Net and Netbook

It's been pretty satisfying this weekend. First I adopted "Buchhki": an Acer Netbook. It's so small that all the other members in my family doubted if it can do what my old laptop did. I had to really assure them that this one does everything plus some. It even has a webcam! Of course it doesn't have a DVD player / writer; but then, can't have everything together!

Then I finally got the BSNL broadband too! Of course the line was installed a couple of weeks ago, the broadband modem given a week ago, and the password sent yesterday. True to BSNL style, I was left to figure out what to do with those, so I called the helpline. The phone helpline gave me a ticket number, and I was to wait for them to contact me to fix the problem. But in the meanwhile, I tinkered with the settings, tried a few things, and lo - it's up and running. In fact I am using the netbook to type these very words, and using the secured wireless connection that I configured to post this.

It's getting hot in here...

Remember I wrote about Kalbaisakhi? I don't know if I jinxed it or not, but since then, Kolkata has not seen any rain, making this the hottest April in years. This weekend the temperature went over 40 in Celsius, and it was extremely dry for this part of the country.

Add to that a major power outage in the city on Sunday, when even services like Metro (underground rail), hospitals, and airport were hit. Even the traffic signals were out for some time! Power supply was restored to normalcy only by late night.

Since yesterday, the humidity has also increased, making it all the more unbearable. I went to the market this morning, and one of the vegetable vendor collapsed from heat stroke right in front of me. I am trying my best to beat the heat with cap / sunscreen / sunglasses, and plenty of fluids. If I survive, will see you here. Else, charge global warming for murder.

Public Holiday

My Ma went to the bank yesterday, and found it closed. The security guard there knew it was a holiday, but didn't know why. Anyway, Ma came back and asked me why the bank was closed and I told her - it was Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's birthday.

This raised a question in my mind... what is the significance of celebrating holidays on birthdays of famous personalities? How many of us know who Dr. Ambedkar was beyond the title of "Father of Constitution" or the fact that he was from a low caste who defied all odds to achieve great academic success? Why Dr. Ambedkar alone? We celebrate so many birthdays of famous citizens of India by making it a holiday - M. K. Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore - some of them on a regional basis, but I really think we miss the point of celebrating the birthdays. We take it as another holiday for us to enjoy. Tell me honestly, what works for you better? A school giving holiday on Dr. Ambedkar's birthday, or a school having normal classes with the assembly time (or any other period) used for letting everyone know of his philosophies and vision? I don't remember gaining any additional knowledge about Mr. Gandhi from watching "Gandhi" year after year on DD during the time I was in school!

But no one protests in India because we don't believe in our right to work, it is rather the other way round - we just need an excuse to not-work! If we collectively believed in our right to work, we would not have bandhs and hartals as late as 2009! I am sure we can find better ways of doing things!

I like days like these

When two ex-colleagues (friends really - somehow, ex-colleagues and friends do not score same on excitement level) call me after a long time.
Aro called to say that just the day before, he locked himself out of his 8th floor flat. So he had to find a ladder to place somewhere on the 7th floor in order to climb to the window of his flat; and after climbing up, he realized it was the wrong window!

James, my partner in crime for several years in many things, including training, travels, and overeating, called and we exchanged updates mostly about our common friends.
And then two school friends also call me the same day. Samrat is in town and we plan to meet this weekend; and then Nilu got my number from Samrat, and we spoke after at least 15 years. Now that we are in touch again, thanks largely to Orkut, she is one of the oldest friend I have, having studied together from Nursery to Class Five!

The icing on the cake would have been my favorite football teams winning important matches. Unfortunately, ManU managed just a draw against Porto, and Mohun Bagan lost to Kuwait SC. Can't have everything in one day, I guess!

A picture is worth a thousand words

My friend, Prashant, is celebrating his 30th birthday this month, in a unique style. He is selling his photographs to raise money for child education and rights. All the money raised would go to Sankalp, a project of ASK.
One of the photographs on sale.
I was proud to be associated with a similar project he took up in 2008. I personally visited the ASK office in Gurgaon last year, and know a few very talented friends who have been associated with ASK / Sankalp, directly or indirectly. I can vouch for the hard and focused work that these guys put towards various causes.
Another photograph on sale.
So, my friends, I would request you to go through the 30on30 site, where the photographs are being sold. Please read more about the project, and go through the photographs. If you like any of them, buy it. If you don't like any photograph (which basically means you have no taste :P), but still like the idea, help us spread the word. Maybe you can just put the badge (displayed below) on your site for a few days, maybe you can tell your friends, or join the Facebook event - any effort, big or small, is much appreciated.

Help us spread the word.
Add this badge to your blog
Each picture on the site is worth a thousand rupees. But, as they say in the Mastercard ads, the value of child education those thousand rupees will provide, is priceless!