FreeRice.Com – Feeding hungry people around the world through your vocabulary.

Friday, December 14, 2007

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About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often. Yet there is plenty of food in the world for everyone. The problem is that hungry people are trapped in severe poverty. They lack the money to buy enough food to nourish them. Being constantly malnourished, they become weaker and often sick. This makes them increasingly less able to work, which then makes them even poorer and hungrier. This downward spiral often continues until death for them and their families.

This morning, while at work, I a came across this wonderful website called http://freerice.com/ A no profit website which donates 20 grains of rice for every word you get right. This donation is done by the website through United Nations to people who are leaving below poverty line.

FreeRice has two goals:
1)Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
2)Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

By now, you must be wondering how this works and how Rice & Vocabulary are related. When you play the word game on the site, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people. The rice is paid for by the advertisers. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry).

Now the next question arises in your mind is on the distribution system of rice. The rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The World Food Program is the world’s largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Program helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good.

The rice you donate makes a huge difference to the person who receives it. The rice you donate is more precious than anything in the world as you might save a child dieing in the arms of his beloved parents from hunger.

So, if you are GAME to help end poverty...Log on to http://freerice.com/ and start playing.

Art of 'Jollufying'..The Orkut way!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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I was recently watching an interview with Shailesh Rao, MD of Google India, in one of the news channels. I was not surprised when he quoted that India is the second largest user of Orkut in the world after Brazil. There is no doubt about it if you have noticed the amount of time people around you spend on the site. Orkut has been used for various activities from tracking down the whereabouts of your childhood friends to finding a new life partner. Orkut is indirectly competing with matrimonial sites as well as job boards to name few businesses. I was bit surprised to know that the religion based communities on Orkut are acting as matchmakers.

Ok, lemme cut to the chase. My intention of writing this articleis not to glorify Orkut or to list out the benefits of the same, but to throw some light on the most active species on Orkut who belong to a universal community called “Jollus”. Lemme first explain what Jollu in Kannada & Tamil means. “Jollu” means saliva and is often referred to people who salivate at the site of the opposite sex, people who are desperate to see, touch, talk sense, smell and show some kind of desperation to the opposite sex. Orkut no doubt has become a major platform for jollus to perform their act. Jollus are not even bothered to understand the fact that Orkut is an open forum and express their desperation through a communication vehicle called Scraps, which is visible for everybody who visits a particular profile. The Jollus on Orkut have evolved over a period of 2 years and often update and upgrade the statements they make to befriend girls. The opening statements they make vary from Jollus to jollus depending upon their class, upbringing, vocabulary etc. From very colloquial statements to Shakespeare stuffs, from very interesting statements to pale dialogs, sometimes it’s hilarious too.

Below are some of the opening statements I have come across in my 'female friends' (Lemme not complicate it by saying girl friends) scrap books and of course made by the Jollus. These are tried and tested statements, by any chance if you are one of the Jollu in the making, do try and come out with some innovative statements instead using the same old funny stuffs.

P.S: All the characters, statements mentioned below defenetly resemble some one dead or alive and not just a mere coincident. Yes, I have copied below scraps directly from the scrap books and have not bothered to change the senders (jollu’s) names in some cases. If somebody thinks it’s their statement and I have no authorization to publish the same in my blog, they can get in touch with me. It’s been long time that I broke someone in half. If somebody think I am intruding their privacy or copying content, lemme reiterate that Orkut is an open forum and copying scraps from it will not tantamount to plagarism(More over, I am giving credit to the writers by not removing their names).

Like always, my comments in RED.

