Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Story of a Cinema Going.

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How many times have you gone to a theatre to watch a movie? I've gone plenty of times, and probably the list may well have been destroyed beyond recollection. But every now and then one of those movie-going-experience becomes different, memorable. Don't ask how they become memorable, it could be the rush-hush and adventures of getting the ticket, it could be the face of one beautiful girl you came across and it could also be for some disgusting incidents that took place. Here's my little story of going to a cinema some days back.

In this land where names sound more like that of a breaking of plates, getting to talk in English is rare. Even rarer is to watch an English movie in theatres and the rarest of incidents took place this December 1st. The movie My Name is Khan released in China.

Traditionally only 20 foreign language movies are permitted a release in China and this year My Name is Khan was one of those top 20 movies which makes it to the cinema halls in China, and stunningly, 10 months after its real release. The news of the release came out in the first week of November and we happened to know that Shahrukh Khan & Karan Johar would be there in Beijing for the premier of the movie in China. So our initial plans were to fly to Beijing to meet them. Fly to a city 1200 KM away, to meet an actor, and almost during our exam time. Plan dropped!

Then we came to know that the movie is releasing in two malls in Nanjing and we were again excited. Days passed by as exams came and swept us away. Someone had kept a remainder for the 30th of November, reminding the release of My Name is Khan and things were back in minds and plans were to be made again. Anxiousness was the ask of the day even though the movie had been watched a few days after its release in some cheap camera prints and later in crystal clear DVD's.

We will whistle when the titles roll. We will throw paper pieces when SRK makes the intro. We will shout; we will clap; we will create havocs.

Every Indian had a reason to be proud of because no movie of any other friends of ours had come here; none of those Pakistani/Nepali/Srilankan/Indonesian/African movies. God knows if all of them have even a film industry. So this positive energy continued from the classroom to the lunch hall and several friends from other campuses joined us too. The energy followed us through the metro trip to the place, and racing against time, we reached the hall at 2.45 PM and the show was supposed to start at 2.40.

Having reached the ticket counter, there was not many people enquiring or picking up tickets even though the mall had 9 theatres or so. We asked tickets for "My Name is Khan" which they didn't understand in the first go. So the geek among us who ate-drank-and-slept on Chinese language asked the lady in that language and she replied with a mouth full of flourish. "Wo de ming jiao ke an?" and the smile continued. That was incidentally the name of the movie in Chinese which translates to My Name is Khan literaly. So we shouted back "Yeah!!".

Suddenly her smile kind of disappeared and she asked the lady in the next counter, who seemed to know better English and the lady informed us. " Wo de ming jiao ke an mei you yinwen, shi zhong wen"

All our plans were broken down to pieces!! The damn movie was in Chinese and not Hindi/English. All the excitement and preparations only to see a Chinese poster of My Name is Khan.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

~A Random Thought about Life~

I seriously used to think, wonder how my life would have been, if i was born to a different family? belonged to a different religion? raised in a different native place, a different state and a different country? belonging to a different age/time, the 60’s or the 70’s or even before?

How magical is life, for each of this simple and silly things have made you the person you are now, completely!

A random thought which could open out to a vast ocean of questions, answers and even more thoughts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

His Excellency, The President of India.

…memories are vague, no beginning and no definite end. The finer the knots are tied, the clearer the image becomes, and the better…

...thunderous applauds break the silence in a huge hall in London…

The man clears his throat,

“That was a very inspiring piece of oratory from the Chief of World Bank. Now i take this occasion to welcome the Man of the evening, His Excellency, The President of India…”

…another round of thunderous applause. The man stood up waving his hands and moved to the podium…

“Those were very kind words. Good Evening respected guests, dear brothers & sisters of London and the rest of the world. It is indeed a very privileged feeling to be speaking in front of this grand audience on such a grand occasion.

