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Archive for September, 2006

Our Cities

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In Delhi’s posh Vasant Kunj area, a few months back, had a conversation with my uncle who while parking his car, after much efforts, summoned a water-tanker wala to fill the water tank, as the municipal water supply had not been sufficient and dear uncle was expecting guests later that day. As the orders were accepted, so was a Rs. 100 Note, which quietly went into the pocket of the assistant of the water-tanker guy.

On the water tanker was written that the service was free of charge, courtesy Delhi Government. Then why was it that he was paid? And why does it happen every second day?

Simple. Here too, the demand of the state supplied water tanker water exceeds supply. The water goes to people who pay the guy. So in effect, it’s a bit like auctioning water. Whoever pays more, gets the water.

Of course, on paper this water is supplied free of cost to the residents of our national capital. This “on record” fact is very important because this shall make it’s way to the list of achievements of the present day State Government when Delhi votes again.

Somini Sengupta, in a riveting report for The New York Times here (requires registration), reveals that a good 25 to 40 percent of water leaks out of Delhi’s pipe supply system. Yamuna, the only river that runs through the city (if you still call it a river that is), provides Delhi with 229 million gallons of water everyday. And then, the city dumps about 950 million gallons of sewage into the same river, each day. Approximately 45 percent of Delhi’s population is not even connected to the public sewage system. This is the state of the Nations capital.

Michael Crichton, in his last novel, “State of Fear“, explained how developing countries tend to ‘jump’ development cycles. An underlying network/infrastructure to support the new development cycle is, almost always, practically absent. We could be opening shopping malls and broadband internet may be making inroads into the Indian home but the state has failed to provide clean drinking water, a proper sewage system and electricity to the most urban of areas in the country. Worse still, what we have is not distributed in an optimized manner. Water leakages and electricity theft are problems that are in no way related to their respective supplies. And I have not even mentioned the villages.

International pollution norms are relaxed for developing countries. Once India is asked to comply with the rules set on emissions by International Standards (and I hope that happens soon), the Centre will wake up to a mess which would be hard to come out of.

Written by aditya kumar

September 30th, 2006 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Society


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“…The bathtub was another piece of abominable junk invented by the Europeans who bathed in the last Friday of the month, and then in the same water made filthy by the very dirt they tried to remove from their bodies.”

“…She discovered with great delight that one does not love one’s children just because they are one’s children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.”

“Love becomes greater and nobler in calamity.”

and the best…

“…Always remember that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.”

Some of the quotes from this wonderful book I have just finished reading.

Written by aditya kumar

September 27th, 2006 at 12:48 am

Posted in Books,Personal


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Imagine Rahul Dravid can talk to the Indian Batsmen while staying in the pavillion.

It is India vs Australia. India could do with a 20-30 run partnership. That is all that is required and India are sniffing victory.

Mongia is playing with a 50, pretty well set and Ajit Agarkar goes in to bat.

What would Dravid say to Agarkar?

RD: Just chip in with a double figure score.

AA: What?

RD: Make double figure. Just reach 10 runs!

AA: Double figure? What does that mean?

RD: Bat, man! BAT!!

AA: Batman?

RD: 10 RUNS!! Make 10 Runs!

AA: Make? You mean with the bat?

RD: Runs yaar! 10 will do!

AA: Oh yeah, I just gave 10 runs in one of my overs while I was bowling. But why mention that now?

RD: BAT yaar! Bat, score, make some runs. (gestures a forward defensive stroke with his arms)

AA: Whew, I have seen that somewhere! what does that mean? Bat?

So yeah, this is what we get when Agarkar, who came into the side as an all-rounder fails to make a double figure score so very often.

He has failed to get into double figures 11 times in the last 15 matches that he got the opportunity to bat in the middle. And within that the highest score? 21 runs.

What is going on? With players like him, how can they even think of playing one batsman less?

