It was the night when the country was preparing to celebrate it’s 61st Independence Day and some students in a small town were busy in a pre-welcome interaction session (some people call it ragging) with their juniors in the hostel. Interaction topics were mind blowing: write a passage of thousand words on an empty glass. To enhance the concentration you need to keep an empty glass right in front of your eyes and watch it time to time while writing. Scold your best actor or actress as badly as you can. Tell the names of all your thirty seniors in one breath, if fails try till you succeed. It went on like this till one topic came in which juniors were asked to tell five things that make them proud to be Indian. One junior started saying Taj Mahal, Kohinoor diamond, before he could tell the third one he fell on the floor with a sudden heavy slap from a senior. You idiot, don’t even know five things to be proud about India. They are population, poverty, illiteracy, corruption and unemployment. No other country has done as much progress after sixty years of it’s independence as we have done. So why don’t you feel proud about all these? Silence prevailed in that room for a next few minutes and the junior who had been slapped was sobbing very badly. It was almost 2am when all the seniors left the room.
The next day at 9am on the 61st Independence Day, not a single student was present for the flag hosting ceremony in the college ground. The only people present there were the principal, four lectures and around three peons. The students were busy making arrangements for a cultural program at 10am in the hostel premises followed by a sumptuous lunch. Famous DJ of the town has been called for making the function more attractive. To emphasize the importance of the Independence Day there was a program called “patriotic speech unlimited” by the juniors. It was generally meant to tease the juniors in public.
After the singing program got over, the long awaited “patriotic speech unlimited” program got started. A junior girl brought some written stuff and started reading it out on the stage. The senior boys and girls started teasing her for every line she read. By the time she completed her speech, she was literally crying. Next came the turn of the boy who was slapped the previous night. I could see his eyes which were red; no doubt he has not slept the whole night. Some of his class-mates started murmuring, “what will he speak, he has no preparation. At least he could have written down some stuff on a piece of paper”. If somebody fails to speak properly on “patriotic speech unlimited”, he and his group will be declared unpatriotic. This means they have to practise patriotism by singing the national anthem loudly in front of every senior’s room at 6am before they start any ritual of the day. In the college, if they see seniors in the canteen or corridors, they have to salute and say “Jai Hind”.
The boy started with a very low voice, ” we all can not forget one thing .We are always viewed as Indians no matter how much gum we chew, how much ever expensive car we drive or how much skin we manage to expose. Remember if we do not respect ourselves, no one else will either. We the Indians have been able to safeguard our culture for five thousand years despite innumerable invasions, because we held on firm to some values. Those values are just as relevant today as they were in past. There are people who have nothing good to say about India. They always blame their society and country for their slow growth. Whenever they see their country, they see uncontrolled population, malnourished children, corrupt politicians, illiterate villagers and unemployed youngsters. Moreover, they see India not as an Indian but like an American or European. There is a very simple logic, when we don’t know ourselves, our own abilities, we always get blind with others brightness and start feeling ourselves inferior. What I mean to say is, different people have different prospects to view a particular thing. We have our own problems but there is a lot of achievement at the same time. Things never change over night. The first war for independence started in 1857 and we got independence after ninety years of continuous struggle in 1947. So look at your country as an Indian and you will find that it is the most beautiful, prosperous and happiest place on the earth to live in.
My country, India, is the largest democracy, 2nd largest populous nation and 7th largest in geographical area on the earth. The natural barriers, Himalaya on the North, Bay of Bengal on the east, Indian Ocean on the south and Arabian Sea on the west are safeguarding the home land from invaders. In the indomalaya eco zone as one of the eighteen mega diverse countries, it displays significant biodiversity. It is the birth place of four major religions Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Mark Twain aptly said, “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only”.
For their kind information of those who think that our people are illiterate I would like to inform them the world’s first university was established at Takshashila (now in Bihar) in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects here. Sanskrit, the mother of all the European languages and the most suitable language for computer software is born in India. Charaka, the father of
medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago here. Sushruta the father of surgery conducted complicated surgeries including plastic surgery and brain surgery 2600 years ago. The technique of algorithm used in computer science, the science of algebra and trigonometry, the value of pi, the place value and decimal system, the concept of zero all are invented in India. Albert Einstein said it so well, “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made”. The Vedas, which describe science and technology in a very profound way, were written in India thousand of years ago. When many cultures were only nomadic, forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization).
