India Rising…

My Sunday’s been wonderfully brightened by two posts on rediff:

I think all of us have been witness to the mobile phone revolution and the telecom revolution in general in this country. Village or city, the connectivity has improved drastically. The new expressways, improved roads as part of the golden quadrilateral project etc, have helped to facelift the roadways. With the advent of the low cost domestic airlines, air traffic has increased sufficiently and been extended even to the common man many times. And the railways silently keeps carrying efficiently, crores of people. It is really heartening to see the intelligent design of the new railway coaches, the e-ticket concept and all other railway improvements…

Just for a moment though, let’s not believe that the situation is all too rosy and get our feet back to the ground: Mumbai still struggles to live with its monsoon rains, Chennai still has sporadic water problems and Bangalore, as the PM Manmohan Singh just almost said has become the proverbial hare: just struggling to live up after a bright start, with pathetic infrastructure, esp. roads and traffic. Delhi remains the unsafest place in the country, esp. for women. If this is the scenario with the metros, where are we headed? It’s more or less the case of the proverbial drunkard who steps 4 paces ahead and falls back 3. At least, there is progress! However, the situation is not bleak and only a bright future for India seems to beckon! Companies like Reliance, TATA’s, Infy are all making big strides and the economy has been in a bull run (though with hiccups) for long. Let’s hope things only improve! JAI HIND!

  1. US, $12.46 tn
  2. Japan, $4.51 tn
  3. Germany, $2.78 tn
  4. China, $2.23
  5. Britain, $2.19 tn
  6. France, $2.11 tn
  7. Italy, $1.72 tn
  8. Spain, $1.124 tn
  9. Canada, $1.115 tn
  10. Brazil, $794.10 bn
  11. South Korea, $787.62 bn
  12. INDIA, $785.47 bn

    Though I am not a great fan of these numbers, I guess wealth/GDP is one of the important indicators to at least the quality of life. Of course, contentment should rank higher, and I do think such a study (of satisfaction) was done sometime back, though I fail to recall the results. The important goals for India should be the creation of a caste-free, reservation-free society, with sufficient social security and justice, with an emphasis of primary education and food for all.

    Let’s hope we can indeed become a developed nation by 2020 (or even earlier :D)


    Why Are Nails On A Blackboard Irritating?

    “Fingernails on a blackboard. Why does the very phrase send chills down one’s back? The question has annoyed scientists for at least 2,300 years. Aristotle mentioned “hard sounds”, but didn’t try very hard to explain them.”

    Amusing that this is such a common phenomenon…. eeeeks… Check out the whole digg story.. quite interesting :D!

    read more | digg story

    पल पल है भारी (Pal Pal Hai Bhaari)

    One of the most extraordinary songs I’ve heard recently, not just the music but even the lyrics… Kudos to A R Rahman and Javed Akhtar…

    आ… आ…

    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी
    आ‍ओ रघुवीर आ‍ओ, रघुपति राम आ‍ओ
    मोरे मन के स्वामी, मोरे श्री राम आ‍ओ
    राम राम जपती हूँ, सुन लो मेरी राम आ‍ओ
    राम राम जपती हूँ, सुन लो मेरी राम जी
    भजे सत्य का डंका, जले पाप की लङ्का
    इसी क्षण तुम आ‍ओ, मुक्त करा‍ओ
    सुन भी लो अब मेरी दुहा‍ई
    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी
    विजय / आशुतोश:
    राम को भूलो ये देखो रावण आया है
    फैली सारी सृष्टि पर जिसकी छाया है
    जो जपती हो राम राम तुम क्यों लेती हो राम नाम तुम
    राम राम कारण जो ये तुमने है लगाया, सीता
    सीता तुमने राम में ऐस क्या गुण पाया

    गिन पा‍एगा उनके गुण को को‍ई क्या, इतने शब्द ही कहाँ है
    पहोंचेगा उस शिखारी के कौन भला मेरे रामजी जहाँ है
    जग में सब से उत्तम है, मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम है
    सब से शक्तिशाली है, फिर भी रखते संयम है पर
    उनके संयम की अब आने को है सीमा
    रावण समय है, माँग ले क्षमा


    भजे सत्य का डंका, जले पाप कि लङ्का
    आ‍ए राजा राम करे हम प्रणाम
    संग ला‍ए लक्ष्मण जैसा भा‍ई

    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी
    राम में शक्ति अगर है, राम में साहस है तो
    क्यों नहीं आ‍ए अभी तक वो तुम्हारी रक्षा को
    जिनका वर्णन करने में थकती नहीं हो तुम यहाँ
    ये बता‍ओ वो तुम्हारे राम है इस पल कहाँ

    राम हृदय में है मेरे, राम ही धडकन में है
    राम मेरे आत्मा में, राम ही जीवन में है
    राम हर पल में है मेरे, राम है हर स्वास में
    राम हर आशा में मेरी, राम ही हर आस में


    राम ही तो करुणा में है, शान्ति में राम है
    राम ही है एकता में, प्रगति में राम है
    राम बस भक्तों नहीं शत्रु के भी चिन्तन में है
    देख तज के पाप रावण, राम तेरे मन में है
    राम तेरे मन में है, राम मेरे मन में है -२
    राम तो घर घर में है, राम हर आंगन में है
    मन से रावण जो निकाले, राम उसके मन में है -२

    आ… हो… आ… हो… हो… हो…

    पल पल है भारी वो बिपता है आ‍ई
    मोहे बचाने अब आ‍ओ रघु-रायी

    सुनो रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    राजा रामचन्द्र आ‍ए, श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए
    रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए हो

    सुनो रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    राजा रामचन्द्र आ‍ए, श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए
    रामजी आ‍ए, मोरे रामजी आ‍ए
    श्री रामचन्द्र आ‍ए हो

    Kalam flies on the Sukhoi

    This is nothing surprising, given his indomitable appetite for breaking conventions and making firsts; yet again, we see a great man, cut above the rest, probably the only pride of this nation, when it comes to politics.

