This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
Today I will share a story. About someone close to me.. From deep of my heart..
There was a little girl. Sweet, but more spicy. She was a tomboy from early little-hood. Brave, fearless, always ready to knock few knuckles. But she did have her own share of phobias. Like: Mother’s anger, algebra and rubberband(yes, rubber band too).
But, with strongest determination, one by one, she overcame all the challenges.
Rising to the utmost hieght in carrier’s cliff; Spending years in foreign land; Marrying the Man of Her dream… She lived her life as an adventure.
And today, after thirty years of that auspicious day, I wish that little girl, my beautiful elder sister, a Very Happy Birthday.
May God bless you with all the happiness and all the joy you crave for.
Be like this.. Have fun
Yesterday was 22nd April, The Earth Day : The fanciful day that is in practice since the catastrophic oilspill in SantaBarBarack, USA.
So the day was meant to create awareness. Awareness about the planet we live in. So, with that same intention, I am writing this blog.
According to National Geographic website the average surface temperature of the planet has increased between 1.1 and 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius), even more sensitive in polar regions. The heat is melting glaciers, shifting precipitation patterns and setting animals on the move. Affects are like:
I guess seven out of ten people reading the above mentioned facts would not give a damn about it. C’mon who cares about penguins and polar bears, right?
Now let me put some other aspects of global warming/climate change to you(I hope readers do realise the co-dependence of these two phenomena). So a change in climatic conditions can lead to : Drought in some areas, Floods in other, Food crisis, Wars, CHANGE IN EARTH’S ROTATION PATTERN(Yes people, even that too!)
Now let me explore through these, slowly :
Since 1970 there had been a continuous rise in rate and duration of droughts around the world, especially tropics and subtropics. In 2012, a severe drought in US had left 82 percent of the country in abnormally dry conditions leading to a loss of around 30 billion US dollars. And if you are thinking that drought will hit the place of emission only, then you are wrong(obviously!). According to a report in The Times Of India, dated 22.04.2017, in the year 2000, pollution in Europe triggered a severe drought in India.
That year, there was about 40% decline in rainfall in Northwest India, affecting 130 million people. That’s double the population of UK. Now if there’s drought, there must be flood. And there was. Around the world there are more than a hundred cities that are vulnerable to flood. In India, cities like Mumbai, Chennai were the worst hit. You need numbers? Chennai flood,2015, has cost around 3billion dollars to the country’s economy. Lives lost around 400(including some in Sri Lanka) and affected in millions. Similar flood hit in China the same year, costing around $2 billion and in southeast of US the same year. Around the world, more than a billion people are at the risk of the floods due to climate change. Beside Asian cities of India, Bangladesh and Thailand, eastern cities like Miami with 4.7 million residents and $3.5 trillion worth of assets is also under threat. London, and many other Dutch cities follows the list. Talking of floods, there are island nations whose very existence is at risk. Kiribati Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Palau(Pacific); Maldives, Seychelles (Indian Ocean); Republic of Cape Verde (Atlantic) and many more are the little places unsure of surviving even this century. Or even less. Rather Solomon islands has already lost its five islands, in 2016.
Now just take a wild guess, what will be the thing that will be affected by such abnormal patterns of flood and droughts (beside Your holiday plans)? Food, isn’t it? The productivity of crops and livestock will surely be hampered due temperature change and drought. The regions which till now were depended on rain fed agriculture are now switching to irrigation that definitely raise their production cost. Even fishery is adversely affected around the globe. These factors will amplify the food prices. According to a study, food prices may jump from 3% to 84% in next few decades. So, if our salary doesn’t increase at the same rate, then it’s surely going hurt.
And if there is a food crisis, conflicts are bound to follow. Africa is a burning example of that. There had been a reduction of around 50% of rain-fed agriculture production. The scarcity of food is leading to either malnutrition or war. In 2007, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said that the tension in the Darfur region of Sudan was world’s first CLIMATE CHANGE CONFLICT. Even after that there had been a substantial increase in conflicts in the Sub-Saharan area. In numerical terms, a 1% increase in temperature leads to 4.5% increase in civil war. By 2030,according to a study based on 18 climate models, there might be about 54% increase in armed conflict in the African region. Even the intellectuals sitting in Pentagon felt this insecurity. In 2003, Pentagon commissioned a report on “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.” In that the author had warned that such increase in drought and famines may lead to a widespread of riots across the world. It could lead to anarchy as countries develop nuclear threat to defend and secure the dwindling food, water and energy resources.
