Posts Tagged ‘india’

“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.” These are the words of one of the humblest, most intelligent and intellectual human beings I’ve ever met. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the man who gave us the vision 2020, is not with us anymore, and to me, this news was a bigger shock than one can imagine.

It was around 10 PM yesterday (July 27th) when I switched on the television only to know that we lost one of the most amazing scientists our country has seen. For a moment, I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was hard for me to accept the fact that someone I, in fact the whole world, admired so much is no more. Later that night, I was afraid to even look at my social media feeds, I was sure that they’ll be filled with people saying RIP and telling how much they’re going to miss him, and while some of them will be genuine, most will just be following this never ending social media fad of posting anything and everything that’s in the news. But more than my intolerance for things like these, it was the child in me who was afraid of even hearing these words again, that Dr. Kalam is no more.

Dr Abdul Kalam Abuginmymind

I remember my first encounter with him, it was his book ‘Wings of Fire’, I was in class 10, and it was the first autobiography I ever read. As I was just 10 pages into the book, I could actually imagine all those things happening and Dr. Kalam actually narrating that to me. And why not, I had been a big admirer of him since I was 6 (but my knowledge about him was confined to the fact that he was a Bharat Ratna awardee who was able to make everyone understand what science is and give India an all new scientific outlook). Now that I was getting to know so many new things about him, I never wanted that book to end. But it did, and left an ever lasting impression in my mind. I used to keep the book with me whenever I traveled, it was always on the top of my favorites’ list, not to mention that I always mentioned it any of the conversations about books I had with anyone.

Him, A.R. Rahman, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar, these five people, in my opinion, are above likes and dislikes, good or bad, religious or any other communal boundaries. And I so badly wished that I get to meet them at any point in my life. Thanks to my Alma-mater, a part of that wish was almost realized when Dr. Kalam visited MNIT Jaipur. I couldn’t talk to him, but I got to see him from a few yards’ distance, and I still remember how ecstatic I had felt that day. His speech that primarily concentrated on how we can transform the world around us by transforming ourselves, is something that changed a part of me that day.

I personally haven’t seen anyone who’d say that he doesn’t like Dr. Kalam, or doesn’t respect him for what he did. And there’s a reason for that, in the 84 years that he spent with us mortals, he actually lived a life that was worth a thousand years. Apart from his unending achievements and an unprecedented scientific aptitude, he was a man with a superhuman endurance. He is probably the only person for whom being an ex-president of a country is just another small point in the bio, for many of the other things he did, including the conceptualization of mission 2020 and the Agni missile, were no less than miracles.

I had no intention of telling the world how much I’ll miss Him, or to add another RIP to a billion that are already there, but he was one of those people whom I can never forget in my life, whom I admired almost religiously, and probably that’s why it was important for me let it out.

I’m sure the heaven needed some good science teachers, and I’m sure Dr. Kalam will be happy getting to meet Dr. Sarabhai there. All I can say is, there are some things in life that we can’t change, but if we could learn and apply what he taught, even half of it, in our lives, and ignore all this politics and communal hatred that’s eating us away, we’ll be living in a much better world.

I’d end it with the words of Mary Elizabeth Frye, for nothing could fit this situation better.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

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Please welcome, an entirely different kind of post on the bug. Well, I’m trying 🙂

While everyone was expecting a big bang reform budget this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley brought out what I’d call a growth oriented budget. I’d not go out and call it an excellent one, but this sure was a good budget with some of the much awaited reforms. Here are a few of the highlights and takeaways:


Numbers:

  • The Fiscal deficit seen at 3.9 percent of GDP, the fiscal target of 4.1 % to be met.
  • Revenue deficit at 2.8 percent while the current account deficit at 1.3 %
  • GDP growth rate seen between 8-8.5%.
  • A target of USD 6.7 billion set for stake sales in the coming financial year. The same revised at USD 5 billion for the current year.
  • Inflation seen close to 5%.
  • Planned and non-planned expenditures at 4.6 and 13.1 trillion rupees respectively.
  • Major subsidies including Fuel, food and fertilizer estimated at 2.3 trillion rupees.
  • Defense budget upped to 2.5 lakh crore rupees.

