Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wishes!

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Now, if i ever had the pen, with which i could script my future, my wishes and desires, my choices and dreams…

I would have scribbled and scribbled and scribbled for ever…

 

Now, if i ever had the key, to the very next phase, to the tomorrow, to the unknown, to the dreams…

I would have opened a thousand doors…

 

Now, if i ever had the lock, that locked apart the fears, the tears and the weaknesses, all the scary dreams…

I would have locked myself with that…

 

Now, if i had that mask, that dress, that power, that strength…

An incomplete creation as I can name a billion if’s and now’s and wishes, for this is human life and we all are humans. A never ending saga of desires and ambitions, from the moment he takes in his first breath of his own to the moment where he cries for just one more breath. If all these questions were to be put across in one sentence, shall i not ask where can i find Super Man’s Chaddi’s!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lessons to learn!! From the 18th Century London to 21st Century Delhi.

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I now recollect that day when I read news of India winning the bid to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games, at Delhi. I don’t quite remember when this was, but I do remember to have felt awed at the thought of India hosting a mega event much like the Olympics, if not as big. Fast forward days, months & years, being at the juncture we are in right now, the awe has for long given way to anger, frustration and pity-ness towards the organizers who are responsible for all the current mess. There have been enough of filthy living areas, shameful corruption and the shocking failures to newly constructed structures like the bridge adjoining to the stadium.

I don’t think there is anything at all, that I can add about the already messed up event, all I can is wish and hope for a decent event which brings about at least a smile on the faces of those Indian and foreign athletes at the end of the 11 day ‘supposed-to-be-mega-event’. What I intend to spread by this post is a warning to the mega cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata & Chennai (the list doesn’t end here, just naming a few), and this would be a right time to work on it, I guess!

I recently found a friend of mine sharing a link in Twitter which was about the Top 10 filthy cities in the world and shockingly Mumbai headed the list. Delhi’s filthiness doesn’t require an explanation and the dirty environment in Chennai near the railway station and under the bridges, a few to name, is something I have seen quite a dozen times. Kolkata, the 4th Indian metropolis, I have heard ain’t much different too.

India has been a place of diseases, even when the name and the viruses or bacteria’s causing it keeps changing, the end result have always been the same, wide spread panic and uncontrollable deaths. There has been the Chikungunya, the Dengue fever, the Rat fever, and the more recent H1N1 influenza. London has a story to tell us, let’s check what it is.

London as we know it is one of the best cities in the world and UK has set high standards as a nation for others to follow. I am sure one of those things that attracts anyone about London, either in the pictures or videos or movies, is the mere beauty of the places and the cleanliness and hygiene in the environment. This is the London we know off now, the world knows of now. images (1)There was a stage when thousands and ten-thousands died every year in each British city as a result of epidemics like Small Pox, Cholera, Tuberculosis and even fevers like Typhoid. Several websites point out that around 80000 people were killed by TB alone in the 18th and 19th century and other diseases were as dangerous too. Poverty was the most basic problem and unhygienic conditions and polluted & sewaged water bodies like the mighty River Thames, all contributed to these age old tragedies. It was then that the Europeans learnt of the necessity of a clean environment and the dangers a shabby place can cause. Since then, there has been no looking back and it has contributed to what we see as one of the cleanliest & wanna-be places in this planet earth.

To read further about the 18th Century London – Click Here.

Most Indian states receive huge rainfall every year and the Indian cities like Mumbai & Delhi are no exceptions. This year Delhi received the highest rainfall in 35 years and there is no real stopping for the flood water. I am sure almost everyone knows the adverse effects the waste water causes like the un-controllable breeding of mosquitoes, which are responsible for almost all these deadly fevers. W aste water is just an example and the list of those pollutants and wastes shall go on forever if I start naming them.

The current condition in present India may not be as bad as the old UK, but it must be remembered that it won’t take long for a epidemic to spread across a nation and considering the billion plus population, there can never be a bigger tragedy. As Prevention is always better than Cure; a few cautious steps won’t do us any harm, and is in fact the need & necessity of the hour.

