Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Culture Curry

I received this beautiful pictorial comparison of Asian and Western cultures through e-mail. The mail claims that the pictorial representations were designed by a Liu Young, the design is a result of extensive research. The red symbolizes Asian cultural concepts while blue is for the Western culture. The Asians represented here include Indians, Japanese, Thais, Koreans, Indonesian, and Malay.

Have a look and enjoy. Please do not forget to leave a comment.

Opinions
Way Of Life
The Queue
Handling Of Problems
The Boss
Last but not the least, Wishing all of you and your families a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Question...

What can we do to help our country combat Terrorism?
I know this must be the most commonest of all the questions that all of you must have come across since the events of the past week. But before you jump to conclusions let me explain.
Enough words have been written, enough candles have been lit. Now, my question seeks to go beyond that. It wants to know what real action can be taken by us, the common people.
Can we only protest, shout slogans, passively and wait for certain lousy people to change things for us??? Can we not do something...anything, take an active part and be the change???
I am not against protests and dharnas for the cause but I want to know if there are any more alternatives to approach the solution, which we the people can implement.
Please do try to answer this question of mine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Massacre In Mumbai...

In my last post, I had written abut how Mumbai had been humiliated nationally. Ironically, the horrific turn of events that took place in the past few days have shamed the city in front of the whole world.

The city’s security and crisis management measures were put to test and they failed the test…miserably…in front of the whole world. What’s more, politicians made their own mark by showing up (and others by not showing up!!!) at the scene to display their ‘publicity skills’ to the whole world. All in all, a complete humiliation!

The one thing that everyone’s talking of, now that the night mare is over, is the ‘resilience of the city’, ‘spirit of Mumbai’, ‘bounce back attitude of the people’ and what not. What the heck, I myself was admiring this ‘spirit’, however, as of today I will correct myself. I feel that we Mumbaikars we use such phrases to hide our ignorance and taken-for-granted attitude. It is high time we stopped taking such incidents for granted. Ignoring the events that occurred the day before and going back to work (although tense and nervous) is a poor way of expressing sorrow and regret for those who have lost their lives in this mayhem.

Many of us have remained immune from the happenings of the past few days. I myself am a teenager who hardly visits Colaba, Fort or Nariman Point. Hence I cannot feel the agony, pain, sorrow and the triumph felt by the people who were there in the line of fire. All I can do is offer my heartfelt condolences to near and dear ones of all those lost their lives in the attacks and a salute to the martyrs and to those who went out of their way, selflessly to help the victims and rescuers.

One should remember, this was not the war, it was but the first battle.

I wanted to get this post up by morning but my opinions just wouldn’t come in a smooth flow, it was a jumble of incoherent sentences, surely a result of the shock I recieved as I watched and read all about the horrific events. But a big break and a re-edit have cured all that. Please do post your opinions about any related issue.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mumbai, My Jaan...


Well Mumbai has been in the news for the past few months, tarnishing the already ‘controversial’ reputation of the city. I say ‘controversial’ not because the city has a bad record or something (not that it hasn’t, but that’s another story…) but because any cosmopolitan city, anywhere in the world has a controversial side to it. It’s like the two sides of a coin, one of them may be undesirable yet we cannot do away with it. The media was on a rampage, what with the special bulletins, episodes, interviews on TV and cover stories, guest columns all about the city, it’s culture, multi-ethnic way of life, unemployment problems and it’s decline (how dare they use such words!!!). The survey that ranked Mumbai 17th in the list of emerging global economic cities was like namakh applied on the zakhm. As I read all this (yeah, I prefer reading to watching, you can’t trust the Indian news channels nowadays!!!) I was disappointed…no, irritated actually.

Why was I irritated you ask? Well, that would be the very first reaction of any to-the-core Mumbaikar. What’s that? Are you asking me how to become one? Well, I don’t know if there is any criteria for membership but I happen to be one by birth. I admit that I have been in and out of the country a few times in my life, but Mumbai has always been and will remain my hometown.

One of the newsprint material, a column by an eminent journalist (and he wasn’t the only one…) mocked the MNS and it’s supremo Raj Thackeray for disrupting the ‘Life in the Metro’ and the government for it’s failure in repressing the infamous campaign against North Indians in the state. And what’s more he even went as far enough to mock the city itself, claiming that the city’s grandeur had declined and the city had “lost it’s sheen” and that is what fuelled my irritation.

Well, I totally disagree. The other day, I visited the Lamington Road with a my buddies Hitesh and Sagar and what I experienced during that trip convinced me that Mumbai will remain the grand ‘City Of Dreams’ as long as it stands. What exactly did I experience? I experienced what every Mumbaikar experiences on his commute through the city and yet is ignorant of the significance of it all. We started off from the Thane Station caught a train to Dadar. Even though it was quite late in the afternoon the crowd didn’t seem any less than on peak hours. We got off at Dadar to have a snack and buy tickets to Grant Road Station, here Sagar pointed out at the framework that held up the ceiling and at the adjacent platforms explaining that all these were from the British era. We exited the station to relieve our empty, growling stomachs. In order to exit we made use of one the largest railway footbridges on the Central line (which again Sagar was kind enough to point out…). Not that I did not know that, in fact I have used the bridge more than often in the past, but the one thing that always makes me wonder and admire is the crowd passing over it. The crowd never ceases, people keep walking in and out through the various staircases branching out of the footbridge in perfect rhythm (or so it seems). The bridge is arbitrarily divided into two ‘lanes’ (by the people themselves, there are no dividers) for the crowd to move through in anti-parallel direction. The hum of the crowd-noise, the people from different backgrounds, regions, classes, colours walking in perfect rhythm; side by side, the little vibrations of the bridge (yes, it does vibrate and sway vertically due to the footsteps and rumbling of trains from below!!!) all this never ceases to fascinate me.

We then headed to the nearest mall complex and had bhel puri and chaat from a wayside stall just adjacent to it. They were two different worlds, standing side by side. The mall with all it’s flashy showrooms, branded stuff and chic restaurant with a view of the city skyline and the humble chaat stall with it’s low budget-fast food service. The funny part was most of the people at the chaat counter were the ones who had just exited the mall! The typical Mumbaikar – He will live in a 3 BHK flat, drive a car, earn a six figure amount and shop in a AC equipped mall but he will never forget the good ol’ bhelpuri ‘n’ chaat and will always have it from the wayside chaat stall, what irony!!!

We were in the train and off to Grant Road Station. We reached the station in about 10 minutes time, a short walk and we were there, on Lamington Road, a hardware/software buff’s paradise. Right from the smallest 3-pin plug to the latest high-speed gaming PC, you name it and it’s there. There was the usual hustle and bustle on the street, footpaths crowded with stalls full of you-ask-it-you-get-it stuff. We spent time enquiring about new PC pricelists and software CDs and after about 3-4 hours we turned our feet in the direction of our homes sweet homes.

The whole point is that Mumbai’s soul is made of its people. And nothing can steal away it’s grandeur as long as it’s people believe in it. The fact that not even a bomb blast nor a riot can discourage the people from going on with their daily routine for more than a day or two is only one of the many examples that tells us – The spirit of the city will remain undaunted, irrespective of the obstacles that come in the way of it’s daily functioning. I agree that the city could do with some improvement in it’s infrastructure, security and quality of living. But we accept the city as it is, improvement or no improvement. We enjoy the posh malls and the chaat stalls, the multiplexes and the natyagruhas alike and accept graciously whatever the city has to offer us. That’s Mumbai my Jaan!!!

P.S As my exams are gonna begin in the next couple of weeks, I am busy rubbing my ass off, studying for them. So please do understand my plight if I don't post more often.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Talking 'bout Obama

A day before the US Presidential Election officially ended,

“Hurrah! Obama is in the lead”, I said.

My other part smirked and I could sense that it had something up its sleeve.

“So, why are you so elated?” it asked.

That question was a slap in the face, he is a man who is going to change things in America, his slogan yells out in bold letters - CHANGE, and my other part was being so foolish and stubborn enough to ignore this! But there was something more to this ignorance than what appeared on the outside and I think I was about to get my answer.

“I’ll tell you why, it’s only because he has almost the same amount of melanin in his skin as you and any other Indian does and mind you, I am not trying to be a racist here.”

I was aghast, “What!?!?!”

But I very well knew there was some truth hidden in those words (after all the ‘other part’ was a part of me).

My other part continued, “I very well know that he has a great calibre and personality. And he represents change not only in upcoming policies but in the complete history of American politics, but that is again because he is an African-American. Newspapers all over India have been ranting about how he likes Indian food and how many Indian-origin Americans there are in his team, one paper even went far enough to report that his pouch contained a miniature of a ‘monkey-god’ which could be Hanuman!!! I mean Mccain could have eaten all the biryani, tikka and dosas he wanted, sitting in front of the Indian Embassy and none of the journos would even care. The basic fact remains that the reason so many Asians are interested in Obama and hoping for him to win is that he, atleast physically, is so much like them.”

I surprisingly found myself in agreement with my other part.

And just then I heard my other part say, so slowly that it couldn’t even be called a whisper,

“Oh, how wrong they are!”

