Archive for May, 2007

No Smoking Please

Smoking is a vice that a lot of people have and cannot give up. I do not have the figures but I think that it is the biggest addiction in terms of users.

While I personally never have smoked and would advise everyone not to, I will support the right for people to make their own choices. And hence find it a bit draconian when legislation is used to implement standards.

However, I think its necessary to stop smoking in public areas where it affects someone else. And that includes bars, restaurants and pubs.

New York implemented this ban a while ago and the experience has been great. Just before enforecement, it was a big political hot potato. But since it has come into practise, the experience for us majority of non smokers has been great.

A similar ban in Mumbai would be a good idea. However its implementation first in terms of legislation and then enforecement will take a lot of political will.

Health is a State Subject and local bodies are not only empowered, but are also responsible for taking measures required to protect citizens’ health. The BMC has launched a campaign to clean up Mumbai. To this, we must add measures to ban smoking in public places. [link]

Before you go off trying to shout me down in this discussion do read on the internet about the various quality of life issues that are involved with smoking.

And yes I would love to hear your views.

Apartments and School Admissions

These two are not related in any way you might say. But wait.

A city resident found out the hard way that they are. Rupali Khanna wanted to get her 3 year old child admission to a school of her choice. When she went to get admission forms…

After all, her kid was bright, loved playschool and they even stayed bang opposite the prospective school. What could be easier than this? Only later did Khanna realise that she was not only too optimistic but also foolish. “My first experience was scary. I approached the school to get an application form, but to my surprise the school officials turned down my application, stating that I don’t own a flat constructed by the school’s owner,” she recalled. “There are very few ICSE board schools near my home and my son is not old enough to travel far to attend school. I didn’t know that the criteria for getting admission is to own a flat as suggested by the school authorities.”[link]

It has been no secret that education today is more a business than something noble. And sadly this just drives the point home.

I would say to Rupali, that its better her kid does not go to this school. If this is their attitude, forewarned is forearmed. !!

Bullet Train on Platform No. 4

Well dont get all excited and rush to Bombay Central to check it out. Its still at least 6 years away in the making.

However yes there are plans to run the Bullet Train from Bombay to Ahmedabad at speeds exceeding 250 Kms per hour, making the cities just a couple of hours apart.

And now there are plans on offering the same service between Bombay and Pune too. That would make Pune just a 45 min train ride away. Cool eh !

So anyways, till you wait for the Bullet Train to pull in, take a flight to Tokyo, Japan and speed away. !!

Or see this picture. If you imagine hard enough Mt. Fujiyama will become the Western Ghats. Ok…OK… you got my point

Image copyrights.

Dentist Jumps off Mall

In what can only be labelled as a bizarre occurance, a dentist jumped off a higher floor, through the atrium and landed on the ground floor of a mall in New Bombay.

Fortunately, there were no persons walking on the ground below, where the dentist landed. A resident of Koparkhairane, Dr Upadhyay suffered serious head and torso injuries in the jump from Level-3 of the mall, where the Food Court is located. He was rushed to the municipal hospital in Vashi, where he is still admitted in an unconscious state. [link]

Now if this was the USA, he would have already sued the mall owners on some frivolous charges. What say ??

IIPM: Education Racketeers

In October 2005, a relatively new management institute IIPM came into the limelight because its underhand tactics got a blogger fired from to quit his job.

This led the Indian blogosphere to rise in tandem as one voice and comdemn the issue. DesiPundit a collective blog led the effort and a detailed blow by blow about the whole issue can be read here.

To recap, the institute makes false and bizarre claims about its students and its affiliations. Its head has a self appointed PhD and none of its campuses are what the photographs look like. Their basic modus operandi is to get students who are not smart enough to get into a regular management school like IIM or others run by the University of Mumbai, and give them admission and the promise of a superlative education. All for exhorbitant fees.

After the whole ruckus was out, the MSM did not do enough justice to cover the issue. This can be expected as the institute runs full page ads every week in most newspapers and hence the revenue generated is not worth losing.

Today my eye caught the same advertisement with some of the same claims they made nearly two years ago.

See the advertisement below (click to enlarge). Seems that they think public memory is short and all is forgotten.

IIT Bombay Best of the Best

IIT Bombay has come up trumps as the most sought after IIT in the country. This has been achieved by displacing classic favorites Kanpur and Kharagpur.

Today, almost 50 per cent of the top 100 prefer IIT-Bombay to any of the six campuses. Several IITians TOI spoke to said that coaching classes like those in Kota swear by IIT-B. “Our teachers (at Kota) would tell us, if you get into IIT-B, destination next will be no less than heaven,” said one student. [link]

Personally I would have always thought that IIT Bombay or Delhi would be the most sought after because of their location in large urban metropolis.

Kudos IIT-Bombay. You all rock !!

Zunka Bhakar Anyone ?

Remember the fanfare that was associated with this basic food, when the Shiv Sena came to power in the early 90’s. Then it seemed that nothing could go wrong and zunka bhakar was going to be the social antidote to all problems afflicting the poor man.

I am sure that there are very few readers who have ever had zunka bhakar at one of these stalls. Yours truly has twice had the opportunity to do so at the stalls opposite VT Station abutting Azad Maidan.

To be very frank, the bhakar was a tasteless hard disk of roti, which was so hard, that I could have played frisbee with it. The zunka or the gravy was no more than a whole lot of masala in a little bit of water. Extremely “teekha” and nearly unpalatable.

As expected, the stalls sold everything else but the zunka bhakar. It was only a period of time before they stopped selling that too.

Now as per DNA, the Shiv Sena is trying to revive the same scheme. Seems that the Sena cannot find anything more worthwhile to do.

One BMC councilman from the Shiv Sena says

“The state’s decision to shut down Zunka Bhakar kendras was a political move. It was started 10 years ago to provide employment to poor youth and food at minimum rates for hardworking people. But the state move has deprived the common man of such a cheap facility. It is high time such centres are reviewed,” said Satamkar.

Seems we cant learn from our mistakes. Can we ??

One Leaky City

Seems Bombay cant stop leaking eh !!

The city recorded the fourth pipe burst in the last month. And we are not talking about the small ½” pipe that gets water to your apartment. We are talking a big ass 57″ water mains pipe carrying water from the reservoir to the city wards.

Seems that the city infrastructure is caving in. Many of these pipes were installed when the British still ruled India, and we have been under the impression that they are indestructible !!

However, thank god that the BMC is at least aware of the problem

BMC will soon construct five underground tunnels to carry water from various reservoirs to the city. These will replace the rupturing pipelines. [link]

Till then city wards A, B (partly), C, D, E (partly) G (South) and G (North) and suburban wards of H (East) and H (East) will face a 15 per cent water cut on Tuesday.

No bathing for you all. And no toilet too

Hawking, Honking, Hawking…

What a typo…

Spell check would help.

Parsis Meet to Take Stock

The World Alliance of Parsis and Iranian Zoroastrians held its second annual get together at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse last Saturday evening.

Parsis are one of India’s smallest communities but also one of the most progressive throughout history. Dwindling numbers are the top issue facing the community. Bombay has the largest Parsi population in the world.

Khojeste Mistri, chairman of WAPIZ said, “The solution to dwindling numbers lies not in conversion (a concept which is unknown to a ‘classic’ religion as opposed to a ‘romantic ‘ religion), but in increasing numbers by procreation.” So far, 85 couples received help and thirty babies, including eight sets of twins and a set of triplets, were born through a fertility programme introduced by the Parsi Panchayat two years ago. [link]

For more about the Parsis, visit Parsi Khabar for daily news about the Parsis all over the world.

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