Before Year-End work in office makes me forget writing, I started off writing this feel good blog! Yes, this blog made me think of all my best days/times in 2009 where I jumped off laughing/enjoying the most. :D
Though generally "Best" is only one, but I am bad at choosing only one winner in each category :)
So here it goes, and the it has to start with Movies (courtesy Darshit - he even made me a movie buff!!!).
My Best Movies of 2009
I must have watched maximum number of movies this year. And this is why I had many nominations in this category ;-) But my best movies are:
1) Chhoti Si Baat (1975)
Yes I watched this movie in 2009. I had watched it earlier but I guess was too young to understand the subtleties of this movie!
And I can say it is one of those movies which is directed much ahead of its age! A classy, subtle humor is very difficult to find in any cinema but this movie is full of such moments! You enjoy every bit of it. A movie you can watch any number of times and still laugh on the same scenes!
And I was really surprised to see this movie listed on imdb!
2) Pretty Woman (1990)
I was little confused here. Confused with "50 First Dates" and "Pretty Woman" movies. I liked them both. I liked them so so much. But I guess I fell for Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" movie. A character which any girl can relate with. A movie which is so sweet in each of its scene and dialogues. A pretty pretty movie :)
My Best Book of 2009
1) Two states of my marriage
I had option to choose between Shantaram and this book but since I wrote in the begining that these are things which I enjoyed the most and I enjoyed reading Chetan Bhagat's book more than Shantaram.
I like Chetan Bhagat's style of writing. He makes serious events humorous. And the fact that I could relate more to this book is because of two different states of my marriage too :D Whatever said and done, this book is really hilarious and depicts real life events in the most humorous way possible. I enjoyed every leaf, every scene of this book!
My Best Place of 2009
Now this one was tough considering the fact that this was the year of travels. And so I can not choose one place here. So, the best Places are:
1) Kumarakkom, Kerala
2) Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Riding on camel in the Sahara Desert with Pyarmids of Giza in the backdrop was the best experience of all.
My Best Song of 2009
It has to be "Tu Jaane Na" by Atif Aslam. Take a glimpse here..
My Best Day of 2009
This has to be my birthday surprise party! I was really really surprised and flattered :D
I felt this was the best way to end the year by remembering good memories of 2009.
Looking forward to even more enjoyable moments in 2010. Bye bye 2009!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Before Year-End work in office makes me forget writing, I started off writing this feel good blog! Yes, this blog made me think of all my best days/times in 2009 where I jumped off laughing/enjoying the most. :D
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I know it is difficult but I will try to write as less as possible here :))
I went to Israel with no expectations but returned with heart full of excitement, stories and wonderful memories! See Israel in my words and pics..
Israel is a developed country in Western Asia located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. But you need to use magnifying glass to see it on map :))
As described, it is located on Mediterranean Sea. And we stayed in Tel Aviv, the heart of Israel and ofcourse the most beautiful city as well.
We stayed next to beach.. nothing special as the entire city is located next to beach! The view was just awesome. Have a look.
View from the hotel balcony. I have zoomed little bit. Jerusalem as viewed from Mount of Olives Place where Jesus was buried. I had tough time initially but then later started floating. And that was an amazing experience to float in Sea :)
The city has a history that goes back to the 4th BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world.Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual center of the Jewish people. And contains a number of significant ancient Christian sites, and is considered the third-holiest city in Islam.
You will find four religions' quarters - the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim at the same place!! That's Jerusalem. I was truly thrilled to see this place.
Our next destination was Dead Sea.
Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth dry surface!! Oh I was so excited to see Dead Sea. They say it is sooo saline that no living being can survive in there. And that is the reason, it's called Dead Sea!
Even after knowing all these things, I wanted to swim!!! What a foolish decision! You can never swim there.. a minute single drop of water can make you run and cry :) And it happened with me. The water is very rich with minerals and salt. So you have to be really careful when you go in.
After roaming in Israel, we finally decided to check Eilat. Eilat is the Goa of Israel.
Eilat is Israel's southernmost city, a busy port as well as a popular resort, located at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Eilat. I was awestruck to see this city. Eilat is desert + Red Sea :)
We tried few water sports in Red Sea. And I will never forget my Parasail and Scuba Dive experience.
Scuba Diving was the best experience!!
After Israel, we started our journey to Eygpt. A complete different country with perfectly contrasting lifestyle and culture as compared to Israel. Meet you with the Egypt story in the next post :)
Jerusalem as viewed from Mount of Olives
Place where Jesus was buried.
I had tough time initially but then later started floating. And that was an amazing experience to float in Sea :)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I enjoyed the Israel trip to the hilt. But some incidents left impressions on my mind! And one of it was during our return flight to India.
I was dozing!!! I bet.. You leave me anywhere and I will sleep off! So Darshit was bored as I was not able to give him the much needed company. But then flight journeys are meant for sleeping, atleast I feel so. Dreaming of chat-pati pani puri, all types of chaats, Darshit was counting hours. And I was feeling the dim lights, soft blanket wrapped around me, light Indian classical music and a full stomach.. zzzzzzzzz! So obvious!
Suddenly, a disgruntled man disturbed my sound sleep! His pitch was going higher and higher till it became clearly audible. It caught attention of all the passengers and the crew members including me! I asked Darshit about the matter. He was beaming with anger when he recounted me the incident.
The flight was not completely full. All the passengers were sleeping in their own seats except one Israeli man. This guy had luckily got all the 4 seats free next to him! I had noticed him the moment flight started moving. And envied him too. Obviously 4 seats to sleep for 12 hours! Wow!
Now this person was sleeping on all the 3 seats with both his legs stretched. 4th seat was still empty. Little later an old Indian uncle went and sat on the 4th one. This is when the Israeli guy erupted! He asked the old uncle to leave immediately as uncle's presence was disturbing his sleep. The uncle responded that his seat was in the back side and that he was not able to recline his seat. He continued to sit on the 4th seat! The Israeli guy started calling names! And you know what names - B*****d, F****** Indians and many more. The old uncle didn't utter a word. Since the disgruntled man was still not satisfied, he called the hostess and asked her to ask the old uncle to vacate. The hostess denied doing so as the 4th seat was a vacant seat and anyone had the full right to sit there.
The disgruntled man was not yet satisfied by the drama! He went to the head of the crew members and started squabbling! He warned the airline guys that he will sue them! But still none of them supported him! The old uncle also didn't budge. Obviously he was not wrong. I completely supported him.
Almost for 8-9 hours, this guy kept on cribbing. I could not resist, I also started cribbing about him to Darshit in a very audible manner ;-) hehe! And few times, he even turned towards us. But who fears.. He was very rude to the old uncle without any reason!!
We both didn't realize when time passed! Pilot announced the descending of the flight. I and Darshit were still not able to control our angers. We wanted to belt that guy left right. I started thinking in those lines too. We had our luggage in the overhead bin and the disgruntled man was sitting very close to that bin. I thought while getting down, we should deliberately hit that guy!! Yes!! We should do that! But then I controlled myself and didn't tell my plan to Darshit.
Plane landed. We all got up to get our bags out. 'Bang'!!! Hahahahaha.. it hit that disgruntled man! Oh my god!! Darshit did it!!!!! I laughed instead of feeling sorry! I was the happiest! And I was very proud of Darshit.
We didn't speak of the incident. I do not know if Darshit did it deliberately and I never asked him. I just felt relieved! We can't be always at the receiving side, you see!!! Read more...
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Huh!!! Yeah I am back after a long, long hiatus. Blame it on my trip to Israel, my house shift, Diwali @ new house with entire family, Darshit's Birthday or Airtel Connection :)) Everything added it's bit to my laziness to write in such agile surroundings!
Believe it or not, after experiencing all the above events, the words that come out of my mouth are 'Thank God its India'.
One day I and Darshit decided to move out of our existing house to a new one! Don't ask us the reason. We both were really excited. And we both were really exhausted. We had just returned from our Israel trip. But then we had to move out of that house before Diwali.
This is when I happen to mention about my house shift program to one of my friend who doesnt stay in India. And... it just added to my exhaustion! She described what an uphill, tiring and frustrating task it was for people staying there! You have to pack, load, unload and arrange things on your own. And it didn't stop there because you do not get such cheap labour anywhere else. So cleaning the old and the new house is your job!
I got jittery! Diwali was just 4 days away and all our family members were joining us for Diwali celebrations!! I was speechless at the very thought of shifting!!
We had only 2 days left to shift when Darshit got a Movers & Packers number who agreed to move the entire house starting from packing, loading, unloading and arranging in minimal amount. Yeah they arranged our house! It was quite a smooth shift as cleaning the new, old house and arranging all small, big items didn't cost us much time and energy. Our family joined us in the new house for Diwali and they were so happy to see such an easy shift to a new place! And within 2 days, we found maid, cook and grocery/vegetables door delivery service! No wonder I was in India. The shift was followed by Diwali and then Darshit's Birthday! And we could manage to celebrate both with a bang! At the end of it, I could only say - Thank god I am in India :) Read more...
Monday, September 7, 2009
Oops! I missed my 25th post! But I am happy that I remembered it on my 26th blog post :)
I started blogging long back (though was not active previously) but it feels like I started it y'day. Initially I had lot of inhibitions to start this blog! To put it in simple words, I was very lazy (I am sure my friends will be nodding heavily on this)!! But then, I thought a lot.....
And then Darshit and few of my friends persuaded me to write with the precondition that they will read all my blogs!! Lol! Later...
And here I was.. struggling with my diminutive endeavor to keep writing! But initially it used to be like...
But gradually I got some true Blog Buddies who encouraged me to write.. And write what?
And I was on a roll..... writing anything and everything!!
And here came a day when...
And this was possible because of my Blog Buddies! Kudos to you all :) You all deserve to be awarded for being so nice, patient readers of my blogs! So here goes my award to all my BBs :)
Poor Jokes http://www.poorjokes.in/
I am really sorry if I have missed any of my blog buddies here! I am passing this award to all blog buddies :)
Happy Blogging! Happy Commenting :P
Sunday, August 30, 2009
'Pati, Patni aur Woh' trailer flashed on our TV in the evening with Rakhi Savant and Elesh also part of it. I grinned when instantly I heard a 'thup' sound. Darshit thumped his head! He was upset. Not because I watch such serials but because of people like me, the serials' TRPs increase! He used to crib on seeing me watch 'Rakhi ka swayamvar' show. But its not that I liked the show or Rakhi (no ways!!), I was just curious. But I guess many people were equally curious because 'Rakhi ka swayamvar' show earned the highest TRP of 3.5 in the history of NDTV Imagine!! And I knew.. I was to be blamed!!
But before I get the blame for the upcoming ' Pati, Patni aur Woh', I thought of finding out how I contributed to this TRP. And guess what.. I was shocked. Read on to find how TRP of a particular serial is calculated. I am sure even you will be surprised.
"Television Rating Points - TRP is the criterion that indicates the popularity of a channel or programme and this data is very useful for the advertisers
Presently, INTAM (Indian Television Audience Measurement) is the only electronic rating agency functioning in India. INTAM uses two methodologies for calculating TRP. First is frequency monitoring, in which 'people meters' are installed in sample homes and these electronic gadgets continuously record data about the channel watched by the family members. 'People meter' is a costly equipment, which is imported from abroad. It reads the frequencies of channels, which are later, decoded into the name of the channels and the agency prepares a national data on the basis of its sample homes readings. But there is a drawback in the technique, as cable operators frequently change the frequencies of the different channels before sending signals to the homes. It may be very misleading to read a channel according to a particular frequency even if the down linking frequency is same all over India.
