The Innovative Indian Railway Budget 2015


Indian Railways is one of the most crucial Public Sector Undertaking by the Government of India. It is therefore no surprise to see it being a major part of the annual budget in India, over the years. We should feel proud to have the largest railway network in the world. Let us take a look at some of the lesser known facts about Indian Railways:

  1. The total distance covered by the 14,300 trains on the Indian Railways everyday, equals three & half times the distance to moon.
  2. IR has about 63,028 route kms. of track: it can circle the equator one-and-a-half times
  3. IR employs about 1.55 million people: 9th largest employer in the world
  4. It carries over 13 million passengers & 1.3 million tones of freight everyday
  5. It runs about 14,300 trains daily
  6. IR has about 7,000 railway stations
  7. 42 Railway companies operated in the country before independence: now it is total monopoly by Government of India 
All that said, more than often we find ourselves picking on the issues we encounter as users of the rail services in our country. It is one of those topics that everyone relates with and hence we all have something to add to the gossip. We talk about the unhealthy food that is served by IRCTC, but how many of us take the pain to make an entry about it in the complaint book that is available on every train and every IRCTC restaurant. We cringe at the sight of the train toilets while not all of us even have the decency to use the flush after using it. I do not support the flaws that exist but as citizen’s of our country we are equally responsible in the maintenance of the services we are provided with. 

The Railway Budget 2015, highlights on some of the innovative ideas that they want to implement in the coming months. My personal favourite being the installation of bio toilets and airplane style vacuum toilets. It is a bold move on government’s part, but the success of this change depends on the passengers. How well will we actually be able to use and maintain this reform?, only time will tell. 
The number of thefts and robberies of passengers’ belongings has reached 19,000 in a year, an increase over 50 per cent in a five-year-period ending 2013. Crimes against women other than rape has seen a 305 per cent increase since 2004, and nearly 180 per cent in the last five years.
Around 60 per cent of the total 26,000 cognizable crimes in railways in the last one year occurred inside trains while the rest took place on its premises, data show. On average, it means over 1,000 crimes per passenger train per year. 
Looking at those statistics, installation of security cameras in coaches seems like a much needed and necessary move by the government.

Another exciting announcement was the provision of starting wi-fi services on all the Grade A stations across the country. It seems like a positive move, trying to bring to the Indian Railway users one of the most awaited services. Another new addition is the services will be the option of ordering meal online while booking the ticket. This could make a huge difference to many passengers provided the food quality by IRCTC improves.

Only time can tell how these changes will affect the Indian public using the Indian Railways. As Shakespeare said,”Well begun is half done”. The start of the new Railway Budget seems promising and is a good boost to the Indian mood.

India v/s South Africa: A Lesson To Learn For Us All

The only thing that everyone could be heard discussing before today’s World Cup match between India and South Africa, was the fact that India had never won a single match against South Africa in any of the previous World Cup tournaments. What people often remember about any match is the result and ignore the other important aspects that lead to that result. It is true that what ultimately matters more than often is the outcome and not the process. But we cannot deny the relevance of process if wish to achieve the same or a different result.
Each of the past World Cup games might have been the same but each World Cup tournament in the past has had different sets of players on both sides, different pitches to play on, different umpires to judge them, different crowd to cheer them, different weather to play in, different techniques and strategies to play with and most important of all, different mindset to play with. Past results definitely affect us mentally but by making changes in the process we can bring about huge changes in the future result.
Today the reality is that India beat South Africa and moved to the top in Pool B of 2015 Cricket World Cup tournament. I don’t think the team would have won today had they wasted their time dwelling on the past results. What really mattered to them, was how they had been performing as a team in the past matches together and what reforms could make in order to win. It was the past of these 11 players collectively, that was the only consideration factor for the team. It does not matter how INDIAN teams had done in the past, what matters is what this particular team has done in the past.
A great lesson to learn here, the only past that should matter to anyone should be the one which involves the people who you are with, in the present. This thought can make India an invincible team in this tournament. Carrying on with this attitude, WE MIGHT NOT HAVE TO GIVE IT BACK, after all.
Have a great Sunday !

