Pack Up 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015 3 Comments A+ a-

Pack Up 2015

Only few hours left to down the curtains for 2015. It's 'Samay Samapt Hone Ki Goshna' for 2015 the year which gave us 365 days to learn, to love, to fight, to hug, to make enemies, to make friends it was our call how we have used it. The coming year have 366 days i.e one day more than this year to think, act and do something better than before, to mend our mistakes and to try ones more for a failed attempt. 

Lets look back at events of this year and pack up its memories. While searching about events of this year I realized that we have more bad news and negativity this year like Paris Attack, Charlie Hebdo attack, Nepal Earthquake, Love Jihad, Ghar Wapsi, Intolerance, Beef Ban, Award Wapsi, Nepal border problems, Chennai floods, inflation in Dal prices, Syria migrant crisis, floating Rohingya Muslims of Burma, farmers suicide, racial abuses, riots and the list pile on and on and on but lets take out good from them. Humanity found new hope when people open their gates for refugees , Love wins with gay/lesbian marriage legalization in USA, helps poured from all corners for farmers, Nepal earthquake and Chennai floods removed all caste,color and religion barrier between people of Chennai. World became more united in the time of crisis. If somethings have not bring something positive then they became our mistakes and given us new opportunity to learn. 

World now looks more united against terrorism and India looked more concerned for development. So leave all what you think not good in this year, learn from mistakes and resolute for a fresh more powerful start. I have compiled events of this year into a video with words from my poem 'New Year, New Beginning'. Till next year God bless India, God bless the world, Happy New Year to all.

“I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.”

Naive Traveler : Visit To Rashtrapati Bhavan Part 2

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 1 Comments A+ a-

Naive Traveler : Visit To Rashtrapati Bhavan Part 2

Read Part 1: Here

Rare front view by an unauthorized photographer

Our next stop after museums was a corridor which leads to an open area called the heart of Rashtrapati Bhavan. At the heart area bust of Edwin Lutyens the architect of Rashtrapati Bhavan is placed opposite to this on other side of that open area stands a statue of Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated by current president Pranab Mukherjee after completing one year in office. This open area give the nearest view of RB dome. 'Edwin Lutyens loved geometrical shapes which he mostly used in designing this building. Apart from geometrical shapes you will notice pillars and chandeliers have bells in their design these are called silent bells. He created these bells to denote India as Britisher's mute colony,' our guide said and took us from a 20m high door to see dining hall.

She told us about the light controlled dining etiquette of that hall in which butlers act silently through signals of light by head butler. In front of dining hall we have Ashoka Hall which is used to click pictures of special guests in the president house, this hall has beautiful pictures on its ceiling. During British rule this hall was used as ballroom and hence it has wooden flooring. Then we saw meeting hall where president meets foreign delegates, Library having collection of rare books and finally Darbar Hall where oath ceremonies of PM's, Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Padma award functions were held. In darbar hall behind the president's seat stands Gupta period Budhdha statue which aligned in a way to stand at top of India gate. A central line passed from this hall which divide RB in two equal halves and a British period chandelier weighing 2000 kg is hanged to its ceiling. This room is right below the dome of RB.

Jaipur Column gifted by King of Jaipur, this also the place where RB's foundation stone was laid.

She told us about some rare paintings hanging on the wall and about some things placed there which were gifted by different nations. This ended our visit to Presidential Estate. Presidential Estate is like a city in itself with Golf course, swimming pool, petrol pump, Mughal Gardens, residential area for staff, farm land for growing vegetables, etc. After the end of tour our guide showed us things which Britishers left incomplete sadly they are incomplete till now. When I hear about building of new Parliament I wonder how they would create such brilliant structures when they are unable to complete the things left unfinished by them. Only there policy of divide and rule is superbly adopted and continued well by Indian politicians in the course of history.