• Can we cross the limits of being strangers and be friends? (Infiltration is crime)
• Do u agree our friendship. (Where is the agreement??)
• Hi wana b ur frnd. (Will get back to you)
• Hi.. ur face is familiar to me.... (I was your sister in previous birth.)
• Hey.... Was going through ur profile, found it interesting, so am writing to u.....As a normal routine, I know u must be tired of people saying, "hiii there, u r cute, u r pretty, i like ur smile, i like ur eyes....... and stuff"......and i can imagine how irritating it can be when someone out of know where jumps up and says....... "DO u wanna be my friend, or can i be ur friend" and u feel like, Man DO i KNow u ....Hence i would definitely not do the same, neither would i ask u to be my friend... All i shall say is, "WHy dont we start a conversation and let friendship develop on its on....." Hope u would.... (How are u related to Shakespeare??)
• Hi nice smile on ur face iam rohit wann to scrap me. (You are already scrapped off)
• Hai, Add me as a friend. (Will add to my hit list).
• Hi budy u want to friendship with me. (Sure, If you are alive after meeting my Boyfriend)
• hai shwetha how r u i want make friend with u (Make it in your dreams)
• hi........shwetha my name is santosh this is my no 998652***9. Please give mis cal or cal me m waiting yaar. (Indecent proposal).
• u don know me....i too don know u...but u look interestin...if u are here for makin new fnds then scrap me back otherwise leave it...i wil be waitin take care... (If v donno each other, just F**k off)
• Your profile is very interesting…can you tell me more about the picture you have in your album. (Idiot, pictures are self explanatory)
• Hi, how ru m dinesh from haryana will u frndshp wth me.(Why not uncle, I am ur daughter’s friend)
• Hi im mangesh from pune. i wanna know more about u ...can we be frnds ?? (Ask my husband to know more about me)
• Hi… i'm Ravi..may i hav d pleasure of bein ur frnd....?ping me back soooonnn...waitn 4 ur reply ( Not interested in pinging pigs)
• Hi beautiful... i m interested in u through ur profile.. i wud like to know more abt u.. If u also have no probs please do reply (If you also have no probs????what does it mean??)

Posted by Pradeep A.J 0 comments Links to this post  

A Drive Down Memory Lane and the first firsts of life..

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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First, it was my sis who cancelled her program, and then it was Vishwas who changed his mind and stayed back in Bangalore. When ever ready (to booze) Vinay was the last to say no to drive with me, I had no options left but to drive alone till Hassan. Though the distance is hardly around 200 Kms, I thought it would be a dull and tiresome drive till I started, but never thought it would result in a trip down memory lane.
It all started from the oldest day I remember, 17th Oct 1980, the day which stands out for 2 reasons, first being a birth of my only sister and second being the oldest day I remember in my life. My connection with school was plugged in when I joined a local nursery school next to my house in the early eighties. Year later I joined
Vasavi Vidyalaya for kindergarten and I still remember the first day at school when I got a missile’s blow on my butt from my grandfather while I was crying to get inside the class room. Life at Vasavi was all about going to school, watching cartoon shows at Amar’s house, fighting with my first friend Yogesh (Have no clue about his whereabouts) and eating dry fruits at Amit’s godown. I also played my first cricket match during this time. I was dressed up like a groom with a pair of formals and a white sports shoe when I went to play my first official cricket match against my juniors at class three.
In 1989, I joined
TMS, an over rated school in the town for my Fifth standard. Life at TMS was more of sports and less studies. I probably would have spent more time in the grounds than the classroom achieving nothing out of it. Name a sport played in the school and I was part of that team. This is the time the transformation from Pradeep to AJ happened and people started recognizing me as AJ & Kunta too. During this time I made some wonderful friends with whom I grew up.
Life at
St.Josephs’ from 1992 to 1994 gave me an excellent opportunity to look life from a different angle. It all started with a bad first impression when I unintentionally mimicked one of my teachers and got a nice slap from him. Later on I managed to become one of his favorite students. During my 9th Standard I visited a Pub in Bangalore while I was here to play state level basket ball tournament. I found beer as a most nauseated drink on earth and hated that for many years. In 1993, I had to move to a hostel when my grandparents moved to Bangalore on a transitory arrangement. I stayed with Shishir, the most adventurous and Rajshekar, the most talkative guy in the hostel. The biggest challenge in front of me and Shishir was to stop Rajshekar’s superfluous speech, which was getting into our nerves at times. Life at hostel thought me lead life independently. This is the time I made lot of new friends and took friendship with old friends to the next level, friends who still stand by me as pillars of my strength and have seen each other growing inch by inch since then.
Post 10th Standard, I moved to a boarding college near Mangalore for further studies where studying was something which we were doing at our ‘free time’. Life at
Karkala was more fun than learning and was kicked back to Chikmagalore after one year. I joined Mountain View school in 1996 and the only thing I remember is that I was flunked for the first time in life. Those were the most painful days when I had to spend one long year doing nothing but day dreaming (Yes, I am a true Piscean). During this time I tried my luck in agriculture and business too. There is nothing much to recall or write about my days at IDSG college where I graduated from as I hardly remember anything.
2 years spent in Davangere during my MBA days has lot of firsts to its credit. It had its share of good and bad experiences. I felt I was living fairly close to cloud 9 when I went out on a first date. My first presentation was a massive disaster. I was targeted ruthlessly by seniors during my presentation as they were pissed off by my careless attitude off turf. My first job interview was as immature as I didn’t even know how to impress people and negotiate.
My first job was an awful experience. My first boss was not only a nerd but also eloped with my money later on. Life at Jobstreet gave me a different perspective of corporate life. Having had a worst experience in my first job, everything which happened to me in the first few months at Jobstreet was a unique experience, be it my boss or my job. Having worked alone in the previous job, I got an opportunity to work with a team. I worked under a lady boss for the first time when I moved to Cybermedia. Honestly speaking, I had to eat my prejudice against working with a lady boss after working with her for sometimes. My life post 2006 also had its share of tragic firsts to its credit. The few firsts I experienced during this period are neither worth mentioning nor would like to remember moving further.

