Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Accidental India Book Review


 It’s been more than 50 years since India gained its independence. Political leaders who fought tooth and nail for their cause now had a bigger challenge in their hands; the challenge to create a new nation, brick by brick. The jubilation of freedom was followed by the pathos of a grotesque partition. Millions lost their lives in riots and transit. India’s economy stood like a ramshackled building, orphaned by the demise of an ageing caretaker. Commentators and curious watchmen christened the battered state: Post colonial India. But in the vision and ideology of few progressive Indians, it’s the nation’s history and present that baptizes it- Accidental India. Shankkar Aiyar, a prolific journalist and author, recedes into the pages of history to find out what exactly caused this mishap. His latest book: Accidental India- History of the Nation’s Passage through Crisis and Change, offers a lucid account of Indian political system’s prolonged velleity. 


The crippling inability to utilize opportunities stunted India’s economic growth. Independent India bestowed its helm on the first prime minister- Jawaharlal Nehru. Denizens had no qualms about Nehru’s leadership qualities. Unfortunately, Nehru’s untrammeled vision was shrouded by staunch socialist policies. His resilience eluded him and he stayed firmly resolved in his ideals. His rigid stance on privatization erected many roadblocks. These impediments glared menacingly on India’s development till the late 90’s. Aiyar vents his anger on the last minute  bureaucratic action. The political brass of the country jolts out of its slumber, when it fails to drown out the incessant screams; the screams emanated from the belly of a drastic situation.

Aiyar lines up a series of prominent events; events which were backed by able minds. These innovative ideas were conceived to herald a wave of political and infrastructural changes. But, the non altruistic political machinery of India was more eager to burn the ladder. Aiyar opens up the reader’s eye to the grand fiasco of The Mid-Day Meal Scheme. In the year 1982, Tamil Nadu made a noble attempt to change a couple of staggering ground realities. Chief minister MGR’s deeply cogitated plan bore the promise of change. The plan of providing meals to school children was initially greeted by a fusillade of diatribes. But the leader refused to kowtow and he pursued his goal with dogged determination. The verdict made the detractors put their foot in their mouths. Other states were quick to follow the suit. But, the changing course of time corroded this brilliant notion too. 


In one of the chapters, Aiyar sets his eyes on the reviver of Indian economics. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the soft spoken face of Indian government shot to fame with his extraordinary accomplishment. He earned plaudits for his consolidated efforts that gave scrawny Indian economy a new lease of life. This book recounts the journey of liberalisation and covers the exploits of every sailor in detail.

Aiyar’s commendable work of nonfiction confines a tale of frictions and fissures. It encapsulates the corridors of power where vicious gambits ceremoniously unfurl. His words shed light on one of Indira Gandhi’s classic manoeuvre. He piques the reader’s interest by dissecting the elaborate travesty of nationalising Indian banks to the last vein. It’s ludicrous yet disturbing to read through the story of Dr Guduru Venkata Chalam. This gifted scientist found himself entangled in the legal loop for allegedly possessing paddy seeds. He was simply following the instructions of the agricultural minister who assigned him the task of bringing the aforementioned seeds safely back to India. After braving a barrage of questions hurled by airport authorities, the poor scientist finally found an exit. Aiyar’s astute observation paints a rather depressing picture of reformational bootlegging.

Aiyer shares a common sentiment with many other deft analysts. He makes no bones about the fact that the real villain prowls in the garb of inept governance. The nation kept on paying a heavy price for the numerous foibles, committed frequently by changing governments. Burning issues like poverty, corruption and suicides will never see a closure if this cataclysmic situation prevails. In the reviewer’s opinion, the book is nothing but a clarion call to the educated echelon of Indian society. It’s an appeal directed to the steady hands which can give this distorted lump of clay a new shape.  


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Truth Behind Physics’s Biggest Cover Up - The Apple Never Falls!

Apple just got more luscious. The rising expectations and anticipations can make you bite your nails. Save them to dig Apple iPhone 5. The much talked about phone of 2012 is on its way to India. Die hard admirers who greedily eye the remaining half will now understand the meaning of taking it slow.

Apple draws another dimension with Apple iPhone 5. There couldn’t be another fitting tribute to the late Steve Jobs, whose legacy continues to live and fascinate millions through innovative Apple gadgets. So, what’s new with iPhone 5? Before we find out, let’s take some time and drool at its perfect figure. The svelte frame of iPhone 5 has got 4 inches of sheer beauty housed cosily in its screen. Redefining the audio clarity is Apple’s forte and with iPhone 5 it raises the bar higher than ever. The crisp sound quality of the oldest ipod, that made you join others in a zombie march to the apple store, grows more powerful with time. The loathed white devil of Apple finally falls with a thump and now its the time of angelic earpods. Innocent gothic souls that suffered immeasurably in the hands of the wicked pre medieval earphones will probably get a new tattoo. Apple christens its new earbuds as Earpods. This partially in-ear headset is more sturdy and doesn’t stabs you in the back. Lovers of loud music can end up with a fractured hip if they forget to turn the volume down. The only grey area is the grip that doesn’t renders any stability. Chances of joggers warming up to these earpods are slim. iPhone 5 leaves no scope for any voice disturbance as the pertinent use of three microphones filters the very sliver of noise.   

The camera on this phone can make the lady of justice look beyond her blindfold for the fine details. The new front-facing camera captures every aspect of your face in utmost clarity. The wider shots gives you a clear picture of the camera’s full potential. Things don’t change a bit on the video front too. The HD video quality doesn’t succumbs to shakes. The output that comes into existence thrills you to bits. Video processing is chug free and works suavely with the momentum of LTE(Unfortunately, India hasn’t got its share yet).

Apple iPhone 5 mocks the stop clock. The company has shown a pattern of slowing down the micro-seconds with their every phone. iPhone 5 doesn’t disappoints either. After getting thoroughly coached by the A6 processor, Apple’s neonate outruns android phones and all the renowned sprinters in the category. The gaming experience on this phone crosses the final level of bewilderment with the highly improved frame rates. Multi-tasking no longer involves growing an extra pair of limbs, plus, the app efficiency allows you to quickly switch lanes. In this highly confusing world, where knocking on wrong doors is not considered abnormal any more, the new Maps 3D Flyover view can possibly restore some order. Things get even better as you go. One of the prime concerns of an average smartphone user is the battery life. Lights on an ordinary smartphone often gets dim as the day approaches its end. But, Apple iPhone 5 sees you through the day without staggering like the rest. The daily ritual of an avid user which typically includes web browsing, emailing,Tweeting, gaming, music playback, and watching videos, usually leaves a smartphone emaciated. But, this isn’t the case with iPhone 5. This phone strokes you hunger more by letting you enjoy every extra morsel of action.

The trademark aesthetic factor of Apple dons a new avatar in iPhone 5. The moment you lay your eyes on this phone, you get smitten by its look. Other exciting features like ‘Do Not Disturb’ make this phone an useful tech toy. Apple’s new Maps application which almost passed my security check was stopped for a further pat down. The new map option leaves some users in tears and others in a name calling frenzy. Turn-by-turn instructions play their role but GPS walks on a crutch. Sometimes Navigation gets thrown out of the course, making you feel like a lost little boy in a brand new town. Google Maps, on the other hand still dominates the market and is considered much user friendly.

Before I conclude, let me quickly acquaint you with the advanced SIRI feature. This option puts your social life on the autopilot mode. This brand new SIRI does a hell lot of jobs for you. With its aid, you can enlarge your presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter. The phone posts on your behalf and further assists you in staying abreast of important data like sports scores and detailed information on movies.

In a hostile market, where rivals stay on a prowl with only one thing on their minds- Spitting the seeds, Apple iPhone 5 is not going to have a smooth run. But, having said that it’s next to impossible to wipe the taste of Apple from innumerable mouths. Even gourmets with varied pleasures can decide to take a walk in the orchard, as the spring is on the rise.     

INPUTS by Anand Kumar

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

India’s Ascent Into The Night

India grows at night. This very statement can escalate your curiosity level. Restricting yourself from probing further is not an option. The choice becomes more difficult when you know you can’t brush aside this astute observation, coming straight from one of the fecund minds of the country- Gurcharan Das. Das takes up the case of this multi-faceted country and how it’s been deprived of the past, present and future that rightfully belonged to her.

The book starts on an optimistic note. Gurcharan promptly elucidates the thought lying behind the title of his book. He cites the example of once orphaned and highly neglected city of Gurgaon. He admires the strength of volition and sharp auguristic abilities that helped the city reach an enviable status. He reacquaints readers with a dissuading yet pivotal fact. He expresses his concern and dissatisfaction over the plight of a somnolent state which remains insouciant to the crippling disorganization. In his opinion, a nation is built with the efforts of abled hands which come together to cement the bricks of development. But in the case of this country, the hands which were supposed to show the way withered long back with the leprosy of corruption. His angst against the ineptitude of the government is properly inked in the first few pages. Development and government face each other on the either side of a seesaw, where development is perched at a height, while government still lingers at the nadir. 

The involvement of private sectors have efficiently filled the gap left by the government. Das traces back the challenges smothering India’s public life back to the pages of history. Small deficiencies which could have been easily addressed grew mightier with time. Gurcharan’s diagnosis explains the reason behind India’s weak immune system. India whose alleys spoke of opulence and riches, kowtowed to invaders and was subjugated time and again by foreign rulers. Fingers of accusations can only point towards the flimsiness of governance. The country hasn’t left the past behind and the phantom of weak administration still haunts the multitudes in India.

Pick up your copy of “India Grows At Night”, from Indiaplaza to find out the forces that hinder India’s unencumbered spirit and how we can defeat them to script a new beginning. So, don’t bide your time and indulge in some online shopping in India.    

Don’t Stay Tongue Tied

Chocolates - A sinful affair for the weight watchers; a blissful ignorance for gluttons. One can fiercely debate on the pros and cons of consuming a candy bar. Abstainers can make an airtight case, they can expose you to the risks involved. But, the thing that happens behind those drawn curtains is not a mystery to anyone. You don’t need your Watson to see through this plot. As, in one of their weakest moments, every rock melts. 

If you are still staying in your closet, I have got something for you; some words of motivation that would give you the reason to come out. Big brains in the industry have finally achieved success in toning the chocolate down. The disturbing trend of obesity gave the cue to the chocolate manufacturers. They sped up their activities by funding innumerable researches. The objective was to shut the pandora’s box by reducing the calorie content. It’s been more than a decade, since chocolates first appeared in their slim avatar. You don’t have to bear witness to another war as the voices of ambivalence will never resound in your head again. Next time allow yourself to fall in the trap of chocolate seduction, as your fling with sugar free and calorie deprived bars won’t leave you with the baggage of extra pounds. 


If an innocuous act of your friend; as harmless as unveiling a candy bar, teleports you to elm street, you would probably find an exit in this valuable piece of information. The boogey man who dresses himself in chocolate wrappers never dares to show up in the territory of Dark Chocolates. The global chocolate industry braved the deadly tide of recession and managed to stay afloat with its pliant business strategies. The aid of comprehensive market research kept the sales figures stable. Consumers with unwavering taste buds were not disappointed. Their refined preferences were duly accommodated in the stringent budget frame.

Now, it’s your turn to add the extra spoonful of sweetness in the lives of your loved ones. You just need to spare some time for online shopping. You won’t require any directions as you already know which way to go. Come, visit us on our site to get the most pleasant surprise of your life. Remember tying knots on your tongue is not a normal behaviour. 

The Daily Overdose

Did you pay a close watch to the previous month? As, most of us guys stay glued to Zuckerberg's 21st century Bible, I safely surmise you didn’t. You could have pulled this one by sparing some time for the good old diary. But wait a minute you haven’t got your wrinkles and cane yet. Well, my friend, let me offer you a piece of useful advice. You better start tracking your every day, both in the present and in the past. With a bit of luck and imagination, you might end up writing a book.

It’s hard to say whether luck played a major role in determining the success of the talented writer Upendra Namburi. But, I can muster all my confidence and say without a sliver of doubt that this man knows how to dissect a story out of a day. His work of fiction - "31" tells the readers to stop taking their days for granted. The warm and cozy smile that greets you like a little birdie outside the window can follow you to your workplace; albeit in a different shape. You can take your pick from a vulture or eagle. Oh! did I spoil your mood? I never wanted to. Was making sure that you take your head out of the sack. The dulcet early morning feeling that makes you believe that this day will be the best day of your life can evaporate under the corporate sun. The story of Ravi Shastry could replicate itself, just to catch you unaware
s. This regional head of an international bank stays blissfully nonchalant of the mute road roller heading his way. Life looks hunky-dory as usual. A hefty pay package keeps his spirits high and the cloud of increments shack up periodically in the garden of eden.

But, the hail storm begins and roofs collapse. The tentacles of an international crisis grips the Indian arm of Imperial Bank. The condition is further exacerbated by an inside forecast: the sky could hurl pink slips. The perfect picture of happiness turns grim in
a few days. The harshness of fate closes in on his family. He braces himself for the worst but takes solace in the fact that he is not alone. He counts on his wife’s job which would save the family from a terrible plight. Little did he know that the straw of his hope will sink in the whirlpool of destiny. The fright of an uncertain future makes him shiver in horror when he realizes that his spouse’s job hangs in a limbo too.

So, do you think Ravi has got what it takes to survive this brutal month? Would he be able to outwit and outrun ploys and cages. Find out today by claiming your copy of 31 from our online shopping portal.

[Buy 31 Online Now at Indiaplaza.com]