Friday, November 14, 2008

A killer bike called Hayabusa

Strong body, stunning finish, 1340cc inline-4 engine, lightning speed is all that defines Hayabusa, the fastest motorcycle in the world from the stable of Suzuki. Also known as the GSX1300R in many countries, Hayabusa was launched in 1999 and till now its sales has only skyrocketed in the global market. Hayabusa is a like a God of bikes to young bikers all over the world.

Following the incredible speed and magnetic appeal of the bike, Hayabusa has got its place in the 70mm screen. Recent Bollywood movies like Dhoom and Dhoom 2 has showed Hayabusa glamorously. This acted as an inspiration for the youths in India who earlier had to satisfy their craziness for speed with bikes such as Bajaj Pulsar and Yamaha. Reacting on the growing market the sales distributors promptly imported Hayabusa from neighbouring countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

Now, finally Hayabusa is here and along with it is number of bike accidents.

Young bikers love bikes and their passion for bike gets fire with Hayabusa, but very few of them actually know how to control the monster. With 1340cc inline-4 engine, Hayabusa is not a joke rather it is a deadly machine on the road. Expert bikers and trainers feel that enormous discipline and restraint is required to own this bike. One of the most interesting things often heard about Hayabusa is that instead of pulling wheelies when one grab a fistful of throttle; the bike will rocket forward and slowly pull the front tire off the ground.

Wealthy people often gift Hayabusa to their sons as birthday gift little realising the fact the toy can cut short their son’s life span. On the other hand young boys play with Hayabusa on public roads and highways and perform stunning acts with it. A trick they do out of innocence and for fun often turns into death.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ban on smoking has gone up in smoke

After crossing lot of hurdles the health minister of India, Mr. Anbumani Ramadoss is finally successful in transforming the law on smoking ban from papers to reality. This was a very tough job for the minister who gathered ire from different sections of the society. Well the anger is true to some extent, especially when the citizens take it as their fundamental right. Who doesn’t smoke? Where you will draw the line? Poor, millionaire, doctors, actors, politicians, govt. officials, teachers, police, criminal, army man, spiritual leaders, women, students and all, smoke to attain ecstasy. Therefore the ban on smoking came over them as a curb on their democracy. Millions in India sportingly avoid standing in queues to vote, but how can they quit smoking?

Annually thousands die due to smoking related diseases in India and the most popular of them is cancer. Interestingly people feel jittery even talking about cancer, but at the same time they are so reluctant about its major cause. Several throw such arguments that ­­­­­--- even smoking is banned cancer can’t be prevented or pollution kills more than smoking. The problem in India is that very few people know little but understands more. To avoid uneasy problem they create their own stories as part of self defence mechanism.

Who cares about the fine? Those who smoke spend thousands or even more in a year on their preferred brands of puff. So only a Rs. 200 fine cannot stop them from smoking in public places. Even the law enforcement body is reluctant. People smoking boldly everywhere, but nobody is there to punish them. Politicians fear that they may lose some loyal voters if they try to become strict. So pretending is the best policy to avoid the situation and let the smoking ban go up in smoke.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Is anything left for Sourav Ganguly to achieve?

For any professional such as a corporate executive, mid-level junior executive, doctor, media planner, journalist, techie, teacher, consultant reaching the age of 36 doesn’t mean the end of a career, rather start of a harrowing journey during this cut throat job scenario. But a sportsman can, and certainly can with ease, particularly if it is Sourav Ganguly.

The sudden announcement of retirement by Sourav Ganguly during the Test series against Australia would be an emotional blow to the numerous Sourav or Dada fans spread all over the world. But Sourav or Maharaj as popularly known among Bengalis has shown that how a sportsman should live a life, truly King-size.

Through the entire career spanning 16 years Sourav has gathered many feathers in his cap that include scoring 6888 runs in 109 Tests including 15 magnificent tons, scoring 11363 runs in 311 ODIs with 22 centuries at an outstanding average of 41.02, captaining India in 147 ODIs and 49 tests. He also made India proud by leading the Indian national team to the maximum number of 21 victories ever achieved by any Indian captain with a win percentage of over 40.