Ironically, most of the first experiences were also the last experiences for me. I never got an opportunity to have a second time experience. In four words if I can sum up everything I've learned in the past 28 years: ‘Life Just goes on’.

Songs of Aashiquee and Baazigar played from the CD player made me more nostalgic throughout the drive. Both the movies were released during my school days at TMS and Josephs’. A day’s trip to Chikmagalore on Friday looked like I was celebrating Mothers day as I met/saw most of my childhood friends’ moms who were always unbiased and trusted me more than their kids in some cases.

Posted by Pradeep A.J 1 comments Links to this post  

Bridging The Gap - Community Radio Station.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

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I had been to Dharwar over the last weekend on a personal trip. Dharwar, a city, home of delicious, mouth watering Pedhas and for renowned centers of learning with various educational institutions and a city with various firsts to its credit.

My appetite to know new things about the places I visit triggered yet again. This time, top of the list on the menu was the new Community Radio Station (CSR) named as “Samudaya Banuli Kendra", launched recently targeting the farmers in and around the city. This of course has been launched as a pilot project covering the radius of 8-10kms, and will be extended to other parts of the district in the coming days.

Country’s first of its kind, this initiative is a brain child of The University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, launched with the financial assistance of the Union Government. The whole idea behind this launch was to reach the farmers through the medium of radio, which is a powerful medium to interact with themasses at the grassroots level and try to address their problems. The channel, with the catch line “Raitharinda Raitharige”, (by the farmers, for the farmers), deals with issues related to agriculture, health, nutrition, hygiene and income generating schemes for farmers. Apart from the said programmes, progressive farmers in the region are also invited to give advice to the farmers and to share the secrets of their success. An advisory committee has been formed which comprises officials from the University staff, five men farmers, five women farmers and two non-governmental organizations to take care of the content and programmes that catch the attention of farmers. Apart from this, local farmers and public are also invited to give their opinion and suggestions to improve the channel.

These kinds of initiatives will definitely help farmers to learn new methods of cultivation as well as find solutions to the problems they face in their day to day life and will defenietly bring in reforms to the already sinking industry. CRSs should in fact go one step ahead and provide information about the buyers, co-operative societies etc. More and more multinational companies in the country should launch CRS as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative, if it is sustainable (CRS at Dharwar was set up at the cost of 15L). Radio surely has more reach than the online initiatives which are currently operative in the same segment. Having said that, I completely accept the fact that online initiatives are doing a fairly good job, but it definitely takes some time to reach the masses at the grassroots level. Hope to see CRSs targeting farmers at every district headquarters in the next few years to come.