Announcements:

  • FMC to be merged with SEBI, big news for the commodity markets.
  • Wealth tax to be abolished!
  • Proposal of new universal social security system and a new law on black money.
  • 347 billion rupees allocated to Rural Employment guarantee scheme (Something that was the sign of the previous government’s failure according to the PM’s recent speech)
  • IIT status to ISM Dhanbad, 2 new IIMs announced for J&K and Andhra Pradesh.
  • National investment infrastructure fund to be set up.
  • A student financial aid authority to be set up and a number of excise duty cuts announced to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs.
  • Yoga included as a charitable purpose in the Income tax act. (Something that our PM applauded more than anyone else)
  • Banks to fund small entrepreneurs, laws to be made to improve the ease of business.

For the common man:

  • Health insurance premium reduction limit increased from 15 to 25,000. (30000 for Senior citizens)
  • Additional deduction of 50000 allowed under the NPS.
  • Pradhanmantri Suraksha Bima Yojna launched to provide life insurance at nominal costs.
  • EPF made optional for low earning individuals while choice between NPS and EPF provided to others.
  • Service tax hiked to 14%.

The Union budget 2015-16 was not a bundle of please-all announcements, which can be looked at as both a good and a bad thing. While some of the highly expected announcements weren’t made, many decisions were taken which may sound absurd now but will surely prove to be decisive in the country’s development.

Where will you need to pay more?

If you are a medium earning IT employee who likes to smoke and use high-end gadgets, this budget was more of a disappointment for you than anything else. Cigarettes, Smartphones, Imported Cars, Dining at restaurants, Set top boxes, Parking fees and airline tickets are supposed to be more expensive after this budget.

Where do I pay less?

Thankfully, for the poorer sections of the society, the budget wasn’t all bad. If you’re looking to buy a TV or a computer, or branded clothes, you will probably save more now. Higher education and starting a new business venture should also be easy on a common man’s pocket now.

Summary: I’m no one to judge, but I’d give this budget a 7.5/10. Although some announcements like the 100,000 KMs of roads and the ambitious target of 60,000,000 toilets under the clean India movement did sound appealing, probably worth an 8.5, the no change in tax slabs part hurt me bad. Although some measures are taken to provide relaxations to taxpayers, as I said, they don’t seem helping someone who earns 4-8 LPA and has to spend half of it maintaining a decent life standard (aka, most graduates).

PS: I did miss a few numbers while watching the budget and had to take the help of Moneycontrol and Economic Times to get the same. In case you find any mistakes, feel free to point out.

PPS: Although I don’t like the politicians making remarks at each other in the parliament, this was worth a laugh:

“Kuch to gul khilaye hain, kuch abhi khilane hain, par baagh mein ab bhi kaante kuchh puraney hain,” (We have made some progress and are working towards achieving more goals, but there are some hindrances in the way) (Courtesy: NDTV Profit)

If there was ever a Nobel Prize given for extraordinary contribution to the field of littering and garbage mismanagement, it can be safely assumed that we Indians will win it… every year… till the doomsday (Which will probably happen after an epidemic that spread due to unmanaged waste in our country!). Don’t get me wrong, I am not writing this to blame anyone. Neither is this a complain post or something that tells you ten ways to manage waste. This time I am doing the opposite; I am going to tell you the best ways to become the Great Indian Litterbug! We always have the Clean India Campaign to tell people otherwise, right?

So starting with the obvious question, who is the Great Indian Litterbug? And what can I do to become one?

Well, to answer what you can do, I’ll just say ‘Continue.’ Yes! Just keep doing what you do. Some garbage here, some spitting there, a little pee on the wall and a lot of plastic bags that aren’t too small. Just spread it like a wildfire. To answer who is the Litterbug, I believe this video will do a better job.

A litterbug is no special man. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to become the litterbug. All you need is perseverance and that ‘never say yes’ attitude. Did you somehow feel like throwing that banana peel in the dustbin? NO! Is there a public toilet nearby that you could use? Hell no! What about the germs? Go ahead and do it against the wall. It is open air… there can never be too many germs in there.

