Monday, December 31, 2007

Before the year ends

Gullu wrote this post a few days back. Which is somewhat strange considering he was a pretty frequent writer not so long ago.
I have always been an infrequent blogger and as a matter of fact, I have been following this once a month rule ever since I missed the whole month of Nov 2004. Posting at 11:20 PM on 31st Dec, this is as late as it could be.

These have been the busiest days of my life so far. Loads of work at office, personal commitments and just so many events to attend to.
My response to life? Make it busier ;-)
Last year, I was in Kashmir at this time of the year, making that the most memorable week of my life. This year, among the late nights and really late nights in office, I was able to squeeze in a small weekend trip to Mukteshwar.

Mukteshwar is a quiet and peaceful place around 40 kms from Bhimtal. It has a forest area, and there are also activities like rock climbing and rappelling. Though we didn't do any of that, as we went for complete leisure.

Watch this space for pictures once I find time to post them.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Last night in US

Its time to go back to India. The US trip has been great, both in terms of work and otherwise.
I utilized each of the weekends to the fullest and went to a lot of places.
One the first weekend, I went to Mystery Spot and 17 mile drive.
The second one, I met a lot of friends in Mountain View and San Jose.
The third weekend was completely devoted to San Francisco, where I went to Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge and lots of other places.
On the fourth weekend, one of my colleague Mike was kind enough to take us to the Pescadaro Beach.
This is last weekend in US, and I met some friends and went to Berkeley for a show.

And yes, I managed to get a lot of work done as well.

Its been a good trip, but its even better to go back to India. Here I come :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


After being in software industry for almost 5.5 years, I am on my first official trip to US. I must have created a new record of not visiting US even after being in software industry for such a long time.

Ever since college, my friends have been telling me that if I ever visit US, I would not experience any jet lag as my sleep and work times are more closer to US timezone. Now I see that there is some truth in these claims as I have been able to recover from jet lag in less than a day.

Here's how it went:
1. Friday late night 1 AM - I take the Delhi-Amsterdam flight. Its an 8 hr flight. I sleep around 2-3 AM.
2. Reach Amsterdam at 6 AM local time (9 AM IST). There is a 5 hr stoppage time. I am feeling really sleepy so I sleep at the airport. Wake up at 10 AM (1 PM IST) and then catch the flight at 11.
3. 10.5 hrs flight to San Francisco. Have had slept enough, I pass time watching 3 movies (Mr. Bean Holiday, Harry Potter and the order of Pheonix, Spiderman 3.
4. Reach SFO at 2. Ankit picks me up. Am fine this around 6. Then I start feeling really sleepy. Its 6:30 AM IST, so if I were in India, this would have been a night out.
5. The next few hours are difficult. Getting really sleepy but can't, I am still moving around with my friends. I finally sleep at 11.
6. Wake up in the morning at 9 AM, fully refreshed. The jet lag is over.

Went to 17 mile drive yesterday. Its a drive along the pacific ocean and has some great views. More on that in the next post.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Left Brain Right Brain

Came across this interesting link. I see the dancer turning clockwise. Some of my friends can see it both ways. I have been trying real hard but I can't see it any other way.

What do you see?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chak de. India wins T20 World Cup

Somehow the release of Shahrukh Khan starrer Chak De India has coincided with one of the best time for Indian Sports.

In Hockey, India beats South Korea 7-2 to lift the Asia Cup.
In Soccer, India won the Nehru Cup.
Sania Mirza has been performing well too. I think her ranking has climbed to 27 at this point.

But the greatest of them all happened today, when Indian Cricket team won the first Twenty 20 World Cup. No one gave a team without Sachin, Saurav and Rahul any chance whatsoever. I had not even watched any T20 match before. But they way it all happened has been amazing. And there could not have been a more nail biting final. Am sure tomorrow morning when the players would wake up, they would not be able to themselves believe what they did.

Congratulations India. Chak de.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Any activity is fun ...

Only till it is not WORK :-D. Quote of the night by Sanjay Goel.

Amateurs always have more fun than professionals. Love is more fun than marriage.

To illustrate, choose any hobby u have (photography, traveling, playing a particular sport) and try to make it your source of earning. You'll be surprised to see how less u like it after a few days.

Also recommended is this related article by Scott Adams.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why I am not a nice guy anymore

Generally reading some old blog posts by Gullu, I came across this one post he pointed to. A must read, particularly by all the girls out there :P

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Permanent Age

Read this article by Scott Adams (Dilbert fame) quite some time back.

Ever since I have been thinking over my permanent age. I am a preacher. I have enthusiasm for new things, but it is combined with a sense of cautiousness. I am a good mentor. I know that certain things in life I would never do (like biking to Ladakh).

I feel that my permanent age is in early thirties. Like a fast bowler who has slowed down in favour of accuracy. Though that doesn't mean I've found that accuracy yet.

P.S. My actual age is 26.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Ladakh Trip

Best travel blog for Ladakh
I have traveled to lot many places in the past 1.5 years, and to continue that tradition, I took a 1 week trip to Ladakh this time around.

This was the third instance when I entered J&K, visited it once 2 years ago when I went to Vaishno Devi (Jammu) and once last December when I visited Kashmir. J&K certainly is the place where the best of trips come up, and I would call Ladakh my second best trip after the Kashmir trip.

There was lots of traveling time in this trip and I utilized it by writing a travel log on my mobile phone, and thats what I gonna use for this post.

We left for manali on saturday morning at 6:40AM from Delhi. It was a bad time to start the journey, for one we had to travel around 14 hrs during the day, and second there were no volvo coaches available during the day. But we didn't have a choice and proceeded.

Around 8 hrs later, it turned out to be a worse decision when our bus met with an accident close to a place called Swarghat. Luckily there were no major injuries, but quite many people got some minor ones. I got a minor injury in the tooth while one of my friend had his lower lip bleeding. Luckily everyone else in our group was fine. My iPod died in that accident too :-(

We got some treatment at Swarghat itself and then took a taxi to Manali. We reached manali at 2AM and decided to rest in Manali the next day.

Rested the whole day in hotel. The view from the hotel room was pretty nice.

Went for sight seeing at 4 PM. Moved around, sat at the river banks and booked a cab to Leh. Two tourists from Denmark, Anne and Ester, were looking for a cab to share ride with and we obliged.
Saw a Tibetan cultural festival in Manali.

11:00 AM - crossed the rohtang pass and all the rains and fog is suddenly gone.
now we have nice sunny weather and beautiful mountain view.

4:00 PM - just crossed suraj tal, we are now 30 kms from sarchu, at a height of around 14k. The mountains are barren and rocky, and add lakes, rivers to it ... the landscapes are amazing. Waterfalls intersect with the road every now and then.
The mountains r blocking the sunlight and breeze has turned strong and chilly.
one person has slight trouble breathing.

6:30 - 7 kms from Sarchu and we have reached the place where we gonna stay for the evening.
Its a camp surrounded by mountains, and the barren lands r replaced by lush green grass, and there are some great tents to stay in.
The weather has got increasing chilly, and a pretty strong wind is blowing outside the tent.

we had a walk on the road after dinner in darkness, the night sky has some clouds, but we can still see lots of stars. I don't remember the last time i saw so many stars.

7:30 AM - Crossed Sarchu and entered J&K. after a cold and chilling night, the weather has turned sunny and dry. One side of the road has a mountain and the other side has a valley with a river flowing.

The foreigner with us is having all sorts of breathing problems, headache etc.
The roads are much better though.

8:30 AM - We started at 13780 ft and for the past half an hr we have been climbing up a mountain. right now at 15302 ft.

Finally reached Nakeela at 15547 ft.

