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Friday, August 30, 2013

Obelisk at Place de La Concorde from Cathedral Madeleine

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Learning French VIII: important, different

Words ending in "-ant" and "-ent"  in English all come from French. They carry the same meaning in the two languages. They have the same spelling and meaning with only difference in the way they are pronounced.

If you recollect, if a word ends with a consonant, that consonant is silent. Here, these words end in "-t" and this "-t"  is not pronounced. Instead the word pronunciation ends  at the sound of  "-n". The pronunciation of such words, both "-ent" and "-ant" are pronounced as "-aun". 
For ex: words like different or important. 

Lets try to use words in sentences:

It is + not + very + different + that way

Ce + n'est pas + tres + different + comme ça

Going little further on the same line

It is + not + very + different + that way, + but + it is + very + important.

Ce + n'est pas + tres + different + comme ca , + mais + c'est+ tres + important.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Enroute Mumbai-Pune Expressway

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Narendra Dabholkar: Leader against Superstition

Just a couple of days back, I received a news from a colleague that Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead while taking a morning walk early in the morning around 7.30 a.m. My first reaction was, inevitable has happened. People who are not aware of his work probably won't understand this reaction. But those who ever came across him or his work probably are not surprised.
Narendra Dabholkar is  a name taken with great respect among intellectuals and those who want to bring social reforms in the Country. He was in a reputed doctor for almost 12 years after which he got involved in different activities to cure the society from diseases like black magic and superstition. He was the founder member of Maharashtra Andha Shraddha Nirmulun Samiti. An organization that works to eradicate superstitious beliefs and black magic practices. He tried to bring anti-superstition law in Maharashtra. The anti-Jadu-Tona Bill drafted by his team members has been tabled 7 times till now in the state assembly but failed to come in discussion to be passed. He created so many enemies out of his activities that his life was always in threat. He experienced many physical assaults since his work started in 1983. In spite of that he refused to use Police protection. Some body took advantage of that and made a final assault on him three days back leaving him dead. After his death, now the Government apparently has come to senses. The bill has been passed at least by the cabinet. But it is not sure if it will see Sunlight too soon as it need to be passed by whole assembly. I hope the work he started and developed senses in many minds does not stop with his demise and  actually grow so that more and more people will understand the meaninglessness of black magic and superstition.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


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Monday, August 19, 2013

INS Sindhurakshak Tragedy

While every body around were feeling proud hoisting Indian Flag on their 67th Independence Day, some thing worst was happening around the corner. Indian Submarine INS Sindhurakshak experienced a series of explosions that end with sinking it under the water. Worst part is it carried 18 of its crew members including three officers and 15 sailors along with it. What happened on 14th August on that submarine is still unclear, but what is left behind is an unfortunate situation. 
Submarine INS Sindhurakshak was included in Indian fleet recently in 1997. It was a Russian-made Kilo-class Type 636, diesel-electric submarine. After serving for almost 14 years, it was returned to Russia in 2010 for up-gradation. Up-gradation mainly involved improved electronic warfare systems, an integrated weapon control system and a new cooling system. After upgradation, it was expected that the life time of this submarine would be enhanced by 10 more years.
It so happened that the submarine returned to Indian Navy Fleet just recently in May-June 2013 after a break of almost two and half years for up-gradation. On 14th of August, just before the celebration of day of Independence, some unknown series of explosions occurred in the submarine which resulted in its flooding ultimately sinking it to the bottom of the sea. Apparently three of the sailors were on the top, who managed to jump in the sea as soon as they realized the blow. All others who were inside could not make it out in time. Rescue operations to save those probably alive are facing difficulties as the submarine sank very close to the dock and is surrounded by muddy and murky water.
Up till now, six bodies have been recovered with no survivor as yet. In the mean time, war of words has already begun and this time it is international. Russia is suggesting mishandling of equipment while Indians as always were mere suspecting on sabotage which the Russian experts visiting the site already ruled out.
I am not sure what course it will take in coming days but I am hoping that reasons behind this accident are revealed and proper steps are taken to ensure no repetition of any such incident ever.
Read more here:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Final Destination: Torna Fort, Pune

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

NEROLAC Excel - Umb-rella funny Commercial

I could not resist to share this new commercial which has started airing on TV for last few days. I am sure if the commercial succeeds to convince people in getting their houses painted by Nerolac Excel but it surely makes you watch the ad again and again.
What attracted my attention towards the commercial are the huge umbrella that starts appearing your TV screen along with some funny music in the back ground. Then slowly it is accompanied by a song in an odd voice that makes the ad more interesting to watch. I tried to understand the lyrics in the ad but they did not made much meaning to me. I tried to understand it and what ever I could made out of it you can read in this post below. But what stands out in the song is the way they pronounce "Umb-rella" and the accompanying chorus for the word "Umb-rella". Shahrukh's presence in the end watching among other people how some one is putting Umb-rella on their houses and then comparing it with an easy way of just using Nerolac Excel to save their houses manages to convey the message to the audience. I believe this is one commercial which is really innovative and thats why a must watch.
Here are as close it can get lyrics that I could understand. Suggest corrections if you find any:
Suraj ki matki oye barish ka tel
Balla ghumai ke oye nehle pe dehla
Ho laga do
Hai sha
Khinch ke
Aane do
Dhoop hai neem barish hai kadwa karela
Dhoop hai neem barish karela
Mithi churi sa kaatane chala, Umb-rellaaaaaaaa

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An Alley in Bremen, Germany

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chennai Express : A movie worth watching?

