Category Archives: social

Benefits of being a government employee in India !

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As petrol prices in India have been deregulated, they keep climbing towards upwards direction more often than not. But unfortunately our salary remain fix for whole year. To fight the effect of  price rise of petrol, we have to be innovative all the time. We have to keep inventing new ways to set our monthly expenses at minimum level. One of those two methods that I found very effective was to get CNG-KIT fitted in our car. It was a one time investment which would recover it’s cost in just 4-5 month considering the amount of travel I have to do in a month. With CNG the cost of fuel per kilometer come at a drastic low level of 1.6 Rs/Km, which is around 5 Rs/Km with petrol. Second solution was to POOL my car. I advertised on many car-pooling website and got many response. Of all those, I finalized one lady who resides in close proximity in my neighborhood and her office is just 4 km apart from mine ;).

Having pooled my car and using an alternative cheap and green fuel solved at least a major part of my worries about petrol prices. Now I can drive as long as I want without worrying about the tantrums of oil rich countries. (But I suspect they can affect the price of CNG also-My worst fear )

The lady who pooled my car has returned from USA and is in government Job. Her husband is still there in states. She has come here to raise her children here in India. Her reasons for shifting here from USA were-

* She thinks that school education in USA is not good and that she wanted her children to have schooling in India.

* She don’t want to sacrifice her government job. Yes she was on a five year leave from duty.

Both reasons were interesting for me. I never thought that school education of India was better than US. Not that I don’t find it good enough.I do, but I also think same for other western countries specially USA, considering the level of higher education in that country from what is reported in media and education circles.

I was even more surprised to know that we can take 5 years leave from government office. When her husband got a job in US, she had just joined her job and then she had to move there. And now when her leave period was going to be ended, she returned to India and joined the job. What she is ignoring perhaps is the side-effect of this transition on her children. She has two babies, one a 9 year girl and second a 2 year boy. Girl child, though has retained Indian accent as she was four when she shifted to US, speaks very fluent English and also has a strong reluctance to speak her mother tongue, in this case Bengali, or other major Indian languages like Hindi, because she think she can be mocked by her friends in school. So she think its better not to speak it at all. But if she continues to behave like this, she would become more of an ‘attraction’ rather than a ‘talent’. She has been made class-head and is appointed to teach English to other students. Inability to speak any other Indian language may hamper her social and professional life as Hindi is defacto National language of India and its impossible to survive in north India without being able to speak Hindi.

The baby boy has got American accent as he was born there and only speaks English as of now. I think it would be very difficult for him to shed that. Transition from one culture and society to another is easy for adults but it confuses children very much. Though its useful to encourage your children to speak English, as this is de-facto official language of the world, but at the same time we must make sure that our children must be taught where they belong so that the effect of transition is handled better by them.

Lets back to government office issue and give me freedom to ask one question from who are reading this post-

Can we avail five years leave in a government organization in other countries also ? 

OK, I could worry less about that because I am more interested in that I got someone who would share some part of the money spent on CNG for my car.  🙂

Clean India, Green India !

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Start of a New Era errrrr just a Year ;)

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Living in Delhi/NCR have some advantages, as this is the capital of India so there is no dearth of places where you can party like a king. Delhi has worst reputation among all metros as far as the safety of women is concerned. This is statistical fact but we better don’t apply it at all places and all time in the city, so its a bit exaggerated. People having a rare or no link with this part of the country make perception based on heavily sensational material available on news channel. They(news-wallah) telecast such unfortunate incidents at-least a million times so that even a rare incident looks like the culture and  ritual of the city, which can scar the hell outta any sane and normal person.

But when you actually go out in the city, all the bad reputation which this city has earned disappear in the fumes of positive vibes which you feel all around, only if you are wise and receptive. I have traveled in many countries in the India and world and I can say without a hesitation that no city is as lively as Delhi. It has an unmatched charisma and that is why it was the darling of  many rulers of India, native or foreign. Whenever I ask the girls in my circle of relative/friends/colleagues if they feel unsafe in the city or would like to shift to another city in India then most of them answer in negative. They say, though they are concerned about the negative image of the Delhi, but the love for this city is too strong to leave it. They are not frog-of-well types but the ones who are well-traveled. So I can justifiably say that fearful rejection of this joyous and beautiful city by nerdy statisticians is just another case of generalization gone awfully wrong.