It would be the best step forward to take a couple of lessons out of the London experience, and make efforts to clean our city as we do in our homes. Constructing big buildings and express roads do improve the outlook of any city and nation, but it must be remembered and understood that the form stating India as a developed nation cannot be submitted when the “Hygiene & Clean Environment” box remains unticked.

Commonwealth Games is sure to have taught us a lesson, and i wish this is the right time to re-construct our nation, for the sake of the billion people who take pride even at the thought of being an Indian.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Camera Speaks IV : Another Episode on Shanghai!!

I find it almost irresistible to avoid another photo-blog on my recent trip to Shanghai. This time i will be covering those pictures during the train journey & the later roam in and around the Huangpu River, the water front and the Shanghai Skyline!

…Entering the D-Train. The bullet train service from Nanjing to Shanghai…

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…The outer view from inside the super-fast train…nkr (12)

…Another view inside…

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…When the engines became the most vigorous…

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…Various photos from the famous Nanjing Street in Shanghai. I swear, this was the 1st time in China, when i saw more foreigners than Chinese people…

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…These buildings looked more European, than Chinese to me!…

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…The Shanghai skyline from across the Huangpu River. One of the most AWESOME sights of my life. The camera failed to capture it cleanly though…

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…The thing standing tall behind me is one of the epic buildings of Shanghai. The Oriental Pearl Towers. Now the 3rd tallest building in Shanghai…

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…The arch shape reminded me of Marine Drive, Mumbai. Again, not the best of the snaps…

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…From a ferry ride to across the river, even though a ordinary snap, i loved the background…

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…I believe the best ones always comes at the end…the tallest structures in Shanghai, and the world. Jinmao Tower (left, 11th tallest in world)… nkr (9)

…And the Shanghai World Financial Center, the 3rd tallest building in the world and my personal favorite from Shanghai. The photo is taken from an open top bus…nkr (10)     

I hope you liked it. Leave a comment if you did. No copying without permission. In case you are interested in any of them, as me & i shall give you the full resolution ones.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oh God!! But where are you??

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Existence of God has been one of the most controversial and debated topics across all over the globe & since the very start of our species. There has been many supporting the fact, that of the presence of god & many opposing it. Here is my take on Existence of God or how I feel about the Ultimate Power.

There has been no practical research work behind any of the things that I speak in this article and everything comes from my thoughts. You might or might not agree to what I have to say, so this one is intended to add another dimension into you already existing idea about God!

2 months ago I was reading this book, “The Goose is out”, an OSHO publication. Since then I have been trying to relate what god is, and how people describe many things as god. Since the existence of intelligent human beings, there has been gods. They found this new belief and found their gods on idols, in the sun, the moon, the earth, the rain, the clouds, the trees, the cow, the stone and the wind. The and at the end of the last sentence doesn’t mean it’s the end of the list, it’s just the beginning and human beings found a god in everything from the mighty sun to a mere stone.

Now think why would they have considered the sun as a god? And why, the wind as a god?

Who according to you now is god? How often would you have said “God Knows” to a question your pal asks you?! Why would you have answered in such a way? Because you may not have an answer to that question, right?!

Similarly, the earlier generations, the medieval people were left open mouthed at the question of who gave them this light and energy from every dawn to dusk. They found that a big ball rose into the sky every day at a particular time, travelled over their heads and disappeared later, taking away with it all the light & brightness. They, for then weren’t able to explain the physics or the chemistry behind the particular happening and for simplicity called the big ball the Sun God and prayed to him. Similar should have been the case with his worship for the trees, the rain, the wind, and the animals and so on.

