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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year - 2014


Happy New Year 2014
Happy New Year 2014

 

A new dawn is going to cover the night sky,
So many mornings but this one is going to fly.
 
If my words have the power to come true
I will write the destiny of the coming year
In happy colors of bright violet and blue
The letters echoing my mind’s anxiousness
To break the conundrum facing the brave
Making way for the fertile mind to sway
Nurturing the will to perform and not perish
Having waited long for the miseries to end
 
A new dawn is going to cover the night sky
So many mornings but this one is going to fly
 
Having failed in pursuits is not a crime
When chasing dreams was the reason to live by
So many questions and only a silence in response
I wonder my own intent and if I did put up a fight
Going back and shuffling the past will not help now
The chaos all around is a waste to further carry
Let me pick up stories of my pain and defeat
The invisible laurels that only I recognize
 
A new dawn is going to cover the night sky,
So many mornings but this one is going to fly.
 
A New Year is at the doorstep and the stage is set
One can sing, dance and / or perform
Leading acts will set the bar and hoist the flag high
The leader in you and me will again rise
Bringing to the fore the strength of the mighty mind
That refuses to go down with a sigh
Every new day will be a limitless canvass
To paint a picture as bright as one decides
 
A new dawn is going to cover the night sky,
So many mornings but this one is going to fly.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Phenomenon called 'Aam Aadmi Party'



Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) 


In October 2012, there was lots of furore among the masses in India when Mr. Robert Vadra , son in law of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi updated his Facebook status message by writing "Mango men in a banana republic”. Social activist then, and now a regional party Chief Mr. Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted, "Evidence pouring in from mango men from across the country. Mango men would prove to be nemesis for the 'powerful'. No political pundit, no soothsayer , no man with a logic , none of the think tanks could have ever imagined that a Mango Man(Aam AAdmi) in the form of Mr. Kejriwal will prove his prediction right. Delhi assembly election results have made people sit up and take note of this phenomenon called ‘Aam Aadmi Party(AAP)’ and has forced them to solve this quagmire.  I bet this will become a Harvard Case Study and the best brains in the world for years, will analyze this event from multiple angles and dimensions. None will ever solve this puzzle in its entirety because the power to sway fortunes lies in the minds of millions of voters who exercise ballot to give a verdict.


When I write this article, AAP is seeking public opinion on forming a ‘minority government’ in Delhi with outside support from Congress. (To share with my readers, In Delhi assembly of 70 seats BJP is the single largest party with 32 legislators, AAP with 28 and Congress with 8 of them). My bet is Mr. Arvind Kejriwal will bite the bullet and will be sworn in as the next Chief Minister of Delhi state. I intend to present some facts and in their light analyze Jan Lokpal Movement, Formation of Aam Aadmi Party, Enrolling members and gaining public support, Role of social media in AAP’s success, their strategy and future vision.

In 2011, an outfit by the name India Against Corruption (IAC) launched a campaign to mobilize the masses for the creation of a Lokpal (ombudsman) to punish government officials accused of corruption. Two prominent faces Yog Guru Ramdev and Anna Hazare a veteran social reformer with a history of undertaking fasts in support of his causes spearheaded this movement. While Ramdev brought with him millions of middle class supporters from urban areas, villages and small towns in India, Hazare’s support base comprised of mostly middle-class people from urban areas and idealistic youths. The viewpoint was that people in power are not only neck deep in corruption but have become shameless in acceptance of their deeds. This was start of a revolt against the corrupt , an uprising by the letdown and a clear expression of people’s anger, frustration, dissent and hopelessness with the system which continues till today.

To really figure out what gave birth to Aam Aadmi Party we need to understand the current social and political climate of India and also how has it evolved over the years. India has been ruled for more than five decades by Congress, a party where power is concentrated with the title ‘Gandhi’ and for few years by BJP which had a charismatic leader in the form of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. When we got freedom the country was so poor that the talk of providing food, shelter and clothing resonated well with the masses. Primarily an agrarian economy that had few heavy industries, small and medium enterprises, Congress was able to keep people interested in its governance model. I would rather say they could fool people, govern them, keep power concentrated within the family and run the country as a family business. The cracks started to appear when Janta Party stormed into power in 1977, National front in 1989 and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 1998. What is interesting to note is Congress could still manage to get power over and again. The countrymen who were very poor in 1947 became a big chunk of aspiring middle class in 90’s and educated and informed young brigade in 2000’s. While the working population fought for agriculture and milk revolutions in 50’s and 60’s, the people in 90’s faced reservation and liberalization whereas the present population is standing up for non-governance , corruption and accountability. This is how we as a nation have matured and continue to do so to ensure that our rights and privileges as a citizen of a democratic country are protected.

The country supported this movement of Anna Hazare and participated in massive numbers with an expectation that a new hope was born. What Hazare could not understand is that after rising to such a height and raising people’s expectations one has to deliver. Protests, Fasts, Revolts are good to bring out grievances but there has to be a plan that needs to be executed to get justice done. This is what Arvind Kejriwal could read very well and a direct involvement in politics was preferable, in order to cause change from within the system. This led to formation of AAM AADMI PARTY (AAP), an outfit that was a direct deliverable of the IAC movement. In fact it was good that Anna Hazare did not take this step or else he would have been accused of being opportunist and harboring political ambitions and betraying people’s faith by pursuing his personal agenda.

Aam Aadmi Party had to create enough noise to always remain in the news and media and they did so by picking up on scams and political figures, issues like electricity and water bill, inflation, women security, unemployment etc . Every week there was a disclosure and media picked up the threads very well. I would say much of the support and discreet information to AAP in the initial days came from disgruntled partymen of the ruling government and opposition leaders. The public already knew of all the day to day embezzlements, major scams which ultimately resulted into inflation, poverty and shrinking standards of living but they were helpless. They were excited at the prospect of a party having the gumption to take the powerful heads on and washing their dirty linen in public. Somewhere a support base of AAP was forming in every nook and corner of the society.

