Monday, August 2, 2010

“To forgive is special”

“Why are you here? “Rajni asked me a very good question. I answered, “Just to meet you all...” She promptly replied, “No one comes here just to meet us. You must be having some work here.” Her answer stroked to my mind with a bang and it left me with a feeling of shame of myself. But hiding that feeling I said, “Yesterday was friendship’s day and I don’t have any friend. I want to new friends so I came here to make you my friend.” She felt very happy and immediately tied me a friendship band. People like you and me far away from this innocence but Rajni has it. She is one of the mentally challenged ladies who are living in Missionaries of Charity’s Prerana Bhavan situated at Tathawade.
Prerna Bhavan is the section for mentally ladies whom their families left to go nowhere. Now Missionaries of Charity takes care of them. But more than that they take care of themselves like a big family. No one there was familiar with me but as soon as I entered inside Prerana Bhavan , most of them came to talk with me. Many of them approached me by their own and started appreciating me, they interacted me with a smile and happiness on their face.
One lady named Jyoti asked me who I am and who gave me my earrings, wristwatch and pair of specs. One lady named Aashika asked me why do I have to wear specs, I answered that I can’t see without my specs and if I don’t wear them I will fall down while walking. All of them started laughing on this. But Aashika told them to not to laugh else I will get hurt.
We are normal people who are so called balanced at mind and heart but still we end up hurting people around us. But these special people take care to not to hurt people around them. They take care of each other like a family. I saw a very skinny girl pushing a wheelchair of her friend who was little obese but physically challenged to bring her to the main hall. Another example is one lady held my hand and brought me to a lady who was physically challenged and was sitting in a corner unable to move. She introduced me to her friend and told me to befriend her too.
What do these special ones want from us? They don’t want money and gifts. They just want to be loved, cared and we don’t even give these little things to them. But they don’t care. They forgive us. They are happy in their own world. That’s why they are called special because forgiving is the thing which is beyond our reach!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Always in “Touch”

Normally when colleges resume in the month of June and July, students discuss about their new shopping, new fashion trends, some give “useful” makeover tips to their friends and some just make fun of one’s choice. One of the things that today’s millennials are crazy for is hi-tech mobile cell phones. It’s simply a prestige issue for Gen Y. If somebody in the group gets new and latest handset, his collar gets tight in front of his friends as everyone is curious to see and handle that phone. If any company launches a new handset in the market, today’s youngsters want it in their pocket.
Whenever any trend comes to the college campus, it spreads like a fire in the woods. Companies launch their new handsets in the market almost every month and almost everybody wants to be up to date in this case. Mobile phone is not just a mere need now for youngsters. It became an accessory for them now which needs to be changed in time to time according to new trends. When asked about this to Bhakti Khare , an 2nd year engineering student of CEOP college, she said that , “ In my friend circle if someone buys new cell phone , then others think that I too must get latest hi-tech handset better than my friend’s handset. Every month new handsets are getting launched and because of this the cell phone which we had got last month is considered to be literally outdated this month.” After getting new handset, these youngsters discuss over the “strives” they have done to get the mobile phone proudly.
“Gone were those days when people used to discuss about their new clothes and accessories. Now we discuss about latest handsets and new soft wares which must be with you in today’s date. If you don’t have Samsung’s Corby series or Nokia’a N-97 or Apple’s Iphone then you are considered as out of date”, says Kaustubh Deshpande , student of Symbiosis college. Today you have to be advanced not only in using latest cell phones but the latest soft ware technologies also. 3G technology, touch screen, games, video calling, WAP and Web service are the few examples.
Vaishnavi Sharma, an IT professional says that, “you have to have phone which has a good sound quality and internet surfing facility. Today nobody of our age uses disc man or sound system to listen to music. It’s easy for us to carry the phone which is enabled with all the latest technologies like facebook messenger and net surfing. We cannot carry our laptops with us always to surf the net.”
From colour of the phone, its keys to touch screen, 16 GB memory, 12 megapix camera, 3G facility, today’s tech savvy generation wants everything in their handsets. And by hook or by crook they get themselves updated.