Written by aditya kumar

September 23rd, 2006 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Cricket

Military Wallpapers

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Here, I show you some of the best pictures of military aviation that I have gathered for some time. The sources have been numerous. I know there is a lot of stuff like this already available on the internet but the pictures below are my personal choice.

These are links, meaning clicking on them would lead you to my flickr album where you can download the bigger pictures and if you want, can use on your desktop :)

f-16 Close up
F-16, Close up

Royal Navy Sea Harrier showing off its flares

Mirage 2000
An IAF Mirage-2000, just after take off

Sea Harrier taking off from one of the Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers

An F/A-18 Hornet circling above an Aircraft Carrier

RAF Jaguar FN 02
RAF Jaguar on the runway

Indian Navy ships INS Mysore and INS Viraat during a drill with USS Carrier Nimitz (My fav!)

Hope you guys like it. Comments, as always, welcome :)

Written by aditya kumar

September 21st, 2006 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Aviation

Sea Cities

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I have visited Chennai twice in the past 14 months (and all my life) without visiting the beach. The Marina beach, the famous coastline that extends a massive 12 kms. I have regretted, not walking on those sands but most people tell me that I have not missed much. Especially if you happen to be a west coast guy (which I am). And especially if you happen to be a Goa-westcoast guy (which, again, I invariably, am –you may say, such a spoiled child, I am)

I have travelled on the streets of Mumbai and a little in Chennai too. What I miss the most is the sea. Here you are, in cities that happen to be next to oceans but sadly and to my dismay, the sea does not makes its presence realise. You keep wandering around the city and no where does the sea come into picture. For all the roads I travelled, I could not even sense the feeling that I was near the ocean. Not even close to it. Yes, sweating could be a sign but then is that the kind of sign I am looking for?

So, for Mumbai it is the Marine Drive and for Chennai, I guess, it is the east coast road that shows you the sea. I could be wrong about Chennai since I have hardly spent time there. So I may have missed a big clue, maybe a long stretch that takes me along the sides of the water, within the vicinities of the city.

Why I look for these big clues is because I have spent so much time in Goa. Right from the moment I enter into the state, the ocean comes and goes, almost flirting with my sight. Seven years in Goa and I have been treated to exquisite beauty that no other place has had to offer.

Having dinner on the sand overlooking the sea, watching the boat’s lights in the night till it fades away while the lighthouse does its best, even when the navigation equipment nowadays ceases the need for a light tower — for me, it’s wonderful to even think about the place.

Written by aditya kumar

September 20th, 2006 at 12:15 am

Posted in Personal,Travel

In Chennai…

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In Chennai for a day and I was missing the ongoing DLF Cup in Malaysia, as India took on Australia on a lazy saturday afternoon.

What Australia did to India and what India did to themselves became an altogether different matter though. The same rain gods that were blamed for denying India a victory two days back against the West Indies were thanked, for tonight they saved India the blushes.

Rahul Dravid should not open the innings. These (failed?) experiments have gone too far now. And we have heard so much about Raina and seen so little. Why can’t he be sent up the order? Not a chance worth taking? And why not?

Not taking the credit away from Johnson, Indians played some sloppy cricket. Dravid tried to start the onslaught a bit too early and paid the price. Irfan got out to a beauty that, it appeared, woke him from a sleep. Sehwag, what can be said (Sirjee, why do we get confused?). Yuvraj. He has been living on the edge so long now, he has started giving those to the slip squadron.

Meanwhile in Chennai, met up with Dilip and Kiruba, two people I have admired since long. It was fun to meet up, worth coming all the way from Bangalore.

The weather’s cool by the local standards but hot as ever, for a guy from Bangalore. Tell you what, Bangalores weather pampers you, spoils you.

Written by aditya kumar

September 17th, 2006 at 2:23 am

Posted in Cricket,Personal

Bad Ad

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Have you see the new advertisement of Shahrukh khan for DLF. Just hate it. Quite frankly, there is a bit (?) of overacting involved. Shahrukh with an overgrown beard and all. Just hate it.

Written by aditya kumar

September 16th, 2006 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized