Legacy Diaries

Purely a Manufacturing Defect

One Truth, Two Tickets

 If you ask a Chennaite, where he wishes to take a short road trip in a weekend, then definitely most of them will prefer East Coast Road, popularly called ECR particularly for its scenic highway along the Bay of Bengal. But to me travelling in this road during weekend in a public transport is the first thing I would hate to do. I live in a place which is in between Chennai and Pondicherry and ECR is the shortest route through which one can travel to Chennai. ECR is loved by those who visit occasionally and detested by those who travel regularly either due to accidents which occur very frequently or due to the crowd in the bus. The condition during weekends will be worst and you have to hang in footboard and travel for more than an hour. If this is the condition during a weekend, one can understand the experience during Diwali where almost everyone prefers to go their hometown to spend time along with their loved one’s during the festival season.

Source: Wikimedia
Koyambedu mofussil bus terminus, which is Asia’s second largest is the starting point for all outstation buses from Chennai. After this main depot, there are 6 other bus stops within Chennai. But the fact is that you will not get even a corner to stand if you miss to board the bus in Koyambedu. The problem for me is quite different, though all the buses have to stop in my locality; conductors usually don’t allow passengers other than those who take ticket to Pondicherry to board the bus before Thiruvanmiyur which is the last and final stop within Chennai. The main reason is passengers travelling to Pondicherry prefer to travel seated and conductors don’t want to lose even a single passenger due to unavailability of seats.  Many a times complaints were lodged to State Transport Corporation regarding such harassment, but the problem continues even now. Conductors used to stand outside the bus before it starts and used to keep saying that only Pondicherry tickets has to get in. If someone ignores him , then they will be yelled in front of all passengers and as usual no co-passengers comes in rescue of you, after all they get a seat if you wake up.

 I went with my family for a last minute shopping during this Diwali and faced similar situation. We decided to turn back before 4PM to skip the crowd in the evening. But nothing goes as planned and we reached the bus stop only at 05.30PM. The bus stand was like a carnival and every bus which is to start a couple of hours later were full and people were standing inside not sad but happy that they got a place inside. Mine is a travel of an hour and half. No conductors allowed us to board and I was bit worried to board ignoring them. Passengers were quarrelling with drivers and conductors about why they were not allowed to board, just because they have to get down in between. Conductors were bothered about the revenue, giving my seat to one who travels to Pondicherry will get him double my charge. More the collection more is his bonus. We waited for more than 2 hours, but the crowd didn’t see to decrease. Finally I decided to take the vehicle ignoring the conductors and pretended initially to be someone travelling to the final destination, got a seat and didn’t say anything or responded to the conductor’s call before the bus started. The bus finally started and the conductor started to give tickets from the front. It took him more than half an hour to reach me, but the bus has not moved even to the second stop due to the heavy traffic. I also had a thought that he might ask me to get down in the next stop. I gave him money and asked two tickets to Kalpakkam which is my locality. He didn’t take the money, instead stared at me. He yelled whether I don’t understand Tamil or I had not heard what he said all time before the bus started. I could have lied and acted that my mother who travels with me is sick and I don’t have any other option. In fact, that was the advice given to me from a stranger which encouraged us to get into the bus. It is true that if I say that my mom is not well, the conductor may scream for some time and will give a seat at least to my mom, asking me to get up and give space to someone else who travels to Pondicherry. But I preferred to tell the actual scenario. I told him that I had been waiting in the bus stop for more than two hours, as there was no other option I got into the bus. I also told him that it was my situation and if there is any target provided to the conductors by the transport corporation which is forcing them to do so, then I said that is fine for me to pay more and take Pondicherry ticket, even though I am going to get down in between.  He had a smile and took the actual cost to my stop and moved to next passenger without saying anything. It is the truth which not just got me a seat, but an idea or solution to a long standing issue too. Repeated complaints to State transport corporation or grievance cell didn’t have any result. But just a voluntary acceptance to pay extra charge not just helped that day but is still giving a better result. No conductor will take the voluntary acceptance and give a long distance ticket; after all it is like digging his own graveyard. 

Extracts from "Why I am an Atheist" :Bhagat Singh

  Treasure hunt on thoughts begins when one is in solitude.  Difficult knots are untangled with the support of the silence. Many master pieces had their birth in such scenario. One such master piece which I read recently was the essay written by revolutionary Indian leader Bhagat Singh in 1930 in Lahore Central Jail. “Why I am an Atheist” is a reply given to a religious man, who said that Bhagat Singh became an Atheist because of his vanity. I wonder how I, being an Atheist and an admirer of Bhagat Singh as a revolutionary leader was clueless about such an essay all these days. Below I am copy pasting few extracts from the essay which had an impact on me as a reader.  If you wish to read the entire essay, can skip to the bottom to get the link to the complete text.

