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Showing posts from 2015

The Blog Awakens

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As the world has been taken over by the Star war mania, I too could not help but soar in that spirit. Till this time I realized that I was not doing enough of anything about anything, the Office works being the only natural exception. Without dithering any further I got working on my list of 2015 winter solstice day resolution. A ritual somewhat similar to the New Year day resolution practiced in some galaxies around the Universe. Topping that list was to awaking my blog.

Construction, the place I live is a tough field and definitely not for those feeble hearted. The awful feeling about all the insanity around today’s world has now coupled with that leaving very little room for one to maneuver. It appears the dark forces are gaining foothold in our planet.
But this is set to change as the force is going to be with me now. The force unleashed by the new HP Star WarsTM special edition notebook that will let the imagination run wild and allow to #AwakenYourForce.
Over the years, I have…

Disabilities & all of us

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International Day of persons with Disabilities 3 December 2015 is observed as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I was a bit disappointed this morning when I found Google did not utilize this opportunity to raise awareness with a doodle.  
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The aim of this observance is to promote an awareness of issues related to disability and mobilize forces in their support so that persons with disabilities can live a life of dignity and none of their rights are compromised. It also seeks to promote the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.  Our cities unfortunately, are not disable friendly and this does not need any elaboration. We do not have our public spaces such as malls, cinemas, stadiums and parks equipped with wheel chair access ramp, special toilets or safe walks way…

An ordinary man's Sunday chronicles

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Herge Sunday they say, has been derived from the Egyptian astrology as the might of the Sun was honored by associating its name with the first day of a week. After its association with the resurrection of Christ, this day evolved as the day for rest, worship and socializing.  It’s a fantastic idea to have rest on the first day of the week and then start work. Somewhere in the middle this idea went for a tailspin and Sunday ended up being the weekend. Luckily for us with more people, less work and even lesser natural resources, Saturday too joined as another day of rest... But who’s complaining! Sunday, nevertheless has brought joy in my life since time immemorial. During my early days, I remember Sunday was fun as our parents did not have to go to work and we could spend time together.
Then came the school, teachers and homework. While I am yet to meet a student who doesn’t appreciate a Sunday, I was ready to trade in any thing for a extra Sunday. But not once, I was given that optio…

excuse me.. No favoritism please!

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I have a confession to make before I go any further. I am unable to select three favorite words. This is besides the point that I do not love favoritism as it amounts to giving preferential treatment to a person or group of people over other people or groups in the same unit and for that matter words. It is because I do not believe it is right in favoring of one person or group over others with equal claims… I mean words.
Even if I had believed in favoritism, I never will succeed in selecting three favorites as I find love and hate so very contextual. I won’t even succeed to zero down the words I hate most if I leave the word ‘hate’ itself out of the equation. Having confessed at the beginning, I now feel so much relieved as if a stone has been lifted from my chest. This is an awesome feeling! I love feeling awesome, that’s another confession.   Since confessing made me feel awesome which is a feeling that I really love,  I may be right to presume that confessing could be a favorite. In …

... and some achieve greatness

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We admire some personalities and want to emulate their traits that make them stand out from rest of the crowd. They, as Aristotle once said, are what they repeatedly do and therefore excellence is not an act but a habit. Lionel Messi, one such great was not born with excellent ankle or magic in his feet but he practiced repeatedly to attain perfection and become what he is, an icon for today’s youth. Greatness may come in many forms and shapes. During the childhood days I was constantly reminded how great a peer, cousins, a distant relative or someone who did extremely well in a board examination were because of their good grades. It was perplexing whether they were comparing me or inspiring me with the greatness of those young souls. The result sometimes was expending negative energy sulking rather than the much desired positivity to better their feat. All those drama aside, we genuinely felt gratitude for all the kindness and love our parents bestowed upon us. Those memories could no…

The toilet world - hygiene and efficiency

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India is large as well as diverse and not everyone of us have a clear understanding of how things are done or the problems faced by people of various parts of the country. I was not aware of the fact that people defecate in the open till I made my first train journey to the northern parts of the country. Where I grew up, we have had different type of toilets with a western commode on one end and a platform over a pit on the other end of the spectrum.

Constructing a minimum of an improvised septic tank with a closed toilet, I still do not believe is as much a big deal for most of the people from northern India as much as I think it is a cultural issue. I am basing my statement based on my personal experience during my days in New Delhi in the nineties. I had a colleague coming from a very well to do farming family in Najafgarh, a place in the fringe of the national capital. He preferred to have the morning conference in the open field with the vessel they call “lota” rather than use a t…

Peace - belief, pretense, gimmicks, et. al.

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We are human beings and history tells us that we could never agree for universal peace. Only a dreamer could fathom absolute peace in this world. The lesser mortals who form the backbone of our civilization will be content with peace of mind at the individual level.  
I am looking at this portrayal of a scene from the 5th century AD where strong Hun men are killing a woman and her child. It could be for any pretense but unjustifiable. One and half thousands years later, unfortunately very little has changed. The time and place kept changing while the pain remained the same. It's equally unjustifiable today!
"The Huns at the Battle of Chalons" from page 135 of A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Volume I of VI
Since the beginning of human civilization, our leaders driven by lust for power, wealth or women has been leading groups of strong opportunist and sometimes disillusioned people to kill our innocent population. If you want to give it a name, be my gues…

The Special Agent called “Me”

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Photo Credit
I faced the brightest light imaginable. It was blinding and I could barely see anything clearly and in midst of all this a strange voice asked who I was.

I said it’s the Special Agent called “Me”. You know, I am the most special person I have ever known, I explained.

“Special, my foot!” came the reply.

I wanted to ask him to show me the feet. Instead I got rebuked for trying to be funny. I realized he was reading my mind and meant serious business. As if to leave no doubt, he authoritatively asked me to explain why I thought I was special.

My life flashed back in front of my eyes as I desperately tried to substantiate my claim of being special.

I have felt sad at the suffering of others at many occasions, I remembered. Sometimes I even donated some money or clothes. Alas! The money was not even a fraction of my then living expense. I am ashamed that handing down those clothes were as much important to clear my wardrobe as to help others. Better not mention this.

I am very spec…

Virtual Shopping - You Let Us Down

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In 2010, I had blogged about shopping online in my post Bricks and The Bytes. I was then surprised with myself that someone like me could buy air tickets, books to clothing from online retailers. This was no mean feat for someone of our generation who has witnessed the computers evolve to a common mans device. I was upbeat that bytes will completely overtake the bricks as far as shopping goes.

I have a dream today, I told myself borrowing from the famous speech by Martin Luther King, as wrote the post about the virtual shopping.

Having associated with design and construction since my college days I had seen the ins and outs of the way we create our shopping experience. I had dreamt that our physical shopping experience will undergo a paradigm shift from the way they do business and so will the online shopping. But what I have seen over the last 5 years saddens me. Our IT industry and online retailers have focused on expanding their customer bases and none to improve their experience. …

What Would the Expert Say

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When the angel finally arrives to our home we are overjoyed. In that euphoria we sometimes miss to take some fundamental yet crucial precautions.
It may sound difficult to accept but true that the adage "less is more" is nowhere more appropriate then when it comes to skincare for the newborns. We need to understand that not only is a newborn baby’s skin delicate, so is the immune system. All chemicals, fragrances or artificial additives should therefore be avoided from all types of clothing and accessories. Ignorance is definitely not bliss and can expose baby’s skin to skin ailments such as dryness, irritation, rashes etc. and leave a long-lasting scar on the skin.

The following interview with an expert is an effort to protect our babies through proper care.
Q: How many times should we bathe the baby? A: Resist the urge to bathe your baby too frequently during first year of the life. Remember baby’s skin has natural oils from birth which protect the skin from external fo…

Honey, I won a million US$!

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“Honey, I won a million US$!” a very few will believe these when they hear something similar from their spouses. Even if someone does, it will be with so much of suspicion and scepticism. Our household has two female of the species and each of them, I know will react in two diametrically opposite ways. My daughter who still believe in magic as well as miracles will congratulate me and probably request me to buy her a robotic puppy. She wanted to take one for a walk but we told her it was too expensive for a toy. The other woman will convince me this offer was from that distant land in Africa which had built up quite a reputation for itself by promising top dollars in lottery, inheritance or charity to anyone who was willing to bite the bait.

