Coming out of cocoon

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How often do we make a new start in our lives?

I feel that one of the biggest changes in ones life is a change in housing. And that is what I am going to write about today. I was born in Delhi and brought up in Ghaziabad. I lived there in the same house for 10 years until I moved to Delhi for getting senior secondary education. This was the first time I was supposed to live away from my parents. Luckily the distance was not more than 70 km which allowed me to meet them every weekend or sometimes even before that.

Being the only child of my parents I was not habitual of sharing my things or dealing with bad breakfast. On my first day in the hostel I fell ill and kept vomiting. This worried my parents even more but I managed to live through the night. Next day I was late for school and by the time I got ready, all other hostelers were already done with their breakfast. I grabbed a piece of bread and  rushed towards the school bus but missed it by few meters. Now was the time for me to learn the skill of hiring an auto-rickshaw. I was not the only one who missed his bus, I found that there were 4 more hapless folks like me who just got out of the hostel and asked me about the bus. We walked to the main road and waived down the next auto. The words that came out of the driver’s mouth had struck heavily on my pocket money and if one of us were not accustomed with Delhi’s traditions we would have been duped. There were around 6 fly-overs that we had to cross and every time the auto started climbing, the speed reduced from 40 kmph to 25 kmph. Thus we reached 20 minutes late when the assembly was almost over and teachers were ready to take our class (literally). I felt bad that day and even the day after that and the day after that but soon I learned the skills of a Delhite. I had now started a new life and it required new means to tackle situations like these. Following are the two solutions we found:

A. Carry the uniform in the school bag while you go to school in casuals

This method only worked till the guards and other school staff were not familiar with our faces. We went to school in casuals and entered through the admin block. Then simply went to a washroom and changed into our uniforms to go directly to our class rooms.

B. Find a whole in the wall or just create one

While we were playing in the ground (one fine day), we found a whole in the school’s wall which provided direct unrestricted access. This was only useful till they repaired the wall but guess what we did after that? We started jumping the wall which of course had the down side of risking being caught by the school guards. But it was high time that I came out of my cocoon and start a new life.

Disclaimer: Please note that such activities even landed me to principal’s office and the readers shall perform them at their own risk.

 

Inter-circle MNP might be coming soon

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Image: Mobile services in India
According to the recent news, soon the mobile users will be able to use MNP (Mobile Number Portability) when they shift from one circle to another.

For those who couldn’t understand, India is being divided into various circles/zones for providing mobile communication. Each service provider may offer different services in different circles. For example, a message pack’s cost might be different in Delhi from it’s value in Mumbai.

Now this is just a declaration, that such things have been proposed. There has been no intimation of the approximate date of this change. Do keep in mind that such decisions may take a long time for affectation. For instance, MNP was proposed in India in 2005 and it could only be implemented after 5 years in October, 2010. (Just for the record, MNP has been present in Japan since 1999.)

References:  
Zee news : A new policy that will help users avail free roaming services across the country and inter-circle mobile number portability.
Hindustan Times :  Mobile phone service consumers may be allowed mobile number portability even if they shift from one state to another.

Delhi Bikers Breakfast Run (Hodal)

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Click here to visit the corresponding Flickr Set

Alarm was ringing, I was about to snooze it when I suddenly recalled I had to leave for the breakfast run. I threw away the blanket and jumped out of my bed as I was 40 min behind my schedule. After stuffing the backpack with an extra pair of clothes I left in haste. The distance (60km) which takes about 1:30 hours to cover was covered in just 50 minutes.

I was wearing a plastic sheet over my shirt and was soaked from gloves to socks because it was raining cats and dogs in the area I came from. I reached the meeting point on time and was so charged up (or rather lost I should say) that I applied the brakes at the very last moment which made my motorcycle skid in a drifting fashion. I was kind of embarrassed as it was perceived that stunts were not encouraged here at all. But I got over it as Joshua came and shook hands to welcome me. I mentioned that it wasn’t done on purpose.

Soon, it was time to mingle with other riders as I started talking about usual stuff like whether it was their first run and all. To get rid of the wetness I changed at the rear side of the petrol pump. (This is where my extra pair of clothes got utilized) This also gave me the time to arrange my regular stuff like waist bag, camera, mobile phones, earphones and wrist watch etc.