So how can you, yes you… become the litterbug? The answer lies somewhere in the following steps of what I call “The game theory of Littering”. Follow them and spread the dirt… I mean word.

  1. Point and shoot.
    Just the way Abhinav Bindra did it when he won the gold for India. The only difference is, you’re pointing the whole world except the dustbin. Play it your way, the whole city is your arena, literally!! Got an empty pack of chips? Or maybe an ice cream stick… Just think of it as a game. You miss the dustbin, you get 10 points. Plus there’s just so much trouble in finding the dustbin and walking towards it that you won’t have to take now.
  2. Paint it red.
    Are you a regular tobacco user? Bingo! I knew you were the one. No worries if you’re not, I’m sure you know at least one person who is; pass the baton. Even relays get you golds. Now imagine you’re in the Tomatino festival. Now get the Sexy Katerina Kaif out of your mind and imagine a shirtless Abhay Deol doing it just that instead of Tomatoes, he’s spitting tobacco to paint it red. And instead of a handful of people, you’ve got like a million walls to paint. Go ahead, leave no wall unstained as that may make people think of you as a person worth talking to. We simply cannot let that happen.
  3. Innovate.
    The most important part of any sport is innovation. How much a player is able to create the situations in mind and figure out new ideas to handle them is what separates him from others. Same goes for the Great Indian Litterbug. Innovate your way into the waste. If your friend simply throws the empty polybags on road, you play it one step ahead, you throw it on empty roads where nobody threw it before. Start marking your territories and find new places to mess up. I’d also recommend making your own taglines. So many companies are already supporting the littering campaign. While Mcdonalds says “I’m lovin it”, Nike is asking to “Just do it.”
  4. Take the leap.
    You know how they have the concept of Bonus line in Kabaddi; Unless you take the leap, you won’t get there! So go ahead, dive in. Make at least 5 people spread the mess and make sure they spread it like a wildfire. Make some posters. Use brand new sheets and even if you make a tiny mistake, throw that sheet away on the road, not in the dustbin. Stick those posters on city walls, specially where it says that sticking posters is prohibited. Let the law pay for your deeds, who cares about the rules anyway.

If you closely follow everything that I’ve said above, no one can stop you from being the biggest messmaker around. You’ll be the Great Indian Litterbug. Your name will be written with sewage waste in the history books. You’ll be the mark of smell and your sayings will appear in every hospital out there! Be the one, our country needs you.

PS: This post was a work of satire, in case that wasn’t pretty clear already. We all know how important cleanliness is, specially when it comes to the masses. To know more about the Great Indian Litterbug, check this out http://greatindian.timesofindia.com.

I am sure many of us are familiar with the quote “In India, It’s not okay to kiss in public, but you can piss in public.” Although it was said with humor but there is a good amount of reality in it. And to think about our so many villages where there is still a long way to go to have proper furnished dwellings and sanitation systems, the heart cringes a little.

Recently I got an email from Domex, it said something about how one click of mine could help contribute towards a cleaner and healthy India. I didn’t know too much about this problem at that time except the fact that our villages do face problems of open defecation and it needs attention. But then I did some research and found some staggering results. In our villages this problem is not just widespread, it is one of the biggest cause of diseases and safety issues. 597 million people, which is almost half our population face the lack of sanitation facilities and do not have proper toilets to use! This amount is more than the population of many developed countries.

This was enough to make me think that we seriously need to do something about it. And being a blogger, spreading the word is the first thing I wanted to do. Needless to say I am glad that Domex and Indiblogger gave me that chance. The #ToiletForBabli initiative by Domex is a great way to tell the people like you and me about the hazards our people living in villages face on a daily basis. Starting with the basics, this is something that won’t take more than a minute of yours. You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

Thank you Indiblogger.

There are more ways to help of course. Some that I could think of being; donating to the cause so that the people there can live in a safer and healthier environment, visiting one such village yourself one day to see the problems being faced by them, spreading the word so much that the government takes a step themselves. Do tell me what you can think of, I believe together we can bring the change everyone talks about.

I know this blogpost wasn’t the usual fun and crazy, but I also know that if I have even one person realizing the gravity of this situation through this, I did my bit.

In any case, do support the initiative and share it. Help Babli, she’ll be very happy 🙂

 The problem with our country is that we’re too many. In every corner of even the remotest place in a distant city you’ll find 1-2 million people and that’s just like .08 percent of our population.  Of course there will be millions who are in a relationship, millions who are single and millions who are dead married.

So here’s something, mixed with humor-satire-sarcasm (and lies) from our daily lives to tell you what not to do this valentine.

  1. An InterCaste Relationship:
    So you’re planning to propose her. Wow! How not obvious would that be! But think about it. Is she of the same caste as you?  Will your (or her) parents approve? And if the parents do, what about the society? I mean, aren’t random people we don’t know the most important people in the world? Do not go ahead with this. I repeat, DO NOT!!
  2. Dressing Provocatively :
    Hey girl… yes you… So you planned to go out with him tonight in the sexiest dress possible? Yes, the same shoulderless one.  Funny how you didn’t think about the “Vishwa Hindu Parishad”, “ShivSena”, “RSS” and a thousand more random groups ready to beat you up on every park/beach/mall out there. Better wear a burka… and don’t you dare look out!
  3. Speaking for something:
    You’re right. India is a democratic republic and there is a thing called freedom of speech. So yes, let our politicians exercise that right with all the random words/abuses/pepper sprays/knives and you, keep quiet! Thinking of putting up an FB status against this?  You do know people get jailed for stuff like that, right?
  4. Homosexuality:
    We are a freaking billion. There is of course many guys with a different sexual orientation too. But hold on bro, this is India. We’re a country where even the movie would be named 377 instead of 300 and the guy getting kicked would be Gay! Don’t even dare to think about this.377-this-is-indiaaaaa-coming-soon-in-a-parliament-near-you
  5. Thinking about the nasty! :
    Did you know that this 377 thing can put you behind bars for years? It sure can if you’re into anything unnatural. And when I say unnatural I refer to most of the stuff that happens naturally on the Valentine’s day with many.
  6. Going out in a traditional wear (Men only):
    If you’re alone and someone confuses you to be an activist, you may face the wrath of many! Parts of your body you don’t even notice normally will hurt pretty bad. 
  7. Write an article on 7 things not to do this valentine:
    Because I already did that.
    You can do something different, innovative and entirely different though. Like.. 10 things not to do this valentine!

 

Disclaimer: This article wasn’t meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. Your relationship status is already doing that job well.
If you liked it, do make a comment, I hear that makes the writers happy.

 

PS: This article has also been published here http://youthdiaries.in/7-valentine-shubham-choudhary/.

Do check out this amazing effort by YouthDiaries for the Valentine. http://www.facebook.com/youthdiaries/photos/a.304267172943188.61617.303200656383173/625869487449620/?type=1&theater

This post was pending from a long time. Needed to create a vibe since I wanted this to reach as many people as it could.

Devansh, a friend, a reader and an honest follower is my co-author in this one.

Here’s a little preview:

“Be the change you want to see”, if everyone started following this simple line, most of the problems would be solved. While I have always said this, I’ve never seen this happening around me. Blaming the government is something we consider our birthright.
‘India is a store house of problems’- I’ve lost count of how often I’ve heard these words. No solutions though, just bare criticism, as to how poor we are, how corrupt our system is & how many years will it take for us to be able to compete with the rest of the world. But ironically, none of these is incorrect. So I also started blaming the government for not only not being able to solve problems, but becoming a hindrance in the way of others who wanted to.

Just when I was having one such discussion with a friend, he told me about some initiatives his state government has taken up. Before I tell you, I’ll say that this is in no way any kind of promotion or a news making stunt. But just something I really liked and would love it if others follow it too. 

This post is different in many aspects.  As the full post is not on my blog but on my YouthDiaries website.

Read the full post here: www.youthdiaries.in/ready-for-the-change 

For the first time the whole blogpost can be found on Facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=505098869526683&set=a.304267172943188.61617.303200656383173&type=1&relevant_count=1

Many thanks to Devansh for being my co-author in this. Would love to create more such posts with you. You can read more of Devansh’s posts here : www.devanshtrivedi.wordpress.com 🙂

It’s been quite a long time I posted anything. And I am not proud of that. But I am happy that I have a lot of people noticing the same. While I could have written about the gangrape case, nirmal baba, indian cricket team, the army issue and a thousand other trending topics, I chose the republic day to be the topic for my return.

It’s quite surprising to see the turn of events. We used to say happy republic day in the past, now we have coined the terms ‘ghantatantra’, ‘peepublic’, and ‘the monarchy’ day. Believe me, facebook is full of creative minds.

I also share the views, where we mock our weak government, joke about the policies and condemn the decision makers. But at the same time I think, how does everyone get the right to speak on something they don’t even have a clue about?

Yummy republic day!

India is a republic, we have the right to speak. That everyone knows, but what about the things we can do? What about the part where you have to think and analyse what you speak.

Recently Rahul Gandhi was made the VP of Congress. I saw over a thousand tweets and a hundred Facebook statuses rejecting the motion. And ironically, most of them were by the people who have no interest in politics (visible from there Facebook info.)

No offence meant, but it includes even those who can’t even speak properly when the interviewer asks ‘tell me about yourself’, how can they decide if Rahul Gandhi is a good leader or not?

Not supporting him, infact to remove any misconception, he sucks, it was probably the worse decision of all times. But what I imply is, if you can’t ‘be’ the change, don’t mock the change.

A lot of people had been criticizing Dhoni for being a bad captain and losing throoughout. One century, one last ball six and they are his biggest fans. I wonder if Manmohan Singh announces an increament in Dearness allowance, will they become his fan too.

Lot of random talks, coming to the point. India is our country, the 1.2 billion people here are Indian and hence related to us. We have a lot of good things to be proud of. If you can’t help the country by going out and doing the right thing, you don’t get to decide what’s the right thing as well. If we’re here only to talk, why not talk good stuff and atleast let those who are doing that feel appreciated.

If Anna does a fast, we have an issue, Amir does Satyamev Jayate, we say it’s a propoganda. If Kejriwal says I’ll join politics, we say he is corrupt. If a girl gets gangraped, we make a fanpage of her!

India recently test fired it’s supersonic missile in november, not many people have an idea about that. In olympics, India won so much, all it could create was a facebook fanpage and a twitter trend. I won’t give stats, but just google the things like Mr. Godrej, TeachForIndia, The boson, agni V, top 10 women achievers, the oscars and the literary awards… You’ll get an idea what it is to be an Indian.

I don’t want you to rise up and make the change, fight the evil, do some devouring stuff. No no.. You’re good sitting there… Looking really sweet. But while you’re at it, munch some popcorns and tweet about the right stuff.

Oh, happy republic day. Promotion is my right, so do buy my book ‘My EX Fell In Love’ on all the online stores. Check it out here, http://www.bit.ly/booklinks , http://www.bit.ly/booklandmark and http://www.bit.ly/bookgoodreads . Have a great time. Jai hind. 🙂

I have heard about déjà vu. Can’t say I have seen it yet. But sometimes there’s this thing which you hear all the time and don’t believe it until you see it. Kind of something that happened to me.

This post, again, is totally different (and quite long) from what you usually see on this blog. Instead of telling you about my observations, here’s a little of my experience. Lately I have traveled a lot, in the last 2 years specially. I like travelling. When it’s within your country, it helps you realize what you are. Makes you an outgoing person and boosts up your aspirations. Gets you closer to your country, your roots… or in my case, makes you fall in love with your country.