Rashtrapati Bhavan is build with red stone and marbles, there is no use of iron in it. Its a marvelous structure one must visit as an Indian in his/her lifetime. More area should be shown to visitors and there should be arrangement for photographs at least a group photographer in front area of Rashtrapati Bhavan as a remembrance. But the memories you carry in your mind will always remain with you. I feel privileged to have that opportunity and hope to visit again to that place. I recommend RB visit to everyone.

Book Review : Deception Point

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1 Comments A+ a-

Book Review : Deception Point

Deception Point is a Corgi Books publication written by Dan Brown. Like Dan Brown's other novels this book too looks at the possibility of truths behind conspiracy theories but not of the ancient world as in Robert Langdon series but the mysteries of modern world.

Cover: The cover is similar to other Dan Brown's book, snow mountain in the background is indication of the set up of mystery and a creature like black image in the foreground at the center of the book is part of the mystery explored in the book. But mainly the cover has Dan Brown's name covering half the book which was enough to generate reader's curiosity.

Plot: President of United States Zach Herney summoned Rachel Sexton who was an analyst at National Reconnaissance Office, Washington and also the daughter of his competitor Senator Sedgewick Sexton to confirm a NASA discovery. Senator Sedgewick Sexton was attacking president Herney for bailout packages to NASA in spite of failure of its program, Rachel he thought would be a great asset to verify this discovery along with some famous scientists including television celebrity oceonologist Michael Tolland.
A discovery which would change our views about earth and universe have some faults discovered by Rachel, Tolland and other scientists. But before they could confirm their theory and tell the world about this deception some unknown soldiers tried to kill them. NASA director, President Herney or someone else, who was trying to kill them to hide the greatest deception of all times. A heart-racing thriller would answer all your questions and glued you till the end.

Review: The book is fast paced thriller which keeps you engrossed once you reach its threshold point unlike other Dan Brown novels I have read which keep you on the edge right from the opening sentence. The pacy thriller has a slow start but author make up for it with action packed scenes and a nail biting finish. I liked how he used the conspiracy regarding extraterrestrial life with American politics giving it a touch of reality. The narration is so that all happenings stand clear in front of your eyes. I feel story lacks conviction he had in his other books or reading/knowing about much bigger alien theories made this story simple for me. Overall impact of the story is great and you enjoyed reading it.

Verdict:  A treat for thriller lovers. Great book to explore political ambitions and scientific advances.

Rating: I would give it 3/5. 

Naive Traveler : Visit To Rashtrapati Bhavan Part 1

Sunday, December 27, 2015 6 Comments A+ a-

Naive Traveler : Visit To Rashtrapati Bhavan Part 1

Fountain situated at Vijay Chowk in front of Parliament House

Rashtrapati Bhavan of India is the official residence of President of India situated at Raisena Hill in Lutyens Delhi i.e the area of New Delhi designed by Edwin Lutyens. Edwin Lutyens is also the architect of this house, he also designed Indian Parliament and other such important buildings. It was build as an official residence of British Viceroy of India after Britishers declared Delhi as new capital of India in Delhi Darbar of 1910. Its construction started in 1912 and completed in 1929.

screenshot of email received

Don't think I remembered above information from the speech by guide of my group in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Wikipedia is source of above information. Rashtrapati Bhavan was one of many things I haven't visited while living in Delhi since my birth. During Internet search I came to know about the way of visiting inside Rashtrapati Bhavan. You have to request it through a link on official President of India's site . There you have to fill your details, identity proof (Aadhar Card is the best options for Indians) and pay non-refundable charges of Rs 25 per person. It's an easy procedure, you receive an acknowledgement on your phone and email address with request number after completing the transaction. The entry is open an Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. I applied on 12th December for visit on 19th December with my cousin. I received the confirmation mail with in an hour. We both jumped in excitement and the week passed in anticipation of that visit.

