Save energy, do not use computers! Duh!
What are you passionate about? That’s one question which is often not so easy to answer. If you are thinking for the first time on a question like this, believe me, the answer might be a few days or even weeks away. People come up with myriad answers on this, like ‘driving’, ‘photography’, ‘travelling’, etc. What most of them are actually answering is the question, ‘What do you like to do in your leisure?’
Getting to know your passion is a process that will need you to drill down yourself and you might come up with a new answer every time. Getting to know your passion is like peeling off layers of an onion, where you explore something at the end or another analogy, if you want, would be with solving a jigsaw puzzle. Passion is something very basic found among humans from years unknown. Passion is imbibed, it has to be revived. ‘Money’ was also one of the answers that one could come across. Yes, it may be so. In the short term, materialistic aspirations can help you lead your life, but in the long run, it is only your passion that will help you survive, inspire you to live your life. If you are in a business or work that involves your passion, you can go a long way. Remember, passion is very different from a hobby. A passion is something that would most likely be a one word answer, something that could also be liked by a person living in this world, 2000 or maybe 5000 years ago.
This was a question posed to us in class by one of our professors, we had to submit presentations on the same and only then could I realize the depth of this question a few days down the line.
In my case, the process was long enough as expected. To start with, the first thing that came to mind was ‘roaming’. Drilling down deep, I though it is something like ‘exploration’ or ‘adventure’. But, that definitely was not the case. Then, I thought it is ‘travelling’. But I knew very well that it was no way travelling at all! ‘trains’, ‘ships’, ‘trucks’, ‘highways’ were things that clicked me but instantly, the thought that came to mind was ‘this is revolving around something’. I can stare at maps for long durations, explore on Google Earth, trying to know every smallest street in city and the short cuts. Imagining a top view as we explore a new place, guessing out where are east, west, and south or north is something that I love. ‘Geography’ ticked, but I was no way curious to know about plants or animals and many of the natural features. ‘Nature’, no way! When I bought my cell, the first thing I looked for was ‘GPS’. Knowing about the culture, economies, demographics, religions of various places and/or countries was another thing that I liked.
Joining all the dots, I could come to that simple one word answer, ‘places’!!
Yes, I am passionate about places!! It was such a simple answer. Had I been born 500 or 5000 years ago, I would have still liked that. After discussing this with a few other friends, one could come across this wonderful complexity of likes, hobbies and passions. One friend, who thought, knowing about gadgets, gizmos, etc. was his passion, started rethinking it. All this did not exist 500 years ago. After some thought, the nearest answer he got was ‘innovation’. Had he born in industrial revolution, the new machines would have been his area of curiosity.
Other friends, who talked of photography as their passion, drilled down and thought on what they photograph mostly. People, places, nature, making moments memorable, it could be just about anything. The answers lied there. One friend found that he occasionally searched Google for many plants, animals, phenomena of nature and photography was just a way to reach that! The underlying passion was ‘nature’, something that humans 5000 years ago could also be passionate about.
If you observe your curiosities for a topic, observe your Google searches, and find an intersection, well that is the first step towards reaching your passion. If you try venturing out to do a business in your area of passion, you never know what the output may be!
Take our Captain Gopinath, who was always passionate about ‘flying’! An Enfield dealership gave him that nearest experience close to flying. Then leasing helicopters gave him the thrill of flying. And then came Deccan Airways! To put it in his own words, he wanted every Indian to fly! If you read about the life of Richard Branson, ‘adventure’ is what he is passionate about but he hasn’t really explored that. He presents himself as flamboyant but that is just the outer layer. The acts show something else.
So, why not spend a few weeks from now thinking on this question? You might love this process of self-exploration and observing!
Imagine you are at a friend’s place that is approximately 500 meters away from a national highway, rather a major one like the NH4. Although the place is considered inside the city, it is quite easy from the place to go outside the city. You are at your friend’s place because you planned for a long ride the next day but silly constraints of work stop you.
