Archive for the ‘rant’ Category
Animals have their instinctive rules for survival. I experience a lot of this fury on the highways. Every driver thinks that the only vehicle on the road is his/her own. Only they want to reach home. Only they have the right of way. It’s only about them. All the time.
If you have not driven in India – more so in Maharashtra State, you probably have no idea of what I’m talking about.
People honk horns even if they can see there is another vehicle in front of you and you have nowhere to go. They don’t honk once, its a continuous riot till you get irritated and slam on the brakes to tell the guy behind you to shut up.
Many drivers won’t give you way – in a 4 lane highway, each direction of the traffic gets 2 lanes… among them one is for overtaking and fast vehicles and other is for slower traffic. They will drive their beat-down trashcans on the fast lane at half the usual speed and won’t budge. If you try to inform them with a short horn, they wave their hand at you to tell you to ‘go overtake from the slow lane if you want. I’m not moving’. Insulting others is normal here.
On the 2 lane highway, where oncoming traffic shares the road with you, people overtake larger/slower vehicles even if there is oncoming traffic. You have to get down on to the shoulders even if you were driving in your own lane because some SOB decided that he wanted to go immediately and he didn’t care if he swerved into your lane to do so.
These experiences are not once in a while… not once in a day… every minute that my tires are on the road, people piss me off.
I love driving, I totally enjoy driving. I’d love to drive all my life. I like to travel to different places. The journey means a lot more to me than the destination. The road is one of my best friends! I dream about traveling all the time. I save up money not for fancy clothes, but for fuel.
Yet, every time I drive, there are many people who are having a bad day and who make sure that they pass on their bad mood to every driver they meet.
I like the company of trucks when I’m on my bike – because they don’t try to kill me every time they see me. The smaller vehicles though have no sense at all. When I drive a car, I give enough space to motorcyclists. I keep dipper/low beam light when there is oncoming traffic. I consider other driver’s situation before I take a quick turn or overtake. I don’t honk unnecessarily. I let faster vehicles pass even before they ask for side. I wait when pedestrians are crossing the road. I don’t get irritated if someone is learning how to drive and makes mistakes. I smile and wave at other drivers when the traffic is slow.
What do I get in return? Constant insult in the way of being snubbed by other drivers with bigger vehicles… I’ve recently started using same tactics on the other drivers. As soon as I see that they are going to overtake even when they can see me – I move my vehicle right in the middle of the road, flash lights and wave my fist at them, works every time. Guess, I should see if the Government allows me to keep rubber-bullet loaded guns too! Those will certainly be handy!
Heh, I can almost see myself becoming a lawless roadie some day. Its a tough job keeping my sanity and not giving in to scaring others shitless. Its not difficult to attack others… it is easy actually. I’ve found this out with experience. Most people will get on their knees if you raise your fist. Many will bow, if you make them.
That is not power. That is not respect. It is sheer intimidation. But it works like a charm on the highways – to keep yourself safe. But I don’t like it. I like to make friends… not enemies! What do I do?
I tried this for a full 100 kilometers – give the overtaking driver some space and move a bit towards the edge of the road. Each of the 30+ times in the nearly two hours of drive, the oncoming vehicle made me get down from the road, into the rubble and stop – because the bike would go out of control in rubble. While coming back on the same stretch, I tried my flash-the-lights and wave-your-fist technique… none… yes NONE of the vehicles caused me any trouble.
Well, only one jeep-driver had the guts to still drive on, but since I stayed in my place, he had to swerve even more and go past the edge of my lane. I sure hope his passengers gave him some points to ponder. Three more cars had followed him and were already in my lane when this happened, they saw what happened and almost instantly got back in their lane.
I’m having a difficult time being good. It seems that the only way to stay alive on the highway is to scare the living daylight out of others. Can’t we Indians be sensible? Are we freaking animals that we have to attack others for the right of way? I’m not going to stop driving just because others have no sense nor responsibility of driving. I will not be scared into sitting at home or traveling in bus like many other people. Most importantly, I will not die on the highway.
I like to follow the rules. Please don’t make me lawless! Somebody help me!
The sky is falling! Run! Scamper!
Is it just me, or are other people also having trouble accessing some websites? Few websites open up quickly, while (most) others are taking ages to download.
As an experiment, I tried running traceroute to Google’s different servers.
- traceroute google.com timed out after 64 hops.
- traceroute google.co.jp completed in 14 hops.
- traceroute google.tw completed in 13 hops.
- traceroute google.co.au timed out after 64 hops.
- traceroute google.cn completed in 15 hops.
In both the above cases, traceroute showed that data had reached USA’s servers, but there was no response afterwards.
I was connected to a server in the USA at the same time and ran traceroute to google.com, which completed in 14 hops. Now that’s interesting.
WordPress.com, and dataone.in work from my computer, but I was unable to even ping to onlamp.com (which has now started responding). Traceroute gave up after 64 hops.
If it was a matter of a few minutes, even hours, I would not sit and rant about it here… I have noticed this issue since last two days, and its not going away – only that at night, the issue worsens. Almost all of the websites become unreachable… I’m wondering why.
I was furious about the whole reservation issue! Furious about the senselessness of the public, the usual “let me make some money out of it” nature of [Television] media and the sick “my heart is where are my votes are” nature of politicians! But then I realized that what I hated most was the hatered that was being generated in the hearts of thousands of Indians. Hating hate is a difficult thing, so I kept my mouth shut till I found a way of putting my ideas in a better way.
Today it struck me that maybe, just maybe, I can say something that will make more sense than just lashing out at the people who are sowing the seeds of hatered. Here it is:
I believe that giving any particular section of the society a handicap (giving them a unfair chance to win) is bad for the complete society. Just look at all the hatered that is spreading over this issue!
If some sections are economically weaker, give them scholarships. Scholarships that include education fees, accommodation and books. Make it easy for people to earn and learn. Spoon feeding will never make good citizens out of students. Each person has to fight his/her own battles.
Here’s a small story that clarifies the doubts that are creeping in our mind right now!
One day a man was in his backyard and noticed, on a tree limb, a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. He watched that little being struggle and strain and press up against the walls of its prison. The butterfly was having such a difficult time, and the man wanted to help, so he sawed off the tree branch and brought it into his house. He used a pair of very fine scissors to delicately clip the cocoon and create an opening for the butterfly. Sure enough the butterfly emerged easily. Then, as the man looked on in horror, it flopped around on the table, unable to lift its wings. Within a short time the butterfly died.
The man knew he must somehow have interfered with nature, and so he went to the library to do some research on butterflies. He learned that as it emerges from its cocoon, the butterfly presses and strains, which pumps fluid from its large body into its wings. This process strengthens the wings and shrinks the body. Without that struggle, the butterfly emerges with weak wings and an unwieldy body, and cannot survive.
This is our own life process as well. We may fear the struggle and wish to remain safe little caterpillars, yet the more we open, the greater the rewards. For us its not a single experience; we emerge over and over again, growing into a new way of being, exploring one way and then trying another until we find the right fit. No one can cut open your cocoon for you because it is through the struggle that you develop the strength to fly free.
This is how nature works. And remember, we are not above nature! We are a part of it, and our daily struggles and battles are what make us strong. If we interfere with the working of nature by skipping the struggles for some people we end up creating weak individuals. Do we want to make weak individuals? No! Not when we claim that we are doing all this to make them strong! What an irony!
Think again before you say that you are “for reservation”… because by saying that you truly do not understand the working of life!!
- The story of the butterfly was taken from the website of Real World University
Celebrating 59 years of ruling ourselves! Whoa, look what a mess we made! I’m only kidding… I’m glad to be born an Indian. And I’m proud that we are one strong nation – the utter chaos that seems to be overwhelming the country, is actually its driving force! Like a well adopted organism, India keeps growing and flourishing in the face of all the threats and setbacks.When I sit back and think… I wonder, what exactly is independence? Is it something that a teen thinks of – sheer joy of freedom from rules and rulers? Or is it something more similar to adult independence – responsibility that comes with the freedom to choose your own destiny?
Are we still celebrating the joy of losing the foreign rule? Or are we coming to grips with the situation – that we need to make our own decisions – good and strong decisions. Decisions that improve the nation as a whole. Decisions that are visionary – that take the future into account. Decisions that reflect our culture that we are so proud of!