I have written this in a short and concise manner. I do not mean to be racist in opinion and congratulate President Elect Barack Obama for his spectacular win. But I also hope that my thoughts and opinions have reached you, my readers, purely as they are.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Am I at the Wrong Blog???

That’s the question you must be asking yourself and the answer is a big fat NO. It’s the new look and title that seems to baffle you for a moment but believe me you will get used to it very soon. I also the very next question in line will be,

Why the new name?

The answer to that is pretty simple and there are quite a few reasons (I didn’t say the answer would be short) for the new name,
  • When I established this blog I only had a few minutes to make up a name for it and I decided on ‘The Teenager’s Guide To The World’. After a lot of thinking I realized that the name gave an impression that this was a travel blog, which it is not.
  • Also, it makes the blog look like an agony aunt’s column which dishes out tips on ‘handling your own life successfully’ to all those depressed and frustrated teens out there. Sorry fellow teenagers, I have my own agonies and I am surely not your aunt!!!
  • But it was this very last incident that forced me to start deciding on a new name - a few days back, I was egosurfing for my blog’s name and I came across this. That literally sent me over the edge. I mean some bloody agony aunt or uncle whoever it was, had thought of the same name that I did!!! And I had it changed immediately.

As you can see the rest of the changes are quite clear. There is the dazzling blue theme in the background.

Also, a note of caution for all those plagiarists surfing on the net, I have secured my blog with a new Creative Commons license. Use my work without my permission and rest assured you will be hearing from my lawyer very, very soon…Muah-ha-ha-ha. OK, got a bit carried away there…but I am serious about the ‘no-copying-without-my-permission’ thing.

Last but not the least; I have even updated my nickname and profile. The nick isn’t my real name but I must admit that it is closer to my actual name.

Well that’s that, there will be teeny-weeny changes happening every once in a while only to improve the interface and make this blog more reader friendly

Monday, October 27, 2008

Under Renovation…

Well, Diwali is here and I hope that all of you are geared up for the festive season. Well, I have decided to give my readers a surprise this Diwali in the form of a complete makeover of the blog. I am going to change the look of the blog right from head to toe (I know what you are thinking- do blogs have toes? Well beats me!!!) starting today…(if you didn’t notice I have already tweaked my profile and my theme…)

I know that, with only posts, the blog is quite young to undergo a makeover, but hey, it isn’t against the law!!! Also I’ll try my level best to give it a revolutionary new look as well as make it user friendly.

So, don’t forget to keep checking in to have a look at your favourite blog with it’s new and improved design and layout.

Last but not the least, Wish all of you and your family, a very Happy and Safe Diwali.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Left Out…High and Dry…and Taken Back In...


The events that took place since last Tuesday will have a lasting impression on the Indian industrial as well as political scene. It will also had a lasting impression on me, as it was the very next day that I learnt ‘lay-off’ is a more civilized term used to reduce the guilt (for the employers) and the agony (for the employees) that results from usage of harsh word like ‘fired’.
By now you may be aware that I am referring to the latest removal of about 2000 employees from the Jet Airways (please do forgive me, if my own words sound too harsh!!!). Oh my, what a storm it raised and rightfully so!!! However all seems merry again with Jet announcing the reinstatement. A major advantage of looking at the matter after it has been settled is that it gives a clearer picture, and that is exactly why I have taken up this topic a week after the events unfolded.
Now Mr. Naresh Goyal, who emerged at the eleventh hour to become the gallant knight-in-the-shining-armor, proves to be quite an interesting personality. Here are some snippets, from various news sources over the net, to prove my point:
  • "Decision is not under any political pressure"
    Yeah, right!!! With so much politics going on behind the matter, with Raj Thackeray’s MNS, the ruling Congress lashing out on the issue and Civil Aviation Ministry expressing it’s displeasure…I am sure you remained as cool as a cat.
  • "I have nothing to do with Kingfisher, the decision does not relate with alliance (with Kingfisher)"
    Well, forgive us Mr. Goyal but common sense dictates that a decision that comes after a merger has to be linked with the merger. And if you say you’ve nothing to do with Kingfisher, why is the news circulating that you had a quick chat with Mr. Mallya after pressures began mounting?
  • "Management had decided it and when I read about it I saw tears in their eyes, I decided on my own to call them back.”
    Surprisingly, Mr. Goyal (or should we say Mr. Emotional), Founder Chairman of Jet Airways, claimed that he ‘did not know about the day-to-day decisions of the management’, no wonder the airline is incurring losses. With all due respect Sir, if you looked into the decision making process of your company more often and take better decisions ‘on your own’, maybe, just maybe you would accumulate enough good karma to take your company out of the dumps.