About Creation of God.....
My thought is that man created God in his imagination when he realized his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings

On Constructive thinking.....:The lines which I liked the most. This is what many of us do when it comes to criticisms on popular ideas and great leaders
"You go against popular feelings; you criticise a hero, a great man who is generally believed to be above criticism. What happens? No one will answer your arguments in a rational way; rather you will be considered vainglorious. Its reason is mental insipidity. Merciless criticism and independent thinking are the two necessary traits of revolutionary thinking. As Mahatmaji is great, he is above criticism; as he has risen above, all that he says in the field of politics, religion, Ethics is right. You agree or not, it is binding upon you to take it as truth. This is not constructive thinking. We do not take a leap forward; we go many steps back."

Being Selfless.....: Many move out of their ideologies while facing fiasco. Crisis is just a hurdle to test your hold in your ideology. Most of the times the reason for falling out their ideology falls to be some selfish reason.
"One of my friends asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, “When your last days come, you will begin to believe.” I said, “No, dear sir, Never shall it happen. I consider it to be an act of degradation and demoralisation. For such petty selfish motives, I shall never pray.”

Question to believers......:
"Open your eyes and see millions of people dying of hunger in slums and huts dirtier than the grim dungeons of prisons; just see the labourers patiently or say apathetically while the rich vampires suck their blood; bring to mind the wastage of human energy that will make a man with a little common sense shiver in horror. Just observe rich nations throwing their surplus produce into the sea instead of distributing it among the needy and deprived. There are palaces of kings built upon the foundations laid with human bones. Let them see all this and say “All is well in God’s Kingdom.” Why so? This is my question. You are silent."

Learning….: If your view on something is same as it was few years before then you haven't learned or updated anything new
"‘Study more and more’, said I to myself so that I might be able to face the arguments of my opponents. ‘Study’ to support your point of view with convincing arguments. And I began to study in a serious manner. My previous beliefs and convictions underwent a radical change. "

From a Romantic revolutionary…: Romanticism is the beginning even for great leaders.
"I was only a romantic revolutionary, just a follower of our leaders. Then came the time to shoulder the whole responsibility. For some time, a strong opposition put the very existence of the party into danger. Many leaders as well as many enthusiastic comrades began to uphold the party to ridicule. They jeered at us. I had an apprehension that some day I will also consider it a futile and hopeless task. It was a turning point in my revolutionary career."

These extract were handpicked from  and the complete text of the essay originally written in Gurumukhi script and translated to English by Hasan can be read here:

Safety Begins With Me

    India, which is the home of 1 percent of the World’s Vehicle Population accounts for 10 percent of the fatalities due to road accidents. UN has declared 2011-2020 as the “Decade of Action for Road Safety”, but in 2012 alone as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCCB) 1.39Lakh persons have lost their lives and the recorded total accidents were approximately four times the fatality count. According to a working committee’s report of Planning Commission published a decade ago, India loses 3% of GDP every year due to accidents, but what we have learned from the study seems to be marginal and the International Road Federation (IRF), a non-profit organisations report reaffirms the same accounting Rs.1Lakh Crore as loss due to road accidents in India.

Road Safety Triangle

Road Safety
Road safety has to begin with self, but it also needs a supporting hand from the law makers and enforcement agencies. Engineering, Education and Enforcement are the three sides of the triangle and all three sides have to be firm and mutually supporting to curb road accidents.

Road Engineering: Accidents in road are not always due to driving errors, many a time poor road engineering is also the cause. In India, road contractors are not made accountable and we don’t have any warranty period for the laid roads unlike other developed countries in the world. Engineering changes of International standard like the Victoria Road Model in Australia has to be implemented.  Though policy makers’ role plays a vital role in bringing engineering changes, the role of end users (you and I) plays a crucial role. Reporting to the concern agencies and following the steps taken with respect to the flaws in the road ensures affirmative action.

Education: Education or road safety awareness is the heart of the triangle. Not much change can be brought, without the assent of the individuals. Road safety awareness which includes wearing helmets, seat belt, following traffic rules and signals, avoiding intoxicating drinks, avoiding usage of handheld devices , using low beam etc., can achieved only by brining awareness among the road users. Government and other private bodies like NISSAN through their Corporate Social Responsibility have taken steps in the last few years to bring awareness  to the public about following road safety rules is a healthy sign.