Introspection as an Indian leads me to a broad opening, the future is beyond the horiozon, what I can see is the present – and what I see sometimes shocks me. Our advantage – the diversity among people, cultures and languages – is also our biggest disadvantage. We fight among ourselves even after learning a lesson from the British Empire. Our own people are turning hostile, joining the terrorists and killing their bretheren. And we have people who reach out to the needy and give everything they have to save other lives – even to the length of sacrificing their own life!
India is a country that lives in the past and the present at the same time. When we have advaced technology in almost every field, we also have people who cannot even afford a pair of bullocks to plough their field! Such a huge gap is not easy to fill up. It is a daunting task – and I would like to believe that our government is doing its job, even though it seems like it is taking forever!
Independence, I feel, is more of responsibility than just fun. And a quick observation of my fellow citizens shows that not all of us feel that way. The recent past has brought the ‘reservations’ conflict into light. Why do people want reservations in almost every institution? When we talk about eradicating the caste system, why does every admission form of education institutes ask for my religion and caste? If we want a more secular and unbiased education, let there be more scholarships that are aimed at the underpreviledged people. By giving them a handicap, it clearly shows that they are incapable of achieving what we can! There are exceptions – and they need no reservations anyway. We are not making a good decision on this issue… among many others!
We talk about our military – that it too is corrupt and so on. But that, think is an exxageration because I have grown up in a military controlled area. It is not usual for a civillian to be living in such a place, but I luckily got a chance to interact with soldiers, engineers and trainers. And I firmly believe that they are among the finest men that India has produced. The discpline is marvellous! (something I never learnt) Their readiness to take up any task, any risk is amazing. And when you talk to them off-duty, you wonder how these tough nails can be such caring humans too!
Today’s experience at the Tank Museum in Ahmednagar was similar. The security was tightened due to terrorist threats. I had to empty my camea bag thrice, had to go through the metal detector and answer a few questions before i could get in. After the check, that same stern oficer returned my “thanks” with a very polite smile – it reminded me of the childhood days when I lived near the military colony! The soldiers and officers at the displays were very cooperative and answered all our silly questions – and even the slightly more informed queries about the ammunition. The soldiers were kind to the old, helping them climb on to the tanks as they marveled at the technology. And they were very responsible in making sure that nobody got hurt.
I think that at least the military is fairly independent! But as for us, we still need to gain true independence! So… Forward! March!
I believe in you India! We can do it!
PS Yes this is a long winding rant, and though slightly interlinked – it staggers away from the topic – but isn’t it the nature of the thought train?
Originally uploaded by Harshad Sharma (हर्षद शर्मा).
I wish I could just sit there, like the round red rock, and watch the beauty of nature all day!
My wish is being fulfilled partly through my change to Photography as a full time profession. When I’m not photographing some event or idling away at the computer, I’m usually out photographing this beautiful world!
There are few things as satisfying as being one with nature. Just walking around in the hills, seeing the marvels of God’s artistic creations. Enjoying the patches of light and shade formed by the racing clouds overhead…
Listening to the sounds of leaves dancing in the wind. An upset cricket creating its little sonic mayhem. Water, obeying gravity. Though these subtle things cannot make it into a photograph in their true form – I try to capture the spirit of the moment nevertheless.
Watching the sun go down across the horizon… quickly making adjustments to the camera to shoot in the little light left behind and seeing the the world now unseen by the eye… and finding beauty all around.
Sigh! If only I could be assured that all this would stay just as nice as it is… maybe even get better, more beautiful!
Everyone is a spectator in this world. We go on, live our own lives, all consumed by our own little issues and complaints. Somewhat like this rock.
If there is to be a difference between me and the boulder, I need to show signs of life – of awareness to the happenings to the environment around me. And, if I wish to call myself a good human, I cannot ignore the fact that I need to improve this world as much as I possibly can.
This is a rant, an introspection and an appeal… please save our environment! Don’t pollute. Don’t choke mother nature! The existence of our species depends on our own actions! Humans have foresight… use it! Please!!!
A lot happens over a cup of tea. People exchange their everyday concerns; the weekly dose of gossip; make new friends; take matrimonial decisions; share the weather report and the hot news; argue; flirt; make the final adjustments to that important report… write blogs
Tea is the company to a solitary soul and a silent listener to many-a-conversation. It gives a refreshing warmth as well as a comforting reassurance… “life isn’t as bad as it looks”, when things are going wrong. Tea is also the common man’s way of celebrating life’s little victories.
When two travellers, complete strangers get stuck in their way and meet, more often than not, one of them will ask “chai lenge?”
Visitors are often asked “Chai?” (“Tea?”)… be it rain or shine. Though people say “no”, it is assumed that they will enjoy a couple of sips with their host.
Even the corrupt officials love tea… especially because it gives them an excuse to walk away from the desk for other business.
“Chalo, chai lekar aate hain” is a common way of letting a person know “we need to talk…”
But apart from these few negative connections, tea emerges as the single most strong glue that binds India together. Yes, that’s what tea does – it keeps India together!
We all hear about major hardware failure, thought I’d change the story a bit… finally got a DVD Writer and a few DVD-Rs, backed up all my photographs on 3 DVDs. From a 2 mega-pixel camera… 14 thousand files – 10 Gigabytes of images! And loads of other stuff still to go…
I wonder how much bits I’m going to generate once I lay my hands on the dSLRs Maybe a DVD every week heh heh heh
Anyway, it’s good to know that is a software/hardware issue threatens my photographs today – it’s not going to hurt me as much. Though an earthquake could do a lot of harm! (Still need to make two copies of the 3-DVD set and send to friends across the country)
Is backup THIS serious? Yes. I once lost 3 months worth photographs – because I forgot to copy them over during the final backup before a format-reinstall!!! And… I got most them back, because I had sent a CD to a cousin, that included the best photos from those 3 months. Unintentional, but useful backup.
Moral of the story: send gift CDs to your relatives If I send say, 100 photos of 800×600 quality (because I’m paranoid and afraid that someone will grab the CD and sell my original photos)… so where was I? Yes, if I send 100 such “gift” photos, I also send an encrypted file containing the same 100 original files. They can access the low-res for their enjoyment… if need be, I can recover the originals. Not a bad deal is it?
Anyway, I’m tired – been awake since 02:00… it’s been a very busy day. I submitted the broadband request form to BSNL today, hopefully I should have it in 1 month (waiting list, they say). Anyway, now its 21:36… I’m sleepy.
temp = “!dlroW thgiN dooG”
temp2 = “”
for x in range(1,len(temp)+1):
temp2 += temp[len(temp)-x]
The only thing constant, is change.
While sipping on the morning tea, I am collecting all my XML data, posts from all previous blogs, and importing them into this new blog. Uniting my collective rant of over two years into one place.
The history goes like this – after blogging on blurty.com for a while, I moved on to livejournal.com… then to blogger.com and now to WordPress.com. I liked blogger.com because it allowed me to keep my blog on my own server and integrate it with my website. But I have noticed that it is better to keep the two seperated – since my website now represents me as a professional… and my blog is very casual/personal/silly in nature.
Apologies to those few gems of friends who have bookmarked my site, you will have to update those bookmarks.
Oh, and hopefully, as I find out more features here, I will be able to improve my blogging skillz too!
Good luck to this new blog!
Not that I am scared of those telemarketing calls… I am serious when I say that they are destroying my sleep!
I am working on a software project that keeps me awake till 5 am… and pushes my sleep schedule ahead. So when I’m trying to get some sleep, these people decide to ring my phone and harass me over some new feature they are offering… a facilitator for telling lies – background tones, from Idea Cellular. I wonder how they can so openly advertise that they are selling a tool for malice? I seriously wonder…
Now, I already get a lot of SMS junk… I can ignore it most of the time, but phone calls are too much. I guess it is time for a legislation similar to USA’s “Do Not Call” registry. Or I would accept them if these companies gave me money for listening to these junk calls Don’t they charge you premium rates for their fancy facilities? Then they must give you equal compensation when they access your premium services – “attention” and later “money”!
Anyway, time to get back to work