Saturday, December 8, 2012

That Pretty Girl

(disclaimer: all characters mentioned are pieces of fiction. any resemblance to anybody is purely coincidental)

That pretty girl

The sun had just risen up, and was pacing up into the sky as the shadow of the trees by the turn of the street grew shorter. The bright yellow rays brought colour to everything else that lay on the street - the black tar, the grass by its side and the garbage that flew onto it overnight. The wintry dew couldn't wait to drop from the tip of a bent, spineless blade of grass.

I crossed the street and sat on the empty seat at the bus stop to wait for the bus going to the West. There are usually more people going the other way in the morning. While I sat alone here, a few people waited on the other side of the street. College, perhaps. Or, the IT professionals? It was hard to tell. They all look young.

In the East-most end of the shed, sat this girl clad in pink-and-green salwar. It was a narrow street, you could see people on the other side well. People would come and go every day, I wouldn't notice. But she, this girl looked so pretty.

She was engrossed in a book. Must've been a novel. The people around her didn't seem to bother her. She must've had long hair, they looked plaited. But a strand of hair danced by the side of her face. Sun rays hit her face through the strand of dangling hair, making the hair look golden brown and the face yellow. Her diamond ear-ring reflected other colours in the rainbow at my direction.

She would look up once in a while, while she turned pages. She would look to the West, anticipating her bus to show up, then turn her left wrist inwards, check the time, and go back to reading. Her hand looked thinner and longer than I would've imagined. No nail-polish. A continuous flow of light, wheatish brown colour, like the branches of a tree.

Her eyes were jet black. It was darker than the night that had just vanished. She had her eyelashes lined with kajal. It made her eyes stand out, intoxicating the onlooker. It seemed like her eyelashes were protecting us from the intoxicating eyes it shielded, but was itself beautiful enough to woo attention. Her nose had a bend on the bridge. The nose made her look cute. If she had been a baby, I would've pinched her nose. Her lips, unfazed by the winter, had no cracks, and always seemed to bring out a smile. Must've been the book, I thought. The slightly protruding chin completed her beautiful face.

She wasn't fat, nor was she thin. Her schoolmates wouldn't have made fun of her weight. Nor would any of them have hassled her for her figure. She looked like a girl next door, just that I would have had to live in Venus.

Her bus must've been approaching, she brought out her dupatta, also green in colour. And she tucked her book inside. Something was wrong, she was looking for something. Her eyes opened wide, and her little black eyeballs in the white socket looked like a photo-negative of the full moon in night sky. She found what she was looking for- the bookmark which she thought fell off her seat, was actually placed safely at the end of the book, something she must've forgotten while swimming in the story.

She zipped her bag close. And in one flurry of arm-swing, she draped herself with her dupatta, and got up from her seat. And as she got up and wore the bag over her shoulders, she looked across the street right into my eye, no eyelids blocking the sight this time. She turned to her right, and walked to the bus. Yes, her hair was plaited. Long, smooth, dropped straight down like the Nile. She then half turned her head, and looked again. Her eyes can freeze you. She smiled, she blushed, she shook her head twice, buckled her pace up and boarded the bus.

All I could do was watch the bus grunt down the street and turn right, arms still folded, eyelids yet to bat, air feeling lighter. She must be the most beautiful girl on earth.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Barodian Year

A little over an year ago, on the last evening of August, I arrived in Baroda with a fever that I had picked up in the 32 hour long train ride from Madras. I didn't know if the autorickshaw driver over-charged me while dropping me to my guest house. I thought to myself this city too is like Madras (I was wrong), charging in multiples of Rs 50. Nevertheless, I checked into my room, and had a quick bath and completed my Avani Aavittam (the latest in the day I had ever performed it), had my dinner, and then slept off to wake up to the start of my career.

With the minimum levels of sanity restored by the morning of Ganesh Chaturti, I headed for my first day at work. The city has a pleasant calm. It must've rained before my arrival. Clouds were clustered. A drizzle or two now and then. Near-empty streets in the mornings. I spent my childhood in towns or little cities, and liked such cities without heavy traffic, and greenery to go along with it.

Right then. New place, nobody I know. Slowly got to make some friends at my guest house. I have gone through this before, but it was different the year before in Nagpur. Back then, it was a classroom of 60 people, and it was easier to know them all. Here, people from all walks of life are present, but they tread their own paths. A cross-road would start interactions. A dinner table at the canteen, or waiting for the bus stop or something like that.

I did find a good little bunch of people to dine on Sunday evenings when dinner wouldn't be served at my guest house. We would go around, rate South Indian food served in fake South Indian restaurants. There are a few exceptions of course, and those good restaurants know it. One of the best things about this city is the variety of cuisines that are on offer. There are those food chains you see in every city. That doesn't count. There are restaurants exclusively serving Punjabi, Rajasthani, Lucknowi, Kashmiri, Mughlai, Kannada, Kerala, Tamil, Bengali, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican etc cuisines. And quite a lot of them are vegetarians! I know atleast three vegetarian pizzerias here!

