Excellent Suggestions!

Tanmoy has some real good suggestions for us. Terror attack in Mumbai has left us all dazed and shaken. But this time it will be good if we don’t move on and pretend if nothing has happened.

What is community service? What to my mind we can do instantaneously?

First, ask ourselves do we know how to fight an emergency / crisis situations ourselves? If the answer is no, lets ask ourselves what can the emergency situations be. Fire in our apartment, may be! If we dont know how to fight fire, do we know, if we write a letter to the nearest fire station, they will come and teach us some of the basic things.

People in fire service and police service often tend to feel that none cares for them unless one is affected. This can be a good exercise perhaps to get them involved.

Can anyone of us amongst ourselves take the responsibility of doing that for our own colony, apartment back in India?

Get yourself trained without really relying on tacit intelligence (we are tremendously over confident, I know!) and importantly help the women and children in our family / colony to get trained.

Secondly, can we start telling our children about our savings and teach them banking operations. In West, all children after the age of 10 tend to know about such things. We seem to protect themselves till eternity.
Thirdly, can we as a community go to the lazy police station across the street and tell them that we are scared. I know many of you loathe such police officials but trust me the feeling is mutual. They loathe you too but we must not assume they are utterly rubbish and stop involving them. If we make police / firemen a part of our community, after sometime they would become conscious of their existence too. We have to give them confidence, that we trust them. How many of us invite these people to our community functions? We dont but why is that so?

Fourthly, can we be aware of things like Right to Information Act, Consumer Court, Public Grievance System in Government, Directorate of Public Grievances and many such organizations.
Fifthly, have a diary at home where emergency numbers are stored. I am sure most of our mobile phones dont have them and same is for our family members. Why is that so? How long shall be inflict wounds on our families because of our callous attitude.

Sixthly, how many us have ever planted a tree or have helped someone to plant one?


Plants In Forest Create Their Own Aspirin!

I was pretty surprised when I read this, “Plants In Forest Emit Aspirin Chemical To Deal With Stress; Discovery May Help Agriculture” Like us, they don’t have to rush to a chemist’s shop and then swallow those pills.

Unlike humans, who are advised to take aspirin as a fever suppressant, plants have the ability to produce their own mix of aspirin-like chemicals, triggering the formation of proteins that boost their biochemical defenses and reduce injury,” says NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) scientist Thomas Karl, who led the study. “Our measurements show that significant amounts of the chemical can be detected in the atmosphere as plants respond to drought, unseasonable temperatures, or other stresses.

This discovery can be helpful to the farmers.

The discovery raises the possibility that farmers, forest managers, and others may eventually be able to start monitoring plants for early signs of a disease, an insect infestation, or other types of stress. At present, they often do not know if an ecosystem is unhealthy until there are visible indicators, such as dead leaves.


Rain Water Harvesting

I wish to thank Destination Infinity for this post. I find his blog post quite interesting and practical.

Every year Mumbai rains make news and for all the wrong reasons. When I keep on watching images of Mumbai flooded with rain I wonder why such an abundance and why an equal amount of waste? Of course, current mai baap of Mumbai, Mr. Raj Thackray doesn’t have time for such stupid things for Marathis and Maharashtra. I was reading about rain water harvesting at Wikipedia.

Rainwater harvesting in urban areas can have manifold reasons. To provide supplemental water for the city’s requirement,it increase soil moisture levels for urban greenery, to increase the ground water table through artificial recharge, to mitigate urban flooding and to improve the quality of groundwater are some of the reasons why rainwater harvesting can be adopted in cities. In urban areas of the developed world, at a household level, harvested rainwater can be used for flushing toilets and washing laundry. Indeed in hard water areas it is superior to mains water for this. It can also be used for showering or bathing. It may require treatment prior to use for drinking.
In New Zealand, many houses away from the larger towns and cities routinely rely on rainwater collected from roofs as the only source of water for all household activities. This is almost inevitably the case for many holiday homes.

Here is what Destination Infinity thinks:
Sometimes, we do not need to develop wisdom by re-inventing the wheel. For centuries, rain water harvesting has been a dominant activity in our country. Be it for irrigation systems, be it in temples, be it in the backyard of ones own house. This is something that we have always been doing. But, after the concrete jungles have taken over the cities, Rainwater Harvesting has not been in the fore front of demands of any purchaser or builder of home/ apartment in urban landscapes. Do we wake up only after a large scale disaster hits us, like Los Angeles whose case is explained in the video below?


Rain water harvesting in an urban landscape could be as simple as collecting the water flowing from the terraces out into the road (and causing local street flooding) into an underground tank/ sump or a cachement area which could later used for washing clothes, Cars, cooking, flushing toilets etc. (OR) Letting the rainwater flow into the ground from the terrace through multiple layers of natural filtering like broken bricks etc. which would contribute to the rise of the water tables in the area.

The following two websites have all the resources, case studies, links, community projects and all the necessary information on rainwater harvesting particularly in India.



The following video is actually an advertisement for the rain water harvesting systems but has a lot of information on practical implementation of rain water harvesting. As they say, some times the advertisements are more informative and useful than the programs/serials in our television.


And if you have watched all the videos till now, do watch this one also. A nice way of putting across the message. Just to end.


Do let know if you know of any interesting implementations of the rain water harvesting methods in your area.


CERN search to solve Big Bang mystery!

Largest particle collider conducts successful test!

GENEVA (AP) The world’s largest particle collider successfully completed its first major test by firing a beam of protons around a 17-mile underground ring Wednesday in what scientists hope is the next great step to understanding the makeup of the universe.

After a series of trial runs, two white dots flashed on a computer screen at 10:36 a.m. indicating that the protons had traveled the full length of the $3.8 billion Large Hadron Collider.

“There it is,” project leader Lyn Evans said when the beam completed its lap.

Another headline is: “India shines at CERN experiment

The entire Large Hadron Collider or LHC will be sitting on India made jacks, these objects weigh 32 tonnes and have to be located to the precision of a few tens of micron.

All of us are concerned about The safety of the LHC

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can achieve an energy that no other particle accelerators have reached before, but Nature routinely produces higher energies in cosmic-ray collisions.The LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) and extends the conclusions of the 2003 report that LHC collisions present no danger and that there are no reasons for concern. Whatever the LHC will do, Nature has already done many times over during the lifetime of the Earth and other astronomical bodies. The LSAG report has been reviewed and endorsed by CERNs Scientific Policy Committee, a group of external scientists that advises CERNs governing body, its Council.

I was busy finding out the number of Indian scientists involved in this LHC experiment. But what to say about Hindi broadcast media? My maid and her children watch those channels and gathered some facts about big bang. Today she issued an ultimatum that she would leave early to be with her children on their last day on this earth! She also narrated that yesterday they had refused to have their dinner out of fear. I was trying to explain to the maid that everything is OK about this big bang experiment while watching TV at the same time. And VIOLA!!! On TV they were showing a designer family ( family having all the right external attributes, be it drawing room or personal appearances) and their kids too DIDN’T EAT AND SLEEP IN THE NIGHT!! Long live BIG BANG and media! Hindi broadcast media was out with full force these days, even consulting astrologers and all those dandy looking Babas about impending annihilation of this planet and whole universe! Hats of to media for making Indians basically behaving as one irrespective of class, caste, creed or literacy level.


RJ who made derogatory comments about Nepalese could be arrested

I simply feel elated when I read this news. ‘RJ who made derogatory comments could be arrested‘ And I am glad that Indian Idol III, Prashant Tamang’s fans and locals are out to teach this RJ a lesson. What I don’t feel good about is the violence part. It could have been achieved peacefully too. BUT ITS HIGH TIME WE START RESPECTING OUR OWN PEOPLE. AND IF WE CAN’T THEN BE PREPARED TO FACE THE MUSIC. The politicians are perfecting the ‘Divide & Rule’ policy’, we are not doing much to nullify these politicians’ move.

If we educated Indians can’t rise above regionalism, then what can be expected from others? I gather “educated” in today’s context means a professional degree, a job in a good company and speaking English with fake American accent and blasting Biharis, UPites, South Indians, Maharashtrians, Bengalis, Punjabis, Sardars, Haryanavis, Himanchalis, Chinkies, Gurkhas minus what you are. See where “MODERN EDUCATION” landed this RJ, Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd

What our “educated”, “English speaking”, “cosmopolitan” male RJ has said for a certain section of the society:

The RJ, Jonathan Brady, who is popularly known as Nitin after a programme called Ulta Pulta Nitin that he used to host on some other FM channel, apparently commented in a live broadcast that shopkeepers will now have to make their own security arrangements as Gorkhas have taken to singing. The remark was made on his new programme, Khurafati Nitin on Red FM.

I am glad that the “Bahadurs”, “Gurkhas” and “Chinkies” are out to teach a “hep, metrosexual, barbarian” a lesson. It will certainly be a treat watching a “disguised bhaishahib” RJ perform before the people of Darjeeling. Perhaps during schooling our “disguised bhaishahib” was too busy perfecting his English accent and couldn’t pay much attention to the fact that Gurkhas belong to world’s finest warrior class!!!


Kalam still Homeless!

What I know that there is no problem for assigning Rahul Bhaiya and Priyanka Didi sarkari bungalows. Though in what capacity / designation Priyanka Didi is living in a government bungalow, no one knows. They and their family have “sacrificed” so much for India and Indians. We will have to look after them and their coming generations for forever as Sarkari Damads. They have all the rights to enjoy every privilege with taxpayers money.

The link is not working but news goes like this:
HP land rules waived (The Statesman, India – 24 Aug 2007)
“The revenue department has given Mrs Priyanka permission to acquire land by giving relaxation in Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act, …” Should there be any rule for this family who “sacrificed” so much for the country? THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS THEIRS TO PLUNDER.
Today I read this news:
“Kalam, who has Z-Plus security cover, has been staying in the guesthouse despite his office making several representations to the urban development ministry for early renovation of the house in central Delhi allotted to him.

However, the work undertaken by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has been moving very slowly despite reminders from security agencies that want to install gadgets to protect the former President, who faces threats from several militant groups, including Lashker-e-Taiba.

Sand and construction material were seen spread all over the house at 10 Rajaji Marg. CPWD officials at the spot were unwilling to say when the house would be ready for Kalam to move in.”


Educating Kids

Chubby cheeks, dimple chin
rosy lips, teeth within,
Curly hair, very fair,
eyes are blue, lovely too,
Teacher’s pet, is that you??
Yes, Yes, Yes.

So the “right? kind of education starts early in life. That explains why Ms Rai/Bachchan considered more influential than Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. It also makes clear, majority of the readers of Time Magazine are guys. Matahari, Christine Keeler, Pamela Bordes, Monica Lewinsky … are glaring examples that guys trust their eyes more than their brains. 🙂