To grow from a miniscule base of supporters and few party men, AAP had to do radical things to ensure it was prepared well in time for Delhi assembly elections. There were few strategies that they adopted like using Social Media as a platform to talk to the youth and the internet workforce, making a portal to enroll members instantly, seeking donations in a transparent manner and building local groups within all the constituencies of Delhi to reach out to people.  While the old timers in other political parties are still ignorant of the power of internet AAP ensured that it harnesses its potential to the fullest. Other parties were unaware as to how to use technology to build a base or communicate to its supporters, and first time voters. Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Mailers, Forums, Blogs and Online news were heavily consuming information about AAP and spreading its base like a wild fire. The opponents dismissed this as a new generation gimmick and never considered this as a threat. What they forgot is that this is an information age and it takes seconds for breaking news to spread in the entire country. No one else in the battlefield was in the fray when it came to internet usage and AAP had a distinct advantage. They re-enforced there campaign by door to door meetings , Mohalla Sabhas , ads at the back of Auto Rickshaws ( the most visible and most mobile ad platform with the widest reach), protests , fasts and demonstrations making sure the noise grows louder and louder. The support base had now multiplied many folds with NRI’s pouring in money, youth participating online, middle class discussing about AAP and the poor curious to know about them.

Come elections and AAP adopted a novel way to pick its candidates. They asked ticket aspirants to take referendum from the public and prove their credentials and support to be even considered for the selection process. Out of all the shortlisted candidates the final choice had lots of weightage to honesty, integrity, morality and selflessness. I would not say that all of their candidates were high on these parameters but in general they were far better than their opponents. AAP had build in people’s mind the criteria that they should look for, in their elected representatives. Again the established parties failed to read the public sentiment and repeated most of their candidates, nepotism and favoritism playing a big part. The final nail in the coffin was AAP’s election manifesto the highlights of which were a clean and corruption free government, bringing Swaraj -decentralization of power, reducing water and electricity bills, regularizing unauthorized colonies, giving massive employment, controlling inflation and providing a safe society. The base of AAP had grown by leaps and bounds now, with the poor and oppressed joining the bandwagon irrespective of caste and creed.


The results are there for everyone to see and AAP’s success has taken everyone by surprise. No one expected this kind of spectacular debut from a party that was just 1 year old. As I wind up this article AAP is going to stake a claim in the coming week to form a government and we will have Mr. Arvind Kejriwal as the next Chief Minister of Delhi and the game will become more interesting from here on. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

My First Liebster Blog Award


Liebster Blog award
Liebster Blog award

I am happy to share with you all that year 2013 is ending with the Liebster Blog Award. This is the FIRST Award for my blog 'Tea Time Talk'  and I hope that fellow blog readers will continue to exchange with me their thoughts , mind's impressions and experiences via this unique medium of blogging. A heart felt  thanks to Indiblogger , Blogpost  and Wordpress for providing me a platform to talk to the world outside with the might of the mind and strokes of my keyboard.

I started writing poems at an age of fifteen and they were wayward sketches of my mind , my perceptions of life at that moment and about my dreams that were far off.  I maintained dairies where i used to pen down my thoughts , daily routines , key events etc in form of poems or simple write ups. The irony of it all was, that i never knew till then that my father in his young days had this hobby too. Physical paper and pen got moved to electronic platform and blogging happened couple of years back. 'Tea Time Talk' is a personal blog which is a compendium of articles , poems , random quotes , short stories and something unique called 'Good Morning Messages' . I have recently moved the last section to another blog on WordPress and it can be accessed here: http://goodmorningwish.wordpress.com/

When my Blog was nominated for this award, I was quite curious to know more about this. Here is what I am able to gather from my fellow blogger who nominated me.

What is a Liebster Blog Award?

The Liebster Blog Award was created to recognize and/or discover (new) bloggers. “Liebster” is a German word for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, or favorite.

Who Nominated Me?

I was nominated by my fellow blogger Rupesh Malik. I am thankful to him for appreciating my blog and nominating me for this award.

What are the Rules?

  • Link back the nominator of the award (why not show some love back as well!)
  • Nominate 10 more bloggers (except the nominator) and inform them
  • Answer the questions asked by the nominator
  • Ask 10 questions from those you nominated
  • Add the award image to your site
  • Continuing with the custom, Rupesh also asked me certain questions and my replies are below.

Q.1 What is the primary focus of your blog?
A.1 To pen down my thoughts regularly and while i do that i am able to debate with my own self as to what my understanding about life is; in general , what are my learning and what are my perspectives. If  my writing and creativity can be of any value to the external world i will feel privileged, nevertheless i would leave this legacy behind for my offspring's.

Q.2 What is the story behind your blog’s name?
A.2  Tea Time Talk is a light hearted talk that people indulge in their daily lives. My blog is smooth , easy flowing and the topics that i write on, are general in nature and hence this name.

Q.3 What accomplishments are you most proud of?
A.3 I have written articles and poems mostly and they weave in stories from our day to day lives. I have had a chance to read some of my writings to my parents and their appreciation made me feel proud of my blog.

Q.4 What inspires you to write?
A.4 To be able to contribute to the society , my loved ones , my family with a good thought process, is a big motivation for me.

Q.5 Three things you want to do before you die?
A.5 Learn to play violin, Learn skating and Run a half marathon.

Q.6 Five random facts that most people don’t know about you?
A.6 I share my Birthday with Swami Vivekanand (12th Jan) , I love silver watches , I wear brown shoes rarely( though i have 2 pairs of them), My first car was a Camry , Though i am right handed i can bat reasonably well with left hand.

Q.7 One thing that annoys you the most?
A.7 Deceit

Q.8 Anything that you would like to change about yourself?
A.8 To be more adventurous and risk averse.

Q.9 An awesome moment that you can never forget?
A.9 The first time i took my son in my hands.

Q.10 What is the most insane thing that you have ever done in your life till date?
A.10 Can't think of any that can be termed as really insane, though i am sure i do lots of them every other day. 