I am honored to be the chief guest of this session of the world economic forum, which is celebrating the platinum jubilee anniversary, completing 75 victorious years. I am also very glad at the fact that my nation has given me reasons to be immensely proud standing in front of all of you. This march, Indian economy, along with Chinese has become the biggest economies in the world, and if the predictions are anything to go by, we will become the biggest economy in another 12 years.”

the audience interrupts to present another round of applause…

It indeed is a very proud feeling to be the head of state, which has returned to the very zenith of it all. I am sure if the founding fathers of our nation lived now, they would’ve proudly felt jealous, for we live in an India, which they couldn’t have even seen in their dreams. India now has completed a full circle. For years, for centuries and millennia, we used to be the land of gold; the land of power; the land of prosperity; the land of cultures; the land of wealth and the land of ultimate intelligence. But then as a cycle don’t speed forward if the tires stay fixed and hence the darker periods of our history began. The might, wealth & intelligence attracted ambitious foreigners who along with time changed roles from anxious visitors to obnoxious rulers. Great selfless people fought them, not with guns and fire, but with words and principles and brought the light of freedom once again to our great nation. Those 90 years of selfless revolutionaries followed by a century of rebuilding takes us to where we are now, once again the biggest economy in the world.

Decades ago in a visit to India, an American President had pronounced that India had emerged, and was no longer an emerging nation. Back then, I had felt good, and proud. But everyone knew then that those words were just meant to sooth your emotions and that it was far from the truth. Then, it was far from the destiny of us being an emerged nation, which indeed was in all kinds of mess, the corruption, poverty and terrorism issues. But now, right now in 2045, a couple of years from hundredth year of our Independence, I can repeat those words and say, we have really evolved, emerged as a supreme power in the planet.

……”

The thing about dreams is that, we have no sense of belonging, no beginning and no end. The same dream might recur over a course of time, night after night, may be. Being in and under the spot-light in a dream every night is fun, but the real challenge begins when we try to find a way, our way to the beginning of the dream. That’s the challenge ahead for me, to find a way to the beginning of my dream, to  find a way to that very podium.

(Recollections from a dream that’s been soothing me during my sleep, of me standing in front of the world as the President of India. Certain facts from Wikipedia added in the speech, & a thought from the movie Inception.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Google Vs Facebook. Strength’s Vs Weaknesses.

FB Vs. Google

To start of with, this one ain’t a technical post. This is a post explaining the thoughts that crossed my mind during my first 5 minutes in Facebook Mail. The bolded text is the happening in the I-World (Internet-World) and the text below are my thoughts.

So there was this big buzz in the I-World when Mark Zuckerberg announced a thing or two about Facebook Mail, a couple of weeks back I guess.

Another newbie in the I-World and lots of waves created. The success of Facebook means high expectations on the yet to materialize Facebook Mail. So I send in a request to get an invitation for the new Facebook Mail.

I got the Facebook Mail today. I was asked to upgrade the normal messages to the new Facebook Mail & I was given my new Facebook E-mail ID.

My first expressions were in a “Glad” note. Glad, as in I got hold of the Facebook mail before many of my friends. On the first look, it looked plainly similar to the old Facebook Messages, except that may be it covers the width of the page now.

So just to check the working of it, I sent a mail from my Gmail to the new Facebook ID. Back in Facebook when I tried to access the mail I had sent in from Gmail, they said there was a temporary glitch. A problem which did disappear by a refresh, but that was enough for me to come out with a Moral message. The following was my next post in FB.

Facebook Mail Sucks!! Zuckerberg can't beat Larry Page in the mailing front! (FB vs. Google: P)

What’s the Message from all this?

Google has the most successful search engine in the world, and one of the better mail services in Gmail, and another super success in Blogger. But none of those helped a bit when they ventured into Google Buzz, an application similar to Twitter. Google Wave is another, yet similar story of tragedy.

Facebook has the most successful social networking site in the world, but their next big thing; the Facebook Mail looks all set to be a crash & burn.

Everyone has got their own domains, Facebook the Social Networking & Google their own ones. Then why do they have to cross borders into another one’s territories ambitiously? Just as a nation enters into another one’s territory eyeing to reap benefits, but ends up in wars, destruction & famine. If those efforts were spent in their own territory, surely they would’ve been a brighter nation. Alike, instead of transcending into others domain, I wish Facebook expand and improve the glitches in their own services and the same  goes on with Google.

Facebook, Google, Twitter and all similar applications were all results of some brilliant ideas and dreams. Why are they now diluting their dreams by carving out pieces from others dreams?

Work on your Weaknesses rather than another one’s Strengths! ~ Naveen.

Ashok Chakra. A Tribute to Mumbai 26/11.

