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Archive for March, 2009

Not in the we

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When Varun Gandhi made that speech at Pilibhit, Indian Politics hit a new low. Its a shame that the great-grandson of the late Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, architect of the modern day democracy that India is, has even uttered those words. It goes on to show how politics of hate is ruling the country, irrespective of what party is at helm at the center. That we listen to the crap that politicians like him have to offer is a sign how immature a society we are. Muslims in every nook and corner of the country will disapprove him for his speech as it was anti-muslim but only the (mostly) urban and rational Hindu will condemn it whole-heartedly — and how many would that be? The rest will glorify him and that is very unreasonable and disturbing.

Then there is the Charlie Chaplin statue that has evoked extreme sentiments in Karnataka. Why is the statue not allowed to be erected? Because the comedian was a Christian. Karnataka has started to scare me now. I mean, when were we so intolerant that we decided on our heroes based on their religion? Why does religion decide so many things for us now? Okay, I think there is a little mistake here. The people who decide things based on religion, the netas, leaders, politicians, the sevaks — birds of the same flock these, are not us. They go about doing this because they think they have a certain moral authority which I think comes because of the political power that they possess. The first thing that we, as people who disapprove of these birds of the same flock, can do is stop accommodating them within the realm of us. Stop letting them within the range of we. And then we take away what gives them, what they think is the moral authority that they have. We vote these people out.

Written by aditya kumar

March 23rd, 2009 at 9:46 am


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On the way to Delhi I find myself in the company of jaats, in fact a whole bunch of them. Now jaats are nice people but you don’t want to displease them because then they can be not-so-nice, at least thats what the general assumption is. This assumes more significance when they are wrestlers and there is a whole team of them. So while they freely chose to sarcastically comment, I continued to talk with a co-passenger girl who was an English Literature graduate student. Our talking mostly revolved around writers, writing and reading — as it happens when two aspiring writers meet. But as I later found out, she chose to change her seat for the rest of the journey, much to the dismay of her accompanying father, I assume. When I met her the other day, she quite predictably, blamed it on the jaats.

There was this one moment though when two jaats decided to push the middle berth back to its original place thereby making the lower berth a place for everyone to sit to (than to lie down). One guy had been already lying there and he chose to push the middle berth (hanging then) to its plying place without looking at the hook which was to hold it after the push. Obviously, the middle berth was not able to sustain itself and came back swiftly. The other jaat then quipped — Spiderman nahi dekhya hai ke? Jyada Taakat ke saath zimmedaari bhi aani chaiye (Haven’t you seen Spiderman — with great power comes great responsibility).


In Delhi, on a Wednesday evening I am in front of PVR Cinema, in Saket — The same place I once saw that journalist 13 years ago and watched an English movie first time in a movie theater. I am there to watch a movie and I have no idea what movie would be it. Valkyrie, looks good and I get a ticket to Audi 2, Row E, seat number 8. Before the show starts, I spend the little time I have listening to Robbie Williams on my iPod. As I enter the cinema, the security guard frisks me and my possessions quite thoroughly. So comprehensive that he wants me to show him my two cellphones and my iPod in “working” mode. I know the answer but I ask him why. So that we know these are not empty cases, he tells me. What harm could an empty case do, I am tempted to ask, that little wee bit of sarcasm and just to drag it a bit though I know exactly what he means. The glowing screens of my gadgets seem to satisfy him.

In the movie, just as another plot to kill Hitler is hatched — Intermission intervenes. You know its not supposed to be there but the cinemawalas need you to go get something to eat while they modestly show you their overpriced menu. I get myself a tea while I wonder how Tom Cruise looked the same, just as young as he is now, even during the times of Hitler. And while I try to make the most of the wide leg room at offer, my foot hits something hard on the floor. Its my iPod, lying there since I don’t know when.

Saturday evening I am at the exact same place at the exact same time and as it would later turn out the exact same seat as well (thankfully, not the exact same movie). I get myself a ticket to “The Curious case of Benjamin Button”. The security guard this time does not seem interested if I am carrying empty cases of what look like gadgets (And this baffles me — its a weekend so the “threat level” should be at a higher degree). And at Audi 2, Row E, seat number 8, this time I am left wondering how Brad Pitt who has been invariably looking the same since eternity has chosen to be born as an old man.

A little confused, I check for my iPod. Assured, I make the most of the wide leg room at offer.

Written by aditya kumar

March 12th, 2009 at 10:00 am

Posted in Personal,Travel

Broadband Ltd.

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While I have been away due to affairs related to matrimony (no, I am not married yet!) there have been things happening around.

One such thing that caught my notice today, in my inbox was a petition against the fair usage policy that has been set out as terms and conditions of broadband usage by at least two operators here in India — Airtel Broadband and Tata Indicom Broadband.

What they are doing is this — in case you have a monthly unlimited data usage broadband plan and if you end up using it beyond a certain “limit”, you will either be browsing at a “slower” speed thereafter (Airtel) or you would be asked to cut down on downloads, asked to upgrade your plan (so that you can download more until you reach a similar threshold) and eventually get your connection terminated because of this.

Airtel Broadband limits you to download 15 GB on a 256kbps connection. Tata Indicom has set itself to 45 GB on a 256 kbps connection.

This has come as a shocker to the subscribers of the unlimited data plans. I am unaware of any such limitations set by broadband service providers out there in the west and it defies logic. They should NOT be calling it an unlimited usage plan for starters.

In the long run, I would say this would turn out to be two-step backwards. A move like this would turn out to be ridiculous. As computer applications and their usage becomes more and more internet-centric, it is imperative that the user won’t be able to keep a tab on the usage and download of data from the internet. Enable Windows updates, check the automatic updates for the antivirus, browse youtube while having a laugh, check out some music at or the online indie radio station, talk to your friend in the US over skype and before you know, you have already downloaded close to 1 GB of data. Now, consciously, you have not downloaded anything. You don’t have any new data that you can use for yourself on your pc.

This is an example of computer usage becoming more internet-centric and the fair usage policy they have come up with, goes very much against it.

There are restaurants where you can “eat-all-you-can” for a certain amount of money. If someone abuses it — pays the amount everyday and then guzzle up food that’d be sufficient for 10 guys, the management would find ways to discourage him from entering the restaurant. This is exactly what our broadband companies are treating this as. And this is exactly what they should not be doing.

Meanwhile, if you are aware of any such thing happening in the USA, please tell!

Written by aditya kumar

March 10th, 2009 at 9:36 am

Posted in Technology