Bandh and rain fails to hamper spirits of Warkaris

"Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari, jai jai Ram Krishna Hari..." , with the echoing sounds of the 'taal,' 'pakhawaj' and the 'veena,' and warkaris (pilgrims) singing and dancing to 'abhangs', the palkhi procession of Sant Tukaram arrived here on Monday. The Palkhi was welcomed by over 1.5 lakh of warkaris and devotees who were gathered to Pune from different parts of the state and country also.
It was raining but it could not hamper the spirits of warkaris . Enjoying the “shower from the lord” devotees were leading over with 250 dindis in a colourful but disciplined march. Every dindi was singing different “abhangas” and “ovis” of “Sant parampara” of Maharashtra but no dindi was getting disturbed by other dindi’s chanting.
Those waiting eagerly for a 'darshan' of the richly decorated 'palkhi, also distributed eatables to 'warkaris'. Some of them even joined the 'wari'. "I also want to go to wari. But I don’t have that much stamina to go further. I wonder how these old and young warkaris get stamina to complete the wari. But few steps walking with them was also a fulfilling experience." said 45 years old Parvatibai Shinde , who, along with a bunch of her relatives welcomed the 'wari' on FC Road.
While on the one hand the city welcomed the Sant Dnyaneshwar Palkhi on Tuesday, the road diversions and huge crowd also led to major traffic jams on Ganeshkhind Road, Senapati Bapat Road, Khadki Road and Shivajinagar area. The traffic congestions started taking place in the evening. In order to clear the way for the palkhi and Warkaris, the traffic police had made diversions from the road in Khadki.
While the one side of the old Pune-Mumbai highway that goes towards Khadki, was kept on, the other side that leads towards the College of Engineering Pune (COEP), had been closed for the people for transportation. As a result of this, the vehicles had to take a turn towards the Range Hills area. This made the vehicles crowd the Range Hills area and soon, there was traffic congestion on the road. But when the vehicles reached the E-Square corner, the road toward Shivajinagar had been kept closed. Hence, the vehicles again had to take a turn towards Chatuhshringi temple and take Senapati Bapat Road to go to the central part of the city.
While the Sant Tukaram Palkhi arrived in the city on Monday, coinciding with the day of the Bharat Bandh, the Sant Dnyaneshwar Palkhi arrived in the city on Tuesday at 4.30 pm to a grand welcome by citizens. Like every year, tens of thousands of Warkaris accompanied the Palkhi for a brief stopover in the city before heading to Pandharpur, the dwelling of Lord Vitthala. The Warkaris, old and young, from rural parts of Maharashtra, accompany the Palkhis of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar that set out on their respective journeys from the temple towns of Dehu and Alandi. This annual pilgrimage will conclude when it reaches Pandharpur on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi.
The Pune city and rural police made intensive security arrangements in the city to avoid any untoward incident during the religious Palkhi procession.

City of joy: Watch at your own risk...

Director: Roland Joffe
Producer: Jake Eberts
Screenplay: Mark Medoff;
Camera: Peter Biziou;
Editor: Gerry Hambling;
Music: Ennio Morricone;;
Art Director: Roy Walker

Star cast:
Patrick Swayze
Pauline Collins
Om Puri
Shabana Azmi
Art Malik
Ayesha Dharker