Today, 26/11/2010 marks the 2nd anniversary of one of the most horrifying incidents of Post-Independence India. Let us salute the brave souls who lost their lives fighting selflessly on the 3 black letter days in Mumbai and also pray for all of the deceased souls.

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Click here for the full list of the deceased during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Everyone will have a story to tell about this day, the date. My story of the Mumbai attacks goes on like this. On the night of 26th Nov, 2008, I was chatting with a friend of mine from Mumbai. So while we were chatting, the news of a terrorist strike broke out and this friend was the one who told me about it. She rushed on to make a couple of phone calls to ensure the safety of her friends. I glanced across several websites to get to know the details and was incidentally relieved to find out it was not a bomb blast, which could really take away lots of lives instantly. Only after a while did I notice that the attack was even more dangerous and serious than a bomb blast. Live terrorists were shooting down innocent lives with machine guns in many crowded and landmark places of one of the most populous cities in the world. While this friend was chatting with me late in the night, she got a call and a moment or two later, returned to say her friend was also shot at the Taj Mahal Palace and went offline before I could offer a word of console.

I’ve always had this belief that the best of anyone comes out when in troubled times. I have fond memories how people unite in face of troubled times. Back in Sainik School while in the 9th class, we used to be the junior-most in the house, inferior to the 10th, 11th & the 12th guys. So facing the rigorous punishments on a day to day basis, what really happens is that it unites each one of the sufferers into one, one big nutshell. Mumbaikars found the same strength in the troubled times and they showed their courage and determination by going to their respective works from the very next day. By doing so, they had given out a clear message to the perpetuators of the attack that nothing can hinder the spirits of the people of Mumbai and the citizens of India.

Two years have gone and the lone captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab is still alive. Several leads have been found, but no real action has been taken against the real organizers of the crime. Heaven knows what, ‘Dossiers’ have been exchanged between the Indian & Pakistani governments and even the Media doesn’t have a count of it. The country has been spending crores of money to keep Ajmal Kasab alive, on his safety and security, but honestly, does that man deserve all these?

I can’t help myself not to criticize the judicial system of our nation. A person who killed 166 innocent people with machine guns; who as per the court waged war against the country, why in the hell is he alive still? I don’t know if many are aware of this, but SI Tukaram Omble sacrificed his own life while trying to arrest Kasab alive. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia.

Baudankar says that Assistant Sub Inspector Tukaram Omble was hit by the bullets as he was the first to charge towards Kasab and his associate armed with just a stick. "All those who were with Omble survived as he stood like a shield," adds Kadam. "When we saw that Omble was not letting go of the terrorist's gun, we knew we could not let his sacrifice go in vain. He held on and we completed his unfinished task," his colleague Sanjay Govilkar said.

It’s nothing like the news of a death sentence for Kasab makes any change in my life or gives me a high, but it’s that the life and sacrifice of brave men like SI Omble goes down the lane worthless in the present situation. The loop-holes in our Judiciary that keeps him alive even today are almost making fun of the sacrifices of those valiant officers. Lets hope the perpetuators of the attack gets caught, and soon the whole of terrorism gets wiped away from the face of our planet.

26/11 is now a part of history and bullet holes on the walls and the scars in the hearts of Mumbaikars shall remain forever. The least we can do is to be better citizens of this vibrant nation. For a nation which has had to face many unfortunate challenges like the terrorist attacks, cross-border insurgency and interior Naxalism, it’s a shame that our politicians are adding on to the woes by stupid scams and scandals, which becomes bigger & filthier every next time.

The Ashok Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield, during peace time. 15 Police men and 2 NSG commandos lost their lives encountering terrorists. Officers Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamte and Tukaram Ombale and 2 NSG commando’s Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan & Havildar Gajendar Singh were awarded Ashok Chakra for their sacrifices. We salute one and all of them.

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Image Courtesy - Flickr

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What Men Want? Check Out!!

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“What Men Wants” is a blogging contest conducted in & by Blogadda.com. What attracted me to this topic was that a search on this topic in Google returned 34 million less results compared to “What Women Wants” and so I am here trying to eliminate the deficit (Ha-ha!), and on course trying to find out a diplomatic solution to “What MEN want”!

Similar posts on the wants of Men & Women are of abundance in the blogosphere and one obvious thing are the lists, specifying points as in men liked to do this and not this, men wanted this and not this, men meant this and not this. C’mon, how it is that one can describe the nature of more than 3 billion people through a list of likes & dislikes.

Then the genuine question is what is it that I can present, which differs from others, and still gives at least a hazy idea of what men really wanted. I can only write on what I want, and that may or may not be a real reflection or the real answer to the question. Suddenly the filaments of the so called bulb in my brain sparked and resulted in it shining at over a 1000 Watts!

ASK QUESTIONS!!!

Wow! That ain’t a bad idea. I mean, I can go on and ask this question as in a survey to people around me, Men of course, and see what they have to say. It also makes better sense considering it will be Men’s choices and not ‘a’ Man’s.

So this is what I heard from my friends.

The first one says. “Women...Money…Enjoyment!! …a big life…with lots of dreams…money…more money…lots of people…partying…want to share moments with family…and yeah, of course…you know it!! (The S-word)” So, I asked him, on the kind of girl he dreamt… “A pretty one, traditional, loyal, friendly, patient…and with a long hair…” And he had a giggle saying the long hair.

The second one went on like this… “I want to hit to gym for ever, a fit body always! Then, a beautiful girl, with a pretty pair of legs” On things other than girls, he said “I want to be able to sleep as much, have a nice job, high salary, less working hours, enjoyable life, a Lamborghini, enough n more time to enjoy, and a beautiful wife”. He adds he wants to have multiple dates with hot ladies in town, the dream girl of everyone. Well, I can say he might travel to the moon, but not his last wish.

Another guy was a bit different. He said he wanted to travel a lot, before adding onto the lady-part. He said “I want to travel around a lot…” and later added… “I want 2 kids, the elder one girl and the younger one a boy. A home beside the sea, a small one though. A wife who’s elder, say 5-15 years older than him.” He got some conditions too “She shouldn’t smoke and drink. Well…drink, occasionally okay, but not at home.” According to him an elder girl takes better care of you, much like a baby. Not a bad one.

So what is to be understood from what we’ve heard now? From the opinions and voices of Men from different nations, who have different sets of minds? Everyone wants a girl, a lovely relationship. They dream high and aspire for a grand house and fat-fat pay cheques. They want fun in their lives and wish to share them with families. They want racy cars and want to see the world.

So the question that crosses my mind now is, are all these the wants of just men? If a lovely relationship is the want of men, what is it that women want? If money and grand houses are what men’s wishes, do women dream of being broke & homeless? Ain’t having a family and living the life out with them as much a women’s wish as it is for men? So what is the big fuss of what women want and what men want? As I believe it, it’s not the gender that defines wishes, but personality and character. A person with a very serious outlook about life may have a set of things that he wanted in life, irrespective of him being an M/F. Another set of people who always sees the funny side in a life might want different things in their life; and here too, I don’t see the gender/sex defining a line that differentiates the wants or the aspirations of both.

Personally I feel the question very stupid and the truth is that many of the blogs which points out things that men like, women like and what we don’t like are only good to have laugh about. They are only good to you if you are a film director and you want an easy method to describe your characters, the female lead in a ‘Girly way’ and the hero as a ‘Macho Man’, for in real life, follow your instincts or you are paving your own path to troubled days.

The funniest thing about the question is, when I asked my friends “What do you want, as a Man”, they all jumped back on to me, shouting “Women & *** !!!”, as if answering a Rapid-Fire round for a gift hamper.

Go to www.myntra.com and check out t shirts for men! Also visit the largest community of Indian Bloggers at BlogAdda.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another Lecture…at 8!

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*Ddinq…Ddinqq…ding din…Ddinqqqq!!!*

Now those were the sound of bullets and it’s the message alert of one of my friends mobile. This guy never puts his mobile on silent mode, and I am quite sure he’s one of those guys who have broken the heavenly silence and peace in the classrooms courtesy all his masala ring tones and crazy message tones. This is an 8’o Clock lecture as the topic name suggests and the teacher being the friendly one who introduced herself on the first day as Lisa, unlike the usual Zhao’s, Lin’s & Liu’s, never takes attendance at all. So what I mean to say is that not many cared to even take off their quilts from their faces, spare for attended this class on a 10 degrees Celsius morning and as of now, at 8.43 AM, there are… *Counting*…there are 16 guys in the class, out of a total of 60 odd Aeronautical major’s.

So, our Laoshi, which means teacher in Chinese was fighting out with some viruses in the computer as I was entering the class some time back, and after a couple of restarts and even getting professional help from our fellow students, has finally started her lecture on Composite Materials. This one’s got more to do with chemistry of the materials, and I hate chemistry, but I think I’ll have to say, the subject is interesting.

So I and this guy whose message tone just now made me take up the pen and scribble all these a few minutes earlier, we were coming from hostel to classroom together. Our walk from the apartment to the classroom felt to take all the time in the world today. I was at instants discussing in my mind the Bigg Boss show and how sadly Samir failed to be the captain yet again. (I watched all the episodes, from Oct 3rd to yesterdays in a matter of two days, continuously, and now I am too anxiously waiting for each days show.) Bigg Boss addiction even abrupted my biological clock and resulted in me skipping 3 classes on a trot. So as our walk seemed to take all the time in the world, we discussed about how the fishes in the canal, and how they could be feeling cold. I mean, we wear thin shirts on summer and big furred weather jackets on winter, and aren’t they just surviving/living stark naked through all the seasons? So what happens to them when the top layer of the canal freezes and it becomes freaking cold?

So amid these multiple thoughts and discussions I asked him that, haven’t we been walking for a long time, and why aren’t we reaching the classes yet? I had questioned myself in my mind, if the distance had increased courtesy some expansion to the surface of the earth or increase in curvature or is it another symbol of the beginning of the end of the world?? (Stupid Me!!)

*Thud*

The sound of the closing door brought me back to senses as another guy just joined us on the lecture and it’s… 22 now (Oh, BTW – Ain’t that my number?) I didn’t even know when the rest of them entered the class. So didn’t I mention it was an interesting lecture, lemme go back to it now. Good bye guys, and have a nice day, whoever happens to read this.

P.S:- This was an accidental writing and I’ve published this the way it is, without Editing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

India : The Soft Power (Video)

TED – Ideas worth spreading is a website which i had noticed something like an year ago for some of its innovative ideas. A boring evening took me back to the website and here I am sharing a video I watched over there. Shashi Tharoor speaks of India. I was impressed beyond words and I was not or surprised to see the kind of applause he got at the end of his 17 minute talk. This is a video you wouldn’t want to miss out.

 

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Man, his Diary and a Story!

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The alarm tore apart the silence in the room; starting off smoothly, slowly and steadily gaining pace and sound. The shade of a hand, rose in the darkness and started crawling in the surface; searching for something and in a few seconds it got hold of the alarm clock and killed the already loud tone. Hesitantly a figure rose on its knees, it was that of a nicely built man; he looked all around in the dim light, as if searching for something and switched on the lights by the bed side. The room was not as messed up as a young man’s, a bachelor’s room. There were quite a lot of books in the table and some clothes hung on his chair, the shelf was closed down and the room was pretty empty but for the table, the mattress, the study table and chair.

He opened the laptop lid and starred to the background wallpaper for a few seconds and opened the VOIP calling software in his laptop, and dialed a number from the contacts.

Tringg….Tringgg…Tringg…..Tringg…..

Hello Mamma…

Albertttt!!!..... You are so on time again, right at two! (Looking at the clock rear side) Where are you now baby?

I am way far off, Mamma… (Far away from you he whispered)

Far?? So what time is it over there?

Time..? I just woke up now Mamma…

Why do you sound different? Have you caught cold or cough Alby?

No Mamma…I am fine…

You said far, are you in the Siberians? Should be pretty cold out there…

No Mamma…it’s not the cold! I said… I am fine…

Alby, it’s been three years now, when are you visiting me?

Soon Mamma, I gotta go now, next week…Mamma…

Oh… So soon again!! Love you Alby…

You to Mamma…take care!

He pressed the end call button and kept his eyes on the phone number and the magical letters beside it, ‘Mamma’. Several expressionless moments passed by and he got down from his bed and went to the far end of the room and opened the door by it, the bath room. He spent several moments in front of the mirror, running his hands through the scars and marks and acne’s in his face, again the silence prevailed. Closing the bathroom door behind him, he took a sip of water from the flask and sat beside the study table. He searched for something among the ocean of books, and soon had that thick covered elegant looking book in his hand and the hard cover read “Diary – 2008”.

