Posts Tagged 'india'

Commonwealth Games 2010 – Indian Pride and Some Home Truths

So, CWG begins today, right now as I write it.

Today we welcome it with optimism and jubilant spirit with hope it is successful. We had to bridge sea waves of emotions of outrage, disappointment and anger to arrive at this placid, equable point of view.

What were we angry at? Because the games WERE mismanaged by the organisers, hated not only at home, but also worldwide. This made some of the most ‘patriot’ of us to quickly to run and defend it. After all, how can we let our country put down by others. Mind you, we are an emerging Superpower, just like China that was praised for wonderful organisation.

But, I hate to break it to you, supporting CWG now that games have begun is one thing but nothing could have been more misguided than to rake in patriotism to jump to defend it few days back. For a millisecond forget what media, essentially foreign media, says. Let’s take a hard look at facts at home – consider this a sum up of all that you read past few days.

Continue reading ‘Commonwealth Games 2010 – Indian Pride and Some Home Truths’

Blog Action Day 2009: Environment and India

This post is part of Blog Action Day.

Every time we talk about environment, we tout and talk about Al Gore and his over-hyped documentary An Inconvenient Truth. What’s more, I have also mentioned him in my previous climate change posts. I thought it is time we recall some Indians who have done the  good work.

Here are my top 5, with a bonus thrown in.  8)

Continue reading ‘Blog Action Day 2009: Environment and India’

Angels of the Day

…are the auto-wallahs I met today.

Yes, you heard it right. 🙂

Truthfully, most harrowing thing that I have encountered in Pune has been its auto rickshaws.

Some days ago, I was actually stuck with an auto driver, who was taking me round and round the same place, asking directions to random people, taking random turns. I got very scared inwardly since I didn’t know my way to home either and it was about 9 already. I finally ordered him to stop, threw some bills (even though I was still within mile of my source point) and ran away.

Pune auto rickshaws have used every trick in the book to cheat me. They usually tell you incorrect fare, since meter shows only distance covered. Once, they used Bombay or some other place rate card (which had higher rates), lied to me that in the morning newspaper tariffs have been increased, had faulty meter that stopped in between and now they demand unreasonable price. Of course, I have deflected most of them barring once or twice, because I can easily calculate the fare correctly.

So today, when hurriedly paid some bills (usual fare) to the auto wallah and was rushing out to office, he stopped me to hand me some bills back. I gaped in confusion.

He was forty-ish bespectacled Muslim driver with hennaed hair and beard.

He explained, I had paid him more money. And I remembered then that I had flagged auto away from home so obviously it was less fare. Gingerly, I told him, no one ever takes less. He dismissed my observation with curt “Banta nahi to kyun lun.” Loosely meaning, if that is not the deserved cost, why should I take.

I was so touched by this gentleman’s gesture, I blessed him hundred times in my heart. For reinforcing my faith in people. And auto wallahas. 😀 God bless him!

Similarly, on my way back from the malls of my swine-flu city, where I had accompanied a friend to find a nice gift for her husband (What do you gift men, by the way, besides clothes, accessories, wallets, cologne?), I easily found an auto way back. By meter. It is a minor miracle since I live in bit far-end of city; and auto rickshaws refuse to ply at times.

Next time I complain about auto rickshaws, remind me of this post. By the way, is there anything we can do when autowallahs refuse to ply and overcharge? 8)

Swine Flu Diary

I sneezed.

Immediately I checked if my nails were blue and that if I could breathe properly. Now I definitely wasn’t getting fresh air. I was standing in queue at a closeted billing counter of a departmental store. It was definitely hard to breathe fresh air there.

Other than me, everyone wore masks both inside and outside the mall.  Why not, I am in swine flu capital, Pune. I have to check my symptoms at every sneeze or cough, to be sure.

I do carry a scarf these days to cover my mouth like a bandida, but it’s a suffocating feeling.

Interestingly, Pune girls, even before we had heard of swine flu, have been tying headscarves (instead of helmets) while driving as protection against pollution. Their headscarves are unique in that cover their entire face and head except eyes.