Enforcement: “It doesn’t matter whether you ride well or not, the one who comes opposite to you may not be riding properly” my grandmother used to quote the same whenever I plan for a road trip. In many cases rash driving, breaking traffic rules, drunken driving are the cause for the accidents. I do not wish to call them accidents as they are more or less murders and there required stringent punishment for the same. The Supreme Court judgement suggesting stringent punishment for deaths caused due to drunken driving need to be advertised. Sometimes fear of punishment can also bring changes. From the law makers, the proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014 which intends to bring amendments to the outdated Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 is a positive sign.

The three walls of the triangle can be made strong only with the support of the individual citizens or at least the vehicle users. In the population of 125 Crores we cannot expect enforcement agencies or law makers to patch the road safety issues moving nook and corner. Even in the age of mass media, information and awareness doesn’t reach the targeted audience in large. Every individual has to play a vital role in spreading road safety awareness just like a nuclear chain reaction.

Promoting Safety

India has signed the UN Vehicle Safety Regulations in 1998 which promotes Steering Mechanism, Seat Belt Anchorages, safety belt and restraint systems, child restraint, occupant protection, electronic stability control, pedestrian protection etc. But as per the Global New Car Assessment programme (NCAP) safety crash test which was done first time for Indian cars comes out with shocking revelation that most of the cars failed to cope up the safety standards. It was highly debated in Media, but a closer look at the look at the same gives a clear cut view of what went wrong. For example, Nissan Datsun Go too failed in the crash test and was published across newspapers and news channels; here it is worth understanding that three of the cars manufactured by Nissan and sold in US bagged 2014 IIHS Top safety pick and Nissan Teana received the first ever maximum ratings (5 stars) for using child restraints. So it is a clear indication that something lags in India to fix such safety measures by default. The clearest reason is that the end user wishes to buy budget cars forcing the manufacturers to provide safety features like Air Bags or Anti-Lock braking system as an additional option and secondly there are no prescribed safety norms unlike US or EU markets. Promoting safety while buying cars can bring changes and just like all it is me who has to decide what I need.  Whether I am going to get satisfied with the least priced or better safety? We should know our priorities.

Innovation and Integration

Though education plays a vital role in reducing accidents due to traffic rules violation, using high beam, drunken driving and using mobile phone while driving and so on, technological innovation can bring such changes by default forcing a violator to follow the rules and protecting the road user at the other end.

Drunken Driving: Mandatory provision for Ignition Interlock Device (IID) or Breathe Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). The technology is already tested and implemented in various parts of the developed world and the role of the policy makers is now essential for the mandatory implementation of the same in India.

Avoiding Mobile Phone Usage:  “SMARTwheel” technology which tracks the individual and provides signal when either of the hands or both hands are removed for long time or when the hands are placed nearby as done during texting. These signals could be programmed by default to a traffic control room and instant actions could be taken on violators. The technology could be very well implemented in highways and cities in the initial phase.

High Beam: Glare free high beam function is one such innovation which allows the user to drive with high beam without creating glare at the other end.

Seat Belt: A simple seat belt interlock without which a vehicle cannot start or provide continuous beep sound is more than sufficient to force an individual to wear seat belts. Apart from it, automatic voice recording which should announce the impacts of not wearing seat belts should sound continuously till the user opts to wear seat belt.

An App Suggestion

Smartphone technology has rooted even to the remotest places of India and a simple app with well integrated features can provide better results. This app concept is totally formulated by me (Ganesh Babu S) and I wish it would be live someday. The app can yield better result if it is operated by the enforcement agencies directly.

Issues that need to be addressed:
  • Carrying hard copies of licence, insurance, RC book etc., still remains a hectic issue particularly for two wheeler users. In spite of having all these documents many users forget to carry the same and end up paying penalty.
  • Failure to renew vehicle insurance in time either due to any reason whatsoever.
  • Poor awareness about insurance providers and the riders provided along.
  • Inability to cross verify the authenticity of the certificates provided during verification of the documents by the policemen.

What the app intends to focus?
  • Every user must create an account for him and will be asked to provide his AADHAR id (hoping that universal coverage will be done in the near future).
  • He can provide certificate numbers of the RC book, insurance and licence numbers. All should be verified for its originality and a unique account number should be provided for the user. The vehicle registration number itself can be used as a unique number for better remembrance.
  • During verification by the police, just entering the vehicle number in the hand held device provided to the policemen is sufficient to verify documents.
  • When the date of insurance is about to lapse, the user can renew the same from the app and the app will designed to notify every day in the last 30 days before the expiry of the insurance.
  • The additional money earned by the enforcement agency through the sales of insurance can be invested again in road safety awareness.
  • The app will also have an option encouraging users to complain violators to the enforcement and part of the fine collected can be awarded as points which can be redeemed later for renewing insurance.
  • Road safety awareness pop up every day in the mobile and minimal points as mentioned above could be provided for activating the same and sharing the same in social networking sites through the application.

Overall it will be a citizen centric approach to address the issues.

“Be the Change You Wish to see in the World - Mahatma Gandhi”.
 The first step towards a healthy road safety will be a change within us. Let us begin and spread the word to our family and friends. Follow and obey the rules even if the entire world around you violates. Remember safety begins with every one of us.

Rise Above Fear : Pages from the Past

    To many of us fear doesn’t come all of a sudden; it needs a concrete reason for the door to be opened. The fear which I am focusing is not the ordinary inborn or mystical fears of human beings. When I mean ‘Fear’ it is the sudden blow which threatens you from doing some bustle which you always wished to do or had as an ambition. The tribulation caused by the fear is deep-seated and recovery remains uncertain. Without a strong will at the passion the fear will force one to limbo. I grew up taking risks and I loved taking them. Mystical fears surrounded till my age of 16, but the social environment which I grew up never threatened from taking life risks. In fact it encouraged me. I always felt that voting alone is not the right (actually duty) of a citizen, but raising voice against the delinquencies is also one such obligation which we rather follow. But all your courage and fearless attitude can be detonated all of a sudden.

   An accident which I met in September 2013 caused such trauma. I was in Chennai which is 70kms from my residence for giving an important examination. The exam centre was in a remote locality forcing me to skip food the entire day. As I got bus immediately after coming out of the examination hall, I decided to stay hungry and have food at home. The bus travelled along the scenic East Coast Road popularly called ECR and reached my vicinity around 06.30 in the evening.  I started my bike parked in a shed and noticed the petrol level to be low. I filled the tank in the nearest Indian Oil petrol bunk in the ECR and when I was about to turn back to my home, I received a call from my friend and he asked me to come to a tea shop where all our friends used to have tea. I travelled few more distance far from my home in the same road, had tea with them to temporarily satisfy my hungry stomach. It was 8 PM then and I received call from my home to enquire my whereabouts. So I bid adieu to my friends and started returning back. I was travelling at a speed of 60-70 km/hr, but it is an allowed average speed in that road and for my Pulsar. It was too dark to notice anything other than that visible in the beam of light. All of a sudden I noticed two small boys riding their cycle criss-cross entering my track. They came inside so instant, forcing me to push my handlebar away from them instead of applying break, which forced to skid in the road. The vehicle dragged me for several meters and I was rotating along my vehicle in the busy road where to my luck had no vehicle at that moment. I was lying in the road in front of the same petrol bunk where there was a queue still. Nobody wants to quit his line to rescue me; I woke up myself and lifted my vehicle to the corner. I was bleeding from my head and nose and one of my fingers went numb and it seemed to be a fracture. I was terribly shocked by the priority of the people and finally a woman who had shop near came with a bottle of water. People later surrounded me, but all were busy enquiring me how the incident occurred. None wants to waste their precious time by taking me to the hospital which is just a kilometre away. With torn clothes, blood and pain all over my body I called my friends who were still standing in the tea shop. It is then after their arrival I was taken to the hospital. I was taken to the Department of Atomic Energy hospital which is exclusive for the employees and their dependents working in DAE. I reached the hospital around 8.40PM and the duty doctor prescribed for a dressing and scan for head as it was continuously bleeding in nose. Though the boys who came inside my track had no severe injures except abrasions, their relatives came in search of me to the hospital to get compensation. In India it doesn’t matter who does mistake, the rider of the relatively bigger vehicle is criticized for the accident. But the harsh thing is, they were aware of my injuries and even then expected compensation citing that they want to make complete body check-up. My friends and relatives were managing the situation outside the hospital. The duty doctor requested a senior doctor to come to hospital as it didn’t stop bleeding. The doctor’s quarter is within the hospital premises, but the senior doctor took more than one and half hours to reach the spot. She was already late, but even then she was shouting at the juniors for not arranging proper vehicle for her arrival. She referred me to the nearest multispecialty hospital and I was taken in the ambulance. Till that moment I felt that I was normal and nothing has happened, but once the siren started to rotate in the ambulance fear started creeping in. It was 10.30PM and I was not sure whether I am feeling sleepy because of tiredness or I am falling unconscious due to the blood loss. I was taken to the hospital in another 30 minutes and was shifted immediately to the emergency room. Doctors surrounded me and I was immediately sent for multiple tests. I was made to lie down in the emergency room post all tests. All other cases which were admitted after me increased my fear of the society. One person was attacked by gang with knife and sickle and was suffering for life; where as other person has tried to commit suicide by consuming poison. The noises around created trauma within me. I always wished and wanted to be an honest civil servant, fighting against corruption and other issues in the society. But the way society treated me that day and cases around me in the emergency room made me afraid. It threatened me to carry on into the rest of my life smoothly throwing away all my ambitions and revolutionary ideas. My family and friends were waiting outside and their tears increased my fear of the society. I wondered what will happen to my family if something happens to me, as at that moment I was the lone bread winner. I had fracture in my fingers and a bone in my face. It took me several weeks to recover from the injury and the stability in little finger went unrecovered totally.