From cabbage to garbage – A Devastating condition of Indian vegetable cultivator

Saturday, October 6, 2007

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I have been visiting my parents for almost every weekend over the last few weeks at my village near Hassan for one or the other reasons like marriage, festival, pooja etc. Last week when I met my dad for the third consecutive weekend, I found him too low and disturbed. While discussing with him on the various issues pertaining to Agriculture, plantation and villagers, I came to know that he had sold two truck loads of Cabbage grown in his plantation for just Rs.7000/-. Needless to say this made him feel so low. This exactly is the situation with every farmer who grows vegetable in India.
While on my way back to Bangalore, I was thinking to myself, if this is the result you get after investing 3 full months, 3shifts a day and few thousands of rupees on fertilizers, pesticides, labors etc. there is no wonder why farmers in some parts of the country are committing suicide and most of the others are migrating to nearby towns and cities in search of jobs.

Contrary to the situation faced by farmers the people who live in towns and cities have different story to say. They always crib about hike in the vegetable price and how it results in toppling their financial plan, every hotelier saying that, hike in the vegetable price has resulted in increased cost and thus they have increased the prices of food. So, a same vegetable plays two different roles in two different places from ruining up farmers life to jeopardizing the financial plan of city dwellers.

So, what exactly is the reason for this leakage? Any kind of rocket science approach is not required to find out the answer, but I feel some of the reasons are 1) there is no organized distribution system 2) There is no support price given. 3) Buyers are not regulated. 4) Too many middlemen. I believe by the time it reaches consumer it changes at least 3 hands at various stages. 5) Prices are fixed by middlemen. 6) Shortage of cold storage units.
Considering the fact that vegetables are highly perishable in nature, there has been no effort put by government to set up cold storage units in the rural areas. At least a cold storage in every gram panchayat may bring in some kind of positive change in the lives of vegetable cultivators during the glut.

A minimum procurement price supported by organized distribution system through fair price shops dedicated to sell only vegetables will also avoid cultivators making loss. Kiosks in every post office in the rural area to give information about the prices of the vegetable in various parts of the country and other related issues will also bring in lot of reforms. The reason why I have mentioned post office is because of their reach. Even today in India no distribution channel has got as close reach as post offices have. Of course there has been couple of initiatives taken by private sectors in India both in improvising the distribution system and providing required information to the farmers. Pepsi foods initiative of buying potatoes & tomatoes from farmers, which did not take big leap because of their poor supply chain management and ITC’s e-Choupal is more or less a paper tiger and almost struck in the same place where it started seven years back.

Contract farming is something which is picking up very well in the country, but nevertheless it has to be monitored closely by either government or APMC since it is proving biased against the farmers in lot of cases. For instance, small and marginal farmers are not equipped with information and knowledge required in this regard and farmers have very little bargaining power at the present model. Growing retail sector is also giving some kind of hopes as some of the big retailers are sourcing vegetables directly from the farmers.

Agriculture provides livelihoods to 70 percent of the rural people resulting in India being the largest producer of vegetable in the world. Post Green revolution of 1970s which enabled India to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains, agricultural growth has slowed from 3.5 percent in mid 1980s to 2 percent in mid 1990s to 2000s. Farmers migrating to cities in search of jobs are a major cause of concern. This has already resulted in low agricultural productivity. This time, the government of India has no ample time to react to this situation. If they do not act in the next hour, we’ll end up importing vegetables and fruits in the years to come.

"Too Sulabh Shouchaalay"

Saturday, September 1, 2007

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We have heard, seen, read about those innovative public toilets in Switzerland; that has an enclosure made of one-way glass, so that no one can see you doing your business but you could see them while you’re inside.

