Friday, January 17, 2014

Religion and Nationalism: Need or Burden??

Someone in my circle today posted his views that were somewhat criticizing religion and nationalism and inference was these are -ve things, below is what I replied:

Religion and Nationalism: both of these are EXTREMELY important and I feel they will remain so in near future. Reasons for this are many:

1. First and most important! It's almost impossible to judge something without getting attached to something else, what is good in one perspective is almost always bad in some other perspective. To deem something good/bad, we must have some rules and in almost all cases these come from either religion or nationalism.

2. We as humans are still not mature(read literate) enough to exist in singularity. For keep going(+ve or -ve), general public needs some kind of direction, goal, motivation, inspiration or whatsoever one may call it. In absence of it there will be a total chaos, everyone trying to follow their own set of rules and contradicting everyone else.

3. They bring in convergence by unifying people with similar thoughts, though someone can counter this by saying that in this case thoughts are being hardwired

Its true these have done a lot of harm, but we can't help it. Nothing is perfect and so are religion and nationalism. But I think, we so called modern, liberal idea holders are changing it bit by bit, expanding these very ideas, trying to get a day when we won't need religion and nationalism

Saturday, July 27, 2013

rote hai wo jinpe chat ni

Today while standing in my flat's balcony enjoying rain drops and unable to reach roof, below lines crawled my mind

रोते है वो जिनपे छत नि, बारिश में सर छुपाने को!  
रोये आज हम भी छत बिन, पर बारिश में भीग पाने को!!  

I posted these lines on fb and Vinay replied with below lines

Rote to wo bhi hain, jinke pas barish bi hai, chat bi hai, 
lekin nahi hai sath koi muskurane ko...  

Friday, December 28, 2012

3 days in Rajasthan

We started our 3 day Rajasthan journey from delhi on high note with some very enthusiastic co-passengers. We expected us to reach Jodhpur by 7:30 in morning. Our plan was like: 
Delhi >> Jodhpur >> Mount Abu >> Udaipur >> Delhi

Name of our train was  Mandore Express. According to an old tale, here in Jodhpur, there is a place called Mandore, which is hometown of Raavan's wife Mandodri.

We reached Jodhpur at around 8 AM, took an auto and booked two rooms in a hotel nearby railway station.
This was an awesome first day. Absolutely Fantabulous! We started with marvellous Ummed Bhavan palace, then went to Mehran Garh fort followed by Jaswant Theda, Madodri Fort and concluded at Massuria Hill.

Ummed Bhavan Palace

Ummed Bhaavan is a real beauty. Although not much to roam here as most part of it is now converted into hotel. For general public a museum is open with entry fee of Rs.20. It hosts artifacts belonging to royal family.

Mehran Garh Fort

This is situated on a hillock giving a spectacular view of The blue city, Jodhpur. It hosts a nice museum, several temples and the best of them all, The Mighty Cannons at top of the fort.

Jaswant Theda

This is a nice temple with a fine pond, great view and lots of peace. We got quite a few great photographs here and saw some nice n cute aliens as well ;)

Mandodri Garden and Fort

Mandodri fort is a quite cool place but its not well maintained. Thus is pretty dirty when compared to rest of Jodhpur. Here we saw two ancient temples and some nice view of city. A few of us saw goddess beauty materialized ;)

Massuria Hill

This was last spot in Jodhpur that we visited. It's a garden situated at top of hillock, giving great view of city, we missed sunset here just by few minutes :(, but still we enjoyed a lot. 

Ajay finally managed to hold a tall structure this time, it happened when he almost rooted out a TV tower :D

Day 2 - 19 Feb, 2012
We left our hotel at 4:15 AM for Mount Abu.

Today we visited 5 major points namely Nakki Lake, Guru Shikhar, Brahma Kumari Peace Park, Dilwara Temple and Sunset Point.

Nakki Lake

According to an idiom, this lake is made by angels using their own nails. There were boats and balloons to enjoy lake. Around lake their were some other attractions like horse ride,Rajasthani Folk dresses,  Bharat Mata Mandir and several food joints.