Pune Girls Wearing Headscarves

Pune Girls Wearing Headscarves - Pic courtesy Eric Parker's Photo stream

A new Police Commissioner tried to ban headscarves in vain, amidst the hue and cry of Pune girls. So, owing to use of these headscarves I think, Pune girls at least are safe from air-borne swine flu contamination. 🙂

Continue reading ‘Swine Flu Diary’

Freedom of Expression and Amendments to CrPC

Now don't forget Article 19 (2) either.

Now don't forget Article 19 (2) either.

19-year-old IT student, D. Ajit from Kerala, has been slapped with a criminal case for initiating an Orkut community criticising  Shiv Sena, for its “moral policing.” The case was registered after complaint by a Shiv Sena official by Thane police in 2008.

Continue reading ‘Freedom of Expression and Amendments to CrPC’

Anti-Moral Policing Protest in Delhi

The Stand Up to Moral Policing protest in Delhi was worth a visit. 🙂 Well, I was not a visiter, I travelled half the Delhi (not to mention sacrificing my morning sleep on weekend :P) to be there to protest against moral policing. And I was not alone. There were others who too had traversed the whole length of the city on the Valentine day’s eve for the same cause. 😀

Continue reading ‘Anti-Moral Policing Protest in Delhi’

Blog Action

After my preious post that blogging is not only about ranting, I found two action-able points.

Thanks to our media, we are all warned about Manglore-incident-accused Ram Sena Chief Muthalik’s endeavor on 14th February. Good thing is bloggers in Delhi are meeting this Sunday, 8th February to protest. Here’s where you can find the details: Stand Up to Moral Policing

This protest is not because we want to uphold love-is-in-the-air sentiment of Valentine’s day but because it is our right to mix with opposite gender. Its about standing up against any regressive moral policing.

Continue reading ‘Blog Action’

Book Review: The White Tiger

adiga

aravind_adiga

Finally, I read this book. The book was interesting to read. First the interesting background story of the book:

This book’s author Aravind Adiga was very much in news before the book came out for receiving the one-of-the-highest-advances- Indian-authors-have ever-received-for- a-book in an auction at London Book Fair. $30, 000 USD (14lakhs). Remember advance is the not the total money an author makes, its amount of money that is given to cover the time it will take the writer to write the book. And then when the book got published, it would not sell, pubishers were worried. Situation, of course, changed when The White Tiger was awarded  Man Booker Prize. Book sales soared. Then Adiga, dropped another newsy bomb, by firing his agent who had got him a big fat advance.

Continue reading ‘Book Review: The White Tiger’

Blog Action Day: Poverty, Health and Population

I could not miss writing post on this day even with self-inflicted busi-ness. Blog Action Day has a good cause (never mind if you think it is community building promotion gimmick). I was reminded about it gently way beforehand. I care, and I had written a blog action day poslast year as well.

This year the subject is poverty. Google helpfully offered me keywords: Poverty in India and Poverty in Africa.

Continue reading ‘Blog Action Day: Poverty, Health and Population’

Olympics: History, Facts and News (Updated)

Now that Beijing Olympics is going to start today on August 8, media is rushing to let you know about many Olympics facts. Some of them were new to me, some I was contemplating from a new perspective. by the way, did you notice todays’s date: 08-08-08. 🙂

It surprised me to know men feigned as women in Olympics because they thought it was easier to gain medals in female competitions. So to be sure that only females were participating, female athletes were paraded in nude before a panel of doctors. Now the lab has come up with a test that all female athletes have to take to prove their gender. 😦 Indian athlete Santhi Soundarajan was stripped of her silver medal at the Asian Games, two years ago, after failing a verification test. You can read more about this sex-verification stuff at this NY Times article.

Yuu can know 10 facts about ancient Olympics. They all played in nude then! Only prudes were known to cover their organs. 😦 It was Romans who banned Ancient Olympics as they believe it to be a pagan activity.

I read a nice article in Outlook, that listed all the laurels Indian had got in past in Olympics. It was hockey that harvested most golds for India in Olympics. Even after a movie like Chak De, its has been hard to revive Indian Hockey. We just saw suspension of hockey federation by Indian Olympic Association.

It was an anglo-Indian Norman Pritchard who bagged silver medals for India in 1900 Olymics. But Britishers insisted that medal were theirs, though IOA credits these medals to India. Norman Pritchard went on to act in Hollywood and Broadway.

Continue reading ‘Olympics: History, Facts and News (Updated)’


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