11:30 AM - after crossing Pang, we have now reached a plateau at around 14000 ft ... it spans for around 50kms , after which we'll gain height and reach Tanglang La at around 17800 ft. This road is really bumpy.

1:30 PM - We reached the second highest pass of the world.
the bumpy ride caused me a bad headache.
Also my camera batteries died down and am currently surviving on ordinary cells bought at Pang. That didn't stop me from shooting the pak china border.

Pakistan China Border

3:30 PM - We saw some inhabited place at last. Crossed Gya at 13900 ft.
it had been quite some time since we saw trees and animals. The mountains here are red and green. A stream is running parallel to the road as usual.

my headache isn't all gone yet but the road is way way better. Leh is still 60 kms and we need to stop for lunch.

9:00 PM - Reached Leh and checked in a hotel. The headache finally went away after another disprin, hot water bath and dinner. Need some rest this night. Weather outside is pleasant.

1:00 - Woke up late. moved around a little. Had breakfast and now going for local sight seeing. Will be visitng Alchi and Likir.

Spituk Gompa

The sun is really hot but the breeze is cool. Indus is flowing along with the road. Zanskar also merges into Indus at a point.

7:00 PM - Visited Alchi and Likir.


Only cool breeze now making the drive much more pleasant. going back to Leh.

10:00 AM - Did some shopping last evening. Pretty much like every other place in India, lots of bargaining is recommended.

Leaving for Nubhra valley today. on the way, we'll pass thru Khardung La, the highest motorable road in the world at 18000 ft, slightly higher than Tanglang La.
I have been out of college for a long long time but just now I remembered something that I would like to speak out loud - JAI KUMAON.

11:20 AM - a Scorpio on the route has a puncture tyre. While our driver is helping them, we have started walking towards Khardung La. A warm sun and cool breeze as usual. Going a bit ahead, few army vehicles have blocked the road.

Writing this log.

11:45 - The routes have cleared and we r back in our Qualis. reached khardungla. This place has some great meditation points.

some breathlessness, some coughing, but overall everyone is in good shape.

2:00 PM - 20-30 kms from Diskit. the driver has been playing NFS for a while. We need to tell him that life doesn't have a restart button :D. After repeated requests, he has finally slowed down a little. The views are spectacular but the route is scary. Saw a jeep that fell off the hill a couple of days ago, Scaring us even more.

4:00 PM - Had lunch in Diskit. took a 5 km walk from Diskit to Hundar.

5:30 PM - Reached Hundar. It has lots of sand dunes. We did double hump camel ride.

8:00 PM - Took a guest house, strolled around.Pak border is only 60 kms from this place, and tourists r not allowed towards that route.
This place is pretty much a forest, its all green and river Shyok flows through it. we sat alongside the river and listened to the flow.

1:00 PM - Slow start again, started at 10:30 AM, did some unorganized trekking. Climbed up a hill. We were carrying very less water and ran out of it. The sky is partially cloudy and some droplets of rain too. the top of the hill had cool breeze and a full view of Hundar.
we came down and reached the river Shyok. quenched our thirst with river water. The flow is fast and the water is ice cold.
My friend Shobhit found the locket that i lost last evening while strolling.

Moved alongside the river for sometime. This route is actually a 3 day trekking route to Leh. Can't believe it has started raining here.

Going back to Leh now.

9:30 PM - Reached Leh at 6:30. some bit of rains here too today. Planned a trek for the next 2 days.

4:30 PM - we started off from Stok at 9:00. Stok is at 3700m and from there we must climb up to Stok La at 4900m and then climb down.
Initially started off along the stream and the first 2 hours we didn't climb much, but me and ranjeet have already started lagging behind.

We had lunch at 11 and seems like the real climb will start now.
This has already been the most grueling trek that I have ever done. Treks are always most difficult for people who lag behind. In an effort to catch up, They lose the resting time. It is almost impossible to catch up once you lag behind. The one who is ahead dictate terms, can rest as he likes, can walk as he likes, as he is not the bottleneck.

At around 2, 3 of my friends have taken a short but much more steep climb. This is my chance, I moved steadily over my longer route, and now I am ahead of them, am no longer the bottleneck :-).

3:15 I have reached Stok La. We must have traveled atleast 15 kms. Those 3 guys are still around 15-20 mins behind, so I can take a nap while they arrive. We'll be going down from here.

4:30 PM - Descending a mountain requires some balance and skill though it is not tiring. The soil is loose and slippery. first timer Ranjeet is finding it slightly difficult.

Our destination is the green pasture.

5:00 we have almost completed the descent. the village for night stay should be around 3 kms.
6:45 9.5 grueling hours of trekking come to an end. we must have trekked around 20-25 kms. we have reached rumbakh, a small village where we are doing a homestay. tomorrow should be a much easier 3-4 hr trek to zinchin.

12:00 PM - This is our final day in Ladakh. We started off from Rumbak at 9:00. As expected, the trek today is much easier. We have reached our destination already.
currently I plan to bathe in the river.
12:40 PM - Bath in the ice cold water was pretty refreshing. going back to leh now. that should summarize our adventures in Ladakh.

Some Misc Stuff
Ladakh has more foreigners than Indians. Most of the foreigners here are european. Food has never been the highlight of the trip. This is quite contrary to the kashmir trip where the food was delicious. Am guessing its also because of all the foreigners who have a pretty different taste.

The attitude of a typical Ladakhi is relaxed and chilled out. People don't lock their shops when going out. Even the trek and tour operators don't give you much weight if you talk to them during off hours. We actually had problems finding a good tour operator who would give us information and help us plan our itinerary.

You can see the remaining pics here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

5 years of software engineering

Time for the yearly review. This got delayed this time around as I went on to a vacation to Ladakh.

As a college fresher, I was always fascinated by desktop products. A small tool that would just make one small task easier. I always wanted to create such products myself. A little thing but it could make someone's day.
Then I went into Enterprise Java, because thats what most of the Indian software industry is into. And farther and farther away I went from such tools as desktop java was pretty much hopeless and I had no industry experience in C etc.
However, with the onset of Web 2.0, I see a possibility. I see how web based products can be equally, if not more, effective at solving problems and create value for users.

While the Indian software industry has already proved its worth in software services, it is still pretty nascent in software development. And I firmly believe that india is not just a service provider, it is also a huge market. Its high time that indian software companies exploit this market and provide services to its own consumers, rather than focusing only on US.

I am still continuing in software product development, and working in this industry has given me a lot of insight in web products. There has also been lots of insight two most successful revenue models for web products - Ad generated revenue and Lead Generated Revenue. Going forward, its pretty important for us software professionals to think on how we can address this indian market and provide services to our own people.

On the personal side, Lots of good things there as well. I had lots of trips and loads of fun with friends. However, as time is passing by, it is becoming increasing difficult to keep in touch with all friends.
As a perfect example of fast paced life we live in, there was a time when I had more than 10 friends in noida, and within 3 months of that, each one of them left for their individual reasons. I always dreaded the thought of living alone, but sometimes life doesn't give you a choice. Looking back the past 6 months, things haven't been bad. However, this had made my friends even more important in my life.

Friendship is the only real earning that I have after all these years, and I thank my friends for being "my friends". Wherever you are, however busy you are, just keep in touch.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

God is my roomie

I left my native home around 8-9 years ago to join college. My study room has been the pooja room of the house ever since.

Now every now and then when I go to my native place, I stay and sleep in that same room. Doesn't that make me and god roomies, me being the senior by virtue of being the first in that room.

So why do I have to obey rules like putting my sandals out of the room?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Aajkal ke bachche

I knew that times have changed. I also knew that today's kids are much more smarter than what we (or maybe I) used to be at that age.
But until yesterday, I only knew that.

My nephew is 7 years old. I was teaching him a song. The conversation went on like this:

Me: Chalo beta aaj tumhe naya gaana sikhate hai.
Nephew: theek hai
Me: tera chehra sanam
Nephew: tera chehra sanam
Me: ek rubai si hai .. rubai .... rubayeee
Nephew: ek rubai si hai
Me: mere dil jism-o-jaan pe tu chahi si hai .. dil jism-o-jaan ...
Nephew: mere dil jism-o-jaan pe tu chahi ... chachu ... kaun?

for once I couldn't stop laughing. At the very least, I could convince him that she is Priyanka Chopra, and she stays closeby, and she's gonna come over for coffee once her movie is complete.
And thank god for that.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Human Test

Lot of sites ask you to type the characters you see in an image in their form submissions. For example, to put a comment on this blog, you need to do the same.
This test is called CAPTCHA. Its a technique to test for humanity, i.e. it makes sure that a human is filling the form and not some computer bot (automated code).

However, my experience with CAPTCHAs so far is that most of the times it is a test for humans with a 20/2 vision and IQ > 200. Most of these images are done so badly that I am unable to figure out what the text is supposed to be.

Don't believe in what I say? Check out this link for some of the unreadable CAPTTCHAs out there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sach mere yaar hai

Just remembered this great song. It used to be my and one of my friend's favorite in college. He used to sing it really well too and was famous in the hostel this song.

The last stanza of this song is in particular brilliant.

सुनते थे हम ये जिंदगी गम और ख़ुशी का मेल है
हमको मगर आया नज़र ये जिंदगी वो खेल है
कोई सब जीते सब कोई हार दे
अपनी तो हार है

My friend always used to sing this last line as apni to jeet hai and I would sing it as apni to haar hai.
And then he would say ki apni to jeet hai mere dost. And I would say, nahi apni haar hai.

Mere dost, apni abhi bhi haar hai.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Port Forwarding in Airtel Modem Beetel 200BX

Ever since I wrote the article to setup wireless router with the airtel modem, lot of people have asked me to help them with port forwarding. So here is the post to do the same.

When do u need port forwarding:
Typically when you want computers outside your LAN to access your computer. Some examples can be when u set up a ftp server on my machine for other people to access, or you are running a bittorrent client such as utorrent, or when you want to play Age of Empires on the network.


  • Put an internal static IP on your machine.

    • Open Network Connections. Right click on Local Area Connection and select Properties.
    • Now select TCP-IP and click on Properties. Put values as shown. The DNS Server values I have put are that of opendns. You can also put to use the airtel dns.

  • Configuring the Airtel Modem.

    • open url
    • Advanced Setup -> NAT -> Virtual Servers
    • the Server IP would be same as the IP Address above, which is in this case.
    • If you want to play Age of Empires, you can just select this from the dropdown (it is pre-configured). Click on Save/Apply and you are done.
    • In case the service isn't pre-configured, such as utorrent. Click on Custom Service. Put name utorrent (anything, doesn't matter)
    • You would need to put which port to forward. utorrent typically runs on 19556, so put 19556 in all the four text fields i.e. External Port Start, External Port End, Internal Port Start and Internal Port End.
    • Choose the protocol. In case of utorrent, and in most other cases, it would be TCP. Click on Save/Apply.
    • Thats all. Port Forwarding should start working right away. As always, please write a comment if you reach this step :-)
Please note that these steps are applicable only if you are not using any other routers (wireless or otherwise) with your modem.

Update: Yogi has described the process for Beetel 440 TX in comments. Thanks Yogi.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

3 movies in 3 days

Shrek 3 on Friday, Shootout at Lokhandwala on Saturday and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on Sunday.

With the gujjar violence blocking all paths to Jaipur last weekend, I decided to utilize the weekend by finishing off all possible movies that I was interested in. I had already watched Cheeni Kum a weekend before.

Cheeni Kum invoked mixed reactions. It seemed to be as if it has been made with the sole purpose of showcasing acting skills of amitabh bachchan. I couldn't figure out another reason why I would go and watch this movie.

Shrek 3 was nowhere close to the original Shrek. Why do all these animated intended for children movies must have this "moral of the story" embedded in it. For that matter, why do they always need to be intended for children. Shrek 1 didn't really try to do all this teaching and I guess that is why it was so lovable.

Shootout looked pretty cool. Despite huge violence, Tushaar Kapoor and a so-so Vivek Oberoi (who seemed to have been promoted to Ajay Devgan's role after Company :-D), it has an impact on the audience. One of the good things about the movie is that it doesn't passes any judgements on anyone, just shows plain facts (or true rumors as they say :-D)

Pirates 3 - good but a pretty complex story. And the fact that I didn't remember most of the story of earlier editions added to my misery. Heck, I didn't even remember that Jack Sparrow was killed in the last movie. I think my kind of people should first consult Wikipedia before going for such a movie ;-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Me the travel buff

I have always been a travel buff. Ever since college 1st year, I have been out to atleast 1-2 trips every year. I remember going to Ranikhet, Nainital, Shimla, Mussorie, Panchmarhi and Goa during college.

That continued in bangalore too, where I went to Kodaikanal, Coorg and Kerala with friends.
Then came a gap of almost 2 years in noida during which I only had one visit, that to Vaishno Devi with parents.
However, 2006 saw the end of all that when I made up all the earlier years going to as many as six places namely - Rishikesh, Mcleodganj, Damdama Lake, Nainital, Lansdowne and then the greatest of them all - Kashmir.

Keeping up with the enthu this year, I have already had 2 trips. First was in April to Singapore, making that my first trip to a foreign land. It was a whole new experience altogether, amazing infrastructure, an almost zero crime rate, great night life. A heavenly place for gadget lovers, I bought Canon Powershot S3 digicam to do some justice to my talent for amateur photography ;-)

The second trip was this month itself, it was to Mcleodganj again, this time with my company colleagues. Mcleodganj is a quiet place close to dharamshaala, and its the home of the dalai lama. Its a beautiful place with lots of natural beauty, and few treks to go out on. Even after going for the second time, I have not yet been able to fully explore the place. Its a highly recommended place for trekking and camping fans in particular.

Let the good times roll :-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Blog backup service and an error

I just found out that I haven't completed 100 posts yet. The error came in because my Blogger dashboard currently shows "103 posts", while actually its 99 posts and 4 drafts.

So this is the official 100th post. For the record, I have also wrote 9 posts on Technical Advice.

I discovered this error when I was checking out this new service for backing up blogs. BlogBackupOnline looks pretty promising, and it backed up this blog in a breeze. It showed only 99 posts backed up, and thats what gave me the clue.
Check out its review by download squad here.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Himesh law of Inevitability

If you switch on FM radio and keep the same channel up for sufficiently long time, the probability of you receiving some high pitch nasal treatment (as opposed to laser treatment) closes to 1.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don't buy fuel from Indian Oil

There is way too much fraud in most Indian Oil Petrol pumps. Have seen it in Noida, have seen it in Delhi, have seen it in Jaipur. I don't know how, all the petrol pumps where I see fraud belong to Indian Oil.

Their latest trick that I suffered in a petrol pump in Jasola Vihar, Delhi, I asked them to fill in petrol worth Rs. 500. This guy fills in only till 100, showing that he didn't hear correctly. Then when I asked him to fill in for 500, this guy resumes and fill till 400. Then he says that he had started from zero the second time when he started when it was pretty clear that he just resumed from 100.

I have found many other sufferers to this trick too.

Petrol is an essential item and that fact itself have made owners of these petrol pumps super rich already. I fail to understand why they need to use fraudulent techniques on top of that.