 Liebster Award-Action Wanted

 I would like to recommend the blogs of the following 10 bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award.

1. Saru Singhal - Words - http://www.sarusinghal.com/
2. Nandini Deka - Nandini Speaks - http://nandinispeaks.blogspot.com/
3. Nabanita Dhar - Randon Thoughts Naba - http://nabanita-blacknwhite.blogspot.in/
4. Bushra M - Confessions of a Stilletomaniac - http://stillettomaniac.blogspot.in/
5. Ekta Khetan - Numero Unity - http://www.numerounity.com/
6. Ranjith - A Light Hearted Talk - http://www.alightheartedtalk.com/
7. Arvind Passey - The Real Fiction - http://www.passey.info/
8. The Fool - Lucifer House Inc - http://luciferhouseinc.blogspot.com/
9. Anupam Patra - Reflections - http://anupampatracontemplates.blogspot.in/
10. Rajkumar - The Elixir of Knowledge -http://www.elixirofknowledge.com/

And here goes my questions for them…

Q1. Share with us link of one blog post that is closest to your heart and why ?
Q2. Are you true to yourself when writing posts in your blog or they are sugar coated , customized ? Have you ever copied content ?
Q3. One topic /aspect that you never wrote about and would like to pick up some day ?
Q4. Why do you blog ? (A very standard question but a deeper answer is expected)
Q5. Are you an extrovert or an introvert and what is your writing style ?
Q6. Make a confession , could be an incident that went wrong, a dream , a desire , a regret .
Q7. What gives you a high ?
Q8. Sum up yourself in five adjectives.
Q9.  Why do you think your childhood was special ?
Q10. One person who had a great impact on you and why?

I am looking forward to your answers and congratulations from my end on receiving this beautiful award.

Cheers !! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Building Immune India , Building Strong India

The topic of Dabur Chyawanprash blogging contest-  ' Building Immune India ' is so pertinent and necessary in today's context. Our fathers and forefathers brought us up as close to the nature as possible; when the air was much cleaner , the water was more potable and the environment was much healthier. They handed us a future that looked rosy , full of material comforts and with immense possibilities.  In the mad rush of growth,  fueled by  industrialization , urbanization and rampant use of machines we have contaminated our surroundings to such an extent that neither the present is healthier nor the future looks any better. In this scenario the concern is how do we ensure that our children grow in a safe and robust environment that helps them develop a strong foundation and a body that is build on a strong immune system.

So first let's understand is simple terms what immunity is. Definition from Wikipedia tells me that "In biology, immunity is the state of having sufficient biological defences to avoid infectiondisease, or other unwanted biological invasion. It is the capability of the body to resist harmful microbes from entering it. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide range of pathogens irrespective of antigenic specificity. Other components of the immune system adapt themselves to each new disease encountered and are able to generate pathogen-specific immunity."

From my basic knowledge of biology and human body i know a fact that people are born with some inherent immunity and rest is acquired naturally or artificially. So when the defense can be build against the ailments , germs, infections and  allergies we have a task cut out for our children. What can we as parents do to make them stronger and prepare their bodies to fight these external malicious agents / antibodies ??

I can broadly divide the areas of concentration in the following:


1. Rich Nourishment -  This will involve intake of vegetables , fruits , whole grains that are good source of vitamins , minerals , protein , fiber , carbohydrates and antioxidants. Kids have to eat in small and frequent portions a diet that balances intake of the above mentioned components. Milk Products , Lean meat , Poultry Products , Cereals , Nuts , Fresh fruits and Vegetables are good source of rich nourishment. What is important is everything that is consumed fresh has to be thoroughly washed to eliminate pesticides and chemicals( Read Times of India article mentioned below). There are plenty of health supplements like Chyawanprash , Honey , Horlicks , Bournvita etc available in the market that also aid in growth of children and improving immunity in them.

From the website of Dabur i have gathered this information :

Dabur Chyawanprash has a number of herbs like – Amla known to be one of the best antioxidants, Giloy (Guduchi) known to have immuno-modulatory properties and has many other natural ingredients which helps to boost immunity. Dabur Chyawanprash increases NK cells (Natural Killer Cells) which are an essential part of our body’s immune system and fights germs, bacteria and infections by 3 times hence increasing our immunity by 3 times. Thus Dabur Chyawanprash helps us in fighting against germs, viruses and helps protect against infections, making us free to take on the outdoors, unhygienic surroundings, weather changes, pollution etc.


TOI Article on Pesticides in Vegetables

Plates loaded with pesticides: Survey shows fruit, vegetables are high on chemical content - Report published in Times of India on Nov 8th , 2013


2. Proper & Disciplined Diet -  Not only a balanced diet is important, it is to be ensured that children eat healthy meals at proper intervals and avoid fast foods , aerated drinks and foods laced with preservatives. Sugars and artificial sweeteners should be strictly avoided as they can reduce the  immunity fighting ability of white cells.

3. Physical activity and Exercises- In today's times kids are spending more and more time indoors watching television , surfing internet , playing video games etc. , moreover the stress on studies has also grown manifolds. Lack of physical activity is hampering their growth and again reducing the fighting ability of their white blood cells. Children have to be not only encouraged for outdoor activities but also accompanied frequently for games , picnics , morning walks and school events. Research shows that obese kids are more prone to illness and infections as obesity depresses the production of antibodies.

4. Awareness of the surroundings -  Fighting germs present in the external surroundings needs awareness about them. Healthy habits like washing hands with soap before and after meals, after coming from outside, after handling pets ,while sneezing and coughing  and in general observing hygiene and cleanliness helps to reduce contact with germs that could otherwise cause infections and ailments. The waste bins , toilets , kitchen slabs , mobile phones, laptop/ desktop keyboards have germs all around them. By being aware of the fact that many a household items are good breeding grounds for germs we can keep them clean and also inform and educate our kids about them. Healthy habits and knowledge of the surroundings go a long way in securing sound health and building a very strong immune system.

