Saturday, August 14, 2010

Midnight 15th August 2010

Well this should be fun. As I started writing this, I made some coffee for myself.. took a break from working on my project.. turned to my iTunes ghazals playlist..
All set now... its 15th August 2010.. 12:25 A.M Chandigarh... Independence Day for us.. There are Facebook status updates, tweets, smses doing the rounds about this day and young Indians showing their patriotism for the nation. Its cool to see that we have so many people who despite of all the wrong things about India love their country... We surely need positive attitude to deal with our problems, but I fear that it really may end up as hype only. Some of us are already dissapointed to have lost out on an opportunity to gobble up a working day as a holiday.. since its a sunday. Good news guys.. for the next few years.. 15th August will fall on a working day, so that we can enjoy a holiday...
To each his own.. Celebrate as you please.. but I guess we should remember the country for the whole year and not just 15th August and 26th January... and more importantly think of yourself as an Indian and not regionally specific inhabitants.. Trust me we have so many talented, honest and hardworking people around... Don't just get caught up in the hype of a few who give the others a bad name..
So the next time you cross a red light, pay or recieve bribe to get any kind of work done.. abuse anyone in public or just rant about the poor infrastructure in our country.. remember the famous lines from a popular movie..
"koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, usse perfect ban-na padta hai".

Someone once wrote... " My country, when right keep it right, when wrong make it right"

God Bless all of you.. I'll enjoy my ghazals and coffee :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

United and Hopeless

(This is in reference to the un-adulterated attack on the Indian Financial Capital on 26/11 by terrorists, an attack yet again on the Indian Conscious)

By Divanshu Arora 26TH NOVEMBER ‘08 CHANDIGARH

For the Last three days Mumbai has slept under war and woke up to it as well.

We haven’t witnessed such an attack at our nation. Bombay has been a great city that can be compared to the likes of New York and has suffered a lot but never before, have we experienced a “Fidayeen” type attack.

After seventy odd hours of unprecedented gun battle, grenade attacks, precious lives being lost and indefatigable and spirited professionals at work (both forces and media), the whole nation is glued to the Television sets showing vivid images of our Counter Strike.

Just to give you an example of the kind of circumstances emerging as a result of these attacks are that never before in our lives have we thanked god after the police and the NSG commandos pulled out 24 dead bodies from the Oberoi-Trident in Mumbai. A total aftermath is still increasing as the commandos sanitize the buildings and keep finding dead bodies all around. There’s been a baby of 6 months in the want of milk at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Foreign nationals along with Indian corporate honchos who were charred in the fire that broke out as a result of the grenade attacks by the loser terrorists. A guy was celebrating his wedding reception when he was shot dead along with some others. All this and more stories will come up and will be shown over the weekend on prime time, thanks to the media out there.

But the question still haunts me.

What are we doing? Terrorists are ravaging our home and we’re behaving like jokers in a circus and blaming it on the intelligence failure. We want better laws to save our own house from hooliganism of this sort. What do we want to become? a “police state”? This is not in isolation but exactly opposite of that. The audacity with which they’ve done everything is shivering. I mean they have the guts to storm into Hotel Taj and Oberoi-Trident.

This incident is being talked of as a 9/11 of India and there’s a hope that like the US we too will come together as a nation and our political leaders will integrate against the problem. Tough ask!!

A good sign is that Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mr. Advani have been in touch for the past few days, perhaps the frequency of calls tops in the last 4 years. But really I don’t think people care about these things. The anger is much more and concerns are far more real this time. No politician suffers as the normal Indian does but then again politicians only get top security which should be given to the people instead. If Mr. Advani goes on TV and says that today is a day to put away political differences. Well I’d say thank you very much sir, but you’re not doing us a favor. You’re only doing your bit what you ought to do. What every politician ought to do. The political bickering that goes on every day, that has gone on for ages in India has to come to a halt now and please learn to perform or perish.

Dr. Manmohan Singh’s clinical address was not apt given the situation, people look up to you with utmost hope and respect sir, I was hoping of a stronger address if not emotional. In such a crisis the father figure has a responsibility to console and reassure the kids but it was not be.

Indeed a job well done by NSG, we know for sure now that our forces are better than our politics. One good thing that the Government did during this time was that they never showed up on the site to gain any political mileage.

Although some leaders are so hell bent on earning brownie points anywhere they can.

Mr. Modi shows up and really disgusts everyone, sir we have a crisis and the last thing we want is your smart ass comments, he wants to buy popularity by announcing Rs. 1 Crore for Mr. Karkare’s family who by the way have already turned down his generous offer. Tough luck Mr. Modi, I guess you can’t buy morality with Gujarat state’s money.