And that when other oil companies like HP and BP have so much improved there services and are so much more trustworthy.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A century of posting

The last post was my 100th post. That coming in 3 years of blogging with an average of 2-3 posts a month isn't too much of a record to be proud of.

However, blogging has been a great experience and I am happy that I got inspired, started and went on.

There have been certain good posts, and if I choose a few, Fanaah, Being Vulnerable and more recently, Problem with Emotions have been close to my heart.

I am satisfied for being consistently able to write, no matter how small the frequency might be.
And I hope to continue to do so in future.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pursuit to Happiness

Watched this movie sometime back. The first thought that came to my mind while watching it was "Oh my god, and I thought I was the only guy out of luck".

I often hear and even say this statement - Why does this always happen to me?
What we forget all the time is that everyone get into trouble. Infact, everyone gets into their own unique bit of trouble. A guy getting his dental dentures treatment dicovers that he has a cyst in his lower jaw that needs to be operated while another guy gets harassed by cell phone company for non-payment of a bill that doesn't belong to him. Or one guy is the only earning guy in a 6 member family while other gets trouble getting his parents accept the girl he wants to marry.

What did they all do to deserve this?

We all have our share of problems. Cribbing about them may not help solving them. Neither would comparing your fate with others. Pursue your dreams. Take steps to resolve your problems. Or watch this movie if you need some motivation.

Monday, February 19, 2007

My First Vehicle

Zen Estilo

Monday, January 29, 2007

The problem with Emotions

Lets start this with a small mental exercise.

There is this place where there are 2 parallel railway tracks. One track is old and isn't used anymore while another one is live and in use. There are 10 children playing on the live track. At the same time, a single child is playing all alone on the dead track. At this moment, a train is approaching on the live track putting the lives on the children on the live track in grave danger. Far from this place, you see this happening on your monitoring screen. The only control you have is the ability to switch the track temporarily so that the train goes on the dead track instead of the live one. Which would mean putting life of that single child into danger.
What will you do? Make up your mind before reading any further.

A majority of us would switch the tracks to save those 10 children at the expense of that single child. It seems right from the humanitarian perspective, saving as many lives as you can. If you did the same, read on to see this from a different perspective.

Why was that single child playing all alone on the dead track. Probably because he knew that the live track is dangerous. Who was doing the right thing by playing on the safe track? The single child. Who did the wrong thing? The 10 children by putting their own lives in danger by playing on the live track. And in your judgement, who gets punished? The one who was doing the right thing.
Second point - the 10 boys knew that they are on the dangerous track so they might flee on hearing the train noise etc. However, the single child, knowing that he is on the safe track will almost certainly not move and hence is in a much bigger risk.

So what is the moral of your judgement - Follow the crowd, Don't use your own brains to understand what is right.

Sadly, similar is the state of affairs in India. Decisions are not taken on what is right or what is better for development. Instead, its based on what would make maximum people happy. And while it is most fruitful if the general happiness of the people aligns with development of country , it is not always possible to do that, particularly in a country this huge.
Short term efforts are made just before the elections to make general people happy and gather the votes, while long term planning with no immediate benefits are left out.

In democracy, heads are counted, not brains.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Haminasto Haminasto Haminasto

2006 was the year of trips to me. And in what better way could it have ended than a 7 day trip to Kashmir.

Firdaus wasn't kidding when he said that this place is the paradise on earth. Though some people took those words a bit too literally and decided to open a route to directly reach the zannat from it.
Sarcasm apart, it was good to see that military tensions are much less in these areas at this time and our trip went very smoothly.

No amount of words are sufficient to describe this trip. Hence I would let the pictures do all the talking :-)

Gulmarg - Starting off from the hotel

View from the Gondola (Ropeway)

The Mighty Skiers

It doesn't get better than this

Playing in the Snow

Srinagar - Houseboat we stayed in

Dal Lake - Char Chinar

Yusmarg - Heavy Snowfall

All we want is peace

Gulmarg - The panoramic view

You can find all the photos of the trip here.