5. Regular health check ups and understanding of areas for improvement -  Visits to doctors should be kept at minimum unless and until it is strictly warranted . In spite of that kids should undergo regular health check ups and these could include oral and dental health , physical examination , growth measurements , vaccinations & immunizations , eye sight ,hearing and allergies etc.
If there are areas that need improvement and focused care , those should be discussed with the doctor and corrective measures to be taken.


This post is my entry for the Dabur Chyawanprash blogging contest ' Building Immune India ' hosted on Indiblogger Website







Sunday, November 17, 2013

Traditional Knowledge - Natural Growth for Children

I am writing this post for the sake of my one and a half year old son who is taking his first steps in life. Be it learning to walk, mumbling few words, developing tastes, doing naughty acts or being playful, he is the center of all our attention. I have realized that in this early stage of my kid’s growth and development there are many external factors that have a great impact and I will touch upon them as I move ahead. To write this post I did some research on internet, read few research papers and tried understanding our parenting methodology in the light of the new information that I collected.

Child’s Growth and Development 

Right from the infant stage to the early years of life the kid undergoes rapid changes and understanding child development is very important. These changes can be broadly classified in physical, cognitive, and emotional development stages. Good nutrition and healthy habits have a long standing effect on all the above stages of a child’s development be it overall health, brain development, growth, muscle mass, analytical thinking, socializing and their capacity to adapt to change. Also learning basic concepts, coordination, acquiring reading and writing skills, balance, agility, learning to express themselves creatively and be socially adaptive are also some gains of good health. Good nutrition is also critical in avoiding and surviving childhood diseases.

We all want to provide the best for our children and to do so we need to be aware of the contents of the products that we use daily on our children. Not being aware of toxic chemicals used in synthetic products can be severely dangerous for children as they are much more vulnerable to these chemicals than adults are. Their immune systems are not fully developed and their bodies can’t fight the toxic chemicals as good as adults . We can, however, reduce our exposure by becoming knowledgeable and making educated, informed decisions for our children and shopping more consciously.

Natural versus Synthetic 

Natural chemicals are produced by nature without any human intervention. Synthetic chemicals are made by humans through industry processes and these chemical structures may or may not be found in nature. Synthetic chemicals can be made from natural product and they will also claim to serve the same purpose. To illustrate Vitamin C can be naturally obtained from orange in the form of ascorbic acid whereas same ascorbic acid can be made from Glucose. Another example could be alcohol derived from natural fermentation whereas artificially this can be prepared from ethane and steam.


Ayurveda follows Nature’s way

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term, made up of the words “ayus” and “veda.” “Ayus” means life and “Veda” means knowledge or science. The term “ayurveda” thus means ‘the knowledge of life’ or ‘the science of life’. Ayurveda can strengthen the immune system and support the health of children of all ages in a safe and holistic manner using the efficacy of natural remedies. Ayurveda with its use of medicinal herbs and spices offers effective health care and disease prevention for children through diet and lifestyle. Some of the means are:

Oil massage plays an important role in baby’s growth. Massage with oils of herbs like Country Mallow (Bala) and Sesame (Tila) can protect baby’s skin against topical infections, open the pores of the skin, increase circulation, relax muscles, and aide the movement of lymph throughout the body. For e.g. Dabur Lal Tail is an Ayurvedic Baby massage oil that helps in strengthening baby's bones and muscles and facilitates better overall physical growth of babies.
Herbal solutions in Ayurveda aid mental development of a child enhance a child’s concentration ability and intelligence. Health supplements like Dabur Chyavanaprasha(we use it), which contains Amla, Ashwagandha, Pippali, Guduchi,  Kesar, Karkatsringi and Satavari Bala / Vidarikand are indeed beneficial in improving memory and learning abilities.
Ayurvedic medicines with a diverse range of products for fever, cough, cold, abdominal pain etc. contains therapeutic ingredients that very effectively help in combating illness internally in children.

Home Remedies for Common Illness that we have used at home for our kid

Abdominal Pain

Warm Heeng (Asafoetida) rubbed over navel region.
A drink of the powder of jeera (cumin) and rock salt dissolved in water.

Cough & Common Cold

Juice of tulsi leaves and ginger given two to three times with honey.

Constipation

A tea spoon of ghee mixed in a cup of warm milk given at bed time.

During Teething

Rubbing of honey on the swollen gums facilitates teething.

There is a sea of variety and usefulness of Ayurvedic herbs and home remedies for children. Most herbs are safe and do not have any side effects when used skillfully and in right doses. Promoting healthy habits and strengthening immunity in early childhood can set the foundation for growth and development, not only in short term but also serves good for a entire lifetime.

This post is for the blogging contest ' Traditional Knowledge - Natural Growth' by Dabur. More details on Dabur's Ayurvedic products can be accessed through this link .

Ayurvedic Health Supplements at home 

Ayurvedic Oils at Home
Ayurvedic Medicines at home

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Happy Deepawali 2013

The entire year we walked side by side 
Supporting and matching each other's stride 
The highs and the lows all came
Our understanding of each other still remained the same

Every new day of this year has made me strong
I fought my battles with vigour and aplomb
This would have not been possible and achieved
If your affection and love i had not received.

Let me thank you in simple and honest words
No other occasion will suit it best
A festival of lights and a new year close by
Warm wishes to reciprocate my warmth and personify 

Happy Deepawali to you and your family
To brighten your days and make them more lively
May Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha bless you
With What life has best to offer,all bright and new

May success and good fortune knock at your door
Every endeavor is spectacular that you set to implore
Happiness and content as well come all along
Good health and longevity stays with you yearlong !!

Happy Deepawali 2013
Happy Deepawali 2013


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Do you have the power to Pee ??

If you think that you have the power to pee, it is right but does your pee have power ?? . What an absurd thought to be writing about, that too when i am suggesting that even the call of nature is not all waste and has wider implications . Alas! There are instances that show how my statement transcends individual biases, interpretations, feelings, imaginings and prove it correct.

Those treacherous moments hit the young and the old , the rich and the poor , male and female in equal measure but to the exclusion of our Politicians.Very recently our Ministers pee-ed on some important files that were related to Coal block allocations and the stink is filling the entire Parliament with allegations and abuses. The Pee muddle has washed all the ink and vanished all the important documents related to the case and also exonerated the entire machinery from getting implicated .In the past all such investigations that have been set up to inquire Fodder scam , Bofors scam , CWG scam , Defence Scam , Railway scam , 2 G Scam for embezzlement's met the same fate. This is what i call the 'Power to Pee' and / or 'Pee Power' which is not granted to ordinary citizens of our country.

Power to Pee in India
Power to Pee in India
Powerful 'Pee(rs)' in government , various organisations and  bodies enjoy similar spraying rights too . Take for example Ms Sonia Gandhi , Mr. Manmohan Singh ,Mr. Suresh Kalmadi , Mr. Sharad Pawar, Mr N Srinivasan ,  Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav , Ms Mayawati , Mr. Lalu Yadav ; the list is endless . These figures in their individual capacities have all the audacity to pee on our faces and still expect us to relish the muck. They are aware that credibility , integrity , accountability are only words that can at best rhyme . So they keep on rhyming the age old defense of being innocent and unaware of their misdeeds and keep wetting our pants with burdens and sufferings.

So an ordinary law abiding citizen answers the nature's call in a proper location if he is fortunate enough to afford , or else open toilets , streets corners , pavements , fields have ample capacity to absorb. Where as  the rich and the powerful , the thieves and the dacoits , the immoral and the corrupt hold it for a larger cause. They work on their endurance , their shamelessness and immorality  to pee at all of us at a later stage. The places of their undoing are public funds , common infrastructure , individual careers and future , food and shelter, national security and administration etc. which have double the capacity to absorb the wrongdoings. Such is the nature and  fabric of governance in India that being resilient is the only option; and praying that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will dig out 1000 tonnes of gold from a village in Unnao (Uttar Pradesh, India) , to end our woes.

How else can i put it more blatantly that our right to vote did not give 'Power to People' but instead gave our politicians the 'Power to Pee' !!                                                              
             


Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Best Career Advice

Friday, August 23, 2013

Words

To simply say what words are,
Words communicate meaning,
Acting as our minds' messengers,
A vent to thought and feeling;

But how immensely powerful,
Are these words that we use,
What a great impact they can have,
Is what makes me muse;

Words can fill a heart with joy,
Make it beat with love and life,
But evil, if they become, they can,
Hurt that heart like a knife;

Words
Words

Words can make a person's image,
But can tarnish it just as easily,
They make so transparent personalities,
That can be great or silly;

Words can cause a mob,
To be quiet or create an uproar,
They can influence the minds of masses,
And can make them happy or sore;

Words could be a ray of hope,
In the darkness of some sorrow,
They can give the courage and the dreams,
Of a new tomorrow;

Words can make or break ties,
They can bring people close,
Or let the bonds of affection tear off,
Like the petals of a withering rose;

How mighty are these words,
Possessing a great strength,
It is through them that today I could,
Write this poem at length!

Please note : This is a poem that was written by my friend years back when people used to keep diaries.As a tribute to creativity I decided to put this in my blog so as to share it with the rest of the world and preserve it better.

The Night Sky

The purple-crimson evening slowly faded out,
Darkness settled gradually,as I looked roundabout,
The night sky quietly enveloped the world,
Like a smooth,soft blanket around it was twirled!

The celestial bodies that shined and shimmered,
As though on black velvet,diamonds were scattered,
Secrets of their own, they seemed to hold,
Mysteries of the universe, they left untold!


The Night Sky
The Night Sky
The crescent moon looked to be smiling lazily,
It's silver beam cast like a glance so dreamily,
In it's ivory illuminance, tree leaves gently swayed,
Against the magnificent dark skyline,a dancing pattern they made!

I glanced up at the clear,night sky,
In its depths, fate and destiny seemed to lie,
A magical spell all over it had cast,
An enchanting vision,that felt forever would last!

With the first appearance of early dawn,
As silently as it came, the night sky was gone,
Yet,its lovely memory was carved in my mind,
A mark of its serene beauty,it had left behind!

Please note : This is a poem that was written by my friend years back when people used to keep diaries.As a tribute to creativity I decided to put this in my blog so as to share it with the rest of the world and preserve it better.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Letter to PM of India on Independence Day

Dear Prime Minister ,

I am caught in a conundrum whether to congratulate you on this Independence day or express dissent at your speech which you gave from Red Fort. For you i will leave the niceties behind but as a True Indian i will first wish my brothers and sisters an environment of freedom , fairness , equal opportunity , progress and happiness on this historic day of us getting independent.

When we were small kids we used to wait for this one special day of the year when the Prime Minister of India hoisted the tricolor and addressed the nation. The exuberance, the happiness ,the expectations stemmed from the fact that India was a developing nation then, it is still though, and the Government chief would paint a positive picture and give wings to our dreams. The news, the media was not so rampant and PM's single address to the entire nation carried so much weight that we children even felt so much proud being an Indian. The leader of the nation carried that unblemished image , the authority , the vision , the belief and the promise that the nation is safe in his hands.The reassurance that year after year we as a country are progressing well used to put sail in our morale and minds. The primary objective of that address was to inform , communicate, inspire and instill in the masses a sense of security and well being. 

That was couple of years back . When i heard you today the ethos , the soul , the message on this very important occasion was completely missing. I will not delve into each aspect of your speech but would like to ask questions on few important issues. I am assured by the fundamental rights of a citizen to ask questions that concern my nation's welfare , happiness and prosperity. 


Happy Independence Day
Happy Independence Day


The first and foremost of all is India's security and Foreign Policy vis-a-vis its neighbors or better say its enemies. The events of intrusion on our borders , firing and sabotage of our posts and land , killing of our soldiers and continued aggression is a mater of concern and national security. Every independent state has the right to protect its territory and shape up foreign policy that is conducive and helpful in maintaining its Sovereignty. The lapses and the incidents threatening our state has increased manifold and the response from your government is lukewarm and disheartening. Even today you did not find the national security an important topic to discuss with the nation. Don't we have a spine or willingness to respond back appropriately ??

Second issue that not only me but the entire nation is seeking an answer for, is Corruption . In your regime of last 10 years mammoth scams with staggering amounts have taken place be it 2G , Coal , Railway , Army Purchase and so on. The first response that  came from PMO's office was of denial but when the fact finding was done it was established that your office was a party to the decision making. How many committees and probing agencies will you set up to hide away from the wrongdoings of your ministers and aides. The damage has been  done with the India Shining story already killed but what is more painful is, there is no one in this entire country who is convicted . This show of shamelessness, haughtiness , invertebrate hollowness is being run for years now and no one has a conscience to provide us an answer. Were you not supposed to represent the ruling government and own up responsibility to assuage the citizens that you are on the side of the fairness and morality ?? Where has your self respect and the respect for the post of PM gone ??

The last one that i would like to bring to your notice is government's agenda to provide an opportunity to each citizen to prosper and progress. For how many more years will we keep listening to this cliched statement of ' Food , Cloth and Shelter ' for all ?? How many years will it take to alleviate India out of utter poverty that is eating away its citizens ?? When the country has nearly 1/3 rd of its population living under the below poverty line what do they understand of progress and growth?? Where is the vision of inclusive growth that was laid by our leaders who got us freedom ?? If you don't have answers to any of my questions then why are we being fooled to believe that elected governments are here to provide good governance. I need to know from you why has decision making , policy making and formulation , and governance vanished from your must to do activities.

Since i do not have access to you and seek answers in person, i am writing my thoughts in my blog. The most viable event that could have given me some comfort and reassurance was your address this morning. None of the issues that concern the nation and its citizen was considered important by your script writer to touch upon and logically you are not at mistake. All i wish is, i do not get to hear an insipid message like this that only weaves stoic silence around the issues that the entire nation wants to hear about.

Happy Independence Day !!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Present Day Fears

When one talks of his or her fears it may include the  loss of a loved one, loss of money and other materialistic possessions. These events bring  anxiety , turbulence, pain , self doubts and  age is not a factor for any such misadventure to occur .  The background and profile definitely is a parameter for the day to day challenges that are thrown upon all of us and the fear factor is directly proportional to one's position in life. The larger we have things at stake the bigger are our fears.
Every other day i have a conversation with my spouse as to what my fears are and can i strive to keep myself in control of life's situations and be unanimous through all thick and think.
My Fears in LIfe
Take fear head on

Since i work for a private set up my first fear is  loosing my job. One would wonder and aptly conclude that i may not be competitive enough to survive or not talented enough to contribute ; none of them is completely true or out rightly wrong. Education does provide an individual a base , a set of rules , some prudence to take informed decisions and progress well in career. What is still worth considering is the cycle of  'Education Refresh', our fathers and forefathers could live for decades with their common sense and wisdom but in today's world the pace of change outweighs one's capacity to adapt and learn. 
I have been witnessing an occurrence very occasionally where people at middle level management are getting jittery over employment and how cost cutting and economic turmoil is hitting homes hard. A similar segment is youth who are incurring hefty expenditure on college fees on an assumption that their salaries will cross a threshold level and they will break even soon. Again their worst fear is not meeting that benchmark, or missing it by a wide margin.

My entire scheme of things is solely based on my present saving potential and an optimistic projection of the future. What worries me most is a moment , an event that can hamper my chances of meeting ‘minimum operational expenses’ and support my growth plans. I have built a lifestyle that is simplistic and manageable , comforts that are at the brink of necessity and risks that are futuristic. Even with this matrix that is easy to understand i have concerns on its longevity in the long run. The basic reason is that the model heavily hinges on one single  individual who is susceptible to external factors and the constant called change.  
The second fear that i have is not being able to take a right decision at the right time, the cost of any such misadventure can push the cart of life southwards. While sitting for a review in office one of my senior colleague attributed failure in life to not being able to qualify opportunities and threats aptly. It is the honor of a hard working soul to do every thing possible within his limits to reinforce his intent and commitment to work. All of us would do the same and will unearth multiple reasons for failure before hitting a right one to succeed. This is the conventional approach and wise men differentiate themselves from the crowd here. Their ability to separate the chaff from the grain at an early stage saves them time and money and then success can't be far behind.  In my prayers everyday i ask the supreme lord to bestow me with intelligence , wisdom and foresight ; all of them are so very much precious.

The last fear that i carry is not being able to keep sound health to be able to  support  and contribute my ecosystem. Lifestyle related diseases are growing faster than any other parameter of  civilization. Stress, Hypertension , Obesity , Heart Diseases , Sleep disorders , Personality disorders and so many of them are being added to our list every other day. The important thing to note is, not only physical health but also the mind that is getting severely affected. The health of an individual and the entire society is cumulatively on decline.  The mind is at unease , the bodies are tiring and the disturbance is spilling on the roads in forms of rage , crime and incidents that are gruesome and not worth mentioning.  With the percentage of the young in our country i am not worried of our growth story but what unsettles me is an era of deterioration of human values and empathy. The overall health of the Indian society is bothering me , with the physical capacities decreasing and mental strengths following suit.  I work really hard to keep my fitness to the prime  but also want to engage with the thinkers to refresh and renew my mind's abilities.

I have simple plan of action to allay these fears and keep myself afloat in all this churn and chaos. First be honest and work exceptionally hard , second believe in my own abilities, learning and third live a disciplined and a healthy life. Life’s race is pretty long and the horse that runs the entire race will be a winner not the fastest one, i bet !!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Love Lost Found and Abound

Aisha sat by the balcony of her high rise, a place that she had bought with all her savings with the notion that her love was wisely invested. The sun was rising from the crevices of the concrete jungle and the sunbeams were harsh enough to light up her fatigued face and puffy eyes. Sleep had relinquished her beautiful eyes long ago.

‘You look beautiful in this pink night suit and they kissed.' That was on her 25th birthday three years back.

She often wore those pink pajamas as a celebration of her lost love or may be as a reminder of her undying faith and loyalty. Nothing mattered anymore except that it was an act of reassurance and belief that one day he will come back. Why had she agreed to let him go to the US to pursue his MBA?? Had he not promised that he will pick up job in India?? What they both did not know is Recession does not inquire if a person has a family to support or if he has left his love behind.

‘Abram!! We need to celebrate your win at the college fest with my favorite Irish coffee and Pancakes; I have invited self for tomorrow evening. Hope it suits your busy schedule’.

‘Aisha!! I would have loved to, but not with the bills paid by my father.’ His answer made her sad and equally proud; girls in adolescence have rosy dreams. The curt reply in college translated to a cold and unexplained behavior years later. Men take pride in their jobs, profiles and pay checks, love always trails behind. Move to US proved to be a wrong one as bad job market and huge education loan ruined all his plans. He turned silent and the long distance relationship was failing her expectations. 

The phone rang, the number was from a land line and she had no intent to pick it up.

Four more repeat calls and there was no option but to oblige.

‘I landed at New Delhi International Airport few minutes back,can you come and pick me ?.’

Disbelief, Skepticism, Surprise and Happiness all in equal measure, filled her eyes with big tears. She needed no reassurances, no compulsions to hysterically say ‘I am coming, wait for me Abram. Don’t leave, don’t go anywhere just remain fixed there. I am coming……I am….’.Tears choked her voice.

____________________________________________________________________________

The Perfect Road Trip
AmbiPur Blogging Contest

____________________________________________________________________________

She pulled away her Etios and made a quick exit from the Airport. To an onlooker it would seem this was another day and the couple had departed for a brief day or two, no histrionics or showdown for public display.

'Dad ! Why mom does not stay with us ? ' For many years in his mind, Abram often had animated conversations with his mother to figure out why ? Aisha had accepted the very fact that a child raised by a single parent would definitely have grievances with life. Beyond the customary pleasantries neither a question was asked nor a plausible explanation for his behavior was given.

Aisha kept on honking frequently to hide her nervousness and drove with serpentine curves to hit the exit road. Abram watched the crowded side walks and familiar sights of street vendors selling eatables; young boys and girls waiting at the bus stop; auto rickshaws scurrying for passengers; temples at the corners of the roads; multiple assortments of retail shops before hitting the expressway.

The interiors of the car were of beige color , their foot set on transparent foot mats , soft music filling the silence and a lovely fragrance that appealed to the senses came out of the vents. Abram had gifted her 'Lady Million' perfume by Paco Rabaane on their second date knowing Aisha had liking for good fragrances. Her choice of the car perfume too, resembled her personal taste.

They drove on the expressway passing high rise apartments that were huddled together ; giant malls with fancy signage's ; multiplexes playing latest flicks ; parks with fountains aiming for the sky ; metro rail running on the pillars. The day Aisha had taken delivery of her brand new, crimson colored Toyota Etios, they had driven across every road , every intersection of the town. Inside the four doors of their sedan the happiness was unlimited , the new found possession an entire world within.

When it became unbearable and the intensity of emotions swelled up Aisha broke down. She veered the car out of the driving lane,  hit a patch of grass and killed the engine. It was not possible to hold back her tears and feign aloofness ; Abram's eyes too became moist. Over the next couple of minutes Aisha fought with him and he listened silently without giving excuses for his failure to respond to her love. He held her in his arms , kissed her forehead softly and put a finger on her lips, her sobs making her body tremble.

'I brought back something for you from the US' , Abram produced a letter from the pocket of his jacket and a gift box . Not sure which one to choose first Aisha hesitantly opened the letter ; it was an appointment letter in the name of Abram for an Indian subsidiary of a multinational. The box changed her life forever , it was an engagement ring.

In few months from now Aisha will get married to Abram and little does she know that she will bear him two children in due course of time. Abram will head a Multinational and they will shift to a bigger house and lead a lavish lifestyle. Years later they both will think of this reunion and take delight in the 'Perfect Road Trip' that brought them closer forever.

This blog post is my entry for the AmbiPur Blogging contest being run on IndiBlogger. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Railway Tickets Through Mobile

Mobile Booking on IRCTC
Railway e-Ticket now on Mobile

Railway e-ticket now on mobile

  • IRCTC introduces for the first time a non-internet based ticketing system that will empower masses even in remote areas to use the omnipresent mobile device to make reservations.
  • Millions of rail travellers can now use their mobile phones to book tickets in a simple, convenient and secured manner.
  • It uses simple SMS or menu-based USSD technology which works on all mobile phones and involves no internet and costs very little.
  • The services can be currently availed by IRCTC registered users only.

Advantages of booking IRCTC tickets via mobile

  • No need to stand in long queues or log onto the internet.
  • Simple, reliable and secured.
  • Accessible to any mobile user.
  • Very little charges for accessing the service.
  • Works on all handsets.
  • Simple user guided menu - book tickets, search for stations, trains, availability.

1. USSD based booking through Airtel*

Registration

  • Register for Airtel money by dialing USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) number *400#.
  • Load cash on this or recharge from any Airtel money outlet.

Booking Flow

  • Dial *400# and select book tickets option.
  • Select Reservation.
  • Enter your IRCTC User ID.
  • Enter the details of ticket (station, train no. date of journey, class etc.).
  • Enter mPIN for authorizing payment through Airtel money.
  • Booking confirmation SMS is sent by IRCTC and same can be used during journey along with valid ID proof..
  • Fare & service charges are debited from your Airtel money account.
  • PG Charges: Currently NIL
  • Agent Service Charges: Currently NIL
  • Helpline No.: 121
  • Helpline Email : 121@airtelmoney.in

2. SMS based booking through 139*

Registration

  • Register your mobile number with IRCTC as well as with your bank.
  • Bank provides MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) & OTP (One Time Password) through IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) option.
  • More than 25 banks are providing IMPS facility. For generating MMID & OTP, visit website: http://www.npci.org.in/impsmerpay10.aspx.)

Booking Flow

  • Generate OTP through your Bank for authorization of payment.
SMS Based Booking Workflow
SMS based booking
  • Service is available to all mobile subscribers.
  • SMSes @ Rs 3/- per SMS (2 SMSes are required for each booking).
  • PG charges Rs 5/- for ticket amount = Rs 5000/- (as applicable by bank).
  • Agent Service Charges: NIL
  • Helpline No.: 139
  • Helpline Email : smsticket139@bharatbpo.in

3. SMS based booking through 5676714*

Registration

  • Register your mobile number with IRCTC as well as with m-wallet (http://www.zipcash.in/user/nlogin.aspx)
  • Send SMS, to 5676714, in the following syntax START for user authentication (first time only)

Booking Flow

SMS Based Booking Workflow
SMS based booking
  • After payment is made booking confirmation is sent to your mobile.
  • SMSes @ Rs 3/- per SMS (2 SMSes are required for each booking).
  • PG Charges: Currently NIL
  • Agent Service Charges: As applicable.
  • Helpline No. : 8882001001
  • Helpline Email : support@saarthii.com

4. SMS based booking through BSNL*

User should have the following:

  • 1. BSNL SIM card installed.
  • 2. Java enabled mobile phone.
  • 3. Andhra Bank Prepaid card.
  • This is a menu driven application where user has to enter the details asked for in simple step-by-step process to get the ticket.

Registration

  • Install the application.
  • Select the Register option to get the mPIN.

Booking

  • Click the icon BSNL Prepaid Card
  • Select Ticketing > Train (IRCTC)
  • Fill up the journey details such as From stn, To Stn, Train No, DOJ, Class, Quota, passenger details.
  • Enter the mPIN to get the ticket information.
  • SMSes: without charges.
  • PG Charges: Currently NIL
  • Agent Service Charges: As applicable.
  • Helpline No. : 040-39849644
  • Helpline Email : bsnl.support@pyrogroup.com
E-ticketing through IRCTC website, www.irctc.co.in, has revolutionized the way the common man deals with the railways and has been the biggest success story of e-governance in India. Taking this further, keeping an eye on growing mobile phone market in India, IRCTC now launched two other modes of ticket booking through SMS and USSD... and you don`t need an Internet connection in your mobile for this.So, next time you book a rail ticket, take out your mobile.* The services will not be available between 0800-1200 hrs. However, the ticket can still be booked using mobile through IRCTC main site www.irctc.co.in


I received this information in mail and thought of sharing it forward, it might be of some help.

Cheers !!

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Blog featured on 'Indian Top Blogs'

ea Time Talk - A Blog by Viveksheel showcased on Indian Top Blogs
www.indiantopblogs.com
A pleasant surprise this evening. Saw my blog featured on the Landing Page of Indian Top Blogs.

Please visit the http://www.indiantopblogs.com/

Cheers !!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to beat Global Recession ??

Are you looking for answers on "How to beat Global Recession " ??  Read my take and simple to do tasks to bring certainty and stability in your life.

Global Recession and its consequences
Global Recession and its consequences

Global Recession , Economic Turmoil , Political Instability and Changing world order are words the entire civilization is being exposed to, in some form or the other. There is a wave of uncertainty, fear and the unknown all telling on our day to day lives and if i drill down to the last element- " Our Careers" . Since the countries ,economies ,industries are in a bear hug so are our careers. It was uncommon for our fathers and forefathers to link back their labor with the output of the organisation they served, but not any more. A bad financial sector , stagnant real estate , fewer jobs and couple of sectors crumbling under recession can all join to tell you a story. If my product or services are not being sold they point out to the demand and supply imbalance and how interwoven each country's fate is and so of its citizen's. When we are able to link backward and forward the consequences of decisions in the past and can also foresee the future to some extent ,does it mean that we need to panic?? Should we base all our decisions on the present scenario ?? My simple answer is NO !!

The best career advice or mantra that i have learnt over the years is " See the Big Picture" . As they say in microeconomics,a long run curve is made up of couple of short run curves so is the case with our careers. A successful career is defined by achievements , laurels , contribution , individual satisfaction and pride over the long run. While we all put in our very best in day to day short runs, we should always remember that the yardstick of  measurement spans two to three decades of meaningful work. Today the times might be hard but that is when the mettle of people who are strong willed with steely nerves comes to fore. Yes employment , profession, job  are key factors for a stable life and happiness but what if the churn factors are already defined and one has to accept them as a precondition. Tough times do not last tough men do - An old saying but very apt in today's perspective. I have been debating with self as to what should be my course now ?? Where should i head for ?? What are my alternatives ?? What is the plan for the future ?? So many questions that i need to find an answer to before i can ride these short curves of stability and instability.

 If the entire sentiment is negative and there is an economic gloom staring at all of us what are we supposed to do ?? There are few choices that i have made and i will like to share with you all. Firstly i will not press the panic button and avoid passing the undue stress to my family. The stories of constant fear , retrenchment , job losses , bad debts or worst of all , no employment are everywhere. I will share peoples anxieties,show empathy and help people as much as i can. Secondly i will start believing in my capabilities more strongly and will unearth my hidden potential. I will open up to newer possibilities , newer thoughts and accept that change is the only thing that is constant in life. Thirdly i will up skill myself and will spend time adding more knowledge , more substance and more content to what i already know. Lastly the most important of all, i will manage my life and my family more efficiently by which i mean i will live a simple yet decent life. I will not indulge in irresponsible luxury, wastage of resources and will take austere measures. The issues of hunger , global warming , recession all are by products of greed and excesses. Penny saved is penny earned and being prudent with whatever  resources i have, is the need of the day.

To sum it up all, i would say is work hard , be honest to yourself, be optimistic,cheerful and  enjoy your work and life . Answer your doubts with resolutions, create activities for stagnant work , believe in your abilities , show care for people and be willing to take that extra pressure with a smiling face .

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