    Jai Hind!

    Read on, the rediff article below…

    Had no time to be nervous on flight: Kalam
    Last Updated: June 08, 2006 13:08 IST


    President A P J Abdul Kalam, supreme commander of the armed forces, undertook a historic sortie in the Sukhoi-30 MKI, Indian Air Force's state-of-the-art supersonic fighter aircraft, which took off from Lohegaon airbase in Pune at 10.25 am on Thursday and landed around 40 minutes later.Wing Commander Ajay Rathore, Commanding Officer of the SU-30 MKI squadron, flew the President at a speed of 15,000 km per hour to a height of about 25,000 feet"I was not at all nervous, there was no time to be nervous," President Kalam told this correspondent soon after landing back at the airbase. "Rathore guided me well."
    "After flying this sortie, I know realise that India is in safe hands, our borders are safe. We have such good pilots, and good defence personnel."

    As the fighter plane was expected to fly at supersonic speeds, Kalam donned a G-suit before boarding the aircraft. He was also briefed by senior Air Force officials ahead of the 30-minute sortie.

    Kalam is the first Indian President to fly in the all-weather, air-dominance supersonic fighter aircraft. Previously, in February, he had undertaken a submarine voyage.

    Two Sukhois accompanied Kalam's flight during which he was shown how targets are located both in mid-air and on the ground with the radar's help, Air Commodore M Banerjee, told reporters.

    Kalam, who is on a two-day visit to Pune, entered the airbase at 09.15 hours, and was received by Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani, Vice chief of Air Staff; Air Marshal P K Mehta, Air Officer Commanding in-Chief, South Western Air Command; and Air Commodore M Banerjee, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Base, Pune. Air Warriors of the airbase presented a ceremonial guard of honour to the President at the lightning squadron tarmac.

    Sachin at Kukke Subramanya

    Little-known till a couple of days ago, all of a sudden lakhs of people now want to visit – or at least know more about – the temple town of Kukke Subramanya, 105 km from  Bangalore. Their inspiration: Sachin!


    Sachin Tendulkar's two-day pilgrimage to the Kukke Sri Subramanya temple drew scores of fans. It also had them sourcing details from a website on the town.

    As a result, the website saw over 17 lakh hits till 1.30 pm on Monday, leading to a server crash. The pilgrimage by Tendulkar, his wife Anjali, and his siblings Ajit, Nitin and Savitha, resulted in a massive 17,50,200 hits over Sunday and Monday on The website received traffic from all over the world, while the town attracted scores of fans. Many e-mails and telephonic enquiries were received at the temple's reception office at Kukke Subramanya in Dakshina Kanara district.

    "It was never like this in the past," said a source at the website. "Though VIPs from all parts of the country visit the Kukke Sri Subramanya temple, Tendulkar's visit has led to a deluge of enquiries about the pujas here." At the temple, Lord Subramanya is worshipped as a snake.


    Tendulkar, wife Anjali, brothers Ajith and Nithin, and sister Savitha spent Sunday and Monday at Kukke Subramanya, performing rituals aimed at helping him overcome sarpa dosha – perhaps one of the factors behind his nagging injuries.


    "He performed sarpa samskara on Sunday, and ashlesha bali and nagapratishte on Monday," said the source. "These rituals were recommended by a family friend, VS Nayak, living in Bangalore."


    To fans eager to shake hands with him, Tendulkar said, "I've pain in my shoulders. Please don't disturb me."

    Happy Birthday, Dr Doyle!



    147 years ago, on this day, was born the creator of arguably the most famous detective of all time, fictional though, Sherlock Holmes! 


    There are two famous lists of favourite stories: that of Conan Doyle himself, in 1927, and that of the Baker Street Journal in 1959.

    Conan Doyle's list:

    1. "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"
    2. "The Red-Headed League"
    3. "The Adventure of the Dancing Men"
    4. "The Adventure of the Final Problem"
    5. "A Scandal in Bohemia"
    6. "The Adventure of the Empty House"
    7. "The Five Orange Pips"
    8. "The Adventure of the Second Stain"
    9. "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot"
    10. "The Adventure of the Priory School"
    11. "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual"
    12. "The Adventure of the Reigate Squire"

    The Baker Street Journal's list:

    1. "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"
    2. "The Red-Headed League"
    3. "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle"
    4. "The Adventure of Silver Blaze"
    5. "A Scandal in Bohemia"
    6. "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual"
    7. "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans"
    8. "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons"
    9. "The Adventure of the Dancing Men"
    10. "The Adventure of the Empty House"