We just got the morning tea served when the Harley Davidsons and Suzuki Hayabusas drove in. It’s always a treat to eyes watching the HDs rolling. They parked the motorcycles with as much respect as they deserved and it was soon like an Auto-Expo with flashes coming from all the sides. Of course this was the time to draw out my digital camera and start clicking; and so I did:

I just couldn’t get enough of it as I kept clicking them from different angles:


My dream bike was right in front of my eyes; Hayabusa which was the fastest motorcycle (248 mph/397 kmph) in the world until the freaking Dodge Tomahawk (350mph/560 kmph) came in. (Although I don’t consider it as a motorcycle coz it’s more like a 4 tyre Quad)
Then I heard a whistle and I knew it was party time. Joshua was standing on the pavement announcing the procedure and rules. Almost all the things were already mentioned in the message we all received on facebook; except from the fact that we were being served omelette in Hodal. With all due respect to my favourite breakfast, I would like to add that I was very less excited about it, as there were some other things propelling in my mind already.

We were supposed to drive in a 2X2 fashion with the headlights set at low beam. I was lucky enough to get space beside an HD whose pillion was a kid (as much equipped as the rider); and the whole setting seemed perfect. We drove together up to the next stop which was about 40km away from our destination and it was indeed a pleasure for me.

This is where my friend Sameer joined us who suggested the HD’s logo to be clicked:

He was riding a Yamaha Fz and the helmet and gears gave him a pure wheeler look. We decided to get ahead of all so that we could record the campaign, and certainly we got a magnificent video recording (which I might be uploading after some editing). We reached Hodal in no time and managed to get these clicks:

Soon it was time to have the breakfast and we all moved into a hall where all the arrangements were already made. There I met the HD rider (whom I drove with) as he somehow recognized me. :/ He (Mr. Titus Koshy) was so down to earth and friendly that he earned my respect in no time. I told him about my trips to some hill stations like Morni Hills, Chakrata, Tiger falls and Hatkoti as he listened patiently. I learned a lot from him as well. He told me about various things a biker should take care of. I even got a picture with him while we were coming back to Delhi:

Not to mention; he was not the only one who was humble and easy to break the ice with. As Sameer had to leave early, I talked with new mates and now I am having lot of new riders in my friend list.

There was also a guy named ‘Swapnil’ who made the environment quite musical by using his guitar and singing.

After the breakfast, we went outside to enjoy the view of lake where gooses were already waiting for my camera:

And then after stretching our backs we were ready to motor again. Although some of us went to different destinations like Agra and Vrindavan there were still many motorcycles lined up all smoking. This time I made sure that I’d be the last guy to leave as I wanted to get more photographs.

Although they vanished like mountain fog I reached them in no time. As it was getting hot I decided to get back to my usual driving style as I started taking over the lots. Although I did try to drive along the royal HDs for a while I guess me and Vishal were among the very first ones to reach Delhi. This was an unforgettable experience for me and perfectly served my motorcycling ardour.

Review: Corridor | Sarnath Banerjee

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This is a nice and entertaining graphic novel. 

Here are some of the lines that I particularly liked:

That’s the thing with smell, YOU DON’T NOTICE IF IT’S YOUR OWN 😀

Universal death rate, one death per person!

Repentance can not bring back the corn, the birds have eaten away

Life mostly is a stream of missed opportunities, anything else is cinema!

It all comes down to chewing your food well!

People are like onions; they have layers and layers. BUT WHO WILL KNOW? WHO HAS TIME?

Indian yogi ‘Baba Ramdev’ fasts against corruption

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Image Courtesy: www.bbc.co.uk

A few days back I saw the BBC headline: “Indian yogi Baba Ramdev fasts against corruption.”
Now what image of our country does it draw?

I cannot deny that corruption in India has caused so many problems that people are no longer ready to bear it. Thus, when such strikes are organized the people get to see a ray of hope that maybe, just maybe this time some things will change.

The way I see it, Baba Ramdev is surely a good Yoga educator but when it comes to events like these, it’s perplexing to understand who is telling the truth. I do not understand whether the sympathy people are having for Baba Ramdev is purely based on his effort to evade corruption or they are being hypnotised or something. He sure has a great following due to his remarkable achievements in the field of meditation and Yoga. But this makes it difficult to believe that people who follow him are actually against corruption or do they just want to agree with their hero.

There is controversy in every little statement. Viz. Baba Ramdev says that thousands were injured owing to the wipe off organized by police; while authorities count injured as 30. Now how bad someone’s math can be?

I also heard about the proofs that some harmful events like bomb-explosion were being planned, by those who are always awaiting such opportunities when mass number of people can be affected.