How about this one? I found this very innovative and cost effective open toilet on the busy Infantry road in Bangalore. The walls are neither made out of glass, bricks nor wood, but have no walls at all. I was shocked to see this rare scene just outside my office building on 30th of August 2007.The budding photographer in me couldn't stop taking picture of this rare incident....lemme explain in detail. A commode was placed on an uncovered manhole on the busy Infantry road. This definitely reflects the soiled infrastructure of the city. If this is the situation on the road which houses Police commissioner's office, Income taxes office and couple of media houses, it’s our foolishness to ask for a better infrastructure in the remote areas of the city which cries to death when it rains.

Coming back to the commode saga, I was wondering whether it’s a unique way of protesting against the open manholes, huge pits on the roads or was it just one of those broken useless stuff threw on the road by the sanitary shops in the area.

A day’s life of this commode came to an end when a speeding BMTC bus rammed it to pieces on the 31st of Aug, 2007. Hey Mr. Commode, may your soul rest in peace in the toilets of Switzerland!

AUTORATURE - A vanishing art!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

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Love them or loathe them, but you just cant ignore them.Nope, I am not talking about the Himesh Reshamiyas of the world, but a tiny yet ferocious automobile called Autorikshaws.Which are also popularly known as Rick,Auto,Rickshaw,Tuk Tuk, etc in different parts of the subcontinent.
Auto drivers are peculiar and typical in nature depending upon the various locations they reside in India. An auto driver in Bangalore might just ignore you in the mornings as he might be busy reading Kannada dailies like Prajavani or Vijaya Karnataka or even Times of India in some cases, nevertheless Bangalore is the only place in India where you can find English speaking autowallas. An auto driver in Chennai ensures that he’ll atleast show some parts of Chennai before dropping you to your destination which apparently is just one road away from the place you had taken the rick (If you are new to Chennai). It’s a different story altogether with Bombay autowallahs, they are the most honest and customer friendly auto drivers I have come across amongst their counterparts in other cities.

Auto drivers are often portrayed negatively in most of the South Indian movies. Few exceptions I have come across are Rajanikanth’s Bhashaa in Tamil and Auto Raja starring Shankar Nag in Kannada. No wonder why we see Rajani’s photos in the auto stands of Tamilnadu and Shankar Nag’s in Karnataka. Auto rickshaws have found their fortunes in Hollywood too; there is a chasing scene in James Bond movie Octopussy in which Bond and a fellow M16 agent Vijay Amritraj elude villains while they are in an auto.

It will be incomplete if I don't mention the creativity of auto drivers, especially when my objective of writing this post is to emphasise and compile some of the interesting slogans on the auto rickshaws around.Since my childhood days, I have been enchanted by the ‘creative’, ‘emotional’, ‘funny’, ‘meaningless’ writings on the back of rickshaws on the Indian subcontinent. Thanks to those creative auto drivers. This unique art can be called as “AUTORATURE” (Auto+Literature), off course, term coined by me!
I feel this wonderful art work is ceasing to exist in some parts of the country. You can blame it either on authorities for restricting auto drivers from writing anything on the canopy or blame it on the greedy marketers like me who are trying to covert every bit of visible property as an advertising space in the name of ambient media.

I have compiled some of the slogans/writings I have found on the Autorickshaws in Bangalore and have also tried to give a rough translation of the same as most of them are in Kannada. I have also put in my comments in red.

  • The new Indian.(What’s your status? Old Indian or New Indian).
  • Preethiyannu konda kolegaathi - Murderess who killed Love (Poor Devdas :( ).
  • God is doing but somewhat wait(Hey Shakespeare, can you can you come alive and explain this to us?).
  • Dhoom 4 – (Ahead of yashRaj movies.But where is Dhoom 3??).
  • Love is a sweet poison – (Thank god I am not diabetic).
  • Trust a snake but not a woman – (Can we trust female snakes?).
  • Don’t vary be happi – (Hey techies around, can you invent auto spell check in PAINT BRUSH too?).
  • Duniya duddina mele preethi bhoomi mele - World rests on money yet love stays on earth.
  • Thandeya nenapu, thaayiya aashirvaada – Dad’s memory, mother’s blessings.
  • Small family, happy family – (how many small families do you have??Be specific).
  • Don't pollute the air - (only autorckshaws are entitled to do so).
  • Nagu yellarigagi, hrudaya obbaligagi - Smile for everyone, heart for only one (I believe he is yet to find his first love).
  • Nothing can change my love for you - (Are you sure?).
  • Mandyada gooli - The bull from Mandya (Beware..It can attack on any color)
  • Manja SSLC, Mahesha P.U.C - (Ooops...higly educated family!)
  • Masthigu kusthigu ready - Ready for both fun and fight (Local Munnabhai??)