Hotel Entrance

I am not a party guy in the way that I don’t feel like going to a pub/club( damn, I don’t even know the difference between two) every weekend. I like to have a private life with my family. I don’t even like attention, good or bad. In fact after driving around the city in a car heated by blower only to see poor children shivering in a near-zero temperature on traffic signals, I don’t have moral arrogance to over-power my guilt and kindness. But few days are meant to be selfish.

Pool Area

That was one of those rare days when I went to a five star hotel in the city to celebrate new year. The party was at Nyx, The Royal Plaza. The location was in Lutyen’s Delhi. In front, behind, adjacent to the location of hotel were either other luxury hotels like Le Meridian and Shangri-La, or banglows of some political bigwigs. It felt like a different world. A very artificial one. And pretending also. After some usual security screening and courtesy welcome, we headed straight to the venue, Nyx. OB vans of some news channels were stationed in the premises of the Hotel and I knew it was going to be a rocking party. We were the first  one to reach at the entrance of the club. As there was some talk of blockade of all roads leading to Cannaught Place by police after 8:00 pm, so I rushed early to the place.

Hotel lobby

The club was decorated with a blue theme. Lights, carpets, paintings, dresses of dancers( Belly dancers from Turkey ) were all blue, as you can see in the pics. As we reached much before the action would start at 10:00 pm, we were there even before it was 9:00 pm, so we thought it better to explore the other sections of hotel like lobby, adjacent bar and the area around pool.

Way to NYX

I got to know from the staff that there were actually four parties to be held at different location in the hotel and ours was most expensive and grand, (I know she was telling this to every guest 😉 ). Almost half of the visitors were foreigners. Most of them, specially girls, were dressed impeccably, sharp and to the occasion. Some white guys, for the reason only God knows, were there in casual pyjamas and t-shirts with a water bottle in hand and chappals in their feet. I don’t know what these guys were up to. They must be the resident guest of the hotels. Anyway after roaming for some time in the hotel purposelessly, we went finally to the Nyx, lounge bar. To no surprise of ours still we were the first to reach there. Only some staff persons were there arranging for the grand party to follow.

People kept coming, usually couples, and going because there was nothing to do there other than having some drinks. Then came the round of snacks and people became busy as Delhites are so fond of food. As I am vegetarian, most of the stuff was out of my scope and interest. Then I contacted a staff and asked if the cuisine was specifically designed for non-vegtarians, he replied in negative and left after promising me some vegetarian stuff. Never to appear again. After some time I contacted another one. Same scenario. He also disappeared. Same thing happened for two other staff. Then I surrendered, and without concerning the staff  again, compromised with sipping the vodka mixed with Limca. Well, this was not how it was going to end. After some time I had all those waiters coming to me with vegetarians snacks like samosa, cutlet and spring rolls all together. I was surprised. It was a scene in itself with all other people looking at us as if we were some VVIPs. Thanks to being guest of a five star hotel. 🙂

Belly Dancer

At around 10:45, the activities around the dance floor started increasing. People were waiting for who was going to be first one to invade dance floor. A middle age woman took the lead and stepped on what was still a no-man’s land. Other people would follow. Now it was looking like a party. My wife started pulling me towards floor but , as I forgot to bring my cigarette, I was keen on buying the cigarette from lobby downstairs. It was a brief and usual confrontation. After buying the pack of cigarette, and went straight to her, hold her hand and took her to dance floor to spice up the dance floor till last light is dimmed.

We danced, danced and danced without being concerned of what was happening around us. It was only when I went to have a smoke I realized guys from a renowned news channel were actually telecasting all the action dance floor live on TV. It was new for me. Then we were told to vacate the dance floor for five minutes as the belly dancer would entertain us. She danced on ‘Senorita’ , a song from Bollywood movie “Zindagi na Milegi Dobara”. It was a brief and ok performance. Some girls and guys also danced with her and they she left.

Jasmine Restaurant

At sharp 12:00 pm, the fireworks from the lawn surrounding the swimming pool started. It went on for around 30 minutes. That was another spectacle of night which reminded our self of Diwali. After the fireworks, we again went to the dance floor and danced for 15 minutes. We wanted to be there whole night. At around 1:00 am we went for the dinner. It was the worst dinner I had in A five star hotel. There was actually nothing for vegetarians, and I am sure it was no better for non-vegetarians also. I had to adjust with Nan and Dal Makhani. Yes deserts had more varieties and I loved Kulfi and Gajar ka Halwa.

While in the lobby, on our way to the parking, one member from the crew of one news channel complimented us and said that you people enjoyed the most. That was icing on the cake. An appreciation no matter how small always makes you happy.

Seeing our self on TV dancing like “rock-stars” made our weekend and NYE celebration a memorable one.

A very happy and prosperous  new year to all of you.

‘Chaat’ in ‘Walmart’ !

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There is a ‘Chaat’ vendor here in Gr Noida.(‘Chaat’ is Hindi word for ‘assorted snacks’).He makes great Golgappas( ‘Puchaka’ in Bengali , ‘Pani-Puri’ in Marathi) , an Indian snack made up of wheat ,  which looks like a tennis ball , and is then filled up with mashed potato , peas and spicy water.

Yesterday , he was sad.I asked him.What happened”.He told me that “Authority people have ordered  him not to bring his stall and sell ‘Chaat’ or they will take away or destroy his stall.I asked , why ? “Because I don’t have the license to sell it” , he replied.License ? for selling snacks ? I was surprised.

Indian actors SRK and Anushka Sharma eating Golgappas in the movie 'Rab ne Bana di Jodi'

I would like to throw some light on the description of Gr Noida as a city which is unlike  any other typical Indian city.The infrastructure is new , stable and modern and surroundings are clean and green.It has biggest Golf-Course in Asia and has a brand new F-1 circuit to its disposal.It can be used as a model for integration of Industrial , Institutional and Residential areas in any city.It’s economy is dependent on Industry , Education , Real-Estate and its residents most of which are students and working class people.Though Infrastructure is world-class and would match any city of North America/Europe.But there are many gaps to be filled in local transportation with in the city.You just have to have your own car if you want to travel with in the city , with some some exception where autos are available.

A street in Gr Noida , UP , India

Sometimes the look of the city is so deserted that I feel as if I am in some American/Australian town.Its always a luxury to find some road-side vendors who sell things of daily use like vegetable , snacks and fruits at reasonable prices.I feel that most residents of city appreciate it and make best use of the opportunity provided to them.I always thought that planning of a city should always keep the welfare of its residents in mind.

But the attitude and mindset of authorities , who have the responsibility to make the city work ,  seems totally different.Here , a poor ‘Chaat -Vendor’ is earning his livelihood with hard work and serving people with good procuts and services at a reasonable prices.Then what is the problem ? Encroachment ? NO ! Because in such a deserted and open place where its difficult to find even a dog on streets after dark , encroachment doesn’t even seem a distant possibility.On a crowded Indian city , where illegal vendors disrupt the traffic , the argument of encroachment would have been valid.But  here we are talking about a city which is vast , open , clean and green and I don’t think it would be spoiled by the only vendor in an area of 2 kilometers.

The attitude and rules of Authority people smells of classicism .There is no place for poor people.If residents don’t have any objection to the presence of a vendors then why should administration authorities intervene ?Ok charge them some amount for using the public place.But then public places are are made on money of public and when public don’t have any problem why do they become overenthusiastic in dealing with a poor vendor.Just because some rules made under British India to harass Indians are still in operation.The only difference is that this time rulers are also Indians but certainly of different economic political class where , ironically , poorest minister is also a millionaire.

Its irks me to thinks that on one hand domestic vendors are not allowed to earn their livelihood with hard work , and on other hand our ‘Democratic’ government is opening the market for international biggies like Walmart and Tesco by allowing FDI in retail sector.Why this magnanimous gesture ? Further to note is that the model of ‘Farm-to-Stores’ has been fighting stiff resistance from local groceries all over the world.And here our government wants to implement this failed idea decades after it started in western world.

Time has come in India to completely change the system and the thought process working behind it.We have set new goals which resonates with the aspiration and expectation of young Indians of all class and caste.

I certainly don’t want a fake democracy where a poor man don’t have the permission to earn his livelihood.And still government say that we want to remove the ‘Poverty and “Un-Employment”.

The time has come to quote a Punjabi dialogue from a recent Hindi Movie in LOUD –

Saada Haq , Aithe Rakh ! 

Diwali !

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There is no day (or should I say night) which looks bright , sparkling , pious , tranquil, beautiful , joyous , colorful ,  and also noisy more than Diwali.For those who are not familiar with Diwali , it is an Indian festival celebrated mostly in the northern ,and western part of India.The festival  is actually a part of month long celebrations for the victory of  Lord Rama , King of Ayodhya over Ravana , King of Lanka.Diwali coincides with the return of Lord Rama to his home city Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.On his arrival , it is believed , general public of Ayodhya lighted Diya (small pots made from soil) with Desi Ghee (Indian form of  butter) all over the city.Since then this tradition is followed and celebrated as Diwali or Deepawali.

This Diwali was my first after my marriage and very eventful.We went to buy some fire-crackers in the market , and surprisingly we found none.Nobody had an idea where we could actually get some.Consistent inquiries made to relatives and friends yielded us the answer of that question.That civic authorities has designated a big and open space for selling/buying of fire-crackers and this was the same place where Ramlila(Desi stage version of Ramayan , a Hindu Epic) took place.

That was when problem on the eve of Diwali started.Our Car wouldn’t start.We thought it to be the problem of low quantity of fuel.We did poured in 7 liters in it.Tried again.It would still not start.Then I sent my BH and sister to home by auto and called my friend.He called many car mechanics who gave tips but none worked.It was now 11:30 in the night and there was no mechanic (most have gone to their hone-town , because of Eid) and no improvement in the health of car.My mind was going to be blasted.It was a hopeless situation.

Then we saw some nice guys standing out the gate of their house.We asked them if they knew any mechanic.The cellphones started to ring well and then we were told the earliest we can have a mechanic was only in the morning.We couldn’t have waited for the morning.Also we couldn’t take the car to our home as no tow-away service was available there.We then requested the guys if we could keep my car in their empty garage.They readily agreed.We didn’t know these guys but then we didn’t have any other options.On the next morning we did go there with a mechanic and he solved the problem.Actually the switch of CNG was faulty.Damn !

Lets come to the Diwali again.It was one the few Diwali when i happened to be out of my native town in Up.But this was one of the best Diwali.Not because it was my first after marriage but because of the rangolis , food and sweets made by my wife.I fired crackers after a couple of years.So it was fun.But I was missing my parents and youngest brother , who were there in our native town.

Here are some glimpse from the celebration-

Lovely Rangoli made by my Lovely BH , can you see the 3D effect ?

I did know that my BH could make some paintings but I never thought she is able to make such an amazing piece of art.I was thrilled to see the 3D effect in the same.That was unintentional but a magical effects.

I never thought these Rangolis can be so beautiful and that I could also be so creative(The Idea of putting Diyas on round sopts was mine 😉 )

And here comes THE ARTIST , THE CREATOR !

I hope every Diwali of every person in this world is like this , colorful , joyous, bright and beautiful.

Attack the ‘Idea’ not the ‘Person’ !

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There was very interesting and engaging discussion on fellow blogger Sharell’s Blog .It sound so noble and nice not to attack a ‘person’ but his ‘Ideas’.Just like what Hindu Scriptures , Gautam Buddha , Jesus Christ and later Mahatma Gandhi taught us that ‘Hate the Sin , not the Sinner’.This idea is as much difficult to follow practically as much easy it is to preach theoretically.