The last thing our police wanted was to take extra care of our VVIP’s. Let the politicians stay at bay for once. The army personals were very brave and complimented the NSG well. It was gud on the part of the ATS to have called NSG and the Army. Unfortunately it took the lives of the three brave cops, the best in the country for the ATS and the Mumbai police to call on the NSG and the Army. It was great to see 3-4 different kinds of forces working in total sync with each other, it does bring in some hope of unity in the minds of the otherwise disintegrated population that we are.

These are the men of action and integrity. They are toiling for people who they haven’t met in their lives but still they are continuing operations for one reason, there home is under attack and they can’t stand it. The whole nation must learn the spirit and duty from these men in the uniform, especially the supporters of MNS, people open your eyes wide and see; the NSG got there and spearheaded the operations direct from New Delhi, there might have been many jawans who belong to various parts of India. The Helicopters that brought the commandos were immediately flown from Chandigarh, because that’s where the base is;

Where was your celebrated and talkative leader who asked you to tear down posters of a Mega star from the “North” and you dutifully followed. Mr. Thackeray, good job sir that you did not show up, I mean someone could have taken you as a terror threat to Mumbai.

We mustn’t forget the men, the heroes without any uniforms, but hearts of gold, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi-Trident hotels staff who dutifully helped the guest evacuation. The anonymous helpers among the population who might have driven people away from danger, people who have fed them with food and water. I’m sure there would be people who we will never know about but have helped the victims in some way or the other.

Honestly when I hear about stoicism and the spirit of Mumbai, I just feel sad; Sad for us helpless Indians who find no solace whatsoever even in a crisis and end up in an unemotional continuation of our damned lives.

This time could be different; the anger could last much longer. This incident has no doubt broken the shackles of our indifference;

With these attacks happening so frequently these days, doesn’t it takes the gloom out of the world; I keep on thinking that this world for sure is full of love. Whenever these attacks take place, we see people in the middle of the crisis want their loved ones to know about them. There are no messages of hatred but all of them are of love.

Strange but true that world comes closer when there’s a tragedy and not otherwise.

To a person like me who’s never been to Mumbai, it is still a very precious Indian city that knows how to respect people and their dreams. My heart goes out to Mumbai but seriously I do hope that we begin to think as Indians and not as a mosaic of different races again. We begin to think as one united force of individuals who would not compromise their beliefs no matter who says what.

We are one.

We ought to be one.

But this is just a hope and we really are united and hopeless.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We want future, not history

It was two weeks ago that the news about a new book from a prominent politician came into being. Yes I'm talking about Mr. Jawant Singh's book in which he recalls history and gives his version of what he thought about it. He mentions about Jinnah in it.. and calls him a great man and blahblah...
Sometimes I wonder whether news channel get there funding from politicians or may be its the other way round that they pay the politicians to enact a real life drama.
Because this could be the only reason why our top politicians fail us time and again by bringing such petty issues to make a complete mockery of our country. Why is a historical figure so important today that our news channels choose days of airtime for people expressing their thoughts about history and not a word about our country's future.
Aren't we facing a drought situation, have we totally controlled swine flu, is the recession off our backs. are we back to 8-9% growth, do we have gud enough roads, is the roof of our newly constructed airports not falling off, is our infrastructure strong to bear the daily turmoil.. I can go on and on but the question remains unanswered.
I remember reading a Shobha De' article this 15th August in which she mentions that India @ 60 would get a glowing certificate from its critics as well. Not at all if our politicians quit sitting on their brains and not concentrate on their own jobs.
Mr. Prime Minister was spot on yesterday when he said that infighting between any political party is not good. BJP is falling apart like a house of cards, and in their turmoil India is suffering the most... we have a weak oppostion which is never good.
Why is it so? Well they are continuing with their 'Chintan baithaks' but the answer is straight if you ask any young Indian. There is a clear disconnect between the real India and their assumed India that grew up a few years ago perhaps.
They still hope to woo the masses with their hindutva agenda ( which is a one point agenda it seems.. anti muslim) and not their right wing economic policies. They still want to live in the past and teach us history. Well for your information I dont see how is that relevant in building the India of the future.
Our politicians are more passionate about the past, not so much about the future. The younger generation today fails to understand that. Why don't they have a fanatical debate about how fast they can build a road, or feed a grief stricken village in Andhra pradesh. Have a passionate discussion about corruption in the country. Be driven to reform Bihar and UP. Work harder to give us 24 hrs of electricity for god's sake. Banning a book will not help a poor man, banning useless government formalities will.
We all have learned history and what have we learnt is that great minds have captured some of the greatest feats not in the absence of problems but inspite of them.
We in India are great at discussions not so much in action.
A patriot once wrote, "My country, when right keep it right, when wrong set it right.
People all I want to convey is that lets not get into a muddle lik pigs. We're better than this.
Let the book be what it is, banning it is foolishness in the times of internet I guess.
Meanwhile please don't worry about "History" and look into "Future".

