Things that prove we are a bunch of Anglophiles

India attained independence on 15th Aug 1947 from The East India Company. The English ruled the country for more than 200 years. While we succeeded in changing the names of our cities such as Calcutta to Kolkata or Madras to Chennai, their impact on our lifestyle and preferences is conspicuous.

The benefits or hazards of these is a matter of debate, but the following prejudices prove that we are nothing but a bunch of Anglophiles:

The Fair and Lovely mania
Ask any Indian Mother on how she wants her daughter-in-law, and the answer will definitely have the keywords “gori chitthi”.fair and lovely 2
It was during the British rule that we developed a direct correlation between beauty and the skin tone. And companies have for long used this penchant to shamelessly market their products.
So, the next time you see someone asking a photographer to make him/her look fairer, don’t judge!

The commodes

While Britishers ruled our thrones for quite some time, some of us thought of gratifying themselves by emulating their thrones in our toilets. Ergo the commodes. There have been studies suggesting that ours is the most hygienic and healthiest way of shitting, but who cares!

Khaenge Indian par Jaenge Angrezi 🙂

English
While countries like China, Germany and a host of other nations take pride in their mother tongue, it is us who felt better English translated to better prodownloadspects. Knowing English certainly helps you to communicate globally, but it’s rise has led to  a downfall in usage of local languages. Languages like Sanskrit that are now getting globally accepted is almost on the verge of extinction.
It is for the same reason that India has highest number of English speakers and readers in the world. Tagging elitism with good English has uprooted the pride of speaking in our local language.
So, the next time you see someone a mother teaching “Hello” to her child than Namaste, don’t judge her.

Plus, I wish I could write this one in Hindi. But my keyboard is an Anglophile too.

Spoons and Forks
Watching Britishers dine with forks and spoons convinced us thatroti with fork theirs was the right way to dine. Using hands on the dining table was looked down and considered boorish by the Britishers. And our skills to impress them taught us the usage of spoon and fork.
So, the next time you see someone trying to master the usage of fork and a spoon on a eatery repeatedly after failing to do so, don’t judge them either.

Cricket!!!! Off course                        
It was England that introduced us to the world of cricket. What was once played by the English to pass their time in India, has now become a religion in the country. So much so that we have won the world cup twice but those who invented it could never win one. Here’s an example of a derivative outperforming the source.

Holidays on Sundays
Have we ever wondered why Sunday is a holiday ? Some Muslim countries it on Friday so that they can pray. Britishers (Primarily Christians) had to pray on Sundays, so they declared it a holiday. Simple! But here I do see some logic because Hindus pray everyday, it must have been tough to choose between Shivji ka Somvar ya Hanumanji ka Mangal. So yea, let’s go with what the white folks say. Sunday it is!

Maybe a part of what I mentioned above is an impact of cultural exchange and that is ok. But shouldn’t we preserve our originality and stop aping someone? Has the ship pretty much sailed ? Spare a thought 🙂

Cheers for now!

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Things you wished auto-filtered themselves on social networking sites

There were times when being social meant comfortable enough to have a conversation with someone belonging to a common group or even strangers. Courtesy social networking sites and a host of other platforms, this definition has changed drastically.

What was once exclusive or rarely used has become so obvious that doing them seems mundane. You wish you had a wand that would filter out the content and spare you the irritation. Here is a list of things we have used it to an extent that it could be termed as exploitation and I am sure many of us would want them to be filtered:

The food, porn and orgasm Amalgamation:
There is no doubt about our love for all the three stated above. But when we create Hashtags combining them, it really gets weird. #foodporn, #foodgasm, etc.on every photo with eatables in it. I guess the thought process of these hashtaggers must be something like this:
I am eating something I really don’t know ⇒ Not sure what it tastes like!!!! ⇒ I’ve paid so much ⇒ I should post this ⇒ How do I make it attractive ???? ⇒ Voila, Hashtags !!!!

foodporn

In a realistic world, if everything you eat gets you an orgasm, then you must be a #FoodPervert. I won’t blame the keyboard companies if they plan to replace space bar with a Hashtag.

