Lateness Guranteed

What is it in India that takes 20 hours on an average for a 14 hour thing, is completely unable to manage disasters, has no plan B, keeps on growing on the number of the people using it day after day while its size still remains the same?

Unable to get it?

Or are you confused between a few things that happen in our beloved country. Well…let me give you a hint.

It was established by the british during their rule in our country. Today after winning an election politicians battle over the post for this particular ministry. It opens up 90 days in advance and even if you have a ticket on which you cannot travel and which gets automatically cancelled if not confirmed, you still need to pay up a small amount and yes, it keeps bringing people closer(literally).

Most of you people must have got it by now. For those who did not, I am talking about our Great Indain Railways.

The trains almost never arrive on the right time, and probably never leave at the right time. They have been unable to find a better solution to the naxals blowing up their tracks which caused the gyaneshwari accident except not allowing any trains on that patch after dark. And yes not to forget who literally  aree bringing people closer to each other. These are but a few problems that we the people face due to the lethargic attitude of the Indain railways. But here I focus on one problem in particular, the waiting time for the trains.

Go to any railway station, one announcement can be prominently heard,”passengers please take note, train number xxxxx up/down going from ABC to XYZ, so and so express is running late for so many hours. The inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”Now my question is when do these people really start regretting it? When to they really feel regertful and do something about it? Or is it some kind of a situation where absolutely nothing can be done? As far as the last question is concerned, i dont think YES could be an answer. There is always something that can be done.

Take the Gyaneshwari Incident for example. Naxalites blew up the tracks during the dark, caused a train to derail and thereby many people got killed or injured. So until a solution to this problem was found out no trains were allowed in that patch after sunset. Ok, wise decision. But for God’s sake that was almost an year ago now. Why do they want to show their ineptness to deal with things, by still continuing with the same solution. And if you do really wish to keep doing that, atleast revise the train timings. How long does that take now. Given the complicacy and the mutual dependency of the vast Indain Rail network, I don’t think it should take the authority more than a month. After all that is their job.

The solution that I feel can bring the Indian Rail Authority out of this obesity is if there comes in effect a law which mandates the Indain Rail to return back a part or whole of the fare depending upon the extent of lateness. I believe that they have nothing to lose in this particular area, which is why they are unable to get the proper motivation for work. If they start losing money for late trains, they will automatically do something or the other to save the money. And whatever we get in the end will be better than the present. And yes, if they want we can also say while taking the money,”aapko hui aasuvidha k liye hame khed hai!!”

AN ULTIMATE DIWALI

Imagine a Diwali away from home in a lonely place called Surat, where in you have never ever stayed away from home for the biggest festival of India. Sounds lonely, isn’t it! But imagine a Diwali, the biggest festival in India with some of the nicest people, good friends and awesome colleagues around (read Onkar Singh, Ankit Shukla, Sujoy Das and Mohit Kamra),

dosen’t it sound great. Well I had this awesomest Diwali experience this time, when my work forced me to spend my Diwali in Surat, away from home with none of my family members around. This is post is nothing but a manifestation of my experience of Diwali 2010. If I would have posted this post on confluence a year ago, I would have had to face music from Gaurav and Deval, but since now I own this site and also people do not visit this site any more with the same enthusiasm as before, I don’t think I will have any issues with this post being put up on confluence. Anyway it was always about giving your idea a stage, if people were interested in it or not has always been a different issue and totally upon the people.

In more than one ways, this Diwali was very abnormal for me. The first thing was being away from home during the one time everyone is home. But add to the list having no restrictions, bursting firecrackers on the footpath with traffic on both sides, getting involved in a rocket fight with the other side of the road with some completely unknown people as my teammates and then being in the crossfire of the same war, standing on the footpath watching the expensive crackers light up the night sky as if it were a firecracker show, bursting firecrackers at 12 am after everyone has slept just to wake them up make the abnormal sound above normal. This once this abnormality was actually above normality for me.

