Friday, December 30, 2005

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Yesterday I read a review of a book `Bald' by Kevin Baldwin, in my favourite news weekly The Guardian Weekly. Is the name just a coincidence, or Mr Baldwin was born to write this book. Anyway, this book could make for good read. The book is a compilation of newspaper cuttings, anecdote and slaphead jokes, plus everything one can collect up by hitting "bald" on Google. It is reported in the book that 30% of us (men) are suffering some symptom of baldness by 30, 40% by 40 and so on. In the United States alone £1bn a year is spent trying to combat hair loss. Nobody knows why some men have all their hairs intact even in their old age, while some men loose their hair quite early in their life. I know many such people who are unforunate to loose their hairs quite early in their life, even before their marriage!

The online review of the book is here .

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Mahrashtra Government proposes to regularise Ulhasnagar buildings

Maharashtra Government has recommended an ordinance to regularlised illegal buidlings in Ulhasnagar. It is a move in the right direction.

As long as a system is in place and functioning, common people follow them. It is in the absence of such a system, that people misinterprete rules and regulations and then problems arises, sooner and later. This is what was happening in Ulhasnagar. Government proposes now to put a system in place to check the unplanned growth of Ulhasnagar. This should have been done long time ago. But okay, better late than never. I hope this ordinance is approved by the Governor of Maharashtra and promulgated soon. I also hope that Bombay High Court will take a considerate view about this.

This has come too late for the Narang family, whose Laxmi Ganga Niwas, is now demolished.

Read the full story here .

Monday, December 26, 2005

Movie of the Year -- Aapaharan

For me the movie of the year 2005 has been Aapaharan. As a self-imposed rule, I read the reviews of the movies on the net or in the newpapers, before seeing the movie. Reviews for Aapaharan were generally positive and so I went out to see this movie. This was the only movie, among very handful which I saw this year, which I really liked. This movie, starring my favvourite actor Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar and others, shows the real life happenings in Bihar. One has been reading cases of kidnapping of persons, and also children, in Bihar in various media, but to see how true they are, is scandalous.

Ajay Devgan as the protagonist in the film is simple fantastic. What he conveys through his eyes and body language, is what acting is all about. Ajay has always been consistenly giving good performance in movies. What Kumars and Khans of the hindi films could not achieve on the screen, Ajay seems to do them effortlessly.

I am sticking my neck out and would say that next year (2006) Ajay Devgan will win all the major film awards for his role in Aapaharan (Screen, Filmfare, etc. etc.). Perhaps Aapaharan may also win the best film awards too.

We are not refugees

The demolitions in Ulhasnagar have started again on Friday, Dec. 23. The law is taking its course. What is disheartening for me is the media reports. Everyone seems to be reporting about it, but very few say anything about the people who will be actually suffering.

What is painful for me to read is that Sindhis are still being referred to as `refugees'. Maharashtra CM has referred to Sindhis as refugees in a media report which is here . I also noticed the same dreaded word refugees in an signed article by Sekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express which is here . While Mr Gupta has rightly blamed the politicians for the mess, which is in Ulhasnagar and Delhi, he has very little to say about affected people.

As I understand the word refugees means "One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution" (source Yahoo Reference). It also means that one who has left one country for another in search of refuge. But in 1947 when most of the sindhi people left Sindh, it was was very much part of the undivided India. Thus, we can simply be called displaced people, but not refugees. I strongly deplore the word `refugees' for sindhis in media.

Please do read an excellent article on sindhis which is

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I am shocked and amazed

What I saw last night on TV in Star News was shocking, to say the least. It seems on Monday, December 19, Local Police at Meerut had called TV crews and journalist to accompany their team to Operation Majnu drive in Meerut against indecency and eve-teasing in public places. What I saw was cruel and shocking. Policewomen were physically and verbally assulting young couples in the park. It was also reported that after this shameful incident a young couple, who were among those beaten, are still missing. They have not gone back to their homes. What the police have done is disgusting and condemnable. Earlier moral policing was done by our neta, now it is done by the police. What next!

Read the full story here .

When I see or read about such sad incidents, to calm my nerves, I follow what Beatles have sung long time ago: `Hey Jude don’t make it bad, Take a sad song and make it better'. I always listen to my MP3 songs in random mode and the first song which my music player played yesterday, after I switched off, TV was great R.D. Burman song: Pyaar hume kis mood pe ley aiya, ke dil kahe hai, koi yeh bataei kya hoga. Really.

Meanwhile England have legalised the marriage between the same sex (called Civil Union in Englad). Among the first couples to marry on Wednesday, December 21, were Sir Elton John. I am amazed at the contrast with the above story. Elton John has written a signed article in U.K.'s sunday paper The Observer which is here . It makes interesting reading.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Maigret's Christmas

As I have decided not to read newspapers in local train, while commuting to work in the morning and evening, I have started reading book `Maigret's Christman'. It is collection of 7 short stories.

Georges Simenon was the most successful author of the 20th century, and the character he created, Inspector Jules Maigret, who made him rich and famous, ranks only after Sherlock Holmes as the world's best known fictional detective.

Georges Simenon was amazingly prolific writer. He wrote more than 200 books during his lifetime! About 103 of these books featured Inspector Maigret.

The full list of Maigret's books is here .

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

No more Newspapers for me

I have decided that no more newspapers for me. Reading newspaper is the train is really a nuisance for me and my fellow travellers. From now onwards, it will be books and books. Newspapers have mostly badly written articles and invariable had bad news from all over. For me now `no news is good news'!

Yesterday I read two fantastic short stories of P.G. Wodehouse : Jeeves and the Impending Doom and Jeeves and the Songs of Songs. Superb stories. I always wonder why Hindi movies are not made on the novels and stores of P.G. Wodehouse. Govinda would have made a good Bertram Wooster and Kadar Khan could have been good Jeeves. Or some of the funny movies of these two worthies inspired by P.G. Wodehouse's books!

Day 4: No let up in MCD demolition drive in Delhi

Day 4: No let up in MCD demolition drive in Delhi

Top lawyer ready to fight for Ulhasnagar

Shri Ram Jethmalani, eminent lawyer, has agreed to advise the Maharashtra State about illegal buildings in Ulhasngar. Read the full story here.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Problem in Firefox 1.5

I recently installed Firefox 1.5 on my linux machine. I noticed a very peculiar thing -- my machine was getting slower. A quick search in Google revealed that there is indeed a problem in Firefox 1.5 for linux. It is leaking memory. Many people using linux version of Firefox 1.5 have similar problem. I have now reverted to Firefox 1.0.7. Hope Mozilla Foundation will find the solution of this problem for linux version of Firefox 1.5 soon.

Demolitions in Ulhasnagar

I live in Ulhasnagar. Mumbai High Court orderd that 855 illegal buildings in Ulhasnagar should be demolished. The order was given on April 27, 2005. Ulhasnagar Municipal Corportation started acting on this order in November 2005 and few unoccupied and a occupied building was demolished. There was big public outcry about this and till today demolitions reamined suspended. Nobody knows if demolitions will be carried out or Government will regularise the buildings.

Since I will be one of the affected person, if and when the demolitions will be actually carried out, I will be writing my experiences about it.

It seems to me that regularizing the buildings is better option that just razing the building and displacing the people.

I curious to see is if someone has blogged about this. I was pleasantly surpirsed when I found a blog, using Google Blogsearch, by Kusum Rohra who has written about this in her blog Something about everything. Her post about Ulhasnagar is here. Thank you Kusum for writing about it.

This inspired me to have my own blog, to blog about Ulhasnagar and etc. etc. and here it is ...