     I recovered from the incident later, but the trauma it caused didn't allow me to involve in focussing in my society oriented activities. Whenever you are in some distress there is always a way to come out. The incident of Major Mukund Varadarajan who was killed in an encounter with terrorist was in news. His bravery motivated me to throw away all my fears. In a game of Chess you lose only when you make a mistake. I listed my drawbacks and my negative aspects and tried to overcome them. My anger over the behaviour of the society in my incident cooled down, I realised that it is the needs which the society demands makes them run blind to the social evils in the life. Do your duty and do not expect anything in return turned to be my mantra. Now I am totally out of the fear which followed me like a shadow post incident. I have succeeded in overcoming my fear which caught me in between. A day to be a civil servant is not too far and working hard presently to fight against the evils in the society despite the risks (hurdles) involved.   

A Healthy Child Makes a Happy Home

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today” – Stacia Tauscher

 The above quote is very true in this fast moving world where both the parents are employed, do monetary planning for his/her future but many times fail to notice the need of the child at present. I live in such a society and have seen many such experiences happening around me all these years which provoked me to share the same today.

I grew up in a township where most of our neighbours had a nuclear family. I lived in a joint family and my grandmother used to take care of all my day to day requirements. She has very good knowledge about home remedies and idea of natural foods and their health benefits. During my school days whenever we had a long weekend connected with Festivals, our teachers used to be generous enough to load us with home works barring a few. Festivals psychologically don’t allow one to take the school bags throughout the weekend. Tension pile up finally on Sunday night as we have to submit our homework or project the next day. At that moment I always used to wish that I should get fever the next morning when I wake up, so that I can take leave to school and at the same time will have time to complete the homework. There used to be a wide spread belief among us in my school days that if we keep Onion under our underarm it will trigger fever before you wake up.  Me belonging to a joint family never had chance to test it. Many a times I had worried that why I am not falling sick just like friends, who enjoy additional leave watching Cricket or Cartoon after bunking school. We wish to fall sick on a working day and we always want to be completely energetic on a holiday, because falling sick even if it is mild would block us from moving out of the home the entire day. I hardly fell sick and I used to assume that it is Lord Ganesha (I am named with the same name) who I assume is close to me is protecting me from all sorts of diseases. Many a times my friends used to fall sick on the very day they planned to go out for a summer vacation. The day which they were waiting for a long time falls in vain and they used to share their bitter experience once the school re-opens.

Childhood days had passed and now I am married, busy in the fast moving world. Not having enough time to take care of health and clueless about what to provide to the family to keep them healthy. I used to occasionally request Google to show me ideas about nutritious food and their health benefits. From a crazy follower of Ganesha to ideological belief in Atheism much has changed and now I understand the secret why I didn’t fall sick when I was a child. My grandmother used to give me Amla every day and once in a week a home-made syrup containing various leaves and other ingredients. It seems the natural food given to me kept me away from all sorts of disease. My Grandmother never told what Google explained and whatever I have taken were part and parcel of life and it was not like a supplement. Today we live cities and we don’t have enough time to search for all these natural ingredients to include in our day to day life. There are lot of supplements up in the market, but their worthiness is doubtful. Dabur has its own brand with 40+ natural ingredients and it comes with a brand name “Dabur Chyawanprash”.  Giving nutrition in the natural way is always the best, but the present generation will find it hard to consume them. They need it branded and advertised by a celebrity and Dabur does it all. Try it in your family, I have practical experience throughout my life from the ingredients and I am sure it will do miracle.

Stupid Philosophy # 2 : Buddha's of Modern-World

"Every selfless individual in this selfish society are Buddha's of modern-world"  

Artist  - Mukti Alamsyah 

"Desire is the reason of Sorrow" said Buddha. Selfishness hides behind desperation and comes along, without your knowledge. Though noticed by others, rarely few notice it on their own and chase it away. Buddha too had the desire, that the people in this world should be free from desire and eventually the sorrows. I too have a desire that the people should be selfless, after all it is the reason for all the modern day issues. In real everyone of us is selfish in one way or other. We live in hostility, though we are the people who talk more about love and friendship.Everything around me in this world is happening for a selfish reason, though other reasons are quoted for the same. History taught and proves me the same. Every historic event of the past has a selfish desire of an individual or a group. In this selfish world, to me all those selfless individuals are Buddha's of modern-world.