Beyond Good Looks

Do you think good looks alone can get a woman everything she could possibly want in life? Well this might be partially true, owing to the fact that we live in an extremely superficial world. Things do get easier for her in life, if she is a conventionally good looking person, as the very first thing that gets noticed about her are her looks. But what most people tend to forget is the fact that there is more to her than just her looks.
Some women want to be known for their looks and enjoy the admiration they get. There is absolutely nothing wrong about that, why should she not flaunt something that makes her feel confident. Alongside, there are women who want to be known for qualities other than just their looks. Life becomes a tad bit trickier for them. One of the worst kinds of stereotype attached with these women is that they are self obsessed and are in need of constant appreciation for their looks. Well guess what, that is not always true.
Have you ever thought about the common difficulties that these women have to face almost on a daily basis? Let me highlight some of them.  Most common problem is the issue of constantly being envied by other women. The amount of hatred that these women are capable of getting  from other women is enormous. It is a never ending process, no matter where you go, this negativity from others just never goes away.  Another problem is the insecurity that they create for others. If she is good looking then that does not mean she is here to snatch from you what’s yours, grow up a little. These reasons build up another major pro

blem, the problem of finding real friends. Because she makes other women envious and insecure, it becomes extremely difficult to find true friends to confide in. Often this leads to physical and mental isolation, leading to greater difficulties in life. She simply cannot trust anyone around her, for she can never be sure about their intentions.

Moving ahead there is another aspect to this story, what happens if good looks are accompanied by a great brain? When people look at someone so pretty, their mind get blocked and they often do not explore beyond. These women prefer to be known for their brain than their looks. Like enmity and insecurity weren’t enough that now she has to deal with wrong impressions too. The problem for these women is that because they have a great brain masked by good looks, they have to put in extra effort to get them being taken seriously, most of the times. Doing this on a daily basis is exhausting. Imagine a scenario where you have to prove your intellect again and again, only for people to take you seriously. Often people cannot associate with their intellect, which leaves these women frustrated and annoyed.

The problem with our society is that we always stereotype people because that makes things convenient for our understanding. One such common stereotype is that a pretty faced people are often low on intellect, as they are too obsessed with their looks to notice anything else around them. Our life long experiences and learning makes us believe in such stereotypes. A bigger mistake that we do is keeping our minds closed to new possibilities. There is more to a person than just their looks. Never dismiss her thoughts simply because you don’t think that all she is capable of doing is look pretty. World becomes easy for those who stand up for themselves and do not wait for validation from others. 
It can get unimaginably difficult for these women in the world. Do they need to scar their faces in order for others to look at them beyond their looks? Do they have to give up being who they really are simply because they need to be taken seriously? Why can’t she just be who she really is and be accepted for it? Perhaps her looks for her are nothing more than just another quality that she has. It is a natural gift and she appreciates it but do not define her solely on that. Think beyond. Be more accepting. 
Have a great day … : )

Bathroom: A Thinker’s Paradise

Ever wonder, why is it that our imaginations and ideas cross all boundaries while we are in the bathroom? Well, there probably is no science behind it or maybe, there is. Whatever be the reason, I have some theories of my own.
1.       It’s all about “ME”:  For many of us, the time we spend in the bathroom is the only time that we spend with just ourselves throughout the day. We are in an undisturbed communion with ourselves. We enable our brain to make a true connection with us, hence enabling our brain to think far ahead.
2.       Enhanced senses: All those beautiful fragrances around us, from our body wash, shampoo, moisturizer, etc, actually enhance our senses. Such enhancement helps in relaxing our brain and therefore increasing its capacity to think above and beyond.
3.       No one to judge: Alone in the bathroom, we no longer have to worry about being constantly judged by people around us. No wonder we get the best of our ideas in such a setup. We lose all our inhibitions and that makes our thoughts reach the heights we never imagined.
4.       Detoxified body breeds detoxified brain: Our metabolism works in a surprising way. When we defecate, we not only detoxify our body but also our brain. Have you heard the saying, “Healthy body breeds healthy brain”, the same things works here as well. When in the bathroom, our brain is at its healthiest best, leading to some greatest of thoughts.
5.       Brain works best after system reboot: When we get up after a good night sleep, it’s like getting up after a total system reboot and hence our brain is at its best. So when we get out of bed and get into the bathroom, along with all the above mentioned reasons, our brain produces magnificence.
I don’t know about science but these are some of the reasons why I think our best ideas are generated when we are in bathroom. Believe it or not, the idea to write this article too got generated at the same place. Hope you enjoyed it! LOL !

Do share your ideas, maybe you have something more interesting to add to the list. 😀

A Different Shade Of Heroism

Heroism in day to day life is often associated with an individual’s act of bravery as a reaction to happening of an event that should not have occurred in normal circumstances. It could be saving someone from drowning in a well or a river, or protecting someone on being attacked by goons, or rescuing someone caught in fire. There are numerous such incidents where we witness how ordinary people from among us do the extraordinary things.
Today I wish to talk about another kind of heroism that although happens around us, but often goes unnoticed. Let me share with you a story of a man I came across a few months ago. While sitting at the guest house and having tea with my family, I was introduced with a man. He is a craftsman and his skill lies in sculpting wood into beautiful artefacts. He gifted us with one of his creations, which was indeed quite impressive. I didn’t get a chance to interact with him much on that day. After a few days, once again I came across him and this time he had with him a catalogue of his creations. The collection not only included pictures of wooden sculptures but also some really sophisticated cane furniture. I was amazed by the finesse in his work.
This man lost both his legs to polio when he was a little boy. Now in his 30’s, he literally had to drag himself with the support of both his hands, in order to move. He has now very conveniently replaced his legs with his hands and has accustomed himself to this lifestyle, for many years. It was hard for me to imagine someone making sofa sets and tables in that condition. Later, after about a month I found out something about him that added altogether a new perspective to how I perceived him. I found that he had married a girl who was a rape victim. This girl belonged to a local tribal community, like many other rape victims in our country; she too faced a tough time from the society and was shunned by almost everyone.
How many of us even think about something like that?, let alone acting upon it. I can’t think of anyone. I don’t know the reason behind his decision, so I am no one to judge. But irrespective of the reasons, his act of giving a lifetime support and respect to a woman who was publically humiliated for a crime she never committed, in itself is quite a heroic act for me. May be because of his physical condition he thought he might not have a chance to lead a normal life and so he decided to do what he did. But does that make him any less extraordinary?
We all talk about helping the victims of crimes in regaining their lost self esteem and hope for a normal life but how many of us truly act upon our words and actually do something worthwhile? Making a conscious decision like that, which affects one’s entire life in more than one way, is not an easy thing to do. For me it is a brave act, an act of heroism in more than one ways. There may be so many others like him around us, of who we simply aren’t aware of. I feel they should also be given their share of recognition, not just because they should be known but because they could inspire someone in ways we do not know.
Witnessing this different shade of heroism, makes me believe in the will and power that we hold inside us. We could make a huge difference not only to our lives but the lives of millions others out there, who need our support and care. We must remember that we don’t have anything to prove to anyone here. Overcoming and leaving past the hurdles in our lives is very much an act of bravery. You don’t have to be a hero to the world but yourself first. We don’t always need to read about the big and the famous to get inspired, we don’t always need to wait for an event to occur, all we need to do is to seize the moment we have. 
Heroism is about overcoming the obstacle and making a difference. I believe everyone faces difficult times and situations in life and everyone has his or her way of dealing with it. We all have a little hero present inside us; all we need to do is, find a way to bring it out. So the next time you need to get inspired, look into the mirror and feel proud of yourself.

All I wish for …

Lying in the bed of time,
Are the memories most fine,
Each night before I sleep,
All I wish for, is to take one last leap.
Mornings echoed with papa’s songs,
It is that, what my heart truly longs,
No one knew how life would unfurl,
All I wish for once more, is to be papa’s little girl.
There was something magical about lunchtime,
Lunchboxes made amma’s love outshine,
Every bite made me smile,
All I wish for once more is to walk the same mile.
Playing with dolls all afternoon,
Having an elder sister was such a boon,
Someone to always take the fall,
All I wish for once more, is time to stall.
My little brother was such a delight,
I don’t remember a single day without our silly fight,
The bond got stronger as we grew,
All I wish for is those memories to renew.
Every summer break was a new story,
We kids added to our nani’s glory,
The only time when getting fat was fun,
All I wish for is to play under the same sun.
I can’t travel back in time,
But can always cherish the memories that are just mine,
Time may have drifted us apart,
All I wish for is to keep these memories alive in my heart.

Why does innocence make no sense to some ?

“Becoming a child again is what is impossible. That’s what you have a legitimate reason to be upset over. Childhood is the most valuable thing that’s taken away from you in life, if you think about it.”
Heather O’Neill, Lullabies for Little Criminals

Children are the purest form of human beings that can ever exist in this universe. Innocence can be best defined by a child’s smile. As adults it is our responsibility to preserve this purity in our society. As we watch our children grow up, we relive our childhood. In a country where little girls are worshiped as living incarnations of Goddess Durga and little boys as Bhairav, almost everyday we read about little children being sexually abused and murdered.
What has our country come to become? What has happened to the people? Is there no humanity left? It makes me so angry to even think about such predators of innocence. It is so sick to read about children being raped and killed all across the nation. This crime has been spreading like a disease in our society. I wonder what goes on inside a child rapist’s head? Such brutality is a ghastly truth that we face everyday in our lives. Children as young as 3 years old, have been victims of such sickness. 
No place seems to be secure enough for children anymore. Schools, tuition classes, parks, even our own homes are no longer a safe haven for our children. These criminals can be anyone, a complete stranger or someone in the neighborhood or even a relative. Trust no one blindly, but that does not mean we kill our child’s freedom. What we truly need is awareness. We need to be extremely attentive to what our child is trying to communicate to us. 
Another very important aspect is to make our children aware about what is right and what is wrong, when they are interacting with relatives or some stranger. They should be made aware about how much physical closeness is acceptable and when is it right to say “NO”. Also they must be nurtured in a way that they openly discuss everything with you. Safety of our children is first our own responsibility. We must do anything and everything to keep our children safe from this sick world.
We cannot change the sick mentality of people around us but we sure can condemn it and take a step forward in creating awareness. Keeping the innocence alive is the only hope for our society to remain civilized. 
It’s high time we start having real conversations with our children !

Daily Soaps: Creating bubbles that are far from reality …

Ever since the onset of daily soaps on television in India, this industry has been growing bigger everyday. We have experienced this revolution ourselves, in the past few years. These daily soaps have been a huge source of entertainment for many, and especially the homemakers of our country at large. And why not, I believe being a homemaker is a round the clock job and requires most of the time to be spent at home, managing the day to day lives of the entire family. These daily soaps provide a way of watching the stories that are related to society as a whole.
The concepts behind most of these shows are often related to normal households and its issues or the social issues in the society. While I think that it is important that we talk about the problems in our society, to create awareness among people, yet there is another face to these daily soaps. While trying to bring out the reality of our society and culture, these daily soaps often make the protagonist of the story an ideal character. This person is the highlight of the show, and it is this character, around which the story revolves.
This person they create is someone who is often ideal in every sense. For reference, let’s call this person “X”. So, X could be a daughter or a wife or a daughter-in-law or a son or a son-in-law or a husband or a father or a mother or anyone else. X never lies, X never hurts anyone, X never does anything incorrect, X is selfless, X can do anything to keep others happy, X is full of sacrifices, X is almost close to perfect. Is that how you or I are? Is that how others in our lives are? I don’t think so.
Everyone aspires to be ideal but let’s face the reality, is it really possible? Real lives do not run on scripts. Real lives run on our own actions. These shows that portray idealism are not doing anything wrong but probably the way they affect us subconsciously is what is creating problems. We may feel once we switch off the TV or change the channel, we forget about those characters, but actually we don’t. Over a period of time, when we regularly watch these shows, we begin to internalize them in our real lives. We begin to relate and compare ourselves and other in our lives with these characters. It is then that the real issues arise.
I mean come on, think about it, do you really think it would be right to expect a woman who sleeps late at night after finishing all the chores to get up early in the morning at 5, get ready with perfectly lined eyes and perform prayer? Well maybe it is true for some but definitely not everyone at large. What these things do is, they build up false expectations in the minds of the viewers. They create an image of a world which in all honesty is a work of fiction. The core issue behind is all maybe be real but the entire characterization and drama created to push that issue is simply too much to handle.
So the next time you watch these shows, watch and forget, try not to internalize them. Do not build your expectations around those characters. Daily soaps are meant to entertain you, so get entertained and forget them. I myself do not like to watch daily shows but those who do, well, just think about what I said the next time you watch them, you might see my perspective.

Have a great evening : )

Some Cause-Met-Icky Facts :P

Women used to pinch their cheeks to give themselves rosy cheeks before blush was invented.

So ladies, next time you forget to carry blush, you know what to do!

In the old days, make up was used to frighten enemies, show a social rank or make magic.

LOL, I don’t know about frightening enemies but some people still use cosmetics for similar reasons, unintentionally perhaps. I feel all they need is a bit of honest feedback.

In 1400, it was popular for women to be hairless.  They would shave their heads and pluck their eyebrows and eyelashes completely out.

Now that is what I call, going a bit too far in the name of fashion. Heads I can digest, and plucking eyebrows is OK too as long as one leaves some intact but eyelashes … REALLY ??? hahaha. 

The most common injury caused by make-up is scratching the eye with a mascara wand.

OK honestly, I can testify this one. It happens more than often. Happened once with me too. Hurts like hell : (

Coco Chanel started the trend to be tan after she tanned herself on a cruise.

That’s called a lucky accident

Cleopatra was known to soak her ship’s sails in perfume so the fragrance would reach Rome (and Marc Antony) before she did.

WOW! … quite grand I must say. Doesn’t make much sense to me though. But then again, it’s no big deal for a lady who believed in bathing in milk every single day 😐

Dermatologist tested does not mean dermatologist approved.

Haha, we usually miss out the most obvious meanings. So next time you buy cosmetics make sure its dermatologist approved and not tested ! 

 In the 17th and 18th century, women dilated their eyes with drops from a plant called Belladonna, as it was considered attractive. Long term use damaged the eyes and lead to blindness.

So much to look attractive?

 In the 1930′s, a product called “Lash Lure” was sold in the U.S. as permanent mascara. It blinded more than a dozen women and killed one.

Must have been one of those dermatologist tested and not approved product 😐

Nestle owns a quarter of the world’s largest cosmetic company, L’Oreal.
IMAGINE: “Nestle … because you’re worth it” =)) Thank God for just a quarter of ownership and separate branding. All that Nestle reminds me of is milk and chocolate and maggi and food food food. Nestle and L’Oreal ??? Who would have thought.

The first nail polish was invented in China in 3000 B.C. by mixing egg whites, beeswax, gum and colored powder.

Hmmm … Some real science there. But I am glad I was born in the 20th century : |

I had fun reading them … hope you did too ! Adios !