Here I am going to share my experiences from the 3 great journeys of my life. Starting from Delhi, then Mount Abu and ending up in the south, Mangalore. I was in first year of my college. Hadn’t really travelled much before except for a few places. Delhi is a place where many of my friends and relatives live. So I used my holidays for good and packed my bags to go there. That time, I didn’t have any expectation from the place apart from the fact that I did expect to see a lot of hot girls out there. 😉

It was December, a winter season in Delhi when you can’t see anything but fog in the morning. Driving a bike in that fog was one hell of an experience. We (I, my sister and her family), took our car to see India gate. This was basically the plan, which kept extending as we proceeded. Not only did I see a whole different side of the country with all the buildings like the parliament and the president’s house. I got to see all the things I had only studied once in my history book. The red fort, the Rajghat, the Qutub minar, the Iron pillar. Mesmerizing was the word when I saw the names of the soldiers carved on the India gate. For a moment the patriot inside me woke up. I felt like the proudest Indian alive.

A whole day travel was followed by a trip to Chandni chowk and Connaught place the next day. There I saw the real Delhi. Mostly filled with people from Punjab though, but there is a special feeling you get when you interact with a Delhite. I had a feeling somewhere in my mind that my hometown is a better place to be in… not that I was bias, but the security mishaps, other similar cases and the ‘safer earthquake zone’ were some points. After those 2-3 days, the feeling just vanished. Reason; I didn’t feel different. I was after all, in India! Nothing was different. The culture, the atmosphere and the people only made me feel happier to be an Indian.

All in all… Delhi:
People: Awesome
Tourist attractions: Mind blowing
‘India’ factor: 10/10.
As a metropolitan: I have been to 3, this was the best.

If you are acquainted with a metro, Delhi is awesome. And the malls are too good to shop. Also, don’t miss any of the food joints you see. The paranthe wali gali to be specific is one hell of an experience.

(Don’t try to take the ratings seriously, they are as random as any of my posts)

Part two of my travelogue is my journey to Mount Abu. This was in the summers of last year. A random plan with the best of my friends. Here’s a tip, do NOT think of visiting a place in Rajasthan in summers. Though we did the same… but I was with friends, we didn’t even realize it was hot. Mount Abu is a place of temples. Near Gujarat, it offers a great variety of people. Typical Rajasthanis with long moustaches and the typical Gujaratis with no moustaches 😛

It was a short trip, but we managed to see all the temples and big tourist attractions the place offers. If we start counting the places worth a visit, the list is endless. Starting from the brahmkumari temple and the Shiva temples, we reach the Dilwara temple which is by far the best experience of my life. Each and every stone, every design… so wonderfully carved. Every step has its own story and each pillar has something to say. The markets there are not costly like we generally see.

In the Durga temple which is on the mountains, you get to see the different ‘roops’ of goddess and from the top you can actually see the whole city. (Just like Nahargarh in Jaipur, Rajasthan). Gurushikhar is the next destination which actually makes you feel on the top. And I still remember our guide’s words when we reached there. “You’re on the highest point in Rajasthan.” Feels great!
The evening can’t be better spent when you’re at the “Sunset point” and then the night at the Nakki Lake. The water totally compliments the calm atmosphere.

Mount Abu isn’t really a place where many people live. It’s kinda separated from Abu. So you don’t get to interact a lot. But you do get a cultural vibe from everyone around. Spiritually this place is the most enriching out of the three. When compared to delhi, the place is absolutely opposite both in culture and people around. But still you find one thing common. The ‘india’ factor. The fact that it is still your country and people around are ‘your’ people. You are never alone in the place and whatever language you speak, food you eat and things you do; you will find similar people around.

All in all… Mount Abu:
People: Great
Tourist attractions: Top Drawer! Fantastic! Amazing!
‘India’ factor: 10+1/10.  (And extra 1 for the beautiful preaching the people at Dilwara gave me)
As a city: Infrastructure might not be great, but hats off to the engineers who designed the road plan!

You’ll find hotels and food joints all over the place. Food here is good. And if you’re visiting without a plan, no worries, people there are the best to help you in every way.

The latest trip I had, was earlier this year. We all went to Surathkal, Mangalore in Karnataka. It was probably the best of the travel experiences I’ve had for many reasons. It was in south, a territory unexplored for me. It was a 10 day long tour. It was for Spic Macay, an organization dedicated to make you realize the strength of indian culture.

