ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Archive for October 2008

Cyber Culture: The new social order

with one comment

This is the summary of a term paper submitted by me and Lalit in the humanities course during our final semester at college.

Throughout the human history, there has been a gradual technological growth. Man has always strived to find ways to make his life easy and enjoyable. Starting from the earliest technology, “the wheel”, man has gone round the circle innumerable times. Technological advances have been followed by a huge rise in the standard of living, as a general trend. Be it renaissance, industrial revolution or whatever. Last half a century or so has seen advancement in technology like never before. Arrival of computers and digitization of datum has had its effects on the human sphere of life. The arrival of internet has given a further shot in the arm to the ever increasing sphere of expanding world.

Modern means of communication were said to have the capability to shrink the world. World became smaller and smaller. But as the regenerativity theory suggests, after shrinking to a tiny dot, this world has exploded again, this time to the infinitum. Internet has led to the creation of new worlds, termed as virtual worlds. All the notions of parallel world and teleporting has been a given a new dimension through this technology. It said that success comes at a cost. So at what cost is this new human success achieved? What sacrifice will the humans make to keep this success sustainable? Perhaps we are still to witness.

According to an article, “netizen is miles away from the nature and its laws. He constructs a fort separating him from the real world. This keeps him away from the realities of life” . Man has always tried to run away from challenges of the real life towards an artificial world. What else does the Arabian nights to the current day Harry Potter stand for, if not for the realization of the human fantasy? The author goes on to say, all’s well till we are inside this virtual world, the problem surfaces when we try to realize the fantasy in our real life and fail unsurprisingly.

As a result of the fast spread of internet and its unchecked expansion, a different society has come up in thousands of Internet cafes and in our own personal computers, says a report. This society has huge shopping malls like Ebay.com, meeting places like Orkut, Facebook and what not. According to a net survey, the number of users as well as the number of minutes spent by each user on Facebook has increased considerably over the period of June’06 to June’07. Most concerning fact is that around 31% of social network users enter false information. Does this suggest a new era where deception might be the reality?

Another area of concern is the reversal of roles on the net. Most of our elders don’t even have an idea about the borders of the cyber society. This is a world where the elders have become newbies. Will this hamper the human growth in the long term?

There is no doubt that internet has the potential to become one of the major tools for the global development. We can’t avoid it. The only option is to acclimatize with it. One can begin by not entering false information, using internet for useful purposes and setting time limits for internet usage.

Advertisements

Good Morning Mumbai…

with one comment

Every time I read this, I feel relieved. Wonderful dialogue.

Good Moooorrrninggggg!! Mumbai!
This is Jhanvi on World Space Radio

जाने से पहले ये है मेरा आज का ख्याल,
उन सब के लिए जो दौड़े जा रहे हैं शहर में|

शहर की इस दौड़ में दौड़ के करना क्या है?
गर यही जीना है दोस्तों, तो फिर मरना क्या है?

पहली बारिश में ट्रेन लेट होने की फ़िक्र है,
भूल गए भीगते हुए टहलना क्या है?

सिरिअल्स के किरदारों का सारा हाल है मालूम,
पर माँ का हाल पूछने की फुर्सत कहाँ है?

अब रेत पे  नंगे पाँव टहलते क्यूँ नही?
१०८ है चैनल, पर दिल बहलते क्यूँ नही?

इंटरनेट पे दुनिया से तो टच में हैं,
लेकिन पड़ोस में कौन रहता है, जानते तक नही|

मोबाइल, लैंडलाइन, सब की भरमार है,
लेकिन जिगरी दोस्त तक पहुंचे, ऐसे तार कहाँ है?

कब डूबते हुए सूरज को देखा था, याद है?
कब जाना था शाम का गुज़रना क्या है?

तो दोस्तों शहर की इस दौड़ में दौड़ के करना क्या है|
गर यही जीना है, तो फिर मरना क्या है?

So good bye Mumbai. मेरा bye-bye बोलने का वक़्त आ गया है

उम्मीद है आप से कल फिर मुलाकात होगी
यहीं पर, इसी समय,

Friends till then don’t worry, be happy, saionara!

और हाँ! याद रखना कल दो अक्टूबर है
And we are having Mahatma quiz contest

जो भी ये quiz जीतेगा, वो होगा मेरा special guest
Yes! उसे में studio में invite करूंगी और उससे करूंगी ढेर सारी बातें

So bye bye and dont forget to tune in tomorrow at 9

Written by arpitgarg

October 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm

India Australia Series: Is the hype real?

with one comment

Of Late, India-Australia Cricket has become a huge affair. No stone remains unturned towards a memorable and saleable experience. Same goes for the current Test series. While Players are busy churning out high quality of cricket, Media is busy churning out equally sensational stuff. Let me put down a few from both print and visual media.

Why did Ganguly announce sudden retirement?
The Holy Grail! The news channel famous for its sting ops claimed to have laid its hands on the “real” truth. Whole affair was portrayed as some Watergate scandal waiting to be unearthed. The news went, “Ganguly ki beizzati ki thi tyaari. Dada ko nahin chahiye thi yeh beizzati. Dada ne kiya kinare hone ka faisla”. According to the channel, Kumble had plans to leave out Ganguly from the first test match squad. He wanted to avenge the insult that Ganguly laid on him by not playing him during the 2003 World Cup despite his constant pleads. According to the “well placed” sources it would not be possible for Kumble to keep Ganguly out now.

Kumble and the 2 CD’s
The same channel claimed that Kumble-the captain have played 2 VCD’s to the team. First one contained clippings from the farcical Sydney test, Australia claiming dropped catches and the Monkeygate scandal. The second one relived Kolkata 2001. It got players pumped up. CD may or may not have pumped up the players but this news would for sure have left viewers boiling and hungry for revenge against the Australians.

Oz media slam Ganguly for delaying tactics in ‘farcical draw’
This was a heading from the PTI. I searched online for related articles by the Australian media. I checked Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and others but couldn’t find any such report. What I found was a single article titled “Farcical draw like kissing mother-in-law” by some Andrew McKinlay. PTI claimed as if the entire Oz media was after Ganguly.

Recently, according to a report BCCI advised a sports channel not to advertise this as revenge and hatred filled series. Whatever be the case, sometimes such reporting do help in keeping up the popularity of the sport. I for one enjoyed run-in’s between Zaheer and Haddin, Shane Watson’s antics and Brett Lee’s glare a lot among other things. In fact I might not have enjoyed the match so much but for the media backed controversies.

Media: right or WRONG

leave a comment »

Last week a leading news channel was seen patting its back. It carried out an operation in Delhi. A female reporter walked on the road alone during the night to catch the person/persons who tried to take advantage of her.

One must say that this was a clear master stoke. However there seems to be a flaw. It served no positive purpose other than to add to the TRP of the news channel. On the hindsight it did some harm.

Firstly, let me go into as to why nothing positive came out of it. “Are the women safe at night?” is one such question as, “Is cigarette smoking not injurious to health”. Come’ on all of us know that answer to both the questions is a stern NO. What the channel tried to do by proving a well known fact, is far from my understanding. In fact a few days ago, even the Delhi CM agreed that roads are not safe for the females at night. Had the issue been “how this should be resolved”, channel should have been patted. It would have helped creating a better environment. But I guess, it’s easier to be a part of the problem than to be of the solution.

Secondly, why it did some harm? Consider the scenario that the car of a lady broke down at night. Now would anyone stop to help her? I think not. He would be more worried that if the lady turns out to be a reporter in disguise, he would be shown on television as a beast trying to take advantage of a stranded girl. This number would be much higher than the number of real criminals who would turn away due to the fear of being exposed. So in effect it would do more harm than good.

Written by arpitgarg

October 13, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Indian Economy Strong: Funda-mentally

leave a comment »

Last few days have witnessed regular assurances from finance ministry, RBI governor, CEO of leading Indian banks as to how India would weather the global financial storm. All the assurances had one thing in common, “The fundamentals of our economy are very strong”. What these financial fundamentals really are? How to understand them? Well, I have one approach ready for you. As they say “Cinema reflects the Society”, let’s start our search for the economic fundamentals via the fundamentals of Indian cinema.