I am sure every one of us believes that there is some extreme power which controls things, which controls the balance of the matter & the anti-matter, which controlled the birth of this earth, the solar system and the galaxies and the universe, one that controls everything. But the only thing is that we don’t know what is it that is controlling everything and we call it as god. Or we rather name this unknown, unexplained power or principle which controls everything as God! So is it really god or is it just a name, we had given to an unknown principle, the unknown quantity or the unknown powers, just like how the ancient people worshipped sun as god.

You, for once might be worshipping the same sun as a god, but not without knowing that the light and the energy you receive from sun is as a result of those nuclear fissions and fusions that take place at the central core of the star, and not because of someone godly powered, who rises his hands and a ray of light originates from it. So what I tried to mention here is that Sun is just a natural phenomenon, and not a godly one!

You are able to fly in the air, travel to outer spaces and even live there, those things which the earlier generations wouldn’t have thought possible to the human race ever. So by any chance, if they knew this, they might be calling us gods too, because they wouldn’t understand the logics behind the Space shuttles & the airplanes.

So my point still is that, we do attribute many of the present day happenings to be god’s play, not because it was really done by god, but more because we haven’t been really able to explain how it happened, or plainly we haven’t been able to crack down the logic behind it!

So as we move forward, as the human generation advances, we surely will find explanations to more of these unknown questions, which we now wrongly attribute as mere god’s plays!

So, What or who is God?

But i was not really contradicting the presence of god, or even I do believe in god or the extreme or ultimate power! I do go to the temples & I do pray to the god! And I have seen that ultimate power too, ask me where and I shall say through my eyes & in a mirror.

Yes, you read it rightly, and I do believe you yourselves are the gods, me myself is the god. If ever there was to be a god, then it is everyone of us!

We are gods because we have been doing things, once thought to be impossible and un-do-able. It was us, the human race itself who found the answers to all the questions we raised. The so called gods we pray now a days were actually one among us too. Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, were all just human beings who understood the meanings of their lives, and in a spiritual man’s words, they were the ones who got enlightenment. I wouldn’t want to take this post much into those streams because; I am equally un-enlightened as many of you and equally un-aware of all these terms as much as you.

So how do you reach to the god in you?

By above thought, that the god resides in yourselves, I am not asking you to quit going to temples or any holy places for that matter. Think what do you do when in a temple? You clean yourselves before entering the temple, you remove your slippers, yours shirts and you keep your bags at counters, but then these are all materialistic behaviors.

What do you really do once in a temple? You pray to the god, you tell him your wishes and your dreams and asks him take care of you and make you pass your class test, interview or that your daughter gets admission in a medical college, and blah blah blah...

Think what really happens here. Aren’t we actually reminding ourselves of the things we have to do, so that you get a bit more charged up to do it? Aren’t we reminding ourselves by praying to the god that, you need to study, since have an exam to do or you have to prepare, since you have an interview to attend or you have to drive carefully to be safely home? So by praying, aren’t you  actually reminding yourselves the things you need to do?

So the next time you travel alone in a bus or roam around by a silent paddy field, think about how your view of god should be? That of a global savior who has an answer to all your questions, one who cannot be seen, cannot be touched and heard. Or have you really understood that image you see in the mirror?

God is nothing but a creation of the people, but then it is sad seeing people being discriminated for the religion they follow, more so at the thought that none of us are following a religion by our choice! Religions do carry with it cultures and traditions, but are peoples happiness and peace secondary to any of these cultures and traditions? So stop discriminating people in the name of god, stop terrorist activities in the name of god, stop all such non-senses happening in the name of god, because they are nothing but mere Satanism.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Camera Speaks III : Shanghai Expo Unplugged

Check the previous post if you haven’t, to get an idea what World Expo 2010 – Shanghai is all about. This is a continuation with some details.

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Shanghai Expo started on the 1st of May this year and is about to finish in more than a months time, on the 31st of Oct. I was told that each day, the expo attracts anything between two hundred thousand to two million people. One day ticket allow you to stay inside the Expo site from 9 AM to 12 in the midnight, but if you felt that this 15 hours was good enough to see it all, you are terribly wrong. On a day’s ticket, it is not likely that you visit more than 5-6 pavilions. It took me some thing like one hour to get the security clearance to enter inside the Expo site. Our plans were to see all the pavilions  from outside, capture photos, and on the way visit the Indian, African & Aviation pavilions and see how the rest goes.