Also, when the case has just been resolved and all seems just fine. My ‘other side’ makes a guest appearance to hint that all is not as simple as it seems, coincidentally I come across this article by a Citizournalist that tells us what Mr. Goyal could gain from this fiasco.
However, all this uproar seems to have had another advantage it has also prevented further lay-offs from other airlines like Kingfisher and Air India.
All this reminds me of a quote by the former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam:
“Love your job but never fall in love with your company for you never know when it stops loving you.”

A Dilemma with Friends...

I have already introduced you people to the gang (my closest friends from college). I would like to share another incident that changed the way I used to look at relationships.
You see, a week ago we had this college fest to welcome the juniors to the campus. It’s one of the happening events on the campus with preparations lasting for weeks (funded by the money that’s literally extorted from us!!!). All lectures after the lunch break were suspended to make way for the party. The bell rang indicating that the break had begun and I hurried downstairs to the classroom where the gang was having their lunch. I did this everyday since the start of the semester, in that half an hour we had our lunch together, we caught up on the latest happenings in our respective classes, all this with lots of mazaak-masti.

I thought this arrangement was fine until that day. I sat for lunch with them; we had our share of food and fun. A few minutes after the break got over we got a call from our classmates telling us that the party had begun; we all went down on the playground to find that the party still hadn’t got into the groove and a few last minute arrangements were underway.

Hitesh suggested that we sit in the adjacent garden and so we headed in it’s direction. The garden was crowded that day (there’s not even a dog to be seen there on a regular day), students sat on the grass in large circles with their own groups of friends. Hitesh ran ahead and sat down with the students from his class; I looked at them and found no one recognizable other than the few from the gang. Right beside them were the guys from my own class. Just when Hitesh beckoned to me, one of my own classmates spotted me and called me in to join them.

That’s when it happened…that’s when I realized what a mess I was in. Now I know that this would not sound like a dilemma to some of you but for me it was! Here’s something you should understand - I had been in the dumps when I realized that I would not be with the rest of the gang for the new semester. I was trying hard to make new contacts and friends in my own class, but it wasn’t the same as the last year, it couldn’t have been and never will be. Also, I was dying to be with the gang and found the lunch-break arrangement a good excuse to be with them. - The chain of thoughts broke as they called out to me again; I looked at Hitesh, who was still beckoning, I looked back at my classmates, uttered a hurried ‘excuse me’ and went ahead and joined Hitesh’s circle. As I sat there and looked on the guys having fun, I realized that I could not relate to them or their conversation…I wasn’t fitting in. I glanced at my classmates’ circle and realized (my second big realization of the day…) that I wasn’t sure that I knew all of them well enough either. A perfect “Na ghar ka na ghat kaa” situation.

The rest of the evening was quite normal, mostly Sagar, Sourabh and me stuck together enjoying the fest, accompanied by our regular mazaak-masti.

From then on the dilemma persists. I still continue with the same lunch-break arrangement, still don’t know my classmates well enough to call them friends and try to ignore my ‘other side’ that keeps telling me to resolve my confusion as soon as possible.
But, it just seems easier to let the things go on as they are. Though I know that I need to sort things out.

P.S. I know this post turned out to be really, really long…but I just had to get it all out of my system.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Day Out with Friends...


I know the title sounds like some 5th grade essay. But believe me in the past week, this has been one of the many ‘teenage milestones’ and an iconic and enjoyable experience. It all took place very spontaneously. I had just left the college campus and I met up with the whole gang, I and all these guys have literally shared the same bench in our junior year. Unfortunately we were assigned to separate classes in our present year… let me introduce you to all of them;



  • Hitesh …The fun loving, cheerful and completely bindaas guy.

  • Sagar…Simple, straight-forward, ready to bring a smile to your face with his own unique style.

  • Sandeep…Cheerful yet responsible, he was and still is the Class Rep’.

  • Amit…Small in size, but with a sharp mind and sparky tongue.

  • Parth…The brightest, cleverest and most scholarly kid of our course.

  • Sourabh…He’s soft, silent yet with a hint of mischief and a complete gaming enthusiast.

One of them announced that Hitesh was gonna give a treat to celebrate his birthday. I was persuaded to join the celebrations which, it was later planned, would take place at the nearby McDonald’s joint.


It was a surprisingly simple affair. All of us ordered a burger and a cola each and sat eating at a large table for about an hour. What was so special you would ask? Well, first, it was my first spontaneous get-together with college buddies (without having to bother about parent-permission…) Also it was the first time I was sharing personal time with these guys, since the re-assignment of classes. It was complete casual ‘guy thing’. All this made it a beautiful experience.