From All India Radio to Android App

“Have you brought the Transistor?” I asked my friend Anbarasu. “Yes” he said with a smile on his face.  He brought the transistor to school hiding it from his father who usually tunes into the All India Radio news every day in the evening once he turns back to home from his duty. That day we had few special classes as our class 10 board examination was nearing. Parents and teachers were complaining and even cursing cricketers for organising such a tournament during exam season. But we the boys had double pressure, one to clear the examination with good percentile and next India should win all the matches and lift the World Cup. Watching television particularly cricket was prohibited in most our house except in few (me belong to the exception list). There used to be a common tendency among boys to try/test which is forcefully bunged. This is the reason why transistor radio entered our class room that day so secretly.  The special classes used to be in Maths and English most of the time. We attended the classes as usual in the morning session and our plan was to escape in the afternoon session to listen to the match with the transistor. The school I studied till Class 10 was in a village surrounded by farm land where groundnut is usually sowed in the summer season. Toilets and drinking water used to be in one common place for which we need to walk minimum of 200m from our class. Going in pairs everywhere used to be the trend. Our plan for the day was made by me. The match starts after 1PM usually and our classes used to be till 03.30PM at the extreme. Being a special class there used to be no definite time for start, end or lunch timing except total hours. We planned that day to extend the class somehow at least till 12.45PM at any cost by asking some stupid question at least, so that we can extend our lunch hours till 01.30 or 01.45PM which will host the crucial toss of the match. Post lunch break our strategy was to disburse every 20 minutes one by one asking permission for going to toilet or for drinking water or by doing both alternatively so that the scores are updated continuously. During the lunch break we arranged the sitting position to listen to the match near the toilet (in fact under a tree near the farm), jumped the school wall into the farm land and uprooted groundnut plants to our capacity which used to be our snack while listening the match and also in the class during the lectures. There used to be two hurdles while listening to AIR cricket commentary, one the transistor never receives signal on time and even if received will not be clear and the next will be the Hindi commentary which we hardly understand. Post lunch break we used to have complete  list and timing for one to request the teacher to exit out, many times we never return on time making trouble for the next. Excitement will be high when one enters the class. All our eyes will be on him and a smile on his face will guarantee at the first instance that everything is right. Sometimes the teacher stops, quizzes and don’t allow few to move out.  Once the class is over we used to run to the tree to listen for the next few minutes before my friend hides it back in his bag to take back home before his father arrives.

 Days have passed, the game has changed, the technology has improved but the excitement still remains the same. Now we don’t have to hide the transistor, don’t have to play a trick to keep updated with the score. Thanks to Smartphone revolution. From getting live updates on scores to watching it live the era has changed a lot. Live scorecard was the trend before sometime and now one can watch deferred live free of cost provided by the broadcaster itself, this is the best thing which I like about the new and its android app. I never imagined that star sports will be playing in my mobile when we listened to the scores in transistor exactly 11 years back.  I will not be surprised even if the next generation cricket broadcast changes to the way that the viewer virtually feels his presence in the stadium watching it live.

Stupid Philosophy # 1 : Mystery

" What you thought is not always right,
   What is taught may not be always true,
   What is said to have happened might not have always happened as said,
   What is declared as first may not be always first,
   What is said to be done by someone may not be always done by him"

Operation Magnum Opus

“Role model for everyone keeps rolling”, my childhood days had taught me so until recently. At the age of 15 when my class teacher asked me in a class of 40 about my role model, I just squeezed my mind to name a different personality who is neither mentioned nor known to at least few in my class. I said it is “Shirin Ebadi” and it raised a few eyebrows about who she is? The teacher asked me to give a glimpse of her and I concluded with the Nobel Peace Prize which she received that time for her efforts for democracy and human rights.  I seldom understood the importance of democracy or human rights or at least the contribution of Shirin Ebadi. It is not just me who did so; most of my classmates did the same either choosing a famous personality or a person who was popular or in news recently. The classes and batches continued to change, so are the role models too. To the best of my knowledge, I had not less than 10 role models from my school till the college. It includes A P J Kalam when he was President, Dr.Sylendar Babu IPS after reading his motivation book, Che Guevara after reading a book on him, Mark Zuckerberg after watching the movie Social Network, Sourav Ganguly when he was at his best, Vladimir Lenin, Subhash C Bose, Bhaghat Singh, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Hemant Karkare, Arvind Kejriwal and the list continues. It is true that these personalities had some impacts in me in my course of journey till now, but all these impacts are induced externally by someone or something and not natural. It was either the news published or the book which I read made me consider someone as role model. It was recently that I burst the myth within me and understood the fundamental that role model need not be someone from the outside and my search therein for a perfect role model has attained its final shape very recently.

 My father passed away when I was 7 and  it’s my mom who brought up me and my brother with the support of my maternal uncle. She was just 25 when we lost the bread winner of our family. She refused to marry again, instead started to work for the well-being of us. She used to tell that she was a class topper in her class 10 board examination and also represented the school in various competitions at district levels. She discontinued studies as well as her co-curricular activities as she was made to marry due to family constraints though she wished to pursue higher education. But both education and marriage life was not complete as she wished. With the meagre education (in real official certificates), she got jobs with meagre salary. She understood that people don’t see what you know, but they just see what certificate you have before offering a job. She encouraged us in all possible ways and admitted us to a private school. We had good uniforms, books, pencils etc., and in real we never understood till recently the sacrifice she made to shape the present me. All she wished was our wish to come true, irrespective of what it is. I wonder how I missed to notice a role model very near to me for all these years. We usually have Myopia when we search for a role model and it took me 25 years to cure it to find my perfect role model near me, in fact very near to me.

My preparation for Civil Services helped me to visualize something related to women empowerment and the policies followed by government to implement the same. Special reservation, exemption, fund assistance etc. are available for women who are separated from their husband. She never used any of the options in her life and she came up and made us to come up all alone without any external assistance of any kind. She never worried about the society and it makes me nervous now to think how cruel the society would have been two decades back. I have taken few policies and made few investments now to secure the future of my dependents, but she neither had any security nor did any investment and she started the ever ending marathon with infinite hurdles without any knowledge of how it will be, but with a firm mind to tackle it.

What my Mom – my role model has made me to realize?
I wouldn’t say that my mom has taught me, in fact she has never given me lecture of any kind, but all she made me is to realize from within me.

  • You don’t have to have any prior knowledge to succeed in something, you can learn on the go from your failures and can succeed for sure if you are firm on your goal.
  • Believe in you, there will be people to help you, but don’t expect.
  • Look at the positive side of life when something negative happens.
  • Do not be crest fallen, failures teaches you more than what success does.
  • Money is not the source of happiness, it is within.
In society point of view,

  • Women Empowerment must to be given top priority.
  • Respect women. Teach those who disrespect.
  • Do not speak ill of someone, you are part of the society and it is you who make the society.
  • Educate girl child.
  • Men and Women are equal, women can do everything what a men can do.
The” Me” now is made by “Mom” and I am proud to be Me. I found my role model little late but it is not an induced one, but a natural. I didn’t find any critique now as it happened before when I say my mom is my role model, not because they don’t want to hurt me but they don’t have anything to criticize in real.  Thank You Mom for all your sacrifice and shaping me as the person what I am now. Thank You Blogadda and Gillette for giving me an idea about what to gift my Mom for this mother’s day. What else will be a better gift than sharing this post with my Mom?

Dear Representative, Come out with a Decentralized Manifesto.

  Election 2014 is gearing up and in next 48 hours the first phase of election is set to start in few constituencies of Assam and Tripura. Most of the parties had come out with their manifesto and still few are yet to release. As usual every party claims to work and give their best, just differing in their priorities according to their ideologies. Social empowerment, weeding out/checking corruption, bringing back black money slashed in foreign soil, infrastructure development, stable economic and foreign policy, primary sector priority etc., are few of the promises in front of the judges (the people) in this 16th Lok Sabha election. Of course these promises have to made in common to all the citizens of the nation, but what about local issues? How could a centralized manifesto address specific issues of a constituency? Decentralization or devolution of powers to the local also stands in the centralized manifesto of most party, but they ignore to give power in the very beginning to the candidate and seldom release any area specific manifesto. Of course I agree they address and promise to solve the local issues through words of mouth during the election campaigning, but what is its validity? After all this too is addressed by the party chief or star speaker and not the contestant on his own. Let me figure out few specific issues in my constituency which according to my knowledge is not addressed by any party nor the representative.