It is now a fact that Ganguly won’t be donning the national jersey for India, but several generations in future will still be watching in the TV screen - Ganguly taking his shirt off celebrating his team’s extraordinary win in the Natwest Series Final in 2002. Sourav became demi God in the heart of millions of Indian when he lead the Indian cricket team to 2003 World Cup finals and bravely challenged the might of Australians.

Having seen the pinnacle of success as a cricketer and with earnings like Solomon’s wealth what will be his post retirement plan?




Thursday, November 6, 2008

Global warming empowered Hurricane

The state of New Orleans would remember for long the day when a Hurricane named Katrina gave them the pinch of global warming.

On 29th August 2005, America faced the fiercest wrath of global warming, when Hurricane Katrina blowing at 145 miles per hour hurled over the state of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 per cent of the city and killed more than 1,600 people in Louisiana and Mississippi.

New Orleans is still recovering from the ‘shock and awe’ of Katrina. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. Scientists and environmentalists predict that many more such devastating storms in the states of New Orleans and Miami are in the offing, as melting polar ice raises the sea levels. They fear rising temperatures will melt glaciers and polar ice caps, raising sea levels and harming coastal residents worldwide.

What is unusual about Katrina is that the power and intensity by which it has hurled over the coastline. Scientific studies and experiments are pointing fingers at factors such as global warming and excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as the reasons behind such vengeance. One such important study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had found that hurricane wind speeds have increased up to 50 per cent in the past 50 years.

Environmentalists warned of such a day long time ago, but reluctant US citizens didn’t bothered to pay attention to the warming. The devastating results of Katrina has taught them the lesson that it is the time when CO2 emissions from vehicles and industrial belts should be minimized as our planet is heating up, trapping all of us in an unpredictable new period in history.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barter with water

Prior to the use of currency for doing various transactions, ancient people were engaged in less complicated system called bartering, where they used to exchange different utility oriented products with each other. With the passage of time people became more refined and choose currency as their preferred mode of transaction. But with the increase in depletion of ground water, in near future the age old barter system is about to revive.

At this moment water is considered as the most precious natural resource in the world leaving behind oil (petroleum) in the race. The world has witnessed different conflicts, political tensions eventually leading towards war over the control of oil. But soon the world is going to witness the mother of all war, which will be over the domination of water. Even one litre of water will fetch thousands of dollars at that time. The socio-economic model of the world will be reshaped considering the amount and value of water in a region.

Presently there is only 3% of fresh water in planet earth out of which 2% is trapped in glaciers and polar ice caps and only the existing 1% is left for the use of humans and animals. In near future abundant water for drinking, sanitation, industry, irrigation, transportation and recreation will become a dream and nightmare at the same time. Looking at the rate of increase in population it is even hard to imagine how critical the scarcity of water will become in the years to come.

It has been predicted that by 2025 around 2 billion people leaving in different countries will be part of a hydrological war to meet the needs of agriculture, industry and households. Lester Brown, president and founder of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington based independent research organisation while discussing about this issue once said, “There are substitutes for oil but there are no substitutes for water. Excessive pumping for irrigation to satisfy food needs today almost guarantees a decline in food production tomorrow.”

In future to ease the tension arising out of scarcity of water the world leaders have to look back towards barter system. Adding monetary value to water will bring doomsday for the world. As only the powerful and rich nation in the world will then be able to posses the right to water and the rest will have to fight among themselves for the minimum amount of water needed for survival. Following the barter system the looming crisis can be solved to some extent. Nations with rich water resource can barter water with the other nations that have abundant supply of some other product.

By this system the water starved nation will receive their desired amount of water and the water rich nation will be enriched with the resource they were lagging earlier.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Anticipating appraisal at the time of financial meltdown

The collapse of Lehman Brothers, the world’s largest investment banking organisation and the sell-out of Merrill Lynch brought along with it doomsday for millions of employees and would-be employees engaged in various sectors all over the world. National and international media is abuzz with news of lay off, pink slips, sacking, retrenchment, salary cut and similar horrific sounding words. Fresh recruitment in large IT, ITes, real estate, investment banking and multinational companies has been put on hold. Even the job aspirants who were previously issued offer letter now have to wait for an indefinite period to get another call from the HR department.

