Monday, 14 November 2016

India Learning To Live With Air Pollution

After Diwali came the inevitable cloud of smog in Delhi. The fact that smog is going to arrive any moment was known to every single person living in Delhi, just the intensity of this smog was a bit surprise. And why not? The toxicity of air was 14-16 times more than the safe limit. The PM 2.5 level skyrocketed making people vulnerable to various respiratory problems. Usually when the smog checks in, a translucent greyish layer of air cover the city. But this winter, this layer was quite thick, almost opaque.

As this year's smog came right after Diwali, a number of people directly blamed Diwali's crackers for it. On the other hand, some remain critical of the farmers of Punjab and Haryana who burned their paddy releasing poisonous gases in the air that reached Delhi through wind. While both burning crackers or crops fairly invite criticism not because they polluted the air but because these actions could have been avoided or minimized.

Diwali is celebrated everywhere in India and the crops are burnt every year in Punjab, Haryana and other paddy growing regions. If India's festival of light is to blame, the entire country should have been covered with smog. And, the foul air produced as a result of crop burning should affect Punjab and Haryana first. They did add up to the already polluted air and caused a spike but none of them can be blamed alone.

The rapid industrialization and urbanization, ignoring the threats imposed on environment, is one of the key factors that has consistently deteriored air quality of Delhi. The idea of sustainable development looks good only in textbook. In practice, we focus only on development. Corruption, too, can be blamed for the breach of environmental norms. Therefore, the toxic air in Delhi and north India is the result of all factors aggregated together. And, to deal with it every factor has to be dealt with separately.

The problem in fact is not just limited to Delhi. The whole of North India is dangerously polluted. The latest WHO list names four Indian cities in their list of world's ten most polluted cities in terms of annual average PM 2.5 levels. They include Allahabad, Gwalior, Patna and Raipur. The top 50 list features 22 Indian cities.

The emissions coming out of factories and automobiles is not fitted with PM filters mainly because they are expensive. The major source of power in India is still coal. Unless Delhi expand its renewable source of energy and become independent of conventional energy, the smog is not going anywhere.

Delhi government took a slew of measures to reform the city public transport. The public transport is already working on CNG and electricity. So, no big reform is needed there. As Delhi's buses and metros have to bear extra load and are always full of people, a large number of private cars are coming on the road everyday. Their emissions add up together making Delhi's air worse.

The odd-even rule was a part of Delhi Chief Minister's private campaign. After coming to power, the CM, apart from accusing Prime minister Modi for absurd reasons, only focused on this scheme. People, at a time, was optimistic about odd even and willingly participated. To silence the critic, the CM blamed BJP for whatever failure it had and alleged that they are trying hard not to make this ‘visionary’ scheme successful in Delhi. He then also declared the scheme - a grand success.

When you do cheap politics over issues like pollution, that is everyone's natural problem, it even mess up all the sincere efforts done previously. It demoralize the working force making it even hard to deal with the situation in hand.

To get out of this mess, the rich in India, particularly Delhi, have begun to insulate themselves from the toxic air. It's not their fault, clean air is the most basic needs of any living being on this planet. If one can get clean air by shelling out some money, people will not hesitate to do that. Money is always secondary when survival is under threat. Fortunately, at this moment the situation is not that tense, though, it is alarming. But, some companies are milking Delhi's misery. Like water purifiers, these companies are now eyeing for their air purifiers to be installed in every household. They are selling ‘clean air’ by creating a panick among people in baba Ramdev style. Buy it or face respiratory problems. They fully know that the advertisement based on the threats of medical complexities can even extract money from middle class people.

When the air was unadulterated, everyone had ‘equal’ rights over it but now only ‘polluted’ air is for everyone, the ‘purified’ air is for limited number of people. A rich doesn't need a government, the poor do. Therefore, the government must step in to fight air pollution before the poor are completely devoid of the atmospheric oxygen. After all, the air purifiers or even good quality masks are not in reach of poor.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Gangubai - The Oldest but Youngest Sarpanch of Pune

Gangubai Nivrutte Bhambure gets up at 5 am to do household chores. She is a 94-year-young sarpanch of Bhamburwadi village and holds the distinction of becoming oldest sarpanch in Pune district.