The Airport Syndrome:

Symptoms: Those infected by the syndrome suffer from checking in at airports.. not just the source and destination… even the intermediate ones…
Cause: Others did it and I want to sound equally cool…
Cure: I wish there was some

The (Me + DSLR = photographer) Equivalence:

photographer5 Steps to become a photographer:
a. Buy the cheapest DSLR online (after you’ve filtered it with price low-to-high)
b. Create an album called The streets of <someRandomCity>
c. Spot the sabziwalas and take a plain picture. It works with kids at traffic signals, beggars too. Go with one easily accessible
d. Try using photoshop like you know it. Eventually, just add a black and white filter and caption it with bhari bharkam  words that you just googled up.
e. The last photo must be you posing with the DSLR…

Who says photography is tough ? Just tell me, who ?

The endless listings:
Well, this one is my favorite.download
25 things to do before you turn 25

You: Hey, but I am already 25.
Worry not, check this one out:
26 things to do before you turn 26
It’s when GUNDAY makes it to the list of 100 movies to watch before you die, you realize how serious these articles are.

The series mania:
Friends, Game of Thrones and what not…I am sure you know someone who keeps talking about it on social media. And every other thing mentioned has an indirect reference to some television show.
gotHow many times have you thought that people are overdoing it by writing something like “Winter is coming” , “Summer is coming”, “Exams are coming” and few others “Joey doesn’t share food” ?????
Yeah! Everyone knows it by now… Joey doesn’t share food. But who doesn’t like revision. Sarcasm ???  Yeah you’ve watched The Big Bang theory too….

While most of us must have done one thing or the other, it’s the meaningless repetitive use that annoys us. To all those who are equally irked as I am, we are neither misanthropic nor cynics. It’s just not fun anymore.

And if you have more to add, please do so by dropping a note in the comments. I am sure there must be something that I have missed.

Cheers!!!!

 

8 things you must have done at Sahyadri Park (SP), TCS

Explained the floor conundrum…Too much jargon.. isn’t it ????floor
There is a newbie, shouldn’t he know all our secrets. Let me help him with my simple analysis..
Listen carefully, nth floor of S1 is S2’s (n-1)th floor and S3’s (n-2)nd floor, where 0 <n <=8… They havent tagged me as a developer because I know nothing.

Spoon stuffed yourself…

spoonsThere are too many of us. But the same doesn’t apply to the spoons in Cafeteria… I know you must have picked twice the spoons you require and put it back once you see someone trying to have Sambhar with a fork… Aren’t we an empathetic and a courteous lot…

Bought a pen and a notepad apparently for no reason!!!!yes-free-stuff-thumb
I was in the admin zone, had nothing else to do….Hey look ,I bought
a pen and a notepad for free!!!!
Mumma can proudly write her grocery list in it..#Mission#Accomplished

lift-pad

Hit the button for physically challenged on the lift pad
Hitting the lift pad a number of times doesn’t bring your lift faster, praying to god does☺☺☺☺

Got confused between Tadka and Zunka
This must have happened to you while you were new at the office…
10:30 am – I am at Zunka… Breakfast ?
10:35am – Sorry..I meant Tadka..Mirchi wala… S2 Ke saamne😛😛

Prayed for a fire drill on a boring day…man in praise
Its a boring day and you have finished all your work (Assuming you had some to begin with😛😛😛😛)… Had it been a college, you would have proudly bunked by now…
But this is different… And a fire drill helps you justify your absence…

I wasn’t late, the guard didn’t let me in.

hit-by-a-doorGet hit by a door
Gates opening inwards is a norm. SP gates open outwards hitting those walking on the corridor. Worry not, isn’t that the reason you see an ambulance in the campus…

Bragged about location of the office


There is no denying the fact  that SP offers a spectacular view during monsoons. Located amidst the western ghats, the white bed of clouds covering the greenish hills is a view many yearn for. So if you have bragged about it, nothing wrong I say.

To sum it up, there are few things peculiar to every workplace..These were my observations at SP..Feel free to add yours in the comments below…

Cheers!!!!

IELTS – Hope it helps !

I would like to share my profile so that things are clear in the very beginning. I gave my IELTS – ( Academic module ) on 26th Sep 2015. Following is the breakup of my score:

Listening – 8.5 , Reading – 8.5, Writing – 7.5 , Speaking – 6.5 [Overall an 8]

I am no expert in teaching or guiding but this post is just to share my experience about IELTS. I intend to give some helpful tips (or suggestions you may call it) to those who opt not to consult any specialists or coaching institutes for that matter.