Even the employees who were happily working in their organisation and were looking forward to a stimulating appraisal are also feeling the jittery due to this evil financial meltdown. Employees normally work in an organisation in a hope to get a good increment for a job well done and this in the long run work as a motivation. But the present financial crisis has also spoilt such dreams of employees. Instead they are only praying for the almighty to show them a ray of hope. Many employees are afraid of demanding or even questioning the process of appraisal at this critical point of time, fearing they might lose their job.

Interestingly, if the scenario is seen from a different angle then it can be found that this financial meltdown and the resulting crisis and panic in the job market are the handiwork of the HRs (equally of large, medium and small companies). They are making the most of this situation, when employees are walking at tight rope and the employers have given the full autonomy to the HRs to reduce cost anyhow. For the time being they are cherishing every moment of pain, agony, frustration and tension of the hapless employees.

Taking chance of the situation even the HRs of small companies are also flexing their muscles. The small companies are less affected by this financial meltdown compared to the big and medium companies, but such small companies and especially the HRs are employing the situation by applying pressure tactics on the employees. They are masterminding unique methods like spreading threat mails, warning mails, rumours etc to keep the employees under pressure. Either they are deliberately delaying the appraisal cycle of employees or creating suspense about the appraisal. Even those who are apprised on time are not given the deserving pay hike.

As the full form of HR mean human resource, the HRs in reality should act more delicately for the benefit of the human resource of an organization rather than just showing their inclination towards the management.

Monday, November 3, 2008

An enigma called BREAKING NEWS

Every ‘NEWS’ is now a ‘BREAKING NEWS’ that’s what is claimed and preached by India’s popular news channels especially meant for the Hindi speaking mass such as AajTak, Zee News and India TV. These channels have completely turned the meaning of BREAKING NEWS in news industry. Looking at the ferocity and spontaneity of churning out breaking news by these channels it is clear that the producers of these channels have decided any news with juicy content will be taken as breaking news, otherwise not.

According to Wikipedia (the online reliable encyclopaedia), “Breaking news is a current event that broadcasters feel warrants the interruption of scheduled programming in order to report its details. Its use is often loosely assigned to the most significant story of the moment or a story that is being covered live. It could be a story that is simply of wide interest to viewers and has little impact otherwise.”

This is a widely accepted definition of BREAKING NEWS in the news industry. But AajTak, Zee News and India TV in particular have reshaped the definition in their own way. These two channels primarily consider news to be as breaking news looking at its viewereship, which mainly comprise Hindi speaking mass of India. So they normally pick news that appeals the emotions, inquisition and sociological background of such viewers. In addition to these the quantity of Hindi speaking viewer is too strong, which makes it too hard to resist the TRP that comes as a bonus for these commercial hungry so called news channels. The truth behind this statement will be justified if the breaking news broadcasted by these channels is watched carefully.

Such breaking news doesn’t accumulate much interest in Eastern and Southern part of India, where the Hindi speaking viewer is comparatively less. Strangely being national news channel AajTak, Zee News and India TV is least bothered about other part of India. They very much like Raj Thackeray wants to earn the attention of a particular fraction of the society. These channels are not ruled by strong editorial team/content instead is guided by the advertisers who force them to pick news that has an entertainment value.

If this is not the case then how these channels air news (if they really deserve to be categorised as news) such as calf born with 2 heads, Aishwarya and Abhishek’s pooja, tantriks evaluating what would have been the best possible solution for the Bachchan, Mallika’s fallout on her performance on the new year eve and many similar news as breaking news.

These channels broadcast illogical, impractical, gossip making, supernatural, violence and nudity in the name of news which is evident from the amusing and catchy headline they flash as breaking news such as:

Katrinaka sudh hindi shuniye

Camera me kalajadu

America mei music album mein macha bawal

Commissioner ka kutta mila

Kapde churanewali bhut

Shararti langur ke harkate

Aao yamlok chale

Muat ke bad

Bagh ka hua prem

Khuni barish ke piche kaun?

Pyaaz mangnewali churail

Salman ke sasuralwale

Chajje pe billo rani

Rahul ne dal puri aur sabji khai

Amitabh Bachchan ko thand lagi

Wonder from which planet these TV producers have come! It will be another breaking news then.



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