Sunday, September 27, 2015

Commercials - kabhi bhi aur kahin bhi

The advantage for people who have been around during the seventies and eighties in India is that they have witnessed Indian television bloom, closely followed by the IT and telephony sector. Then came a revolution of sorts riding piggyback on smart phones, tablets and pads and it combined all of the above into one device.

Commercial break, I remember was not despised so much in those early days of Indian TV. Advertisers then were few and far in-between and the scheduled commercials brought in welcome break for the viewers to run out and complete some chores. This used to mimic the intervals we experienced while watching a movie in the theatre. However, what irritated the viewers were the unscheduled breaks the results of technical glitches. The most hated screen shot of the television that I can still vividly remember is “rukawat ke liye khed hai” or its English translation, “sorry for the interruption”.

When I walked into the TV room of our hostel during college days, I discovered another facet of life with realization that people could actually cheer a commercial in the TV. Some of the ads were always welcome and Cadbury perks by Priety was one such good example which the boarders were ready to embrace kabhi bhi aur kahin bhi. Chitrahaar was immensely popular then and the lyril soap advertisement surpassed it in popularity and not surprisingly some students even contemplated request Doordarshan to play the advertisement after each song.

Things have changed since then and excessive commercialization has taken over the media with advertisement taking precedence over the program they sponsor. The most effective way of tease a viewer is to deny them when they want it the most and our TV bosses has mastered this art. This philosophy could be seen in action during the cricket matches with commercials kicking in every time something exciting happens in field.

The companies appear to have made it their mission to make us learn their ads by heart. I wish one of these days they take it on themselves to make our kids learn some of their school lessons.

Imagine in place of commercials, multiplication tables keeps repeating for umpteen numbers of times with a small logo of the sponsoring company in a corner. In no time the entire nation will learn their tables by heart. Alternatively they could start repeating some formulas from physics or organic chemistry test books in-between a Salman khan thriller. At the end of the movie students across the country will master classroom chemistry alongside the on-screen chemistry of the artists.

What a noble cause that would serve!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Painting our Home – A Lean Philosophy

Pablo Picasso once said "Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions”. With a going to be 8 years doting daughter, it’s her emotions that changes and our family follows. Very few will disagree on the benefits of involving children in decision making process early in their life. This is particularly valid for such decisions that touch their lives constantly and colour of the living spaces is quite high on that list. Colour can communicate easily through symbolism and no wonder that white have been reserved by Priests, doctors and politicians.

This probably is the scenario in most households though the adults have to bring some rationale or even overrule their suggestions at times. Adults in this context usually refer to the ladies of the house as when it comes to colour schemes, the man even if he is a pro, doesn't stand a chance.

However, not everybody can visualize the final looks of any particular space based on a small swatch of colour available in the shade card. Many a times the final product comes as a bitter surprise to the owners generating unwanted stress and leading towards expensive rework. The "smart paint finder tool ” has ushered in a revolutionary new era where the family could gather around to select the colours looking at the end product painted virtually before splashing a single drop of paint on the wall. It is now less stressful for families who are looking forward to having their new dream home painted or having the house repainted.

This is an efficient method for saving cost and time for the owner at the same time friendly to the environment. This is a striking example of “lean philosophy” put into practice.

When it comes to the choice of colours, our genes are pre-coded and my daughter’s selection based on the “ dusted pink ” doesn't come as a surprise. As a girl moves towards adolescent her choice of colours shifts from pink towards purple. This embodies the balance of red simulation and blue calm. This dichotomy however, can be the cause of uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined letting purple take on the characteristics of its undertone. For adults like us this creates a sense of mysticism through its royal qualities like uplifting, calming mind and nerves and offering a sense of spirituality. Purple is often the favourite of very creative or eccentric people.

“I am participating in the #PaintFinder activity in Association with BlogAdda & Bed Bath & More

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wish They Taught This in Our School

We have grown up in the seventies and the eighties in which could easily be classified as a utopian society. Since child hood we have been hammered with only one mantra and that was Health is wealth. While there can be no argument that in today’s world health as the only wealth is not good enough. We often wish that somebody taught us these fundamental principles of life early in our lives.

Alas! The days of agriculture based economy does not exist any more for most of the urban generation. One could be as fit as a race horse but will still need other form wealth to gallop through a decent university to be worthy of picking up a job and start a family.

Today I give a sachchi advice to the young generation. It’s important to leave no stone unturned early in life to develop sound body and mind. But it is equally important to take all necessary steps early in the life to start the process of developing wealth with a firm footing. There are other aspects of health and wealth in addition to starting early that I would like everyone to focus. A few of those has been listed below for ease of reference:

  • Always maintain asset diversification
  • Remember to obtain assistance from subject experts
  • Review portfolio regularly to keep them relevant
  • Engage the services of a qualified financial & tax planner
  • Invest regularly during good economy as bad economy
  • Have enough risk coverage but strictly implement stop loss policy
  • Have patience during tough times and market volatility
  • Maintain liquidity in the portfolio, as you never know when there will be an emergency
  • Stay wealthy and live peacefully

Just knowing these is not enough and one has to put this into regular practise so that it turns into a habit. In the words of Aristotle “we are what we regularly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.”

“I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.”

Friday, September 25, 2015

What is DCIM Anyways?

The other day I was whiling away my time while my daughter was taking her music lessons. The pictures I have posted here are not worthwhile but something one would categorize as pure time pass. Nevertheless I tried to capture the moon in a night sky with a Samsung phone camera.

One thing has intrigued me was why pictures from all cameras gets stored in a folder called DCIM. What is DCIM anyways? 

I now discovered that many many moonlit nights back DCIM, which is an acronym for Digital Camera IMages, became the default directory structure for digital cameras.

Once a memory card is inserted into any camera, the camera immediately looks for a folder by the name of ‘DCIM' folder. That is true for every camera – whether it is a DSLR, other dedicated digital camera, Android phone or an Iphone. If it doesn't find one, it creates one and similarly some desktop image-editing programs are designed to look specifically for ‘DCIM' folders on any media inserted into the PC.

The DCIM folder and its layout come from DCF, a standard created back in 2003 by JEITA, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association.
There is more information available in the World of Internet for anyone willing to dig further.


Investment Idea Max India Ltd – A Sachchi Advice

Advices are available in abundance these days and given half a chance, we don’t hesitate to deliver one. An American comedian once stated that it is too bad that the only people who run the country are too busy driving a taxi cab or giving a haircut.

This makes it a bit more difficult for us to decide whom to listen to or whom not to and more importantly which one is genuine. There is no denying that we need advice to sail through our life, after all we cannot afford to make all the mistakes ourselves in one lifetime. The best strategy probably is to let other people advice but not let them decide for us. We need to be like the mythological swan that can drink the milk and leave the water behind.

But humans are strange animals. Most of them suffer from the congenital weakness that they know everything until off course when it’s too late. Only exception being the medical doctor but that too is now jiggling as people use Google first and then call for the physician.
The most difficult of all is to seek advice with our financial matters, primarily because of our suspicious nature. When we do decide to seek an advice, we check the age before considering his knowledge and expertise in that particular field.

The author of the blog Sense and Nonsense with Nirmalya Deb Roy who also happens to be my younger sibling once gave me an advice financial advice on 20 August 2010. It was about investing on Max India limited which I considered with all seriousness. I did invest around 300 thousands and it grew 3.15 times before I sold it for close to 1 million rupees. This for me was one of the Sachchi advices in life that ended as a success story worth sharing.

But it was not only recipient of this advice as he had also published the same in his blog post Investment Idea Max India Ltd. However, we cannot be certain as to how many people benefited from this or how much.  

But unfortunately he has stopped reaching out with financial advices to all through his blog and when I reasoned with him sometimes back, he reminded me of an old Irish proverb that says; don’t give cherries to pigs or advice to fools.

“I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My First Selfie on a VR tour

Virtual Reality or VR is not a new phenomenon.  During 1950s, Morton Heilig described an “Experience Theatre” that effectively engages all the human senses drawing the viewer into a on-screen activity. This vision was subsequently transformed into reality and a prototype called “Sensorama” was built and patented in 1962. When a stereoscopic bike ride scene of a movie was viewed in this, one would also have the hair blowing and complete with sound, smell et al.
Sensorama pre-dated digital computing and is a mechanical device but still considered the forerunner of today’s VR and Morton L. Heilig has been referred by many authors as the father of Virtual Reality.

VR has come a long way since then, riding piggyback on the gaming industry. This is also being extensively used to train the armed forces by simulating war front like situation,training commercial air plane pilots, simulating parachute jumping and the likes.

It has been making inroads into the life of common person through virtual museum or 3D imagery of popular architectural destination or archaeological sites. However, we are yet to witness virtual travel coming through at a commercial scale. I have a dream .... I want this to impact the life of all; the lazy, the crazy and everyone in between.

When that time comes the unable, disabled and differently-able person will become equally fortunate to experience joy of visiting popular, exclusive and exotic destinations from the comfort of the living room. That journey would be as real as physical travelling and not just talking to a fellow traveller along the way. It will effectively encompass all the other senses too.

I would want to feel the cold metal of the stainless steel hand rail standing on the edge, subconsciously trying to recognize the perfume the person standing next to me is wearing while I see the yacht on Thames getting smaller as we rise up on the capsule of the gigantic London Eye.

We hope to see this technology invade our lives sooner than later through our television screens, pads, tabs, smart phones and their apps. I am waiting for the moment when I will be taking my first selfie on a VR tour deep inside the Amazon or deep in the space.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Destiny? Think About It!

Story # 1

Ramdin was a poor man living in the village with his wife and children. He was not a god fearing person but loved his God. He prayed Lord Vishnu two times every day and remembered him every moment. But he was so poor that he could hardly make his ends meet.

Narod muni, the highest disciple of Vishnu was perplexed by this situation and could not understand why someone who was so devoted to his lord has to suffer so much. Where is his mercy!

Narod went up to lord Vishnu and begged, do something for this devotee of yours. He doesn’t deserve this suffering. The lord smiled and the land got the best weather in centuries. The crop yielded an unusually productive harvest while the trees were full of fruits. But poor Ramdin gained nothing out of it as he did not own any. 

Next time when they were together on the daily tour, Narod muni raised his concern about Ramdin. Lord said, “I gave the best harvest ever. What else can I do? If it’s not in his luck, its beyond me!”

“Prabhu look at the father and son going to the forest to collect wood to sell. They haven’t eaten anything since yesterday but still he prayed before he left his home. Please give him something directly this time.”

Lord said “since you are insisting, I shall try that as well.” 100 feet ahead of them in the jungle track, he dropped a bag of money and jewels.”

20 feet before they reached the bag, Ramdin told playfully to his son, “Let’s see who can walk the farthest with his eyes shut.”

When they opened their eyes, the bag full of wealth was far behind them.

Story # 2

Yamraj, one fine day came to Banshilal and announced: "Hey dude, your time in this world is now up. You have to come out with me."

Banshilal: "But I’m not ready!”

Yamraj:  "Well, that’s your problem. Your name is the first on my list and stop wasting my time."

Banshilal:"Okay, let me have one last cup of coffee before I leave. Please give me company for my last drink in this world."

Yamraj:"All right... "

Banshilal laced his coffee with sleeping pills. Yamraj fell into a deep sleep as soon as he drank it. Banshilal removed his name from top of the list and put at the bottom!

Yamraj had such a peaceful sleep after a very long time and was very pleased. He sat up and said: "Because you have been so nice to me, I will start my job from the bottom of the list. You will have some more time."


Whatever written in your destiny shall never change.

Do we really have to believe this?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Woman Power

The people of India have solemnly resolved through the constitution, to secure to all its citizens equality of status and of opportunity. There had been all the good intentions when this was formulated but once this were put to practice, it faltered. The closest we achieved is “equality among equals” and that too is limited within specific sections of our society.

Now to put things into Indian perspective, it’s not a secret that we are a vast country with thousands of years of heritage. It is also the confluence of matriarchal and patriarchal society with numerous cultures constantly adopting and lending values to one another. What we have today is diversity in unity and vice versa. In lay man’s term we can make a politically correct statement about Indians and surprisingly even the opposite of that statement will also be true. One good example is the statement “women are not safe in Indian roads” or “women do not have freedom in the Indian society”.

As far as my humble understanding goes all women and why single out women, everyone wants to be treated specially. There is not debate about it and that is not the point of this discussion either.
We cannot undermine the fact that some of us can do certain things better than others and this is due to hereditary, social upbringing, genome issues or some other reason that I am not aware of. Again there are some activities that used to be a male or female domain for reasons there were unarguably valid half a century back but not any longer owing to industrial revolution and other technological developments, while perception of our society remained  unchanged. One good example is that of a warrior who had to be big and mighty then but today anyone with a gun is equally capable of defending the nation while our perception remained that women cannot handle it. The perception is built as our children still indoctrinated to with age old concepts with gender centric toys with the girls getting kitchen sets while boys get a machine gun.

Whether we want to give it or not, today’s women take their share of dominance in the society and equally participate in all good and bad things that a man does. We have seen women reaching the pinnacle in all possible direction from being a corporate CEO to visiting the outer space. When the pictures of institutions like ISRO flashes on our television screens after a successful mission, we see men and women sitting side by side giving us the thumps up.

The Indian society is nowhere near where it should be as we witness regularly how the mighty and the shrewd take advantage of weak and vulnerable.  While men own lion share of injustice and cruelty against women, violence by women against women in all possible forms are not rare.
Coming back to the prime motion of if today’s women want to be treated equally, my understanding is that they want to be treated differently equally and as differently equally they look at men the folks in their personal life. This is because each one of us is unique by our own rights because of our internal constitution excluding those for the sake of this argument who has been oppressed by the society as a whole or own family in particular.

In this respect I would refer a speech, I once heard by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, by far the most powerful woman India has seen in the recent history. She was addressing a large audience about creating opportunities for people and their ability of availing those. She gave an example of setting up a well-resourced library in a town with equal access rights to every individual. But more educated the person is, more gain shall he make from this project while the illiterate will lose out completely. Giving advantage similar to golf handicap ranking will not be sustainable in the long term.

While the environment could be made conducive for equality, all people, men and women alike will have to take their own step forward to develop themselves to make equality for all a reality. Otherwise it will remain a relative term tangled in linguistic complexities such as equality among the equals etc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We are like this only!

A Mumphaliwala (person selling roasted peanuts) used to go around the neighbourhood in my childhood selling roasted peanuts in cones made of old newspapers along with a minuscule pack of salt. He had to shell out a few extra packs of salt as freebies to keep his consumer content coming back.

Someone enlightened me quite early that “Maximum Retail Price” was the highest price at which that product could be sold and the aim should be bring it down from there. But the customer was not the king when I was a kid and the shopkeeper charged the MRP. I am talking of the seventies when availability was limited choices did not exist and Bajaj Cheetak scooter used to have 15 years waiting.

But haggling and bargaining was the order of the day for everything that did not have MRP printed on it. The common man had a sense of victory being able to knock down the asking price. The victory lap would however be short-lived with the neighbours announcement that his second cousin has brought the same stuff for 8 rupees less.

But today the customer is the king and one can easily cut a deal even while buying a refrigerators or a television set. Kolkata they say is the most (in) famous when it comes to this skill, where a street vendor like the phuchkawala (panipoorie seller) is not spared by a well versed Kolkata shopper. He cannot escape without giving that free dry poorie, locally known as churmur at the end of each session.

But his is not about Kolkata, this is us from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. We, the Indians, love to haggle and take immense pride in what we do. We all know a uncle or aunt or a neighbour who has earned the honour of being the best negotiator in this respect.

If you thought this is limited to street vendors and the shopkeepers, my friend, you are grossly mistaken! Leading architectural practices, I have witnessed, bear the brunt of this extraordinary “little extra” phenomena. In the nineties, we were working on design for high rises on Barakhamba road and other places around Lutyens Delhi.

While preparing designs for those multi-storey towers, the firm also had to provide some services as extras. Trust me, I am serious! It was an extension to his farmhouse or an additional floor to her bungalow or something similar.

We used to wonder if the surgeons faced similar situation whereby a patient says “I shall have my heart operated, but you have to operate my knee cap for free!” 

But, we are like this only!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Maya, The Illusion

There was repeated outage of the internet signal and I kept watching those irritating circles on my screen every time the system tried to retrieve information for me. I became philosophical as I was forced to ask myself the what if question. 

Does everything that we believe to be our own, belong to us or its all Maya, an illusion?

All documents, important project information, communication and testimonies received through emails are not ours but captives in the servers belonging to Microsoft, Yahoo, Google or some other service provider. Without a proper connection I don’t even stand a chance of viewing them.

We work tirelessly and what remains of our hard earned money are nothing but numerals in our bank accounts, other financial institutions, stock exchange or maybe a builder who has agreed to deliver a pricey bit of real estate. Probably you would never dwell there as it’s your second, third or nth such property.

The valuables acquired over a lifetime are stashed away in the lockers of a bank or a security service provider. You will visit those only a couple of times a year. Even that access to the locker could be denied for a slight mismatch of the signature.

Our family is without doubt ours but they are too far away from where we now live and work. We are with them only a couple of times every year, while our children prepare to flies away looking for better prospects. We do everything within our limits to make this a reality.

We struggle and waste lot of our energy for achieving things that we either do not use or we do not require. The following are a few striking examples:

  • We aspire for high end hand phone and 70% of the functions are useless to most of us.
  • 70% of the features of our cars are not needed and we can only drive at 50% of the maximum speed.
  • We dream of a luxurious villa and 70% of the space will not be occupied.
  • As we peep into the wardrobe we discover that 70% of the clothes are not worn.
  • We have a collection of watches and 70% of them have run out of battery
  • Sadly we work hard to save money all our life and 70% of that is left behind for other people to use.

So need to understand what is “Maya” and what is reality to start living our life for today. Let’s thrive to achieve only what we need and anything more is a bonus. We not have to be a perfectionist to enjoy what we have today.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a Present for us to open and relish.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ministry set to announce new TV broadcast rights deal, believed to be worth about $2 billion

My Faking News

NEW DELHI: Information and broadcasting (I&B) minister is likely to take a view on the contentious issue of whether to proceed with monetizing the crime investigations in the country though selling of broadcasting rights of all information related to the case.
The high cost involved in the case of Sheena Bora murder including air travel of her un-extended family has been an eye opener. The ruling party has agreed to bring a bill in the parliament to allow provision for self-financing of such investigations.  A well-informed source in the ministry said that many options has been considered and zeroed down on auctioning of the broadcasting rights.
Sources say the Government is ready with a draft on One Crime One Sponsorship (OCOS) scheme in addition to annual broadcasting rights. These could be rolled out as early as January 2016 to take advantage of the usual high crime rates during the New Year revelations.
A general consensus exists on this among the politicians in principle including those who never had any principle. The politicians seem to have agreed to end this injustice where the government spends all the money to carry out the investigations while the media makes the money. “Humko to kya milta hai? Babjee ka thullu!” exasperated one of the senior leaders.
Sources said that the decision would depend on government's view on "economics of offence''. A police sources has also informed “we are holding back on taking action on numerous other cases dating back to 2013, till the government finalize the broadcasting rights issue.”
Stars TV, is believed to be aggressively lobbying to win the broadcasting rights that is expected to start in 2016 and run for at least five years. The deal, which also includes internet and mobile rights, was valued at Rs 13340 crores (approximately $2 billion) by some experts.

Although the parliament has to formally ratify this, there has been high level of enthusiasm amongst the lawmakers. Senior leader, Mr. Hardik Kumar, commented “ Humra rajya ko sabse zyada munafa hoga...aur is amdani se ...hum pichrapan bhi hata payenge!”. 

Whispering Souls

Anita, the younger of the two step sisters was passing by and a part of the discussion perhaps caught her attention. She hesitated, probably thinking if it would be rude to interfere while a couple was in a conversation.
As Ron moved towards his car, she said, “some paranormal experience, eh!” 
You have started eavesdropping, these days. Eh!”Ana mimicked her sister’s tone.
Nah! I was passing by and could not help listening. Actually, I am more eager to tell you what Robin had experienced last week.
So Robindra is back. I quite do not understand why a person would change his name from Robindra to Robin!” Anita said it was all about personal choices, stopping short of questioning why she had halved her name to Ana from Ananya.
This is about shadows and spirits of dead people, I am guessing.” Ana said, displaying a great deal of interest and curiosity.
Somewhat similar but not exactly”, she continued to narrate how excited Robin was to visit his sister for the first time since she moved abroad.
"It was a coincidence that he had to accept a temporary assignment in a city close to where his sister had relocated, and grabbed the first opportunity that came with a long weekend."
And then”, Ana said expressing impatience at the detailed introduction.
Even thinking of the unique experience that he had there makes my hair stand on end.
Let’s go and sit in the sofa” Ana suggested and both walked towards the living rooms grabbing a bottle of water on their way. Sitting in the sofa Anita started to describe the entire episode in vivid details.

Robin had reached his sister’s house on a Thursday but had to spend that evening alone as they were unable to cancel an important social dinner. He was not willing to accompany his sister either as he didn’t know the host.
Once he was alone he took to the couch multitasking between watching TV, reading and dozing off, an art he mastered over the period of time. Suddenly he realized that was very hungry and it was already 10:05.But his loving sister had arranged the dinner at the table in small ceramic bowls and left detailed instructions on how long to warm each of those in the microwave.
Once he switched the television off, silence descended on the apartment except for the humming of the air conditioner. He began to wonder if he missed the noise of constantly moving vehicles with their sporadic honking that he was so used to back home. Sometimes one could also listen to people talking on the street outside. Some people have such high pitched voice he thought. But on the contrary the acoustics of this apartment has made this place totally noise proof.

The thread of his thought was broken, when he had the uncanny feeling that someone else were sitting at the table. But he ignored it and concentrated at his dinner, which was home-made and delicious as he missed both these qualities these days.

After a while it was evident that a man and a woman were talking at the far end of the table but he could not recognize the language. More scared then perplexed, he looked in the direction of voice again and it immediately stopped.

He resumed his dinner and so did the whispering. It continued till he stared at that direction.
After the fourth time Robin interrupted their chat, an irritated ‘argh’...  came from that direction followed by an extended pause.

Robin was trying hard not to panic and kept gulping his food with water and soon realized that they have moved to the sofa as he could hear them faintly from that direction.
He is still trying to remember if he had heard the sound of chairs being pushed back for getting up before they went to the sofa.

Robin was on the verge of collapse when, Lilly opened the door and walked in along with her husband. Looking at him they had no doubt as to what had happened.

She ran to him saying, “I should have told you about this non intrusive couple living with us ever since we moved to this place. It’s a very peaceful coexistence and need to get scared.
You know in this places people bury their dead instead of cremating,” she continued “and many a soul hang around unable to detach from the body they cared for so long!

Fortunately for him, his station chief called him the next morning asking him to return immediately because of an emergency. Never in his life was he so happy to get his holiday curtailed.

Ana looked at Anita with a faint smile in her face, not knowing what to say!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Wolf In The Sky

I was coming back home yesterday. I looked up at the sky and thought I spotted an animal up there. Felt an irresistible urge to stop for a photo shoot. .. and so did I.

Not sure what it was, I consulted my daughter and she said, "It is a wolf. It has pointy ears, two hands and fur like a wolf."

How can someone question such conviction!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

An Encounter With Spelling Alphabets

We were final year students at one of oldest Engineering Colleges of India, near Calcutta and two of us joined our first job as undergraduate trainee in a company in New Delhi by the name of DCS (name changed). This was formed by borrowing the first alphabets from surnames of three partners (Dhawan, Chopra and Sharma) and the firm specialized in Master planning and landscape architecture.

We as Bongs, an identity we discovered for the first time after reaching Delhi, grew up with the notion that corruption was rampant in Delhi and any other Indian cities outside the boundary of Bengal. Consequently we too were suspicious about all activities going around us both inside and outside our offices. One evening my friend came back home bewildered.  

After a bit of persuasion he confided in us and disclosed what found out by chance. “Our firm is running a racket and have multiple operations under the same name” he said softly. We were all ears to him as he continued, “I heard with my own ears when the secretary was telling someone over the phone that the name DCS stood for DELTA, CHARLIE and SIERRA”.

What ensued was pure entertainment to say the least.

These are actually called spelling alphabets or NATO phonetic alphabets.  26 code words in the NATO phonetic alphabet are assigned to the 26 letters of the English alphabet in alphabetical order as follows: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu. NATO phonetic alphabet

Friday, September 4, 2015


I looked at the Sun while returning home this afternoon and found it setting. It looked lovely. I pulled up the car to the side and took a couple of pictures. I thought I was Sun-struck!

Despair: Silly me! I thought I invented the term Sun-struck. I imagined myself at the threshold of gaining fame and prosperity for being able to use my fertile mind in successfully remixing the word Moonstruck.

Reasons: I looked up in the dictionary and lo, it enlightened me that this exists in full glory. It refers to someone who is affected or touched by the sun. Incidently it has been in use since 1794.

Conclusion: Inventing something is becoming increasingly difficult, 'am say!!!... but we can discover something new in our world every moment.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The story of Beilzebub, Ghidora & Tiny Demons

Many many years back, there was a beautiful, quiet and prosperous country at the foothills of the mighty mountains. The world then was a very different place, full of green forests, blue waters and ice capped mountains that shone like diamond in the morning sunlight. There was a big village in that country called Adorable.

Everyone liked this place and that is why it was named Adorable. A large river went through the middle giving water to everyone and plenty of small streams danced along, playfully. The water was as clear as crystal. One could see all animals swimming happily and smiling whenever someone stood by the river banks. The air was always fresh and full of intoxicating scent of exotic flowers and fruits. A dense forest surrounded the village from two sides while the snowcapped mountains guarded the other two sides. 

The king was famous for his benevolence and people were so happy that they always thanked their gods for the blessings bestowed upon them. Gods too loved this land and often visited in disguise. They used to fondly call this their mini-heaven.

One day Beilzebub, the devil came to know of Adorable and was very jealous of its abundance, wealth and happiness. He sent Ghidora, the 3-headed monster along with his wife Arachna to bring anarchy and induce sadness. They happily accepted the task and immediately moved to a large cave in the middle of the forest. They caught 5 strong men from the village and took away their heads. They became five dreaded Dulkhams or the headless horsemen responsible to guard the forest day and night killing anyone who dared to come near the cave.

Ghidora then sent Skeleton, his witchy black cat to the king with a message to provide fresh human flesh and blood every day or else he would destroy everyone. The king was helpless as the mighty Gods also could not do anything to save the people of Adorable.

The king gathered all the priests of the land in the royal temple and together they prayed to Hardes, the god of the underworld seeking his blessings. Hardes was pleased by the prayers and promised to send a savoir.

Next morning a stranger appeared in their village, riding a white horse and carrying a sharp sword that was shining bright in the morning sunlight. He was handsome, strong and brave and introduced himself as a warrior from the north and his name was Spike. He promised “tomorrow, I shall go to fight Ghidora and bring an end of all your miseries.”

The brave warrior confronted the 3-headed beast early in the morning as promised. Adorable was taken by the sound of clinking of metals and battle cries. After enduring a long and fierce battle that lasted for many hours, Spike killed the beast and sliced it into tiny little bits with his sharp sword. Arachna  ran for her life, carrying skeleton in her lap and never to look towards Adorable in her life.

Just then Beilzebub arrived to the scene and was furious to find out what has happened to his monster. He decided to take revenge and used his evil powers to reconstitute those tiny bits of Ghidora into millions of tiny monsters equipped with wings and a trunk to collect blood from humans. Since that day mosquitoes filled the earth and constantly flying around sucking blood of humans trying to take revenge for the slaying of Ghidora.

The people of Adorable got back their peace and the king was so happy that he gave the hand of his daughter, the beautiful princess to Spike and they got married in a grand ceremony.

But Beilzebub still watches over his tiny demons from above the clouds and reconstitutes new mosquitoes, every time you smash one between your palms. Now you know why the number of mosquitoes never goes down in this Earth.

This is specially written for my daughter who loves short stories.