But if it is true and all mine, a million US $ in clean monies will make a huge impact on my life and for that matter anyone's life. A million US dollars is more money than it actually appears to be, it's six and half crores of Indian Rupee…

A Baby is a Precious Little Miracle – Pamper her

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Only a few moments ago, it seems a precious little miracle happened in our life as our beautiful angel was delivered. Today she sits next to me discussing what would protect the soft skin of a baby.

It was a brilliant idea, I thought to have a family discussion on a subject like this. Moreover, it provides an excellent opportunity for my daughter, a second grader to participate and brainstorm on a topic.

We started by asking ourselves what was most important for a baby. There was no surprise in that. It was sleep, we all agreed as they sleep for the best part of the day. Babies, however have shorter sleeping cycles compared to adults and it gets even shorter if she became wet and uncomfortable.

That is one of the reasons why we keep a waterproof material for the baby to sleep on. The most common practice is a rubber cloth topped up with soft linen. “Is this comfortable” I asked the house and it was a "No” in a chorus. “The baby wakes up in the middle of the night crying, every time…

Come on get off my back. Leave me alone!

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I am getting intimidated by the demanding and commanding nature of all with whom I have association these days.I agree that I have requested for a wakeup call in the morning but when I open my eyes and give a pat that task should be considered completed. There is no need to keep calling me again and again like a nagging child. That's one time when I feel like throwing the phone away and teach it a lesson but only the price tag even with those sleepy eyes keep me from doing that.
I collect all the resolution it takes and get ready for work get into the car. As soon as I switch the ignition on, the car starts beeping to remind me about the seat belt. I say “Thank you very much” and move on. As I continue with my journey, there it goes again beeping at a much higher pitch. I say “shut up!” you did your duty now let me too have some rights to decide. It gives a damn and keep beeping which I ignore for some time and finally give in as the score goes love - two.
I reach office and try to …

Together & Happiness

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"You won't believe who was sitting next to me at the coffee shop this evening!" a friend came and told me today creating the drama he mastered over the years. He later told me that in the table next to his sat a man without a phone in his hand or even a laptop in his table. According to him it was quite odd and was quite certain that he was deranged as only they could act like that.
While I knew he was trying to be funny, deep inside me I knew it definitely was a rare sighting in today's world. Such individuals are few and far in between.
The world has taken giant leaps over the past century and left behind the old ways of life. The Generation X of the world who was largely responsible for this change are fast turning into senior citizens challenged with the impacts of their own revolution. Some of us are stuck in the middle struggling with the new way of life while still romanticizing with the past.
We conveniently blame our smart phones and other gadgets as reaso…

Once upon a time on a Road

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“Not everything that happens in our life could be explained by our common sense or knowledge or for that matter known science” Ron reflected quite engrossed in his thoughts as Ana looked on. It’s been long since the last time they sat together talking about past. Ron always had lots of stories to tell and while he insisted that those were all his life experience, Ana believed most of them were either borrowed from others life or simply made up.

“Today, I will tell you about an experience I had almost 15 years back but don’t ask me to provide any explanation as I have none” he said in the beginning and started to narrate a journey that he and his friends took to and from Dubai.
That night Ron accompanied by 3 more friends were heading towards Dubai border. It was a long weekend ahead and they would be visiting Dubai for the very first time. Quite obviously they wanted to take advantage by driving through the night so that they could spend the maximum time there. That had packed everythin…

Addressing Mental Illness

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What is a mental illness? In common man’s term, it could probably be defined as the lack of balance of mind or brain. In other words inappropriate thought process and action that result in the affected individual’s failure to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. Early indicators are changes in mood, personality, habits and social interaction.
Medically there are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the most common types are:  clinical depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Like all other illness, mental illnesses too vary in severity ranging from moderate to severe.
This could develop due to external stresses, internal chemical imbalances and genetic factors or after some accident. But many affected individual succeed in coming out of this illness and learn to cope with the conditions with proper care and treatment.
However, the biggest obstacles that prevent people seek professional help and treatment is the stig…