Under the elegantly written “Diary – 2008” was a hand written phrase in a nasty way which read “ Call Registry – only for saturdays”.

He smiled and opened it and kissed his mothers photo which was right at the first page. He moved on to the bookmarked page and read it and the page before it and the one before it, the dates kept on changing, but not the writing. The same text kept on repeating as in one of those impositions you were made to write in your yester-year classes, only the handwriting changed, which kept swinging from impressive to un-readable, probably explaining the regular mood swings.

He took the pen and started scribbling.

Called Mamma today. Another week has gone by and another week is to come. Another 6 days and 23 hours and 50 minutes to go; the wait for the last week now goes down the lane, the lane of history and its almost 3 years now. I still find it d…

“Albert…Alberttt!!...”

There was a knock on the door and someone was calling out his name, he dropped the pen by and rushed to the door dragging the chair while he was getting off it and making the irritating high frequency sound of metals.

The elderly sounding voice from outside, that of a woman, continued,

“...oh…how many times have I told not to drag the chair Alby? And how many times, not to lock down the door always?? You never listen to me…”

A rare smile crossed Albert’s face and replied, opening the door…

“You know I love irritating you, Mrs. Haven…”

“You & your love!! It won’t be long before I take away that chair from your room. Alby… have Suzanne come with the medicine yet??” enquired the elderly lady.

“No Mrs. Haven…its just 3.20 now and today is Saturday; your memory is rusting Mrs. Haven”

“Oh…well,come and have your lunch now…right now!!” added the lady in a stern voice.

“Sure Mrs. Haven…I’ll be there in 10 minutes…”

She let a sigh and said “Okie!!”

Closing the door behind him, he went back to his diary. He ignored the bookmark and raced to the back cover of the diary and took the cross-folded sheet of paper, nicely written on the flip sides and appeared to have been folded over and again in the same manner. He opened and glanced through, wondering if his hand writing was the only thing that had improved over the 2 years since writing it. It read,

Dear Mamma…

I want to apologize to you Mamma and this surely is not the letter you would have wanted to read, after not hearing from me for so long. I am sure you will have the patience to read through these lines and … and I love you Mamma.

I have been lying to you for all these years Mamma, of being busy across borders and oceans, with some work. I have been in an asylum in Philadelphia all these years I was infected by a disease and I was no longer wanted by my company. I was coming down to meet you on your b’day several years back and I lost consciousness while in the subway. The people took me to hospital and they found out my disease and with no personal information and contact details, they were forced to send me to the asylum where I had been for all these days.

I was told by the doctors on how serious my situation was and having faced troubles from my work place and among my old friends, I decided to stay full time at the asylum under the supervision of Dr. Stevens and Mrs. Haven & our lovely care taker and nurse, Suzanne. The time here was peaceful, with every one of us, the inmates being in more or less the same situation. I never returned to you fearing how your friends might respond to my sickness. I never even had the heart and guts to visit you. I called up only once in a week, because i wanted you to get used to, living without me, and i called you every week because i owed you every second of my life, for the breath that i took in was all a mercy of yours.

Mamma, I had AIDS and I am to be blamed for it. My actions are to be blamed and my care-less nature is to be blamed. I apologize to you for the discomfort this letter is causing you and I pray to god that you have the strength to overcome this. I’ve been regretting all my actions for the last years, knowing millions of hours of regret won’t let me rectify my moments in the past! I cry for another chance, for a wiser yesterday and a better tomorrow. I am sorry for leaving you all alone and by the time you read this, I would have closed my eyes for one last time.

Today is your birthday Mamma, a few years prior to when you will read this though. Happy Birthday Mom!!

Loving

Alby.

Oct 15, 2006

He was brought back to senses by Mrs. Haven’s loud thud on the door asking him to come over for lunch. He wiped the tears trickling down and moved on for lunch. At the dining hall he tiredly dragged the chair making the loud irritating metallic sound again.

“Alby, again how many times have I told you, not to drag the chair?”