The best South Indian restaurant in Baroda- 22nd Parallel

Did I not mention Gujarati in that list? There are so many dishes in a Gujarati meal that if I just tasted all of them, my tummy would be full! And you can't help it - you will want more. The local delicacies of fafda-jalebi are quite mouth-watering too. Gujarati food tastes sweet. And they have Gujaratized other cuisines too. You will find sweet sambars, sweet "chilly corn gravy", sweet upma, sweet samosa etc. If I am presented with a glass of sweet lemon soda at the end of the meal, all will be forgiven.

It was hard being away from folks back home and people to talk to. I had evenings to spend without knowing what to do for most of it. It was then that I started reading books, and they kept me company in the evenings. I'm not a voracious reader, and I don't even have a method for reading books. If at a book store, I would waltz into the section titled "Sports", and look for a book that would be worth a read. I've since read a half a dozen books or so between live sports and trips to the cinemas.

Watching movies at the cinemas became the second how-to-kill-time hobby. It would take away a solid 3-4 hours off the weekend. I tried to start liking science-fiction during this development, but I think that is beyond me. I couldn't stand more of a toaster turning into a car and eating the man next to it only to turn into flames and become a pig. Or something like that. For a small city, Baroda has a lot of multiplexes. Must be careful not to venture into the one that shows all movies only in Hindi, so you don't have to watch The Three Musketeeers on a Sunday morning in Hindi. But then, these multiplexes are costlier than the ones in Chennai.

I also had a good year with one of the things I love a lot - cricket. Playing the game was limited. The company would organize tournaments, and it would be fun to play 3 or 4 games a day. A big ground near my guest house, The M.S.U. Pavilion would be a spectacle on weekends, almost every bit of land being used up for playing cricket. Kids and adults would play together, people in their formals would turn up for a game before they go for work on the Saturdays. It was fun.

I had a better year with cricket beyond the playing. I made some good friends in the city who follow the game. I went to the Motibaug cricket ground to watch a couple of days' play of Ranji Trophy games. There might not be many more scenic places to watch a game of cricket. It is also a pleasure to watch the local boys Irfan and Yusuf Pathan from close quarters. A lot of people like cricket here, and they take pride in the performance of their team.

Motibaug Cricket Ground

I seemingly had a good year writing on the game too, and was invited to write at I also now have a new skill - transcribing audios - which I wouldn't have if I was not presented with the opportunity to do so at I'm very grateful to the two gentlemen there. Slowly over the year, my interaction with people connected to the sport grew, and I was able to use their inputs to build something special by April. Watching and following the game, although, took a hit. I couldn't any more sit and watch every single game that was on air, and accept that it is how life moves on.

Baroda welcomes people in and people become miscible with the culture of the city. There are people from many parts of the country here, this city is growing well on many fronts and that has attracted these people. It is a little India. Yet there is something distinctive that makes these people bond themselves as Barodians, and touch base as residents of this city, A Big Lil' City. The urban growth has not taken away the palatial beauty that is scattered across the city. The suits and ties by day turn into traditional clothes by night. Sandwiches at breakfast turn into samosas by evening. The most festive of all festivals was the anniversary of Shri Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, one of the most famous rulers of the land. That showed how much people hold on to the tag of being a Barodian.
Baroda, by dusk. City lights above the canopy of trees.

The people here are quite friendly. The Gujarati they speak is easy to understand (not completely, though) if you know Hindi. The men love cars. And the women are the prettiest I've seen anywhere in the country, and they are the most beautiful during the Navaratri, dancing the Garba. How thousands of people dance in unison without practice is beyond my imagination. It is such a beautiful sight!

In a city that has a lot to love, there are a few negatives. Barodians have this habit of blocking every passage available in any place. People stop to talk at the doorways, they are in narrow aisles in shopping stores, they walk the other way on escalators, park cars in the middle of the road etc. Baroda has less traffic than any suburbs of metro-cities., but somehow the streets of the city morph themselves into a giant headache on Sunday nights when I feel like there are more cars than people on the road. The city has countable traffic police, maybe half a dozen working traffic signals, and no traffic rules. And this last rant may be personal, and only because my arrival was timed so. For an year, I thought it was illegal for it to rain at Baroda. Like everything that is illegal, there would only be scarce appearances seldom leaving clues- for every drizzle before you could get out and get wet, the clouds would have disappeared. It does rain well now, though. Happy for it.

But surely you can walk past the static Sunday night traffic, give the little boy blocking your way a tap on his head and walk past him and find ways to cheer yourself up on a non-rainy day. This city has far many things to keep you engaged. So just take a train to reach the rather neat railway station of Baroda, or catch the next flight to Baroda, at the end of which you will notice that it takes only 10 minutes to get out of the airport after the plane lands, or zoom in on one of the best National Highways, NH08, plying by Baroda. This city is as lovely as it is simple!

It's been a lovely year at Baroda. Looking forward to spend many more here, albeit work might make that discontinuous batches of stay.

Friday, June 15, 2012

PO - The Tool To Lateral Thinking

What is Lateral Thinking?

For any job at hand, there are methods, methods which have been formed and moulded into shape. There are ways which look straight, there are tracks less explored. The ones that have set foot have been created out of experience, experience of repetitive success, experience of not choosing other paths and choosing the one that has worked well so far. This is the logical way of doing things.

