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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Panoramic Versaille Palace right side of Garden

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Pune - Mumbai Traffic Jam

If you are a regular traveler on Pune - Mumbai Route, you must have witnessed what is shown above. This is a picture of heavy traffic jam near Panvel where our bus, Shivneri took almost an hour to cross the bridge that otherwise avoids Panvel traffic. And this is not a case happening once in while. This has now become day to day experience on this route. Lot of road expansion work in going on here that has created a bottle neck for the vehicles going towards Mumbai. Worst part is the road provided for these vehicles to drive is actually not a road. Distance between two potholes on this road is less than 1 inch. In fact there are pot holes with in a pot hole. With Fantastic suspension of Mercedes Benz model of Shivneri bus, you pretty much get a feeling of  sitting in a boat. And if by chance your bus is passing through flooded water, it really make you feel like sitting in a boat. Yesterday while in bus, we felt like singing a marathi song "Vallahav re nakwa, ho" generally sung by fishermen in sea which crudely means "pedal your boats".
I don't think road construction work is an issue here. The issue is the poor (even that doesn't describe the condition of roads actually) condition of roads whichconverts an other wise 3 hours journey of Pune - Mumbai route in to 6 hours. That's a shame. Just one suggestion, do not even think about travelling in your own car on this route. You will repent for your decision after an exhausting 6 hours snail pace journey. Go for Shivneri or other MSRTC buses.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A hazy Full Moon

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Salman Khan: Charges framed

As the news arrive, Charges for culpable homicide have been framed on Salman Khan today. If you follow the news, it appears as if even framing charges is an uphill task when it is related to a celebrity.
Apparently, the Judge wasn't ready to take the case because he has been transferred. Prosecutor Erande must have done some hell of a task to convince him to accept the case today itself. Overall the outcome of today's proceeding is charges have been framed against Salman Khan and he has been directed to be present in front of the court when ever required.
I don't know if Salman Khan is guilty or not, so I am not going to make any comments about that here.What irritates me is the time required to get justice in India. Its an 11 years old case and all that we have reached till date is framing charges. Now that Mr. Khan is going out of the country for next 2 months, there won't be any developments.  With this pace, it surely will take around, may be five-ten more years, I don't know, to get a judgement. Then, there will be appeals, going to other courts and some other reasons we do not know.
I am just hoping, how pathetic the pace of judgement delivery is  in India, finally there is a judgement. We have seen it recently in case of Sanjay Dutt's case. Finally Justice is served after about 20 years. Salman's case has just finished 11 years. So, probably in coming 9-10 years, a judgement will be available. By that time, he would have turned something like 55, I guess. He might even have lost a big  fan base and the judgement passed would not mean a lot.  But I guess, that's the way it is. I will rather be surprised if what I wrote here turn out to be wrong.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fountain in the Rathaus (City Hall) courtyard in Hamburg, Germany

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mumbai Monsoon

Its the month of July and we have completed over a month of monsoon. Now, monsoon is something which I guess is a  phenomenon found in this part of the world only. Who ever else I have talked  mostly don't have any clue about it. They are little surprised when they come to know that a country as big as India received rain for only 4 months in a year and it survives on water that is accumulated during this period. If you visit European countries, its pretty usual to receive rain almost every second or third week.

 Personally, I was looking forward for this season for many reasons. First of all I have missed Indian rain  over last five six years. I don't remember when was the last I was soaked in rain. I remember how I enjoyed driving my bike at as minimum possible speed just so that I will spend more time in rain.

This year, I expereinced the much awaited rainy season resding in Mumbai. Now this is my altogether first ever experience of Mumbai rain. Interesting thing is even the rain this year is pretty different from last couple of years. I haven't one full sunny day since it started pouring on June 03. Mumbai rain is really different. If you are caught in rain, there is no way you can survive without getting wet. What ever mode you use to protect you, an umbrella or a rain coat, nothing works. I was amazed to see the intensity of rain. With in minutes, all low lying areas are coverd in water and creates problems for commuters. All transportation system pretty much comes to halt when the rain is at its fullest.

