Sunday, November 25, 2007

First Impressions

Different cities have different ways of welcoming the visitors.I have been a native of one city-Vizag and a regular to another-Hyderabad. Now, I may become a regular to another city-Chennai. If Vizag welcomes you mostly with green fields and mountains and Hyderabad with rocky hills n shrubs, Chennai's welcome is spectacularly unnatural.All along the track one can see that filthy black liquid,slums and garbage. My dad and me were arguing as to how worse could it get? My dad said filth in the railway zone would be the area of Central Government.But I replied "What if people living on the other side of the track, ie, the state government area dumped the garbage into the railway zone, i.e central governement area?".So as you can see, If at all there would be an effort to clean the area, the first issue that would need to be resolved is -Who will clean it? Center or State? Who will own up the responsibility? is it possible at all?-'more questions than answers'. The lesser you think, the better. This said, it may not be Chennai's undoing, just because the railway lines do not bank on some natural beauty, Chennai should not be considered a place bereft of beauty.

The railway station is a gem. I have seen enough stations in all parts of the country,but Chennai ranks as the best. Second comes Vijayawada(I mentioned this because I always thought Vijayawada was unbeatable.). Chennai's is big and organized and at least at the first sight it gave me a very good impression, what with first class waiting facilities at least for a few passengers. It looks more modern,spacious and very accomodating. I wasn't that lucky though. I did not find any accomodations at the station and so had to rent a room in a nearby lodge.

On the way to the lodge, I come across another gem. The Municipal Corporation Building( The Ripon Building, established 1913.) Buildings such as this, built in a victorian style, have a definite aura about them. Though we missed looking at it in the morning, we were chilled enough in the afternoon to discuss as to whether we can build structures with such an aura and magnificence these days.

While I was still drooling about this building, I came across another big one. This one was the Southern Railway Headquarters' building. This was a giant too. Walking along I found a placard which said that this building was endowed with the facilty to harvest rainwater. Immediately, I was made to wonder whether it also had a facility to harvest salty water. This was because a guy was busy urinating near the building premises. Just a minute before, when my Dad wanted to take a little bit of rest after a long walk by sitting on the compound wall, I told him it wont be right to do that. But when compared to urinating in the premises, I suppose sitting on the wall is not that big an offense. Next time I myself will try to sit on the walls of such big places if need be.

This is my first account of Chennai and all of this is a description of some 6-7 hours spent in this place. More is sure to come.

PS: When we dont know the language of a place we may look like jokers, but thats "okay" as long as we are getting things done.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

check it out!

This is not an article I have written, but I would wish a lot of people thought about things the way in which they were in the following article. Its something related to economics.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Correction? Necessary?

I mentioned in an earlier post that it was too early to burden Dhoni with captaincy. It looks as if I am being made to eat my words. I wont like losing out, but me losing out means Dhoni captaining the side well in the coming series against Australia and Pakistan. Thats what matters more than my earlier post losing value. I would not mind to make a correction.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Public Transport System

The TATA has vowed to bring out a car that would cost only Rs.1 lakh/- as early as
possible(i am not familiar with the exact date). Is it a boon or a blessing? What I think is

The isntantaneous reaction of anyone after coming to know that a car can be bought for 1
lakh rupees would be this. " Oh my god, a car for just 1 lakh. Good bikes cost somewhere
around 40,000 and double that price and u get a car. Loans will be easily available anyway.
So buying a car wont be that difficult. I will go for it."

There is a burgeoning middle class in the country and this is the market that this intended
car would try to capture. And if this car looks ok n is also good on mileage, the higher
class wont mind going for it 2. This is all economics and economics is not what i want to
focus on here. Think of the environment. Think of the kind of traffic that is present on the
roads of major cities these days and think of the size of the roads. Think of the congestion
more cars will cause to these already "no place more" roads. If roads can cry, they are
already crying and we still wanna go and beat them. If this happens, it wont be the roads
that would cry anymore, it would be us.

I mean, does India need more cars on its already small roads. Now itself, there is the need
to make more use of Public Transport rather than individual transport. Why does one single
person drive to his office in a car, when he can easily squeeze into a small space in the
bus or a train or some other public transport? One less car on the road and a little less
congestion. Suppose 60 people stop driving their car to office and all get into a bus, 60
cars less on the road. How much congestion would that release? And this is not that
hypothetical. It can be done.