Gangubai believes in hard work. She says it's time to work for the people, her people, otherwise it's of no use of her becoming a sarpanch. She says, she will not disappoint them who trusted and endowed her with the chair of sarpanch.

The first task would be to help farmers from seven villages who own 1000 hectares of land, but due to lack of water they can't grow anything on it. According to Gangubai's grandsons, there is a canal less than 2km from these farms but they don't get a drop of water. The government had failed the people. Gangubai is keen to take PM's help in this matter and she is very optimistic that PM will respond to her request. She says that PM Narendra Modi is like her son and he will definitely help her and the farmers. Her other priorities as sarpanch include a proper drainage system, sufficient toilets, homes for the poor and good roads.

Gangubai takes her own decision and nobody can force anything on her. It was she who decided to contest polls for sarpanch. Though Gangubai never attended school, she can read; but cannot write. She can recite kirtans and bhajans well and loves interacting with people. She says, she can still walk like a youngster and talk like a teacher. She doesn't take any kind of medicines. She eats two meals a day and says “Eat less and live longer is the secret of my life.”

The story of Gangubai is very inspiring. While most people prefer to live a retired life at 60, some at 65, Gangubai started her career as sarpanch at 94 with great enthusiasm. Metaphorically speaking, she may be the youngest sarpanch too.


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Anatomy Of Suicidal Propensity And Life's Purpose

I don't know whether committing suicide is a courageous or cowardly act. And I think, taking a specific side here would be unfair. During evolution, our thinking power enabled us to survive. But, it has also provided us an option to end a messed up life.

Suicide is a very serious psychological and philosophical problem that modern humans are facing today. Legally, it is a crime. Religion, too, never permitted this act. And, as a society, we don't want people to do it.
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—
But, when life becomes miserable, why would one let one's mind to suffer, when there is an option of suicide to attain peace? Why is everyone against suicide?

Probably because, suicide is the violation of human survival interest. We are an adapting species and always believe that there is a scope for better. When all doors are shut, there is always an open door and that door doesn't open by committing suicide. Also, most people who survived a suicide attempt have regretted it and they never attempted it again.

People never actually want to kill themselves. It's just they face an issue that, they think, has screwed everything and is impossible to overcome or when there is a failure of some kind. It may be failure of achieving something in profession, education, or a relationship, that we dreamt of from the very beginning.

So, what is failure actually? I think, failure is just an event that didn't go to our expectation. But, is it really a failure? We always hear from successful people that failure has been a part of their journey to the throne of success. Therefore, failure is a temporary phenomenon. We are here to live a temporary life. All these name, fame, wealth, love, bonding and emotions are there to keep us engaged and to make us happy or sad. And, it is better to be engaged in such sort of temporary activities.

I think, the problem of suicide is also because of over-socialization in the man-made environment. Despite the fact that humans are part of nature, there is a clear difference between natural and man-made environment. The nature can never instigate us to commit suicide. It has always inspire us to be strong. It is because of which we enjoy the stature of being the top species on earth.

Some people commit suicide because they don't find any purpose in life. But, when did life had a purpose? If we think about it spiritually, there has never been a purpose of our life. Life is eternal and whatever we do, it doesn't really matters!
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Life after death is mysterious. It is like an abandoned island from where no one can return back. Therefore, suicide cannot give us peace, instead we have to live with the ‘failure’ without any hope of rectifying it.

We have no idea whether god has created us for his purpose or we are here by coincidence. But, one thing is clear, something what we calls evolution has played an evil trick by making us aware of our unimportance.

