were back. Neither of us were anywhere near our cabin when they came. While P and some others hid inside the toilet, I ran off to the next compartment!

Thanks to Capt. Gopinath I've been flying quite a bit in the last 2 years... 2 train journeys together after quite a while. Started off to Delhi by the night TN... we (different group of people this time... my room mates and some others) were having breakfast the next morning when the eunuchs came. I was sitting near the path and squirming in my seat hiding my private parts with newspaper and food :( The 'good' eunuchs just passed us since we were eating... PHEW!

We weren't so lucky 3 days later during our return... I was happily near the window this time! They came sat down next to us and started 'asking', for a while, we all  ignored them. One started rubbing my friend's thigh and the rest started clapping! They left only after we gave up some of our money to rescue our friend...

After they left we started sharing our 'horror' stories... While some had been kissed and pinched (yeah there!) one had breasts thrust against his face, one was kissed in front of his father :-/

No why wouldn't I be scared of these 'extortionists'?

As a doc... I understand the reason why they exist and am not scared of seeing them as patients or like normal people in normal jobs. Unlike most other people my fear for them is not irrational... But, using lay people's fear into coughing up money and intimidating them to achieve that, is not begging, but, 'extortion'! And they're not helping the opinion about their sex among the lay public by indulging in such activities... Can't really blame the society!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

BHUMI's Speak Out - Make A Difference is a Global Youth Award Finalist!

The numbers were so baffling that I had to read them over and over again to convince myself that in fact, they were true, and no it was not time yet to change my specs again….

521 entries from 61 countries… And the MAKE A DIFFERENCE project has been picked as one of the 15 finalists…

After convincing myself, (and reading again), I realized that this was no fluke…

We were finally being accepted for the work that we do…

The Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition’s purpose is to discover and recognise creative, inspiring ways in which young people are changing the world….

And as a BHUMIan, the fact that we got picked from among several hundred deserving nominations from around the world, is a matter of immense pride… If you’re a Bhumi volunteer, I’m pretty sure you’re feeling euphoric too…

Anyhow, the competition isn’t done yet.. Go to http://changemakers.net/en-us/competition/staplesyv to vote for the most deserving candidate….

Check out MAKE A DIFFERENCE, COCHIN's Voting Made Easy section for more detailed info on how to vote…

Three Cheers for everyone at MAD Cochin & MAD Pune as well :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another feather in the cap: News Editor!

Recently, I was invited to join the Editorial board of The Receptor: India's first Career Guidance Mag for young Doctors published by Kalam Books, I was only too happy to join in :) The inaugural issue of The Receptor is out! The Receptor is a unique, interactive monthly magazine specially designed for the young doctors. A powerful punch in terms of customized content, this magazine brings a smart and superior learning experience from one of the best medical publisher.

Features:
News: A mix of local, international, national news that bears relevance for the young doctors
Exam Diary: Notifications about various entrance exams along with details
Mock Test: Each issue carries a mock test of either national institutes or state entrance exams
Recent Papers: Every issue carries a Recent Question paper with answers of either national institutes or state entrance exams
High Yield Topics: Most important topics from various subjects are explained in an easy understandable way.
Ask the expert? Readers queries regarding various exams and opportunities India and abroad answered here
Toppers Interview: Interview with toppers in various exams in India and overseas
Quiz: One can win exciting prizes by participating in the every month quiz
Overseas Guidance: The magazine publishes articles about opportunities in various countries

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ahimsa won't work with Terrorists! Show them the way to Hell!

When terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament with murderous intent, the then government amassed India's military might at the borders of our nation. I don't know (who does) if there was ever an intention to attack or just chest-beating and public posturing, but I felt India shouldn't hesitate to attack our enemies wherever they are.

Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Surat and yesterday New Delhi... Not just a solitary bomb at any of these places, but serial bomb blasts killing and injuring hundreds... If the terrorists can nearly strike at will at major cities across the country what's the point in having Police, Intelligence and other 'security' forces?

To get us a Nuclear exemption India's bureaucrats and politicians went around yapping that India was a large and responsible democracy. How does a democracy that doesn't seem to be intent on protecting it's own citizens qualify to be a 'responsible' democracy? Just because we don't attack our enemies or supply weapons and ammo to the enemies of our enemies? Just because we keep talking of Gandhi's philosophy of the era gone by in this age with lesser conscience?

While I am all for practicing Ahmisa with our neighbours and friends as individuals and as a country. These terrorists aren't even human in the mind to deserve our benevolence! What we need are strong governments (both at the State & centre) that can stand up and say it's people are most important. Governments that will revamp our internal security and launch an all-out war against our enemies across the border. These bastards who indulge in this arbitrary slaughter' don't need pity, let's show them the way to Hell!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Halo around the Moon!

Canon Powershot: ISO200, Exposure 2 Seconds
 Canon Powershot: ISO400, Exposure 4 Seconds
Shot at 11pm IST today...More effects of pollution?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dasavatharam Movie Review

I know it's like 80 days since the movie released... But I guess it's never too late to write about a great movie. The best avatar of Kamalhaasan is definitely the invisible 11th one of the Story & screenplay writer. An intricately woven plot of ten seemingly unrelated characters and storylines merging towards the end with Kamalhaasan's commentary on the society and satire neatly woven in all along the way.

The criticism that the movie lacks a story line is stupid, considering most of the events in the movie happen in a span of about 72 hours.

It's easier to describe the movie through it's 10 characters so I'll do it that way. If you've not watched the movie then U probably shouldn't read this. But if you're like the scores of people who missed lots of minute details maybe this post is for you.

The Movie begins with Kamalhaasan (Govindaraj Ramasamy) addressing a huge crowd. He begins by explaining the butterfly effect and the Chaos theory! Kamal's commentary on the society begins too... He starts off by saying long before the English came here to divide us or religions divided us... we as a country were still fighting among ourselves. We're even fighting now!

Nambi: A Temple priest, who is dumped into the sea with the stone idol he prays because he defies the religious wishes of the king. He chooses to die with the idol over his family. It's pretty obvious what Kamal feels about idol worship and people who blindly follow god.

Govindaraj: The hero of the movie is a biologist who's involved in developing biological weapons for the USA even though his conscience is clearly against it. Isn't everyone like this? When his boss tries to sell off a potent biological weapon he fights them off and gets shipped to India along with the germs.

During a song In Govind is shown stepping out of a god's picture. Is Kamal trying to say Govind is like god's incarnate? or everyone who fights for good is god maybe? :P

Entry Asin the Heroine, in an extremely irritating character! She's a Brahmin? gal who lives in a Mutt and is attached to 'god' So when the vial of germs is put inside the statue of a god she clings to the statue and Govind through the movie. I used to like Asin before the movie... You'll understand if U have watched the movie. It's surprising Govind the brilliant scientist never thought of giving a whack on Asin's head and retrieving the vial to safety!

Govind & Asin have more than one discussions about caste. Asin is a stereotype upper caste girl (old lady?) who asks what caste he is. When she realises that he isn't upper caste she walks into a toilet to prevent him from touching the idol. Kamal quips 'You (people) feel god is better kept in the toilet than coming into contact with us'

Christian Fletcher Rocks! He's an ex CIA agent, mercenary He's single minded in his pursuit to recover the vial to his corrupt bosses. In the climax when he and Narahashi are fighting he quips "remember Hiroshima?" For which Narahashi replies "remember Pearl Harbour?" :) Fletcher also says "Here (India) anybody could get away with anything!" This is how foreigners think about India I guess!

Balarama Naidu, RAW officer, is a stereotype Police officer. He leaves the audience in splits with his Telugu accent and dialogue delivery. He's given the task of interrogating Govind the terrorist and recovering the vial of Germs. Once when Govind is almost caught at Kalifulla's house the first thing he asks Kalifulla is if he's from a terrorist Organisation. He then rounds up the whole village for interrogation at the local mosque, typical police behaviour when they're clueless!