What about the difference in the pollution that 60 cars would cause to the level of
pollution a single heavy vehicle would? What about the amount of fossil fuel that would
saved from being burnt? Yeah, a public vehicle would not drop us right at the work place, it
would not save us time and it is so horrible to travel in buses or trains etc. But the thing
is we complain too much. A lot of people are least bothered about the environment around and
see the future as their bank balances or share holding values, while the actual feature that
needs to be thought about is the environment around. India is rated at number 104 in a
recent survey conducted on living conditions(includes GDP,environment care,pollution levels,
quality of live etc).

Crude Oil prices have touched 84$ a barrel(at the time of writing this one). And we still
want to import more and more oil. We keep importing. It hurts the economy to import so much
oil and I dont know how much more it hurts because of the subsidy policy the government
This is because the crude oil rates have kept rising higher and higher and here the price of
diesel,petrol n related commodities has been kept constant. We protest vehemently if prices
are increased. We dont actually see how much can be saved if we use public transport instead
of private. Instead we tend to use our vehicles even to travel half a kilometer. I heard
that people in China are made to ride bicycles to workplaces if their workplaces are less
than 5kms from their homes. This might be a rumour, but 2kms might be reasonable. Cycling
2kms everyday,a very good exercise for the calorie and fat conscious modern generation.

All of this said, I must also mention that the public transport system that exists now in a
lot of places is not at all upto the standard. I dont think any government has an agenda on
making people use mass transport systems more by spelling out the troubles and perils of
mass use of individual modes of transport. If such an agenda is put forth and pursued,
results will be there to see. But we the people have got so used to the concept of
luxury(people who have money) wont be able to digest it. Traveling in buses n trains is a
prestige issue to lot of people and it will be. Coming to ground zero is the need of the
hour. After all....its like this...a single bike projects a certain kind of status symbol, a
small car a little more, a bigger car even more, 2 cars, 3 cars and so on. And now I doubt
if what all I have written is possible at all? Well, make me the CM of AP or PM of India. U
will find out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Indian Cricket's Biggest Gamble

Rahul Dravid has given up his captaincy. He would have gone to the depths of his soul to find the best possible answer to the situation he was in and he took a decision that was very right to him. Now, the selectors have to make a decision that is very right to Indian Cricket, that is to appoint A NEW CAPTAIN. The next series we have is against Australia (a seven match one day series). If I were the selector, I would take a gamble. I would bring back Sehwag into the team and make him the captain. Dhoni is captaining the 20-20 side, but I think he was appointed only in vision 20-20. Its too early to give him such a big responsibility. Think about Sehwag,forget his batting. For all we know that he has a very cool head on his shoulder, he is experienced, he loves throwing back punches to the opposition, very attacking. Some qualities that would help him as a captain. And he is exactly the kind of player, on whose batting captaincy will show no effect. He has no qualms. What if Captaincy galvanizes his batting? We will find better options once sachin, dravid and saurav plan to retire. We should not deny that Sehwag's bad form has led to a crisis in our batting. He's a solid hitter when in form and with the series against Pakistan(300 against dem) and tour of Australia also coming up, where he has done well last time, he definitely needs to be given a look in. If he gets in form, he gets into the test team. He will provide us with another opening option and that too an attacking one. And lets not forget his bowling, he is not that bad. Infact, he is good. So assuming I am the selector, I am gonna give Sehwag one final chance. I will get him into the team and make him the captain. If he does well in the one-dayers as a batsman at least, dat will be gud enough for the moment. We should not be expecting to win the series against Australia, so its enough if Sehwag bats well. Sehwag is the only possible double solution to the problem. Any other solution would be appointing separate test and one-day captains.

If Sehwag doesnt do well, well "better not think about it".Its not that difficult to imagine, ain't it?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Laws are not the way to contain 'Outlaws'.

After the two blasts that rocked Not Only Hyderabad But the rest of the country, it is high time the so called security agencies swing into "extreme" action. In my article I have pointed out that the security mechanism in place is no where near the desired level. Hyderabad blasts are a further testimony to the fact. One doesnt need to be a RAW specialist to say that the internal security problem is slipping out of our grasp. The core area of this article though is "do laws act as a deterrent for terrorists?".
For me laws and terrorists are universes apart and drooling about laws to curtail terrorism is plain bull shit. Terrorists have plain disregard for anything and everything thats not a part of their agenda. If they were really afraid of the laws and really are, so many attacks would not have taken place. Their aim is to create chaos, make their point and pave the way for a society they think would justify their living on the earth. And they are least bothered about their lives, their motive is to get their objective across to everyone around. Bhagat Singh was never worried was about his life. He bombed an assembly and surrendered. His sole intention was to drive his motive across to the whole nation. Terrorists are of the same brand. " They live or die, but they wont let their ideology die." So laws would do nothing. I mean laws are to punish people who have made crimes. Whats the use of punishments or sentences after a terrorist attack has taken place. The main issue is to be able to prevent such attacks. We dont need any special laws to prosecute people who kill so outrageously or support these killers. If caught they can be jailed and senetenced for life. That is not a big deal. It is how we prevent these attacks that is important.

Terrorists arent educated in the proper way. Their education only leads them to destruction. So to eradicate terrorism proper education needs to reach everyone. That is the only way out. So on one hand we need a new and efficient system to crack down on terrorist cells and on the other we need to see that the right education- an education that envisages a society where everyone have to live together and promote nothing but peace-percolates down to the lowest strata of the society. Its so because terrorists always see something more than the nutrition value in an apple. They will also think as to how the apple can be used to serve their purpose. They will tell you "apple is not just for eating." Ha Ha.

As long as you and me arent made part of this anti-terrorism drive or at least as long as you and me dont feel a part of this drive, we wont be able to guarantee a safe life for ourselves.

PS: Dont complain that i write too much about this particular issue, u wud have realised that more than anything, this will be the biggest menace we need to contend with.

A salute to all the Hyderabadis for their remarkable spirit!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Comprehensive anti-terror policy

Comprehensive policy to control terrorism.

It is very appalling to know that the country does not have a comprehensive policy, that involves the common man, to control terrorism.Terrorism has become a serious problem and if we dont safeguard our internal security, 8% GDP growth would remain useless( not dat 8% growth is really auguring well now). Internal security and environment are the most improtant issues that we need to concentrate on right now and once we are at peace with them, the remaining development should follow.
Involving the common man will yield tremendous results. Everyone would be able to associate with the country more closely, more patriotism, more fervour and more intrest in activities that would promote the development of the nation. The much needed "sense of belonging" can be created to a certain extent and then it can be used in other areas of country's intrest.
The internal security problem is being given less importance than what it deserves. It needs to be highlighted, IN THE SAME WAY AS AN "ASH-ABHI" WEDDING, IN THE SAME WAY AS AN INDIAN CRICKET WIN. Internal security is of paramount importance and in a way safegudaring it is equal to safeguarding our independence. Our independence to live a safe and secure life is in danger, shouldnt we launch an offensive?
When terrorist organizations openly announce that they would terrorise the country, why cant the anti-terror mechanism vow to do the same. Yes, it is true that we see condolence messages every time an attack happens. It is also true that police and anti-terrorist cells are working very hard to solve this problem. But it is very evident that what is being done is not enough. We need to do more, the common man needs to do more and he needs to know what he can do to make his life safer and secure.

Extremists will be very few in number and they spread their cause by finding people who can be easily mentored to follow suit. For any program, jihad for that matter, to succeed it needs efforts from the grass root level. So if extremist attacks are succeeding in our country, it only means that the extremists are being able to reach a good number of people at the grass root level and influence them. The counter strategy should also be the same. Common people, "the aam aadmi", should be made aware of the meance of terrorism and should be empowered with minimum knowledge of what he can do to prevent "seeds of terror" from being sown in his area. The police and other similar forces are not equipped that well enough to tackle this problem just by themselves. It will be an even better idea if there is an anti-terrorist cell, that too a trained one, just like the police; set up. It should be very strong in number and also in conviction to perform the duty that its established to perform. Let the army guard the borders and let us not waste its resources on internal problems. The army cant do anything and we dont want our enemies to take advantage of a situation in which most of the fighting forces are busy guardig internal problems than our external boundaries.
All of this is easier said than done.It only needs commitment from the governments,federal and state, for there are a lot of unemployed youth with enough patriotism in them to serve the country. But commitment from the government is such a difficult thing to acheive, what with most of the netas out there concerned about their safety and intrests only. Its enough for them if they have bodyguards and commandos guarding them. What about us? If they do want their children and grand children to be a part of a safer India, I m sure that this can be done. But if they are still sucked into the peril of serving their own greed and be least bothered about the country and the generations to come, they wont do it.
No need to talk about the money aspect though. Everyone knows there is no dearth of funds in our country. It is always a question of pumping them for the right causes.

If anyone of us is ever in a position of power we must always be able to act in a way as to serve our country, no matter how small it may seem to be. "Hundreds of drops do make an ocean."