The Movie City of joy is inspired Dominique Lapierre's 1985 international bestseller, City of Joy. Fleeing from the rigors of life as a surgeon in Houston, Patrick Swayze's Dr Max Lowe arrives in Calcutta with the blurred idea of seeking enlightenment. First night in Calcutta Max gets Assaulted and robbed and then he is taken to the City of Joy Self-Help School and Dispensary, presided over by a struggling but selflessly saintly British woman Joan (Pauline Collins). When Joan tells Max the name of the place, he asks, "Is that geographical or spiritual?" Says Joan, "It depends on your point of view."Max becomes cheerleader for the dispossessed people of City of Joy in their battle against the local mafia.
The movie begins with the sequence an Indian farmer, Hasari Pal (Om Puri), his wife and children leave their poverty-stricken village and head for Calcutta to find work. "Remember," says Hasari's father, "A man's journey to the end of his obligations is a very long road." In another sequence set in a Houston hospital's operating room. When Max's patient, a little girl, dies during a transplant operation, the distraught surgeon floats blindly from the hospital, apparently to book the first flight to India. But then these two men from very contradictory lifestyles and thoughts meet on the slum streets of Calcutta when Max gets robbed and assaulted. Hasari who finds Max on the street and takes him to Joan's clinic, initiating a friendship between a man who has nothing but love and faith and a man who has everything except a reason to live. Standing by is the wise-cracking, saintly Joan, who sometimes talks like a friend philosopher and guide-- "There are three choices in life: to run, to speculate, and to commit."
Adapted by Mark Medoff from Dominique Lapierre's novel, "City of Joy" is fraud from start to finish, though in fact it was shot mostly in Calcutta and employs a lot of Indian actors and extras. The setting is not the problem. It's the point of view, which is that of a concerned but hopelessly inept, sunny-natured tourist.
With his passport and money gone and with nothing better to do for the time being, Max grudgingly begins to work with Joan at her City of Joy Self-Help Dispensary. He delivers the healthy baby of a grateful leper mother. He sets about to put the dispensary in order and, when he sees the people in the City of Joy being exploited by the local "godfather," he organizes their resistance.
His inspiration is Hasari, a man of incredible spirit who works, daybreak to dusk, as a rickshaw man. It's not easy for Max to adjust. He misses his hamburgers. He asks to roadside hawkers about hamburgers. He's also impatient with the passivity of the people, who lack that good old-fashioned American get-up-and-go. Yet little by little, Max re-establishes his commitment to life, even as he witnesses terrible injustices and cruelties.
There is an attack on the local lepers orchestrated by the greedy godfather. The face of a pretty young girl (the daughter of Hasari) is cut with a razor. A great monsoon flood threatens to destroy the City of Joy and everyone in it. A decent man who appears to be in the terminal stages of tuberculosis receives severe stab wounds in the stomach and is on the point of death. This would be a vision of hell in any other movie, though not in "City of Joy." The godfather is told to stop and give up by the courts. The wounded young girl heals without scars. Nobody is lost to the flood and, when last seen, the tubercular man with the blood running out of his stomach is still walking upright.
Though the movie is based on the novel, all the aspects of the novel are not covered in the movie. It is impressively produced in Calcutta's teeming poverty-ridden streets and slums, Roland Joffe's noble attempt to portray the tenacity and strength of the human spirit comes off as curiously ineffectual due to predictable sequences and character growth. It can be inspirational for some people but at times the movie appears to be exaggerated. There is lot of violence shown in the movie so for some people it cannot be tolerable. Also there is lot of raw and vulgar words are used in dialogues plus the abusive language can be intolerable for some people including me.
City of Joy," which has been rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned) includes some violence and vulgar language. City of Joy Directed by Roland Joffe; screenplay by Mark Medoff, based on the book by Dominique Lapierre; director of photography, Peter Biziou; edited by Gerry Hambling; music by Ennio Morricone; production designer, Roy Walker; produced by Jake Eberts and Mr. Joffe; released by Tri-Star Pictures. Running time: 134 minutes. This film is rated PG-13. Max Lowe . . . Patrick Swayze Hasari Pal . . . Om Puri Joan Bethel . . . Pauline Collins Kamla Pal . . . Shabana Azmi Amrita Pal . . . Ayesha Dharker Shambu Pal . . . Santu Chowdhury Manooj Pal . . . Imran Badsah Khan Ashoka . . . Art Malik Anouar . . . Nabil Shaban Ram Chander . . . Debtosh Ghosh.
So we can say that although it’s a good movie but for me I will not prefer to see the harsh realities of life in such a violent way.