Several upshots like these made it clear that the agitation could not be allowed especially in a city none other than the capital of India; and thus it somehow defends the police action. Moreover, according to reports the tear gas was only being used after the violent agitation by supporters. If this was true, then Baba Ramdev should have just got down from the stage and hand himself over to the police because he was already given a warning on Saturday night. This would have saved the thousands of people who got beaten brutally by the police; according to the contradictory reports.

Now if we assume that all the claims made by Baba Ramdev’s supporters are true, then surely the police’s action cannot be justified at all. Making an announcement is  the foremost thing that is required in such a situation, where there are high chances of stampede. But it is hard to believe that Indian police could have acted like Jallian wala Bagh‘s troops; because for one thing, General Dyer is not alive anymore.

Other than this, the never-ending fight between the two political parties has given this a totally divergent picture. What was supposed to resemble a “satyagrah”, wouldn’t have involved such comments being made by the politicians’ one after the other.

There is a huge difference in the ways of Mr. Anna Hazare (associated with Jan Lokpal Bill) and Baba Ramdev. For instance, the Ramlila Maidan was being booked for carrying out Yoga and not for any agitation. Breaking the rules (under section 144) in the first place made me think more about the ethnicity of this so-called ‘Fight against corruption’.

Wake up dude! We are not being ruled by a foreign company now; the people we are pointing our fingers at are the ones being elected by us only. We the people of India are responsible for its past, present and future.

For me, fighting against corruption is not going on a hunger strike but to eradicate it from the roots whilst we start from the leaves; the leaves that we have watered for our own sakes.

P.S.: All that I have written here is purely based on the knowledge that I received from the news reports. Now we all know about the preciseness of such reports, so maybe the way I am thinking now is also a result of the ideas being implanted in my brain by such manipulated compositions.

Asia IT Expo 2011

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Bailiwick Reckoner

Asia IT Expo : 14-16 Jan 2011


Things that gained my interest

Even before entering the “Pragati maidan” (place where expo was held in Delhi) I was offered a newspaper named “Connexxion Plus” which is published every fortnight. It contained many advertisements from the top companies like Dell, HTC, Toshiba, Intel and was basically featuring latest technical news. Although it costs Rs.15 in the market but we were offered it for free.

As I had already registered online I just had to tick some check boxes to get my Visitor Card from the registration booth.

The free newspaper was just the beginning, I was offered a lot of pamphlets, bookmarks and even hand bags.

This was not like other fairs where one has to deal with the hustling crowd, the stalls were well organized and there was plenty of room to move around. I started with the stall of “WD” products featuring Portable hard disks, media players. The volunteers present there were very attentive and made sure that the person looking at their stall is taken care of. The one at this stall told me about the prices and capacity of their product called “My Book Mirror” in which one can store data from 1TB-2TB.

Reference: http://wdc.com

Next was a Chinese company called “Trus” which featured really attractive USB flash disks and solid state disks. They were uniquely creative with the designs of the USB disks which came in different shapes.

Reference: http://trus.cc

Another company with similar creativity was “Touchmate”. They experimented with the designs of  IT peripherals and digital lifestyle products. Some of the good ones included, Home theatre with touch panel, Polarized MP3 sunglasses, DVD Boombox and rechargeable MP3 speakers.

Reference: http://touchmateindia.com

Being a fan of movies, the stall featuring projectors gained my attention at once. The company called “Boxlight” provides various kind of projectors including ProjectoWrite2 which came with the interactive white board technology. The person could interact with the whiteboard using the wand or pen without even touching it. Actually the colour camera with I/R filter mounted on the projector allows for interaction with the wand and light pen. This would have been more interesting for me if I had not watched the video telling me about the cameras and sensors, so I just collected their pamphlet and moved on.

Reference: http://boxlight.in

Another interesting thing were the Mini USB speakers featured by “advik”. Despite of their streamlined sleek design they provided high-efficiency with low distortion. These looked really easy to carry and had USB direct power supply connection convenience.

Reference: http://advik.net

Next stall was of “HDRC” i.e. Hard Drive Data Recovery. Other than the recovery and cyber forensic services they were offering data recovery training as well. This included complete information on how to recover lost data in a secure and efficient way, so that one can make his own Data Recovery Lab. All the hardware products are being provided to the trainee along with online access. I think it is a nice way to build a career, as recovering data is considered to be most difficult and companies are ready to pay hefty amounts of money to get their data back from damaged drives.