Not only the ancient India but also the 21st century India is shinning in the world’s map with its extremely talented and revolutionary Indians.
India has the record of publishing largest number of daily news papers (348 daily and 98 non-daily news papers in 15 Indian languages).
Indian film industry is the largest in the world.
India has the 2nd largest army(11,00000) in the world after china(16,00000).Pakistan is 5th (5,50000) and USA is 6th (4,77,800).
India is the 3rd nation in the world to develop land based and sea based cruise missiles.
India is the 4th largest in the world in terms of billionaires’ population (by American business publication Forbes it will top the list by 2017).
India is the 5th largest economy in the world.
India is the 7th nuclear power in the world.
There are four Indians in the list of world’s top ten richest personalities- Lakshmi Mittal (4th), Mukesh Ambani (5th), Anil Ambani (6th) and KB Singh (8th). Some success stories are well known, such as Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Sabeer Bhatia, who founded Hotmail and sold it to Microsoft for $400 million. The number of New Economy millionaires of Indian descent is now in the thousands. The list of 21st century revolutionary Indians in tech companies are too long to mention here but some of them are Ken Bajaj CEO AppNet, P. Kaul CEO Hughes Network Systems (HNS), Krishna Kushwaha Executive Vice President, Research and Development cybercash, Sanju Bansal co-founder & COO MicroStrategy, Rakesh Gangwal CEO US AirWays, Sanjay Kumar President and COO , computer associates, Srinija Srinivasan – cofounder and Vice President Yahoo, Amar Bose – of the almighty Bose sound systems, Jim Wadia – head of Arthur Andersen and many more.
In spite of all these achievements we are still viewed as inferior, backward and poor people. Forget about foreigners, our own people misinterpret our country in many occasions. We are the victims of our own success. With this last line, suddenly the tears flowed down from his eyes. His voice became low again. All the students were so engrossed in the speech that they lost track of time. Students those who never attended Independence Day or republic day in their whole college life were listening to this boy’s speech in rapt attention. Suddenly one of the seniors started clapping and it was followed by rest of them. Within a minute, the whole atmosphere changed, all the students jumped on to the stage and applauded the boy. It looked as if the boy had his share of revenge in his own way.
I was clapping, sitting in the last row and thinking. Really we are victims of our own success; we have forgotten what we are. Patriotism is not a ritual to practise on the Independence Day or Republic day. It is something that inspires us to take the initiative to change the things which we complain everyday and move forward.
We are living in the times of youngistan and so, Hindustan has silently vanished from our minds and lives. Don’t agree with me? Then let’s see what Independence Day means to us? For school children it means the day when they get chocolates for going to school, for the hi-tech techie it means a day-off (finally!) from
work, for the politicians it is their day to flaunt that they are VIPs! For the P M it is the day to remind the whole nation that he is still “the PM”, for the thousand different news channels it is the day to increase their TRPs and finally, for the lousy you and me… well, just any other day to get up late! Welcome to the world of youngistan!
Does this mean that we, I mean youngistanis, are not patriotic or there are no elements of the original Hindustanis in us (their motto was Mera Bharat mahaan unlike ours yeh hai youngistan meri jaan)? Nay… we are the more evolved youngistanis and we flaunt our patriotism in more hi-tech ways than flag-hoisting. First and foremost, we write a really cool and a really catchy title (there will be dozens more so it has to be really really cool!) in our orkut or facebook accounts and then we send Happy Independence Day messages to all the 2008 and still counting number of friends (most of whom we actually don’t remember when they became our friends!) and then listen to apna A R Rahman ka vande mataram track (the old one is a cliché!) on our ipods. Then we get ready and wear our new jeans and T-shirt (remember it has to be branded and if it is imported, it is definitely much much better coz anything “desi” is just too ordinary!). The rest of the day is spent by taking a good glimpse of all the TV channels, youtube and patriotic communities in social networking sites so as to have a detailed discussion with others the next day.