The 2 day train journey was tiring. But once we reached and settled, we realized the upcoming days were going to be even more tiring. Unlike the previous trips, this one was much disciplined and also we got to interact with thousands of people from all over India. The first five days went in seeing the various performances from the classical artists from the state and outside. The last day was a heritage walk where we explored the city. Saw all the places for which it is known for. For our surprise, it rained heavily.

The only thing I couldn’t handle was food. So here’s this point. When you’re from north india and don’t have a taste developed for south indian foods, the same thing which is heavenly for the people there, will become hell for you. I literally craved for good food. But the time duration was long enough to make me develop the taste for the food. Unlike Delhi, Abu or any other place, you won’t find people speaking hindi there. Finding anything which is even remotely related to anything from north india is tough. But soon you see that this is the beauty of the place. Even when it is like a whole different part of the country, it’s the love, the affection and a spiritual commonness you see in the people which binds you with them.
The food we ate primarily consisted of “Ghasi”, “Ayyangayi”, “Rasam” and “Rasayanam”. And I must say, the rasayanam was good. 😀
And you can’t deny the fact that we all love Dosas!

All in all… Mangalore:
People: Nice (They speak English so sweetly! 😛 )
Tourist attractions: Very good!
‘India’ factor: 10/10.
As a City: For the first time visitors, you just need to visit the beeches once before you start the trip, and you’re gonna love the place.

Food, beeches, temples and some more beeches. That’s precisely Mangalore for you. It might not provide you the best ‘tour’ of india, but it does give you the ‘different vibe’ you wanted.


I have also been to places like Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, M.P and almost every city of Rajasthan. One thing I found common in the aforementioned and the above places was that no matter how different the culture is, how different the food, travel or living habits of the people are; they are all the same loving bunch of people who have the same political and spiritual thoughts. Who will always welcome their guests with a great zeal, who will love the food they make and won’t mind adding a little extra spice anytime! Who will fly kites, the dates may be different. Who will always have interest in football and cricket. I salute the person who coined the term “Unity in Diversity” for India. For I don’t see a reason why we can’t be called that.

I’d like to end with one very good quote my friend harsh says. “If you are in any part of India and want to start a conversation with someone you don’t know, talk about Sachin Tendulkar.
I am proud to be an Indian, and lately, I am proud to be writing about it.  🙂

And yes,

This post has been published by me as a part of IBL; the Battle of Blogs, sponsored by WriteupCafe.com. Join us at our official website and facebook page.

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You can also like this page of Harsh Snehanshu, who is writing a book “Routes to Roots” on India.

Hello, this is my 55th blog-post, and the tradition of experiments continue. Without saying much, here is a new kind of post for my blog, “55 Fiction”.  A 2 minute read. 🙂

 

“I hear that you are the best in the market. The ‘Ravan’s you make for dussehra are widely sold.”

“People say so, sir”

“What is it? Your knowledge of the religion or love for the festival?”

“Maybe that or maybe it’s my love for art and festivity”

“Oh.. And What’s your name young man?”

“Saleem.”

 

Yep, this is it. I hope you liked it.
PS: Happy Eid. I know none of my readers is a follower of racism or casteism or anything like that, but we can always spread the awareness 🙂

It’s definitely not my 66th blogpost, but I so wish it was. Anyway, this is going to be a long one so let’s switch to the subject straight away. This is my third (kinda) serious post after Daughter’s day: Time to rethink and Republic Day. Yes, I am serious on all special days (except for the valentine day when girls don’t take me seriously).

Here I am telling you a few things we do, which are wrong and how we can do simple things to help our country develop. Believe me, they are simple. Try, you won’t get bored.

So… Ever got caught speeding and paid a hundred bucks to save your license from being punched? Or did you buy a pirated movie CD because the movie wasn’t good enough to be watched in theatre. I am pretty sure all of us, one time or the other, threw a polybag right there on the middle of the road. And well, who waits for the green light when there is no traffic inspector around.
We’re not good at sticking to the rules; we suck at following simple things… I tell you what we’re good at, planning and blaming the system for not executing the plans.

Also, we’re great at showing how intellectual and thoughtful we are on the online platforms. (Guilty as charged, I am doing the same here). On Facebook and twitter, every person sounds intelligent. Everyone is a genius describing how selfish Aamir Khan is when he promotes Satyamev Jayate or what an utter failure Anna Hazare is.

But here’s what I think. At least they are DOING something. Which is way better than… well… not doing anything. I realize Aamir’s heavy preaching in a TV show with so many lights glowing up his thoughtful face isn’t a solution to casteism or honor killing. But sitting at home and cursing him isn’t either.

The question is, are we ready to bring the change? Is there a Bhagat singh within you struggling to come out? Well hold it there BubbleHead. I for one, most definitely know there isn’t. Yes, you are enraged now, as you have watched a patriotic movie, listened to many tracks that show the love to our nation, saw at least a thousand Facebook posts saluting our martyrs and maybe watched our president’s speech (Which was awesome by the way). But you also know, it’s been like that from past many years. Let the day get over, we’ll see how ‘patriotic’ you stay.

So, since we are not going to do anything ‘heroic’ to save the nation (as you can’t do it), and also I am not going to preach you in heavy words with an exceptional command over vocabulary (as I can’t do it), let me tell you what you and I can do. It might not bring some big change, but I am sure our country badly needs even a little effort from everyone.

  1. Do not litter. Seriously, would you like to see a banana peel near your pillow?
  2. Save: Electricity. Petrol. Water.
    I know it sounds like a cliché, but after seeing those power grid failures, I am bound to say we’re not doing it. Walk a little, switch off the fans and lights when you leave an otherwise empty room. And this goes for the public places and offices too. We all know we do it at home.
  3. The average time we spend texting, calling and on internet, please spend just twenty percent of it reading about the government policies. At least blame them with facts, don’t follow a trend. (This goes for everyone in my age circle, especially engineers, who open newspaper only when there’s a placement interview the same day.)
  4. Help someone. I don’t want you going to old age homes or orphanages, but there are a lot of homeless people you’ll see on your way, while you look at them; ask yourself, what exactly will you do with that 3 year old T-shirt of yours at home.
  5. While we are at it, believe me, you are not donating 1$ for every share on Facebook to the girl suffering from leukemia. You’re just proving that you’re dumb.
  6. Save some important numbers in your phone. The ones you can always use in case of you need help.
    108 is the one for any kind of emergencies.
    1098 is for Child Help. This number is NOT the one you call when you see leftover food and you want them to pick it up. It’s a hoax. But when you see a child in problem and need help, this is the number to call.
    There are a lot of such local numbers for organizations like ‘Help in suffering’, ‘india against corruption’ etc. Take out 10 minutes and search for them.
  7. Try to donate. It feels good. And you can always brag about it 😉
  8. Raise your voice. Against corruption, child abuse or maybe the illegal constructions near your house. With current levels of technology, even an anonymous call or just an email to the right place will do wonders. Experience speaking here (no more details please 😛 ).

photo courtesy: Google Images

We have over 1 lakh people, fighting for us on the borders, putting their lives at risks so we live safe. A man (not baba ramdev) is doing hunger strikes to ignite a fire within all of us, maybe it is overrated, maybe it is hyped, but I think maintaining this in headlines is better than watching Sunny Leone crying in her movie promos!
We do have bad policies and dirty politics going across, but at the same time there are people in the same field who live for the country and who want to see it prosper.

In the end, let me put it this way, I don’t care if the rest 1.2 billion people want to sit idle and blame the government for the country’s bad situation and people’s ideology, I am with those handful who want to do something to change it. I am not good enough to become an IAS, not bold enough to join Anna, not popular enough to start my own show, but I am strong enough to voice my opinion and do my duties as a citizen of India.

In case you have thoughts brimming and you feel like thrashing me with some of them, I’d welcome them. But do remember, it’s the effort that counts. 🙂

PS: I came across this initiative by www.21fools.com. Just go to the website and send a card to the army heroes. Spread a smile.
PPS: Watch this pic. Aren’t you proud of her !