Even some experts claim that the famous ‘Arab Spring’ that had shook the Middle East, was faintly catalysed by the rise in food price and water shortage. Horrible, isn’t it? So if today, you are thinking of investing your hard earned money in land, shares or gold? Don’t do that. Buy some wheat sacks and water bottles, and lock it in a room for twenty years. Who knows, in 2040, that might make you a millionaire!
Nightmares aren’t done yet. There is an very interesting fact I came across while researching. Can you imagine that global warming can LITERALLY shrink a country? Or global affect the Rotation of the Earth? I couldn’t. So it was a shock for me. My country, India, is actually shrinking due to excessive drawing of ground water. Being a country of more a billion people, we need huge amount of food. Food is produced by agriculture. That needs water. Water usually came from rain. But as said earlier, rain got diverted due emissions. So we pumped out water from the land. We had to. As a result the landmass shrunk due to fall in ground water table. Now beside the receding water table of the subcontinent, there’s also a catastrophic melting of the polar ice caps. Leading to shift of mass, huge amount of it, away from the poles. The Greenland ice sheet is melting at a rate of 250 gigatonnes a year while loss of ice in Antarctica is about 194 Gigatonnes per year. Now these two physical factors are actually affecting the Earth’s rotation!
Now whom to blame? The poor farmer for earning his bread? The countrymen who are feeding their bellies? Government of India? European Union? US, China for the highest emissions? Or any other nation? Their are numerous participants of this blame game. Arranged like little dominoes. You topple one, it will pass it on to the next.
In midst of this pessimistic environment, there are glimpses of hope too. There are people standing for it. Little, but investments are being made for greener energy. Celebrities lending their voices. I couldn’t help but mention about a documentary by National Geographic called Before the Flood. I loved it. In this, the Titanic star Leonardo Di Caprio explores many aspects of this problem.
In that video some instances stunned me. That includes the stand of many powerful people in America. There are people (I guess educated) who are saying that the Global warming is a propaganda!A Hoax! A ‘Conspiracy Theory?! In one scene, there’s a highly ignorant(Or highly corrupt) politician(senator), standing in some court, was denying the authenticity of climate change. And to prove his point, he took out a snow ball and threw it to the judge and said, ‘If 2014 is the warmest year, then catch this!’
What an illogical and lame justification! I mean, I believe that US has a high education standard. And why won’t it? After food, clothes and shelter even a poor Indian invest in education. Then the land of MIT shouldn’t be an exception. Every year hundreds of Asians are moving there to pursue higher studies. Then how can, in such an educated society, senators like that can move around denying the most significant scientific and natural phenomena? Rather, How can they be the senator in the first place? What? Did anyone said bribe? By who? The oil firms? Then why isn’t Tesla bribing them back (Good bribing, you see! )
I was even more shocked to see the reflection of that same attitude in US president Trump’s move. We know that last year 196 countries around the globe united for a greener world. They decided to restrict their carbon emission in order to keep the increase in global temperature below 2 degree Celsius. The agreement was a hope for countries facing extinction threats like Fiji. It took 20 long years to put in, and we witnessed President Obama agreeing to reduce Greenhouse Gases emissions by 26% over the next decade.
But then Trump happened to America. And to the world. He is someone who loves to put politics before science. According to him, plan to cut down greenhouse gases will impact on US’s job and economy. Can anyone please tell me is it totally impractical to make money in a greener way? Look at Elon Musk! His Gigafactory. His electric cars. And not only Tesla. Traditional motor giants such as Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota and many more are investing in new cleaner greener technology. Aren’t they making money? All we needed is a Demand. Demand of greener energy, cleaner planet. Supply will follow.
Our little acts can lead to great outcomes. If tried. Otherwise, fifty years from now, the new generation will ask you: “Where were you, when they were ruining the planet?”
And in the end, I would end with some extracts of the great speech by Leonardo Di Caprio at United Nations
I am not a scientist, but I don’t need to be. Because the world’s scientific community has spoken, and they have given us our prognosis, if we do not act together, we will surely perish.