Second technique is more reliable and relatively new to India. In picture matching technique people meter continuously records a small portion of the picture that is being watched on that particular television set. Along with this agency also records all the channels' data in the form of small picture portion. Data collected from the sample homes is later on matched with the main data bank to interpret the channel name. And this way national rating is produced"
Obtained info from How to calculate TRP
I was happy as well as shocked. Shocked because the so hyped TRP is trash! It is a vague approximation of a value which can be drastically different from reality and I strongly feel it is. Happy because I was exempted and was free to watch 'Pati, Patni aur Woh' :)
And so from now on I would like to give my TRPs to my fav serials:
1) Sarabhai vs Sarabhai (old one.. not aired currently)
2) Man vs Wild on Nat Geo
3) Young Turks on CNBC
4) Now Showing on CNN IBN
5) Lounge on NDTV Imagine
Just for fun, I asked my friends in office about their fav serials and unanimously received one reply 'Making of kingfisher calendar' on NDTV Imagine!!! Hahaha! I guess I should top that one above my list too :P.
You are welcome to add your fav ones too.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
"Oh God, I hope I get through the traffic fast today!!" This thought comes to my mind daily before leaving for office. I am sure that you all would agree that even you do not want to get stuck in traffic.. be it a traffic signal!
But that day, I felt otherwise!!
It was an usual day when I started for office in the morning. Even after lot of praying for smooth traffic, I was stuck in traffic @ the signal for 20 mins!! The traffic was snail paced. And I got really bugged of listening to my music in the car. I switched it off and opened the window to feel little better. Small chirping noises caught my attention. These were small children begging at the signal. Some peeping in the car, some persuading two-wheelers' riders, some just roaming between vehicles and one coming towards me! Oh God.. I can't face this. Yes, I hate signals for this very reason.
But thankfully he stopped few cars ahead of me. He was the smallest of all. I thought of observing the entire scene. I was curious to know how others handle this. And this when I saw a hand come out with a packet of Parle-G biscuits and handed it to that kid!! He was sooo happy. He immediately ran towards the pavement and all his friends joined him. I think they all got their breakfast!
Why was I feeling so happy and relieved? Because the boy didn't come begging to me . Yes I was relieved. But this time I was even happier to see this little kid eating Parle-G biscuits with such a pleasure! The traffic started moving, as I moved little further, I saw an old emaciated begger with complete haggard looks struggling to climb slightly higher pavement to save himself from the moving traffic. I had to stop. I stopped next to him to allow him climb with the help of his stick.
And then I moved on! I wanted to give him money. But I couldn't stop. The signal was green and he was so weak that he could have never been able to run and take the money. I know.. I can never justify this to me!
But I know one thing. I do not want these boys to grow old begging their whole life same as that old guy. Mr. Narayan Murthy has mentioned in his latest book 'A Better India, A Better World' - "Children can not concentrate on their studies if their stomachs are not full and there are many such children in government schools."
You must be thinking what can we do?
I am still thinking. But I want to atleast do my little bit. I have seen how much food we waste in our office canteen!! And I am sure that there must be some food left out everyday. We have one Idea center in our office. I have suggested this idea of supplying this food to any one of the government school. I do not know if this is a feasible option or not. But still...!
People say that we should not promote begging by giving them money. I never gave them anything for these 5 years but I still didn't see their numbers decreasing!!
So... I bought some parle-G biscuits!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This came as a suggestion from Darshit and quite a few friends that I should create a space for my paintings on the blog. And obviously I really liked the idea :) So here are few of my paintings which are still with me! (I moved to Bangalore after marriage and so do not have all right now).
And a special thanks to Sagar who showed me the Diversity@SAP contest where I could submit one of my paintings (A sketch Imagination painting) and one of my poems. And which later got selected for SAP Travel Exhibit and a prize!
1) A Surreal Dream!
This was my first painting. And it has all the hues :)
2)A kind gesture
A colorful gesture which blends to form a painting and depicts the beauty in brush strokes!
3) A sketchy imagination
It shows an imagination of a lover who dreams of his lost love in a haunted palace!
Monday, August 17, 2009
I was tagged by Prashant (http://prashansapuranik.blogspot.com/). Oh God.. I thoroughly enjoyed it! First time I hated my name initial. God.. I was not able to find any word starting with V except my name! Hehehehe!!
Before starting.. lets see the tag rules.
Tag Rules: It’s harder than it looks!(Mind It). Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag your friends. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real… nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question. Have Fun!!
1. What is your name: Vineeta
2. A four Letter Word: Vega (I used to compare me with this star.. hehehe)
3. A boy’s Name: Vidit (I just love this name)
4. A girl’s Name: Veda (I love my niece's name)
5. An occupation: Vineyard Manager (I envy them :P)
6. A colour : Vermilion red
7. Something you wear: Vest :P
8. A food: Vangi Bhat, Vanilla Icecream (What a combo.. hahaha)
9. Something found in the bathroom: Vapor :P (An intelligent one.. see!! I scanned my full bathroom today!!)
10. A place: Vadodra (I am from Ahmedabad )
11. A reason for being late: Voodooed by Vodka!!
12. Something you shout: Voila!!
13. A movie title: Veer Zara, V for Vendetta
14. Something you drink: Virgin Mary, V8 ( I survived on V8 in US.. can't forget it :)
15. A musical group:Viking
16. An animal: Vixen
17. A Street name: Violet Street (Home production.. but couldnt think of anything else!!).
18. A type of car: Volkswagon (Still a dream!!)
19. A song title: Vaada, Viva Las Vegas (Not sure of the former one)
20. A verb: vociferar (Oh I was dying to write this word.. hehehe)
Ah.. I have just enjoyed it! Now its my turn to tag :)
I am tagging Brijesh (http://chancedencounters.blogspot.com)
Do let me know in case you want to be tagged! Its fun!
Also let me know ur comments on my answers too :D
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
We celebrated June 5th as Environment Day. And I was quite satisfied by planting few trees in the suburb of bangalore until I saw today's news! Delhi air pollution reaching "emergency" limits!! My mouth was wide open! How?!! It was just above normal few months or may be few years back! Do I remember this? Obviously not. I have so many other things to do. I was so ignorant!! So are you.
And this is when I remembered one of my photos of Delhi trip and I shouldn't miss to share it!
It is not fog. It is smog (Smoke + fog). The pollution was always there but may be I was quite ignorant to see it.
But now when I see the levels rising much beyond the alarming levels, I feel atleast now we should think of doing something.. not for others but for ourselves!
This is when I found TED video..A live example of a person who stays in Delhi and has found his own way of getting fresh air!
I am sure that this info will be aleast helpful in making our homes greener! So lets not just celebrate one day as environment day.. lets celebrate each day as environment day in our homes :)
PS: Lets not just restrict it to our homes/offices.. lets spread the word!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Today I was carless. It was quite unusual as I am now addicted to self-driving to office. But the car needed service badly. So today, Darshit planned to drop me half way in car and then drop the car to service station. As planned we started on our way to our respective offices (my office is further down...). I decided to get down at Marathahalli and then take public transport to office. As soon as I got out of the car, I was relieved to see an auto-rickshaw slowing down for me in that heavy, choked traffic. I went upto the auto and told 'SAP'. To which he replied '70Rs'. I couldn't control. I pointed the meter on the auto and asked him - 'Meter pe kitna' (how much using meter?). He didn't bother to reply and moved on!!! I couldn't believe the indifferent attitude of the auto driver! The next moment, I got a bus and reached office in 15Rs!
That eve on my way back home, I had already decided to not to go in auto which does not use meter for charging. I was happy as I boarded a bus immediately. But... I later found out that it was not going till my place. I had to get down 3-4 kms away from my house. I was left with not much choice but to check auto-rickshaw. So I asked one auto-driver, who again reminded me of the morning experience. I couldn't believe him!! All of them were the same. Nobody wanted to use meter for charging and everybody just wanted to charge triple the actual amount!
I was not ready to give in. Why should I? I was not lame. Rather I always keep discussing in office about gym and treadmill exercises. And this was the perfect chance. People boast of running 5-8kms on treadmill and here I was.. just 3-4kms from my house. I started. As I was walking, I noticed so many colorful shops, I noticed children running past me... enjoying their post-school hours, I noticed huge green trees on both the sides of the road bowing to form arches, I noticed people walking briskly in the garden. I was excited to notice a different life on the same road. I have been using this route for years now and had never noticed anything other than the potholed road. And this time I could see people running/walking in the garden and I was walking outside the garden on the pavement!! I laughed at myself! I was contend... and now hungry too. I was about to reach my house when I saw a pani puri vala. Ah.. I can never resist pani puri in my life! I stopped and savored every bit of it! I had saved enough money for the pani puri :) Needless to say.. this pani puri was the yummiest :)
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Pictionary.. I am sure those who have played it will smile at the very mention of the name! I never knew that I will start liking the game sooo much! Me and darshit have tried our hands on many board games including Scrabble, Chess, Mastermind, and some we do not even remember now! And I never laughed like mad in any of these games. But Pictionary is different. If there is nothing so funny about the guess, I will still be rolling in the aisles watching darshit draw :) Ah..What a drawer he is!!!
Actually this board game is not so cheap to end up in our house especially when we already have board games piled up in one corner! But thanks to Aricent :) Darshit received some gift vouchers and the very next moment we started planning our next expenditure! For a change, me and darshit were in Crossword that evening. Ah.. I just love book shops especially Crossword. The ambience.. the pile of books.. the mild instrumental music.. and not to forget.. the recliners!! Whoa! A real stress buster! But wait!!! Where is darshit??! How can I forget.. he hates books! I found him in the games section choosing one more BIG board game. Anyways.. I had handpicked two books and was quite happy with my selection. Darshit took some time as he actually read through the rules of those big board games. Finally he zeroed in on Pictionary! He wanted to buy it! Oh Come on.. Not one more board game! I was not in mood to pour in from our pockets but two brand new non-pirated books + Pictionary! We came out holding a book and Pictionary!! I was not so happy.. obviously I wanted to buy both the books..leave aside whether I get time to read it or not.. but I love to increase the size of my book's stack!
But here I was, playing Pictionary without having my dinner and got completely involved into the game. Each guess was such a fun.. my god! I still remember when darshit had to describe me "stool". Dont ask me what did he draw and what all I guessed!!! But this game was absolutely worth the money rather worth the sacrifice of a book!
First time, I realized the importance of the expressions! I almost died explaining word "Air" by drawing! You doubt? Try out yourself. But I am sure whenever I play this game, I am going to thank god for giving me speech, expressions, good drawing skill and yes, a very funny drawing sense to Darshit :P
PS: And yeah.. do let me know ur fav Pictionary word. I have already started building my pictionary word stack ;-) Read more...
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Parkinson's Law says "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." A little twist from my side, I say "Work shrinks so as to fit the time left for its completion." You agree? Ofcourse! And by this time you must be even nodding if you are a software engineer :P
Ok... I know you are now wondering! Why am I comparing my derivation of Parkinson's law with CommonWealth Games 2010 (CWG)??? I say keep reading on :)
CWG is scheduled from 3rd October to 14th October 2010. Our country has won the opportunity to host this event by defeating Canada by 46 votes to 22 at the CGF General Assembly held in Montego Bay in November 2003. And since then, India is very busy making all arrangements for this esteemed event.
1) Funds have been allocated for 2,500 new DTC buses that will hit the roads before March next year. Also 15 new Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus depots would come up before 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG).
In a scenario where the number of vehicles in Delhi was set to cross the 60 lakh mark, the move to encourage public transport would go a long way in easing congestion.
2) The city may soon get six new Delhi Metro corridors.
3) The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) has advocated to the government a five year tax holiday for all hotels (including the five star hotels) to boost up their capacity expansion ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games
4) Government will now create cycle tracks within a 2 Km radius of all Commonwealth Games venues.
5) Delhi Metro has decided to procure 300 air-conditioned feeder buses in its effort to provide hassle-free and comfortable ride to spectators on their way to 2010 Games venues.
6) Power ministry has asked providers of cable TV, internet and telephone services to remove overhanging wires.
7) The FRI has been entrusted with the job by the Delhi government to make the city look beautiful during the games. India has already declared it will host the first ever green Commonwealth Games (CWG) in 2010.
8) A dedicated electricity grid is to be set up for 2010 commonwealth games by BSES, one of the two private power distribution firms in the national capital.
9) By 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi roads will get over 70 foot over bridges (FOB) for safe passage of pedestrians, the most vulnerable road users. If approved by the Delhi government, the next set of FOBs will have user-friendly features like lifts/escalators and ramps.
10) The public works department (PWD), the major road owning agency, has drawn up a map for micro-surfacing of all stretches which were laid or resurfaced barely two years ago. Roads which were resurfaced five or six years would be redeveloped using three technologies PWD sources said.
11) Ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Delhi Government has decided to start phasing out of Blueline (often called as blood lines by Delhites) buses from July onwards by replacing them with modern buses over a period of next five months.
12) Work on the much-awaited Heritage Circuit linking the three World Heritage Sites Red Fort, Humayun Tomb and the Qutub Minar, in the city has started as part of the efforts to showcase Delhi magnificent past during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
13) The Delhi government Thursday decided to construct a dedicated flyover, the longest in Delhi, to connect Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and the Games Village located 5 km away.
And many more things..
Right now I can not compare our presentation of the games with other countries' presentation but I can say with surety that this event will bring boom to tourism, aviation, hospitality industries and will create jobs for many local people in India.
But at the same time, I would say that we should not compromise the quality of work as we did in the Phase II of Metro and suffered. I just hope this was the first and last mistake which taught us that no work can be complete without its quality checks!!
However we are trying to squeeze the work to fit in the stipulated timeline and if we come out as winners, Delhi will resurface with a new fresh look and with booming industries which otherwise would have taken years together!! Read more...
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The message is loud and clear. This budget is essentially a rural development-oriented budget. To make it very clear, it is NOT ONLY rural development oriented. It is an attempt to marginalize the rural-urban divide in India. Atleast I feel so. Do you wonder why?
There is a special focus this time to make sure that Bharat as a whole progresses towards a developed country and not only the urbanized-glitzy India.
Government plans to provide Rs 2000 crore for rural housing.
Banking facilities to be provided in remote areas in coming 3 years time frame.
Also adding handloom clusters in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
PM's Adarsh Gram Yojana gets the impetus with Rs. 100 cr funding.
Indira Awaas Yojana outlay increasted by 63%. Bharat Nirman outlab also raised by 59%.
Food security to provide rice, wheeat at Rs. 3 a Kg to poor.
Special fund of Rs. 4000 cr from Rural Infra Dev fund to provide cheap loans to MSME.
Rajiv Gandhi, former prime minister of India, had once estimated that less than 15 paise out of every rupee meant for the poor actually reached them because of leakages in the delivery system. Twenty years later, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee announced initiatives that would remove the intermediaries in the supply chain and deliver subsidies directly to the intended beneficiaries.
Mukherjee’s Budget further underlined the government’s move towards disintermediation with huge thrusts in key social sector programmes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), Food Security Act, National Rural Livelihood Mission, women’s self help groups (SHGs) and the education loan subsidy scheme, focusing largely on rural India.
A mention of Decontrol of oil prices is another mega-reform.
More importantly, a 45-day limit on coming out with a “new” tax code,which should put a bridle to the finance ministers who are always ready to fiddle with tax rates, not to mention the plethora of cess, surcharges and other taxes bordering on the fringe.
Foreign investors often complain that our indirect tax structure is multilayered and complex with over half a dozen levies. Therefore GST is on schedule for April 2010, a national-level Goods and Services Tax (GST) that should be shared between the Centre and the States. Another step to mega-reform.
I know we all are mean and selfish. But we are not left out. Fringe Benefit Tax is abolished. Income tax exemption limit is increased. 10% surcharge in Direct Taxes scrapped.
And I must admire the re-consideration of service tax imposed on lawyers which was self-indulgently exempted by previous FM is now again introduced which implies individual law consultation will not to attract service tax.
And since I cannot include each and every detail of this budget, you can view this link which gives a extremely good picture of the budget.
Now after reading this, I am sure many questions will be raised on fiscal deficit which is up by 0.1% from 6.7% to 6.8%. BUT do you really expect it to be brought down in the recession years? How? By raising taxes which will give even less revenues? Or by lowering expenditures so that you get even lesser growth? Its upto you to decide!
I know this is not the dream budget but I really dont expect a dream budget which is never fullfilled but just shows a dreamy picture!! I feel this is realistic and well thought of budget which should be able to deliver what it has proposed! Read more...
Monday, June 15, 2009
I am happy to share the story which I have submitted to CNN-IBN as IBN Citizen Journalist. The photos that I submitted are now added in the IBN CJ column. You can find in IBN CJ link.
I am awaiting the response on the story. I hope, I wish, I can find some answers through this channel.
"I am one of those lacs of commuters in Bangalore who is witness to one of the worst traffic jams and road rage and who does nothing but crib! And this day was no different. I was already quite late for office. And to my bad luck, Bangalore had received heavy rains the previous night and to Bangalore's worst luck, each and every corner of its road was jammed with traffic!!
So I started my day by joining that traffic queue (And I dont think I need to tell about Indian queues!). I had to be really patient as anyways I had no other option! However I somehow wrestled out of the traffic crowd to reach the main road to office. What can I say?! You need to see this to believe. The main and the only road to my office (one of the prime IT area in Bangalore) was jammed till 2Kms of its area. And here I was a speck in that huge crowd. Finally after waiting for almost half an hour and moving at snail pace, I could see the signal lights at far off distance. I can not tell you how happy I was to see the cross roads nearing me! I accelerated and suddenly I realized that all others were also equally happy :-D And in this vehicles' cold war to move first, we all had lost our cool. But of no use! We all were again stuck because half of the road was full of mud slush!!
Oh I forgot to mention about this part of the road. It has been dug for almost 6-8 months now. But I guess we have now developed extremely indifferent attitudes till it becomes utterly unbearable. And this time it became unbearable for me. The potholes before were atleast visible to escape but rain just created slush. This is when I came to know the real reason for the 2Km long traffic queue!
I wondered what impression our foreign counter parts would carry after going through the traffic turmoil! We call it the Silicon Valley of India. But are we ready for this title?! I doubt. I am sure that you all will agree with me that atleast this silicon valley needs basic pakka roads with proper built pathways. Bangalore is one of the highest tax payers in India. And I am sure that I can ask few questions on all your behalf - "How is my tax money utilized?", "Don't I deserve to travel on pakka roads?". When will we find answers? We are waiting." Read more...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Whoosh! What a hangover that I am lying on the bed with all my spare parts loose and aching!! hahaha..!