But that doesn’t mean that youngistan is all about having no regard to our society or our country in general! The increased awareness among the youth (thanks to the same social networking sites and internet) is inspiring them to bring about changes to make our country a better place to live in. There are numerous examples where these white-collared techies are bending the norms and are trying to do their part, whether trying to ease out the traffic in city centers or bringing about radical changes like the RTI act. School children and students holding rallies, seminars and workshops to protect our environment or for other general social issues like child labor, terrorism, HIV Aids etc. has now become a phenomenon. Spurthi, an NGO for children, run by Srivyal Vuyyuri(M.Com.)is just an example among thousands. Youth of today have become socially more responsible than ever before. Despite having an unconventional (I mean, non-hindustani) lifestyles or attitudes, we love our country as much as our khadi and Gandhi-topi wearing Hindustanis. Youngistan stands for a new hope to make India reach new heights.
“Youngistan promotes the belief that things can be changed and a new India can be built!”
Imagine this……. The year is 1994. A flight has just landed. Emerging from the cockpit is a jubiliant Harita Kaur Deol, the first Indian woman to perform a solo flight. Whoa!!!! This is the modern Indian woman. Intellectual, confident, strong and ready to take on the world. Starting from Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai, a fiery warrior, who stood against all odds to protect her territory, even if it meant facing the British to the suave and mesmerizing Aishwarya Rai, one of the jury of the prestigious of Cannes Film Festival and the brand ambassador for widely acclaimed international brands.
Nurturing, giving, an epitome for love and compassion, patience personified. The sacred feminine. Woman—- a single word, infinite roles. But inspite of all this, is the Indian woman really independent? Yeah right! If she were, the girl child would have been celebrated, not slaughtered; would not have to discontinue
her education for the sake of her brothers education; wouldn’t have been victim to dowry and terrorized by household violence; abandoned by the family. Think about it. We are glorifying the first woman President of the country. But what is the status of the Women Reservation bill? Come to think of it, do women need reservation? Doesn’t that just prove the fact that men don’t consider them as equals? Talk about hypocrisy!
Indra Nuyi, the CEO of pepsi is one of the most influential women of the world. And yet a Shashikala in rural India has to endure severe physical hardships to earn her daily meal. Medha Patkar, a woman of substance, who stuck to her stand on the Narmada Bachao Andolan. And a quintessential tribal woman who has to walk for miles to reach a hospital. Such a wide rift. Is this being liberated? Is this being independent? Glorification and oppression, the two faces of the Indian society. I ask yet again, is this the same society which worships women? The same society whose tenets lay down that women are equal to men?
Though, we have progressed immensely in the recent past, we still have a long way to go. And then I agree with Gandhiji, when he said Freedom is only when a women is safe enough to walk at midnight. That is Freedom at Midnight.
Everybody has a dream… Where did mine go? I saw a bright future, a resurgent tomorrow, a progressive today… what happened to it? I watched my country lead the way in upholding the virtues of democracy, liberty and fraternity.
I had visions of youth strong enough to take a stand and stick to it… no questions asked… a youth strong within itself…
Where has it all gone? What has it become?
Today my nation is a hub for terror attacks, a market for drugs, a convention of corruption… dormant youth, oppressive societies. What am I doing for my nation? To my nation?
I’m the youth of tomorrow, the child of today… it’s my responsibility to see a nation proud of its people, a family proud of its children.
They say we have come a long way from the days of British raj…I say have we come far enough?
Untouchability, slavery have been abolished… but are they truly gone? In the1900’s, we had a Mahatma who showed us a way out of the oppressive British regime… where is the 21st century Mahatma?
They tell us that India has become a progressive nation where equality and liberty are upheld… I ask what about those who face discrimination at work, defamation in society, and compulsion in lifestyle? Who will rise from the ranks of the slaved and lift their voice in a clarion call for change? Will it be me who shall shape their future?
Yes, we have come far from the oppressive stigma of the 20th century but can we afford to slow down now? Advances in literacy, standards of living, healthcare point the way to a healthy, vibrant tomorrow. Economically, militarily, diplomatically India is growing; at a fast pace…the question is what is the rest of the country doing? Why has it left the needy, the trodden-upon behind?
India has a voice in the World Bank, the United Nations. Why can’t I hear my own voice?
Nations today are measured by their worth in their own people’s eyes. One that addresses the maxim “for the people, by the people, to the people” is truly a great nation. A nation whose people are proud of their contribution is a proud nation, a blissful country, a home to come back to.
I want to make my dream a reality. I want to see my nation where it rightly belongs, a visionary, a pioneer, a leader. Must I not do something for my own? Shall I wait for another to see for me, act for me, dream for me??
Try your best to solve these puzzles. Answers will be revealed in the next issue.
1) Johnny Bravo says: “What I don’t know about milk is scarcely worth mentioning,” but he was flabbergasted one day when each of two ladies asked him for two quarts of milk. One lady had a five-quart pail and the other had a four-quart pail. Johnny had only two ten-gallon cans, each full of milk. How did he measure out exactly two quarts of milk for each lady?
It is a juggling trick pure and simple, devoid of trick or device, but it calls for much cleverness to get two quarts of milk into those two pails without making use of any receptacles other than the two pails and the two full can
2) During the Turkish stampede in Thrace, a small detachment found itself confronted by a wide and deep river. However, they discovered a boat in which two children were rowing about. It was so small that it would only carry the two children, or one grown person.
How did the officer get himself and his 357 soldiers across the river and leave the two children finally in joint possession of their boat? And how many times need the boat pass from shore to shore?
3) Five clever newsboys formed a partnership and disposed of their papers in the following manner. Tom Smith sold one paper more than one quarter of the whole lot. Billy Jones disposed of one paper more than a quarter of the remainder. Ned Smith sold one paper more than a quarter of what was left, and Charley Jones disposed of one paper more than a quarter of the remainder. At this stage the Smith boys had together sold just one hundred papers more than the Jones boys had sold. Little Jimmy Jones, the youngest kid in the bunch, now sold all the papers that were left. The three Jones boys sold more papers than the two Smith boys, but how many more?
4) There are 5 houses in 5 different colours. In each house lives a person of a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. Using the clues below can you determine who owns the fish?
The Brit lives in a red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.
The green house owner drinks coffee.
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the house right in the middle drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blend lives next door to the one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps horses lives next door to the man who smokes Dunhill.
The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
The German smokes Prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.
“The three mistakes of my Life” the third book from one of India’s bestselling English author Chetan Bagath is a bit disappointing attempt to continue his golden run. The first two books were big hits and even went on to form the basis for two major bollywood movies which are in the making.
Unlike his previous books, the author chose to build the plot in a small city rather than the big metros. His idea was to bring in more Indian-ness to the story which was not achieved to the fullest extent. The story mainly revolves around three friends Govind(the narrator), Ishaan and Omi who have varied interests of Business, Cricket, Religion.
The story starts off with the author receiving a “final mail” from Govind, a native of Ahmedabad, whom he traces and pays a visit at the hospital and Govind starts narrating his story. From there its all about how Govind starts a business
and faces the challenges of life with his friends, viz. calamities, communal riot’s and of course a tragic love affair. Talking about the language and the style of narration, its simple and catchy. Well then, if you are a cricket fan, you’ve got some fond memories in store.
The three aspects he is dealing with are the most typical interests of many common Indians, but they fail to set the tone of the story, as the impressive moments are few, and the drag at couple of occasions cuts down the pace of the story.
But then again, there are fairly enough frames which are worth appraisal, particularly when dealing with cricket and few involving the female lead. The main drawback was the climax, which is full of riot’s issues, that mainly disinterests the youth, which constitutes the larger pool of readers for Chetan.
So my final say would be, it’s worth a read but be prepared to be bored a
bit and end up with something less than you’d expect from Chetan.
The FIAT CINQUECENTO or better known as the FIAT 500 is back on the road. This coupe was first manufactured in 1957 by the Italian car manufacturer FIAT. It launched as the NUOVA 500 as a cheap and
practical town car just 2.07 meters long with a small 479 cc, 2 cylinder air cooled engine. It was designed to meet the past war markets which needed economical cars and 500 redefined the term “economical car”. It is one of the first cars among the city car segment. 500’s were in production till 1975 and discontinued due to changes in the market. After 32 years the car is re-launched with new engine and styling.
FIAT previewed the new 500 in March 2007, exactly 50 years after the first fiat 500 was launched. It was launched in India in July 2008. The car comes in two models, sport and lounge. Designed FIAT Centro Stile the car was designed not to look like a FIAT 500 but the one that could be a FIAT 500. The design while respecting the original concept is aimed to improve and increase the functionality, reliability and economy. With very minimal front, a short bonnet and rear overhangs the 500 has an exceptionally compact body shell. The combination of circular headlights, separate lower full beam lamp housings and the trademark chrome whisker and logo, gives it the name” The Little Mouse”. The rear of the car holds a large chrome plated tail gate, large tail lamps, an integrated roof spoiler and an additional stop light. Safety plays an important role in the design and the rounded front bumper increases pedestrian protection. The company provides a feature where the customer can design his own style of 500 before it is bought.
The interior of the FIAT 500 is quirky, bucking the trend of modern-day conservative cabin. The leather upholstery is available in two tone shades. The overall space available is less due to its small size. The dash is neatly organized with round dials and buttons. The steering is modern version of the classic 500 steering. The gauges are put in concentric circles which might be a bit confusing to look at. The chrome plated gear rod is into the dash of the car saving space. Everything inside the 500 is shaped round representing the completeness of the vehicle.
Moving to the performance of the car, it no more has the low powered 479 cc engine but a powerful 1248 cc engine that outputs 75bhp@4000 rpm. The 4 cylinder with in-line arrangement are placed in the front. The car has added performance with the electronically controlled Common Rail Multi-jet Direct Injection fuel feed that extracts more power from every drop of fuel. A supercharger and an intercooler are also provided which are not present in many big cars in our country. This small car can hit a top speed of 165 km/h and accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 12.5 seconds. The car is provided with good independent suspension in the front and interconnected shocks in the rear. The braking is good as ABS with EBD is provided.
With a classic compact design, luxurious interiors, impeccable performance, the 500 is off the hook!! The mouse that you are using to scroll the article may cost you just about Rs500 but this little mouse form FIAT costs you a whole Rs15 lacs.
It may look like a little mouse but has the power to beat the cat off its competitors.
Sony is back with its latest portable media player “THE NWZ-S610”.The S610 come under the Walkmanbrand of
Sony. This looks like Sony’s serious attempt to challenge Apple’s iPod and the efforts don’t seem good enough.
At the first look it seems small compared to iPod classic but larger than the iPod nano and has a 2-GB memory. It has a 1.8 inch LCD and below it is the navigation pad. The navigation pad is simple and easy to use and has two shortcut buttons one for Home/Back and the other for Power On/Off. The volume and the hold switch are present on the opposite sides. File transfer is simple as Sony has chose to go with the drag and drop or it can also be done through Windows media player. It seems that Sony has finally discarded its SonicStage and opted to go with PlayForSure.
It plays audio (MP3, WMA, non-protected AAC), video (MPEG-4 and JPEG pictures. Video support is limited to MPEG-4 and H.264/AVC. It has FM Radio and plenty of audio enhancements, like 5 preset-equalizers and 2 customizable options, DSEE, Clear Bass, Clear Stereo and Surround sound effects.
The earplugs do not do a good job as they sound average and the bass isn’t effective. It sounds better with different pair and the Sony MDR-EX700LP is recommended. The bass sounded good and so did the mids. The highs are not as sweet as expected which probably is clear while listening to light music. But it does a good job while listening to Rock/Metal/Hip-hop and the Clear Bass enhances the experience by providing clear, tight and deep bass. Video on the small screen is crisp and clear. There is no blur or fade effect that is seen in other LCD screens. But the limited memory restricts one from watching video as it requires a lot of space which is a scarcity. The FM reception is fair enough. The claimed playback time of the battery is 33hrs but it could only stay up to 28hrs.
All this makes the S610 Walkman a good media player form the house of Sony except for the price. Putting a 6 grand tag on this player for its small screen and insufficient memory has to be justified.
To Kill A Mocking Bird, a Pulitzer prize winning novel by Harper Lee is one of the classics of modern fiction. Set in the period of The great depression, the novel truely presents the racial and social inequalities prevalent in America during that period. Though, the book deals with serious issues, it is a very warm and at times humourous. Due to the excellent blend of humour, warmth and a serious plot, To Kill a Mocking Bird, is still among the most widely read novels. A must-read for all book lovers!!!!!
Publisher:Grand Central Publishing Pages: 309 Price:Rs.255.00
“For you, a thousand times over….” The Kite Runner by Khalid Hossieni is a novel about human emotions. Set in the backdrop of pre-Taliban Afghanisthan and America, The Kite Runner is a very well written, almost poetic book which might even prove thought -provking for some of us. Definitely worth reading!!!