But with this Diwali experience I realized one thing about the surti public. These people are totally insane and got no sense of shame. Normally it sounds bad, but don’t forget here everything is abnormal. Why else would anyone come lock their homes and come out on the streets just to light their firecrackers. Why else would anyone light a rocket horizontal instead of vertically, with its direction towards the other side of the road. Why else would anyone buy a “4000 ki ladi”, tie it to their bikes and light it up while the bike moves on the road full speed in full traffic. If you can imagine it was quiet a stunt. Why else would anyone burst their crackers right in front of the shop where they bought it (this one thing we did too…the madness had to get us..we could not escape it :P).

 Yet such kind of mindless behavior, though good sometimes, may not be good at all times, and in some cases even harmful to others. What we need to think is that why do we need to have fun at the cost of others’ safety. Why can’t we devise some harmless ways of having fun? Why do we need to blow up huge amounts of money in fire crackers also at the same time affecting our health, others’ health and also damaging the environment, just to have fun? Yes that feeling of joy comes in our hearts when the sky lights up. No doubt about it. But is it worth it? If everyone just donated the money they burn in crackers for nothing but a mere show of spectacle, India would become a lot better place. But some mentalities are not easy to change. Some traditions are hard to give up. After all it is these fireworks that make us unique. Also the very large industry making these very fireworks provides employment to a lot of people. Yes there is a problem of child labour, but if we stop buying these firecrackers, we would then though prevent a lot of fires, save lot of children from getting their childhoods spoilt, also give rise to unemployment, which is also a big problem in a country like India. But it is not that we cannot do something about it. Buy firecrackers, but see to it that they are not made by children. Try and burst only such crackers which pollute as least as possible. Donate some amount of what you blow in fire crackers as charity. Try and make Diwali a festival of joy for all, not just for some who can pay money for it.

And above all, please don’t have fun with firecrackers at the expense of others. Don’t be an incendiary, just for the fun of it. Be responsible and behave responsibly when you light firecrackers. Who knows today you are having fun, tomorrow someone else will be having fun while you burn. For the next year,

WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY AND SAFE DIWALI!!

AAPNE JEETI GAYA!!!

Being in Larsen and Toubro Hazira has its advantages other than just the job experience. Being here I have learnt more Gujrati in the last 3 months than I could in the 4 years of my college. Today was the 5th and final day of the test match between India and Australia, and in what can very aptly be called a nail biting match, India won the match on a bowling pitch while chasing by just a mere single wicket. Well the match was quiet interesting and though people at Larsen and Toubro were not in front the television sets watching the match ball by ball, but nothing could keep them from keeping a track of the scores.

Work was going on at its normal pace as it always goes. Though “Score kya hua??” was asked by many, many times. People were discussing technicalities of the job while some were actually doing the jobs. The most interesting case to see was that of two people, one from the shops and the other from some other department involved in a heated argument over some issue. Things like this are not uncommon though on the shop floor.  But what was worth noticing was what happened next. Of the 2 people arguing, one’s cell phone rings into a massage tone. He opens the massage and happily shouts,”AAPNE JEETI GAYA!!” The argument is instantly forgotten and scores start getting discussed and the argument now changes to who should get the man of the match title.

What caught my attention was the phrase,”AAPNE JEETI GAYA”. Meaning WE HAVE WON. Not quiet often do we get to hear the ‘WE’ over here now do we. At this moment I recall one of Akshay Kumar’s dialogues from the movie Khaata Meetha (wait…don’t stop reading here, I never said about liking the movie),

”AAP AMERICA JAO AAPKO AMERICAN MILENGE

ENGLAND JAO TO ENGLISHMEN MILENGE

FRANCE JAO TO FRENCHMEN MILENGE

LEKIN INDIA ME…INDIA ME AAPKO MILENGE MARATHI, GUJRATI, PUNJABI, MARWADI…”

So true, is it not! We actually are Indian at very few instances. Unless we are out of India or some outside power is intruding into India, or unless there is a cricket match we are just so very non-Indian. Just look at the today’s match as an example. When Zaheer Khan took 5 wickets and was made the Man of the Match, he was an Indian and not a Muslim. When Sachin scored 98 in the first innings, or when Dhoni got out for 2 in the second innings they were Indians and not a Maharashtrian and a Bihari(No grudges against Dhoni, I love his shots and more even his attitude, this was just for an example). But what happens to us after the match ends? We go out and start the discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, region and what else not. The question that really comes to my mind here is why so? Why just can’t we be Indians at all times?