A cannon at front gate of Rashtrapati Bhavan 

We traveled there through metro, Central Secretariat is the nearest station to Rashtrapati Bhavan and after exiting from gate number five it is on a walking distance via Vijay Chowk. At the gate Delhi police constables checked our names in the list of visitors, matched our Aadhar Card number and directed us to the passage from gate number two. 'First straight, turn left then right,' he said with a smile. After following instructions and walking over the finest/cleanest road in Delhi we reached the entry gate where our identities were checked and they ordered us to give any electronic items which they kept in a bag and gave us a numbered slip. So no photography inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

We entered a large waiting hall after climbing stairs where other people were also waiting. We were photographed and a ticket with our pictures were given to the guide of our group. Anvita Singh was our guide who took us inside and instructed to remain in the group and to not touch anything. We first entered a small room inaugurated by current president Pranab Mukherjee displaying science models of a gesture piano, robotic dog and 3D printer. Then we entered RB Museum displaying a red stone model of Rashtrapati Bhavan, it was complete replica of the building. Large framed paintings, busts, statue of British emperors, Queens, Viceroys were present in that museum. A staircase downwards from there took us to Kitchen Museum opened on advise of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam which displays cutlery and kitchen utensils used by Britishers. Cooper, Silver, porcelain all types of utensils are on display there. 

I missed utensils and cutlery sets related to our previous presidents. In these two Museums I felt we are still burdened with British slavery adoring things related to them. I wondered why a democratic country have a position reserved for President who was treated as Royal king and then these things in that house hailing Britishers disappointed me. Here I also mention that the place where Rashtrapati stands today were acquired by Britishers by displacing poor villagers. The land belong to Jaipur royalty who gave it to British to show his loyalty to them without thinking about the villagers.  I don't have any problems with Britishers now, there things are valued processions for our country and very much part of our history too but why not things related to our former Presidents were displayed with them. There was lot more in this guided tour which I will tell in my next post.                                                                                                               

Tera Saaya Saath Hoga

Friday, December 25, 2015 4 Comments A+ a-

Tera Saaya Saath Hoga

Yesteryear beautiful actress Sadhna passed away today on 25th December 2015. I have watched almost all her films on either television or on Youtube. She was among the top heroines of 60's who after retirement remained away from the media spotlight because she wanted to be remembered as young and beautiful. We can hardly recollect her looks in our memories any after 70's. During the period after 70’s when other heroines of 60’s started taking character roles of sister-in-laws (bhabhi) or mothers she took a backseat and spend her life in hiding. 

I was aware of her name in my childhood even before recognizing her by face due to discussions and references to 'Sadhna Cut' a hairstyle in which hair strands fall over forehead almost covering it. This style of female hairs became synonymous to her name and will remain so as always as a tribute to her. I read somewhere that a director suggested this style of a Hollywood actress of that time to her but I am sure most of us in India hardly knew who this Hollywood actress was.For her movies Mera Saya, Anita and Woh Kaun Thi she got the title of mystery girl as all these movies were suspense thriller.  Sadhna was also blessed to have pictured in some of the melodies and evergreen songs of Indian cinema along with acting in some of the greatest hits of that time.  

'Mera Saya',' Lag Ja Gale', Tera Mera Pyaar Amar', ' Jhumka Gira Re,' 'Mujhe Teri Mohabbat Ka Sahara', 'Abhi Na Jao Chodkar Ke Dil Abhi' these and many more songs comes alive in front of my eyes when I read or heard her name. Mera Saya, Hum Dono, Woh Kaun Thi, Arzoo, Mere Mehboob, Asli-Naqli are some of her memorable films. She was a beautiful, graceful and a great actor who graced the Indian screen in 60's. Everyone who is a die-hard fan of classic Indian cinema like me knows that a crucial part of Indian cinema has departed today from this world. But I am sure her beautiful Saya with compelling eyes will remain with us through her songs, her movies and an enchanting smile. 

Cricket Mein Kuch Kala Hai

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 1 Comments A+ a-

Cricket Mein Kuch Kala Hai.

'Where There Is Uncontrolled Money, There Is Also Black Money' 

Cricket is an Indian religion without any formal god and temple but yet like religion people showered their praises and hard earned money on unofficial gods and their priests for their love for the game. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is a private entity uncontrolled by any government agency and out of the reach of RTI (Right To Information). In spite of irregularities, immoralities, corruption and unlawful acts in this organisation no political party is bothered to clean it. On the contrary political parties and business tycoons enjoy representation in various state cricket boards nobody knows why and nobody has any objections about it. Hum Saath Saath Hain on such issues. 

BJP MP Kirti Azad lost his party membership on raising DDCA (Delhi Districts Cricket Association) corruption issues and alleging Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who headed DDCA during that period for hiding its financial irregularities. Hum Bolega To Bologe Ke Bolta Hai but why a government who said that it is intolerant to corruption not remove the one who has spots of allegations but sacks one who raised corruption issue. Earlier Ajay Makhan of Congress too faced the similar fate when he was demoted from its post of Sports Minister for bringing a bill to regularize the working of BCCI during his tenure in Congress lead UPA 2 government.

Arun Jaitley also filed a defamation case against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and four other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders for framing him in DDCA scam. Why? Kyun? If he is innocent he should resign , face an inquiry , come out clean and hurrah! Your opponents fall flat on their face completely exposed in front of people of the country which is bigger than any penalty or punishment. Par Golmaal Hai Bhai Sab Golmaal Hai, our politicians more keen on politicizing the issues than to kill them for always. Remember Babri Mazjid, Godhra riots, 1984 riots, emergency, JP movement, Anna Movement, these and many more issues are brewing in Indian political diaspora to mislead public from real issues of poverty,unemployment and hunger. 

Corruption in cricket now is not a new topic, match fixing, money laundering and other economic offenses are commonly reported but sadly no strong action against any culprit ever happens which further encourage these irregularities. Choddo Kal Ki Batein, it's never too late Modi government should set an example, hopefully next year we have better cricketing atmosphere till then God Bless India. 

Book Review : The Bestseller She Wrote

Sunday, December 20, 2015 4 Comments A+ a-

Book Review : The Bestseller She Wrote

The Bestseller She Wrote is written by Ravi Subramanian and is published by Westland Ltd. I have received this author signed copy from BlogAdda as part of their Book Review program. This is I would say a thriller love story by Ravi Subramanian whose previous thrillers were also bestsellers.

Cover: The cover is attractive and catchy the way it should be. The image of a man and woman behind pages of a book ignites your interest in the book and later after reading the book when you recognized them as protagonist Aditya Kapoor and his protege Shreya whom he help to be a bestseller you liked the cover even more. Full marks to cover from me. 

Plot: Aditya Kapoor was a professional banker and a bestseller author who lived happily with his wife Maya a social worker and son Aryan. He met Shreya Kaushik during his lecture at IIM, Bengaluru. Shreya after a conflicting argument with him during lecture read his book and started admiring him. Her admiration, attractive looks and a confident personality insisted Aditya to force his friend Sanjay who was HR head of same bank as Aditya to hire her as a management trainee when they went for campus placements in IIM, Bengaluru. Aditya become addicted to her leaving all rights and wrongs about this relationship aside. Aditya even get ready to help her in getting published. Maya who trusted her husband blindly broke when she knew about his adulterous relationship with Shreya. She threw her husband out of their home and her life. At this moment she came in contact with Ebola while her trip to Paris for a conference on education. Aditya cursed his illicit relationship for her condition and started maintaining a distance with Shreya. It was then he discovered a new side of Shreya and the story took sudden turns which changed Aditya's life forever. Will Maya survive? Does Shreya's love have a hidden purpose? Will Aditya ever bring back his personal and professional life to normalcy? An unexpected climax would answer all your questions.

Thriller: I liked the conceptualization of the story. It is simple yet has the complexity of a thriller. The climax is spellbinding and when each piece of the puzzle started fitting in right places the book became unputdownable. The language is simple and the flow of the story is just apt for the story. The backstage work behind a book is well narrated and in a way helpful for a debut ant writer. The characters are connectable to real life persons and leave an impact on you after reading it. 

Spoiler: More than half the book ends without generating any curiosity. Author took a lot of time before coming to the real story. The plot is not new and while reading I feel I have watched it somewhere on screen. The story is bit stretched till it reach the climax.

Verdict: You must read it for the writer's approach towards the story and its fantastic end. 

Rating: I would give it 3/5

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Family Tradition

Sunday, December 13, 2015 7 Comments A+ a-

Family Tradition

Malini quickly reached the temple to stop the marriage of his son Neeraj with Rashmi an acid attack victim as soon as she heard this news from her neighbors. When she reached there all marriage rituals were over. Neeraj and Rashmi were standing in front of her with garlands in their necks. She didn't know how to react; scold him for marrying without informing her or hug him to maintain the family tradition. His grandfather married a widow, his uncle a prostitute and his father a rape survivor. 'It's a family tradition you have maintained.' They touched her feet for blessings. 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Noorullah's plan against Salman failed.

Friday, December 11, 2015 1 Comments A+ a-

Noorullah's plan against Salman failed - Victory of Justice.

Salman Khan’s acquittal by Bombay High Court in 2002 hit and run case is yet another victory of justice in India. With the verdict it has became cleared that Noorullah the man who died that night on pavement in front of American Bakery in Bandra, Mumbai was plotting against Salman Khan. He hated Salman Khan for an incident from his childhood.

Noorullah came to Mumbai in 90’s with a clear intention of maligning Salman’s image even if it cost him his life. He skipped his exam for Maine Pyaar Kiya Salman's first hit movie which became a worldwide hit. When he got failed in his exams his father scolded and beat him badly for his failure and stopped his school. He blamed Salman Khan for his miserable condition and pledged to take revenge. If Salman's would have released his movie on a different date he could have saved his precious year. He came to Mumbai and took a job in A1 bakery which was on the way of JW Marriot hotel and Salman’s home in Bandra. He knew one day Salman would come in his Land Cruiser and would ram it on the pavement when they were sleeping there. He convinced his friends to get injured, permanent handicapped for his plan's success. When Land Cruiser crushed him to death and injured four other people his plan became successful. He was such a shrewd man.

This case raises suspicion on improper working of Bombay sessions court who took notice of all statements of witnesses including security constable Ravindra Patil. The law declares a missing man dead when he remain untraceable for seven years keeping this in mind dead man’s statement which in this case is the statement of Ravindra Patil becomes null and void after his death in 2008. Session court judge knowingly acted on each and every statement which shows his personal grudges for the star and closeness to victims.  The session court’s judge’s role should be investigated by the government. Bombay High Court on the other hand took notice of inefficiency of lower court and acquitted Salman Khan.

We can now hope speedy judgments in another high profile cases where victims by pretending their rapes, deaths and injuries are trying to demean a celebrity or public figure. Asaram Bapu, Indrani Mukherjee, Tarun Tejpal, Shiney Ahuja, Manu Sharma all have now hopes to come out clean. Today we must applaud efforts of Mumbai Police whose weak charge sheet against Salman Khan helped to uncover Noorullah’s plan.

Living In A Gas Chamber

Sunday, December 06, 2015 2 Comments A+ a-

Living In A Gas Chamber

"Living In Delhi Is Like Living In A Gas Chamber" - Delhi High Court

National Capital, crime capital and now pollution capital, Delhi is gaining popularity in all negative things thanks to negligent approach of government authorities and callousness of Delhihites for necessary issues. This statement came from the bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva while reading the action plans filed by the environment ministry and Delhi government on dealing with pollution of Delhi. They said that action plan is not comprehensive as they did not contain specific responsibilities of each authority and the timeline for carrying them out.

Delhi registered almost 1400 vehicles daily which add to the already severe pollution level. The pollution by dust particles comes second after vehicular pollution in making Delhi's air unfit for breathing. Apart from this pollution created by burning of dry leaves by Delhihites, burning of coal in thermal power stations and construction site's dust emission have turned Delhi into a Gas Chamber. According to health surveys in last ten years lung capacity of newborns have decreased in Delhi, respiratory problems have increased up to 65% and now there are more cases of lung cancer as compare to the cases registered 10 years ago. 

Rapid urbanization and metro construction have removed large areas of green cover which have never replaced and cared by any agency. Although CNG is used in state Autos and Buses cars are increasing because public transport vehicles not sufficient to cater ever increasing population of Delhi. After high court orders Delhi government have planned to introduce Odd-Even scheme for private vehicles which allows odd and even number cars on alternate days. This plan will reduce vehicles on road by half but with lack of public transport system to incorporate all those who leave their cars there is little hope for success of this plan. The other move of closing down two thermal plants which are not running with their peak capacities will hardly change air quality. Government's have taken steps in haste without proper consultation from experts. 

Some immediate and long term measures are required to control pollution:

  1. There is a need to limit cars on Delhi road. Limit the vehicle registered in Delhi. Check and verify parking spaces before giving vehicles.
  2. Government and private both companies and agencies with more than 50 employees should provide buses for transportation. This will not only reduce traffic and pollution but also put an end to VIP culture and make employees more punctual.
  3. The traffic which is not bound to Delhi should not allow to enter Delhi roads. Western and Eastern highway project for this purpose is under construction from last ten years which should be completed as early as possible.
  4. Allow only those supply vehicles in Delhi which uses green fuel or device a system to collect and deliver items from border areas. 
  5. Construction sites should take proper measures to reduce spread of pollutants in the atmosphere. Those working in such sites must provide with proper masks. Build elsewhere assemble here formula should adopted which not only reduce the time but offers better quality and reduce pollution.
  6. The condition of public transport should be improved, introduce more buses, mono rail should also be used at small distances, increase metro frequency in peak hours.
  7. Awareness should be spread about ill effects of pollution.
Rich can afford air purifiers but poor don't have that luxury. They face smog directly. Children, elderly and sick people are more prone to ill effects of pollution, they must avoid outing at peak pollution hours of morning and evening. Government alone can't fight this evil, it needs our support to curb pollution. We should work hard to make Delhi air save and fresh for us as well as for coming generations. 

Chennai Floods

Thursday, December 03, 2015 8 Comments A+ a-

Chennai Floods

Chennai received its heaviest rain in a century resulted in a flood like situation. The death toll has reached around 200 in the rain affected parts of Tamil Nadu and the condition is still critical. Army and Navy have arrived for the rescue operations in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. The excess rain coupled with improper drainage system resulted in disastrous circumstances in the city of Chennai.

Chennai always receives more than normal rainfall in every twelve years, although situation became out of control due to heavy rains the authorities were not prepared for even the excess rains. According to environmental surveys of Chennai city, natural drainage system has been destroyed for the development purposes. Ponds, marshes, streams and other natural waterways have been damaged and replaced with illegal constructions. 

Chennai is not the exception; every metropolitan city is prone to such urban floods which caused due to excess rains as these cities have altered their natural drainage and sewage system for the sake of development which is unplanned and not researched for effects on environment. The changing climate has affected the seasonal pattern of the world over and many world cities receive untimely rain, excessive rain or no seasonal rain. The climate conference going on in Paris i.e. COP21 (Conference of Parties) is useless if they can't find the way of development without hurting and destroying the environment. We have only one world which has limited resources which need to be conserved and cared.

Hope for relief from rain in Chennai soon. Pray For Chennai #chennaifloods, #ChennaiRains 

Coming back to the current problem of Chennai, I can only hope and pray for conditions to normalize soon and hope for discussions on strategy to deal with such problems in future and to find out ways to prevent them. One think I also like to mention is that every human being in Chennai is helping other irrespective of caste and religion.The country is concerned for Chennai even though the mainstream media has not given it much space. I appeal same concern for climate related issues. Governments act when there is a public outcry, crops are being damaged, islands country feeling threat of submerging, people leaving in coastal regions are migrating to the main land due to rise in sea level, climates have altered patterns and air quality have worsen, this is the right time to raise your voices and jolt your governments to act for the environment.

Pray for Chennai. Pray for world.