He smiled and replied,

“You know I love irritating you, Mrs. Haven…”

 

AIDS not only kills you gradually but also kills your status in the society. People have their fear of being infected by working with or touching an infected person. Infected ones are hurt more by the way others behave to them rather than their bodies. This one’s a short story which was inspired by the Tom Hanks starrer Philadelphia in which he’s an infected men, who was thrown out of job on discovery of his disease. Various other films these days speak of the terrible diseases like AIDS and Cancer and the best thing one can do is to curtail one’s actions for a better tomorrow.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Ultimate Truth!! ( Guest Poem)

This is a guest post or a guest poem by Ardra, a friend of mine. She has some awesome thoughts and an awesome way of penning them down, and its a privilege to have her let me post this poem in my blog. I thank her for always honestly commenting on my earlier posts and now, for letting me publish this in my blog.

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Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I love looking in your eyes
That’s where Innocence sleeps!
The same innocence of a new born baby…
Soo fresh…so dreamy…so nascent!
I have found myself lost in those…
Not once , not twice but everytime I’ve looked at it!

Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I love to see your smile…
That’s where my Happiness lies!
The same smile of my Guardian Angel’s…..
Soo alluring…so mesmerizing….so beauteous!
I have forgotten all my sorrows…
Always when U smile at me!

Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I love to stay in your arms…..
That’s where I belong!
The same protective feeling it gives….just like when I was in mother’s womb…
Soo careing….so indulgent….so benevolent!
I have felt the protective warmth…
Takeaway all the dead cold memories!

Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I thrive on U
Stumbling over words to express how I feel
Because, U have always boldly seized my voice!
How you are the first one
I've found myself willing to learn and grow with
Because, U r my past, the present and the future!
U have invaded my heart
Broke all the walls that have taken me so long to build!
Now, all it conveys to you is my fears of getting hurt
As well as the fact that I don't care anymore
Because my heart has been taken over by U
And now, there is no turning back!.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Camera Speaks!! The Auto-Expo…

I’ve clicked an entrance ticket for the 3rd time in my camera and this time its the Nanjing Auto Expo. The Expo ran from Sept 28th to Oct 4th. I had been planning of visiting it since hearing of it a month back and only when i woke up at 1 PM on the 4th did i remember that the much anticipated Auto Expo shall end in another 4 and half hours. This one is a photo-blog which shall speak for me, on how i spent nearly 3 hours exclusively with some of the hottest cars on the planet!

 

…Another Entrance ticket…the 2010 Nanjing Automobile Exhibition…

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…we were welcomed by a whole bunch of cars you see every day in the road, the Toyota’s the VolksWagon’s and the Honda’s…this is how the environment looked like…

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…VolksWagon were the only ones who had models posing for camera’s…

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…I was told this is the car used in the Transformers, movie series, we weren’t allowed to even touch it…

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…Now those are 3 of those Bentley cars, i admire them n I am sure u do too…

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…that’s how it looks inside a Bentley…

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…now do i need to say what this is? the awesome Ferrari…

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…another one…there were 3 of them…one yellow, one red n then one black…

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…this one would be my dream car on any given day, the Lamborghini Gallardo…this white one looks so perfect!!…

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…two beasts…

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…now the Rolls Royce Phantom…

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…time for some from Maybach, this one’s from a showroom near by…

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…this Audi R 8 looked as good as any other…

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…i did make it to the wheels of many cars, but this convertible one from Volvo looked best for me…

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…another view…

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…well…its theoretically an Indian Limo, TATA owns the RANGE ROVER…

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…making it to the EXPO at the last moment was a blessing, since we had the opportunity to see it closer and pose with it ( these cars were just for show before), while they were taken out from the Exhibition hall, on the culmination of the Expo…

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…a tough choice!! A Phantom or a Gallardo? ( that girl was jointly responsible for that Lambo in this expo)…

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…how do i fare with a BMW?…

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…The End of it, back in the metro station and the boards still read…

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Friday, October 1, 2010

INCEPTION – A Review! (Guest Post)

This is a guest post by one of my buddies Shivam, an intelligent human being who has a unique way of seeing and reasoning things. His bio in twitter reads

I am an instance i.e. object of my own class, so all those who know me is via this object only; n not all methods n variables are accessible outside the class!

This post is against all the notions of a regular movie review, as this is being published some 2-3 months since the movie release. But then i saw this movie yesterday and having read this awesome review, i can’t resist posting it here. An Excellent review this, my friend! Thanks for allowing me put it up here.

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It’s not easy to settle one’s mind with resonant and original films these days when no-brainers are dropping in continuously, but imagine what can happen when comes something like INCEPTION! While being not-just-a-mind-flick, it surely does require us to bring a lot of CPU in with some adrenaline and a bit of (p)research is a bonus. Yes, because this is one film of our time which is sure to enthrall us, entertain us, numb us and definitely leave us with something uncomforting yet satisfying. Contradictory? Yes, it is; not that the film is, but the thoughts derived by viewers can be for sure.

After his blockbuster and acclaimed “The Dark Knight”, returns the man, Christopher Nolan, the new age psychogenic sneaker, who has already shown his astonishing skills in ever confusing Memento(2000) and other gems like Insomnia(2002) and The Prestige(2006). Interestingly, Inception being his only original film after his first, Following(1998), bears a lot of similarity with the latter in terms of thought process, but the scale and the range of the film is higher than even its contemporaries.

The core plot of the film sounds and appears tad easy, as Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a subconscious thief, who can steal people’s ideas and secrets from their mind through dreams, while they are asleep, gets a last job of “Incepting” an idea rather than stealing it, which will redeem him from his past and he can go back home to see his children, and hence, he assembles a team of highly skilled “dreamwrokers” which will perform inception on the mind of Robert Fischer Jr.(Cillian Murphy) , heir of his dying father’s empire, so that he subverts it instead of prospering, which will ultimately end rivalry for the tycoon Saito(Ken Watanebe), one who offered this deal to Cobb. Cobb’s team includes Arthur(Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who is the right hand of Cobb; Ariadne(Ellen Page), the newly appointed dream architect; Eames(Tom Hardy), forger in the dreams; Yusuf(Dileep Rao), the sedative expert. Also, there is Mal(Marion Cotillard), the deceased wife of Cobb, who diverts and sometimes spoils the whole process of breaking into dreams by appearing in his subconscious, whose mind still preserves her as a part of active memory. However, it’s the proceedings and the multiple levels of dreams which are there to entangle the audience, much like most of the director’s previous films.

Film runs at a decent pace, including the first half which lays the rules and guidelines of dreams and makes it a little simpler for one to grasp the second half given that one should not dare to blink even once through both. While it is said that Nolan’s films are devoid of the fundamental human emotions, Inception is another reply to that statement involving both psychological aspects of humans, and reasoning with sentiments. A testament of that is abstruse intimacy of Cobb with his wife and children who provide him all reasons to risk his life and are integral part of his emotional subconscious.

Performances by all actors are scenic and come alive together as they all bind together seamlessly, still as the protagonist, Dicaprio takes a leap from others, depicting struggle with reality and dreams as his domains; whereas Levitt sizzles as a strong and subtle support for Cobb and Tom Hardy lives the kick-ass forger very effortlessly. Ellen Page also plays a critical responsibility of connecting Cobb’s own internal upheaval and its resultant effect on his ventures.

Film is packed with astounding visuals, which are no fillers but demand of the realm of dreams with some brilliantly performed chase sequences and gunfights. While the gravity defying scenes are breathtaking, the architectural marvels are worth applause. Special credit goes to cinematographer Wally Pfister for pulling off a lot it with real camera work instead of post CGI. Editing by Lee Smith is another exemplary feature to save it from being uneasy to digest. A word for score by Hans Zimmer is must because it livens up the dreams and extends their limits.

Inception may be regarded as a pure psychological, but it is intended to be received as a Heist Film, so as to function as an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Still, its dialogues are not merely to tell the story, but to describe the philosophy behind dreams and our metaphorical contrasts. Be it “to become old filled with regret” or the reference to “disappointment”, at large the film deals with projecting such expressions into a media to live life with. Totems, used as symbols of individuality and scientifically proven explanation of dreams are some things everyone can relate to.

So, despite the fact that there are many theories to be evolved based on the film (scientifically too) and many more elaborations with debates are expected, it’s a cerebral attempt to uncover the extreme possibility of human brain by the exceptional brain of Nolan himself which without any doubts requires more than one viewing to absorb fully. Nolan sets his own bars higher than the previous but more importantly he enters into subjects which are mostly overlooked or not heeded that well therefore Inception is an essential rendering to try and explore more into the depth of our being.

I can go for 5 on 5 for it, but that is uneasy to explain fully until one gets to experience it on their own just as dreams are experienced themselves.

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.