Reference: http://hdrconline.com

I have used some online forms and databases lately and one of the websites that provides me such facility is “zoho.com”. They had their stall here providing online office, collaboration, business and productivity applications. Most of their applications are quite easy to use and give desired output. I will definitely suggest everyone to go through this website, as they give many services on trial basis.

Reference: http://zoho.com

We have been using scanners for different purposes, but we do have to bring our document to the scanner as we cannot carry our scanner to the document itself. Well, this is not the scenario anymore as the next stall of “Portronics” featured a portable handheld scanner which was much like a stick. Instead of using a bulky scanner, now we can use this handy machine to scan our documents, photos, maps, textures and anything up to 50 inches. It is not supposed to be connected to any computer as the scanned images are stored in its internal storage (up to 32 GB), which can be later accessed via USB port. It runs on AA batteries and doesn’t require any drivers. I think it is a very useful device and can be quite helpful for scanning difficult areas.

Reference: http://www.smartdevices.in/

A panel of computers is not a rare setting these days. And mostly it is not necessary for every terminal to have its own cabinet, especially for offices, banks, schools, internet cafes and factories. The company named “Sunde” was featuring thin client network computing using which one can extend a standard PC to a computing system with up to 40 users to work independently and simultaneously. Other than saving space and hardware cost it provides low power consumption with no noise output and no maintenance required. The device had all the required ports including Ethernet (RJ45), VGA monitor, USB, mouse, keyboard, mic and speaker. Moreover, it was designed in such a way that it could adjust between parallel and crossover cable automatically.

Reference: http://sunde.in

The companies often need a card printing machine and “Evolis” was featuring a similar portable color printer called Pebble, to personalize single-sided cards on demand or in volume. It provided large choice of consumables and encoding options like magnetic stripes, ID badges, payment cards, secured access control cards, driver’s licenses, health cards, transit passes, loyalty cards, event cards, contact smart cards and contact-less cards.

Reference: http://evolis.com

P.S. : Altogether it was a comprehensive expo!

 

*This content has been re-posted to convert a static page into a blog post.

 

Children’s Day Special

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I have been looking forward to work for some NGO during my leisure time. A similar thing happened when I read a message from a Live On Campus employee regarding, volunteering at Jamghat NGO; helping them celebrate children’s day! I decided at that moment itself that I am going to do it. I reached the Live on Campus office from where 2 seniors accompanied me and we left for the Tagore International School (Delhi) where the program was to be organized. Children from many different NGOs were channeled there. As it rained unexpectedly, the ground got wet and the stage programs were now to be conducted in the school auditorium. The children were accompanied by their respective volunteers. We were there to represent Jamghat so we clicked some photographs while waiting for the children to come out of the auditorium. The kids were just adorable. They loved getting photographed and threw a big smile. There were many joy rides for the kids, who were queued and watched by the volunteers. We took care of some kids by taking them for rides. All the children were queued for having food. Jamghat had brought 55 children which included kids of different age groups. We accompanied them while waiting in the queue and made them sit after they got the food.

This whole experience was just fantastic. We noticed that small children tend to cling to each other as they are frightened of getting lost. I am glad that I utilized my day by doing something grateful. And I am thankful to the Live on Campus people who made this possible. Their company was very pleasant and I felt like I was with my friends.

P.S.: It feels great to be a part of some social cause!

Shan e punjab express-2497

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(Punjabi University, Patiala, 20th August, 2010)

I got free from college well before the time that I expected, so I had enough time to pack my stuff. I had to take care of some task before leaving for Delhi, so I hurried up and got it done as soon as possible.

I saw my senior standing at the bus stop and decided to come back to him after parking my bike. We hailed an auto to “Rajpura” railway station where we met two more Delhites from my year. There was a long queue for buying tickets and none of us was willing to wait, so we talked to an aunt to buy the tickets for us by using the ladies queue. She was quite friendly and asked us about our college. I kept standing in the queue until it was made sure that the tickets have been bought correctly.

As there was still time for the train to come, we went outside the station and had some snacks. The other two guys had reserved their seats, so we had to take care of ourselves. Fortunately, we got the seats easily even though we were expecting a huge crowd as it was the Friday and festive season as well. We talked about college stuff and listened to songs on our respective music players. The time passed by very fast, and I didn’t realize that our train was running early. We reached the “Sabji Mandi” station in Delhi, 10 minutes before the scheduled time.

It’s really strange for Indian trains to reach before time, and I was lucky to have my father waiting for me there already.

Running away from TC!

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After giving my viva for which I dressed formally as I was suppose to give a presentation(which never happened), I left for Delhi with my senior.