“Thakur, jaan pyaari hai toh Tijori ki chabiyaan nikaal”. Who doesn’t remember this legendary line? Immortalized by Thakurs ranging from Kanhaiyyalal to Madanlal and Dacoits cum Robinhoods ranging from Raj Kumar to Sunil Dutt. Another such scene is where the greedy Thakur opens his Tijori to lend money to the poor Kisaan at high interest rate. Here the most important fundamental is Tijori. Our society too cherished this personal Tijori. Down the years, the Tijori got replaced by a bank locker for quite a few. Barring the recent trends, we are not known to be ardent investors. We do save money but most of us do not invest in other than the popular LIC policies. We all have such Tijori’s which keep our money safe and sound if not reap returns. Before you point out the decreasing worth owing to inflation, keep in mind that we usually keep our savings as gold, silver etc. But the Tijori persists.

“Kaam ho jaiyega Seth. Paisa mere Swiss bank account mein pahunch jaana chaiye”. This corruption and surplus black money has helped avert the mortgage crisis in India. Consider a house with market value of 1crore. Usually one pays 50lac in cash and 50lac via cheque. This ratio may vary from 40:60 to 45:55 or vice versa. The cash is what is usually called number 2 ka paisa. For the rest 50lac, we apply for a loan. Even if the property rates fall to say 80lac (from 1cr initially), unlike Americans we don’t forego our property to the bank. After all the current market rate is still greater than the loan due. So the black money in property business has not let mortgage crises come to India in the way it has rattled US. (for more read http://www.swaminomics.org/articles/20080330.htm)

“Madam hum ICUC bank se aaye hain. Aap loan chuka dijiye warna hum bahut kameeney log hain”. This dialogue delivered with pure sincerity in the movie “One Two Three”, gives us clear insight as to the low default rate in India. The loan is distributed via agents and settled via another set of agents, while the bank sits pretty. Should the leading banks go the legal way, it would take them at least 20 years to settle. Agree or not, this so called extortion has kept the so called fundamentals of our economy sound.

“Bhaisahab yeh Mangal-Sutra girvi rakh leejiye”. Nirupa Roy in need of money for the treatment of her sick son. Here mangalsutra is the key. Most of the Indian families have household jewellery. Ask your mother for confirmation. Regardless of the bank balance, there have to be sufficient diamond/gold/silver ornaments to be worn at various ceremonies. This domestic wealth is the one which has helped many a family sail through the dark times.

Jetlite: Love it or hate it, you can’t cancel it

with 7 comments

Recently, I booked a Jetlite fight online, from Katmandu to Delhi, for my CFA exam. A couple of days later a friend of mine found the same ticket cheaper by 1500 bucks. I checked and found it to be true. As a middle class baniya, first thought that came to my mind was to cancel the ticket and book it again. I mean, if “x” be the cancellation charge, it would still leave me with “1500-x”.

I typed in the url www.jetlite.com . I couldn’t find the link to reschedule or cancel. I was like stunned. I called up my friend. At first he thought I had made a mistake, “Come ‘on, how could there be no rescheduling or cancellation link. It would be there only. Check again”. I spent another 15-20 minutes going through each and every link on the webpage, but to no avail.

Not knowing what to do, I dialed up the help line number given on the website. After initial IVR reply, I was routed to the operator (after a substantial waiting, I must add). My worst fears came true when the lady replied, “No sir, you can’t reschedule or cancel the flight online. It can only be done telephonically”. Okay, the crude oil prices are all time high and aviation industry is reeling under heavy loss, but is this the way to avenge it?

Cancellation charges were 500 bucks. I asked them to cancel my ticket. They have informed me that my account would be credited in about 15 days. However when I booked again, the money was debited instantaneously.

For all those, who like me, have been left wondering, how to cancel the ticket, here are the numbers to Jetlite call centre, 1800 22 3020 / 3989 3333. For further inquiry click here . Happy Journey!

Various categories of PJ’s

with 4 comments

Name: Poor Joke (PJ)
Age: Unknown
Effect: Deadly, Suicidal, Make you cringe, Trigger a sudden pulse down the spinal chord
Know As: Khatta (sour), Maaru (deadly)

Having spent some considerable time devouring each and every PJ that came by, I have tried to divide them into certain categories based on their characteristics.

  • Story Time: Lengthy ones

Seriously long!. Come with a narration. An old house, the old lady, one untimely accident, a sudden death. After a grueling half n hour or so, either we have to answer a simple question or suggest a moral to the story. Believe you me; if you tried as much to think, you would definitely commit suicide.