Now is our moment for action…
…We need to put a pricetag on carbon emissions, and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny.
For the economy itself will die if our ecosystems collapse….We only get one planet. Humankind must become accountable on a massive scale for the wanton destruction of our collective home. Protecting our future on this planet depends on the conscious evolution of our species.
This is the most urgent of times, and the most urgent of messages…
Honoured delegates, leaders of the world, I pretend for a living. But you do not. The people made their voices heard on Sunday around the world and the momentum will not stop. And now it’s YOUR turn, the time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet … is now.
I beg you to face it with courage. And honesty. Thank you.”
Are you paying attention? Attention to anything beyond the next Bollywood flick or the comment of some Indian neta? C’mon! Just look bit outside. Over the Himalayas. No, not China. Bit to its top right corner. There is a Little country. Little, but believed to be highly notorious. Yes, I am talking about North Korea.
Let me tell you what happened. Remember, in our childhood, when we used to get some new toy, what was the first thing we used to do? Show it off to our friends, right? And especially to envious foes. Now a similar thing happened few weeks ago. Kim got a new toy. Kim? Kim Jun Un obviously, duh! So he got a toy. Which was unfortunately a nuke. C’mon, he had tested a hydrogen bomb. It is just another nuclear bomb. So he got the bomb, and showed it off to the world. Now no points for guessing who got the biggest burn.https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4420726/amp/US-sends-two-aircraft-carriers-Korean-Peninsula.htmlAnd it’s not the first time North Korea has demonstrated any such weapon. It had been doing it since last year.
Now you might argue that why on Earth should we get bothered about anything going on so far from us? Right? My answer would be Because we do still Live on the Earth. Not in some Martian colony. A slightest of wrong action can start a chain reaction throughout the globe. And we are not just talking about USA and North Korea. But specifically about Kim and Trump! It is not mere about number of bombs. It is about the unpredictable behaviour of two most agressiv nations. And if a war breaks out, it will be nuclear. And do you think they will stop at one? WW2 ended with two. We shouldn’t be surprised if this conflict begins with four.
Let’s have a quick look on the two contenders. On the Blue corner is America. Now it is like an open book. May be bit manipulated and covered up facts, but more or less, we do know enough about this country. It is a leading military power, with around 1.4 million active military personnel; 1.1 million military reserves; 13444 aircrafts, 19 aircraft carrier and so on and on… But, in the Red corner, North Korea, is what we call in Hindi as ‘Chuppa Rustom’! North Korea, with a country size little bigger than Indian state of Goa, has the fifth largest standing army: Over one million soldiers! 994 aircraft; 4200 tanks and nuclear as well as hydrogen bomb.
Mind you, North Korea is one of the most isolated and conserved state, so authenticity of figures is a debatable issue.
North Korea, in year 2005, experienced massive food shortage for 11th consecutive year. It depends a lot on Chinese food supplies due to the lack of arable land, efficient farming practices and so on. The communist led government sets all prices, wages and production level by state run enterprises. With famine continuing to be the real threat, it desperately exercises its nuclear dreams.
There are a number of ways that a conflict there may affect us. I simply can’t predict all of them. Or even half of them. I am no expert of Geopolitics (haven’t cleared UPSC yet!) I just like to observe what is happening around me. I truly pray that may no war get triggered. The planet is already suffering from many. But if things go wrong, do you think it will remain restricted to two nations only?
China is like North Korea’s traditional big brother. Suppose Kim Jun Un approaches Xi Jinping and say: “Bhai, Fadda ho gya hai! (Brother, Got a problem), then whom do you think China, the country who already has disputes with US regarding South China Sea, would support? And on the other side US is backed with NATO, that include almost twenty eight strong nations of the globe. Now allow me to steer your attention to the Mediterranean. Unfortunately Syria is still a burning issue. The most terrible event, probably in the entire history of mankind. Now, if you can recall, few weeks back, getting furious by USA’s attack on Syria after the chemical attack from the yet unknown side, Russia had deployed it’s warship Admiral Gregorovich which headed towards the US ships USS Porter and USS Ross. Now, North Korea do share boundary with Russia. Anything happening in the former would definitely interests the later.
Now the million dollar question is what would happen if we are asked to take sides. Suppose one morning our Prime minister wakes up to find two guests, at two different doors. One is offering Burger with chilled Bear while another guest is standing with Noodles and vodka. Whom do you think he will say: ‘Mitron....’ ?!!
I won’t deny the validity of the comment made by the Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, completely. Yes. India has a humongous number of poor people. Everyday, millions of people go to sleep without being certain of what they would eat the next morning. I agree. But please, India is not just Slumdog Millionaire, it is Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Gam too(where the son return from college in a chopper that lands in the backyard).
And someone like Spiegel needs to watch it intently! Cmon, aren’t those reflection of society too?
I feel that these opinions aren’t formed by some economical statistics only. But rather by how we, or any country, are being represented on the global stage. I’m not saying that CEO of such a huge firm doesn’t know his maths. But if that was the sole basis (not some stereotypical assumption ) then he must have known that India is the country with over 1.7 million IPhone user the for fiscal year 2015.
According to Apple CFO Luca Maestri, iPhone sales were up 76 per cent in India for the quarter, while sales grew around 45 per cent in Korea, Middle-East and Africa. In Mainland China, sales grew by 18 per cent. Based on the numbers shared by Apple, India appears to be the region where sales have increased the most, despite the exorbitant pricing for Apple’s iPhone 6s.
That was just iphone. The number of smartphone users in India is around 300 million. A number larger than the entire population of Germany, UK, France and Italy taken together (Four most populated nations of Europe).
India remains the biggest market for WhatsApp, which had 160 million active users in the country last November. Even after an economical surgery of Demonetization last year, the number of e-wallet user is near about 150 million, as in last November. So if anyone doubts the technical literacy of the nation he/she must think twice.
So my point is that: Yes, we have a continent of people inside our country who couldn’t afford a fancy car. Millions who don’t have shelter. Thousands are without sufficient food. But if some entrepreneur, sitting across the Atlantic, wish to expand his market in this poor land, then we have enough people to make him rich.
There’s a great gap between the number of rich and the poor. And that’s a fact. But if 1.3 billion people run a race, it is impossible for everyone to come first. Segregation is unfortunately an obvious phenomenon. Countries with half of our population have similar economical segregation. It is there in country like US, it is also there in the nations like Russia and China.
But the point is not just about economics. I am more concerned about the impression. Let’s keep Mr. Spiegel aside. It is not the first time that India has been understated. Remember when ISRO launched the Mars Orbiter Mission? There was a cartoon in some western newspaper that depicted India’s stand in the space race. Though Times Of India cartoonist Sandeep Adhwaryu brilliantly replied to that as ISRO launched multiple satellites in one go.
It is not what we are. It is their assumption about what they think we are. Remember Indiana Jones: Temple of the Doom? One with the legendary Amresh Puri in it! Brilliant performance I must admit. But, think about the characters. The way in which India was portrayed in the movie:
Barbaric people killing, sacrificing, enslaving others and feasting on snakes, spiders and Monkey brains. That’s what George Lucas and Spielberg thought of India(though I do love and respect their works). But, sorry, just can’t digest this one.
It was not the only one. In Avengers their was a scene of gloomy Kolkata that was actually shot in Mexico. A Bond flick is also on the list. Remember Octupussy? In that one too, the director deliberately carried the batten of Grossly Depicted Indian cuisine even further. There is a scene in that a royal Rajput family offers a sheep head to Bond. Find it funny?
There are numerous such movies, literary works, even tampered historical accounts. For decades they had been dumping shits to make a giant mountain of disgrace. Now just thought about the millions of people whose only sources of knowledge of our country are the movies, books, cartoons and comments of famous people.
Thankfully, in recent time, there had been a slight deviation from that cliche mindset. You can see a Satnam in 2012; Piscine Patel in Life Of Pie and several more. I mean where do you think they come to know about India as a Spiritual hub? Eat, Pray and Love and Steve Jobs obviously.
So likewise, we need more such cards on the table, to drill holes through the century old shithill. They had their turns. Now its ours. And That is why I feel that beside Slumdog Millionaire and Lion, they should also get a regular dose of IPL and KJo. I am not saying that we must overlook the mistakes. If there’s anything wrong; we must mend it. But a balance is what I wish for. Unbiased (totally Satya). So they must know that Indian can afford Europe tour too (DDLJ). You see, we need Self IMage and Respect of this Auspicious Nation(SIMRAN) back on the train.
And, in the end, I would love to quote the great words by Indian Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi:
“Our country used to play with a snake, now we play with the mouse.”
Last night I decided to write a blog! (Yes, my dear readers, this is my maiden step in this giant virtual field.) So, being a beginner, I was engulfed with numerous questions. What should I write about? Or, what exactly is it that you readers out there would like to devote your time to? Would you love to read some filmy gossips? Or, some informative article on travel or technology? Or, something about the current Geopolitical warfare waging around the globe?
After scratching my head for a long time, I turned to my guide, guru, who never hesitates to help me (provided I have enough bars on my phone). Our very own Google Baba! And voila! The brilliant idea struck me. Why don’t I blabber about the Baba, the Guru itself?
You see, one can find hundreds of mystics, popularly called Guru, or Baba (if male), who are believed to be spiritually or astrologically enlightened and are there to help others with their problems. So people rush to them with a list of their sorrows. There’s no specific genre; Son’s unemployment, husband’s ailment, family dispute, daughter’s marriage, lost love, board exams… everything counts. And with a calm face, the Guru suggests a solution, just like Google does for millions of us. Many would argue that Google is just an accumulation of immense knowledge under one umbrella. But isn’t that’s what’s needed to be a mentor: immense knowledge?
The reason why I am making this comparison is the change in people’s expectations in last decade. Why do you think people Google something? Is it merely to search for facts and information? Definitely that is one side. A student having problem with his history project will surely need Google. A mother searching for best schools in the area; Google to the rescue. Looking for best jobs? Google it out. Shopping? Google. Dining? Google. Whether to get into a relationship? Goo… Wait a sec!
How can someone take such decisions by browsing on some articles? It may sound a bit weird to many, including me, but that is what is trending. Before doing anything or taking any important decision, Google is the place where millions of people look in for advice. You can find ample of ‘how to…’ articles on Google or ‘How to..’ videos on YouTube (another contemporary virtual Guru). Last night, I just typed the words ‘Top how to…’ in the Google search tab and the next second Google suggested me: ‘Top how to searches in 2016’, ‘ Top how to searches in 2015’, and so on. And I was so amazed to see the variety of things people look for. There was a site which listed many such searches. ‘How to play Pokemon Go?’ (Relevant Question!), ‘How to become rich in seven days?(we all search for that), ‘How to move to Canada?’(Half of Punjab knows it), ‘How to kiss?’ (Really! I mean this “perfectionist” isn’t leaving anything for hormonal rush. I wonder what would happen if things go out of syllabus), ‘How to make slime?’(God knows why) and so on. After browsing a little more, I came across another list of popular questions asked on Google. That includes: ‘When will I die?’ (!!!!), ‘Does farting burn calories?’ (Trillion dollar Question!), ‘Does my bum look 40?’(Trillion to the power infinity), ‘Is the Earth flat?’(Did I just time travelled to 500 B.C.? Aristotle there yet?).
So Google is no more just a library. It is a counsellor for some, doctor for many, soothsayer for few. In other words, a problem solver. A Guru. There are plenty of people who Google out ‘10 ways to choose your life partner’ before replying to a proposal. Many guys scour the internet to make themselves more attractive. Why do you think Google gets so much attention?Just go back 15-20 years. Where/what/to whom do you think people turned to to clarify all these massive problems of their daily lives? Talking to friends, taking suggestions from family, maybe. With the increasing social isolation and departure from the real world, Google is emerging out to be the best friend, philosopher and guide to many.
Talking of Google, I couldn’t help but steer your attention to another side of it that I discovered last night. These are more of a conspiracy theory (and I love them). So two of my favourite theories are:
Anyway, whatever may be the assumptions and allegations, one thing we simply cannot deny is that Google has surely, without an ounce of doubt, made our lives way more easier than ever. We are witnessing a Paradigm shift. The way we learn, the way we explore new territory, the way we solve a problem, everything, every minute of our lives reflects the contribution of this Guru. Google has weaved the world into a smaller place. Small enough to fit inside a 40 year old butt pocket!