We took a bus to rajpura bypass, and from there we got into another bus going to delhi.

I recently came to know about the train called “malwa express” and wanted to try it, so I convinced my senior to get off the bus at ambala station.

Entering the station area, we soon realized that we have to wait in a long queue for the tickets. Any how, we finally got the tickets just on time after standing there for about 40 min as one of the guys in our queue allowed us to come in front as our train already arrived at the platform.
We were running like anything, climbing the stairs as fast as we could.
We asked the TC if he could allot us 2 seats, but got no response.
As there was no space in the general coach, we had to get in to a reserved coach. (even those were stuffed badly)
I was hanging outside the coach, with my foot, slightly balanced at the corner.
We got inside after a while and were being pushed and hustled continuously. I was worried about the digicam in my bag. I had to keep it aside, and a guy was almost sitting on the bag. So many people stepped on my foot a number of times, while crossing me.

Then, a lady got in to the train, shouting at everyone.
As soon as the train started moving she took out a booklet from her purse n started asking for our tickets, surprisingly she was the TC(ticket checker) in civil dress. When we showed her our tickets, she started yelling at us and asked for rs 330 each. I said, “I don’t have this much money with me. I was hoping to convince her by telling her that we were students going back home.
But she wasn’t listening to us at all, soon it became clear that she is not gonna leave us without taking those Rs. 330.

So, as soon as she started yelling at another man who was also without reservation, I grabbed my bag and we ran out of there.
After leaving that coach (all the coaches were connected), we waited for a while to analyze the situation.
Every time, when we saw her coming, we started running again.

Now the thing is that, the TCs always get in from both sides. Soon we saw another TC in front of us, this one had a police man with him. But we passed him easily as we walked with lowered heads. We had to cross 2 more coaches and the train was suppose to stop at delhi after 40 min, but due to non availability of signal it stopped at a small village called Ganaur. As the senior couldn’t grab his bag, we had to run along the train asking the passengers to through out his bag.
Any how, we got his bag.

Our tickets were taken by the TC, so we couldn’t take the risk of going out via main entrance therefore we jumped the fence and started walking. After walking for about 20 min, we realized that that highway is not near, I asked a man about the highway. (who was staring at us already due to our different clothes n style, my i-pod wire going from one pocket to another as there was no time for listening songs then) He told me that it was 3 km away, so we hired an autorikshaw and reached the highway.

Now all the buses kept going the other way. After a while, a DTC (delhi bus) came and we almost jumped in front of it to make it stop (DTC usually doesn’t stop at places other than its regular stops)

We got in to the bus and threw our bags on the seats taking a long breath of relief.

And guess what, the TC of bus started asking us “what are the rates from here to Delhi?”

He was giving away a ticket for Delhi from that village for the first time.
The senior said, “I am never gonna travel with you again” and we laughed about it.


P.S.=This was an unforgettable journey, which involved my encounter with a lady TC for the first time.

I Love Delhi!

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As I told in my last post..[Want to meet old friends]. I had a plan to meet my friends today. But I couldn’t convince my parents to allow me to go. As a result, I was suppose to go shopping with them. Although, I wasn’t in a mood for shopping after this disapproval. We left for Delhi at around 2pm.

I buttered my Dad, and he allowed me to drive the car today. After getting some house related work done, we went to Kamla Nagar. At first, I didn’t like it there but as I started roaming around in the streets, I got carried away by the crowded and beautiful lanes of Delhi.

Soon I started taking interest in the goods my parents wanted me to buy. We went through the whole market approximately. I was enjoying it a lot because I was in the markets of Delhi after a very long time. The crowd was fantastic and I passed time by looking at delhites and their trends while my parents selected the items on shops. After trying out some of the showrooms I finally bought a pair of blue colored action shoes. I have got 10 weeks guarantee on it and I was very happy with the sole.  I drove back to home at a faster speed, though my father was not comfortable with it. He shouted on me when I rushed the car through a busy lane cutting away a few slower bugs.

But at the end of the day, I am glad that I went with my parents today. Also, I came to know that even if they would have allowed me to go I wasn’t in huge profit, because my best friend Raicky was suppose to go to Rohtak in the afternoon and this meant that our get together couldn’t last long.

Summary: I love Delhi and its people. I miss my life in Delhi a lot. Those busy lanes, those branded stuff showrooms, those happy faces, those traffic lights, the enchanting Delhi radio and last but not the least, those pretty Delhi girls 😉