How are you going to deal with a person who is acting violently and could harm you?. How would you save yourself from his ‘Idea’ of  violence and contain him.That makes it a very complex issue.There were some strong opinions of the  view that it (‘Sin and Sinner’ thing) was  ‘essentially’ a western Idea which may have originated from the teaching of Jesus Christ.I wouldn’t go in the credibility of that claim as it is not something I am keen to discuss.Wherever and whenever this idea  have generated  but my objective is to explore its practicality and application in real life.

Try telling a lady , who has been exploited , to separate the  idea of ‘Exploitation’  from the ‘Exploiter’ and see her frustration.

Try telling a man , who has been robbed , to separate the idea of ‘Robbing’ from the ‘Robber’ and see his facial expression.

Try telling a man , who has been cheated , to separate the Idea of ‘Cheating’ from the ‘Cheater’ and then see his desperation.

Obviously its not easy.And then ‘Ideas’ are nothing but the ‘Lingual-Nomenclature’ of the action of a person.So ,  can we absolve a  person from the the responsibilities of his action.Is it possible or even justified ? So who came first , Ideas or People ? Can Ideas exist in isolation ? No.There are people and that is why Ideas exists.If people cease to exist , Ideas will perish.

Lets check how western world actually apply the western or christian ideas of ‘Hate the Sin , Not the Sinner’.

Is it possible to hate the “Idea of  ‘Terrorism”, not the ‘Terrorist’ ? People would detest me if I say that I hate terrorism but I don’t dislike Daud Ibrahim.Are western countries following this very idea which is considered an inherently western or more specifically Christian by themselves ? Did America , a western and majority Christian country , ever tried to  dislike the ‘Idea of Terrorism’ and find its basic reason and ultimate solution ? NO ! Rather it looked individuals as its enemies ,  be it Saddam Hussein or Osam Bin laden or recently Muamar Qaddafi.

America unapologetically killed 1,36,000 innocent people in the warzone of Iraq and Afghanistan and changed the world forever.It spent a monstrous 1 trillion dollar in the war against terror and spoiled its own economy.I am not sure how western world is following the Idea propagated by Jesus Christ ?

And still , it is said the this idea of ‘Hating the Sin , not Sinner’  is alien and foreign to India and familiar to Western people.I would like to tell them politely the very same thing which  Abhishek Bacchan tells everyone in a mobile Ad-   That

Get an Idea , Sir Jee !

Second fight for “Freedom” (from corruption ) !

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Anna waiving to his supporters !

There has never been a bigger uproar in India against corruption than the one Anna has started. And there has never been a bigger icon for the fight against corruption than Anna Hazare.Looking at the events that are taking shape and the support Anna is getting it seems India has got a leader which it was looking for.Weather he is a “Second Gandhi” is matter of discussion but he is definitely most trusted and popular figure in India.

What I don’t understand is the resistance of Congress-led government in implementing the recommendation of Team Anna for Lokpal.What is problem in bringing all government employees , MPs , MLAs and Judiciary and PM under the ambit of Lokpal.This is a very basic question of equality that if any new law on Corruption is coming into existence then why shouldn’t EACH AND EVERY citizen of India come under it.

As , people in the government are arguing that ‘Lokpal’ can’t curb corruption.How can they say so ? And even if their anticipation has any credibility , let it be proved.We can’t stop and implementing laws in the anticipation of failure.If that is the standard to follow , shouldn’t we scrap whole constitution because it has still not been very effective?

The last thing Indian government should have done was to arrest Anna.That is an extremely foolish and flawed administrative decision which is going to back-fire very dearly on the Congress-Led government.India is a country of emotional people and if they ever get a hint that ‘this person’ is going to take them out of the clutches of all the problems they are facing then they support them whole heartily.Here “Sympathy” factor counts high on people’s imagination in forming a perception and Congress-led government is lagging very behind in good-will race.

I have got some interesting take on the word “ANASHAN” and its meaning which seems to be derived from two words of different Language.”Anna”(food) from Hindi and “SHUN”(take away) from English.

ANNA+SHUN= “shun” the “Anna” , I don’t know how much convincing this explanation is . 🙂

Last but not least , I would call all the people of India and say ..

“तकाज़ा है मौजों का , तूफ़ान से खेलो ,
कहाँ तक चलोगे किनारे किनारे ?