Q There was a bus conductor. He was very rude. Due to his fault a lot of people used to get killed. Each time he was arrested-produced before the court-sent to the electric chair. Each time he survived. Realizing his mistake, he became a good man. Once when he tried to help somebody, he was again arrested-produced before the court-sent to the electric chair. This time he died instantaneously. The question is why?
A Earlier he was a Bad Conductor so electricity couldn’t pass through. Later he became a Good Conductor, electricity passed through. He died. (based on http://www.dctorrent.com/f204/deadly-pj-23733/)

  • Stand on the shoulder of Giants: Remember the Titans

A PJ is told. We are subjected to another four-five PJ’s. The last PJ is a Q n A type. The answer to it lies in the very first PJ. It leaves you wondering, “I knew the answer all along”. One classical example is the “Elephant in the fridge”.

Q How will you put a camel in the fridge?
A Open the door. Put the camel in. Close the door.

Q How will you put an elephant in the fridge?
A Open the door. Take the camel out. Put the elephant in. Close the door.
..…
…. 4-5 questions
….
Q You are in a plane moving out from one city to another with all your belongings. Suddenly the plane starts losing height. Pilot asks each passenger to throw out the heavy items. What would you do?
A Of course. Open the fridge and throw out the elephant.
..…
….Another  4-5 questions
….
Q Two guys are standing by the side of a swimming pool. One of them jumps in. The other one didn’t know how to swim, so he remain outside. The one standing by the pool dies. Why?
A Easy. The elephant you threw out fell on him. Arrrggghhh!!! (based on: http://www.akhilesh.in/life/fun/jokes/pj0041TestYourCommonSenseRevisited.php)

  • What is the meaning?

These are the smaller ones. You just have to find the meaning of some simple statement.

Santa meets his friend Bunta
Santa: A and B, A and B, A and B, A and B, A and B…!
Bunta: Oye, Iska Matlab ?
Santa: Kuch Nahin Yaar, I Mean Long Time No C..!
(Source: http://www.killerpj.com/index.php?sbjoke_id=290)

  • Singing Daisy

Answer lies in some famous song. I am sure all of you might have read the following two.

Q Ganesh ko Anesh kisne banaya
A Kailash Kher ne. Tere naam se G loon. Tere naam se mar jaoon.

Q How will you light a cigarette in a boat without a matchstick?
A Take some water in your hand. Let it pass drop by drop. Tip Tip barsa paani, paani ne aag lagayi. Use it to light the cigarette. (based on: http://www.akhilesh.in/life/fun/jokes/pj0062LightACigarette.php)

  • Antonym: The opposite

We have to guess the antonym of a particular word. We can solve them if we try and break the word into various Hindi/English sub-words.
Dominoes <—> Domi doesn’t know.
Nag Panchami <—> Nag did not punch me.

  • Can’t help it: Main aisa hi hoon

They don’t come with any answer. They are the wackiest ones

Q 3+3=8 How?
A By mistake (Galti se).

Q A hen and three chickens cross a busy road. On reaching the other side, one of the chicks said, “Thank God all 5 of us are safe”. Why did it say “all 5 of us”?
A Come on! It is just a small chick. Small children usually make mistake while counting. (based on: http://www.crazyengineers.com/forum/chillax-chit-chat/30-ridiculous-jokes.html)

  • Tag-the-line

The answer lies in a catchy tag line of some ad campaign.

Q A person used to live a normal life. Once he got a call on his idea mobile. It was from a girl. A wrong number, perhaps! Still he talked to her. They fell in love. Got married. One night, when they were sleeping, the wife got murdered. He was implicated in the murder. He cried that he has not killed his wife but to no avail. He was sent to jail. He lived there for 5 years. He broke out of the jail. He ran away from the city. He started living in the forest. He did Tapasya for 5 years. God became happy. He was granted a wish and was made the Prime Minister of the country. What is the moral of the story?
A An idea can change your life!

  • Anekta mein Ekta: Regional ones

They are based on Sardars, Madrasis, Bengalis or for that matter Blondes.

The list is not extensive. Perhaps you could categorize them further. Till then I would leave you with this. Why was Indian Cricket team not able to drink Pepsi during their ODI series, Sri Lanka ’08?

Written by arpitgarg

October 1, 2008 at 11:46 am

%d bloggers like this: