Archive for the ‘india’ Category

So currently Krishna is flooding parts of Karnataka while Kaveri basin is dry and there is a huge dispute running between Karnataka and Tamil nadu  in regards to Kaveri water.

Many such occurrences keep repeating in India, where some parts are in floods and some parts are in drought. Interlinking rivers is a grand plan that can solve this problem.

Currently there is Telugu Ganga project that connects Krishna to Pennar, and eventually supplies some water to Tamil Nadu. I was wondering if it is possible to send flooding Krishna waters to Tamil Nadu instead of scarce Kaveri water. I looked for maps to see if there is interlinking somewhere that will allow this Telugu Ganga water to eventually reach Kaveri basin in Tamil Nadu. I don’t have much time in my hands so I had to put an end to my search before I can accurately reach a conclusion on this. I think there might be some possible way. Telugu Ganga water reaches up to Poondi reservoir in Tamil Nadu. Kaveri Basin seems close enough to the flows from this reservoir. I also saw some potential links between this and other dams on cauvery in Tamil Nadu. So it might be possible.

So, a possible compromise to handle current Cauvery crisis could be for Karnataka to release more Krishna water into Andhra pradesh. Andhra can in turn release this water to Tamil Nadu through Telugu Ganga. It is a crazy thought, but might be worth thinking out of the box in these hard times.

PS: I found interesting things while I was conducting this search on Cauvery flow and Telugu Ganga flow. Do you know that there is a Water Wiki detailing all water flows, river basins and projects in India?

The important bits are at the end: If you believe someone is harming you on purpose, it hurts more. There is discussion of turning pain into pleasure : presenter quotes pleasure of riding a roller coaster as an example; I am not sure if adrenaline is also responsible for the pleasure here, if only partly. Eating chillies is also an example of turning pain into pleasure.

Following excerpt is from Vignana Bhairava Tantra, an ancient Hindu text. This particular translation and explanation is by master Osho. I was reminded of this when I was watching the video; the parallels and similar conclusions are uncanny. How are we feeling pleasure from an experience that should have resulted in pain? The answer is simple: pain and pleasure are within us, and we have the control to feel one or the other irrespective of the external situation.

Whenever there is joy, you feel that it is coming from without. You have met a friend: of course, it
appears that the joy is coming from your friend, from seeing him. That is not the actual case. The
joy is always within you. The friend has just become a situation. The friend has helped it to come
out, has helped you to see that it is there. And this is not only with joy, but with everything: with
anger, with sadness, with misery, with happiness, with everything, it is so. Others are only situations
in which things that are hidden in you are expressed. They are not causes; they are not causing
something in you. Whatsoever is happening, is happening TO YOU. It has always been there; it
is only that meeting with this friend has become a situation in which whatsoever was hidden has
come out in the open – has come out. From the hidden sources it has become apparent, manifest.
Whenever this happens remain centered in the inner feeling, and then you will have a different
attitude about everything in life.
Even with negative emotions, do this. When you are angry, do not be centered on the person who
has aroused it. Let him be on the periphery. You just become anger. Feel anger in its totality; allow it
to happen within. Don’t rationalize; don’t say that this man has created it. Do not condemn the man.
He has just become the situation. And feel grateful towards him that he has helped something which
was hidden to come into the open. He has hit you somewhere, and a wound was there hidden. Now
you know it, so become the wound.
With negative or positive, with any emotion, use this, and there will be a great change in you. If
the emotion is negative, you will be freed of it by being aware that it is within you. If the emotion is
positive, you will become the emotion itself. If it is joy, you will become joy. If it is anger, the anger
will dissolve.
And this is the difference between negative and positive emotions: if you become aware of a certain
emotion, and by your becoming aware the emotion dissolves, it is negative. If by your becoming
aware of a certain emotion you then become the emotion, if the emotion then spreads and becomes
your being, it is positive. Awareness works differently in both cases. If it is a poisonous emotion,
you are relieved of it through awareness. If it is good, blissful, ecstatic, you become one with it.
Awareness deepens it.

Ancient Hindu philosophers have mastered the internal, and their insight into human mind is amazing.

