U name it

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Chai .......Chaiiiiii

Chai ..chai…..im sure all who have traveled by train in India, have heard tht call on railway stations…… here are tit bits frm the train journeys tht I have undertaken……the hustle bustle..the dust make train journeys so much different from the West…….though now some trains are as comfortable as in West otherwise its more like the fight to survive…….without reservation .. urgently needed to get to Delhi……imagine ppl asking money to get u in the compartment…..how …..well they made ppl stand in front of the door and then pushed them inside ….i did mange to get in but it was so crowded it seemed I wud die with suffocation some how managed to clamber out………

The best journey without doubt was to Calcutta when I used to travel with the school team…the whole coach used to be reserved for us…and it used to be gr8 fun…..even though it took some 20 hrs……however once it almost turned into a nightmare…..the train stopped at some station n some one tried to get in our coach, when one guy just pushed him out n locked the door….now tht guy did not get down…he was just hanging outside …the train crossed the flooded Ganges river…stopped at the next station ….which was very small.n suddenly some 60-70 college students appeared…..threatening n abusing us….for having thrown out tht guy…wht if tht guy had fallen in the river…we just sat inside with doors n windows locked…..suddenly heard those cries…put the coach on fire……all so tensed ..so scared…some of those young gals n guys began to cry……not a single cop in sight……I knew something had to be done otherwise we cud be roasted alive there…..i opened a window guys thought I was crazy …..very politely I apologized to them…we are all like ur younger brothers n sisters…we are also students like u guys….wht if ur own younger brother made a mistake……it more than worked…they actually shouted slogans….students ekta zindabad (long live students unity)….

Its so difficult to sleep in trains…….u so worried abt the luggage ……there are so many thefts…fortunately never happened with me…..though once some one tried to snatch my watch ..i was sleep when this guy opened the window, frm outside.. as the train left the station he tired to break it free from my wrist….i managed to grab his hand..but he got away ……though lot of women get bleeding ears….when the ear rings are ripped off…..gold chains are easy target too…….then there are those conmen at railway stations….once I got down to buy a drink..when this old man walked up..some one stole my wallet..have no money to get home….i bought his sob story gave him Rs 50….two weeks later happened to be at the same place..the same guy begins his story…..then he recognized me n hurriedly left….

From school we often went for those adventure walks….tht day we were going along the tracks ..kind of forest area..four of us…..barely teens…..suddenly this goods train came n stopped….it was headed towards the city and we jumped in thinking tht it wud stop some where b4 it got to the station and we wud come back…….it eventually stopped on the station…..as we got down….a cop is already waiting……where’s the ticket…wht ticket …do goods trains have a ticket ? …told him wht had happened but he wud have none of it…lets go….god if he went n complained we wud get away frm here but when the school principal comes to know surely we wud be thrown out……plzz we wont do it again…….finally all right……give me Rs 16…..(4 for each)…..i pulled out a Rs 20 note here.. I don’t have the change.. keep tht too…..but no..he was a very honest cop . ) come…takes us to a tea stall….orders tea for us…..brought the kids to show the station……gulped tht hot tea and walked back all those 7-8 kms to the school…..wht a joy ride…….

Hmmm got on the train frm delhi…..put my things n look up…..wow wow……..there was this really beautiful gal …don’t know how it started but soon we got talking ……who cared if other ppl were getting ready to sleep….walks in a villain from some where (must have been some relative of hers)…..is this going to end so soon…..he offers the gal another seat ……hmmmm ..she says she is fine am not going any where…….not again…..after some 15 mins it’s the TC (ticket collector )….even though she protested but he changed her seat to all ladies coupe……..why why……n tht was it…..did not c her again……..will always hate tht TC…….

Guys/gals below 18 can skip this one………..in a second a/c coach there are 4 berths which u can separate frm the passage with a curtain…….so when the train pulled out frm the station arnd 9 PM.. there were 4 of us..me a frnd….an Inspector General of Police and a middle aged woman…..those two looked liked or pretended to be strangers to each other….we talked for while then went to sleep….the top two berths we had taken….IG was on the one below mine……..must have been arnd 3 am when some how I woke up…..wht are those sounds……aahhhhh ahhhh ouuccchhh…..oh god….glanced at the ladies berth….hmm empty……how desperate n bold …..must salute the Indian Police for having such bold officers………….

Saturday, December 17, 2005


When I left for Italy I did not imagine that language wud be such a problem, I was under the impression that my English wud be enuf. But hardly had I reached there… I was sitting in the immigration office at the Rome Airport, looking like a criminal, apparently there was a problem but wht ..i had no clue …finally after 30 mins they got some one who cud speak English. On my visa, date of entry was erroneously printed (in Italian), anyway they let me go, but I had already missed my connecting flight.

The guy who came to pick me at Venice Airport, was so kind, thankfully he decided to wait for the next flight too. Then he tells me tht u must recognize these currency notes, just remember the colors, he wud hand me over n then explain, this green color one is Lira 5000, the blue one 10000. By the time I had seen one I realized tht it was written on every note..Lira 5000, Lira 10000, I thanked him for his help and politely told him I can read all right and tht I can manage without remembering the colors . )

The first time I landed up at a grocery store, I cud hardly buy anything, since everything was marked in Italian, next time I had to take a frnd along who showed me that this packet with ‘Latte’ was milk, ‘Burro’ was butter.

I did manage to pick up few words but surely that was never enuf to have a conversation. Then there were those strange encounters on the streets, so many times ppl wud pull up their cars and ask for directions and I had no idea what they were talking abt…then I learnt to tell them ..’non capito Italiano’….(I don’t understand Italian). This only lead to more weird looks, most ppl thought I was Italian too frm South, dark hair …and not so brown skin…so when they heard frm me tht I don’t speak Italian they thought I was just trying to pull a first one……….The best was when this man of African origin pulled up next to me and began to say something in Italian. Some how I guessed he was American frm the near by base, I asked him if he spoke English, u had to see his face, he just cud not believe wht he had just heard…..like everyone else he too thought I was Italian……..

One day I was there with a few frnds when this Chinese gal (some one we knew) walked up to me with this big grin, u know ur first name in Chinese means ‘bandit’…..as she walked away I cud not stop myself laughing……..now I (think) am too much a gentleman to tell her that her first name in my language meant ‘shit’.

At the grocery store u had to put in a lira 500 coin to get the cart out, u got it back when u put it back. One day I had no coin so I asked a frnd for one, he did not have one either but instead he gave me Romanian coin which he said, he used sometimes. Any way I shopped at the store and as I was going to put the cart back there was this lady who wanted the cart, she gave me this 500 lira coin, god I wanted to tell her that I had this other coin which had hardly any value…..but surely cud not explain all this too her with my Italian…..so reluctantly I took the coin n walked away….i don’t know wht she thought off me when she put that cart back………

Its surprising how few ppl spoke or understood English, but some did……took one frnd along to act as interpreter when I had to buy an air ticket….when I got there I told my frnd to ask this guy for a ticket to Londra (London), that agent spoke in perfect English….we have couple of flights….but my frnd (don’t know where he was lost)…tells me he is saying there are number of flights…..next I asked agent for any early morning flight…..yes there is a BA flight….my frnd again….there is……finally I had to stop him…plzz I can understand wht he saying u don’t need to repeat tht : )

So embarrassing…..out on the beach …. freezing cold….with two frnds……and no other soul in sight….suddenly this gal passes us ..jogging....just wearing a shirt and short pant…….the idiot thinking she was Italian n wont understand English …says…how hot she is feeling….the gal stops and walks up to us…in perfect English...did u say some thing ….. : (

Come US and it hovered arnd pronunciations, esp the University I was at had this huge Indian population but I think almost all of them belonged to South India, so for most Americans, only those type were Indians. Where are u frm? Im frm India…….no way….wht makes u say tht..well u speak differently, u look different ..then u had to explain to them how big India was…how many different languages we spoke and how ppl look different ……..But those explanations were frequently required in the beginning…I was anything but Indian : ( …….

Even tht drunk gal…..some idiot dropped her on the middle of the road n drove off…she wud have hit the road had not I quickly caught her arm……which apartment I asked…..u aren’t American are u….no…….Espanola ..Deutsche …im Indian…..u not telling me..she went….i said right now u just tell me ur apt # and my nationality we will discuss another day.

At a South Indian restaurant in DC, with my frnds, I order the food…..when we finished I strolled out for a smoke…while the frnds paid the bill……the Indian guys frm the restaurant, wanted to know frm my frnds where did I come frm…..he knew so much abt Indian food ……..

I think I speak English like any other North Indian, may be a lil better, my accent may be comes frm all tht time spent listening to Cricket commentary frm Australia and England, since I was a kid. But still I think its very normal…never understood wht was so different abt it..ok I can understand its different frm the South Indians, whose English has such a heavy dose of there mother tongue too…….

Latest news..kicked out frm an auditon…..one of the judge the not so beautiful Pari Zorabian says….ur accent is too foreign…..my foot………

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Climate Terrorist

Global warming is assuming dangerous proportions and threatens the very existence of this world. The green House gases are gradually destroying the Ozone, layer which in turn leads to increase in temperature.