Don’t get me wrong, I also have other groups of friends with whom I enjoy some time out. But going somewhere with your college buddies without having to worry about lectures, assignments or home!!! That is what made a truly great experience. Way to go guys…This post is especially dedicated to all of you.


It was at that time, I realized what I had been missing out. That day I understood, sometimes Life can be so confusing and problematic, and yet suddenly it gives you these little moments that make our living so special and worth it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back To The Blog!!!

A hearty hello to one and all! Even before looking back at the last blog I realize that it’s been a hell lot of time since I last posted. You see, the end of the term period is spelt ‘H-E-L-L’ for students of technical courses in Mumbai. Once again I can offer nothing more than my sincere apologies.
Just after the last post, I realized that nothing remarkable was happening, neither on the current affairs scene nor in my own life… and that was when my brain went into the ‘writer’s block’ status and I was kinda stuck in the same rut all this time. It was only last Friday while reading the news, that I realized what all events I had missed out on!!!
The blasts in major cities across the nation, devastating Bihar floods, the unrest and violence in Orissa, Tata’s move out of Singur, the story of the unstable global markets and the great 700 billion $ bail out and not to forget the hottest ‘talk of the town’ the recent ban on Smoking. A few incidents in my own life these past few weeks are also worth a post or two.
Well, trying my best to provide you with the ‘viewpoint’ I’ll be trying to come up with a few blogs in quick succession.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Govinda Aala Re Aala!!!

A very happy Gokulashtami to all you readers out there, as always my wishes come a wee bit late as the day comes to an end, but as they say “Der se aaye par Durust aaye” (For all those who did not get what I just said, please ask some Hindi-English speaking friend, ‘cause I do not wish to insult either language with my poor translation skills!!!).
This year’s Gokulashtami is truly unique. I say this because the Dahi Handi organizers have set new standards this year, what with political parties in Mumbai arranging enormous amounts as prize money and insurance covers for the Govindas (speculations are that these are just publicity stunts to garner votes in the upcoming elections). And what’s more, if the news reports are correct, primary, high schools and even B-schools are participating this year!!! No silly, not for the cash, they are using the human pyramids to display and thus impart qualities and like leadership, teamwork, trust and managerial skills, a superb combination of learning and tradition. Kudos to such institutions for coming up with such a creative way of education for their students.
When I, myself was watching the Govindas from various mandals and pathaks this evening at the chowk opposite our building, I realized that these guys (and gals, there are many all-ladies groups out there as well…) represent the sheer determination and strength of the human mind and body. Their pyramids prove that in any structure, be it physical, organisational or social, the true strength lies below. As the handi is broken and the topmost Govinda waves his or her hands in victory with the floodlights and cameras aimed at him, I think of those below him, whose strength and resolve are the most responsible for the victory, yet they please themselves with but a fraction of the limelight and, as the pyramid dismantles, they dissolve into the crowd and into oblivion. In any and every structure we come across such people who work for the success of the complete formation from the backstage, at grass root levels and yet such people get very little of the credit they actually deserve.
Surprising, how much a human pyramid can teach you in so much little time!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

This Independence Day…

The run up to the 61st Independence Day of India could not have been more ridden with strife and turmoil along with a dash of joy and glory. The past couple of months have been a mind-numbing rollercoaster ride. First the bomb blasts ripping across the cities along with the rising tension in Jammu and Kashmir over the Amarnath Land row. Then came the enraging breach of ceasefire by Pakistani soldiers who crossed to the Indian side of the LOC. And just when the Indian morale had hit rock bottom, along came a shy, young Olympian who made us all proud by coveting the first gold for India, an event that made history. More recently, we had the revision of the 6th Pay Commission Report, uplifting the salaries as well as spirits of the Civil Servants and the IPS, Army officers.
However, all is still not well; the region of Jammu and Kashmir still burns with unrest and ire of it’s people and the situation degrades as the days go by. The BJP is playing the well known game of dirty politics to consolidate it’s position by adding ghee to the fire and aggravating the situation. Pakistan isn’t helping (has it ever done so?) by passing snide comments on tactics employed by the Police and Army to contain the mobs. Even human rights organization like Amnesty and HRW are having a field day criticizing the forces on their crowd containing tactics. With all due respect, maybe these organizations should come over and try to stop thousands of civilians marching on to the streets with nothing effective enough to stop their progress!!! Then there is the un-success story of the Police departments of the various states (where the bombings took place) and the Anti Terrorist Squad, who still haven’t been able to track down the masterminds behind the blasts, giving us the clear message that after so many blast-episodes across the nation in the past years, we still are not equipped well enough to deal with Terrorism.
But like all our freedom fighters and the common Indian man as well as (more recently) our young Olympian shooter, Abhinav have rightly shown us, we all can always have hope!!! Hope for a better India, without strife and violence, with a peaceful and fulfilling life for every citizen. Thus as the sun sets and the Indian tricolour is lowered I take your leave with hope in my heart and a prayer on my lips for a better, more prosperous and a truly independent India

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

At Last…


This was the headline on the front page of one of the various English Dailies in the metro. The article was, of course, referring to India’s first ever Gold medal in the Olympics won by Abhinav Bindra. And I think this is also is what the rest of the Indian’s will be reflecting!!! Certainly, like all other Indians I too am proud to read and watch news reports of the prestigious win by the Indian shooter but there was that ‘other’ part of me that wasn’t all that impressed.
The first ever individual gold for a country with a population count exceeding well over one billion and harbouring a large pool of athletic and sporting talent, what an irony!!! The headlines all over the newspapers, it seemed, were secretly mocking at the present sports scenario in India. And my ‘other’ part seemed to agree.
This gold is the symbol of the dismal image of the country on the world’s sporting scene. It reminds us that we, the people, as well as coaches and sportspersons, have been ignoring the sports and games other than the bloody game of cricket. While all of us pour our interest, time and investments into the Gentleman’s game we forget that our country needs to exhibit it’s excellence at other sports as well. Table tennis, swimming, archery and so many such sports are still waiting for their fair share of popularity, fame and glory.
On the other hand this gold also tells us another truth, the truth that the Indian Sportsperson is ready to give it his or her best. He is ready to face any challenge and any hurdle, be it lack of finances, lack of training facilities or pure negative criticism, and rise above it all with a passion for the game in his heart and be a true winner. And that is what I think Abhinav has truly done, he has invested in himself and his own training (with not only money but with hardwork and determination as well) while other ‘experts’ out there were shamelessly criticizing him. A hearty congratulation to you, Abhinav.
Hence as my ‘other’ part rightly says, this Gold medal makes us proud and yet it leaves us humiliated!!!

A Sincere Apology…

Since the past few weeks, my Internet connection has ditched me, because of which I am not able to blog often and since I am a busy guy (grinning),time constraints have prevented me from accessing Net caf├ęs.
Hence, my sincere apologies to all you bloggers and blog readers. I am trying my best to get all the articles published as soon as possible. Please forgive this helpless guy for any delays and ‘zero-blog’ periods

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tattoo-er’s Ka Naya Daur!!!

Today’s headlines caught me by surprise. ‘City’s Execs, Lawyers, Doctors steal body-art bastion from punks’. I realized that the city’s professionals have gained a completely new and different outlook towards body-art and tattooing in particular. An even more surprising part was that these people were middle aged and this band even included homemakers!

koi tattoo

Many reasons can be put forward for this change in trend:
1. These people are now moving towards a more modern ideology and this middle aged; professional junta refuses to be left behind.
2. The idea of inking your skin permanently, with something which is close to your heart proves to be a thrilling experience. Moreover it proves the dedication of that person towards the emotion/ entity to which the tattoo is related. (Hence, these people put in a lot of thought about what they want tattooed onto them)
3. Also, maybe the person finds that going through the painful ordeal gives him/her a sense of victory and accomplishments.
4. And last but not the least, today tattooing is not looked down upon as junkie or hippy stuff anymore in corporate and social circles.

Cheers! To all these guys and gals who remain young at heart through their actions…

All this talk about tattoos has set me thinking…maybe I should get one too…on second thought maybe I’ll take mom and dad along!

Also you can read the Hindustan Times news story online at http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=e2e4d6ce-4031-4cd3-82d1-4e03ac09e8ce


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Sunday, July 20, 2008

At the Steering Wheel…

Today, I attained one more of the few “teenager’s milestones” in my life…I attended my first driving lesson! It was a tense yet exhilarating experience. The first lesson of course got me familiar with the basics…putting the car into the first gear, slowly releasing the clutch to thrust the car into a gradual glide…and that was it. I know, it was not much, yet it suddenly dawned on me that I had now gained a new degree of freedom, in a few weeks time it would mean an independence from the bus timings and train timetables! Now, I actually knew what the Wright brothers must have experienced on that fateful day!
At the end of the class, the instructor opened the bonnet and explained to me the various automated parts and their functions. After the class got over, when I was passing through the gate of our building and heading towards the staircase, I walked over to the parking space and looked at our little WagonR. A thing that had seemed so lifeless and obvious a few days ago now seemed unique and alive…I was able to appreciate a piece of machine whose components, once started, worked in perfect harmony.
Then, when I reached home and sat on the PC to deliver this beautiful experience I thought…there are so many of such inventions which irrespective of their complexity, are taken so much for granted by the us, that is the Gen-X! We work with these tools all day long and all throughout our lives and yet we do not tend to understand the indispensability and distinctiveness of such machines and tools and their inventors

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Farewell...

On July 12th, the senior-most member of the blogging fraternity passed away, she was Olive Riley from Australia who lived till the ripe age of 108.
She had been introduced to the art of blogging in 2007 by a friend. Without going into the further facts, which I am sure everybody has already read in the news, it surprised me…the mere fact that humans are so adaptable. A woman born in 1899, an age in which the radio had just been invented and the computer was still to come, accepted the changes around her, understood the latest trend and took to blogging like fish to water. This proves that we humans, given the proper opportunities and conditions, are able to understand and accept anything new that comes our way.
Not only is this prevalent in Australia or the West, we in India also have quite a number of senior bloggers. So Kudos to Olive Riley and all such bloggers, who are a proof that ‘age’ is not a limitation for a person to learn new technologies and trends.
Before I take your leave, I convey my sincere condolences to the Riley family for the loss of a family member who is an inspiration to the complete Blogosphere.

Please surf over to Olive Rileys blog at http://www.allaboutolive.com.au and http:/worldsoldestblogger.blogspot.com
You can also have a look at the News article on BBC online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7505029.stm

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Day Of Results...

Finally the SSC results have been declared, while some are engulfed by attention from all corners (be it the media for the toppers or the parents and relatives of those who have scored rather well), we should not forget those who go unnoticed, those ‘average’ ones, the rest of the 16 lakh who have scraped through or have managed a fair score.
This year, like the past few years has thrown out into the limelight a few select ‘heroes’ (I should say, the SSC is nothing less than a battle…)

We have the state and divisional toppers who are the ‘heroes of the day’ without doubt.

There is the 20 yr-old Night-school topper Manojkumar Singh, who completed his SSC after missing out 4 years of school (because he was abducted)

We have Manali Naik the girl topper from Handicapped Category as well as overall city topper at second position.

We also get to read about the controversy surrounding the ‘Real’ topper Teena Andrade who received extra marks for participating in state level tournaments pushing her average above the other city toppers. (This claim was ignored by the Board saying the extra marks are for Admission purpose only)

This brings us to the central issue – Is academic excellence everything? While students who spent a whole year rote learning for the exam are awarded and applauded, students like Teena, who I think represent an All-Round Development in a student, are ignored.
Moreover how many students out of these understand and remember what they studied? The scoring pattern of our SSC and HSC exams do not ensure conceptual understanding of the subject and still depend on rote learning as the staple means of study, even after the syllabus has been revised. And this fact has been repeatedly proven by the difference in the marks scored by students in HSC (marks such as 88, 92, 98 Wow!) and the entrance tests (92, 98, 100…out of 200 – Oh! What the hell happened here?!?!)
When will our Education System improve??? I think that is one question that does not have an answer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Speaking Of Birds and Bees...

It’s been a very long time since I last blogged and I see that I have missed quite a lot of important issues worth writing about…and believe me I had a hard time resisting the urge to reach out to that keyboard and type away. However, like all teenage guys…Responsibilities took up most of my time (translated as exams were approaching and I had a LOT of studying to do…)
Anyways, when superstars like Amitabh Bacchan and Aamir Khan can blog to let out their “frustrations”, then why can’t I?
So then I was reading the news when I came across an article about Sex Education…oops I thought wrong page and swiftly turned the page…then on second thoughts…(with a quick look around me to ensure that no one was watching me…) I turned back and read it carefully. I was quite impressed by it…hats off to the author.
As the reopening dates for schools across the city draw closer…maybe it’s a little too late to do anything to induct Sex Education courses into the syllabi. But don’t we really need to think this out clearly (and by we I mean ALL of us including the Teachers, Principals, Educationists, Parents and Politicians as well…)??? Sex Education isn’t only about the body, the privates and physical relationships…it’s about growing up.
Sex Education has been developed to guide a young teen through his/her transition from childhood to adulthood…it is about how the teen can deal with the problems he/she faces with as little inconvenience to themselves and others around them…it is about how they can cope with their new role in a family, in their community and in the world, it’s about helping them to get through these tough times.
It’s high time our educationists, administrators and our parents just GROW UP about this and stop avoiding it only because the name says Sex. Our future generations need Sex Education for better mental and physical lives… and it is our duty to give it to them

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Quotes Uncoded

While I was surfing the net yesterday, I stumbled upon these quotes on teenagers, after spending a while reading them I totally agreed with some of them (a big Hurrah to those who quoted them) and was totally disgusted by a few others, here are a few with the critic’s (that’s me) word…

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. ~Erma Bombeck

Comments- How rude! I mean we aren’t so careless or bad with driving!!! I mean I am allowed to ride our scooter…well I’m not allowed the car and I have been only allowed to take a learner’s license for the scooter(You see a clever Parent Trick, it ensures that I keep away from highways…) but all that apart I still think we aren’t that bad…ummm…Mom and Dad I hope you’re reading this?!?!


