Sunday, January 27, 2013

Driverless Car! Thanks to Google!

Well, guys it is time to gear up for a nice ride! No actually, you don’t need to, especially if you are looking at driving a car. The reason? Ladies and gentlemen please brace yourselves to welcome Google’s driverless car! But maybe, few years from now! Google, tussi great ho! I don’t know how many of you have read about this driverless car, so I just thought I will share a thing or two about this amazing new development I read about on the Forbes Magazine portal. To begin with, hold your breath, as this car has potential worth trillions. While on the one hand this monumental development has in store business opportunities which can overshadow the current search engine leader, at the same time it will have serious repercussions on auto related businesses. On the brighter side there are claims that such a wonder car can –
  •    Decrease the number of traffic accidents
  •    Time and energy wasted on commuting from one place to other and
  •    Reduction in the number of cars

So basically, if such world class cars by Google come about, we will have safer roads, where in the deaths, injuries and direct implications of road accidents would be significantly reduced. All these things would come as a huge relief for WHO. According to studies and statistics on road traffic mishaps by WHO, road traffic injuries is going to be fifth major cause of worldwide death by year 2030, making up for 3.6% in all. Now, this car could be good news for developing countries like India, as we would not have to reproduce car centric infrastructure characteristic to the western world. And save a lot of money! Ha! Hah! Google’s driverless car will also aid in reducing pollution! But this will be bad news for spare part dealers, emergency care centres in hospitals, car insurance providers or even the need for a car which is very strong enough to take a real beating by another one.
It will be amazing and interesting to see how the colossal car related investments are channelized if some of the basic assumptions were based on this driverless car! In a nutshell folks, such a car not just makes for a fabulous paradigmatic shift in auto technology, but  it could render tremendous socio-economic advantages the world over.
I will vroom off here! Will keep you posted on this!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Justice Finally, But is it Worth Really?

The morning dawned with splashing of news of former Haryana CM Prakash Chautala and his son’s arrest all over the news channels, online news portals and any other news medium one could think of. It was just interesting to notice the irony in our political scenario. While a certain party supremo is let off and has regained his position, the other is now going to have face imprisonment. The judgement was passed amid a lot of violence outside Rohini Delhi Court complex. Teachers' recruitment scam landed the 78 year old politician in trouble along with his son. Well, der aaye, but is it durust aaye? No doubt this is a welcome decision as far as curbing corruption goes.  But what about the other politician whose corrupt practices were blatantly proved? He was let off and he is slated to be reinstated to his previous position. It is such an irony really. And to add to it, there was this breach of ceasefire agreement between us and Pakistan. And suddenly as one my favouritest (I know this word does not exist but cannot help using it) author, Shobhaa De, opined Nirbhaya and Delhi gang rape case is out of limelight and rapes are happily being committed. Wow! This is all so awesome. I hope this turmoil on all front soon gets over and some peace prevails. OHH and yes, The ever charismatic and dimpled Rahul Gandhi was made the Congress Vice President after a huff and puff. Finally! It is however, to be seen as to how he connects with the young and restless India. I really think our leaders should come out of their isolation and disconnectedness from the common man and take a cue or two from the honourable President of United States. We can certainly do away with administrators who are not restricted to a wheel chair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Finally, a Good Win for Dhoni and Co.

Yes, finally, a well deserved victory for the Men in Blue yesterday on 15 January. Perhaps the fact that I was completely indifferent about it helped! :P  I have been told that whenever I am not interested and not watching India match, we win! So much for superstition! On a serious note, the spark which was not seen in our players for quite some time, (inspite of being there) shone well on a reasonably pleasant afternoon in Kochi.  A poor run of performances was finally given a full stop, for the time being. Even as there were a couple of things to be worried about, India got it right for most part in yesterday’s encounter.
It was not at all heartening to see the likes of Gambhir and Rahane failing to click and deny India a good start once again. But propelled by Chandigarh Southpaw Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Raina, Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, India put on a formidable score – 285 on the scoreboard. Kudos to them! Dernbach had his last laugh, which was actually very early in the day, ironically, as later on he was not spared by Dhoni (72 runs, 55 balls) and Ravindra  Jadeja’s (61 of 36 balls) onslaught. Jadeja hit Dernabach for 20 in his last over! Much to the chagrin of the naysayers, Jadeja proved his worth with the bat this time around and justified his place in the team as a capable all rounder. Later in the day he scalped important wickets of rookie Joe Root and Chris Woakes to almost seal an Indian victory by a whopping 127 runs. Captain capable (I would like to call him that) and cool again showed his mettle in this format. He is in a great knick currently. India scooped almost 110 runs in the last 10 overs, because of his gargantuan effort denting the morale of Captain Cook and his band.