There are also ways around the mould to achieve the same goal, however quicker, or slower, or easier or harder or safer that detour might be. You will have to get out of the regular path, and attempt to take the path less travelled. It is not guaranteeing you a success, but it is guaranteeing you something new, something useful - if not for this task, for some other. To go for such paths, is the basis of lateral thinking.

For any logically true path to have come to the fore, there were paths tried out. Lateral thinking helps you choose the right path for logical thinking to take you ahead. Lateral thinking opens up doors to new ways of doing a task, logical thinking methodologically takes you ahead in a chosen path. Lateral thinking allows you to take risks, as it doesn't care about mistakes, while logical paths have a set path with no choices.

Lateral thinking is there to help you come out of methods, clichés, patterns, foregone assumptions etc, and allows you to think beyond what is already set and known.

PO - The tool

There are quite a few ways by which you can practice lateral thinking. The best way is by making use of the language tool - PO.

What does PO mean?

Logical thinking has "NO" as a tool for rejection of an idea, or suggestion. Lateral thinking has "PO" as a tool to consider that very idea or suggestion, ignore any negative implication that may have caused its rejection in logical thinking, and go ahead and see how the approval of the idea may have taken the thought process further.

Usage of PO in a language pauses normalcy, and triggers alternative possibilities of moving ahead; lateral thinking sets in.
Among various usages of PO, and the respective concepts of lateral thinking they relate to, here are three major ones :-

PO delays judgement

Usage of PO does not defend or disagree with an idea. It merely lets the idea bloom into something better. It delays judgment. How often have you rejected something, only to regret it later? You might've ordered your pizza toppings, rejected olives, only to later realise that they would've gone well with the Italian seasoning. If you had thought for a bit longer about olives and the seasoning, maybe you would've wanted to have it.
PO protects a thought from immediate judgment.

PO generates alternatives

PO takes you out of the patterns and clichés. For the moment, you may ignore that the process you had been following all life and try out another way. It is what kids do when you don't watch over them. Parents teach you how to climb down from a bed, but kids always want to jump, slide and fall. You know the goal, and you know what is right (the method). So, there is nothing wrong in exploring another way, something that may help you some other day (if the legs of the bed are greasy and not suitable to be used as a step?).

PO is provocative

There are divisions cut out in almost every field. PO explores ways in which you can use both the poles and generate ideas out of them. It explores the division to create ideas. Also, PO can be used to generate ideas around a single word, or a phrase or a sentence. Random. When a group of ideas flutter around a central word/phrase, you get something out of it.
Usage of PO in its provocative sense can be sometimes humourous.The above mentioned usage is bound to be funny if you have 8 people talking on a monkey's tail, for example.

Usage of PO

1. Generating alternatives.

"PO the tree has branches" may lead to a discussion about trees and branches, why branches appear on trees, why they branch outward etc. It gives an alternative perspective of the situation. 
"PO you need fork to eat noodles"  will diverse into ways of using a fork, and ways of eating noodles differently, and trying to figure out why forks were used to eat noodles.

2. Provocation

"shoe PO food"- shoe and food are seemingly unrelated. By inserting PO between the two words, you deliberately extract ideas that relate to both shoes and food. Maybe, pizza delivery guy? How shoes have helped deliveries faster on foot. Or, why shoes are not worn in some kitchens, to keep kitchens clean?
"Black PO White" must be a famous one.
"PO advantages of buses"- here, PO is used to discuss a topic, a phrase. Just like, how it would be for a single word, for example - "PO newspaper". You get people to bring out anything related to the word. This helps people to relax from stress, helps put a smile, maybe bring out laughter once in a while. It leaves your mind fresh for further decision making.

3. Protection from judgment

Anytime you are about to hear a "NO" or "NOT", bring out the tool "PO".
"This is not the right way to dress to an awards function"- here, the thought of wearing something casual would be rejected immediately. If you say "This is PO the right way to dress to an awards function", then the dressing is discussed - what should be word, what occasion suits casual wear, what dress suits an award function. This may cause a change in how the speaker and the listener had initially perceived the situation as. This would not have been possible in logical thinking.

In any discussion, before rejecting an idea, use PO, and look at what might happen, if the idea was taken ahead. What if it were assumed to be right and taken ahead. It may be such that the job works well in the successive stages, but not for this stage. So, you hold the idea, and explore alternative ways to help reach the stage from where that idea fits into the plan. Hence, the idea that may have originally been disposed off, has helped bring out a solution.


PO creates diversion, reduces over-reaction by removing emotional attachments reserved to polarized sides of an argument. PO is counteracting, but not arrogant. PO never takes sides, but always gives room for generating alternatives.

To sum up, PO helps challenges established patterns, and extracts information trapped in pigeon-holes and brings out alternative arrangement of information.

Lateral thinking is always going to be in use. If you are looking for ideas to go ahead, employ lateral thinking to find one. If you have an established method, explore new methods to improve upon what you already have - satisfaction is not an end point. If man was satisfied with postal services, emails would have never been a reality.