The above quotes are the lines from Act III of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Magical Castle - Unravelling The Myth

Part 1: The Magical Castle - Sank Of SATAN-3O1

The Fight

One day, Peter and team decided to give a final try and search the deepest part of the sea. Sadie noticed that there was a large number of aquatic animals moving in and out of a particular place. On further inquiry, she saw a castle, yes it was the magical castle. She feel immense pleasure to see it. She also saw a whale there. She informed Peter about this. Peter and John came there with swords and harpoon, hidden with them. They sent Sadie back to the ship for her safety.

As they move forward, Octo uncle saw them and he at once spilled ink as a mark of danger to alert everyone there. Then, came the orca out of the ink to attack them. They moved back in three different direction. The orca chose john and started chasing him. John realised that he can't swim faster than a Whale. So, he aimed the harpoon towards Orca and shot it one after another. This made the orca even more aggressive. John realised that it is his last breath when the aggressive whale was mere 2 ft distance from him. But, then Peter came in his rescue and put his sword in the jaw of the whale. Then, John too put his sword out and pierce it into the giant Orca.

[It was unprecedented. No one in the sea has ever tried to mess up with Orca. And, now everyone has one question in their mind ‘who are those little creatures?’]

Then, Octo and Turt came to rescue Orca. Octo once again spilled ink and Turt strike them with massive weight and hard shell. Turt laid over Peter and John and disarmed them. The Orca was still ready to tear them apart and eat them. But, Octo uncle stopped him and first decided to know who they are. He called the mermaid to communicate with them.

The mermaid is a beautiful creature in deep sea with good communication skills. She came forward and asked them their motive of coming in the sea.

John and Peter told them that they came here to see the magic castle. They also told them that all those treasure actually belong to their species. Peter narrated the whole story of SATAN-301 ship to the mermaid, and mermaid to Octo.

Octo Uncle Share Some Gyaan

Octo to Peter: “I knew about this ship that it belong to humans. But, it is now part of sea.”
Peter: “How do you know about us”
Octo: “The Amphibians told me about you that how you are cruelly treating the land animals.”
[Peter looked completely shocked! The animals are watching us too!]
Octo: “Look, there is huge biodiversity inside sea with so many different species, living here together with peace. The ship that sank may sometimes belonged to humans, but now it is a part of Sea.

Peter said: “I am a sea lover and doing research on the life inside sea. The SATAN-301 was just a part of my research. Yes, humans are greedy. Just mere a speculation that there is a magical castle here with treasure, attracted many of us to come here and snatch the treasure from you. Therefore, l'm afraid that if humans know the whereabouts of this place. They will definitely come and recover the treasure even if it they have to kill you all.”

Peter and John realized that the ship SHATAN-301 has now become an important part of sea. Therefore, they decided to not even take a picture of the magical castle and SATAN-301. They went back to the ship narrated whole story to Sadie and decided to simply let it go so that sea world could realize that humans are not as bad as they think about them.

★The End★

P.S- Knowing aquatic life could be very boring, especially for a child which is why Colgate came up with an innovative approach to help kids to get acquainted with aquatic life with new ‘Colgate Strong Teeth Packs’. It can help a kid to get acquainted with the sea-world. It comes in four different packs with the promise of a new story with every pack. Colgate helped me too in this regard by sending me all those four packs with pictures and details of the sea world.

A child has great imagination. They can tell wonderful stories. They can bring characters that is impossible for an adult cannot to think. Now, they can unlock their imagination about the magical sea world.

Working on this, I realised that the sea world is very mythical. It has a wide number of magical creatures that are beyond our imagination. We don't have complete knowledge about it. And, also it is getting vanished with a tremendous pace. There are actually a lot of such creatures that have been disappeared before we could get any information about them. And, whatever left is endangered. The sea life must remain unaltered.

The Magical Castle - Sank Of SATAN-3O1

According to the weather forecast experts, it was an ideal weather for commencing a journey.