Why do we fall for some power hungry politician’s words in which he makes us fight against each other. Who in a so called secular India whose constitution treats every religion and people of all religions equally, puts his religion’s claim on something that should rightfully belong to all? Why do we fight for the Ram Mandir or the Babri Masjid of either of which today who knows what exists where? Why not build an orphanage or a school on that site? Haven’t all the religions always asked to help the poor of the society? Don’t our religions say that we must donate some part of our earning to the society? And when we remember everything else about the religion, why do we forget this good part?

Why do we fight for what language should get importance where? Why do we not understand that language is simply for expressing the feeling within us, that it is simply to convey our massage to the person standing next to you? Why do we attach so much importance to the regional language, or should I say force importance on it when we have one National Language? Why do the south Indian’s do not study our National Language? Why do they give so much importance to their regional language to the point of creating a hatred for the National Language? Why do we need to print our sign boards in a regional language rather than print them in a language that is understood by if not all, a lot more people? Isn’t it supposed to be bad for one’s business? If one cannot understand what a particular shop sells, why should he go in there and buy stuff from there?

Why do we let a few corrupt government officials and selfish political leaders, ruin our country’s image by letting them organize a world event that makes us all feel sorry before the entire world community? Why don’t we unitedly stand against this and demand for a change? India is supposed to be democracy I guess? Right from the traffic policeman who takes a bribe from us for us not having an insurance of our own vehicle to the minister who bungles in huge amounts of money for issuing a public works contract, or steals the money that is meant for the flood affected people in helping them building their homes back? Why can’t we just stand up for once and say a simple and strong NO?

Why do so many questions plague India today, when they can be vanished by a minute change in our mentalities? Will these or should I say, can these questions ever vanish?

AAPNE SACHI MA JEETE SHAKE CHE?

A New Beginning…

It has been a long time since I actually wrote something. I have no idea as to why that happened. I don’t know the reason but I know the cause that keeps me from writing. It is none other than me. My last article (not so good though) one got me selected in my campus placements and as the purpose of me taking up writing as a hobby (to be able to tell a hobby in my interviews) was fulfilled I abandoned writing. I got a stimulus to write many a time but I sidelined it, ignored it.  But now I have decided to begin again. It will take some time before the rust is removed and a lot more until I re-attain my full flow, but this time I will not quit like I did last time.

Hindu culture has always promoted that whenever you start a new endeavor, start it with the name of Lord Ganesha. In Hindu mythology Ganesha is regarded as the remover of all obstacles, as the giver of happiness and borrower of your sorrows. Hence the first place in any religious ceremony first Lord Ganesha is invoked. He is the one who is called first and prayed to, to reward our efforts with success and keep our path free from obstacles.

But it is not just for this sole reason that I am writing about the half elephant God. He holds a very special place in my heart and since long I have wanted to devote one of my articles to him. This is THE ONE. So continuining with this one, the fact Lord Ganesha occupies a special corner of my heart is not only because of the fact of me being a maharashtrian. It has also to do with an important and very interesting incident that happened about 5 years ago. This incident changed my very outlook towards life and with it Ganesha sat in that very special part of my heart and continues to be there ever since.

It was the time of examinations. Not any college/school examinations but the entrance examinations for engineering admissions. Knowing that I had done very badly in some of the exams that had happened just before this one, this was actually my last option of getting admission into a good college. It was the exam for admission to the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, and by the time only this exam was left for me, I had become quiet desperate to do good in at least one out of the half a dozen entrance exams I had written. I had worked really hard. Why should this happen to me. At least one exam I had to do good to show myself that my hard work had paid off. It had to. What else would have I done. So the point is I was very desperate to perform in this one. I had to score and get selected. But some things happen in strange ways. The exam was supposed to be in Mumbai and a day before I was to leave for Mumbai, I fall ill. Not a big thing other wise but in my case it was as if my entire life depended on it and everything was supposed to go against me. My preparations go down the drain and doctors are consulted. Medicines that are given to me cause drowsiness and I am unable to study even one line. In such a condition, I catch the train and leave for Mumbai. We reach Mumbai a day before my exam is scheduled. That day while everyone of my friends is studying, I am feeling totally sick. And still as the medicines continue I keep feeling drowzee. It is as if everything is decided and I am doomed and this very feeling makes me feel more sick. That evening all decide that it is enough of the study and all decide to go out. We go out and roam around. After some time of roaming, someone comes up with the idea of going to the Siddhivinayak Temple. Ok I thought, the only thing that I could do was ask for divine intervention. But I had also tried invoking the Gods before my other exams as well and inspite of that my other exams had been big blunders. But what else could I possibly do. So we go to the temple. As expected there is a long queue and lots of security to go through just to have a look of the God. But we go in anyway. We stand in the queue pass through security gates and metal detectors and physically inspected by policemen for any weapons and when finally they don’t find any of them with us, they allow us to proceed. As the queue moves very slowly, everyone is nervous about the next day’s exam. But amidst the nervousness I do feel a peaceful feeling inside the temple premises. Some places have a distinct personality of their own. Finally after a long time of standing in a slowly moving queue, we reach the main temple and now we are able to see the God’s Idol. We inch closer towards the place where we can actually fold our hands and pray. While inching ahead, I observe something strange. Some people after praying to Ganesha went over to the mouse’s idol in front of Ganesha’s idol and whispered something into it’s ears. It was amazing and confusing to see. When I enquired about it, I came to know a really amazing thing. Whenever you have a wish in your heart that you want fulfilled, you whisper it in the mouse’s ears with a request to take it forward it to he Lord. And then sometime later, the mouse who is also Ganesha’s vehicle(Vahaan as is called in Marathi) puts our problem directly in front of the Lord to solve. Amazing I thought. And I followed the practice. I went over and prayed over to the Lord to cure me of my illness so that at least I could give the exam my fullest and whispered the same in my ears of the mouse. Soon everyone offered their prayers and put forward their desires in front of the Lord. And after time we had our dinner and left. As we went back, all of us were still nervous about the exam next day. We reached our rooms and dosed off.

As I wake up next day, it is the big day and wait a minute, I do not feel sick anymore. It might have been the medicines, it may have been the rest. But for my heart it was the Lord who had answered my prayers. It was Ganesha who cured my illness so that I could the exam all that I had got. What happened next is not that relevant. I gave the exam and scored enough to satisfy myself that my efforts had paid off. But this incident has given that special place of respect in my heart to Ganesha. The Lord had answered my prayers that day. And till today he has kept me fighting fit for the exams I have had to face. And here the exams I am talking about are not only the ones that you give after studying/mugging up from books. And I am sure that he will be with me always to help me get up whenever I fall, to help me always give my best, to keep obstacles away from my path, to provide me with the much needed support one needs during testing times.

With this I now re-begin with my writing. No matter who reads it or does not. No matter who cares for it. May Lord Ganesha give me the strength to keep my word of not quitting this once. May this New Beginning be successful…”GANPATI BAPPA MORAYA”

Foreplay;-)

What happens before we voice our opinion? There’s a very interesting psychological phenomena I came across. I would pose a question and carry out it’s analysis. A person asks you something or puts forward a statement. You voice out vehemently that you would never even think of doing it. But saying that “you’d never think of doing it”, doesn’t prove in itself that you already thought of doing it? Let me take an example. I’d pick up a topic which would seem gruesome to many. Incest. It disgusts? Right? You’d say that you’d never ever do it. But the very moment you consider the thought of doing it, there’s a probability that you would do it.

Leave alone someone asking you. Suppose you come across a subject and you think about all the possible responses. All these responses have some probability of you doing it. Even though you oppose few of the considerations, you already considered them and so you might do it. Someone might argue that any such issue is bound to have an affirmation or a negation and so a person would definitely consider all the factors in his ken which would surely include a yes or a no making it impossible for a person to overlook these possibilities. The human mind is analytical. But is the person deceiving himself when he says he would never do something (or will always do something). Is it just will power or is the unconscious playing a part? If we lose consciousness, would we do it all without any prejudices? Look in deep and you’d find that you’d do anything. There are a few explanations like the thing that brings consciousness is the brain or the ethics and the surroundings of a person are what is shaping this reluctance. But I would go ahead if it generates a few responses or else I’ll keep amusing myself.

You can’t handle the truth

Hello everyone! This post is the work of a talented blogger who goes by the name of A.S.Krishnan and studies at SVNIT in 3rd year of Mechanical Engineering. He wanted to publish his post on confluence but did not have a wordpress account. So i am posting this on his behalf. Happy reading!!

Colonel Nathan Jessup was put on the stand. Lieutenant Kaffee faced him “I think I am entitled to the truth”. Jessup says the 29th most prominent punch line of all time.

“YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH”

Ok, sons and daughters of this holy land, we live in a world that is under a constant media scrutiny. Every single move, whether I talk, tweet or do anything a normal guy does turns into a scam. Every confidential letter is leaked to the press for money. All right, education it is. We live in a country that has 28 states, 7 union territories, 23 languages with 1650 dialects out of whom 64.8% are literate ( 57.3% females and 75.3% males) with a sex ratio of 1:9.4 males : females. There are 350-400 people below the poverty line i.e. 36%. With every state having a different government and having n number of parties with n number of propagandas, it makes it tougher to implement a law. Every problem has a way of redressing, a system is in place. For example if a bus window is broken, if I have a speedy replacement, then the cost has to be covered for that person. The bill has to pass through 10 other people and by the time it reaches the concerned person, it takes 5 days at least. Then the money has to be sanctioned and looked after properly or else my head will spin off for an IT raid. So tell me who will take care of such a system, you, the random guy on the judge’s seat or the common man? No, it has to be the government always. All right now, education it is.

There are 23 languages and every student is the same for me. I need to bring all to the same level they pass out at the 12th grade or else we will have a mismatch at the college level. So, I say a uniform text book standard has to be there. So what happens? A few governments oppose it saying they are against this, why? I am from a party X. if you are from a party Y then your first duty is to oppose what X says. A sane person will be suppressed and the politically correct one will continue to live at the expense of a common man. They do not realize that until a concrete step is taken, the BPL living families will suffer and continue to suffer till the law passes. Now coming to the concept of tuition classes or rather coaching classes. In early days, tuition was given to those students who fared badly in exams and required assistance. I presume it must be the reverse in the current situation. The top student goes to a class so that he can become even better. If he needs a coaching class to teach him what he learns again, then why have schools. Ok, to negate this, IIT JEE was made easier. But no, today the society takes advantage of this and wants the paper so easy that even a monkey with black ink on his/her tail marks the paper in a random permutation, he/she can get through. So what do I do now, make sure we do well in 12th exams. But no, I am an elitist. If I decide against it, I play vote bank politics. So you people tell me what I have to do. Why does caste, money have to do with education? Education is something so important to all, so much that it has to be free. Why do people have to charge money to teach people? Isn’t passing on knowledge an important duty that we have to do for the society, but Robin Hood style- I insist.

Another point, why engineering? Why is every single Indian hell bent on pursuing a useless degree in a college which will make you go outside the country, never to come back, when you very same people talk of patriotism. You will go there, live there, pay taxes there and that country will flourish. We lose a taxpayer of the highest order. We lose revenue. Don’t you realize that this is an infinite loop and that this may be inadvertently a cause for poor education; the fact that the taxpayers don’t pay taxes. Also why is engineering the only thing kids are interested in? It is like a public toilet where the students inside want to leave and those outside want to enter. I can hear students say “I will miss my friends, but not my college”. The sanctity of an IIT, NIT has become so much as that it is referred to as public toilets in public. And you NIT dudes, you must have definitely come thinking that I have lost my life as I lost a seat in IIT. But believe me; NIT students should have more fire in their hearts to come out on tops. But no, you people get worse once you reach college.

So solutions, first before shooting your mouths off, see what facilities your teachers and their families have before cribbing about your life. What is their motivation to teach you if all you give about them is a time to criticise them. Can you better them and teach? By all means, take up teaching. Goodness knows that we can do with more teachers. Next, encourage all 10th standard students to take up other professions. Why doesn’t anyone take up sports? I mean a real sport, not a “game” called Cricket. Take up football. Don’t you realise that a Didier Drogba means so much to Ivory Coast than Yuvraj Singh does to a random common man of the country. Be a Drogba, Essien, Zidane and not a Yuvi, Mahi and Bhajji. Goddammit take up hockey, your national sport. Isn’t it shameful enough that you see India getting a golden spoon in Hockey world cup? Take up commerce, no company can be without an accountant or a manager. In fact, if you do a B.Com and then a MBA rather than engg. and then a MBA, then you actually have a year in hand for fruitful purposes. Waise bhi, you don’t learn much in engineering. Take up music, dance, and journalism if you are faint at heart. For the true patriot, join the NDA-National Defence Academy; take up IPS, IAS, UPSC and what not. Don’t talk about patriotism sitting in your chair in Silicon Valley that too through Twitter.

So for the current “engineers”, at least pay taxes properly. For those budding engineers, IIT is not the only thing in life. MARKS are not the only thing in life. Get a life, join the Chipko movement. To the rest, GFAT!!!!

Kaffee asks “Did you order the IIT entrance law to be forged?” “You are goddamn right I did”

Kaffee puts forward his argument. The courtroom waits with baited silence. The jury arise. Jessup has a sly smile.

The jury pronounce Jessup guilty of forgery, corruption and of so many other charges. There is no room for an educated person in a country like India. That’s why we Tweet in Silicon Valley.

Bending the Arch

I’m looking through the window of my room. Gushes of light flood into the room through the netlon (which is now a generic trademark for nettings I guess). The hyacinth sunlight blinds my eyes while they try to look into the future through the window.

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The view

The picture is very vivid and gives me a clear picture of reality. As the saying goes, there is always room at the top. I see the opposite wall of the square building in which I reside. The walls are filled with arrays of windows and from each of these windows, someone is peering at exactly the same things towards which I do. The walls are enshrined at the top by arches and there is a smaller hollow arch inside these bigger arches. They’re like these teasers trying to lure me into the bait and asking me to jump up and go through the hollow arch. I think there is freedom on the other side. Freedom, although overrated, is definitely one thing that tops my priority list.

Above the arches, is the endless sky; pure blue sky with no clouds to distract. The stability and the constance even when viewed through the tiny netting holes, endorses permanence. Change or stability? Yet another another big question.

I ask questions! But do I ever find answers? Am I waiting for 2012 for the ultimate truth? Will that happen? Now, that’s one thing I’m looking forward to. One thing which is like a huge dominoes pizza to me! I want to have a bite of it. Please, let me.

Okay enough of that. Coming closer to reality, the sunlight is falling on a bottle of water. The water sparkles. I’m looking at it for answers. It tells me, “Go do your work, arse!” I pry further, trying to coerce it into giving me the answers. It still sparkles in its permanence. (The mood i website is open in the background. Wow! Give it a shot. Ubercool. Does it depress me? Naee…).

What do I do next? I close the window… The sun is shining too much. Next? Wait for 2012. Till then?

What? Dive into that hollow arch of mine. And if you miss your aim, who cares? There are many on this side of the arch and even if you manage to go beyond, the others wouldn’t notice you there because there are many more arches to bend!