Guru Shikhar

Situated on top of a hill, it was at about 1 hr ride from Mount Abu. Drive to this was fun filled one, turning at sharp turns and stopping in between to get snaps. 

Here there were two temples one dedicated to Bhagwan Dattatreya and other was of DeviJi. 

Nearby was a physics observatory, which seemed to be a prohibited place for general public.

Brahma Kumari Peace Park

This was some sort of meditation center I felt. Here we got an information byte, that Shiv and Shankar are not same. Shankar is god whom we all do worship, while Shiv is the divine flame, the Para Brahma.

Dilwara Temple

It is a Jain temple and is absolutely magnificent. The best thing was the way temple people managed crowd to let them know history of temple. They later ask for voluntary monetary contributions but that I didn't found bad as they gave us some knowledge bytes in return for that ;) 

It was a good overall experience here.

Sunset Point

This is dirtiest of the places that we visited in mount Abu. Although an enjoyable experience, this place doesn't has much to offer. You can come here for clean sunset, which we tried to enjoy. You should come here for high mountain views and diffused sunlight sunset. 

We left from sunset point at about 6:30 PM for Udaipur. Ride towards Udaipur was very fun-filled. We enjoyed antaakshri, stories of travel heroics from our driver and friends. We reached 'Udaipur, Venice of East' at around 10:30 AM, booked two rooms at a hotel and got dead.

Day 3, 20th Feb, 2012

We all remained dead till 7:30 AM, then were suddenly waked by our alarms ;)
We started this day, with a visit to Bhagwan Shiv's temple, as this was auspicious day of Shiv Ratri. From here we left for a rope-way, but that rope way failed to impress us. So from there we moved to Udaipur palace, which is a very nicely built fort, this one was huge and beautiful.

Photography inside this can be done only after paying Rs.200 fee. There were so many things inside here that now everything is messed-up in my mind.

From here we went to Fateh Sagar lake, this is a beautiful man made lake. Here we enjoyed boat ride, Nehru Park, Camel Ride and got some great photographs. This was a nice place but could have been better if we would have been able to enjoy Paddle-Boats as well, which were not working that day :'(

From Fateh Sagar lake we went to Saheliyo Ki Baadi but we got disappointed here not much to see here, total time waste. From here we went to Sajjan Garh.

Sajjan Garh (Monsoon Palace)

This was the best part of our Udaipur trip. Their was not much inside this fort, but way to reach here and the spectacular view of Udaipur city from here was absolutely fantastic.

We reached Udaipur station at 4:30 PM from where we had to board our train back to delhi at 5:20 PM.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beating Retreat - Beautiful Spiritual Patriotic


We were there in Amritsar for just a day and now I deeply regret that why I didn't spend some more time there.

Me and my two friends started our weekend trip on Saturday 3rd Dec, 2011 with a train journey from New Delhi station. We reached Amritsar at about 7:00 in morning. There we used sleeper waiting room(a good decision that saved both time and money for us ;) and left station at about 8:00 AM.

Outside station we made our second good decision of the day by hiring an auto for a full day, driver promised to make sure that we may not miss any of the important destinations of this city.

Journey Begins...

Mata Mandir Temple
This is at around 2 Kms from the railway station.

This temple has idols of several hindu god and godess but the major attraction is replica made of Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Temple.

This is a very good to be place in Amritsar if not must.

From here we went to Sheetla Mata Mandir
This is said to be 700 years old temple and is dedicated to Maa Sheetla. Please don't go with this pic, when deciding on 700 yrs :)

Our next stop was Durga Mandir
This you can call a miniature of The Golden Temple. Its made in same elegant style as that of golden temple itself. A gold laden temple between a blue water body, a very enriching experience.
"Bhagwaan ke sahare, 
     Bhakt bhagwaan ko uthaye"

Punjab aaye aur lassi na pee to kya khaak punjab aaye.
For those who don't know about Lassi, "Lassi is a traditional yogurt-based drink", for more details check wiki page of lassi :) 

Our next destination was The Golden Temple

One word, magnificent. Gold laden temple glittering in sun shine situated between blue water body with colorful fishes, its shadow floating on water making you feel simply mesmerized. 

There were thousands of devotees in queue to get inside the main building and several thousand other roaming in the sprawling campus.
relaxing @ golden temple
A very good thing here was no restriction on photography, which I loved a lot. Sitting calm, hearing chants of bhajan is special in itself. I can spend whole day sitting like this here.

Its said that there are no free lunches, but that's not the case here. Here free food is served to lakhs of people daily and the way its prepared, served and maintained is a story in itself. Even with this huge number of people to fed, you won't get a single improperly cleaned plate to eat.
There's a lot to tell but I feel this good enough for a glimpse.

From here we went to Jalian Waala Bagh
This is a landmark in history of Indian Freedom Struggle from british rule, a place in close vicinity of a holy shrine and an evidence of probably one of the greatest crimes in history. This place is such, that can invoke any mind in an instant.

Below image(right) shows signs of a barbaric crime done here. 

From here we hurried on to our next stop Wagah Border

From what I know till now, this is probably the only international border that is such a crowd puller. The day I visited, there were around 2-3 thousand people from Indian side alone.

Wagah Border hosts a military ceremony that takes place every evening before sunset. It starts with parading soldiers and then involves students in it, who run with national flag in their hands and dance on patriotic tunes. Charismatically dressed soldiers, national anthem and patriotism in air, these are all awe inspiring.
From here we headed straight back to station to catch our train back to delhi. This ends our trip to Amritsar - Beautiful Spritual Patriotic.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reservation in india - my view

From quite sometime I was thinking to start a blog on other than tech stuff. But it keep on getting postponed, but yesterday I read an article related to "Reservation in India" on one of the popular news website. There was a plethora of comments that readers have made on it some in favor of reservation and mostly against it. I too expressed my view there in comments, a few people agreed and some other argued, but after a couple of hours my comment got lost under the heavy inflow of comments. This encouraged me to start my postponed blog and so here I am with my views on reservation.

Initially I was strictly against this but gradually I started feeling that its a must for society like that of ours and thus now, "i am in favor of reservation in India".

What is Reservation
Reservation is something that is needed to make a sort of equilibrium between various communities by empowering those who are backward and under-represented in our society.

Actually its lot more than above two lines but I feel essence is that only.

How it should be
Reservation is to get equality between different sections of society, so it should act in way that may make under-privileged sections able to compete. People should not be given advantage while getting jobs or college seats instead they should be given upper hand in becoming capable enough to compete for these jobs and college seats. 

Those who are under privileged must be given cheaper education, food, living conditions, probably some hostel facilities or like. 

Giving easy pickings at jobs and seats at prestigious universities is like giving "walking stick" to a normal person, which will ultimately ruin his ability to walk properly on his own. Government should try to make people able to compete rather than spoon feeding few.

Zoo tigers who are spoon-fed loose their capability to kill and die soon if left in open forest.

How it is currently
Currently reservation in India is just a little more than a political tool to attract voters. 

There are two major issues with current implementation. First is that it is taken as a sort of revenge, "till now we were denied fair chances so now we should get chances undeserving". Second is, its based on caste.

Although both are harmful but I feel later is rather more drastic as its dividing our society.

Impact of current system
Going this way, even if we somehow we reach near balance between the societies(which is highly unlikely), that wont be sustainable as "easy pickings usually go easily as well". 

Also there may remain a pain in heart of lot of people who will feel deprived of chances even being deserving and that because of people who are not capable. 

What can we do
This menace can stop only when those who are under privileged will start feeling that they are not under privileged any more, which seems impossible but is not. This can become reality if we all start thinking positively.

First of all stop hating reservation in its entirety and start collaborating to help those who are under privileged, join NGOs who work for such causes. 

Secondly, try to elect representatives in political system that are learned and not those who ask for vote on name of their caste. And if you get some such good politicians then urge them to take this system in correct direction by improving education system and discouraging caste based reservation gradually.

Third and the most important step needs to be taken by those who are currently getting benefits of reservation, they should two things, one is to capitalize well on opportunity given to them(so that nation may not suffer due to incompetent people at important positions) and second to educate others from their society to become potent to compete rather than taking advantage of an unfair system.