Vincent Poovaraghavan is probably the most meaningful crater in the whole movie. He fights against illegal sand mining.

Avatar Singh is a singer, Avtar Singh is shown contemplating in front of a Sikh Religious Guru's pic as he gets closer the pic is replaced with Kamal's reflection! Kamal sort of acquits himself for Nambi's folly as Avtar Singh by choosing his family over his profession.

George Bush is portrayed as George Bush needs no description!

Krishnavaeni Paati has a small role to play

Kalifulla Khan is shown as a soft kind hearted Muslim, breaks the stereotype of the image people associate with the religion nowadays

Shingen Narahashi, Japanese martial arts trainer who avenges his sister's death, provides for some action at the climax with Fletcher

When Fletcher loses to Narahashi and ingests the germs and a large quantity of Common Salt is required to neutralise the germs. At that moment (on the morning of 25th December 2004) the Tsunami strikes and does the job! Kamal has tried to say there's some good even in that disaster. I'm surprised it didn't offend people.

With the Tsunami the statue of Vishnu along with Nambi's Skeleton chained to it? lands on the Beach! Implying God came with the Tsunami!!? When Govind rues at all the destruction and death, Asin says God sent the Tsunami to neutralise the Germs. Govind, offended asks why the all powerful god killed so many people Asin replies imagine how many lakhs would've died if the germ had spread! Kalifulla and his entire village is inside the Mosque when the Tsunami ruins his village.

At the end when Govind (Kamal) and Asin fall in love (OMG!) Kamal says 'When did I say God isn't there, I only said it would be nice if God is there!'

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dasavatharam: Vishnu & Kamalahaasan

How the Mythological 10 avtars of Lord Vishnu inspired Kamalahaasan's movie Dasavatharam!
(Macha Avthar - Nambi) - Nambi is thrown into water in an act of trying to save lord from being thrown into sea...
(Koorma avatar - George Bush) - The lord is the turtle/tortoise that helps in stirring the ksheera sagara and bringing out the amruth. This essentially creates war among the devas and asuras. Similarly today Bush facilitates war between you know whom… May be Kamal also indicates that this avatar is a bit dumb like the tortoise…
(Varaha avatar - Krishnaveni paatti ) - In varaha avatar lord actually hides earth so as to protect life forms. Here too krishnaveni hides the germs - life form inside the statue so as to protect.
(Narasimha avatar - Shingen Narahashi ) - The name itself is a play on the words singam [means lion in tamil] and narasimha [the avatar being symbolised]. Lord Narasimha manifests himelf to kill the bad guy and he also teaches my namesake Prahalathan :) In the movie, he shows up to kill the killer fletcher! and is also a teacher.. Lord Narasimha had to kill the asura with bare hands and hence the martial arts exponent here..
(Vamana avatar - Kalifulla Khan) - In vamana avatar, Lord Vishnu takes the vishvaroopa, that is the giant form! Hence the giant kalifulla here symbolises vamana avatar
(Parasurama avatar - Christian Fletcher) - Parasurama is actually on an angry killing spree and killed 21 generations of the particular kshatriya vamsa. Hence the real KILLER… Guess what, thats what our Fletcher is! He comes around with the gun [modern upgrade for axe] and kills everyone around
(Krishna avatar - Vincent Poovaraghavan) Lord krishna is actually a dalit, he is dark-skinned [shyamalam]. He saved draupadi when she was being violated and he was the actual diplomat in mahabharatham. Lord krishna dies of an arrow striking his lower leg. Now look at how vincent was introduced.. He appears when Asin is about to be molested and he saves her like draupadi. Vincent is the dalit diplomat, fights for land issue [soil issue to be exact] and dies from the metal rod striking his leg. Oh even five of vincent’s men are drugged at P. Vasu’s (villain here).. sounds familiar???
(Balarama avatar - Balarama Naidu) As the name suggests and the role personifies Balaram naidu RAW officer, helps kill the villain
(Kalki avatar - Govindaraj Ramasamy) The hero in kaliyug can be none other than the Kalki avatar!!!
(Rama avatar - Avatar Singh) - Lord Rama stands for the one man one woman maxim, kind of symbolising true love.. Here Avatar portrays that spirit by saying that he loves his woman more than anything and wants to live for her.
Of course Kamalahaasan is the best person to explain how he got inspired! Us being mere mortals have to contend with such information from EMail forwards and the like!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Who will police the Police?

The High profile Noida double murder case is heading towards it's logical end now that the real criminals have 'probably' been identified. For almost 2 months, in prime time news, the face of an innocent father was flashed across most channels as the killer of his only daughter prompting the Soap Opera crowd to switch loyalties to follow the drama. Similar discussions ensued, everyone turned Sherlock Holmes passing a Judgement on who done it and their motives...

The UP Police created the drama in the first place by falsely charging the Father and holding a press conference to announce possible motives of the 'killer father' - Either he had an affair with his Family Friend which the victims came to know Or the victims (his 14 yr old and his 40+ man servant) had an affair and the father saw them in a compromising position leading to the murder!

If the police in a suburb of the Capital city can make such a blatant accusation against an educated man even in such a high profile media covered case. Imagine the plight of the hundreds of Innocent people the police all over the country could be falsely implicating for crimes they cannot solve. That, the case might drag on for years and the guilty may still walk free is a different matter altogether.

The country is not going to progress unless it's corrupt politicians and bureaucrats are cleaned up. For even that to happen the policing has to be non-corrupt & stronger, the justice system has to be more effective. What this country needs is a revolution... a radical re-haul of the entire system with committed & educated youth leading the way...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Ground Beneath Her Feet

What is that scatters my thoughts in a hundred directions...
What is that holds me together...

What is that makes my Heart beat in Rage...
What is that gives me the Placcidity I seek...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Free Tibet!

A casual train conversation that turned into a full fledged political discussions on Tibet... I promised to blog about it so here goes...

  • Tibetans travel through the passes of Himalayas to reach India via Nepal illegally in search of a better future/education.
  • They have a 'Government-in exile' in Dharmashala, Himachal Pradesh headed by the Dalai Lama
  • The Government-in exile has various departments much like our own. For example the education department allots Tibetan students to study at various educational institutions across the country. Chennai has 120!
  • Apart from Himachal Pradesh Tibetans live in a few large Refugee camps around the country in places like New Delhi, Karnataka etc
  • Children make the treacherous trip via the mountains to reach India to study. They don't see their parents for years together. They have a school in Mussorie where they study and move on to colleges. They can return to the school even during their college holidays!
  • Though all Graduates dream of returning to return to Tibet, many choose to work for the Government in Exile in India.
  • When the Dalai Lama dies he'll leave a clue as to where his next incarnation would be and the Tibetans will have to go an identify the child.
  • Next in hierarchy to the Dalai Lama is the Panchen Lama, the real Panchen Lama was a 5 year old kid when he and his family 'disappeared'!
  • Now there's a Chinese government 'installed' Panchen Lama who is doing the rounds in Tibet. He gives 'religious sermons' which at least one person from every family has to attend.
  • Considering the Dalai Lama is the only potent force for the Tibetans, wonder what the Chinese will do to the child who gets identified as the next Dalai Lama
  • They're happy to have self rule within the Chinese framework
  • They're happy with India's neutral stance. But an aggressive posturing from India is like their main hope!
  • The Yummy part: There's just one Tibetan run Tibetan restaurant in Chennai, Mount Kailash, near Loyola. Recco: The mo-mo :D

I'm sure at least half of this is news to most people!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Adventures of a Chennaiite in Petrol illadha kaadu

(Jungle without Petrol!) (Read like Thanni illadha Kaadu:)

30 June 2008 9 AM: Me and Hari on the phone

Me: I need my camera to upload the pics of yesterday's BHUMI meet, at least 80-90 people must be waiting for it

Hari: I'll give it to you at Gandhi Mandapam at around 10 when I go to my office...