One interesting thing to look for is the aggresive Arabian sea during the high tide. I am yet to visit one of such places in Mumbai, but if you are in Mumbai and it is raining and it is high tide, I guess visiting such a place like Varali Sea face could be fun. Of course one should be really careful because situation in Mumbai apparently turns from good to not just bad but worst in a few minutes. So, do enjoy monsoon rain and also be careful with health and sudden dangers around.

Photo courtesy:
I am using these photos just as an aid to my post. I do not own them. They were searched on google images and posted here hence. If it violates any copyright (which I could not find on related links pasted above, kindly contact me and I will get them removed.)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tour Eiffel, Paris

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Bhag Milkha Bhag

I am pretty sure most of movie  buffs are waiting for today for the release of movie, "Bhag Milkha Bhag". There are many reasons for that. But I will talk about why I am waiting for this movie. The list of reasons could be a bit long.
To begin with, I am a fan of real life stories. I have searched wikipedia many a times for the list of movies based on real life incidents and then search them online or any where I can get it and watch it. Here is a list for you:


Then, I am a big fan of sports based movies. Following the same formula as mentioned earlier I found out most of the sports based movies and watched them. May then it be Miracle, Invincible, Remember the titans, We are Marshall, Gridiron Gang, The Blind side, Profantine and many others like that. I am watching Cinderella Man just now while writing this post.  Here is a list if you are interested

 Third thing is the central character of the movie. Milkha Singh is one name which every Indian knows very well. Although not many actually knows what good he performed to  make it such a big name. I am curious to know all the history. Given the fact that Milkha Singh has appreciated this movie and complemented Farhan Akhtar is a receipt that the movie goes very close to the history and not very away from real incidents.
I like Farhan Akhtar over all. He is a good actor, singer, director and what ever else he might be doing. After Aamir Khan, I find Farhan Akhtar as one person who really put his heart in the work and try to give justice to the role he is playing. Just look at his built for the movie. He has really taken great efforts to get in the role of Milkha Singh. I am sure he will give justice to the role.
In India, real life and that too sports based movie is a rare thing. I can only remember only 4 movies on sports in recent future. Iqbal, Lagaan, Chak de and now Bhag Milkha Bhag.  There was one movie called Ashwini based on Ashwini Nachhappa but I could never find it to watch. (Remind me if you remember any other). I guess Chak de was little inspired by a hockey coach but other wise most of these movies probably are product of imagination. But, this time we will watch a movie we can actually relate to.
 I hope this movie succeeds in reaching as many people  as possible and it rejuvenate the spirit of athletic games in the young generation. So, do watch the movie, get inspired and let me know your views about the movie.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blind Valley: At the narrow gates of Fort Torna, Pune

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Learning French VII : Comme ci, comme ça

Have you heard of an expression "Comme ci, comme ça". It is a french expression that in English would roughly translate to expression "So So". Like in situation where you are not very sure if it is very good or very bad, some where in between of the two, you use this expression, "Comme ci, comme ça".

If we try to look at the literal meaning of the expression, it will split in two parts:
Comme ci = like this
Comme ça = like that

We will try to make use of the second part i.e. Comme ça in today's lesson.

Comme ça as mentioned  would mean "like that" or "that way"

Now combining this new word learnt with previous lessons, if we want to say,

It is like that = C'est comme ça

Here, C'est means it is as we learnt in  an earlier lesson and comme ça as now we know is "like that".

Now using negation in the sentence as we learnt in previous lesson

It is + not + like that (or that way),  would translate to

Ce + n'est pas + comme ça

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Deep Down Stairs, Lozere, Paris

Monday, July 8, 2013

Canada train blast tragedy : Run away train incident

Have you seen movie "Unstoppable"?
Its a Danzel Washington's must watch thriller movie. The movie is about a train that starts running with out an engine driver on full throttle.  To add to that, the train is carrying very deadly chemical that could blow and turn a whole city into ruins with in seconds. It is loosely based on some real life incident.I have watched this movie many a times. It might be little exaggerated in the movie the way they tried to avoid the train from derailing even over sharp turns. It is an otherwise interesting movie to watch. Back then I did tried to estimate the consequences just in case it derails and explodes in the heart of a city.  Unfortunately, I got my answer yesterday. I don't know if it was a coincidence or deliberate attempt to cash in by one of the TV channels, but they aired this movie yesterday. I came across this movie while surfing through channels just before I read the news of blast in Canada because of running away train carrying crude oil.
If you follow the news, the train was parked at a point uphill. Sources say, the engineer had just finished his duty. He did every thing as per the rule books before leaving the train. What happened next, no body knows. How the train got released is a question every body related to this incident will keep asking for a long time. Since it was parked uphill, as soon as it was released, it started rushing downhill towards the center of the city. Since it was moving downhills with no resistance of any kind, it went on gaining the pace as it was reaching the city center. High speed led to derailment and train cars caught fire, converting in to explosions.
Till last Friday, Lac-Magnetic was a city/town hardly known to any body. But one horrific incident brought the city on global map. To add to the grieve, it was a week end and all the bars in the center of the city were crowded till late night. Had it been other day, probably the casualty might have been little less. The explosions were so big that people for a moment imagined it to be from some Hollywood movie. Burning train cars were flying in the air. Buildings collapsing and explosions taking place as people tried to run for their lives. People came across things that movie "Unstoppable" did not showed.
It was a tragic incident and many people have lost their lives. It will be difficult to understand what led to this incident. If even after taking tall the necessary precaution, such incidents are happening, then how do bring control on it. The only way to avoid such situations is to think about more safer modes of transportation for such explosive chemicals and oils. But unfortunately it seems it needs an accident of this kind to open our eyes and take any decisive step.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sacré-Cœur, Paris

Sacré-Cœur Basilica (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart), located at the highest point (Montmartre) in Paris 
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Neb-Senu, rotating Egyptian statue's mystery: Will it be solved?

Remember the time when people in India went crazy knowing that Lord Ganesh is drinking milk offered in spoon by people. Back then, I saw lot of people gathered near the statue of Lord Ganesh in a small temple. I was little puzzled to see the crowd since it was not an auspicious day to visit Lord Ganesh's temple. But I was not curious enough to know the reason behind it. Next day, it was all over the paper and news, that Lord Ganesh is drinking milk. My first reaction was, What? really? Lot of discussion started happening. I remember even the Chief Minister of Maharashtra had tried his luck to offer milk and I guess he succeeded. AndhaShradhha Nirmulan Samiti made all the efforts to justify the science behind all that was happening. If I remember right, they came up with the answer of capillary action where you can see say a piece of paper absorbing water from the floor when came in contact. This pretty much justified the whole action. Some people were convinced, some tried mocking it depending upon their inclination towards Science.
I of course believed it. But I had a question lingering in mind, Why now? Temples, God's Statues are here for so many years. But then why suddenly one day people realized this? May be somebody tried make a news out of simple observation. 
Recently some thing similar thing started happening in a museum in Manchester that has left every body puzzled. According to reports a statue of Neb-Senu that is locked in a glass case in the museum has started rotating over the time on its own.
A little history about the statue. Neb-Senu statue was found in the tomb of a Mummy. Apparently, its purpose was to act as a vessel in case the mummy is destroyed and the soul requires an alternate arrangement. There is some curse associated with the statue and few people are fearing that the same curse has hit upon the museum and that's why this moving statue.It sounds little weird to believe but the authority has created a time-lapse video over a period of one week and they indeed found it rotating. Now many people are trying to justify it. According to some it is the movement of people's feet who visit museum that possibly resonates with the statue making it move. But the care taker responsible for statue asks question, why now?
The museum has this statue locked in the glass case for over 80 years, but its only now that it has started moving. He also questions why it is moving in exact circle? Why it just doesn't move in any direction. 
No body has yet provided any convincing answer yet and there also is no further news about any new development on the subject except that the Museum authority has requested people to come visit the statue and try to come up with some justification. Now I feel that could be one reason why the statue suddenly started moving. May be with coming summer, museum authority wishes to attract people's attention and pull some crowd. What say you?
Read more about it here:



Photo courtesy: http://www.neatorama.com/2013/06/24/The-Spinning-Egyptian-Statue-Mystery/

Friday, July 5, 2013


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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

End of the World in 2013

If you people are relieved that 2012 is over and World still exist, then you might be celebrating a little too early. If the recent reports and this time by Scientists, are to be believed, end of the World is due in the year of 2013. Now don't start packing your bags immediately searching for a way to stay alive. Though the year for the end of the World has been declared to be 2013, it is 2 billion years away.
As per the new theory that is coming up, with Sun getting older and growing hot, the temperature on earth will initiate a lot of chemical reactions resulting in depletion of Carbon-di-oxide.
This depletion of CO2 will affect the photosynthesis process in plants reducing their chances of existence. Whole of the food chain will thus be effected, where herbivorous animal rely on plants and carnivorous animals depend on herbivorous animals. This way whole of the living organisms will end up dead leaving on micro organisms behind who also will end over the time.
The theory is based on computer simulated predictions of Sun's effect on Earth over coming years. Now the theory on one hand sounds very logical and one can believe it. I just have few doubts before I can wholeheartedly believe it.
First of all, 2 billion years is a very big time. I wonder if life would really survive that long considering the way we are exploiting natural sources.
Second, if temperature on earth increases, it will first of affect water sources on earth, be it glaciers or river/sea/ocean system. Before any other kind of chemical reaction can take place, existence of water on earth will be the prime issue.
Third, if at all humans survive over such a long period, won't they already have made some arrangements to cope with the increasing temperature and  retaining life on Earth.
This upcoming new theory is again a prediction, just like the Mayan calender. Whether to believe it or not is one's choice. People believed in the theory of end of the world in 2012 but it proved wrong. If this theory is to be believed, we surely have a long time in hand to prepare for it. In the mean time, I believe some new theory will arise and we won't need to prepare for this theory.
You can read about it in more details on this link:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Another Day of Summer in Cité Universitaire, Paris

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Sant Tukaram Palkhi and "Ringan"

I wrote earlier about Ashadhi Ekadashi. Today's post is kind of prequel to that.
As mentioned in there, two processions carrying the foot prints of two saints begin from two different villages Dehu and Alandi, the places connected to two saints Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram to reach PandharPur on Ashadhi Ekadashi. 
Now this is a very long route of around 150 kms to cover on feet. To add to that its rainy season when rain is pouring almost 24 hrs of the day. It is tiring and for some it might turn irritating. In such a situation, there are few ways by which people participating in the processions can be cheered and help to keep their moral high. One of these is called "Ringan". Now, I am not an expert to write on this, but what I have learnt from my elders about it and from writings I came across, this "Ringan" is a symbolic run of what Sant Tukaram did when he saw the temple of Lord Vitthala for the first time. He lost his senses and started running crazy towards the temple. This little game organized every year during the procession gives an opportunity to all those who wish to experience that feeling by participating in this run. Men, Women, Old, Young any body can run. There is also a way one participates in the run. Women participating are carrying either a Tulsi plant pot or a vessel full of water on their head, while Men are carrying a flag in their hand. Then there are people who run with their musical instruments in their hands and finally a horse. Interesting thing is it doesn't require any police security to keep the arrangements under control. Its surprising how such a huge mob is controlled. More about it you can read on this page:
If you wish to know the vastness of this procession, have a look at these photos I found on www.vitthalrukminimandir.org and www.thinkmaharashtra.com

And here is a video which pretty much covers a major part of Gol Ringan which took place at "Indapur". The run begins in this video somewhere around 2 min. 50 secs.