That’s exactly how my position was some time back. I had been to a friend’s place at Baner in Pune, where the flat is a stone’s throw from the highway. Owing to some external pressure, the plan for a long ride seemed faded enough to convince that we are not going tomorrow. But, the sound of large commercial vehicles on the highway wasn’t letting me sleep when this book, ‘One Life To Ride’ caught my attention, lying on the wardrobe.
I started reading it at around 00.30 am and I came out of it at around 4:30 am! This book, by Ajit Harisinghani is about his ride on an Enfield Bullet to Leh, all the way from Pune. A ride on the famous Manali – Leh road (world’s highest motorable road) that is open in select few months of the year was the motive behind this ride.
The book has excellent narration and if travelling is your hobby, riding a bike is a daily thing for you; it will keep you hooked on for a long time with hangovers assured! You might not even notice how the pages turn.
It starts with how the author loves the legacy system called Enfield Bullet despite the introduction of new age electronic-start, fuel efficient sports bike in recent years. He has had multiple cross country trips before but the one on Himalayas was something special that he could not complete. He takes a trial ride from Pune to Goa and back just to assure that his age supports such adventures.
Starting with NH4 with first stop at Dahanu (a town towards north of Mumbai on the Maharashtra border), then NH8 till Delhi and further ahead, the ride is all smooth till Manali. The real adventure starts after Manali where the 500 km long stretch till Leh that occasionally has glacier melting on it. While in Rajasthan, he comes across some fake saints, also comes across Sufi saints who tell him that ‘your white hair would save you’. It turns out magically true in Kashmir where he is in some serious trouble due to bike wheels getting stuck in the boulders. This experience is well narrated in the book. The fellow riders that he meets all come up with their set of problems faced en route but nothing stops where there is a will. The glitches while on the Manali – Leh route are enormous with the fear of not making it to planned destination before sunset, bike failures, health problems due to low oxygen in air and strangeness of the adventure!
The world’s highest motorable road is finally reached by him, Kargil, Dras all visited. And the stories do not end there… A strong nature’s call while going through stretches of high military protection, the joy that Maratha regiment has over sighting a MH 12 (RTO registration number for Pune vehicles) vehicle and meeting Marathi speaking army men in Kargil makes the book an interesting read. The author reaches Jammu and as planned travels by Jhelum Express to return for Pune with the machine in luggage section.
The excellent narration would not realize you that you are reading a book but would take you to those places in Himachal and Kashmir mentally. I cannot write the stories/experiences in detail as it would truly spoil the fun of reading and would be legally and ethically wrong.
IMHO, the only thing the book lacked were photos of the ride as very few images could be found in the book. But the narration would force you to form images in your mind. Also, the first two chapters on the emotions felt for Enfield were a bit lengthy and tempted to skip the content.
The different flavours of India, the common thing that binds us all, chai (tea) and sutta (cigarette), ever helpful nature of people all across the country from west to north India could be well found across the book. Overall, it is a must read for all those who have ever had road trips in life (which I believe everyone has), especially on 2 wheelers or those who are interested in anything like travel, geography or places around the world. Sure, this piece of literature is something I would like to see finding a mention on something like National Geographic, Lonely Planet or Outlook Traveller.
At 4:30 am, I realize chirping sound of birds only to remind me that it is morning and that much dreamed trip to Matheran on Pulsar ought to be done today anyhow, especially considering the hangover of this book!
My Rating: 4.5/5
People all over the country and abroad have seen reference to this city frequently in Bollywood movies, TV serials. The business community all over the world thinks of this place first whenever a thought on business in Asia or south Asia comes up. Cricket enthusiasts have been listening to the names of many local boys making it big in international cricket and particularly in batting for the last few decades. The base of entertainment industry is in this city. All this started much the same as other big cities of the world; it was an important port for the world. Even today, those in logistics and transport sector think of this city when a thought on an important air/sea/rail port in Asia or south Asia props up. Finance wizards are based here as the Nifty and Sensex rise and set like the sun. The most well known city for public transport in India, for a long time has been Mumbai. Even terrorists think of this city when they are to plan their job. This is also a city with one of the least crime in India.
Those are some good/bad things which you all would know on paper, knowing more good than bad before reaching here. But, once you got to come here for a short stay, you would understand that the reality is far worse than what you have heard.