Therefore, the ship SATAN-3O1 commenced its journey to Guyana. It was containing a large number of gold coins which was to be transported via sea route. During the start of this journey, everything was normal. However, somewhere in the mid sea, the weather become extreme. Suddenly, there were high tides, an unstopping rain and a violet storm. The captain and his co-workers fought the storm bravely but couldn't control the ship, and at last the ship, along with all the gold coins, sank as the result of extreme weather. And, all the humans in the SATAN-3O1 became dinner of killer Sharks.

The Magical Castle

In the sea, the sank SATAN-3O1 has now a major attraction for the sea creatures. It felt in Octo uncle's territory. He decided to build a castle, with the help of crab and sea ants, around it to protect them against theft. The ugly Octo (an octopus) has now become a wealthy king!

But, other creatures started fighting with Octo uncle for the treasure. He was too old to fight with them. One day, he held a meeting in which every weak and powerful king along with other sea creatures were invited. In the meeting it was decided that the sank ship was nobody's personal property and is open for all. Also, he demanded security for it. The Orca was given the duty to protect the treasure because no other creature had the audacity to fight with him. To fight with him was like to give death an invitation. Therefore, the magical castle was now secure too!

One day Octo and Turt (a sea-turtle), two life long friends, during the sunset, were discussing about the treasure that how did it came here? Meanwhile, they see some amphibians (occasional visitors to sea and land) were going through that way. He called and invited them to visit the magical castle. The amphibians agreed. When they saw the ship, they understood that it belong to homo sapiens. The amphibians told them about this and the atrocities they causing to the land animals. They said “It won't be here very long. The humans will come back to claim this”. All the sea creatures was given this information and told to be alerted.

The Exploration

One day, Peter (the explorer) with his team John and Sadie, out of curiosity, went to explore the sea-world and the much hyped magical castle. They created a map using information collected from their research about SATAN-3O1. Others have tried that too, but failed. It is because they were only interested in the treasure and not the sea life. Their only purpose was to somehow grab the gold. On the other hand, Peter and his team love the sea world. They have always been fascinated with the sea biodiversity and are curious to know more. Peter and John have mastery over deep sea diving. Sadie has good scientific knowledge about the aquatic life.

Reaching The Mid Sea

As per their plan, they reached the mid sea, the place where SATAN-3O1 sank. John dived into the sea with all the equipments. Peter and Sadie was waiting for him to give a signal. For communication, they had modern walkie talkie that works in sea. John responded that he has reached the sea and is moving forward reached the coral reefs . After some time John came up with no sign of seeing any ship wreckage or castle. They decided to search thoroughly in the diameter of 100 kms of the expected location where SATAN-3O1 sank. Now, four days of continuous search have passed. And with each passing day, their hope along with fuel and oxygen supply fading.

To Be Continued...

Also Read: The Magical Castle - Unravelling The Myth

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Beat The Lost Growth In Your Child With Horlick Growth+

Children are building blocks for a healthy society. They must grow to their full capacities. To carry the load of human species on their shoulders and to take it to a next level, they must be developed strong, vigorous and healthy both physically and psychologically.

Children are curious by nature. This curiosity must be nurtured. It is the quality that churns out great scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers, writers, etc. This curiosity brings innovation and creative ideas, essential for a progressive society, make our life easier and this world a better place to live in.

All parents want to see their children in a healthy state. They leave no stone unturned to keep them strong, healthy and full of curiosity. Often, they get the results. But, in certain cases, their children fall behind on growth. They do not show the symptoms of growth. They do not attain right weight and height as per the age. And, as a result of retarded growth, they do not show curiosity for learning something new. They get tired in classroom very early which severely affect their learning process. They do not want to actively participate in any activities in school. As a result, they lost all excitement at all. These are, actually, the major cause of anxiety amongst Parents. But, with the passage of time, they learn to live with that. So, the question is, can you allow your child to remain in that state?

As Hippocrates said “ Let food be thy medicine”, a balanced diet will certainly help in attaining right growth at a right time. But, we all know, our eating habit is changing drastically. Forget the children, we ourselves are addictive towards junk food items. And, a child is just a child. They obviously want to eat food items that satisfy their taste buds. So, your kid not eating a balanced and healthy diet recommended by the Pediatrician is very normal these days. But, what can you do to make sure your kid is not going to lag behind in this highly competitive world?