In the second innings Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed gave India the early breakthroughs with Jadeja and Ashwin chipping in with 2 and 3 wickets respectively. Young Kumar took 3 in his 10 overs with an economy rate of just below 3 runs, which was seriously superb. It was all over when the new improved Dernbach (sporting a month long beard) got run out, thanks again to the effort of Jadeja and Dhoni. Indian captain’s astute captaincy and presence of mind too had a lion’s share in yesterday’s comprehensive win over the English. Making smart bowling changes, sticking with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and getting close in fielders for a new batsman to the crease, all proved crucial for this win. I was delighted to see the result late in the evening and immediately rushed to see the highlights and felt that it was really a well deserved victory  for Dhoni and Co. Although I wonder what if Dhoni , Raina and Jadeja had not gone about their business well, what would have happened after we were down 18 for 2.
All the same, I think it is not for me to be worried about, Captain cool in Dhoni is tailor made for that and will surely know how to deal with this nagging issue. At the end of the day, I was happy to see our team rising up to the occasion. Of course there is still a lot more cricket left in this ODI series. I hope we keep the winning streak and morale booster from this win intact.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Where is Our Society Heading Towards?

RAPE. This is the only thing I am reading about these days. And as if the whole incident was not gut wrenching enough, anyone who thinks he or she is an authority on Bharatiya Sanskruti, is going on a rampage giving advice to the fairer sex. From wearing Burkhas to chanting mantras to migrating to rural areas, everything (only condition is that it has to be outright outrageous) has been suggested to girls to avoid being raped, molested and murdered, with incomprehensible and unimaginable brutality (in a few cases). Candle light vigils, protest marches and other acts of defiance notwithstanding, I really wonder how much will it help. I totally support these acts of solidarity, but will it ever be able to transform the draconian laws and the stereotypical male mindset? In one of the columns in a leading English daily by a luminary on social affairs a couple of days back a very valid point was raised.
The column said that unless and until women are looked at as individual entities, detached from all the relations (daughter, sister, mother, niece, aunt ) and umpteen others, the change will not come about. The tradition of perceiving women as a thing of possession is nothing new for our Indus valley civilization. Women were never traditionally touted or supposed to be the bread winners or at par with men. Manusmriti relegated fairer sex to sit pretty and give birth kids and take care of the household. There never was equality between the two sexes. Having said this, it is also a gruesome truth that women themselves, to some extent bring about the downfall of other women. Dowry deaths, biased would be mothers aborting their daughters in the womb and so many other instances can be quoted where women have turned against their fellow beings.  Ofcourse this is the very tip of the iceberg and there is a whole lot more to this vast issue pervading socio-political-historical references and contexts.
I really wonder sometimes, where we as a nation and society are moving towards. Are we going back in time? Where women were not supposed to go out and work and not voice their opinion and be fully clad? And most importantly, fear the male species with their eyes cast down? No mobile phones, banning jeans and venturing out after sunset, what does this really mean? I am appalled at the current scenario we are living in. There are such blaring contrasts. On one hand, we are using 3G, tabs, iPads, Audi cars, Porsches, the best of gadgets. On the flip side, when it comes to gender equality and doing away with the some of the irrelevant age old, suppressive and ridiculous traditions, we come to a naught. A standstill. Shobhaa De raised a fabulous point. Why should girls have a pepper spray in their pocket? Why can’t the guys be more mature? Why can’t women sensitize their sons about other women and tell them to respect them for what they are? Why do women have to pamper and cuddle their sons? Why are girls in a lot of cases made secondary?  A girl who has done MS from USA, when it comes to marriage is still asked if she can cook or likes to wear a saaree. Why can’t a girl wear short skirts and still be a great daughter in law and take care of her household. She can! For heaven’s sake! All the vamps in the saas bahu serials wear saarees!

All these questions are flooding my mind and have made me an insomniac. When will this change? I simply am clueless as to from where do these things about women come from.  Durga devis and Parvatis are you listening? We would rather be treated with respect, equality and basic humanity, than being garlanded and kept in a sanctum sanctorum and being worshipped.