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swine influenza - Facts

We have had 17 deaths in the past 3 days. The Pandemic is spreading like wild fire now... As we go into damage control, there are a few precautions that can be taken by all of us.
Below is the compiled FAQ's about Swine flu.

How do people become infected with influenza A (H1N1)?

Outbreaks in humans are now occurring from human-to-human transmission. When infected people cough or sneeze, infected droplets get on their hands, drop onto surfaces, or are dispersed into the air. Another person can breathe in contaminated air, or touch infected hands or surfaces, and be exposed.

What are the signs and symptoms of infection?

Early signs of influenza A (H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Is there any confirmation of transmission between pigs and humans at this point?


How soon can someone with the flu infect someone else?

Infected people may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven or more days after becoming sick.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?

Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air.

How long can viruses live outside the body?

We know that some viruses and bacteria can live two hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent hand washing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

Currently available seasonal influenza vaccine does not protect against H1N1 flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.
  • If one gets sick with influenza, one must stay at home, away from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. However, if one is having any respiratory distress, one should report to a nearby hospital.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?

First and most important: wash your hands frequently. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Avoid touching surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?

Yes. Oseltamivir is the recommended anti viral drug for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with the influenza A H1N1. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster.

They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms). The government has adequate stock and the drug is made available to government hospitals at the time of outbreak and would be available to you free of cost. The drug is to be administered under supervision of clinicians.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you live in areas where influenza A H1N1 cases have been identified and become ill with influenza like symptoms e.g. fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may contact their health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms.

Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids/eating food
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Can I get influenza A H1N1 from eating or preparing pork?

No. swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.


* Wash your hands
* Avoid crowded places
* Stay more than an arm's length from persons afflicted with flu
* Get plenty of sleep
* Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food


* Shake hands or hug in greeting
* Spit in public
* Take medicines without consulting a physician

For people who are sick:

* Stay home and limit contacts with others as much as possible
* Rest and take plenty of liquids
* Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
* Seek medical advice if needed.

Please take good care, people are dying because of this.

God Bless

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unique Identification Cards in India _ Intro

With power comes responsibility and it is the sense of responsibility thats prevailed in Mr Nilekani.
He's a great example for the rest of the society. There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of being able to help other people in such a way.
Experience and knowledge are two rare virtues which if implemented can produce amazing resullts.

I fully support Mr Nilekani joining hands with the UPA government. It's great.
God Bless India.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nitty Gritties - (iPhone issues)

Well this part of the blog is dedicated to my fellow iPhone developers.
As the name nitty gritties suggests I'd be blogging about the small issues that are often not discussed elsewhere or very simply the problems faced by newbies.
This section is also the brainchild of a colleague. I'm just trying to implement and help.

Lets talk about Interface orientation in iphone.

I was bored with the plain tall look of my apps in the simulator.
I wanted to introduce my app in a horizontal way, like if you have an email app for example. It would make sense to open the view in a way that is easy for the user too especially with iPhone 3.0 OS that introduced a landscape keyboard.

I thought of trying it through code. Trust me IB is very good but if you wanna learn there are better ways.

What I did was:

1) I opened my info.plist which sits in the resources folder nice and pretty, there at the end of the properties click on the '+' button found at the right sde of every field.

2) Click on it to get a new property, and start typing Initial Interface Orientation, trust me the code sense will take charge you wont have to type the whole thing.

3) Now in the values for this new field type in right Interface orientation.
Go to the build and go. It wont work as of now because your app really wants to be shown in a landscape mode but is being prevented by the method Interface orientation in your view controller.

4) Un comment the method and type in Landscape right home only for the proper display.

Now hit build and go.
You will see your app coming out in a landscape mode.

That's it for now.
Keep the code neat and bug free. It helps ;-)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Allah Megh de pani de...

This is a song that I heard as a kid.. I never understood the deep rooted meaning in it then but now that we're in the middle of a drought like situation in the country, I think I know why everyone feels like appeasing the rain gods everynow and then.
Yes, you guys... we're facing a probable drought in every State of India.
As per the MET department we're short of water for over 50 % in almost all the states and in Panjab ( the state that feeds the rest of the country) the rainfall deficit is negetive. it is minus 68%. And the monsoon pattrens aren't very favorable from some years now.
We can't really do anything about the monsoon ( although some people still think holding havans will do the trick) but seriously we can save the water wherever we can.
So please people don't waste water coz it's very precious. If we don't mend our ways chances are that we won't have it to drink, forget using it for other purposes.
So please save water and do stand in if someone's wasting it in front of you.
And if you want you hum the tune also..
allah megh de ... paani de :)
God Bless.