Monday 30 November 2009


Cyber world offers virtual farming on Facebook. It is a real time-farm simulation game developed by Zynga. According to wikipedia, the application has 63.7 million active users on November 9th, 2009. 

It keeps coming up with new features, take stock of your level, makes you earn cash/coins. I enjoy it and keep glued to it even if I am dead tired. Coz I simply enjoy the feeling of being associated with farms. I have a barn house, Hot Air Balloon, a tractor, and what not! My friends keep gifting me Goats, Cows, Chicken, Reindeer, Horses etc. 

I found a cat too, and three turkeys and my farm houses a windmill. Its a small virtual world which I can associate to, and It belongs to me. I customized myself into a virtual girl, with long red hair. I have to take care of the harvest, to avoid it from getting withered. As I keep getting more neighbors, I get an entitlement to expand my farm. 

I can arrange the stuff as I wish to. During Haloween, I brought Tombstones, and some Jack-o-lanterns. I can help my friends by shoowing away the crows, or fox disturbing the animals of eating away the crop. This is Farmville offered as an application by the famous social networking site, facebook. 

Author's Note: I am one of the active farmville addict! I know many people get bugged with it, but I cant stop to see my level scaling up!.

Monday 23 November 2009

Democratic Defence

Being associated with industry lobby organisation exposes you to a lot of well analysed information across various sectors. This post is particularly dedicated to the defence sector, especially because I take pride in my army based ancestry.

But yes there are certain things I perceived during my education, as journalists are skilled to look at everything with suspicion. So I had a belief that defence people are authoritative. It was when Air Marshal P K Barbora's remark reflected on the front page of The Times of India. The story was formed around the military's resistance towards female pilots. His remarks strengthened my belief, ironically to realise that the world of media is full of wrong interpretations about remarks made by people in authority.

I have had my share of witnessing such episodes, during sessions with ministers. Media comes up with a completely new made-up story. I respect media as the watchdog of society, politics, commerce, etc. at the same time I realise media like anything else has its pros and cons.

So let me come back to the issue, as I decided to give some of my blog space to the Indian defence sector. Particularly to the speech made my Air Marshal Barbora at a session on 19th November 2009. His fearless, well analysed speech had substantial weight.

According to him,

Post independence, India had small civil aviation and a small tactical air force. Social thinking was inducted in governance through the PSU culture. Incentives and motivation for the private players were lacking. Financial system and availability of capital was nationalised, and impetus to private system was very low, and no level playing field existed for the private players. India missed out on mid-level technology and the founding blocks of the national Air Force went amiss. The governance structure was such that that the country went for an outright direct purchase. The sellers were happy and the nation was in a miserable condition. It was all dependant on the mercy of the suppliers to turn the tap on and supply, while India's hands were tight. Indian economy was not great and DRDO's did not had money. Ironically the phenomenal growth of educational system benefited only the west through brain drain.

Today, India is a rapidly growing economy, but we have not come to a single digit to what the global aviation industry is. China has produced the whole damn airbus, and we still pride ourselves if we have created just a part of plane. Systems and hurdles exists. There has to be participation from DRDO as well as private enterprises. We still live with so many regulations and exports sanctions. The national defence requirements from the private sector is minuscule. No private enterprise wold want to make investments to serve to a small market, they should therefore be allowed to venture overseas markets. The steps have been taken in the FDI domain, but these ought to be bold enough. Technological transfers have not been in actual terms, its just been assembling of equipments. Ding-dong battle carries on for years between the government in power and opposition. Infrastructural support from the government if required. Approximately 1000 acre on land is required only for civil aviation. The government must therefore evolve a national policy, and take advantage of global interdependence. Private sector must be allowed a freer hand, and should adhere to quality consciousness. Exports control for the private sector must be opened up, with of course a little regulations. We have adequate knowledge in IITs etc, this should be leveraged. The economy has to adhere to strong intellectual property norms. India must go indigenous.

Author's Note: I found his remarks democratic enough, changing my perception about the defence personnels! But this all has been said a lot, real work is missing. No matter what we talk about arms proliferation, ultimately the nation with the largest ammunition's is considered powerful on the global scale.


Asia and Africa are the most vulnerable continents where the AIDS pandemic has been spiralling due to lack of information. It is spread equally across the disadvantaged section of society as well as the well-to-do lot. Around 33.2 million people are living with this disease world-wide, as per the official figures which are supposed to be manipulated to the lower side, and many people would have been living in an ignorant state about carrying the infection, or due to no medical facilities in the locality. 90% of people have no knowledge about suffering from AIDS. 

Last week I happen to witness the narration by an HIV positive man, whose wife is HIV positive too. They have a daughter who is fortunately not infected with the virus. The man, his wife and the daughter suffer from humiliation, discrimination and societal isolation. At the outset people perceive that he might have had unprotected physical relation (grossly unacceptable in the Indian society) with an infected person. Other reasons of the virus transmission are not considered at all. 

While he was heartbroken, I recalled the AIDS prevention advertisement by Shabana Aazmi. In which she hugs HIV-Positive girl, spreading the message that the virus does not spread through casual contacts. Shaking hands, a peck on the cheek, hugging etc does not spread the HIV virus.

This is my stint with the topic: 
Some 4-5 years ago. I was down with fever and had bad shivers. My parents decided to get me tested for Malaria. For the test, a pin supported by a plastic holder was supposed to be pricked on my finger. I was a bit apprehensive that the pin used on me is not sterilised, and I instantly pulled off my hand. On enquiring the person politely replied that we don't use unsterilized equipments. I was proud of my promptness and surprised with the politeness of the person at other end. This is the benefit of being informed, I could have carried a doubt but I cleared it at the moment. I have been particularly cautious to buy sterilised syringes. Unfortunately medical professionals in rural areas are reported to use unsterilised, corroded syringes repeatedly on patients. Nurses don't even know how AIDS spread, they live with understanding that AIDS spreads as cough and cold. As per reports, it infects a person, during his/her most productive age. Discrimination at workplace often leads to the person getting sacked and being unable to afford treatment cost. Discrimination in society leads to lesser support. 

Some features about the disease, this is not a diagnosis but a few facts: 

AIDS / HIV - Positive status is incurable. Once you have it you have to live with it till death. 

AIDS lowers the immunity of the infected person, and the person ultimately dies as is unable to fight diseases due to low immunity. 

HIV is the virus and AIDS is a disease. Being HIV positive does not mean that the person is affected with AIDS, its when an HIV positive person starts showing the symptoms of AIDS and have been confirmed with the disease through a test.
Antiretroviral drugs are available to make an infected person survive for a longer time. This helps in delaying an infected person to switch from HIV - positive status to AIDS

Antiretroviral drugs have to be consumed everyday without fail

NGOs and social organisations have been fighting with the stigma associated with HIV-AIDS. A person suffering from AIDS and witnessing stigma or discrimination can complain with NACO here

Amongst the educated ones, who feel that they don't know much about the virus and the disease, can do a bit of google search, or dial AIDS toll-free helpline at 1800-180-2008 from BSNL/MTNL numbers, or 0172-266217 from other telephone networks. The Government of India's initiative National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) also runs a telephonic helpline for people suffering from AIDS as 1097. The society can come together and disseminate as much information as possible about how it is spread and how it can be prevented. Wikipedia also pays a considerable web-page share for AIDS. To visit the page Click Here

Author's Note: The disease of AIDS is preventable but is incurable!

Friday 13 November 2009

Murphy;s Law

Murphy's law states that, 'If anything can go wrong, it will'. Thus the statement applies to the law itself. So we are taking the highway, it doesn’t really matter that the tyre will go flat, or the car breaks down or the murphy's law is proclaimed invalid!

It will be cluttered, you see, its getting dark and all the big wagons will take the highway, he said with a blushing tone, trying to avoid a long drive on the highway.

I started staring outside, unfazed with the very logical excuses, expecting that he will take the way as I suggested.

Author's Note: Random post!

Thursday 12 November 2009


Yesterday I wore denim jacket while commuting to and fro, and today carrying a sweater. Welcome to the winter sessions in Delhi, saw many people in warm attire. This will stay for some 4-5 months, sometime during the middle of winters, temperature will drop to the freezing point.

Like everything, winters have its negatives and positives.. The trick is how one can capture the positives and negate the negatives. The only negative for me about winters is that I develop bad headache during extreme cold/hot weather. And getting out of the bed in a winter morning in itself a huge task, all I wish to do is get into my bed and gorge some gajak n peanuts.

Author's Note: This is for me gearing up for cold weather headache!

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