• Observations

    Internet was once a beautiful place

    I was reminiscing on the time I first found the Internet. It was such a joy to find knowledge at your fingertips. You could get so much information online, even before Google launched their search engine. You could connect with people on forums, chat servers. You could publish your own blog and add RSS feed which people could connect to .You had this sense of individual identity in the expansive network of the web.

    But things changed after Facebook came. One person’s dream to connect the world together.  The world was already connected but Mark wanted to connect them all together on his platform. Hence emerged the idea of Social Network, followed by Twitter and millions of other social networks. The issue is that these platforms control what to show to whom. Compared to the internet which is neutral to everyone, social media platforms including Google Search decide whether your content is worth sharing to others. Hence you start behaving in a manner conducive to those platforms and therein you lose your actual identity. You will start putting hashtags, links to other sites just so that your post is shared to as many people as possible. You will put click bait headings – ‘How to’, ‘Top 10’, ‘You got to see …’.  The problem of fake news is now at an alarming level. We are so dependent on these platforms to give us content that we don’t even care if the content is fake.

    The solution is to go back to old stuff. Quit these platforms, go to news sites, use news feed.  Bring back the old Internet which was truly neutral.

  • Observations,  Religion

    My Journey in reading Shrimad Bhagavatam

    I finished reading Shrimad Bhagavatam this year in January. It took me one year to complete it. I finally finished it and it was an awesome experience. The interesting thing is that at the end of the book in Section 12, it is said:
    • A Sattvic reader will finish the book in 30 days
    • A Rajasic reader will finish the book in 7 days
    • A Tamasic reader will finish the book in 1 year
    I wanted to read this book since 4 years. I was contemplating whether I should read in English or Hindi. I decided to read it in Hindi as I already had Sukh Sagar by Gitapress Gorakhpur. Gitapress prints Shrimad Bhagavatam under the name Sukh Sagar.
    I had heard that there are many rituals and rules to follow to read this book. I couldn’t follow all those rules to complete the book. One thing I would definitely observe is to keep the book at a clean place with a red cloth underneath and read it with clean hands. Good intention and devotion to Lord Vishnu is the most important thing required to read this book. And of course, God’s grace and blessings.
    Initially I thought I could complete this book in 2 months but my father passed away after I started reading it.  I did not read the book for around 5-6 months. I then started reading it again, especially on Ekadashi days (twice a month). Slowly I picked momentum and could complete the book in January 2018.
    I am not going to write a review of the book here. That will need a another post. The book has amazing stories around Bhakti. It chronicles the era of Gods, Devatas, Asuras, Rishis, Rajarshis. Then the era of Lord Krishna arrives where Dharma is all mixed up. The stories of Lord Krishna takes almost 25% of the book and keeps you engaged. The 11th section has Uddhava Geeta which contains chapters on how a householder should live in the society and simultaneously worship God. Uddhava Geeta was like an elaboration on Bhagavad Geeta.
    This is one of my favourite books, other being Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta. Mahabharata is also good but its very long at 100,000 verses. This book contains around 18,000 verses. I wish you luck and blessings from God if you want to read this book. I am providing the link to purchase the Amazon Kindle edition of Shrimad Bhagavatam by Gitapress Gorakhpur. They publish it under the title name of Shri Shuka Sudha Sagar. 
    Shrimad Bhagavatam or Shri Shuka Sudha Sagar – https://amzn.to/2P4IBFj


  • Observations

    Why did I switch to Posterous?

    Well, I did choose blogger over tumblr, butI hadnt seen Posterous latel After posting few blogs on blogger, I saw the new and improved Posterous and realized that it does all that I wanted.  I can now post from Posterous and it can autopost the same to Blogger, Facebook Wall, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    So will be using Posterous for now.

     

  • Observations

    Pune Railway station

    A few weeks back there was almost a stampede on the foot over bridge at Pune railway station. I had gone to the station today evening to pick up my parents from platform no. 3. The situation on the bridge was really shameful. The railways had to pay the salaries of two policemen whose only job was to make sure that people keep moving on the bridge and do not create a traffic jam. My coolie was constantly shouting to keep moving otherwise a traffic jam will occur. 

    There are two bridges at Pune station. The old one is around 10 feet wide which is used  a lot. The railways made a new bridge few years back , but since that bridge is literally outside the station, no one uses. it Hence even though the population of Pune has doubled in past decade we still have one bridge to handle the increase in traffic.