I do try to add some more slogans as and when I get to see the new ones, also pls contribute if you come across anything interesting. (pradeepjayraj[at]gmail.com)

A bit of Gandhi in every father..

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

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It was sharp 6pm and I decided to step out of the office. I have been doing it for the last couple of weeks, post my realization that I too have a personal life and it has gone for a big toss. Initially my colleagues used to ask me whether I am on half a day leave, but they have stopped asking as it has become quite regular now. Once out of office, the biggest challenge in front of me was to plan my evening. I did call couple of my friends and tried planning for a movie, but in vein I got a sarcastic smile from them when I told them the name of the movie, Gandhi My father. By then I was quite sure that I am not going to get any company for this movie and headed towards Inox alone.

For a change, I went out without having any pre conceived notion about the movie.I had avoided seeing trailers of this movie in television. For my surprise, this movie turned out to be one of the best emotional melodramas I have ever seen on the silver screen in the recent past. The critic in me was unable to find a single flaw in the movie. Be it the way the story has been narrated or the performance of each and every actor in the movie. Hats off to Anil Kapoor’s guts for taking such a risk in producing a movie on a character called Harilal Gandhi which is neither heard nor seen anywhere. The second person to be appreciated is director Feroze Abbas Khan; he has utilized his skills till the corner of his ability.Akshay Khanna’s acting as Harilal Gandhi is just mesmerizing. Nevertheless, the roles played by Dharshan Jariwal as Mahatma Gandhi and Shefali Shah as Kastur Ba is much appreciated.

Getting little deeper into the movie or rather into the story of Harilal Gandhi itself, I was asking myself a few hundred questions while trying to analyze who was responsible for the disastrous end of Harilal, the eldest son of Mahatma Gandhi. Is it Mahatma who was responsible or Harilal himself?

Recounting couple of incidents from the movie as a normal human being, I somehow felt Mahatma was somewhere responsible for the failure of his son. Despite of all his success as a peacemaker, campaigner, father of the nation, he failed at the task of being a good father for his eldest son.

Being an elder son in the family, Harilal had to sacrifice his studies as Mahatma was shuttling his family between South Africa and India. Though Harilal was very ambitious and wanted to become a barrister like his father, Mahatma never supported him. Be it when he failed to give his son a basic education or be it when he failed to recommend the scholarship to his son. Knowingly or unknowingly Mahatma used his son as a material of experimenting with his values and principles, especially when he provokes his son to go against the South African government’s racism policy though he knew it might jeopardize his son’s ambition of becoming a barrister.

If my objective is to prove Mahatma wrong I get countless examples from the story, but trying to do so, I will prove myself wrong

On the contrary, If you see the flip side of the story, it was Harilal who was responsible for his downfall. It’s very easy to become a victim of circumstances, as was the case with Harilal, and put the blame on someone else for your failures. He was never confident in his moves and was always insecure. After he moved back to India parting ways from his father his negative source of energy was much stronger than his ambitions. He was always scared that he’ll loose against his father. His failures were result of defocus and moving ahead in a wrong path. His whole objective was to win against his father and not to reach his destination. His unclear vision and insecure nature made him convert into Muslim and again when he failed to prove himself as an individual without the name of his father, when he failed to get the support from his new religion he gets reconverted into Hinduism. Though Harilal was always against his father, knowingly or unknowingly he used Mahatma’s name in each and every endeavors of his life.

If you get little deeper into the character of Mahatma, you’ll accept the fact that he was reacting to the circumstances and never forced his son to follow his principles. Instead of trying to exploit the family name in every possible way, Harilal should have been proud to be born in such a family, a family which believed a life of selfless devotion to the cause of freedom and equality, a father who was determined to get the nation back from the hands of English.

If you come out of the movie and see the families around, you see a bit of Gandhi in every father and a bit of Kastur Ba in every mother. A father son conflict is nothing new in the Indian context. Most of the time, like Mahatma and his son’s case, the conflict always revolves around ones career, failures and freedom and like Kastur ba; every mother constantly tries to reconcile father and son.

Coming back to the movie, it will be crime on the part of juries’ if it fails to win at least one Oscar.

Posted by Pradeep A.J 1 comments Links to this post  

Why Do You Want a Web Site?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

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Its very imperative to have a website for any business today. I really don’t know how many of these small business houses, especially in India do some home work before making their site live. In most of the cases we limit our website to publish promoters photos and our contact details. I recently came across this very informative article by Ana Rincon, on the points we need to consider before we go live with website.

You’ve decided that you need a Web site and you’re ready to move ahead and have it built. Whoa! Before you take that next step, take time to determine what you want your Web site to accomplish. Your answer will:
1)help determine the functionality and content needed on the site.
2)help you communicate with (and put limits on) your Web developers.
3)allow you to measure your results.

For example, you may decide that the primary purpose of your site is to drive customers to your brick-and-mortar storefront. You can accomplish this with a simple one-page site and smart use of online newsletters, coupons, and promotions.
If you are trying to build brand awareness, though, your site might need a much more substantial design, deeper content, and a well developed online advertising plan.
For a company that intends to make its living from online sales, then the usability of your Web catalog and shopping cart are vital.
You will want to spend more time and money choosing the right platform and software and developing the user interface.
Although a good Web consultant can help you determine your requirements, it’s a good idea to think them through before your first meeting. It’s hard for a developer to resist suggesting that you use the latest software package or high-tech gizmo on your site. Keeping your goals in mind during the development process will help you and your Web company focus on the most important elements of the site and spend less time and money on elements that won’t add substantially to the bottom line.
Remember that a Web site is a business tool, and like other business initiatives, it should be subject to measurement and analysis. Did it accomplish your intended purpose? Was it cost effective? What was your return on investment? Unless you are clear on your objectives from the start, it will be hard to determine the success of your site.

Posted by Pradeep A.J 0 comments Links to this post  

When friendship precedes love….

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

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After a long gap, ‘Eskimo in the Dessert’ is in a bulshitting mood on friendship/ relationship.

Scenario 1
They were good friends for over 3 years, since their college days. There was hardly anything which they weren’t aware of each others lives. They were too attached to each other but none of them thought about marriage. Offlate he had a kind of fear of loosing her as she was getting lot of marriage alliances, she too was very enthu about meeting Mr. Right of her life. He couldn’t wait anymore, one fine day he proposed to her assuming she would accept it. It was too unexpected for him when she said ‘enough is enough’, we can’t be friends anymore as you have such a cheap thought about our relationship. There 3 year old friendship was ‘sacked’ without any notice period served!

Scenario 2
He proposed to her after being friends for few years, she never expected, neither she panicked, she brought some time from him to tell her consent . Few days later she made him realize why she can’t accept his proposal with valid reasons and also conveyed to him how they can still be good friends for life inspite of having such a thought in his mind. Since things were conveyed to him in a right and a practical way, it made him easy to remove any such feelings about her from his mind. Being a ‘good friend’ he helped her find her dream boy. Their friendship ruled even after their marriage.

Is it a universal law that people of opposite sex can’t be just good friends for life? Answer is both Yes and No. Like in love, here too most of them are too possessive about their friend. They feel jealous when either of them starts seeing somebody else. Like In most of the cases when they dream about their life partner, they always tend to compare them with their best friend and most of the time they are scared whether their Mr. /Ms Right will be as good as their ‘friend’. Though they always benchmark their dream partners with their so called good friends, though they understand each other so well, love never blossoms among them. Even though it does in some cases, its one sided.