For more about PO, and all about Lateral Thinking, read "Lateral Thinking" by Edward de Bono.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bagrat's Sci-Fi Movie Debut

It is a dark night. Rain pours down. No evil creatures can be seen. No good creatures can be seen either. The cameras are either wet or fogged. You can't see anything. Only spooky background music playing without being in sync with the howls of the two stupid dogs. A man knocks on....


Oh, sorry, introduction to the post...

What? Why do you flinch? Your sci-fi movie also gave introduction like this only...

Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Peter, Ram, Ramdin, Andrei, and Ron are making science fiction movies. I must too. Basically, I need a story. That's all. The rest is automatic from thereon. You feed the script into one washing machine like thing, and you get full fledged movie with weird looking creatures, imaginative locations in outer space, imaginative two legged aliens etc automatically. Well, it's the same standard thing. Aliens will feed bad if they had one leg less or more.



The man knocks on the door. (Tense feeling should now fill the theatres) Then he realises he has the key to the house. he walks in, makes dinner, sets the table, starts eating. What he didn't notice, though, was that a bug fell into his soup and he drank it without noticing.

He soon belches it out. This mutant bug suddenly starts flying, comes. and sits on table. It suddenly grows wings, legs, and a head shaped like a human's. It gives an evil laughter (that sounds like Ajith from Mankatha). But then, the head suddenly blasts into pieces on its own. The driving point is that humans are killing bugs, and themselves multiplying. Soon, by the year 2076, there may not be any bugs left at all. So, bugs will now try to seek revenge and kill all humans. But that will happen in the third sequel of this series. What happens in this movie, we shall see.

Man goes to sleep. Next day, big baseball game to attend. His college team is playing a pointless end-of-season game. But he has to be there. It would be his 1000th game in a row in attendance. People call him the "Jobless Baseball Lunatic". JBL, in short.

He wakes up next morning, does his usual morning stuffs. He skips breakfast, like on all the game-days. He is about to reach out to the car-door, when the car suddenly transforms into a huge robot, standing on two legs and talking in Radio Mirchi, Mississippi Station version. The man is puzzled. How can this happen? He was NOT in Mississippi. Puzzled man reaches for his mobile phone to record this.

Sensing danger, the neighbour's car transforms into another robot, and they both start fighting. what...bham...kaboom...dishoom dishoom... (the good car seeks a time out, runs to the man and says in cool telephone answering machine voice "You must eat your breakfast, or Kabookies from Planet YdGH29685 will come and kill the entire human race tomorrow."

But he never made breakfast on game days. Who were Kabookies? Why was Mississippi Station playing here? Our hero is super confused. He feels this has to do with the baseball team, which had the name "Racing Mantador". He assumed that the Kabookies were some gang based in the city of their opponents', riling him up before the game.

First innings, Racing were batting. The keeper signals something weird to the pitcher, pitcher nods with evil smile. JBL thinks suddenly, "Where have I seen that look before?" The pitcher shoots the ball at the batter, the ball suddenly changes colour, splits a crack on one side, grows teeth and eats the batter's head off. It suddenly grows so huge that it eats the whole of the Racing team alive. Bloddshed. Pure bloodshed. But then, an airplane comes and falls on the field and kills everybody. Including the crazy ever-grown ball.

JBL survives, though. Hey, he's our hero. Your hero survived in outerspace without oxygen supply no? My hero survives crazy ball and airplanes also.

What JBL didn't notice was, that the airplane was a space-ship. From YdGH29685. Yes. What were the odds, huh? Well, in my movie, 1: It Happens.

One alien walks out and runs to JBL, and tries to befriend him. JBL looks at the alien. Green, two thin bent legs, long arms, pointed skully head, three eyes, nostrils, mouth. He saw the friendly eyes of the alien and took his arm forward, to shake hands. The alien opend its mouth and a gooey thing came out of it, with tip like that of a hand, and shook hands with JBL with it.

A young Kabookie, who lost an eye while playing Kabookieball

Both go home arms on shoulders, talking about inter-galactic football.

They become good friends. JBL doesn't know the alien is from YdGH29685. He doesn't know he has befriended a Kabookie. He knows nothing. His memory has been wiped off. Kabookies can do that. Well, Kabookies can also jump 17 feet on one leg, but we will use that attribute later, if possible.

The Kabookie and JBL are playing chess. Suddenly, Kabookie looks up in disgust, as it made a stupid move of not getting rid of JBL's knight, and then looked down to find JBL missing.

Spooky music gets zooms in slowly at the empty chair that was just a few seconds ago hosting JBL....

JBL's King piece on the chess board springs to life, and carves "INTERMISSION" on the chessboard.

Theatre lights switch on. People will not be allowed to leave the theatre. Low quality overpriced food will be served at your seat. They have to watch this super story fully.

Ok, you are also back aa? Shall we continue? Vokay.

Camera resumes zooming in on the chair. Suddenly, JBL gets up. The camera ends up focusing on the button over JBL's belly-button. JBL looks at the Kabookie and indifferently nods and says, "Darn, these shoelaces. They keep coming off time and again."

The Kabookie never showed emotions till then. Now, it started trembling. It sent out radio waves to YdGH29685. It sensed danger.

Why not?

JBL's shoelaces suddenly came off again, came out of the droves, became 20 times fatter, and flung themselves onto the Kabookie and choked it to death. Green gooey blood boiled everything near the Kabookie's chair. The Knight lying on the floor that got trenched in the gooey blood sprung to life, in life-size size and was about to chop JBL's head. But JBL sneezes, and his saliva splashes on the psycho knight and the knight freezes, shrinks and falls and breaks into pieces.

Camera pans to the skies. Extraordinary number of Kabookies head to the Earth in their space vehicles. They all fly without any visible propulsion exhaust, have funny arrangement of lights and can cut in random directions with super control. They are very eco-friendly. They don't need fuel to run, just blood, though, blood of any kind. Seems like they just fueled somewhere 257328957 light years away.

All Kabookies head towards JBL's place. It is midnight. 72 Kabookies enter JBL's hosue from 72 different locations. They make their own entries, of course. Stop finding logic in silly things. They speak to JBL in Kabooks, making weird hand movements. JBL sat back in his chair and watched them dance in amusement. Then Kind Kabooks slammed his foot on the ceiling, and sent shrill noises. Two windows broke because of this. A cup-board sprung to life and ejected red missiles killing every Kabookie in the house. King Kabookie alone survived.

JBL suddenly remembered something. He ran to the kitchen, drank milk and reached for Kellogs Chocos. Kabookie knew exactly what he was doing. He sprung to JBL, and snatched the box from JBL's hands. But, he failed to foresee that JBL never closed his boxed tight, and the brown sweet cereal flakes were floating all over the place. JBL dived like a penguin, and caught one of them in his mouch and crunched it between his teeth.

(the crunching sound ins played very loud. very, very loud, and it echoes.)

JBL had his breakfast. Thrilling waves go out from JBL's house. Every Kabookie suddenly turns blue, burns to ashes and falls down and the ashes disappear into the earth. Every Kabookie except King Kabookie.

The King Kabookie steps back, and rests his sword on the floor. Yes, he had a sword. You will see it when you watch the movie. He had it only to do this. He doesn't need sword to fight. He has a toxic tongue, you know. He went to JBL and explained to him, that only Kabookie brothers can kill every other Kabookie except their sibling. Hence, JBL should be his sibling. He asks JBL to take the sword, to prove that he is the brother.

JBL touches the black, heavy metal sword. It had something written on it. How do I know what was written on it. I don't know Kabooks. Nor do you. Only the car that turned into a monster knows to read Kabooks on Earth. Now that is gone, so, we are left with a rotten mystery here, sorry. As soon as he felt the sword's blade, JBL turned green, grew taller, thinner, and felt like as if his tongue was an arm.

He was King Kabookie's brother.

Both of them left the Earth, and rode their way back to YdGH29685.

But, is YdGH29685 in danger from the attack of the Gazikkabots of Yulunaland?

Screen fades away into backdrop, and the random meaningless quote appears :-
And then, the Kabookie-craft flies across the screen, cutting through characters, to leave the deeper message clear to the audience...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nuclear the Answer

India is a developing country, and one clear sign of that is the energy demand that its people have created since independence. India is the second most populated country in the world, and has the fifth largest installed capacity of electricity generation. To level those two numbers, the yard-stick to use is the per capita energy consumption, in which India is ranked beyond 140. In today’s scenario, India has a peak load demand of more than 12000 MW. India’s peak-hours shortfall rose by 0.4% in 2011. Clearly, the demand is exceeding the supply – 16000 MW of generation capacity was added from April to December in the same year.

Indian government plans to add 107000 MW to the installed capacity in the next five-years (2012-2017), having added only 70% of the set target of 52000 MW addition between the years 2007 and 2012. And, most of the power plants in place, and those about to be lined up, are thermal, especially, coal-based. As it is, coal based account for more than 55% of Indian power generation, and including other thermal sources, the number is 65%.

Let’s face it – coal is not going to last forever. Different people have different guesses for its extinction. Some say it will be gone by 2020, some say 2050. But, it will be gone very soon at the rate it is being consumed. We can only look at alternate sources of energy. Hydro is an easy option. Just that, you can tap the North-Eastern belly full of hydro energy potential, but have no-where to send it to in the difficult terrain. There is solar energy to tap, but at the cost that it made available for, Indians cannot afford it, even at the 40% subsidiary the government is willing to offer. Solar energy’s other deficiencies add up to its dismissal as the answer to overcoming the power shortfall. Wind energy, likewise, is very costly to install, wind farms are scarcely located and they are very inconsistent in generation for us, as a nation, to bank on for the demand.

The one answer, that may check all the boxes, however, is nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is nothing new to anyone. It has been used around the world, benefiting millions of people. It caters to 15% of world’s electricity requirements. India has, as of 2011, 4800 MW of installed capacity off nuclear power plants, and ranks 15th in the world by generation.

Just to compare the numbers, India’s total installed capacity of power generation is around 185 GW, and USA’s installed nuclear power capacity alone comes to 101 GW. 75% of France’s electricity supply is fulfilled by nuclear power, and even sell it to neighbouring countries.
The most common nuclear fuel is Uranium.