 On 24th of April, I am about to cast my vote to the 4th election of any kind and the second Lok Sabha election after I became eligible to vote. I belong to the Kanchipuram constituency (reserved) of Tamil Nadu, in which Viswanathan.P of the Congress party has won by a margin of 13000 votes in 2009. When I look at the performance of my representative keeping aside his party orientation and ideology, his performance in the parliament is satisfactory. He has an average attendance of 87% which is above the national average of 76% and state average of 69%; he participated in 38 debates which are also higher than the national and state average; he had totally raised 658 questions which are far higher than the national and state average which stands at 300 and 398 respectively. The only area where is short of national and state average is in the private member bill, which is understood as belong to the ruling party. Looking at the debates and questions raised him; it is quite visible that he really represented us in the parliament to his best. He also doesn’t have any allegation of corruption against him, so over all if not the best, his performance can be rated above average. Does it guarantee his win in the upcoming election? I don’t organise opinion poll nor throw away my instincts without any statistical evidence, but all I can realize is that mood of the nation and the state in particular is not in favour of the party which he represents.

To my knowledge few specific problems in my constituency is not addressed by any party / representative in particular neither during the previous reign nor in the present manifesto. According to census 2011, there is an increase in the decadal growth of population which is quite a paradox for a state which is considered to be one of the best in controlling population. The main reason for the increase in percentage is due to migration of family and people especially casual workers to this zone both from outside the state and inside the state. No party or representative has addressed to provide solution to their (labours who migrated from outside the state) problems, particularly elementary education to their children which is a fundamental right under article 21A. Government schools in Tamil Nadu have Tamil as their medium of education; it is difficult to bring these children’s to the school as they seldom understand the language. They have problem in availing the facilities provided to BPL families which also need to be addressed. Wages are not paid to labourers according to payment of wages act and in most cases casual labourers are ill paid, this is worst in case of migrant workers.

There are still many area specific issues which the contestant (it doesn’t matter which party he belongs to) should have addressed by requesting opinion/demands from the residents of the constituency by coming out with a constituency manifesto from the representative apart from the party manifesto issued in the party headquarters. The representative should come out and canvass not just replicating what his party has promised to do in the centre, but also speak about the area specific issue mentioned in his constituency manifesto. Let us believe at least in the future we will be able to see not just the centralized manifesto from the party, but also the decentralized manifesto from the representatives.

India General Elections 2014 with Social Mobile Apps : We Chat, We Decide, We Vote.

  How would you inspire and mobilize India’s youth to vote in the Indian General Elections 2014 using social mobile apps?, it’s an interesting contest which I came across almost at the last moment of the closing date on Indiblogger. One who has a tapered view over the topic might guess that it is also a promotion contest; of course it is but more than that one cannot deny the role social media is playing in deciding the future of politics. Indian against Corruption (IAC) and AAP made use of the same social media to maximum extent to change the scenario in Delhi. Social mobile apps played a significant role in feeding patriotism to young generation to fight against corruption and injustice.  Without any scepticism these apps can play a vital role not just in inspiring and mobilizing the youth to vote, but also to weed out the immoral contestants and pick a right leader.

According to a recent Google survey 37% of the urban voters are online, which is slightly lesser than the 42% of voters who are still in the limbo. But when I interpret the same survey, I am very sure the percentage will increase when the 37% can influence their surroundings, if not at least their families and friends. Secondly, the guidelines issued by the election commission, to regulate the money spent in online campaigning clearly indicate the impact social media and social mobile apps have made in deciding the nation’s future. Keeping the election campaigning aside, the other factor which worries us in general is the voter turnout. It is generally presumed that once people are educated, many of the social issues can be sorted out. But the percentage of voter turnout never showed any improvement, even though our literacy rate continuously increased every 10 years. Voter turnout is approximately around 60% irrespective of steps taken to encourage people to vote. One can come to a conclusion that literacy rate growth under our education system may not have substantial impact in tackling social issues which starts from one’s duty to vote.  Preferring not to vote is equivalent to voting the corrupt. Social mobile apps can play a crucial role in illuminating the youth and bring them under a common umbrella to fight against injustice and the revolution should start by delivering their duty to vote. The role of paid media and party oriented media can be nullified or at least minimized  by social mobile apps

I would not involve in any false proselytization, but would discuss the need to vote and choose the right person through social mobile apps. I will list out the various issues in my constituencies and share with my friends and discuss it through by mobile app and will galvanise them to vote by seeing the capability of the candidate and not by the party in which he represents. My family believes me and when I am inspired by someone due to any reason it will surely have impact in what my family thinks. So for sure it is not just a single vote that will be generated, but a cluster of votes from a family. Social mobile apps are like the neutron in a chain reaction, from me it is shared to few and from the few to many and from the many to most. 

Abraham Lincoln referred to democracy as a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Social mobile apps can define and illustrate to youth of India about what it means by the prepositions “of, by and for” as mentioned by Lincoln in his phrase and I will be part of the team to define and illustrate it.