At fourteen you don't need sickness or death for tragedy~Jessamyn West

Comments- Very true. I mean we have sooooo many other problems to consider… like the weekend party, how to get dad to buy the new pair of jeans for you, and how to get close enough to that handsome boy/beautiful girl in college… these are teen troubles…stark reality takes a back seat when you are an adolescent.
(But on a serious note we are not so inconsiderate about losing a loved one or an ailing friend)


Mother Nature is providential. She gives us twelve years to develop a love for our children before turning them into teenagers. ~William Galvin

Comments- A completely false statement, my parents and all the parents of teens out there love their children… of course there are occasional threats of disowning me (from dad) and showing my girlfriends that bathtub photo taken when I was 4 years old (from mom) but that is only when they are really disturbed or annoyed due to me…otherwise they are cool.

Heredity is what sets the parents of a teenager wondering about each other. ~Laurence J. Peter

Comments- A five star rating for the Quote and three cheers for the Author… I think many of you must have heard your mom and dad quarrelling about exactly from whom you have inherited ‘so and so’ habits, and incidentally these are one of the most annoying habits we have… maybe they forget that we have got something from both!!!

That’s all for today folks… if you find any interesting quotes that you would like to share…send them over on my mail id…and maybe I could feature them here!!! Adios.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

“Six dead in campus shooting at Northern Illinois University”

Yesterday, the all the International pages of major newspapers in the metro flashed such (and similar) headlines.
What happened at the University (NIU for short) sent shock waves through America and, I hope, ripples through the rest of the world. Avoiding the details what I wanted to focus on were the reasons which we are not entirely sure of (Net Reports said that the shooter had stopped taking some unspecified medication). However, could the lack of some medicine trigger a person to go on such a rampage and alternatively could a person be depressed to such an extent that he would want to take so many lives apart from his own.
The shooter,as all must be knowing by now, was an ex-student of sociology in the NIU(However I don’t think we can call such a guy a student anymore, hence I call him a shooter) and as someone has rightly pointed out to the irony (on the Wikipedia opinions page), “He was graduating in sociology with emphasis on peace and social justice, well I think he seriously failed to grasp the values” and I agree
First Virginia Tech. and now this, how long are we gonna overlook such incident or label them as the doings of some depressed freak. Is the government of the US deliberately ignoring these incidents? What can we and the government do to prevent such incidents in the future? And on a microscopic level it will be necessary in the near future to study the mentality of such killers. What goes on in such warped minds? What triggers such an attitude in the minds of these ‘students’.These are some of the major questions that need to be answered if we want to prevent any more campus shootouts like these.
And last but not the least, my prayers and thoughts go out to the families of those injured and killed in this incident.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Of Roses And Cupids

Well, I know I’m a bit late, blogging about Valentine’s Day when the day is about to end…but this year I decided to watch out for all those interesting things you get to see(Ahem!!!), hear and read…But since I tried to refrain myself from the ‘seeing’ part and you never get to ‘hear’ anything useful, especially on Valentine’s Day (of course, excluding the mushy poetry and campus rumours of whats-his-name proposing to whats-her-name!) I will present to you with all the things I got to read. The morning was rich, with all the newspapers carrying pictures of cupids and lots and lots of red heart. There was also this interesting article about a research which has brought to light that teenage boys and girls who’re in love tend to overlook other good-looking guys/gals… finally, we have scientific proof to support the popular expression “Love is blind”.
Then there was also this SMS which I received from one of my friends which I feel should be chronicled here –

‘I Love U’
Send this msg to 10 girls n win free
trip to nearest police station in luxury
jeep, Rehna, Khana, body massage
free. Hurry up offer closes 14 feb.

Then there was this other message which I received from the service provider which ran as follows –

Do you have a doubt on ur
Girlfriend/boyfriend.
Do you think that he/she is cheating
On u.
Then please sms DOUBT to ----

Wow, I mean what an occasion to expose your girlfriend or boyfriend, kind of like breaking your own heart with your own hands!!!
Anyways, all-in-all it was an interesting day…Adios, Goodnight and…..
Happy Valentine’s Day