Chennai Ex press: most recent released movie starring  Shahrukh Khan and Dipika Padukone.Few years back I watched Shahrukh Khan's movie "Main Hun Na". Now if you have watched that movie, you probably would agree that the movie actually had nothing new to offer. But it was a well made movie and that's why I actually enjoyed that movie. It was melodramatic. Story of two brothers who unite to over throw the wicked plans of anti national elements. What I liked at that moment was the pace of the movie and good actions plus some good songs. Shahrukh back then was the real badshah of Bollywood and what ever he tried would surely work.I am getting pretty much similar feeling about his recently released movie "Chennai Express". It is a Rohit Shetty movie. Obviously one would expect some actions like Singham movie which actually makes no sense but some where one enjoys those unimaginable shots. Then there surely are some funny songs that makes you to pick the beats and shake your legs.
I initially had some good expectations  from Dipika Padukone as an actress but then those hopes are not there any more. To add to that she is trying Tamil accent that would make it more unbearable. I am hoping  that Shahrukh Khan is doing some miracle to turn this movie in to a good one. Now it already has turned in to a hit by grabbing around 40 crores in just 2 days. It is bound to cross the so called 100 crore boundary with in next few days.
I saw some clips of the movie and what I liked what I saw. For example in a shot Shahrukh says to Dipika that "There is no word as impossible in his dictionary". Other wise such a dialogue would remind one of his Don's character. But what follows then turns it into a hilarious shot, as Dipika asks "Which bakwas dictionary do you use".
I hope the movie does not have only a few such hilarious scenes. This probably is a one time watch and forget kind of movie.
Some reviews I came across about the movie:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beauty of Diversity

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Amitabh Bachchan - Binani Cement commercial - Sadiyon Ke Liye

Did you watch this commercial for Binani Cement? I think this is one of best commercial in recent lot. What makes it special is the presence of Amitabh Bachchan in it. I wonder how he has gained such a power and command on his voice and the way of talking that just mesmerizes every body listening him. The way he speaks makes one be convinced with each one of his word. When one watches this ad, all one initially understand is the way he is remembering his parents and trying to find their presence in every small act of him or his son. He connects with the memories of his parents with different things in home they handled. Books they read and the poetry of his father, his mother's bangles.

What I liked the best is the library of books. I wonder if it was his real home and library. If it is so, I am surely envious of him and wonder when will I be able to have such a fantastic library.

No one gets a clue till the end that this ad is actually related to a cement ad which conveys the message that like memories, this cement lasts for eternity. I don't know may be because of this minute hint only this ad and the cement  is now stuck in my mind. May the same happen with you.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Durga Shakti Nagpal : Igniting flame of awareness

This is a name making rounds around the country for last few days. Is it just a coincidence that a woman with a name as good as Durga Shakti is actually following actions suiting the name. I am just amazed how reality can be moulded to suit some one with stronger political connections. Yesterday I was watching a news where Mr. Bhati was addressing a public meeting and bragging how he managed to get Durga Shakti suspended with in a period of 41 minutes. Immediately after that in a telephonic interview, one of the politician from UP was trying to justify how Mr. Bhati was right in addressing the issue and bragging. One feeling that struck me strongly at that point was how foolish are we to keep supporting these kind of politicians in spite of knowing what is hidden under their skin. But then we also don't have any good option. We sincerely need an option where we can actually reject a politician.
I hope what Durga Shakti has started as flame would convert into a big fire and it will burn every thing that is happening wrong. All IAS officers better stand behind Durga Shakti. It also is our responsibility to take this message to every possible corner around India and present the real picture. At least then may be all dumb guys like us will stop electing people who try to make gains out of political power

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Rising Horse, Lyon, France

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Learning French VIII : Je suis désolé, mais

One sentence that every body too often use is "I am sorry". Obviously, one would often need to use it if he try to speak french. So today's lesson is "I am sorry".

I  am    +  sorry  = Je suis désolé
Je  suis + désolé

If you just want to say "sorry", you can use word "désolé". Now you must have notices a sign on the two "e" present in désolé. The signs just implies that alphabet e which is pronounced normally as a "अ " as in Hindi should be pronounced as  ae "ए".

Other important word to remember is "but". This is another word which is often required to connect to sentences. The french word for but is "mais"

So, if we combine these two new words with our earlier learnt lessons, we can create simple connecting sentences.

For example:
I am sorry + but  + it is  + not  + very  + good  

Je suis désolé + mais + ce + n'est pas + très + bon