As usual we had been planning a day out with family for almost a month and it finally got materialized this weekend! We all were very excited including my 1 year old niece :-D. We planned to go to some far off resort in Bangalore to spend full day away from the pending list of tasks which generally consumes the full weekend. I am sure all of you would be able to relate to this list ;-)
We choose "Eagleton Golf Resort" on Mysore Road and started quite early on Sunday morning. We all planned to spend the entire day there and were awestruck to see such a vast green cover in the resort!
It took us some time to explore the place! And after all the fights over who will do what, we all decided to warm up with a badminton match.
And what a warm up, we never stopped after that! Badminton followed by squash,
followed by basketball, followed by volleyball,
followed by football and then lunch break!!!! I know it is too much.. And I concede that we overdid but then who does not love playing :-D And the day did not end here!!
We had sumptuous lunch buffet and we all including the children savored the delicacies for almost an hour and half!
After all we all had burnt all the calories already ;-) You can imagine next! We all just rushed to lie under the tree shade and did not speak for an hour.. hahaha! I must say that the green grass was much much better than any mattress in the world.
After resting for sometime, we all were again geared up to try out more activities. You know when we are in group, we hardly feel tired! We are so geared up to play, enjoy and explore that we do just do not stop. And we all were no different.
The resort has a big multilevel pool which can tempt anybody. So what can I say - we all jumped in the pool. It was fun to swim there as nobody else was in the pool :-)
We all felt refreshed after swimming. As we proceeded, we were told that there was a small temple in the vicinity on small hill. We all just thought of checking out. And what an idea - We decided to go on bicycle. I would like to advice here based on my experience: if you are not a regular bicycle rider, do not attempt to ride it on a hill!!! We just did that :-))
But the experience paid off when we reached the top! It was a pleasant unexpected surprise. The place was just beautiful!
We stayed there until the moon itself came up to bid bye to us.
We all returned with a big smile on our face. The weekend spree ended in a tranquil manner rejuvenating us for the coming week days though losening some of my spare parts :-)) Read more...
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This is in continuation to post Flavors of Life - I
Tears in their eyes, before I could cry
Smile on their face, when I win the race
Pain in their heart, when I fall apart
Toiled in their lives, to see me flying
Here came the day, I flew high in the sky
just to realize there is no life at those heights!
I was happy to stall, to finally see them all.
Here is the day..
Tears in my eyes, before they could cry,
Smile on my face, when they win the race,
Pain in my heart, when they fall apart,
And Laughs in my heart, to see our new journey start!
Stay tuned for the upcoming flavors.....!!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Multiple bombs exploded in two Pakistani cities on Thursday, May 28 2009, just hours after Taliban groups warned people to evacuate several large cities, saying they were preparing “major attacks.” Hakimullah Mehsud, a young Taliban commander said "This was a response to Pakistan’s military campaign against the Taliban in Swat, an area northwest of the capital."
I am sure that you would have heard of this news. But do you know - "This is the 8th terror attack in Pakistan in the year 2009 and the bloodiest attack so far."
For shopkeepers who had seen their property destroyed in a similar attack in March 2008, on the Federal Investigation Agency, it was a case of déjà vu.
Muhammad Jibran, a tailor, estimated that the cost of his wrecked windows and appliances would come to half a million rupees ($6,200). "The government promised us compensation last time," he said, "but nothing came of it – we don't have much hope this time." And President Asif Ali Zardari again issued a statement condemning the attack and said his government remained committed to fighting terror.
I have major concerns here. This is not Afghanistan. This is Pakistan which is a nuclear-armed American ally. If Taliban is able to overpower this country, they will have access to nuclear arms!! And this should not just concern the neighboring countries but also the world. President Obama has taken few steps by asking China and Saudi Arabia to help Pakistan in fighting this insurgency. But I am still not very confident on the measures currently being taken, I still feel we need international aid and pressure both to seek some solution before it is too late!! I do not want to see another epicenter of terrorism. Read more...
Monday, May 25, 2009
Last weekend my youngest niece Ashu (Tvisha) turned 1 year old and we all had blast including her. Though intially I had doubts whether she will be able to enjoy her birthday party but I was wrong. She was the center of attraction and was enjoying every bit of it ;-) We had magic show, kids games, more hangama with cake cutting followed by dinner!
It reminded me of my birthday celebrations as a kid. I used to dream a month before my birthday and dream of only gifts.. hehehehe! And the birthday arrangements also used to be vastly different. I was actually surprised to see colossal options available now to celebrate kiddies’ birthday! There are special shops dedicated to birthday parties shopping and you will be amused to see innovation in this field too :) Oh I was really fascinated to see special covers (not gift wrappers) like polythene bags but not just that... they are much more colorful with Cinderella, Winnie the pooh and many other cartoons printed on it. And these bags are used for return gifts. (Return gifts - for which other kiddie come to your party.. hehehehe)!
I felt so dumb to see myself amused with so many options. Actually when it came to cake cutting, I was given one rod and my brother asked me to burst it! I took it in my hand and started struggling with it!! I asked my 5 yr old niece Ishu to help me. And guess what - All children including Ishu jumped on me and took the rod and burst it in seconds! Oh I felt like a generation behind.. hehehehe!!
The best part was the magic show. Master Karun, I guess most of us know him, a 15 year old kid who has also appeared in Bournvita Confidence Challenge contest, stunned us by his magical powers! I was awestruck to see such a small kid performing with such finesse. I was completely engrossed in the magical acts when suddenly one thing drew my attention. I saw most of all ladies gathered in one corner undisturbed by surroundings and chatting (I will not say gossiping ;-)) happily and most of all gentlemen gathered in another corner enjoying their friendly talks! Suddenly I found myself with few more elderly children like me along with all children enjoying the magic show!!! And I could not stop grinning :)
In the end, we distributed all the return gifts to our small guests and were happy to see their excited faces on receiving the gifts! It was 11:00 P.M. by the time we all finished dinner and we were completely exhausted. I had the hangover and was still thinking of the party on my way back home. I started wishful thinking - "I should have born during this time.. so many lovely lovely gifts and options galore as a kid!", when suddenly I remembered my blog article Summer without vacation and thanked god that atleast now I am out of this herd and to some extent out of the grilling competition!! I then just laughed on my silly thought! Read more...
Friday, May 22, 2009
The title is very apt in this scenario. I must concede in this article that I was not expecting India to perform so well in elections! May 16th, Sunday, I was very happy, the day when the election results were announced. Reason - I felt a connectedness with all my fellow Indians. I had this strange feeling that India thinks how I think!! Wow!
The international media called it the world's most remarkable election. It was a five week long grueling marathon! But must say that was worth the efforts. 714 million registered voters, 800,000 polling booths, 6 million police deployed, and 1,075 Electronic Voting Machines.
Though shoes hurled, political verbiage thrown in its cheapest forms, political murders, Naxals killed 29 security staff and election officers and even hijacked a train, Indians were alive! They showed how hope prevailed over fear and how wish for stability existed over chaos. Elections 2009 are indeed a tribute to the Election Commission :)
The credit of the success of Congress party in this election evidently goes to Rahul Gandhi. I must say that the "Rahul factor" clicked! He has emerged within five years as a key strategist for the party and its star campaigner. He travelled some 87,000 kilometers in peak Indian summer weather to address more than a hundred political rallies. He turned the election results in UP and shattered the shackles of class politics where only Mayawati ruled.
Rahul-Manmohan-Sonia along with the other prominent leaders of Congress should be able to make a stable government. And I am more satisfied after seeing yesterday's news where Dr. Manmohan Singh told DMK "My way or the highway" when DMK started demanding for more seats in the cabinet! He also made it very clear that he will allow only uncorrupted ministers with clean record in his cabinet.
A "Substituted PM" in 2004 has become an obvious PM choice in 2009. Stock markets that crashed after 2004 election result have peaked two circuits after 2009 election result! You are in India dear!
I just hope India keeps getting such surprises from Indians!! Waiting to see Congress in action now! I am sure even you would want to share your part of happiness here :) Read more...
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This came as a very pleasant surprise!!
It all started when my brother once jokingly asked me "Are there any awards for blogs?" And that is when darshit came in full mood to nominate our blog for the award. Had this question been not asked, I dont think so I would have written this article!
So we started off by nomiating our blog on Blog of the day site. We later came to know that even nominations were not direct but were shortlisted by the jury. I waited for 3-4 days but did not find our blogs name in the nominations :(
Then one day.. sorry one night, the night Punjab's IPL team (Kings XI) lost and with which I too lost 51 Rs. bet with my friend (dont laugh.. I know 51 Rs. is less amount), I just slept off! Later I just remember that I was woken up by darshit around 12:30 A.M. with the laptop screen just over my face!! I could hardly see anything there... gradually as I could open my eyes.. I saw a comment which said "Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)". And I just jumped out of bed and out of sleep!! hahahaha! That was really motivating! You can find our blog name under this link.
And the next thing I remember is that I was waiting for 16th to arrive so that I can see my blog name there on the site :) I am happy to share this little achievment with you all as you all have contributed to our blog in some or the other way. Thank you so much!! Read more...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Just an attempt to keep the anger alive.
Mumbai, Nov 26, 2008: Several killed and many more injured in seven terror attacks targetting mostly foreigners' hangout places.
New Delhi, Sep 13, 2008: 26 people killed in six blasts across the city.
Ahmedabad, July 26, 2008: 57 people killed after 20-odd synchronised bombs went off within less than two hours.
Bangalore, July 25, 2008: One person killed in a low-intensity bomb explosion.
Jaipur, May 13, 2008: 68 people killed in serial bombings.
Hyderabad, Aug 25, 2007: 42 people killed in two blasts, at a popular eatery and a public park.
Samjhauta Express, Feb 19, 2007: 66 people killed after two firebombs went off on the India-Pakistan friendship train.
Malegaon, Maharashtra, Sep 8, 2006: 40 people killed in two blasts.
Mumbai, July 11, 2006: 209 people killed in seven blasts on suburban trains and stations.
Varanasi, March 7, 2006: 21 people killed in three blasts including one at a temple and another at a railway station.
New Delhi, Oct 29, 2005: 61 people killed in three blasts on the eve of Diwali.
Mumbai, Aug 25, 2003: 46 people killed in two blasts including one near the Gateway of India.
I listed down the details above to remind myself every day that I should not wait untill I loose my close one.
When I'm writing this post, lots of thoughts are going through my mind and they are all frustrating. When 26/11 happened we all made sincere attempts to oppose the system and tried our best ways to change this system. But what happened after that is even more frustrating, I still do not see government taking any concrete steps. Probably because they still believe that people of this country are going to forget every attack after 6 months.
But this time they are wrong.We want answers. We want solution. We can not let this continue anymore.
Why still we do not see our politicians taking this problem seriously? Why do we still even listen to Kasab's lawyer? Why cant we just hang him right away? Why did not America face any terrorist attacks after 9/11 and why is india facing attack after attack? There are endless whys!!!
How we can keep this anger alive all the time and have some permenant solution to this problem? I personally dont see government making any sincere attempts in this direction. We probably need to remind them all the time that we are not going to forget this and we need a permenant solution to this. Just a resignation from home minister and forming few national security agencies is not going to work. You got to take some concrete steps.
I leave this discussion open for all of you to give your thoughts / suggestions.Read more...
Friday, May 8, 2009
The fourth phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections ended yesterday. Voter turnout was better for this phase four of Lok Sabha elections, as 57 per cent electorates casted their votes. But if you average out the voter turnout.. it will not cross more than 50% so far! Still the fifth phase of elections are pending on 13th of May but I doubt it will have any effect on our average percentage.. however i do fear it might bring this average voter turnout to even lower percentage!!
There is a steady decline in the voters turnout percentage since our independence. It was 67% in 1998 and it is now lingering between 45-50% for some years! I have never seen the voter turnout percentage more than 70% in the history of indian elections!!! Isn't it disgraceful..considering that we are the most POPULOUS democracy in the world!!