10 50AM, Call from Hari: Prahal see you in 20 minutes! (see the time this fellow goes to office and his punctuality)

1105 AM, Me travelling through Kotturpuram, Call from Hari: Hope you've not left home, cos I'm stranded on the OMR without fuel.

Me: So what you gonna do? Let me get fuel for you...

Then began the hour long search for Black Gold! I first bought a 1 litre mineral water bottle and started in search of the bunks near Adyar Signal to my surprise all were closed. When I asked the guy inside if there was some strike he said po po!

So I went in search of petrol bunks toward Thriruvanmiyur. Got caught in a major traffic jam near a petrol bunk on the way to Indira Nagar, so I started drinking the water not wanting to waste 13 bucks :P. Suddenly the traffic moved and the bottle slipped from my hand and started rolling towards the pavement. In cinematic fashion, it slowly rolled, escaping all the speeding vehicles to reach the pavement without a dent!

After a while I managed to get in to the petrol bunk wondering what to do with all the water, only to find a long snaky queue of people with all sorts of containers. as I passed around the water to all the waiting 'auto karans' I realised none of them knew why there was no petrol at other bunks or why they were trying to get fuel in large containers in preparation for doomsday! As I joined the long line of ignorant people cursing Hari, that 'Nanari payan' calls me to ask what's taking me so long :-/

After, half an hour waiting through conversations of 'expert' economists I finally got 50 bucks worth of 'black gold!'

Later learnt, it was only a supply chain disruption... But is the day when water and fuel will be rationed like this far away?

Defintely related!: Subsidising Regression

Friday, June 06, 2008

Gmail Rocks!

If the ever expanding mailbox, Conversations view, Google Chat, Labels, IMAP and the email account that wouldn't get deleted weren't enough. These guys keep making it better and better every day. Gmail Labs allows Gmail users to create add-ons to Gmail and these guys will implement the most popular ones for everyone else. How much more cool can it get?

And Gmail is still in Beta! The possibilities are endless for best email service in the world

- A grateful Googlaholic :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Subsidising Regression

Cost of the Chennai's MRTS: Rs.1,000 Crore (over 20 Years)

Cost of Delhi Metro: Rs 10,500 Crore (over 10 years)

Cost of National fuel subsidy: Rs: 200,000 Crore (in 2007-08 - 1 year)

Considering a Bus costs Rs.0.25 Crore approx and the subsidy on petrol is Rs 15/litre (A bus for every 1.6Lakh litres petrol subsidy!)

It's obvious that the government has frittered away a lot of money to prevent a possible loss at the next general elections. While the MRTS and the Metro have been dubbed as part failures because their patronage is not to their full capacity (where again the blame lies with the governments) imagine we could've had Metros across all our major cities and MRTSs across all other major towns and cities and thousands of buses for the whole country just with this year's fuel subsidy.

One of the UPA government's biggest mistakes was removing the Administered Price Mechanism of the NDA which made changes in cost of petrol a mathematical process rather than a political decision. The best news I've heard in this regard has been that the national petroleum companies have started rationing fuel and their impending bankruptcy and closure within a few months if the fuel price subsidy is not removed/rationalised. When that happens, it'll be doomsday for the UPA and a lesson for all selfish power-hungry politicians who come to power in the future.

If the government can afford so much on short-term subsidies they can definitely afford better public transport for all of us.

If people can't afford to pay for the true cost of fuel, they can't afford the true cost of damaging the environment either!

The One-eyed Blogger

8 hours at the Hospital, travelling, studying, Bhumi work... if all this wasn't enough. I joined 12 hour classes in the weekends :(

So I quit my job to concentrate more on my exams, guess what... More time for BHUMI and the IPL!