IELTS is no rocket science. All we need is some practice and we ready to roll. I hope some of what I write in the sections below would make sense to you.

What is IELTS ?

English proficiency test. Tests if you are literate in English.

If it’s a test, What does it Test ?

Tests four different attributes of communication in English i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

How do I start about preparing IELTS ?

First and foremost, book the test. You’ll receive a booklet with practice tests sent to you by IDP ( the agency that conducts IELTS) . Attempt these practice tests once you are aware of the test format. Give 2 tests every weekend so that you can attempt all the tests within a month.

How important is knowing the test format ?

Trust me, all you need to know for IELTS is its pattern. Since it is a standardized exam, its format more or less remains the same. Be sure about the format of the exam ( duration of each section and question patterns to be precise). I ll try to list few points about the test format but for details visit the IDP website or maybe buy a book (Any book would be fine. Barron’s or any other. No favorites here!)

What’s the format ?

The Listening, Reading and Writing (LRW) tests will be conducted on a single day. The speaking test will be scheduled few days later. The LRW would last 2 hrs 45 mins (2 hrs 30 for the test and 15 mins for instructions). There would not be any break in between. Make sure you are ready for it. The speaking module would not last for more than 20 minutes.

  • Imp: There is no negative marking. Answer everything !
  • You might be asked to fill in the blanks or match the following or suggest titles to paragraphs. It ll be like doing your school exercise.

I have tried to list down few points which I feel are most important in individual section. Here they are:

1. Listening

30 minutes, 40 questions, 40 marks

  • The recordings in IELTS once begun cannot be paused or re-played. So give undiverted attention when the recording is played (Use headphones even when you practice at home just to get the feel of the exam).
  • For habitual Hollywood movie or sitcom viewers, this section should not be a problem. The accents would either be British or American (rarely other).
  • If you struggle with understanding English accent, please make sure you give special attention to this section. Watch English movies or stuff like that. Lot of audio tests are available on YouTube. Take them and keep a track of scores you achieve. Try to beat yourself.
  • The audio recording will surely test your skills to understand the directions (left, right or NEWS). Make sure you practice them well.

2. Reading

3 passages, 60 mins, 40 questions, 40 marks

  • Just glance through the questions quickly before you attempt at marking or writing answers.
  • The passages are in increasing order of difficulty . So, recommend you to finish accordingly.
  • Don’t get stuck on a question. Mark it and move to the next one. Come back once you are done with all others.

3. Writing

2 Essays (or Tasks), 60 minutes

Task 1 ( Recommended Time to complete: 20 mins)

  • To analyse a graph or a process and write a report.The graphs would be simple but make sure that you do not make it too mathematical.
  • Try to find out if there are any common patterns like steady increase or steady decline in the quantities given and emphasize on it. Do not make it complex or show your mathematical skills here. You are tested on English, not maths.
  • Make sure you reach minimum word criteria ( 250 words for this section)

Task 2 (Recommended time to complete: 40 mins)

  • A generic statement would be given and you would be asked to share your views about the same. It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with the statement. Choose a side for which you can write the maximum since at least 400 words are required.
  •  Task 2 carries more marks than Task 1. Plan it well on a rough sheet (maybe 5-8 mins) and then start writing.
  • You can also include instances or examples from your personal life or anything that you have observed. In my opinion, a personal touch makes the essay more lively. But do not just do that for the sake of it.
  • Read some samples of essays online that have been graded well (Like 7 or 8 0r 9). Also read the ones that scored very low and shortlist things that might have caused these samples to score high or low. Keep in mind when you attempt your essay.

4. Speaking

Around 20 mins, 40 marks

It would start off with your introductions and then you will be given topics to elaborate (Felt like Extempore but without the audience). Since I had scored very low in this section, I would be the wrong person to recommend the right things. However, I can tell you what not to do:

  • Do not use abbreviations or slangs. It freaks them out and you ll be interrupted to explain about the slang used.
  • Do not directly jump at speaking. You ll be given time to think about the topic and solidify your thoughts. Utilize it well.
  • Your voice samples will be recorded. So make sure you speak once or twice on a mobile recorder and check if you are audible and understood.
  • No worries if your grammar goes wrong. Correct it and proceed.

What is a good IELTS score ?

There is no good or bad here. If the score you get qualifies you to the universities you aim, its doesn’t matter. To quantify and generalize, try to maintain a minimum of 6.5 in each section so that IELTS score does not become a matter of worry when you hit the apply button on college websites. Having said that, why score less when you can score more. Aim for the sky !

Now that you know the format well and have practiced each section, go ahead with the tests provided by IDP. Make sure you keep track of scores. The aggregate in each section would be your final band.

Let me know of your suggestions about the post. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong on anything. Please refrain from pointing out at grammatical mistakes (as someone rightly said- “Bhavanao ko samjho, shabdon mein kya rakha hai”).

All the best. Cheers!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scion Of Ikshavaku : Book 1 of The Rama Chandra Series

EPITOME

After losing a fierce battle to the Lankan King Ravan, Dashrath is forced to sign treaties with the wealthy Lankan kingdom for trade. The illegitimate treaties imposed by Ravan sucks the wealth out of once an Unconquerable city, Ayodhya.

The shame of being defeated for the first time ever and letting his people down leads Dashrath to premature senescence. Even the Anti-aging drink (Somras) administered to him loses its effect. He grows weak and becomes indecisive. The city of Ayodhya is chaotic. The lawlessness and poverty stricken city is awaiting its next Vishnu. One who could put an end to Ayodhya’s misery and retain its glory.

Unaware of the destined Vishnu, the nobility of Ayodhya and its allies consider the birth of Dashrath’s first child inauspicious. The primary reason for this being that Dashrath’s first child was born the same day he lost the battle to Ravan, leading to decline of Ayodhya’s might. The first child or the eldest Prince of Ayodhya was named Ram Chandra. Ram was destined to be the next Vishnu, the protector of the realm.

Ram aches for fatherly love all his childhood. He is sent to Guru Vashistha’s Gurukul along with his younger brothers Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughan to attain primary education in the field of Warfare, administration and literature. The Princes develop love and mutual respect for one another. They hone their skills to the utmost perfection.

The adolescent Princes complete their formal education and return back to their home, Ayodhya. Ram is assigned the challenging task of controlling the crime rate in the city. To everyone’s surprise, Ram installs an entire framework of laws and succeeds in task allocated to him. This made him a revered figure of the Ayodhyans. His popularity amongst the masses grew exponentially.

Impressed by his sincerity and able administrative qualities, Dashrath anoints Ram as apparent heir to the throne. Ram accepts this honour with utmost humility.

Some days later, Mahrarishi Vishwamitra, the Chief of Malayas visits Ayodhya. He convinces Dashrath to send Ram and Lakshman along with him. Ram and Lakshman are assigned the task of saving Vishwamitra’s and other Malaya homes. The brothers accomplish this with ease. On the way back to Ayodhya, a sequence of events land Ram in The Kingdom of Mithila for the swayamwar of the adopted daughter of its ruler, King Janak. The adopted daughter was Sita, The Prime Minister of Mithila.

Ram hits the Fish eye with an arrow fired from Lord Rudra’s bow Pinaka and wins Sita. Angered by his mockery at the Swayamwar, Ravan decided to attack Mithila with his bodyguard platoon. In order to save Mithila from Ravan’s bestial attack, Ram fired upon a Daivi Astra that made the bodyguard platoon lose consciousness and Ravan was defeated. But Ram self-imposed an exile of fourteen years as a penance for having fired a Daivi Astra.

Sita and Lakshman accompany him in the long exile. Thirteen years pass on without much trouble. The trio along with some Nagas settled to the south of Godavari in Panchavati. One day, Ravan’s half -brother Vibhishan and half-sister Shurpanakha visit Panchavati seeking residence for some time as they abandoned Lanka. Shurpanakha develops a liking for Ram. She tries to harm Sita with a knife. Raged by this, Lakshman pushes Shurpanakha resulting in the knife slicing her own noes.

Lankan Royal blood was flown. Ravan must seek vengeance. He decides to kidnap Sita while Ram and Lakshman were out for hunting and escapes in the Pushpak Viman. Ram hurls an array of arrows on the flying machine but could not alter the course of events. Sita was kidnapped. His beloved wife was taken by the notorious King Ravan.

                      Ram vows to destroy Ravan and free his beloved wife.

Maggi – Taste Bhi ! Health Bhi ?

If you haven’t been watching the news channels off lately, here is something shocking. The Food and Drug Administration of India (FDAI)  was investigating some samples of Maggi. To everyone’s shock,  test results showed presence of harmful elements such as Lead and MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). To what extent ? 17 times the permissible limits. For ages, Maggi has been a part of our shopping list. This incident has certainly made us doubt its tagline – Taste bhi ! Health bhi ! 

Before we understand in detail the harmful elements that Maggi contains, let us know what Maggi really is. Here are some facts about Maggi:

  • Maggi is an international brand of instant soups, stocks, bouillon cubes, ketchups, sauces, seasonings and instant noodles. Owned by Nestlé since 1947, the original company was founded in Switzerland in 1872 by Julius Maggi.
  • Maggi penetrated into Indian markets in 1980s as an instant noodle – easy to cook and ready to serve. From there on, the sales of Maggi have only increased. India has emerged as the largest consumer of Maggi noodles across all Nestle operations in the world.

Although Nestle has denied all the allegations of adulterating Maggi with any element whatsoever, the FDA has called off batches of Maggi from the market in Uttar Pradesh as a precautionary measure. So, what are these harmful elements that led FDAI to take this extreme step:

1. MSG

  • Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is naturally present in various food items such as mushrooms, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and soy sauce. The artificial form of MSG is derived from Glutamic Acid.
  • Excess consumption of MSG promotes sluggishness in the body. It may also cause headache, nausea, increased thirst and a twitching sensation in the mouth. In some cases one may feel numbness, skin rashes and excessive sweating too.

2. Lead

  • Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around homes. Even at low levels, lead may cause a range of health effects including behavioral problems and learning disabilities.
  • Children six years old and under are most at risk because this is when the brain is developing. For adults, excess consumption of lead might result in Kidney disorders and high blood pressures.

All said, Maggi has been an integral part of our diet right from Kitchen, college canteens to bachelor pads. For many of us, it is the only thing we’ve ever cooked that tasted yummy ! It has mediated several love stories in college campuses. It has been the first thing in our mind when we had to cook after coming to home on a tiring day.

Those trips to hill stations wouldn’t have been the same without us relishing Maggi in heavy rains. Those late night studies wouldn’t have been the same without us bunking into canteens and sharing Maggi with friends. Isn’t it amazing how a pack of noodles is enough to create memories that last till our own existence. Maggi, you’ve done this for us !

But as they, everything that has crest also has a trough. Maybe, this is Maggi’s trough, for it has enjoyed its crest way longer.

Rahul Gandhi (The PAPPU) is back ! Does it really make a difference ?

The PAPPU of Indian politics, Rahul Gandhi is back and the Indian National Congress  (INC) claims he is back with a bang.

To begin with, not everyone is lucky enough to have a sabbatical of 2 months just to decide about their future. And even if they’ve had it, they certainly did not have it in Bangkok which is known for its happy endings (If you know what I mean).  But Gandhi Scion is an elite, no doubt about that. And he is entitled to have his personal space. So let me give this to him.

But according to me and majority of Indian youth, his presence never mattered either. His cluelessness and dilemma about the socio – economic environment of the country has strengthened this belief even more. He was never an effective leader nor did he have the charisma to pull off the longest standing party of the country. The pre-electoral interview with Arnab Goswami is a classic example of his illogical thinking. Belief of those who thought of him as the future PM was dismantled after the interview.  It was hilarious. All India Bakchod (AIB) wasn’t the first team to introduce the concept of roasting celebrities for the Indian audience.

Not just the interview, pictures of him taking a nap in the parliament disgusted every Indian. What’s even more disgusting is the fact that Congress still wants him to rule the party and the country. Doesn’t the party have someone who could atleast be reasonable with the arguments.

Dynasties have ruled India for centuries. And it has given us some of the greatest rulers. Lord Ram, the Raghuvanshi prince is an example of this. Even he had to prove his worthiness prior to his declaration as  apparent heir to the throne. Comparing someone as holy as Ram to Rahul Gandhi would be foolishness. But this is not a comparison. It’s a fact that being born with a noble last name doesn’t entitle you to leadership. Proving your mettle does !

It baffles me to see the INC spokespersons praising the Shehzada for no reason.

On a lighter note: The day Rahul Gandhi becomes PM or does something considerable, Abhishek Bachchan would start think of winning an Oscar for the best actor. The day Rahul Gandhi becomes PM or does something considerable, the laws of nature would defy themselves.