The Artic is the barometer of the world and the indigenous people there are the mercury, reflecting the pitch of the fever afflicting the planet. The four-year scientific study has discovered that the Artic region would warm by 4-7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The Artic ice cap is expected to disappear in the next 60 years, raising sea levels, inundating several islands and low lying coastal areas through out the world. Artic glaciers are melting rapidly, draining ice sheets and dumping tens of cubic Km of fresh water into the North Atlantic. The phenomena is affecting the flow of ocean currents, hampering movement of warm currents towards the North, and upsetting climate patterns, leading to powerful storms, desertification and extinction of species. While Western Europe is expected to grow colder, Artic and equatorial regions will become warmer. The worst affected are the people living in the Artic, whose habitats are warming at twice the rate of the global average. Just think about the consequence, pretty scary. Imagine island countries just disappearing.

Kyoto is a tiny first step in a drive to brake a warming most scientists say will lead to wrenching changes. The Kyoto Protocol aims at getting nations to reduce these catastrophic emissions, however countries like US and Australia have pulled out saying that it would be to costly for their economies. The US is the biggest emitter of green house gases. Attempts by Canada to coax the US into a parallel voluntary agreement to reduce GHG emissions outside the convention have failed.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said, “the world cannot walk away from its responsibility”. If the US continues to be a climate terrorist the rest of the world will have to no option but to boycott and penalize it as part of a global action against terrorism. Martin also urged Washington to "listen to the conscience of the world".

The Inuits have already sued the USA for its climate Policy, which they is threatening their survival. The Inuits petition urges the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to investigate the role of the US in accelerating global warming and endangering livelihoods, and to make the US adopt the mandatory limits to green house gas emissions. Even if the a ruling by the Commission would be symbolic, it will show up the US as a serious violator of human rights, and set a precedent to hold climate offenders morally and legally responsible for their actions.

Development is necessary but at what cost, tomorrow if the world is not there then what is need for all that development. The attitude of USA is indeed shocking, how can it be so callous about something so catastrophic, it surely deserves to be dubbed as Climate terrorist.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Don't be Conned

I don’t know why people are so gullible especially when I comes to making easy money. Investment Companies promising to pay weird rate of returns have duped so many people. Its sad that people invest their had earned money without realizing as to what they are getting into. Then there are those petty criminals waiting to lighten your pockets given the slightest opportunity.

Over the last 6-7 years these investors have lost about Rs 75,000 Crores. The main culprits have been the investment companies. Most of these Companies almost follow the same modus operandi. They promise huge rate of return, people begin to invest in them, for a while everything is normal, u get those nice returns. You talk to your friend he is excited too, he puts his money also, the word spreads slowly and once the Company has a substantial amount, they just vanish in thin air. That swanky office and everything is gone and you are left licking your wounds.

This is just a little attempt to prevent people from losing their hard earned money.

There was this lady in Punjab, who ran one such investment Company, the Interest rate was a whopping 10% monthly on your investment. You invested Rs 100000 at the end of the month it wud become Rs 110,000, without thinking so many people invested their money, for a few months everything was smooth but one day she had gone, taking along with her those crores of rupees.

My brother in law was telling me about one such Company in which he had invested some money. He was telling me how he gets his interest every month, which was 30 % per annum. The Company had very diverse business and running very well. I asked him to get his money out as soon as possible, because this Company is going to disappear, he wasn’t convinced but he did get his investment out. But many others were not so fortunate, the Company had gone.

I am no magician, I don’t have that crystal ball to gaze. Its just plain common sense. When a Company is paying an interest rate which is much higher than the rate at which the Company can borrow from the bank, there is surely some thing fishy. If a Company is into sound business, and it needs funds it shud be heading to a bank from where it can raise money at 14-15%, why shud it be paying those weird rates of return to people. So if they are not borrowing from the bank then either there business plan is not sound or they have some other motive, that is duping the public.

Many people burn there fingers by jumping into equity markets without having any knowledge whatsoever. People shud invest in equities only if they are well informed, investing money in stocks because xyz said, or some one told u that this is a nice bet is only inviting trouble. I have seen people putting money in Companies of which they have no clue.

Although the Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) does its best to prevent scams but still there are people sitting to snatch your hard earned money.

There are many small companies which don’t have a very large market capital (market capital is the number of shares of Co. in the market x by its share price), these are the Companies which one shud be vary off, since the number of shares is not very large individuals get together to manipulate prices of these stocks. First individuals wud quietly keep buying a particular stock, when they have accumulated the quantity they wanted, they artificially jack up the price. See how it works, I have my friends sitting on different terminals, the current market price is say Rs 8, I place a order to sell 5000 shares at 8.50 Keshi buys that, then Keshi places a sell order at 8.75 and Sebia picks up those stock. Sebia then places a sell order at 9 and Fairy buys that. So this goes on for a while, stock prices increase by 4-5 times. The people oblivious of the game we had be playing, watch how the stock is going up everyday and they jump into. I don’t know why people in stock market have a herd mentality but they do, so when these guys jump in my frnds quietly sell off our holding which we had picked up at very low prices.

So don’t get into equities if u don’t have a clue, and if ur really keen u can go through the records of the Companies that are available on the internet or u can invest through well known funds and let professionals manage your portfolio.

Then there are those petty criminals, on the net, on the roads every where, waiting for an opportunity. On the Net lot of u must have come across that mail, we have this huge amount lying in an unclaimed account, if u help them transfer that money then u get a fat percentage. Once u bite the bait u are asked to send the initial processing fee etc, and by the time u realize that u are being conned, u have lost a few hundred dollars.

A nice trick very popular on the streets of Delhi, is that the prospective victim is sitting in his car waiting for some one, with his bag lying on the back seat. A guy walks up quietly drops some money, and tells him that probably u have dropped ur money. U think may be I did, u get down to pick up that money. When u got home u realize that ur bag is gone, when u were picking up that money another accomplice disappears with the bag. So next time some one tells u that u have dropped money, pick it up but before that make sure ur belongings are safe…lock ur car……

I hope this wud help at least a few people in making wise investment decisions and not falling victim to some conman, don’t just read this post, share it with ur relatives and frnds and if u have any similar experience lets hear…..

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Most Foul

I have read two of Keshi’s post hitting out at death penalty, but I am really not convinced that we shud do away with it. Its very good to be compassionate, I am companionate too but my compassion lies with the victim, with their families and their folks. I am not sure if a first time drug trafficker shud have been handed out death penalty but there are so many criminal acts, so ruthless and dastardly that the ultimate punishment and nothing less is called for. Remember its not putting an end to an individual criminal, it’s a way to end crime, by deterring people, for making world a safer place to live. Even with death penalty there is no fear, if it is totally done away with what wud happen is any bodies guess.

Especially in a country like India, where there are so many incidents every day, rape murder, you open the television and there u are, and I get that sinking feeling. I cant stop my self from thinking about those last few seconds those moments when some was being raped or some one was being killed, the helplessness of the victim comes to my mind and more so when the victim is a girl or a woman, men still have a chance to fight back but……….

The crimes committed by people whom the victim knew and trusted. Early this year Dhananjay was hanged to death, for what he had done, I think it was absolutely right to hang him. He was watchman for the building where his victim lived. A young school going girl, her parents must have been assured that there was this watchman, so they cud leave there daughter alone in their apartment. One afternoon when this girl came back from school, Dhananjay knew she was alone, he rang the door bell ……raped that girl and killed her. Ask all those people who loved that girl, how they felt when they found their darling lying in a heap.

Three incidents that took place over the last few weeks have left me wondering as to whether we can trust any one at all.

There was this Hindu girl who fell in love with her Muslim neighbor, the girls parents where dead against any such relationship, but the girl wud not listen so they sent the girl to Temple, where she was kept forcible. However the girl wud not relent, so parents hired some people to kill their daughter. While the girl was sleeping the mother opened the door for the assailants, and she watched those people strangle her daughter to death. You just shudder, a mother can get people to kill her child and then sit and watch …..

The next victim was a girl who taught at a Computer Center, the guy who helped knew she wud be the last person to leave the Center that afternoon, so each time he gave her Tea it was laced with sleeping pills, by the time everyone had left, this girl fell asleep. Then that guy tried to rape her but she managed to put some resistance, so he killed her.

The last incident is really unbelievable, how cud any one think leave alone do it. The guy gets engaged to this girl whom his parents had chosen, even though he had a girl friend. For sometime he went around with his fiancée, one day he took her for a drive. He stopped the car at a secluded spot and asked the girl how much you love. The girl did not know what was coming, innocently she said she cud do anything for him even give her life for him. Then this guy said all right you lie down in front of the car, she hesitated but the guy made her do it, she must have thought it’s a joke, but he actually drove over her with the intention of killing her, though thankfully she survived.

Now what do u do with these cold blooded criminals, feel compassionate towards them, let them loose so they come back for more blood………

The idea of Capital punishment is not to kill people, its about saving the innocent, by deterring the people from committing those crimes. To have a society where there are no criminals and no victims.

The idea behind this post is also to warn those girls going out to study and to work. Never let your guard down, even when you are with people whom you know and trust. You alone can prevent yourself from becoming a victim. If u have to stay back late and alone (u being the lone female) ask some female friend to wait for you, you can do the same in return. Avoid places and situations where u cud be the likely…..how about carrying pepper spray……..