Bharat Bandh strikes city’s normal life


A day-long general strike disrupted normal business activities across India, affecting key sectors of the economy and causing losses anywhere between a conservative Rs.3, 000 crore (USD666 million) and a humongous Rs.13, 000 crore (USD2.8 billion) to the country.
While Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, and several industrialised states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, were affected, the impact was partial in many other states like Tamil Nadu and in the national capital Delhi.

spacerThe 12-hour strike was called by the Opposition parties to protest the fuel price hike and rising inflation. The dawn to dusk all-India strike, the first such challenge for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, called separately by the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cost about Rs.10,000 crore, said the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
Satisfied by the strike's success, both the Left and BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) vowed that this was not the end .The bandh is estimated to have cost the nation close to Rs 13,000 crore in terms of GDP loss," industry chamber Ficci said in a statement. Another industry body Assocham put the losses at Rs 10,000 crore, while CII pegged it at Rs 3,000 crore.

The bandh on Monday evoked a mixed reaction from the common citizens. Many did not favour the bandh but some were more accepting. “Whoever had called for a bandh,it was really a very bad idea because it caused India 10000 crore loss. Even if anyone was on Manmohan Singh’s place he would have increased petrol, LPG rates as oil is not produced in our backyard. We have to import it. Opposition parties had chance to oppose it in parliament, though there workers forced common people to follow bandh. They shouldn’t have damaged public property which belongs to us (common man) instead they should have burn the cars and bungalows’ politicians have built with our money.” , says IT professional Suyog Chaudhari.

But, a house Sharda Raghunathan says , “ Manmohan Singh is the worst PM ever. The labourer who gets rs.100 for 8 hours can`t even think of basic necessities. PM is only concerned about Sonia, Rahul and America. So this bandh was necessary.”

Incidents of stone-pelting on buses and trains were reported from the city. Schools, colleges and business establishments remained closed as groups of protestors hit streets trying to enforce the 12-hour bandh. Many buses were broken. But no injury is reported. Many citizens hoped the bandh would bring a reduction in prices. “The price of crude oil is around $76 per barrel. 1 barrel = 42 gallon, 1 gallon = 3.89L. Thus, 1 barrel = 42 x 3.89 = 163.38 Litres. $1 = 46RS (76 x 46 = Rs 3496). Thus, the actual cost of crude is around Rs. 21.50/ litres. Add 35% to that actual cost to add for the refining, transporting to petrol pump, taxes, etc. Thus: Rs. 7.50. So the total comes to be 21.50 7.50 = Rs. 29.00/ liter. Every common man who is paying a fortune of money for transportation must be aware of this fact. This Bandh should act as eye opener for the Government,” says economics student Amit Srivastava. As many as 109 buses of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) were damaged during the Bharat Bandh on Monday. The repair of these buses cost a whopping Rs 15 lakh and nearly 85 buses are back on roads after repairs in two days.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

google wave

Gift or curse!

When I was a kid, I always used to think that is it an offence to take a birth in a female gender? There was a reason behind this thinking. I always saw my mother doing sacrifices for the sake of healthy family atmosphere. I saw my cousin elder sisters losing chances of further studies away from hometown as their brother’s higher studied were more important for the parents. It was a height for me when I saw my doctor brother-in law’s parents demanded money (as society calls it by the name of -Dowry) for their son’s marriage.
I asked my mother that is it a fine that the parents have to pay for giving birth to a girl child? My mother who herself is a teacher just smiled and answered, “Never be ashamed of being a girl, my dear. God has given the strength and special power to us. So be proud of it.” That day I decided that I will never let my self esteem down just for being a girl.
My parents felt always proud for being parents of two daughters. But the society has always been felt sorry for my parents as they don’t have a son. I don’t understand why people still think like this? The outside world is developing at the speed of light and we are not ready to open our eyes and change our mentalities! When I saw my elder cousin sisters crying for the reason of dowry, at that moment I decided that either I am not going marry at all or I will marry that guy who will not demand anything from my father.
I told my decision to my parents and again my mother told me something. She said, “It’s good that you want to change the mentality of our society. But you cannot change the thousand years old tradition, alone. Remember my dear, only few people think like you. People may break your expectations. So be prepared.” I still remember my mother’s words. And now it’s my time to face these things. I really get confused when my would be hubby reacts like an 18th century’s orthodox male chauvinist. At times he is very understanding and sometimes he dominates me just because I am a girl. That time I feel that just because of being a girl I have to listen to the harsh words, the domination and have to forget my own identity. When I complain about this, people tell me to be silent and be patient and learn to accept male domination. Otherwise my relation with my husband will come to an end. According to the society, when you are born as a female, then you are destined to face this. It is thumb rule that a women must always learn to swallow her insults, forget her identity and listen to what her father or brother or husband or son says and behave according to their order. Live according to their wish and forget about her self esteem, self respect and her own perceptions. Will anybody answer to my questions? Is it a punishment of being a girl? Who decided that a women must not have her own perceptions and identity in order to maintain the family atmosphere “HAPPY”? Is it a crime to born as female in 21st century too?

