Monday, September 29, 2008

Barbeque Nation

Much awaited Barbeque Nation started operations in Pune from Thursday, 25th Sep. So, we decided to visit the place on Friday evening, on its 2nd day of operation, for our team dinner. Not taking any chance, I located the place in Kalyani nagar & booked a table for us in the afternoon itself. Barbecue Nation is located next to Dass Electronics, Kalyani nagar in Solitaire. We reached there by 7:45 pm and were escorted to our table. The ambience of the restaurant is very aesthetic, with ample seating capacity (220 people) and a beautifully designed seating pattern which gives you a feeling that you are sitting in a small and spacious setting.

They have made excellent use of wall partitions & decorative grass to achieve the feat. The lighting is pleasing and the music being played is just right; not distracting and yet audible. When we reached, only few tables were occupied, so we got the chance to click these pictures. Service was excellent, they had a captain assigned to our table who explained their concept to us and attended us the whole time which was over 3 hours. They promptly refilled the glasses and cleared empty skewers / plates as soon as we were done with them.

The concept of Barbeque nation is to provide you with a great setting to enjoy your evening, without bothering about time (as they have ample space) and your pocket (as they have fixed price & menu). So, all you have to do is enjoy!! They have the concept of live grill. You have live grill right on your table and you are served with unlimited servings of almost (90%) done kebabs as starters. I have seen a similar concept in Sigree, but here It was better. You are also provided with choice of marination (Mint/rosemarry/soya) which you can apply on the kebabs once they arrive, cook it for sometime and then enjoy the kebabs in the flavor you like most. Also, they had a special fork to take out the kebabs from the skewer, which was really useful & was missing in Sigree.

They also had live performance, two beautiful danish singers were enthralling the audience with their deep and soothing voice. Alas, not many people were responding to them, and they responded with a pretty smile for the people who did. We really need more places with live perfornances to create the awareness in people to appreciate the artist, cause it's not the just a music system playing.

For the menu, they have buffet with a pre-decided menu, which consists of 5 veg, 5 non-veg staters, 1 veg 1 non-veg soup, 4 non-veg, 6 veg in main course with roti & naan, 3 non-veg, 5 veg salads & 7 desserts. Buffet price was 450 Rs. plus taxes, which should take the price to approx 500 Rs. Drinks are not included in this, but are not very expensive, in fact they are moderately priced. I personally liked their idea of transparent kitchen right behind the buffet table. So, there is no doubt about the hygiene.

The kebabs were delectable and the food was a treat for the pallets. In kebabs, prawns, achari baby alloo and mutton were the highlight. In main course I personally loved the Crab & the Mutton biryani. The crab preparation was spicy and chinese style, and the aromatic biryani was authentic in taste. I already had three drinks and so didn't try Soups and I was full enough to skip the veg dishes.

In salads, I liked chicken and corn salads the best. However other salads were good and I tried them all. Now it was time for the part of the meal which I love most, the desserts. They had seven desserts and best of them were White Forest Pastry, Orange souffle.

I enjoyed my evening there, spent some quality time with friends doing Tukbandi, carrying the mood of poetry competition. The place was full and also there were some people waiting by 9 pm; provided it was just the second day of their operation, they achieved a great feat here as well. I will recommend this place to everyone who want to enjoy their evening & satisfy their pallet for not so exorbitant price.

All the pics courtesy: Birenderjit Singh Madan


Poetry Competition - Completion!!

Poetry competition in our office has finished & I have already published my winning entry along with my other creations & the noteworthy responses to it. Now, as promised, I am publishing other noteworthy entries into competition, with full consent of the writers.

Entry by Shubhajit Kundu:
तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं;
शायद यही-कहीं हैं तू, ऐसा मुझे आभास हैं;
इधर-उधर जाने किधर-किधर ढूँढता हूँ तुझे;
खोजती होगी दर-बदर तू, तुझे भी मेरी तलाश हैंll

बेरोका मेरा मन, बेकाबू मेरे हवास हैं;
जी रहे ऐसे बेकरार की, इंतज़ार भी छोटा अल्फाज़ हैं;
चुपके-चुपके से आना, दिलोदिमाग पर छा जाना;
दुनिया हिला जाना, यही तोह, मगर, इश्क का अंदाज़ हैंll

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Shayad yahi-kahin hain tu, Aisa mujhe aabhaas hain;
Idhar-udhar jaane kidhar-kidhar dhoondta hoon tujhe;
Khojti hogi dar-badar tu, Tujhe bhi meri talaash hain!

Be-roka mera mann, be-qabu mere hawaas hain;
Ji rahe aise beqaraar ki, intezaar bhi chota alfaaz hain;
Chupke-chupke se aana, Dil-o-dimag par cha jana;
Duniya hila jaana, Yahi toh, magar, Ishq ka andaaz hain!!

Entry by Paresh More:
तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं;
दूर होते हुए भी तू, मेरे दिल के कितने पास है;
तेरे बिना मेरा जीवन बड़ा उदास है,
खुदा से क्यू पूछते हो, कभी मेरे दिल से पूछो;
यह मेरा तनहा दिल, तेरे बिना कितना उदास हैll

बस, तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं;
न जाने फिर अपनी मुलाक़ात कब होगी,
जो अधूरी रही, वोह बात कब होगी,
दिल तोह लम्हा लम्हा आपकी याद मे डूबा,
अब शाम के बाद न जाने रात कब होगी,
अब बस तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैंll
- परेश

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Door hote huye bhi tu, mere dil ke kitne pass hai;
Tere bina mera jewaan bada udaas hai,
Khuda se Q puchhate ho, kabhi mere dil se puchho;
yeh mera tanaha DIL, tere bina kitna udass hai!

Bas, Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Na jane phir apni mulaqat kab hogi,
Jo adhuri rahi, woh baat kab hogi,
Dil toh lamha lamha apki yaad mai dooba,
Ab shaam ke baad na jane raat kaab hogi
Ab bas Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain!!
- Paresh

Entry by Prashant Bhole:
नया कवि
जीवन में न कभी पडी थी कोई कविता,
जीवन में न मिली कोई कविता,
अपनी ख़ुद की कविता कराने का प्रयत्न करता हूँ,
और आप सब लोग न सो जाए ऎसी अपेक्षा करता हूँ ||

आरम्भ तो कर दिया है परन्तु विषय क्या है पता नहीं,
और विषय खोजने के लिए मधुशाला जाने का समय भी मिला नही,
सोचता हूँ अपना फ्रेमवर्क ही इस्तेमाल कर लूँ,
"ना तेरे आने की आस है ना तुझे पाने की प्यास है "

जाने दो यारो कविता मेरे बस की बात नही है,
एक शेर ही सुना देता हूँ, अर्ज़ हैं,

टेबल दारु से सजा राखी है, हर रंग की दारु माँगा राखी है,
न जाने कहा से आयेगा मेरा यार, हमने हर गली बोतलों से सजा रखी है l
- प्रशांत

Nayaa kavi
Jeewan men na kabhi padhi thi koi kavitaa,
Jeewan men na milii koee kavitaa,
Apni khud ki kavitaa karane ka prayatn karataa hoon,
Aur aap sab log na so jaaye aisii apekshaa karataa hoon!

Aarambha to kar diyaa hai parantu vishay kyaa hai pataa nahin,
Aur vishay khojane ke liye madhushala jane ka samay bhi mila nahi,
Sochataa hoon apanaa framework hi istemaal kar loon,
"Na Tere aane ki aas hai Na tujhe paane ki pyaas hai"

Jane do yaaro kavita mere bas ki baat nahi hai,
Ek sher hii sunaa detaa hoon, arz hain,

Table daaru se sajaa raakhi hai, har rang ki daaru mangaa rakhi hai,
Na jane kahaa se aayegaa mera yaar, hamane har gali botalon se sajaa rakhi hai!!
- Prashant


Friday, September 26, 2008

आशाएं (Aashayein)

ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
तुझसे बिछड़ जाने का ये कैसा अहसास हैं,
मेरे दिल के वीराने में इक अज़ब सा शोर हैं,
आखें देखती झूठ और बेवफाई हर ओर हैं,
फ़िर भी ढूंढ़ता फिरता हूँ सच यहाँ,
इस बेवफा दुनिया में दिल को अब भी वफ़ा की तलाश हैं ll१l

ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
तन्हा फिरता हु दर-बदर, अश्र बने मजबूरी हैं,
निर्जर पड़ा हु यूँ तो, शायद आजमाने की देरी हैं,
कहीं से आए एक झोंके ने मुझे नींद से जगा दिया,
मेरे मन की स्थिरता को अपने लहरों से मिटा दिया ll२l

अब ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
मैं तो वो बेनाम नदि हूँ, जिसे किनारे की तलाश हैं,
एक अनजान किरण हूँ जो अन्धकार को मिटाएगा,
बीज हूँ किसी वृक्ष का, जो बंज़र में भी उग जायेगा ll३l

अब ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
बस उस निराकार के आकार को ढूँढती मेरी हर साँस हैं,
हर असंभव को सम्भव कर जाने का दृढ़ विश्वास हैं,
बस ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं ll४l

This was my best creation for the poetry competition. With this entry I WON the award for best Poem & I had a tie for best poet overall... Hurray!! Although in the small competition we had (there were only 5 writers). I also received my favorite MAGAHI PAAN as prize. I will post other details about the competition in my next mail, which will include poems, responses, photos and videos.

But nevertheless I loved this poem and the whole poetry competition, and hope you like it too. I had never thought I could write a POEM but looks I can give it a try now. I welcome comments, critics and writers to take it forward.

UPDATE: (Adding the English spellings to aid people with trouble reading Devnagari script.)

Naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Mere dil ke veerane mein, ik azab sa shor hain;
Aakhein dekhti jhooth aur bewafai har ore hain;
Fir bhi dhundhta firta hu sach yahaan;
Is bewafa duniya mein dil ko, ab bhi wafa ki talaash hain!

Naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Tanha firta hu dar badar, ashra bane majboori hain;
Nirjar pada hu yu toh, shayad aajmane ki deri hain;
Kahin se aaye ek jhonke ne, mujhe neend se jaga diya;
Mere mann ki sthirta ko apne lehron se mita diya!

Ab naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Main toh woh benaam nadi hu, jise kinare ki talaash hain;
Ek anjaan kiran hun jo andhakar ko mitayega;
Beej hu kisi vriksha ka, jo banzar mein bhi ug aayega!

Ab naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Bas us nirakar ke aakar ko, dhoondhati meri har saans hain;
Har asambhav ko sambhav kar jaane ka dridh vishwaas hain;
Bas naa tere aane ki aas hain Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain!!


दिखावटी प्यार (Dikhavati Pyaar)

After my last poem, I saw others are also writing on the similar theme, So I thought of taking a dig at the romantic angle. Here is what I got,

तेरे आने कि आस हैं, तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं,
ऐसा सोचने वालों कि सोच ही कितनी बकवास हैं,
मीठे मीठे बोल बोल कर इम्प्रेस करना आज आर्ट हैं,
एक मिलन कि बेला खातिर बनते सभी स्मार्ट हैं,
करते हैं वोह प्यार कि बातें, पर मन में कोंई और ही आस हैं,
और जितने भी दीवाने हैं जग ज़ाहिर,
सबकी पागलखानों को तलाश हैं,
तेरे आने कि आस हैं, तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं,
ऐसा सोचने वालों कि सोच ही कितनी बकवास हैंll


UPDATE: (Adding the English spellings to aid people with trouble reading Devnagari script & also a very good response by one of the colleagues.)

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Aisa sochane walon ki, soch hi kitni bakwaas hain;
Meethe meethe bol bol kar, IMPRESS karna aaj ART hain;
Ek Milan ki bela khatir, bante sabhi SMART hain;
Karte hain woh pyaar ki baatien, par mein koi aur hi aas hain;
Aur Jitne bhi deewane hain jag jahir;
Sabki pagalkhane ko talash hain;
Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Aisa sochane walon ki soch hi kitni bakwaas hain!!

I received an equally good response from one of my colleague Shubhajit Kundu for this, which I will mention here..

लिखते लिखते भूल गए, तुम्हारे यहाँ भी काफ़ी हम-राज़ हैं,
अब यह मत कहना जो खाली घूम रहे हो, उसपर तुमको नाज़ हैं,
हमको मालुम हैं की तुम्हे भी किसी की तलाश हैं,
तू भी कम थोड़े ही बदमाश हैं.
जो कहता हैं की यह सब बकवास हैं,
शायद खो चुका अपने हवास हैं,
या फिर अन्दर से उदास ऊपर से बिंदास हैं.

Likhate likhate bhul gaye, tumhare yahaan bhi kaafi hum-raj hain;
Ab yeh mat kehna jo khali ghoom rahe ho, uspar tumko naaz hain;
Humko malum hain ki tumhe bhi kisi ki talaash hain;
Tu bhi kam thode hi badmaash hain;
Jo kehta hain ki yeh sab bakwaas hain;
Shayad kho chuka apne hawaas hain,
Ya fir andar se udaas, upar se bindaas hain!!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

दीवानापन (Deewanapan)

This is my first ever poem which I wrote for our poetry competition.

तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
तुझसे मिलने की आरजू करती मेरी हर साँस हैं,
तेरी हँसी से हँसता हूँ, तेरे आंसुओं पे रोता हूँ,
तू गर कहें तो दिन को रात और शाम को सुबह कहता हूँ,
लोग अक्सर ये कहते हैं, मैं बेवजह ही तुझपे मरता हूँ,
अरे कोंई जाकर उन्हें बता दे,
मेरे इस दीवानेपन का, ये तोह बस आगाज़ हैं
तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैंll

UPDATE: (Adding the English spellings to aid people with trouble reading Devnagari script.)

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Tujhse milne ki aarazu karti meri har saans hain;
Teri hasee se hasta hun, tere aasuon pe rota hun;
Tu gar kahe toh din ko raat aur, shaam ko subaha kehta hun;
Log aksar ye kehte hain, main be-wajah hi tujhpe marta hun;
Arey koi jakar unhein bata de;
Mere is diwanepan ka, ye toh bas aagaz hain!!
~ Vikash


Poetry Competition !!

We are having an informal poetry competition in our office these days. Everyone has to write a poetry of about 50 words or more. Poetry should start either "तेरे आने कि आस हैं, तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं!" (Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain) or "ना तेरे आने कि आस हैं, ना तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं!" (Naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain) and then is should be sent to everyone so that others can respond to it in their own ways on the thread. Intially we were apprehensive of the idea, but it's been working well and we are having fun. So much so that we decided that we will also have the poetry reading with our Friday fun activities, due coming Friday. I will be posting here my writings and select writings / responses from others too & yes ofcourse the winning entry. So, stay tuned for some interesting poetries from the amateurs who barely know what a poetry is.. :)


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New US Dollar in circulation after the recent crisis

Hilarious comic aimed at the recent financial crisis in USA,
which is threatening economies world wide.


Chicken Fry / Masala Recipe

After receiving requests from many of my friends, the ones who have tasted the recipe and want to try out, I am finally sharing the recipe for Chicken Fry/Masala that we (I and my cousin Pushkar) make. This is essentially a slightly modified version of the traditional Chicken Masala recipe used back home in Bihar. This dish can serve as a starter item or as main course item with Roti or Rice.

  1. Chicken - 1 Kg (should be cut into small/medium sized pieces)
  2. Onion - 1 Kg (thinly sliced)
  3. Tomato - 2-3 pieces (medium sized pieces, sliced)
  4. Green Chilli - 4 (slit)
  5. Garlic paste - 1 Tablespoon
  6. Ginger paste - 1 Tablespoon (can vary according to personal taste)
  7. Chilli powder - 2 & 1/2 Teaspoons (can be varied upon how hot you want your dish I prefer 3-4)
  8. Turmeric powder - 1 Teaspoon
  9. Pepper powder - 1 Teaspoon
  10. Dhaniya (Coriander seeds) powder - 1 Teaspoon
  11. Chicken Masala - 1 Teaspoon
  12. Garam Masala powder - 1 & 1/2 Teaspoons.
  13. Oil - Mustard (used originally, can change according to preference)
  14. Salt - as per taste
  1. Heat up some oil (approx. 150 ml) in the frying pan and put the onions and green chillies (add some salt).
  2. Fry covered for about 10 mins at medium flame.
  3. Add Chicken (add some more salt as per taste), tomato, garlic and ginger paste. Now fry covered for another 10-15 mins.
  4. While the onion or chicken is being fried, you need to keep stirring it once in a while or say every 2-3 minutes, to make sure its cooked evenly.
  5. By now chicken must have left it's water. Cook for another 5-10 mins.
  6. Add all other spices (No. 7 - 11) and stir it till the spices are mixed.
  7. Now we need to stir it frequently to stop the spices from burning.
  8. Cook for 15 mins and the spices should have been mixed thouroughly with the thick gravy (the onions). Also, the oil should be seperating from the gravy by now.
  9. Add garam masala and fry for 5 mins.
  10. Optionally you can heat up few tea spoons of ghee separately and then just add to it. (no need to keep the burner on)
  11. Now the Chicken fry is ready but If you want gravy then add some water & salt and bring it to boil.
Good luck!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The great night at Singapore

The first ever night grand prix in Singapore has already created a lot of buzz & excitement around. For the event, Singapore has an all-new 5.067km street course which weaves its way through the Marina Bay area of the sovereign city state. Everyone is excited to see the drivers zooming at 300 kmph, that also at night.

This is supposed to be a challenge for the drivers. However, according to experts & drivers, they will not face any problems in the race. Arrangements which have been made will make sure that there will be enough light on the circuit, that a full HD video broadcast will be possible; as per required by the norms. For htis purpose around a thousand Light projectors, four times brighter than the ones in foodball stadiums, are installed.

So, Mostly it will be a treat for the viewers & media, to watch the mean machines zooming on the beautiful & perfectly lit street track with a magnificent back drop of Singapore skyline at night.The mystery of darkness & the beauty of lights, the perfect couple will create a mesmerizing expreience for one and all. This event has put not only the civic administration at work, but all the teams are also burning fuel. Teams are fitting the F1 cars with headlamps for the the first time, which is robbing the beauties of their aerodynamics & envious looks. Bridgestone has used different reflective paints for their different tyres to make it easily distinguishable for the spectators. Neverthless to say that they are working round the clock to guarantee the smooth sailing at the event.

Night racing, however, is not new in rally sport and quite a few drivers have exprience in it , Including former world champion Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari). So, if Kimi proves to be the Dark knight of Singapore; Ferrari will hopefully maintain its leadership this season. This will also be a good chance for Felipe Massa (Ferrari) to score a lead over Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) which will boost his chances for the title; looking at his bright chances at home circuit towards the end of season at Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Irrelevant to who wins the race one this is sure... this race is going to be one of most entertaining & thrilling grand prix ever; with whole new setting and the stiff competition between drivers & teams for the title. Here is the race schedule according to Indian Standard Time (GMT + 5:30):
Fri 26 September 2008
Friday Practice 1 - 16:30 - 18:00
Friday Practice 2 - 19:00 - 20:30
Sat 27 September 2008
Saturday Practice - 16:30 - 17:30
Qualifying - 19:30
Sun 28 September 2008
Race - 17:30


Monday, September 22, 2008

Cafe Trouble !!

After a long time friends from my college group decided to meet up on last Sunday evening at 7:15pm. Now it was time to decide the meeting place. I promptly suggested that we go to a new coffee lounge TC's on FC road. FC road has been our most regular meeting location and TC's is a place which none of us had tried. Above all, their concept, their website & their Menu had really impressed me. So, I was pretty sure we will be going there; but somehow Ashu manages to convince us and instead we went to Cafe Level 9. It's a rooftop cafe on the 9th floor of ICC trade tower (the one which has crossword), Senapati Bapat road.

We all reached the cafe (except Ashu as usual) by 7:30pm and were completely taken aback. It was nothing like what one could expect from a cafe. There were no vibrant colors, no designer furniture, no organized seating space and no service (they had self service). At best it looked like a regular office pantry/mess. We walked around, checked out the open roof top section. Rooftop was cluttered with chairs & tables along the railing. Many a groups were sitting, all facing in the same direction, enjoying themselves instead of the view and smoking was prevalent everywhere. Stunned, we waited for few minutes looking at every possible corner where we can sit and have some chit chat. After contemplating departure to some other place we thought of at least giving it a try.

We found a spot where smoke & couples were at minimum and so we asked their staff to get us some chair & table. To our surprise he politely asked us to get the furniture from inside. Testing our determination we picked up few chairs from many broken ones and finally sat down. It was around 7:50 by now. Suyog got us some coffee and we let ourselves dive into the ocean of memories from our college days, intermittently scolding Ashu (for being late & suggesting this trash place). Ashu arrived by 8:30 and joined us in the scuba diving of our college days. Forgetting the place we were finally enjoying the evening.

At 9 pm, we left the cafe and went to Aloha for dinner. It's a pure veg restaurant opposite the ICC tower we were in. Ambiance and food was good which really added to our fun & frolic. I found a quote on their menu "Laughter is brightest where food is best"... how apt. We dispersed at around 10:30 but not without promising to meet again soon & yes NO Cafe Level 9 anymore. :)


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Anger Management Techniques

Psychologists recommend a balanced approach to anger, which both controls the emotion and allows the emotion to express itself in a healthy way. Some descriptions of actions of anger management are:

  • Direct, such as not beating around the bush, making behaviour visible and conspicuous, using body language to indicate feelings clearly and honestly, anger directed at persons concerned.
  • Honorable, such as making it apparent that there is some clear moral basis for the anger, being prepared to argue your case, never using manipulation or emotional blackmail, never abusing another person’s basic human rights, never unfairly hurting the weak or defenseless, taking responsibility for actions.
  • Focused, such as sticking to the issue of concern, not bringing up irrelevant material.
  • Persistent, such as repeating the expression of feeling in the argument over and over again, standing your ground, self defense.
  • Courageous, such as taking calculated risks, enduring short term discomfort for long term gain, risking displeasure of some people some of the time, taking the lead, not showing fear of other’s anger, standing outside the crowd and owning up to differences, using self-protective skills.
  • Passionate, such as using full power of the body to show intensity of feeling, being excited and motivated, acting dynamically and energetically, initiating change, showing fervent caring, being fiercely protective, enthusing others.
  • Creative, such as thinking quickly, using more wit, spontaneously coming up with new ideas and new views on subjects.
  • Forgiving, such as demonstrating a willingness to hear other people’s anger and grievances, showing an ability to wipe the slate clean once anger has been expressed.
  • Listening, to what is being said to you. Anger creates a hostility filter, and often all you can hear is negatively toned.

A common skill used in most anger management programs is learning assertive communication techniques. Assertive communication is the appropriate use of expressing feelings and needs without offending or taking away the rights of others. It is typically started with the use of "I" statements followed by a need statement, such as "I feel hurt, when you don't call if you're running late, I need for you to call me if you are going to be late".

With regard to interpersonal anger, Dr. Eva L. Feindler[4] recommends that people try, in the heat of an angry moment, to see if they can understand where the alleged perpetrator is coming from. Empathy is very difficult when one is angry but it can make all the difference in the world. Taking the other person's point of view can be excruciating when in the throes of anger, but with practice it can become second nature.

Buddhists, on the other hand, recommend a slightly different approach. They believe that there are several antidotes for handling anger. The chief amongst them are patience, understanding karma, equanimity and realization of emptiness (the sum of which can be achieved through daily Concentration Meditation and Insight Meditation, or Samatha and Vipassana). The main issue of anger management is that anger is regarded as an incorrect projection of the mind, so that wisdom and insight can ultimately correct the mind and eliminate anger completely.



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Maverick launches MSM

Pune-based startup Maverick Mobile launched their latest product, Maverick Secure Mobile (MSM), at the DEMO conference earlier this week. DEMO is one of the premier conferences for new startups to launch their products. Watch their product presentation video here to see how easy-to-use and useful their product is... This kind of softwares are really needed to thwart cell phone & other electronic device thefts especially when the cell phones are increasingly becoming an important & integral part of our lives.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Enjoy festivals without creating hassles

It's the time of the year when festivals take a centerstage across India. With all the major festivals Ganpati, Dassera, Diwali lined up there will be a lot of energy, happiness, excitement in and around us. However there are many side effects of this season as well. Let's take Ganpati & Dassera for instance. Ganpati is celebrated at a grand scale in Maharashtra & Gujrat; Dassera is celebrated the same way in West Bengal & Bihar. 

In both festivals, many idols of the Ganesha/Durga and others are created in all shapes & sizes, which are setup on a platform for public viewing and in many places a huge gate is setup which serves as entrance/exit for public. The passage from entrance to the Idols is decorated with lights and decorative rope work, or the whole passage is covered with cloth walls/ceiling leading to the idols where the main hall is created.. resembling a huge decorative tent (called Pandal). This celebration goes for ten days followed by huge idol immersion processions. The whole effort consumes a lot of money/man power/energy but sure brings happiness & satisfaction to many. But the main tangible side effect of this whole process are Dugup Roads. 

To create idol platforms & pandals, roads are dugup at many places; causing the roads to become fragile & potholes are formed fairly quickly. This inturn causes traffic nightmares to commuters and management hazard for the municipal corporations. 

Cause of this is the use of bamboos as the base to erect everything and to bamboos are supported by burying them partly in the ground. As enevitable this may look to many of us but I see a good business opportunity here which will make this whole process more infrasturcture friendly.  Instead of using bamboos as support we can use poles (made of light metal) with a tripod like base (made of heavy metal). This will and to further strenghten it; they can be linked to each other by a thin metalic mesh. on the lines of how the cots are made. Just that it's scale will be greater. 

So, the foldable and linkable structures can be manufactured and sold as ready to use pandal kits, any kind of decoration can be done on these structures. Then the tent houses will buy these products and lease it out to the mandals/samitis whever they need it. They can also be utilized to create pandals for weddings, fairs, exihibitions and many more. So, we will have easy to setup, highly reusable pandals which will over time cost less and cause less problems to administration and do no harm to roads. On the similar line platforms can be made of interlinked table like structures. I believe this will surely reduce the damage done to the roads and create a new industry providing business avenues & employement for many.

Some of the other side effects, 
a)  Water pollution - We already have efforts to make green idols & ban on PoP. Also can encourage people to have metallic idols and reuse them every year, which is already an accepted practice.

b) Sound pollution - We have decibel limits in place and the deadline which no body seems to follow. One way is to play the songs but don't have speakers. Instead the music is streamed using A2DP over bluetooth (which give wireless high quality stereo music). Now the visitors can simply have to put on an A2DP enabled headset and they will enjoy and no one will get disturbed. But this doesn't seem to be very adaptable as of now.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Indian delicacies categorized by states

This quite a comprehensive list of delicacies accurately categorized by the states where they are locally made and are readily available. Special thing to notice is the delcacies actually blend with neighbour states. As in UP, Bihar & Jharkhand you will generally get all the dishes mentioned special to those places and that's natural.

I have stayed in Bihar & Maharashtra and so my local favorite dishes are Litti (Bihar), Pittha (Jharkhand) & Modak (Maharashtra). This classification is based on the picture above.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome - A much needed boost to cloud computing?

Google is going to launch Chrome, a whole new web browser, today at 11 am PDT. Looking at the concept and features the browser has to offer, there is no doubt that this will set off a revolution in browser design and trigger a new set of innovation to make the browsers even more powerful.

Somehow it makes me think that the trigger behind this browser was the of idea of having web based OS and cloud computing. Now that the browser will behave like a host to applications (like an OS) .. going forward surely we can do away with desktop OS and use everything over internet.

I found the following features of Chrome as the most exciting ones.

1) Multiprocessing instead of multithreading - Making each tab independent & secure and yet have them in a group, like best of both worlds.
2) Chrome Task manager - Now we will be able to spot the culprit webpage / plugin hogging up memory/bandwidth and can handle them without affecting other browsing sessions.
3) Phishing / Malware protection - It automatically updates the list of Phishing & Malware sites frequently and warns us when we land on them. It also notifies the Malware site owners about the breach as additional measure.
4) Incognito - Secure session from which nothing will be logged / saved as part of history
5) New Java script VM - The whole new java script virtual machine which makes java script more organized and efficient.

Most important of it all, these innovations are open source for everyone to use and extend, some are also provided as API for others to use it to enhance their features. I was even impressed with the promotional comic strips.. nice way of spreading the word without boring much.

I am impressed with the thought and design behind Chrome. I just hope the browser lives upto the expectation.


Let's give a DAM

I was reading an op-ed article "Damming the Deluge" published today in Indian Express by Nikhilesh Jha, who is a joint secretary CSIR. After reading the article I couldn't agree more with Nikhilesh. I, being from Bihar, very well know how much devastation is done by floods every year to whole nothern region of Bihar and thanks to the ignorance by Central & State goverments, it has become a part of life for people in low lying areas. As soon as monsoon looms, they look for relocating as flooding is as expected as a monsoon shower.

I always thought that only if we could control the Koshi water by building dams, we could easily solve the problem of power & irrigation for Bihar. I wondered why it was not looked into, because if I could think of it then I am sure there are many others who can & who have thought about it. This article gives insight on this issue and clearly shows that the dam built for Koshi can turn Koshi from a bane to boon for Bihar. To conclude I will just quote Nikhilesh here.

The Barahkshetra dam, the Chatra barrage and the Kosi-Mechi link will not only control the danger of recurrent floods, they will also bring in much needed prosperity to Nepal and plains of east Bihar through irrigation and hydro-power supply.

Let the present devastation catalyse the decision to undertake the projects which have been deferred for decades, especially because there is a potential to turn the state around in one go. The sympathy factor stemming from human tragedy and the backlash generated against Nepal can be leveraged to expedite these projects.


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