The Indian Pavilion

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To be frank, Indian pavilion was a slight disappointment. Not that it looked bad, but considering the powerful nation we are, and considering the kind of Super Power we are supposed to be, they should have done better and invested better. The theme looked okay, the greenness and the structure of it displaying a bit of our culture, but there lacked something that attracts your eye like those of the European, American or even our neighboring Nepalese pavilion. We had to wait for something like an hour to enter the pavilion and inside it were a couple of stores, some antique shops, a food store, and a store of Incredible India & Air India together. The big dome seen at the center is an exhibition hall.

…Several photos from inside the Indian Pavilion are below…

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What do you feel about the Indian Pavilion? Was enough work done? Didn’t it lack something from the other pavilions? Do share your views & thoughts through comments.

 

Some pavilion pictures that i missed last time…

…Russia & United States of America…

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…Mauritius…

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…the African Pavilion & Nepali Pavilion…

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…Estonia…

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…Romania…

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…Germany…

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…Winding off…

True, you have had to wait for 2-3 hours in queues to enter any major pavilion, but you can’t expect an easy passage when you know 500,000 people visit this place every day. And the 3 hour wait was made a comfortable one with various facilities and arrangements. Some of them included seating facility for the entire queue and fans every 5 meter or so, and then there was this innovative idea of spraying of water from the roof, every 30 seconds or so, which was nothing but a sudden escape from the humid, hot conditions.

To sum up the experience in a couple of sentences, engineering & organizing were all at their very bests, for this mega event. Pavilions that stole away your breaths, crowd control and voluntary works that made you jealous, free transportation services that made you feel home, an experience to cherish!

Walking through the Expo site, i was thinking how the Commonwealth Villages in New-Delhi would be looking like. Just like the Olympics 2008, this is sure to be a bench mark for any World Fairs from now on.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Camera Speaks II : World Expo 2010 Unveiled

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I am sure I messed up with the trust of my readers by faking an experience from a live football match, with out actually entering the stadium, but then this time is real and genuine and you wouldn’t want to miss this one.

The World Expo 2010 is a 6 month long carnival at Shanghai – China, one of the major economic centers of the world. Over 190 countries and 50 international companies have pavilions, which is also the largest World's Fair site ever at 5.28 square km. The exhibition which is to end in over a month’s time is expected to attracted around 70-100 million ( 7-10 crores ) visitors, the largest for a single event ever. An astounding 3 Lakhs visitors are told to be visiting the expo-site every single day.

These are some of the pictures from the Expo-site.

…At the entrance of the Shanghai World Expo Site…

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…The Tricolor…

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…The Long Queue, nearly 300,000 people pass through these queues every day…

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…The pride of China, Chinese Pavilion ( two views )…

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…This one’s a Chinese Cultural Pavilion ( my personal favorite from the site!)…

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…The Expo Axis…

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…Three outstanding buildings in Shanghai, as seen from Expo site, (left to right) the Oriental Pearl tower, the Jinmao Tower (11th tallest in world) & the Shanghai World Financial Center ( 3rd tallest in world)…

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…Country Pavilions…

…Australia & Finland…

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…Greece & Sweden…

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…Iceland & Ukraine…

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…Canada & United Kingdom…

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…South Africa & Argentina…

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…Inside the African Pavilion…

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…The Lupu Bridge, adjacent to Expo site…

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…The China Aviation Pavilion… 

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These photos are entirely clicked by either me, or on me. Please do not copy any with out my consent.

Further photos from the trip & a detailed report about Expo & Indian Pavilion shall follow. Please subscribe to my blog, to receive alerts on my blog updates. (Check back at the right side – top, to subscribe)