Left with nowhere to steal time from it's my Physical diary, Blogs, Email checking, news paper reading and the like that have suffered. No More! :)

Also, since my micro Blog on Twitter has taken off (see side-bar) it feels so nice to tell the world what's going on in my life. But it's a little sad the people I really wanna 'follow' are not yet on Twitter:'( Till then I 'Tweet' on...

Since my spectacles broke in the morning, I've had little else to do, so am putting my self-imposed house arrest to good use by updating my blog!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pretender

what if I say you're not like the others
what if I you're not just another one
look at your face, you're the pretender
what if I say I'll never surrender

I'm the voice inside your head you refuse to hear
I'm the face you have to face mirroring yourself
I'm whats left, I'm whats right, I'm the enemy
I'm the hand that takes you down and brings you to your knees

Monday, March 31, 2008

One Thousand Days

A Thousand Days after the Crash and Burn;
A Thousand Nights with little Purpose;
A Thousand Dreams down the drain;
In the rubble a flicker has burst into flames!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rapists should be Castrated!

More than 20 Indian Women get raped every hour (This is the Official 2006 Stats, It must be higher now) Considering almost 80% of the rapes aren't even reported that's almost 100 women every hour!

A Google News Search on 'Scarlet Keeling' throws up almost 3000 news items.
Why are we as a nation (or is it just our media?) obsessed with the rape and murder of this one under-aged girl who was high on alcohol and drugs bar-hopping at three am, far far away from her home and family?

It's reasonable to assume that most of these 100 Indian women suffered for no fault of theirs.
Who will get justice for all these women? Why doesn't the media take up each one of their cases?

The conviction rate in India is also shamefully low (8% I think) it's like the government and the law enforcement agencies are actually encouraging men to go on and rape hapless women.
Life sentence is not a sufficient enough deterrent, I don't think Rapists should be put to death either. To make them realise the trauma they made the women go through, they should be let go as free 'men' after they are castrated and/or their dicks amputated!

PS: (Update) If rape is punishable by death (as is being suggested) and so is murder, it might make these animals want to kill of their victims... think about it!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What's so special?

Marriage an inevitable part of life for most people...

But, Is the change in people post-marriage, inevitable too?

How does a single event, important though it might be, alter the dynamics of every other relationship... Both Family & friends? How is it that suddenly some new relationships become more important than many older ones?

Do people realize the change?

Will I change too?

Will I realize the change?

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Ezeego Hoax

There are numerous websites offering airplane tickets nowadays. several even give you discounts and free tickets when you make a booking. There's one Website which claims to offer you free tickets and ends up cheating you off your money.

Ezeego one travels offered 'Buy one get one free' and later 'Buy one get two free' Air Deccan tickets.  After reading the fine print a few times the offer seemed too good to be true so I even called up asking for any 'catch' in the deal. After being assured by their Customer Care executives that all I had to do was to buy a ticket to get my two free tickets for which I had to only pay the taxes, I went ahead with the booking. At the end of the booking they even collected Rs.250/ticket extra as service charges for the two free tickets. In a few minutes the codes for the free tickets arrived in my Email inbox and then began the journey to nowhere.

When I tried making the new bookings with the codes I got messages like 'Sorry the quota is full for this flight try another flight or route'. I tried numerous other flights and dates on even routes like Chennai - Madurai before I realised my Rs.500/- was down the drain!

Later, Ezeego Customer Care refused to reveal how much the quota was or  answer why the quota wasn't mentioned in the fine print or why they were advertising an offer for the next month or so when the 'quota' was full even at the start of the offer.

Be warned about this Sham site, if someone knows how I can complain about these cheats do let me know.

If you're looking for a great site to book Air Tickets Clear Trip is the place to go. Not only did I save Rs.6000/- through an HDFC Bank -Clear Trip cash back offer in the last month alone, the website like it's name offers a clear uncluttered interface and booking is truly a breeze. Clear Trip is 'Clear'ly one of the best Travel websites around.