    I just don’t understand why the railways doesn’t increase the price of platform ticket by 1 and make it Rs. 4 or Rs. 5. Also, why cant they just increase the ticket fares if they are short of funds?

    http://www.mid-day.com/news/2011/mar/300311-news-pune-Pune-Railway-Station-FOB-Central-Railway-crowding-at-foot.htm

    http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/8075858.cms

  • Mahabharat,  Observations,  Religion

    Survival of Art

    If you have read my previous blogs, you would know that my favourite book (and movie) till now is The Lord of The Rings. I read the book recently and loved it (more than the movie itself). The 3-volume novel was launched in 1954 and is still one of the most read books today. What could be the reason behind this ?

    The answer lies in the fact that the book is truly a great piece of story-telling. It’s a fantasy novel, and there are many more, but the reason this book excels is because people have something to learn from this book. Be it 1960, 1970, or even 2010, whenever you read this book, you can relate to any character, their actions and the surroundings they are in which led them to their action. And the best part is, if you read this book after a gap of 10 years, you will infer the book in a different manner, according to the situation you are in. Kids and adults of this generation read the book and love it as they can relate to the book.

    I finished watching the great epic Mahabharat (1988) made by Late. Mr. B.R. Chopra and his son Mr. Ravi Chopra. I will write a detailed review on it later, but in brief, it was amazing. Its the best Indian TV series to date, and I think the same can be said even later. People have told me that back then in 1988, when the series used to air at morning 9 AM on Sundays, roads were deserted, people post-poned their gatherings and literally everyone were glued to their TV for 1 hour. And now I quite believe them.

    I found the same thing in the series. I have not read the epic-book ‘Mahabharat’, but I am sure it will also be amazing in the art of story-telling. With its variety of characters and their actions, you are compelled to take a leaf out of the book and compare yourself to it, in some manner, at any point of time.

    Some work of art lives through ages. It survives because people of any age at any time are able to deduct something from it for themselves. They can feel that the art speaks for them. Maybe thats why there are many old songs which are heard by this generation too. Even though the piece of art belonged to an era, it survives the passage of time as the newer generation is ready to accept it in their lives.

    If you know of any other work like these, please let me know. I would love to try it.

  • Observations

    Its That Time Of The Year Again

    Its the month of festivals. Started with Navratri, then Dushera and finally Diwali (I am sure I have missed something). If there is any season when you should forget all your worries, its now. Literally. How else do you plan to enjoy this festive season. It feels great looking at other people enjoying the season with their close ones. And here I am worrying about my ceaselessly growing belly. That too now! There is other time for this – like January (after Christmas of course 😉 ). For now, just eat all the goodies and bask in the fervor. That should be the motto. Yup, and it is. Starting now…

  • Observations,  Philosophy

    Cleaning Up

    Everyone takes out time to clean up some stuff around them. Re-organize things. Like your desk, cupboard, etc. At times, it happens often, or once in a blue moon. But, it gives you a sense of satisfaction that you are able to organize your life and put things around you the way you want it to be.

    When I was less than 10, I used to clean up ( rather re-organize ) my comics collection once a while.
    Then after 10, I started cleaning my study table. This used to happen often, with my table littered with books all around and stacks piling up within a week.
    Then I got to cleaning my cupboard, giving out old clothes to the needy.
    During college, cleaning of my books and project stuff used to happen after every semester. To be frank, that was one of the best pleasures, to put those course materials away hoping to never see them again 😉

    And today, I cleaned my Home Desktop… Phew !

  • Mobile,  Observations

    Mobile Phone Etiquettes

    Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives. I am sure everyone who is reading my blog has a cell phone with him. Following are some rules/commandments of using a cell phone :

    1) Every call on your cell is important. Be it from your wife,children,parents, colleague, boss, shop-keeper, gym instructor, driver, plumber, pimp, pet, etc. This is the primary rule based on which other rules are formed.
    2) You should never put your cell phone on silent mode, specially when you are requested at places like meetings, cinemas, temples, mosques, churches, etc.
    3) Always, and always, pick up a call when you are driving. It should not matter that you are hurtling down the road at 100 miles per hour or driving down a busy street with vehicles behind you. Your sudden lapse in concentration and erratic driving does not matter to vehicles around you ( even though they give you a disgusting look ) .
    4) Wear a blue tooth headset 24/7. This way its easier to pick up the phone while in the toilet.
    5) Shout on the receiver – its good for your health. It compensates for all the harmful effects on your body of using a cell phone.
    5) You should always use your cell phone to click photos at public places, even though the photos mean nothing to you. You may never know when that 1000 * 800 pixel photo might get picked as stock photography earning you big bucks.

    Grrrrrrrr…….