Nuclear power is green. It is non-polluting – it does not cause air pollution, it does not pollute the water, nuclear waste disposal is well watched and is done under watchful eyes of IAEA and other international eyes with the sole interest to not do the environment any harm. Fear not.

To further eliminate any concern about nuclear waste disposal, the nuclear sector is planning to move towards breeder reactors, which will reprocess the spent fuel and recover upto an expected 95% of usable fuel for subsequent reactions nuclear reactions and thereby, generate more power with minimal wastes. As of today, reprocessing done is less, but it will rise as the number of breeder reactors rise.
Nuclear power has to find its support in India too. There are 18 reactors in India, supplying 4.8 GW. It is about time to add more to it. The amount of fuel required to generate electricity for any number of units, is much less than that of coal burnt to generate the same.

The Kudankulam Nuclear power Plant has an installed capacity of 2000 MW burning the pockets. And, more units weighing in at 4000 MW combined will be added to it soon. Tamil Nadu’s power deficiency alone exceeds 1600 MW. Time and again, nuclear watch-dogs from around the world have tested and left satisfied with the safety deployed at the plants at the Kudankulam. It is us people who need to dispel the unnecessary fears locked in our minds.

Let it be known that the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was installed in the year 1971 – two years after Tarapur Atomic Power Station was in place – and the power plant at Fukushima needed an earthquake that measured 9 on the Richter Scale coupled with the gigantic forces of tsunami to cause damage that caught the attention of international eyes. Nothing survives disasters like that, nothing. It was catastrophic, yes. But, accidents cannot be seen as the reason to stop looking forward. Safety mechanisms are put in to avert as many disasters foreseeable as possible.

Technology is a wonderful asset. The Wright brothers crashed their flights in many of their trials, and then made their first successful glide of 120 feet. Today, we fly in planes that measure longer than that. we have seen accidents, and we have overcome those defects. We shouldn’t give up on something good.

India has been blessed with abundant deposits of Thorium, which is quite special. It is only justified if we can make use of this gift of nature and satisfy the hunger of energy demand that has landed upon us.

Hopefully, nuclear is now clear.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Television News MEDI(ocre)A

Dear television news media,

How are you?
Don't bother answering, I know you are as crap as crap can be.

No, I'm not well either. Thanks to you.

Because of you and the cronies in your flank, I've had stages of depression, anger, head-aches and mental fatigue. I'm pretty sure many others have had the same too. Let me explain. of course, you never know about these things. you are one of the flock-less bird in the cage of flock-less birds.

I ask you, what joy does it give you to incessantly report about a murder, its trials and its follow-up? Are you solving the case yourself? Are you getting paid to get it covered? Isn't it the court's responsibility to carry out trials and investigations and send in their verdict? Why, are you the police right now?

Someone died, someone's been murdered. Somebody lost his wife, someone lost her mother, someone lost his daughter, and you ask them "How it feels like? Who do you think is the victim?". My dear lunatic fool, will you leave them alone? They are in enough pain without your presence there. Go watch Peepli Live and then retire. Or retire first, as that will save a couple of hours of your service to the world of stupidity.

Also, the other nincompoop branch of your family is out there banging at the doors of an ICU unit of a hospital which hosts a child barely longer than the length of my forearm. Can you please leave the poor kid alone? Can you please keep your endlessly pointless nose out of the hospital? What ARE you trying to do there? A baby met with domestic violence. It's sad, I know. We all know. And we don't want you showing us uncomfortable pictures all day long. Do you know on how many days I have not been able to eat my lunch with pleasure because I accidentally look up at the TV and you show such depressing images?

Winnings sympathy, sympathy viewers? Do you want us to cry and weep in front of your office and watch all your utterly depressing video clips of murders, rapes, violence and bloodshed? Is that what your reporters cover all day? If you are jobless, go, grow crops. Go, help farmers. And go there without your camera, paper, pen and mobile phones. One thing is, that you can't do anything. The other thing, if at all you deny the first, is, that you can't do anything right. All you do is, pick a totally irrelevant piece that doesn't need the publicity - either because it is cheap, or because in that situation privacy is the need of the hour. And it is stupid either way.

And please punch that nephew of yours who interviews a poor chap shivering on the a platform besides a road somewhere in Kashmir and asks him "How cold is it? How are you coping up with this?". Inhumane, to say the least!

And why are you making headlines out of passengers stranded at airport? Has your flight never ever been delayed? And oh, what joy you receive by constantly telecasting replays of someone falling on the dais, or someone getting slapped, or someone getting hit by a thrown shoes; while anything that happened before or after that incidence in a meeting or lecture or discourse carried infinitely more reason to be shown instead?

But, of course, you are just a mongrel who likes to eat money, and will kill whatever to do so.

Why, take for example the brain-damaged fools who call themselves "News Channel", but all they show is replays of music shows, dance competitions, reality shows and award functions? Why would I be bothered about which guy hates which woman on some already height-of-disastrous-waste-of-time-and-money-and-common-sense reality show of unrealistic things which feels its publicity is directly in proportion to the number of times of swears during the length of the show? Why would I even want to turn on the news channel to learn about what happened when one man tried to cause a nervous breakdown in a dozen people? And that's not wrestling, that is supposed to be some singing competition. But that is a whole other dark ocean of utter stupidity.

Sports... You didn't leave that section alone either, did you? A man has a disease. He is already not at ease. And you lovely idiots want to poke him, his parents, his coach, his mentor, his buddies, his doctor, non-stop for weeks after weeks after weeks? If you fall ill, do you even like one person talking to you? Frankly, I go berserk when someone talks to me when I'm ill and on bed. You sold your heart, mind and soul to the devil, didn't you? The devil named money. In any which form, it comes down to money.

Do you even have decency in asking questions? Since when have you assumed yourself as the chief inspector of everything that's right in the world? One, you can't ask the right question. Two, you ask too many questions. Three, you say that it is your job to ask whatever and whichever question you want to, because you wear the cap of a journalist and demand an answer from the person at the other end of the noose. I'm serious when I say this - you are manner-less. Gone are the days I thought of interviews as strolling in a garden, sitting by the sides of a tea-table, sipping garam-a-garam chaai, happily answering the questions people have for a person. Today, it is in-front of a TV panel consisting of people who makes you think that the person being interviewed had raped one of them, stole the properties of the other, ate the limb of the third and put the blame of all three on the fourth. Come on, if you are not brain dead, I don't know what you are. Medical marvel? I advice the doctors to do something about these marvels, like, not let them loose, for example.

And another point which I saw more than an year ago, why would you send your daughter to a war torn country to cover a civil war? Especially when there are several people already covering it? You wish to say that some videos of tanks moving in the town, and bricks falling down and audio of gun-shots in the back-ground, all taken in a iPhone camera (because your cameraman got injured and had to escape death and couldn't save the camera), were all worth more than the lives of some people who were covering the event?

And remember, you are the media-men, not the ones who are supposed to be giving the suggestions and opinions. no one cares what you think about the polling, or who will win the case in court, or who should be selected to the indian cricket team. Mind your own business.

Sorry, I forgot that you can't.

I try my bet to not face televisions while at lunch, because all they play there is some news channel. And you definition of "news" is "whatever gives us money". At breakfast table, I run away from the room if a news channel is being played.

I don't need your torture to ruin a pleasant life that I'm having. I don't need to watch your news. It doesn't give me any knowledge, anyway.

May your soul rot in hell.

With loads of hatred,

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Outbound Program @ Parvati hills

Ever since winter set in, "Out-bound" would only remind me of the 'out of bounds' phrase from the basketball diction where the ball would go out of official play area and a team would have to bring it back in. Both teams would use the time to refresh strategies, study new plays and try execute them when the play resumed on the "in-bound" sequence.

When I received a mail from my employers that I've been invited for an out-bound program, all this flashed across my mind. And then I saw what it actually meant. Just the same. Only, much much more exciting and filled to the brim with fun, with a bagful of learning experiences to carry back.

A bunch of 42 new-joinees, along with our HR personnel, headed to Parvati Hills (approximately an hour from Himmatnagar in Gujarat. Also, please don't trust the calculations I made while throughout the journey). We had to start at 5.15 am, and hence the alarm sounded off at 4 am. Cold wintry morning was braved by most of us and we set off. We had no idea about what to anticipate, and that added the excitement.

5 wonderful hours of sleep, during which my outstretched legs looked like a snake in the aisle of the bus, only disturbed by the call for breakfast (please don't plan to have chips and wafers and cup-cake for breakfast), we reached the middle of nowhere. The problem was, we really didn't know where to head. After half an hour of the bus going front and back in all possible like-looking roads, we finally reached the site.

I was angry at first. The place had nothing but a large house, a couple of trucks and three tractors. Surely, we had only stopped to ask directions?

Whilst my brain took a stroll, We were led elsewhere by a guide. We went downhill and entered into a wonderful little world nobody could've spotted from outside. Trees and rocks protected the beautiful tiny patch of plain and a gorgeous golf-course shaped lake. We were still in awe. More so because it had absolutely no relation to the place we disembarked off the bus (only 200 yards away).

We put our bags into the tents that were pitched up for us and comforted ourselves on the chairs laid out. Out came our training instructor for the day, Mr Sheetal, along with his three colleagues (pardon me, I'm that bad at recollecting names :-( ). As if on cue, they said "Breakfast is ready, go feast." It was 11.30 am, but who cares? To our tummy, breakfast was what we wanted. Over aloo parathas, bread, butter, jam and eggs, we all feasted for 20 minutes and soaked it up with tea.


Our day began with an ice-breaker. We colleagues came from 3 different locations, and from atleast 4 different branches of our company. We didn't know all. And the first half hour went into introducing ourselves and having some fun mingling, and then form groups that would perform activities together.

Our first activity was to build a raft. Any one who was eager to head to the lake had his/her wish fulfilled. We were at the shores, where we were provided with two plastic drums, a bunch of bamboo sticks and lots and lots of ropes at our disposal. Designer heads ran into over-time and all physics came into picture. Rafts were built, people were put on them. Some capsized, only one went to the designated mark. But it was all fun. Especially when you see the "raft-men" laughing at their fall!