“Have a blast…But watch out for safety!”

“Have a blast…But watch out for safety!”
Celebration is in the air. Everybody has their plans ready to spend the last evening of the year 2009 that is 31st December. One and all want to make the eve special. We all have our different tastes for parties and celebrations. Some people arrange parties at home and some people prefer to go out. And according to their tastes people enjoy parties by dance, music and drinks... Some big hotels, restaurants and clubs organize their special New Year parties. Shopkeepers keep special stocks in market during this time because people tend to go for shopping during this time. Even wine shopkeepers keep special stock as their sale rises to double.
People are very excited about this special evening. Every generation has its own way to celebrate. When asked a teenager, Kshitija Lokhande, 16, she answered that she wanted to celebrate this fabulous eve with her friends but her parents will not allow her to stay out until late night so she will be celebrating New Year eve with her family. According to her parents it is not safe to stay out until late night for girls especially on New Year eve as people may misbehave when they are drunk. But she thinks that her parents are too old fashioned and strict.
There is a generation gap which we can easily see about celebrating 31st December. There is a vast difference of perceptions between two generations. Senior citizens really don’t like the idea of celebrating New Year in this manner. For instance let’s take the example of Mrs. Anjali Gokhle, a retired professor, who says, “We are people who are born in India. It is not our culture to celebrate the New Year is this way. We are blindly following the western people. It is not our New Year even. According to Indian Calendar, we celebrate our New Year on Gudi Padwa and not on 1st of January. And even if the young generation wants to celebrate the New Year on 1st of January then they should not indulge themselves in loud music parties and taking alcohol. It is bad for them and society also. “But today’s young generation does not seem to care about anybody’s perceptions. Gaurav Jog an engineering student says that, “When all the world is celebrating the arrival of New Year on 1st of January, then it is simply a foolishness to ignore and not to celebrate it. We represent a globalized generation and we also must follow the trend. Off course it is bad to drink and drive but I guess there is no harm in celebrating the New Year unless we are not creating problems for anyone. When we know our limits then nobody should create any issue about our celebrations. “
Gaurav’s perception is not wrong. But some people really don’t care about other people around them and the society. They cross their limits and create nuisance for surrounding people. For such people the hotel managers also take very good care that such people should not be allowed to create a scene. The police department gives instructions to all the hotel and restaurant and clubs to take care on such crucial day when any accident can happen. When asked hotel Shivar Garden’s manager, Vijay Uttekar said that , “Every year the police department gives us instructions that for how much time the hotel and bar should remain open and for how much time we can play DJ music. We personally take care that no drunk person in allowed to enter in the premises of hotel and if someone sitting inside the bar seems to drink more than enough then we tell our waiters to not to serve any drink to that person.”
For such nuisance creating people, our police department has all the arrangement. When we asked senior police inspector Mahadev Chavan, chatushrungi police station, said that , “Every year we take good care of safety of people. Our guards are there to help on the road. We put barrels on the road so that no one should drive fast and face the accident. Plus we check that no one should drink and drive. And if someone is found committing such crime, immediate action is taken on them. This year we have arranged female guards on duty too so that we can check for female drunk drivers.”
When so many people are working for our safety then we must act responsible and follow the rules of our sake only. We must not break any rule and create problems for ourselves and people around us. It is our moral duty to respect each other’s safety and liberty. Have a good and safe time. Happy New Year!