Monday, May 30, 2011

IPL-4 was too long, confusing and mostly boring.

For me; IPL-4 was too long and mostly boring, more so as my favorite local team - Deccan Chargers, have repeatedly disappointed me. Many crazy followers of Cricket would condemn my opinion because they may wrongly think that I am criticizing the great game of Cricket. However hardcore the followers of the Game might be; I do not think even one single Indian fan other than the paid observers, commentators, cheer girls and statisticians have watched each and every Match or for that matter even fifty percent of the Matches. 51 days of Cricket and 74 Matches may not be tiring for those earning Lakhs and Crores of Rupees but it is definitely too tiring and a waste of time for the normal lovers of Cricket.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Global Peace Index-2011 & :-( INDIA :-(

Global Peace Index for 2011 is just announced; and this year India has further slipped down. We are at 135th position in a list of 153 countries. In 2010 our rank was 128 and in year 2009 our ranking was 122 which means year after year we are becoming a less peaceful country. The Global Peace Index (GPI) is a product of “The Institute for Economics and Peace”, with Head Quarters at Sydney, Australia. The Index is developed in consultation with an international panel of Peace Experts and data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Peacefulness of countries is measured on a wide range of Indicators as detailed in the chart below:
I do not like this report. I do not want to believe that we are amongst the least peaceful Nations in the World. However the Government and the Politicians should take this report seriously and take corrective actions wherever possible. Decades of brutality, neglect, exploitation and breach of promises and agreements in my region should come to an end; there will be no peace here until Telangana State is formed. The State and Central Governments and various political parties have been promising separate Statehood for Telangana in speeches,  manifestos and at every opportunity for winning elections and coming to power and then go back on their words and suppress the movement for Telangana State with brutal Police force, batons, guns, firing, teargas, arrests and false promises again. Peace is not a priority here; it is power and wealth for the politicians by violence against those fighting for their rights. Many such internal conflicts exist in other States too and there is rising violence and crime all over the country. We have perennial issues with our neighbors which we are not capable of sorting out. As long as we have such inefficient, irresponsible, insincere and idiotic Politicians and Governments we are bound to be amongst the World’s least peaceful countries. God save Telangana, God save India.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rohini Karthe.

Today is called “Rohini Karthe”; as per the Telugu Calendar. “Rohini Karthe” means the sojourn of SUN (RAVI) in ROHINI Nakshatram. The SUN stays in each Nakshatram for fourteen days and that period is called Karthe. “Rohini Karthe” is the peak of summer; the next 14 days too would be hot. There is a popular saying in Telugu: “Rohini Karthe lo Rollu pagile enda untundhi”, meaning it is so hot during “Rohini Karthe” that grinding stones in the kitchen would crack due to the heat!

After the 14 day “Rohini Karthe”; it is “Mrigashira”, the day from which the rainy season would commence.  Local farmers usually prepare their land for cultivation during Rohini Karthe and wait for the rains for sowing. I have seen it rain or drizzle; many a times on the day of “Mrigashira” but nowadays this centuries-old rhythm is no longer a rule. Even in the recent past; farmers depended on the Telugu Lunar Calendar for cultivation and everything worked for them in the right direction and they prospered. Today earth’s climate and weather are in disarray; earth has lost its benevolent rhythm due to careless exploitation. If we are not careful; human existence is in further danger of disorder and destruction.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rising Vehicular Population, Pollution and Traffic Problems at Hyderabad.

The topmost chart shows the rate at which the population of vehicles is increasing in Hyderabad. The next chart shows the unsafe pollution levels at few important junctions of the city. The inconvenience due to increased figures in both the charts which are interrelated can be seen on most roads of the city. There is heavy traffic everywhere and worst during peak hours. There is no lane system, one cannot cruise smoothly and at some places you come to a grinding halt or you are driving at a speed of few inches a minute. At some crossroads where there are no traffic signals and no policemen; it is free flow for all, leading to traffic jams which may take hours to clear. The air, dust and noise pollution due to the vehicles may not be felt from Air-conditioned cars but for the rest of the traffic and policemen it is obvious from the irritation to the eyes, a feeling of choking, nauseating smell and the irritation due to blaring horns and the chorus of engine noise. The situation on the roads is annoying, we do not know how long it will take to reach our destination even if it is just two or three kilometers away. Driving is no longer a pleasure.
The Government agencies are totally at fault for this scenario. Roads are being widened and flyovers constructed and at the same time several multi-storied residential and commercial buildings, cinema halls and shopping malls are permitted to be constructed in these already busy areas giving rise to traffic congestion. The sides of widened roads are occupied by eateries and miscellaneous vendors and nothing is being done about it. Vehicles stop at these eateries and shops; blocking free flow of traffic. Most drivers, in a hurry to reach their destination drive like insane people, instead of keeping to the left of the road and behind a vehicle they drive in a zig-zag manner, over take cars, other cars overtake them and very soon you will find cars in five or six rows totally blocking the traffic coming in the opposite direction. Very little is being done to punish or correct such drivers. Discipline in driving would sort out some of the congestion problems.
It is said that the Hyderabad Metropolitan Area (HMA) is spread over 1950 sq.kms. with a population of 75 Lakhs and a floating population of over 5 Lakhs. And the Central Core area of the City is just 250 sq. kms. and it houses 60% of the HMA population and all the major Government Offices, huge Shopping areas, Bank Head Offices, Restaurants, popular Schools and Colleges, Cinema Theatres, Corporate Hospitals and three major Railway Stations. Obviously this main area of the city is congested; it has heavy traffic related problems and pollution. An effort has to be made to relocate many of these establishments and large new projects away from the problem areas as it was done in the case of Begumpet Airport.   
The Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad does not have an effective, reliable and attractive Public Transport System. Since the time of Nizam till 2003 the city depended on State run buses and two Suburban Railway routes from Secunderabad Railway Station to Bolarum and Secunderabad Rly. Stn. to Falaknuma. Those who do not travel on own vehicles and do not rely on overcrowded Govt. Buses encouraged the growth of Autorickshaws and Seven-seater Tempos which are parked haphazardly and driven recklessly creating traffic chaos. In August 2003, MMTS: Multi-Modal Transport System (Local Trains) was introduced between Secunderabad-Falaknuma, Secunderabad-Lingampalli and Hyderabad-Lingampalli. This was a great introduction and users of MMTS are very happy with this service. There after only the number of buses in the city have increased, further choking the roads. Much needs to be done to ease the traffic congestion.
To help commuters and ease traffic on roads “The Hyderabad Metro Rail Project” was approved in April 2008, some survey works have been taken up but actual construction work has not yet commenced. At least a few routes are expected to be completed by 2015. The Metro Rail Project also called as MRTS-Mass Rapid Transit System is an elevated Metro Rail System for 71.6 kms. consisting of three high density traffic corridors, that is 1) Miyapur to LB Nagar, 2) Jubilee Bus Stand,Secunderabad to Falknuma and 3) Nagole to Shilparamam. Hope this project would be completed as per schedule and would ease the traffic woes.
As of now people who can afford Drivers for their vehicles are lucky; they can relax as the driver negotiates all the problems of driving and parking on congested roads. Unfortunately, I can’t afford a Driver.
I curse a lot as I drive; this I must stop in the hope that the Government, the City Planners and the Police would soon and somehow bring an end to the traffic problems.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Today is Buddha Purnima.

Today is a very important day for over 55 Crore Buddhists all over the world. Today is the Birthday, and the day of Enlightenment of Buddha. It is known all over the world by different names as Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanthi, Buddha Vaishaka, Wesak, Vesakha Puja Day and Buddha Day. It is being celebrated in Hyderabad with great reverence. Buddhists reaffirm their faith in the Buddha Dharma and observe a peaceful day filled with prayers and meditation. The main focus is at the Buddha Statue standing tall at 18 metres at the center of Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, at the center of the picturesque Hussain Sagar and its beautiful crowd-pulling surroundings - Tankbund, Necklace Road, Peoples Plaza, Green lawns, Flower plants, Sanjeevaiah Park, NTR Gardens, Lumbini Park and Boat rides. Buddha Statue has enhanced the beauty and importance of Hussain Sagar and the Twin Cities ever since its installation in 1992. It is well lit every night by flood lights making it a grand attraction even at nights. And starting from today the Buddha Statue is being lit by the latest DMX LED – Multicolor Dynamic lighting system which will bathe the Statue in various alternating hues from early evening to late in the night, every day!  The topmost combo-picture will give you an idea of the effect of the beautiful colors!
Attached pictures are of us at various places of Buddhist pilgrimage in India and Japan and most importantly Bodh Gaya.

On a breezy morning…

On a breezy morning, Amidst plants and flowers, As the Sun was rising, The feeling was joyous! Happily as we strolled, Pic...