Archive for December, 2007

December 24: National Consumer Rights Day!

December 24 is National Consumer Rights Day in India!

jaago grahak jaago logo

Here are three guru-mantra rules for consumers.

1. Never pay more than M.R.P. MRP stands for Maximum retail price, so always bargain on MRP.

2. Always take bills for your purchase. That means government is getting the rightful tax from the shopkeeper. Also, it is a must for redressal or claims.

3. Remember that as a consumer, you always have right to redressal.

Here is Nita’s wonderful post about how to avoid being cheated while shopping. You will soon read an interview of another consumer rights champion on Visceral Observations.

Merry Christmas

Meanwhile, may you have a Merry Christmas today! 🙂

Here is animated wish from an e-learning company called Enspire. Keep your speakers on and enjoy!

May Santa fulfil your wishes today! 🙂

10 Reasons Why My India is Regressive


1. Corruption: India is 83rd on world corruption index as per Transparency Index. Most bureaucrats and politicians in the country are corrupt. There is no honesty in corruption as well. In India, bribing also does not ensure that your work will be done or not. So most entrepreneurs prefer to bribe outside of India to set up an industry. 🙂

Some days back, Hindustan Times broke a story that most Indians knew in their heart. There was misuse of Red Cross funds meant for Kargil soldiers by IAS officers. We all know how various unscrupulous individuals and groups duped millions of people by asking money in name of Kargil. But the money never reached those for whom it was meant. 😦

2. Insensitivity to Environment Hazards: India has not yet woken up to the importance of conserving environment and energy.

  • We still use bulbs in place of CFLs. It is not even apparent what could be other reasons of not using CFL other than cost? Do we get poor quality of CFLs in our country?
  • People who take care of India’s recycling are poorest of the poor – ragpickers. Their effort is largely unrecognized. We should also not have manual scavengers work in such unprotected conditions.
  • Asbestos is banned in US and EU because it is carcinogenic and also an environment hazard. But as per Outlook magazine, current Indian government is considering to revoke 20-year-old ban on asbestos mining. Forget environment, what about all those workers who would suffer from lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, a painful cancer of chest wall lining. Doesn’t this government care for its people?

Continue reading ’10 Reasons Why My India is Regressive’

Gurgaon School Murder: Insensitive Media and Law Enforcement

I was not planning to blog as I was busy. But I could not do without expressing my feelings. I am enraged.

CNN-IBN: Gurgaon killing A hot news now in India, especially Delhi, is the murder of a class 8 student by his classmates in school premises. People are discussing every aspect of this sordid story in detail. School is to be blamed. Parents absconding. Must be bad parents. Where did the guys get revolver? Juvenile murderers are unrepentant. Blah! Blah! Blah! Did anyone notice that something was amiss? It caught my attention in the morning when a colleague was showing this news piece from yesterday’s newspaper to other colleague. Nothing wrong with it. But she said, “See they killed a Tyagi!” (The other colleague happens to be a Tyagi.) So did you figure out what’s wrong?

Hell, why did the police and the new channels have to name the accused kids? Why did they publicise every bit of information about them and their school identity cards was broadcast on the television? However heinous the crime, we have to concede that they are yet in teens, not adults? Why are we marking them as criminals for whole life? We are robbing them of a chance to make a decent living.

A search in news paper web sites also informs me that naming the juvenile offender in public was illegal according to Juvenile Justice Act, Article 21, Chapter 2:

No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or visual media of any inquiry regarding a juvenile in conflict with law under this Act shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile, nor shall any picture of any such juvenile be published.

What do you have to say about this?

Another news

Before finishing this post, there is another news I want to share that you might dismiss as frivolous. However, it means a lot to some. Jodie Foster has finally come out in public and admitted she is a lesbian. The gay community is delighted at being her being open about her sexuality.

7-12-2007: News That Caught My Attention Today

Following three pieces of news caught my attention today:

Female Bartender1. Supreme court allowed Women to work as bartenders: We got rid of one of the archaic laws today. Supreme Court observed that to not to allow women as bartenders was unconstitutional. Of course, it was gender-based bias. The court also emphasised that the hotel or restaurant needs to ensure safe working conditions for female bartenders. Now even a 21-year-old can be bartender. 🙂

                          Image Source: Sarina Bains/Tufts Daily

2. Lead India Show Live on TV: The eight Lead India finalists I wrote about in a previous post will now fight it out on TV on Star One. The host of the show is Anupam Kher. Watch first episode tomorrow at 8.

3. Global Warming is destroying nature: Several species are dying out (extinct) gue to climate change. 3,000 flying foxes dropped dead. Giant squid migrated north to commercial fishing grounds off California. Butterflies have gone extinct in the Alps. Most plants and animals were affected in Bali. Habitats of polar nears and penguins are melting away. Coral reefs and microscopic plankton that blue whales and other marine mammals eat for food are also dying due to acidic ocean water.

Fortnightly Update: Blog Posts From My Other Blogs

A discussion in comments thread in Ashish’s blog set me thinking that I am not posting best of my content here on Visceral Observations since two months. I decided to post an update about my current blogging subjects.

Go ahead and feel free to give me feedback on my blog posts and interviews. If there are any tips for managing several active blogs they are welcome: 🙂

Its A Free World

  • Abuse Aware!

    (Letting out a long and deep breath !!) I just saw this Web site called AbuseAware. It is a Web site dedicated to sensitive about the abuse related issues. This site also promotes a book related to the subject called Living With The Enemy. Home page of this Web site has some really poignant pictures…

  • No Gender-based Violence, Please!

    November 25 is International Day for Elimination of Violence against women. This day is observed to mark the public awareness about the issue by UN agencies and NGOs worldwide. Here is a UN initiative against International violence: A web site for A Life Free from Violence: It’s our right. Sadly…

  • Child Abuse Prevention Day

    Today is child abuse prevention day! According to a World Health Organization study, one in every four girls and one in every seven boys are victims of sexual abuse. Scary, isn’t it? But there is more.

  • Hail Our Ragpickers, Save Them!

    Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are 3 Rs for energy conservation and environment. After emphasizing so much on reducing, reusing, and recycling in my last few posts at Visceral Observations, I decided to take a stock of recycling scenario in India. I am shocked!US and UK have active recycling centers,…

  • Fight Breast Cancer!

    October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink ribbon is the International symbol of breast cancer prevention.Breast cancer is the second most prominent cancer that assails Indian women. Urban Indian women are said to be more susceptible to breast cancer than rural women. A woman with family…

Jai Hind: Proud to be an Indian

  • World AIDS Day in India

    Today is World AIDS Day!Brief History World AIDS Day was established by WHO in 1988. This day provides governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals with an opportunity to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic. Red ribbon…

Here are the recent interviews I conducted for Being A Blogger:

  • My blog has made me a better person. – Ashish, blogger and student

    Today’s guest on BaB is Ashish. This 18-year old started his blog when he was 16! He is also the guy who created the first version of BaB logo (yes, it is evolving). Now, before you accuse us, BaB team, of committing child labour, let me assure you it was both voluntary […] Ashish lists his favorite blog themes and other tips for active blogging. 😛

  • I learn to be grateful reading my blog archives. – Melani, blogger from Indonesia

    Today our guest on BaB is a pretty lady from Indonesia, who blogs a daily diary on her blog Pretty in the City. Hi Melani, Welcome to Being A Blogger!Tell us about yourself. What made you choose this name for your blog, Pretty in the city?My name is Melani Sastrawidjaja. I am based in Jakarta […] You can have tips from Melani to edit her pictures.

  • Use Your Blog as a Personal Branding Tool. – Vinaya, business consultant and blogger

    Today’s guest on BaB is Vinaya. His blog has a unique name, Geo 12.97° N 77.56° E, a great objective and a dedicated readership. Some of them have stuck with him since he started his blog 3 years ago. Apart from his strong reader base from subscriptions, Vinaya says, his blog has 10,000+ page… Vinaya speaks how his blog has helped him in his MBA selection and found him jobs.

8 Random Facts About Me

Ruhi tagged me to write 8 random facts about me:

1. I am a wannabe movie director. Secretly, I desire to make it big there. 🙂 My kind of movies are Kabul Express, Bheja Fry, Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti, Forrest Gump. (Feel free to criticize them) 😛

I also have a post graduate degree in mass communication and journalism. I gave up an offer of working in a leading Indian TV channel due to nightly work hours. I try to feed journalist in me by writing about issues I would have as a journalist. I love my work as an Instruction Designer. I bet most Indians do not know what it is. We primarily work for clients abroad. Google the term or write a comment, me gonna help you understand. 🙂

2. I realized, recently, that I can be very rude when it comes to it. My Dad and one of my friends are two people capable of bringing out the worst in me. 😦 One person I feel instantly guilty after being angry with is my sister. She is so lovable.

3. I love my company, I like being alone. Yet I cannot shop alone. I need someone with me to guide me through: to tell me how a dress looks or to give me more shopping ideas that I can use.

4. I am a coward on inside. I discovered this, years ago, while playing a computer game. In the game, you have to break the walls, using bombs, to navigate . At each level, there are worms you have to combat. I would always take “flight” approach instead of “fight.” Once I realized this inwardly, I went on to bomb all the worms and cleared all the levels with top scores.

Trekking In real life, I consciously push myself to do all difficult things that excite me. I jumped from a high cliff into deep Ganges, climbed rocks (rappling) and rafted across Ganges. You would say, no big deal. But it was a big deal, if you looked at my group of friends who spent at least 15 minutes on cliff top to decide if they should jump. I was scared too, but did not brood much. To the surprise of my friends, I went up and asked them to make space for me to jump. My friend looked up in surprised and asked, “you sure?” In his words, before he could turn back and see, I had jumped! 🙂 That was how cliff-jumping kick-started for others. Though one of the friends hurt herself (not very seriously) as she landed improperly in the water.

But I am still scared of childbirths, stitches, fractures, and surgeries. I have Angst-o-phobia.

5. I have never cooked before in my life-except some occasional rice or chapatis. These days, because my grandparents are away, I am staying alone. I have cooked several Indian dishes like paneer, rajma, chane. Sometimes they taste real good, and sometimes there is some mistake. Like too much oil in paneer, one time forgot that chana was still boiling. They burnt at the bottom. 😦

I am throughly enjoying my cooking experience. There is creativity involved in cooking as well. Yet I think, when I start my family, and if I cook everyday for my whole brood after work, I may have to sacrifice my other interests as reading, writing, movies. Uh, I don’t want to sacrifice these, I need to find a balance later when it comes to it.

6. I used to have photographic memory at school. I just had to see something once, I would remember it forever. Perhaps that is why I academically excelled all through school without slogging a bit. But now I have poorest working memory. I hardly remember anything. Several ideas that I think I can blog or write about get lost everyday due to my forgetfulness. I can never state my daily diary. Yet I remember some things that happened long back. I am yet to figure out for myself how my memory works currently. Sometimes, extent of my forgetfulness scares me. Could it be more?

7. I am perhaps the most choosy in the world when it comes to food. The list of what I do not eat is too long. I am a vegetarian, I do not even eat onion and garlic. That rules out any Chinese, Thai or Japanese cuisine I may want to eat.

I am not even Coke or Pepsi fan. I drink them very rarely. There are very few sweets I eat. But I love spicy junk food like Tikki, alloo chat, alloo kabli (a dish with spiced up boiled potatoes found in Bengal) or bhelpuri.

8. I feel I am the most misunderstood person on this earth. 90% of the people in my life may not have the accurate perception of me. I do not blame them. I react and deal with different people differently. For one I am very introvert, for other I am like granny, I am very bossy for other, I am quarrelsome, I am softie. I think I don’t know myself. I just react by the instinct. Some believe I am very wise, some think I am lethargic (and they are right 🙂 ).

I have to figure out for myself, which of them is essentially me.

I tag Dinsan, ManofRoma, Amit, Pradeep and Melani for this meme in case they want to. 🙂 Anyone else who wants to do this meme is welcome.

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Visceral Observations is written by Poonam Sharma. It is licensed to her under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License
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December 2007