As I came here, my search for accommodation for two months started. Two months stay meant that I am not going to get any flat as the Lease and License Agreement is for 11 months, the only option left being paying guest. A bed and wardrobe is what you get in PG, with shared toilets and occasionally no water. All this after paying a decent amount which could give you a good apartment had your stay been for 11 months or more.
The very first thing you would observe is that Mumbai and foul smell have a deep connection. There are two reasons for it.
First, it’s a horribly humid place and an outsider starts sweating unknowingly and more than he expects. Other humans go through the same and all people sweat collectively. As you travel by a BEST bus or a suburban train, you cannot escape the stink of sweat!
Second, footpaths here are not always meant for walking, they are meant for various shops. You can easily find people living in shanties beside a street and they often bath on footpaths without any concern for the others’ hygiene (forget theirs). Stink from road sides is commonly found when you walk out of major railway stations.
If you travel by bus or auto to go to nearby place, say 2 to 3 kms away, you would realize that walking was a better option. The difference is that if you sit in the city bus, you are at the receiving end of stink. If you walk (which will make you sweat eventually), you would be the one to emit sweet smell of sweat and harass other people!
A device if invented such that after fitting on the nose, would help in reducing the intensity of stink, will find a great market in Mumbai.
But, when it comes to mass transport, there is no other place where you would get to enjoy government subsidies at every stage like this. For going long distance, you would most likely travel with a combination of bus, rail or auto. Buses and railways are subsidized by government and one can reach in 15/20 ` to the desired destination.
In case of autos, you would be lucky to get auto without problem. You will find 1 vacant auto after 10 have passed, and the one vacant auto driver will refuse to ply to the destination where you intend to go, in a fraction of a second. If you are lucky enough to get an auto that will go to your intended destination, traffic will welcome you further ahead! The auto drivers do not need you, you need them.
All this would motivate you to escape as soon as possible!
If you try going by a BEST bus, you need to know the route numbers and knowhow of some localities. BEST was one service that in my stay, I found really very impressive. Try reading names on it, you would find it really weird and irritating. The names sound like private parts of a human or an animal. Boriwali, Kandivali, Chandivali, Gorai, Marve, Marol, Sakinaka, Powai, Vesave, Mulund, Madh, Panvel, Turbhe, Kopar Khairane, Rabale, Mahape, oh shit!!!
All I can say while leaving is that this is a beautiful place if you have a high paying job. It is the best place for working in India and earning money. Working culture and growth in Mumbai is unmatched. But, living in Mumbai permanently is not an option one should exercise unless he is a crorepati. If you try settling in, affordable homes are found in suburbs or outside the city which means a long suburban train travel.
As for bird watching, you can find girls in Mumbai are usually not fat. Travelling by mass transport, running for catching buses and trains provides enough exercise. A perfect 36-24-36 cannot be found easily, but tending to reach near it can be seen easily. In case if you found a perfect figure, it is most likely to be an aspiring model or an established one!
The crime statistics may show that crime is on a lower side, but please don’t mistake it for the presence of saintly people or an outcome of moral science classes. Because the place is so crowded, it is not easy to rob and run, there aren’t many places where you would find no crowd at all. Someone trying to snatch jewelery from a bike can’t take much speed to run away, while a pick pocketer cannot run away!
I have written the title this time, quite skeptically. We are always told that India was very rich in the medieval times. Please note the claim, ‘medieval times’, not the ‘ancient times’. Many exaggerations of the same are also spread, like ‘pots of gold used to exist in every home’, etc. and etc. In the ancient times, I am quite sure India along with many other nations of the present – day was super rich. But, as far as the medieval times go, most people would amalgamate the medieval era with the ancient era.
There remains a basic difference between the two. In ancient time, India was rich along with its people. In medieval era, India, and even China, for that matter, might be rich as compared to other then-existing world nations. But, were its people rich as compared to other nations of the time? The answer remains no.
In India, it is a common thought in the minds of the people that in the medieval era, the present day developed nations were all poor. That would include the United States, Canada, Oceania (Aus and NZ) and the whole of Europe, while same would have a favorable view on China’s prosperity. USA and Australia were definitely unheard places then but what can we say the same in case of Europe?
There was this interesting piece of read that I found in ‘The Post – American World’ by Fareed Zakaria. I am pasting the relevant passage here. The statistics that are cited are in turn taken from Angus Madison’s book, ‘The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective’. It reads:
have lived in a Western world for over half a millennium. Despite the rise of other nations and continents, the shadows of the West will be long and its legacies deep for decades to come, perhaps longer. It has become commonplace to say that actually China and India were as rich as the West right up until the 1800s. The dominance of the West, according to this perspective, has been a 200-year blip, and we are now returning to a more normal balance. This statement also implies that the West’s advantages may be largely accidental—the result of “coal and colonies,” that is, the discovery of a cheap energy source and the domination of the rich lands of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. This view, which embraces a multicultural sensibility that denies any special status to the West, has its political advantages. But while it may be politically correct, it is historically incorrect.
One reason for this misinterpretation is that analysts often focus solely on the total size of the Chinese and Indian economies. Historically, this has been a misleading statistic.
Until the modern age, a country’s economy could not be mobilized, extracted, or put to use in any meaningful sense. The fact that in, say, the seventeenth century, millions of peasants in remote and unconnected corners of China were working the land in grinding poverty did not really contribute to the nation’s usable wealth or power, even though their output added up to a large number. Population was the main ingredient of GDP, and production was largely agricultural. Since China and India had four times the population of Western Europe in 1600, their GDP was, of course, larger. Even in 1913, when Britain was the world’s leading power, with cutting-edge technology and industrial production and trade many times larger than all of Asia’s, China could claim a greater total GDP. In studying the preindustrial age, before big government, communications, transport, and broad-based taxation, aggregate GDP alone tells us little about national power or a country’s level of advancement. It doesn’t say anything about the dynamism of the society or its ability to make new discoveries and inventions. And it was mastery in these areas that gave a country new ways to create wealth and its government power.
We get a much clearer picture of the real standing of countries if we consider economic growth and GDP per capita. Western European GDP per capita was higher than that of both China and India by 1500; by 1600, it was 50 percent higher than China’s. From there, the gap kept growing. Between 1350 and 1950—six hundred years—GDP per capita remained roughly constant in China and India (hovering around $600 for China and $550 for India). In the same period, Western European GDP per capita went from $662 to $4,594, a 594 percent increase.*
European travelers in the seventeenth century routinely pointed out that Chinese and Indian living conditions were well below those in northwestern Europe. The economist Gregory Clark calculates that in the eighteenth century the average daily wage of a laborer in Amsterdam could buy him 21 pounds of wheat, in London 16 pounds, and in Paris 10. In China, a day’s wages would buy about 6.6 pounds of wheat (or its equivalent). Clark has also examined records to determine differences in the number of famines, which points in the same direction. The West, in short, was more prosperous than the East long before the eighteenth century.
So, there are enough stats and facts kept out there in the passage to enlighten us on the same. The education, innovation, research what the Western countries produced ensured that they would stay ahead of the rest far easily. Even today, the same continues and I do not see India and China turning out the research centers anywhere remotely! That would require an altogether different post, as there was some interesting read on the same in ‘India Unbound’ by Gurucharan Das. Answer lies in education and innovation again though.
On an interesting note, China and India still do stand as the world’s 2nd and 4th largest economies of the world. One of my earlier posts is written on the same.
That was an interesting eye opener!
Right from printing press, which spearheaded the flow of ideas, to railways, the single most impacting invention ever, to the recent computer and internet, we have had set of inventions. But, this is not really the age of inventions. It is dominated by small and big ‘innovations’ that ease the way our already established inventions work. Ahh, without getting much jargonic, let me put up what I want to say.
This was a nice email forward and is taken from ForwardedEmails.Com . Imagine, how much they will ease our life.
Real Smart and cool inventions
Smart cup in which you can put 2-3 of your favourite cookies. You don’t need extra plates. It’s made for right handed and left handed.
Are you fed up with bringing bananas to work or school only to find them bruised and squashed? Banana Guard allows you to safely transport and storage individual bananas letting you enjoy perfect bananas anytime, anywhere.
Lock Cup – Anti-Theft Coffee Cup. Are you tired of others stealing your coffee cup? Well now there’s a solution. The Lock – Cup has a hole which prevents most people from using it. Only the owner of the cup can use his/hers shaped key to close the hole.
PENGUIN TEA TIMER
Making tea, though easy to do, is also time consuming. Once you pour the hot water into the cup, you must patiently hover over it, waiting for the tea to steep. Well, the Penguin Tea Timer happily does the waiting for you.
Place your tea cup under the beak and set it to the desired time. As you turn the timer dial, the beak lowers the tea into the hot water. When time is up, a bell sounds and the penguin automatically lifts his beak, removing the tea bag from the water.
You love toast, but you always burn it? Than, this invention us for you.
This transparent toaster allows you to see the bread while it is toasting so you just have to take it out when the colour is right. This idea is based on a transparent heating glass technology.
One Click Butter Cutter controls your portion as an important part of staying healthy. This ingenious butter cutter delivers one standard pat with each click of the handle. I liked the name though, it sounds rhyming, ‘butter cutter’.
Never lose your remote again!
With giant buttons, this extra-large remote is easy to use and impossible to lose. It’s a 6-in-1 remote so you can use it to control your TV, VCR, DVD player, satellite, cable and auxiliary A/V device. It even features glow-in-the-dark buttons, so you can easily find the remote in the dark.
What day is today? You don’t know? Then you need a DayClock. It’s uniquely designed to keep track of weekly events like your golf day, card night, movie night, and so much more. It’s ideal for vacations and cruises when it’s easy to lose track of the day.
CRIME SCENE TOWEL
Chalk outline crime scene beach towel – be the coolest person on the beach!
Laser ScissorsCutting a straight line has never been easier. Just aim the pin-point laser and follow the line. The scissor blades are stainless steel and cut very clean with a micro serrated edge.
ILUMINATING CAR SLIPPERS
Do you get up at night to drink water, go to the toilet…Do you wish you could see in the dark? Remarkably bright LED lights are triggered by your footsteps and light up the floor 30 feet in front of you; ultra-soft plush style are extra comfortable and cozy warm.
The Zaky is an ergonomic infant pillow designed by a mom to mimic the size, weight, touch, and feel of her hand and forearm to help her baby with comfort, support, protection, and development. The Zaky can help calm your baby and help your baby sleep better through the night.
TRAVELER’S PHRASE BOOK T-SHIRT
If you are traveling a lot and don’t always know the language of the country you are visiting, then this T-shirt is for you. It has a phrase book printed on it so just point a finger at the pictogram you need and then point it twice at the question mark, which means, “Where is it?” and in no time you have found what you were looking for… or not.
Realy cool modern ladder. I am not sure whether it would balance itself as the person on it properly.
Whether you want to sit on the sun or in the shade, near the river or under the tree… now you have your movable bench, to sit wherever you like.
It is no slightest doubt that everyone in India has experienced what really is global warming. The average temperatures have gone up in the last few summers, and even the winters and rainy seasons are showing abnormalities from their behaviors over the last few years. Indeed, this is ‘global weirding’ or rather ‘climate crisis’ that would define the thing better.
But, what really caused global warming? Industrial revolution for one, heavy pollution caused by it another and there might be numerous such reasons. But, how do we know that we have landed in a state of global warming? Of course, anyone who has experienced summer in any part of India would know better. But, any symptoms that would convince the rational mind? Yes, in fact there are many. If you haven’t seen Al Gore’s documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ you must watch it once. I would rate it 5 stars, as it is a must watch for everyone today. From the official website of An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, I could get some science behind this. The symptoms are listed below and are sourced from the website climatecrisis.net (official website of An Inconvenient Truth). Do visit the website, it has a good music track played once the website is accessed. Other initiatives from Al Gore are the website of WeCanSolveIt, TakePart, RepowerAmerica.
Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.
The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence.1 The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.
We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.