Somehow this time I was quite confident that India will vote in masses especially with so many 'Vote India' campaigns including the most famous 'Jaago Re' campaign.. but to my dismay I was wrong :( And now I am in this predicament where I need or rather should find some way out. And the best way was to write this blog. By now, I am sure you would agree with me that we need some kind of electoral reforms and not just an holiday in the name of elections! I have few suggestions/opinions running in my mind and you are most welcome to question/comment/enrich them with your thoughts...
1) First thing is we need to motivate people to come out of their homes and vote.. but how? I know few of my friends who were willing to vote but could not. Reason - They applied for voters ID but could not get it on time before elections. I know few others.. who obtained voters ID but when went to vote, could not find their names in the voters list! They have lodged their complaints in consumercomplaints forum but of no use. I am sure that we all are willing to vote but somehow get stuck taking first few steps to voting! And this is where we need to take some measures.
In France, all youth are automatically registered. Only new residents and citizens who have moved are responsible for bearing the costs and inconvenience of updating their registration.
Similarly, in Nordic countries all citizens and residents are included in the national register. Residents are required by law to report any change of address to register within a short time after moving.
And this process helps in elimination of registration as a separate bureaucratic step and inturn in higher voter turnout.
2)The first step will make the voting process easy for the voters but are we so self-motivated to choose voting over the other priority tasks?! I doubt!
Australia has compulsory voting since 1920 and the voter turnout in Australia reaches 95%!! These rules are strictly enforced, and the country has one of the world's highest voter turnouts. Raised your eyebrows?! You heard it right. Read more.... If a Bolivian voter fails to participate in an election, the citizen may be denied withdrawal of their salary from the bank for three months!
Don't think I am in favor of these options.. I am just trying to show what all measures are already in place in other countries. India needs to do something atleast.
I have one suggestion and I am sure that this will go well with our democratic country. Why can't we introduce some tax exemption for those who vote? I am sure you will find voter turnout close to 100%.. hahahaha..
And for those who are thinking whom to vote out of the worst.. I would like to mention here about Section 49(0) which allows a person to go to a polling booth, register his/her presence by signing and then not vote for any candidate. Such votes are recorded by the presiding officer and are considered for the rejection of all candidates in the fray. And you will more happy to hear that this option was used by 1473 votes in Madhya pradesh who opted not to vote but went to the poll booth and voted under section 49(0). More details can be found here.
I hope we can bring some reforms in our election process too. We need the best people to run this country, as very aptly depicted in the TaTa Tea ad.
I know you would have much more to say here.. Comments are expected :) Read more...
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Just the mention of summer vacation makes any child jump with happiness! I used to go mad in my childhood with the onset of summer vacation. No school, completely free like a bird.. free to do anything without any kind of interruption from the parents!
Ah! It used to be such a fun..!!!!
Remembering our childhood, me and darshit decided to get the feel of summer vacation again! We both joined a sports club and started going for swimming, tennis and other stuff available there. It turned out be a great refreshing experience for us.
As we started frequenting the place.. we observed small children flocking the place almost for the entire day!! The pool was full of small children struggling to learn swimming. More children struggling to hold tennis racket but still being forced to the court! I felt little relief to see no children in the gym..!
We could see all the parents forcing their children to jump in the water.. and children crying their heart out and pleading to escape from the pool! The sight was not so pleasing as we could see small children of age 5-7 years being forced by their parents to learn these activities! The worst incident occured when one kid vomited with the fear of jumping in the water...!!!
We couldnt stop ourselves from comparing... were our summer vacations the same?! The answer is obvious NO. I do not see any vacation here.. I do not see these children enjoying the freedom.. I do not see their cheerful faces.. I do not see them enjoying what they are doing... Instead I see them competing even outside their schools.. competing to excel in everything..!! And the reason is that the parents want their child not only to learn but excel in everything right from the birth!!
I am not sure how much pressure and competition these children have to undergo at such an early stage of their lives! I just hope we all become more sensitive towards the children of our society and give them enough space and freedom to grow and mature. They too have the right to enjoy their summer vacation as we did! Read more...
Friday, January 30, 2009
It was my birthday and obviously I was so so happy on my day! I got up really early on that day. I am anyways a morning person but Darshit is nocturnal!
It was a holiday so I had enough time to dream and plan the rest of the day. As I started my day.. I started getting calls from all of my friends and family except wishes from darshit as he was dreaming and was fast asleep. Slowly my anger started to build up as Darshit got up late and I started my birthday very late :(
Darshit then told me that we will go out for lunch and we both started. To my amazement, he took me to my brother's place. I was so so thrilled to see my entire family and a cake waiting to wish me there!
My bhabhi had arranged everything! I got a big card booklet as a gift from all of them. It had pictures of all of them and writings from them! I also got hand made gift from my 5 yr old niece Ishu.
As I saw that gift and then when I opened the first page, I saw my mom's picture and the writing.. I could not control.. tears swelled up! Everything was so touching.. It was the best feeling of finding all my loved ones with me on that day! Then we all had sumptuous lunch together. I was contented.
Then suddenly an hour later our lunch, Darshit disappeared and called me to tell that he had some work outside. As my birthday was already celebrated.. I did not think of anything else. I was enjoying my day with my family when Darshit returned and we left to return to our place. I was so happy.. I was thanking him for taking me there!
It was dark outside when we reached home. I opened the door and screeeeeeemed...!!
God my friends were waiting for me inside my locked house!!!! They bursted balloons the moment I opened the door..
It was a complete surprise! Thats when I came to know that darshit was not sleeping in the morning but making calls in that closed room to all my friends.
I was in complete shock.. I touched each one of them to realize that it was true.
Darshit and my friends together had arranged everything.. cake, baloons and had decorated my house. He was there with them in the evening making all the arrangements.
I was too speechless to thank them! I guess my expression told them everything.
And then we all had real blast.. We all celebrated my birthday and went out for dinner!
I could have never dreamt more than this for my birthday... surprise lunch with my family and then a surprise party with my friends!!! On return, I did not know how to thank Darshit for everything. I just hugged him!