Our obsession with English

Posted: August 7, 2014 in india

The current drama regarding inclusion of English in UPSC’s CSAT reminded me of what I wrote few years back:

In an ideal world, we don’t have to force a foreign language on our people, and our children should be able to become doctors, and engineers without ever having to learn a single word of English. Of course, we are not living in an ideal world, and learning English has become necessary to get a decent education in India. However I still don’t see the point of including English in a competitive exam like JIPMER. I agree that certain level of competence in English is required to pursue a career in medicine. The right way to test for that competence is to use test scores in English just to determine eligibility. Disqualifying people who don’t score certain prescribed minimum in English might be OK. But including English scores in ranking tips the scales in favor of  people in the higher end of the socioeconomic spectrum, even though higher scores in English may not necessarily translate to better suitability for the course under consideration.

Currently UPSC is trending on twitter. Here is someone who cleared civil services earlier and joined IRS opining about the current UPSC row:

He is right, working knowledge of English is required for our civil service aspirants. I would repeat my stand here on the matter: aspirants can be tested for knowledge of English. Design the test to disqualify candidates who don’t know enough of the language to do their job. That’s about it; don’t use the English test to decide who the best candidate is. Create a level playing filed. The purpose of the English test should be to make sure students can communicate well in English. Beyond that it should have no business in deciding  who the best candidate for the job is. There is a subtle difference between testing for qualification versus ranking based on the test score. There is no reason to use score in English to rank people for IAS/IPS jobs.Not everyone who clears ‘Civils’ is going to be a spokesperson for the Government.

Telugu Calendar

Posted: December 23, 2012 in india, religion, telugu
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A dynamic Telugu calendar for the year 2013 has been published. It lists Telugu festivals such as Bhogi, Sankranthi. It is also handy when you want to look up Rahukala times.

Noisy season of festivals has started

Posted: November 19, 2012 in india, rants

One can hardly say enough about the lack of civic sense in Indians. The noisy religious activities are just one of the many ways in which this manifests. There are two mosques located within a short distance from where I live. For reasons beyond my comprehension, they feel it necessary to shout their lungs out into a large array of huge loud speakers mounted atop those buildings, several times a day. It’s really annoying to wake up at five in the morning to a loud noise. When I cribbed about this on twitter, a friend of mine told me that I shouldn’t be critical of mosques in particular. Well, it wasn’t like I went out of my way to criticise them. They were the ones irritating me at the time and I vented it out on twitter. Apparently, I should have somehow blamed Hindus for something, to balance out. In India if you talk anything remotely negative about anything remotely connected to any of the monotheistic religions, you are immediately labelled a fanatic.There are more than half a dozen temples, small and big, around my house, within the same distance as these mosques. But fortunately none of those temples have loud speakers. What they do within their premises is their own business, and I don’t have any reason to complain as long as they keep it to themselves. Several years ago Supreme court has banned the use of loud speakers in open spaces. All those mosques and other religious places carrying the loud speakers are breaking the laws of the land. Of course, there is no way we can make them comply; is there?

During the month of Ramadan, the Muslim community in the neighborhood goes berserk. They run around in the streets at 3’O clock in the morning, asking everyone to wake up and prepare for Roza. They carry some sort of drums and beat them really loud, and a bunch of guys would be screaming. The loudspeakers atop the mosques keep reminding that they should finish their meal before the stipulated time.  Do I have to tell you how hard it is to sleep with all that blazing noise! Around this time, Hindus decide that they can be as noisy as their Muslim brethren, and they clebrate their Ganesha festival with loud noise; they block roads for their Ganesha pandals and processions.

Nehru, and children

Posted: November 14, 2012 in india
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A particular post on this blog titled ‘What did Nehru do for children?‘ got a lot of hits today. For a moment, I was wondering what would have caused it. But then, I remembered that today is celebrated as “Children’s day” in India, the day that Jawaharlal Nehru was born. Looks like a lot of people were curious to know why the heck do we celebrate Nehru’s birthday as children’s day. Here are some of the keywords that people used, to find the post that I mentioned earlier:

what did Nehru do for children, what did Nehru do for children in telugu, what exactly did nehru do for children?