Feelings apart, when one proposes, its moral responsibility of the other to take decision based on his/her priorities in life than letting emotions take over their decisions. Most of the time such proposals are accepted thinking the other person will feel hurt if I say no. One can never take their relationship to the next level when decisions are made based on their emotions. Even though your answer is no, you can still be a good friends for rest of the life, It’s all about conveying your decisions in a right manner. After all marriage is not the only solution to save the long lasting friendship…

Posted by Pradeep A.J 1 comments Links to this post  

Village, villagers and the metamorphosis

Friday, May 18, 2007

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Circa 1980s:

It was a perfect sunny day in the summers of late eighties.I was helping my dad in his farm as I always did during my summer vacations. I was bit over dressed for the job I was doing, wearing branded denims and T-shirt which made me look like an alien to our farm labours. My uncles in the neighboring plantations started calling me as a 'Modern farmer'.
Radio was the only gadget used in the farms in and around our village.Workers enjoyed listening to 'aakashvani' while working..(Hey, its not MNCs who introduced radios at work place..thanks to those visionary farmers who introduced them in the farms & plantations of southern Karnataka)
The only TV set in the village attracted a minimum of 200 people to watch 'Ramayana' on Sunday mornings.Yes, TV was one of the most luxurious product those days.A car parked in the entrance of the village would attract a minimum of 50 people (majority of them being kids). Few telephones in the village used to handle incoming calls for almost an entire village.

Circa 2007:

What a change...denims have become a dress code, people talk about Levis,Pepe,Killer..shades and caps are additions. Though iPods are visible here and there, radio still rocks in the fields and plantations.Cars can no more attract people unless a Ferrari or a Lamborghini is parked.Few people do possess plasma sets, large screen TV sets are quite common. Forget about landlines, every household has at least one cell phone and it has become a craze among youths in the village.My dad don't have to come home to inform my mother about no. of workers present in the filed, she is just a dial away for him..thanks to BSNL & Airtel. Rigtones are challenging the vocal abilities of the migrated birds in our plantations.

One good thing about this sea change is, I am no more an alien or a modern farmer as most of the people dress better than me in the village!

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'My type of' Dissatisfaction..

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I guess..human beings are the most unsatisfied animal god has created.I often feel, god undoubtedly has a good sense of humor...and I believe he enjoys seeing people fail in their efforts while trying to find 'BETTER' and lands up loosing the 'GOOD' in hand.

I have many incidents to recount, both in my personal as well as professional life.

Atleast 80% of my colleagues, ex colleagues, friends often make this statement "My ex company was better" and they make this statement even after joining the next company...and continue making such statements till they retire from the Nth company.

I have come across atleast 10 friends who have had dumped their BFs/GFs in search of the better ones, and landing up in a major SHIT after finding "The my type of girl/boy". I have always seen this bunch of people cursing their fate for loosing their so called EXs after sometimes. Atleast in the last 28 years I have not seen somebody who is unsatisfied with their parents.

This unsatisfied behaviour is just not restricted to love,lust and jobs, it has its presence in each and every aspects of our life. I often try and analyze to figure out why we human beings are so unsatisfied..but as someone rightly said, 'Stop analyzing life. Just live it. Analysis is what makes it complicated' I have just started accepting life as and how it comes.What makes me feel low about this human nature is, we often feel depressed when we fail in our attempts to fulfill our unsatisfied needs.As a result, we hurt people,we ignore loved ones, at times we behave like hooligans.

Donno from where I lifted this line, which helped me accept life in all hues and fragrances....
"The rains failed.Where 100 loads would be harvested, just half a load could be reaped. Robert H Schuller prayed, "Thank you lord for giving me back my seeds".He told his son, "Never look at what you have lost, look at what you are left with. Gratitude gives you the surviving power".

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