While coming to work this morning oxen (castrated male) cart carrying sugar canes caught my attention. It is not a common site to see a bullock cart or hand pulled cart (pulled or pushed by a man) at the heart of Mumbai city next to VT Station.
They are not allowed in the main roads of the city but can only move in the peripheral roads of the city. These kinds of slow moving objects cause most notorious traffic jam in India. But for poor villagers, these are the only way to meet their daily needs and feed few hungry stomachs. Revealing the very true fact of economic and emotional hardship that these low-wage workers face on a day-to-day basis.
Cart is being used for ages and still continues to be an important mode of carrying goods mostly agrarian goods even in this modern age. Although, its popularity has declined considerably but it is very cheap than any other mode of carriage vehicles.
It has many shapes but the basic idea of transporting material remains same. It has usually two or four wheels. This cart is made entirely of bamboos and the wheels are wooden. It is also a very eco-friendly vehicle. Number of men or animal required to push or pull depends on what being hauled.
Being in vacation and doing nothing much whole day I am left with lots of free time to read. It is great way to pass quality time with rain and heat where nothing interests me outdoor. I already finished few books in last 3 weeks.
Starting with, Dan Brown’s trash ‘Angel & Demon’ and ‘Digital Fortress’. Well these are same old horrible as writing and story line is similar to “Da Vinci Code”. Well if you have read and liked it then I am sorry to hurt your feelings ?. Reading those 3 books it seems Mr. Brown wanted to cash quickly the old “James Bond” style. In each of his book there is a very glamorous sexy female character in his book. The less I write about this female character I do justice to them.
A hollow story set in Europe which is a very far away country for his native readers. Yes! To most Americans, Europe is so different - people speak different languages as you cross few hundred miles and every things change from food to culture and above all human features also changes. It is not same as that of America where you cross 3 different time zones and still have the same treatments. This way, when he puts his characters and plots in twisted alleys of old cities of Europe every one takes them for real.
He really does not know nor do research for his subject matter and end up using “VLSI” and “PGP” in same breath in Digital Fortress. Can someone please explain him what is super computer or parallel computing is ;) or rather how computer works has he been to any Data-centers I have so many basic questions for him. I am sure the similar can be said about others related topic like when he drives car through Tuileries Garden from Louvre in a smart car in Da Vinci Code which is set in Paris,
Well enough of Dan Brown I am sure his book will loose their places in book stores as readers figure out about them. It is possible in today’s literary world to make some thing best seller in the same way Hollywood makes “Charlie’s Angels” a hit with 17 screen writers and it is called – “Marketing”.
Then I read two wonderful books one is ‘The Glass Palace’ by Amitav Ghosh about Indian subcontinent in early last century. This is a superb book and all the characters and the settings are excellent. The time spans three generations in the vast continent from Ratnagiri in western coast of India to Malay. I found it very touchy; may be as my ancestors were from a part of land which missed by mere 6 kilometers to be included by in India by map-drawers.
Now, since I know few occidental people who do not understand why an Indian Maharaja ordered ‘Cartier’ for a diamond necklace. The person asking the question was surely thinking these Indian feudal lords were just sucking breads and butters of poor. For them this book might be an eye opener as it portray Indian sub-continent as a land of opportunities and wealth. Though I am not a supporter of any Maharaja but I strongly believe the westerners did more worst things to whole world for their own profits. And even today they think and believe single mindedly Western World is best but they miss the fine point that there was nothing before industrial revolutions in Europe.
The next book is “Wings of Fire” by “Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam”. This book should not need any introductions but for those it sounds unknown- it is an Autobiography of India’s current President, father of Indian rockets and missiles. I loved this book and felt dry throats and wet eye as he along with others hundreds of Indian worked hard to give us the technologies and result which makes common Indians to be proud of their success. And best of all it is indigenous :D
There are so many parts of this book which I wish gets carried each day by common Indian like me and others to make INDIA proud. If religious and social harmony as we find in this book would have existed in today’s India we might have prospered more. As an engineer I do understand the book is written by another person of same trade as it lacks wit and sharpness of successful memoir. There is mention of lots of abbreviations like PERT charts but for common people it does not make any sense. Similarly, there are some abbreviations which does not even bring any bell to me.
If this memoir is rewritten by a professional with all those beautiful poems and wonderful events from APJA.Kalam’s own diary it can be Geeta for modern India.
Well other than these four books I read 2 more books by Chetan Bhagat; one about campus life in India’s most prestigious Engineering Institute IIT and other one on the life of young Indians as they work in nights for the booming BPO or most commonly known as Call-Centers. Well both the books are OK. I can not say them they are bad as they kept me glued till last but failed to mark their place in my mind in long run when I was finished with them. It is written in a modern way like Mira Nair unfolds the story of Monsoon Wedding with hope that people other than Indian origin will also find it interesting.
"India is changing" I am sure this is not a new topic to talk about. But there are few things which got changed in India which my RADAR didn't notice before. I am not going to debate on their pros and cons. Any changes are more noticeable when we encounter the same old place or person after a break. Like you meet up an old friend with whom you grew up but that time probably you did not noticed he or she was growing vertically and your mid- aged relatives were growing horizontally. But you meet them after few years the changes become more noticeable to our eyes.
This time, while passing in front of AIMS, Delhi I could not believe my eyes the whole place changed for good the landscape is now full of flyovers. Well, Delhi being the drawing room of India always gets special attentions. I personally do not like flyovers, as they disfigure the beauty. Parisian approach of building underpass is better to me. But building those may be more costlier and without proper planning it might be a nightmare after monsoon rain.
Thanks to Election Commission that writing is banned on the wall and it had atleast kept our political parties away from the walls otherwise it would have been full of "hands", "lotus" and not to mention those "elephants" ,"hammer" and what not. But those walls are now left with poster from IIT coaching (ISO certified) to shoes.
I always need a haircut as soon I reach India and when I fly out of India. One big benefit is the price but the primary motivation is the quality of the haircut. So I went with SK to a nearest hairdresser. The name of a normal haircutting saloons are not normal any more rather very fashionable like "copper clips" or "silver scissors". I should have met guys who are coming up with innovative names before I registered santm.com. A simple haircut which cost 15 rupees for my dad and he thinks that is expensive the same costs to me Rs 60. But unfortunately this place does not even have AC to call it a "Men's parlour".
With all said and done the reason for typing so long was as I noticed a 19/21 years old boy quite FAT to my eyes was getting pedicure. Instead of getting those pedicure and wasting his money he should have joined a GYM or rather do some walking. I don't know how getting a pedicure is making him better marketable. Well, it might be very personal view which might not be shared by others as the first thing that you need is money and it looked like he had a lot.
One thing I noticed in India for affluent class it means to be overweight, having big tummy (men particularly) as they intake lot of rich food, do less physical work and for every daily chores they have a domestic helper. May be time has now come for educated Indians to understand the values that comes with money and luxury.Second thing is the number of mobile-phone users in the country is experiencing a meteoric rise. Right from Sabjiwali (vegetable seller), bai (helper), theleywala (cartpuller) to higher class is talking over that small e-gadget for hrs.....God knows what topic they are talking on.I think that day is not far when everyother person will be talking over phone rather then in-person.