Yesterday, I came across the following headline in India’s most popular English daily:

Ramesh says Centre plans to ban illegal sand mining soon

What does anything ‘illegal’ mean in this country? Doesn’t illegal mean something that one is not supposed to do; if so, why does the government have to ban each illegal activity separately?

It reminds me of few other idiotic laws that were enacted in recent memory. Sometime ago Maharashtra Govt. passed a law against attacks on doctors. I couldn’t really understand what that meant. Does it imply that before this law was enacted, one is allowed to attack doctors? or is it like since this law protects doctors, people in other professions can be freely attacked? what is the logic here?

Last year or so, Karnataka assembly passed a bill allowing the establishment of Azim Premji University. Really? we need the state assembly to pass a law every time we want to start a university? Now think of providing decent education to a billion people at this pace.

I am told Indian constitution is one of the largest in the world. Nothing to beat your chest about here unless you are the kind that takes pride in the joke ‘India is the largest democracy in the world’. If you know programming, you know that if it is an elegant solution it would be small. If it is filled with millions of special cases, there is something wrong with it.

We are Indians, we are shameless

Posted: June 12, 2011 in india
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There are a lot of things I feel after watching this talk. Two things top those emotions: Weeping in sorrow for the endless misery of humanity; hanging my head in shame at the spectacle that we Indians are putting up. Watch it and draw your own conclusions:

I remember volunteering for the ‘national polio immunization programme’ more than a decade ago when I was in school. I still remember that optimistic kid who was all energized and was sure Polio is going to end  just the way smallpox did. I remember writing a poem expressing all that optimism.

In one of my recent journeys, I overheard a few guys debating about the political situation in India. One of them was complaining about the current state of affairs in AP. They came to the conclusion that Mr. Rosaiah is perhaps the worst CM that AP has ever seen . They criticized Congress party for selecting leaders based on their seniority instead of competence. One of them opined that Manmohan Singh is also utterly incompetent but he was made PM because of his seniority.

[3 August, 2010 @ 15:14]

Yesterday I was coming back to my place in a Vajra bus (the Volvo A/C buses that are part of the public transport in Bangalore). After a couple of stops, a family boarded the bus with a small kid. All the seats were already taken; so there was no space for them to sit in. They were standing a little far from where I was sitting, so I would have had to go up-to them to offer my seat. I was thinking of calling the person carrying the kid to offer my seat. By the time I could beckon him, a lady offered to give her toddler son’s seat by making him sit on her lap.

I would like to travel comfortably. I pay a premium for it. I pick my times carefully, and plan ahead. I wouldn’t get into a crowded bus. But then after all of this, there is some old person, a woman, or someone I feel compelled to offer my seat to. Why can’t they be little more careful, I ask myself. Why don’t they plan? Why can’t they wait for the next bus? Agreed sometimes you are in a hurry and you just have to travel even when it is not convenient. With a billion people and infrastructure that leaves much to be desired, we are constantly jostling for space. When this is an everyday phenomenon, can I really be sensitive and keep my good manners? isn’t it how we all become insensitive, and indifferent?  Won’t I just become one of them? . While these thoughts were racing through my head, a woman with an infant was walking past my seat, and I offered her my seat instantly*. That was my involuntary reaction. I didn’t think before I did that, it was part of my basic instincts I guess. So, that answered my question for me. Perhaps I would never become insensitive and indifferent, no matter how many times I would have to do that; Thank God for that. The moment we lose our compassion, we cease to be humans. And the best times to test our humanity are the tough times; for,  every one would be nice and genteel when it is easy to be that way. From what I have read of the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, I salute the Japanese. They truly showed the spirit of humanity in the hardest of times.

*(And yeah, the lady didn’t find it necessary to thank me for offering her my seat. 🙂 )

Post script: This post was in my drafts since February the 14th 🙂 I had been on few more bus rides since then. I noticed that during one of those rides, I went out of my way, and offered my seat to an old lady that was standing on the other end of the bus. I also noticed some very nice people who gave up their seat to an old person, or a woman with a kid or the like. I also noticed that there are some really insensitive people who would push ahead of an old person to get into a seat.