Horlicks is helping thousands of such concerned Parents and their children for many years. It is a global brand that almost everyone  knows about. And, now this brand comes up with an innovative new product Horlicks Growth+. It is a specialized nutrition product designed by international pediatric experts for the children in age group of 3-9 years who are lagging behind in height and weight. It contains high quality whey protein with added nutrients that are known to enable children to catch up on lost growth which has been clinically proven for visible growth in children in 6 months.”

In this competitive society, all round growth of children is necessary. Because you already know the famous line from the movie 3 idiots “Life is a race, you must run fast, until you reach the finish line, otherwise the guy behind you will tread over you towards the finish line”. Therefore, if your child didn't grow to his/her full potential, then catching up on lost growth becomes inevitable. Thankfully, the medical science is competent to deal with this and Horlicks came up with an innovative solution, Horlicks growth+.

(Image credit:

Monday, 4 July 2016

Forgiveness - Your Way Towards Peace

Forgiveness is like a divine power, something that ordinary humans are not entitled to have. And, those who have this quality are more than 'a human'. One, who is a free from materialistic desire and, most importantly, the ego, is blessed with such divine power.

Whether it is about physical or mental strength, weak cannot forgive others. Forgiveness is always an attribute of strong people. It is a trait of mature person having deep inner strength. This strength cannot be bought, it has to be earned. But, how would you earn that? I think, spirituality may be the answer.

There are multiple benefits of forgiveness. It directly influences our thinking process. It sets you free from the negativity building around and boosts positive personality. It saves energy which can be redirected into productive things. It is also the key to longevity and good health.

But, how will you forgive someone who is not even sorry for their action? How will you respond to evil with kindness and hatred with affection? Is that practically possible?

It's definitely not easy, almost impossible, in modern times. We are self-righteous people and often make it an honour issue. We are driven by anger,  envy and hatred. Love, compassion, and forgiveness comes later. I think, the fault lies in our lifestyle and effect of our surroundings. But, overcoming all odds, some manage to do so. They are certainly not weak person as they are often described as.

It requires just a sound mind to feel sorry, some guts, to say sorry. But, to forgive someone, who had done something bad to you, you need deep inner strength and a remarkable mental stability.

But, if you keep getting bothered about something that has happened in the past, you can never come out of it. And, holding a grudge inside you doesn't make you strong, but it only makes you bitter. That is why, it is said that, we should not forgive a person because he is innocent, we should forgive for the sake of our own ‘peace of mind’.

I think, everyone is born with this quality but with each passing day, we gain ego and which is why forgiveness starts fading away from our character. If the world is to be looked from a child's perspective, one can forgive others very easily. Children do not learn to forgive. They naturally have this quality, that's why, one day we see a spat between two kids, but the next day, they forgive and forget every bitter memory, and become friends again. Sometimes children teach us some great lessons about life. But, as they grow up, they begin to develop ego, which makes them, what I described earlier, 'an ordinary human'.

For those who are always in the fighting mode, having a perception that they are invincible, forgiveness can be a powerful weapon against them or may be the only means to deal with them. It irks them to be forgiven so easily. They want you to engage in an argument and show their talent.

When Mahatma said, An eye for an eye can make the world blind, he teaches the importance of forgiveness in our life. To maintain the continuity of human species, someone somewhere has to take a step forward towards forgiveness, and it may sound like losing a battle but it is because of them, we exists!

You know, because of our default human behaviour, how things sometimes get out of our control and, in the middle of an argument, we say rude things to others, sometimes to the person we love the most. In that case, forgiveness becomes inevitable to heal the relationship.

What is forgiveness to you? Have you ever forgiven anyone? If you do, what change(s) did you observe in that person's attitude? You can give your answer below in the comment box.