Our next activity (once our trousers were dry) was to lift a ball that's resting on a ring held by strings, and moving it to another spot. Both the start and end points open end of a pipe. The ball rested on the pipe. Simple enough? Just that we had to do it blindfolded. One of our team-mate would guide us, with eyes open, of course.

Next activity - to deposit little ping-pong ball-sized rubber balls from one end of a line to the other, into a bucket. We were ten people, each holding a foot-long pipe cut into half along the axis so we could run the ball from one end to the other of pipe and drop the ball into the neighbour's, to transport the ball across the distance. Well, the distance was 35-40 m per my estimate, and we were, yes, 10. It took us multiple shuffling and juggling to do it successfully time and again over the given time of 20 minutes. It was super fun!

It was lunch. At 3.45 pm no less!! Bas toot pade... Wish we could just eat that all day!

We then had to enact a role play that we had barely prepared for. What we did was the acting equivalent of an extempore. Just that we did it so well for our team to believe :-) . Other teams had done wonderful acts, yes!

It was nearly dusk, and I thought we might get some time off for ourselves before a bonfire. Well, surprise!

Members in each group were tied together and walked into a bus. We were like cows moving in a line on cue! The bus drove us here and there and deposited us into the forest that blanketed the place. Our task - find the way back to the base camp. Not quite easy, as we found out. Our clues like - that star, the red sky of the dusk and "that tube-light there" became sitting ducks, when many more strs showed up, the red light fell into the darkness of the night and many other tube-lights showed up. We trusted our compass, and trekked through the thorny, forest lands, up and down the rocks, everyone striking the pose like traffic policemen when the leader asks "which way should we go". In the end, the guide (who wouldn't give us a clue) said that we had grazed everywhere that was theirs but the camp, and directed us back to the camp. Well, thorns apart, no fun like trekking in the dark with just flash-lights for help.

We brushed though all that we did that day, and then sat around the bonfire, singing songs, warming our hands, making new friends, and waiting for the dinner call, which finally came at 10 pm. The dinner was wonderful, and wonderfully capped with Gulab Jamuns. So tasty, that the ones who wanted to skip dinner were lured into it. Please don't lick the computer screen.

I was tired, and couldn't stand the third karaoke of "Why this kolaveri..." in the last half hour. So, I headed to my tent, only to find my bed missing. I was then told that it was shifted to another tent, where I slept in peace. Some good songs acted as lullabies.


Rise and grind, up before dawn, was up and ready to watch the day break its glory upon the canopy. It was a beautiful picture as one part shone in the sunshine, while the other lay in the shadows. We had tea to get wake our brains up.

First up, we had to pitch a tent. We had just come out of one, and here we were, building one. In 12-minutes (??), the tent was up! I was brilliantly foolish in putting up my side of the tent, which looked like as if someone closed the tent's "ears" on one side. Lucky for me, I could stop cursing myself when I heard the race was to finish it first, and the beauty part of the tent could be excused. #saved

Breakfast. Idly and the bread-butter-jam-egg set-up. Am desi. Idly for me. Hands only. Nom Nom. :-)

Next up : Rappelling. If I had no measure of my fear of height, which included staring 400 feet into the Shimla Railway station from an open cliff above it, I had it here - over a tiny 30 foot high rock-cut. Tiny my foot. I was scared till I set my foot back on earth, you know, the flat horizontal part of earth. Yeah, it is ironical that I of all people have to fear height, but that's how mother nature likes to laugh!

We returned to take bath (not mandatory). And then got ready for the next task. A square was drawn on the floor. And that was divided into 4 quadrants. Each quadrant had 5 pieces of brick-shaped pieces of wood. Each team had to travel from their quadrant, traverse through the next clockwise quadrant and exit from the third. All the time, foot on the bricks (allow me to call them bricks), which can have not more than two feet on it at one point of time. Also, if you put your foot on one and then leave it alone, that will be removed. That was one superb activity! Brought in at the right time to tease our brains. Some lost their cool, some lost their voice. In the end, it was done.

The last "activity" was to recite a slogan/song that each team had composed, to justify the team name each had chosen. 10 minutes of salute to innovative ideas followed. And then the winners were crowned!

Needless to say, lunch followed to cap the day!

Over the two days, we learnt many values from simple activities that are valid to our personal life as well as corporate career. It was an excellent idea for our employers to invest into such a program for us "new-bies", that helped us find a bit more about ourselves, something that we only find about when put to test. It was wonderful when we complemented and supplemented each other as a part of the team, or helping other teams with their work, or working together to complete one common goal.

After all, we're all one.

If you want to your team to take up this wonderful adventure-packed program for your team, or bunch of friends, visit Parvati Hills' website -, and Anala Outdoors will sweep you off the floor with excellent facilities and activities that you won't forget for the rest of your lives!

I enjoyed this trip a lot. *insert more sweet clichés*. Made some really good friends over the 2 days, don't know how many of them I would meet again! It was all fun, all the time!