Saturday, June 5, 2010

And the Trip begins ..........

Finally I am in New Delhi, The Capital of India. Home to India's parliament and the Supreme court. The city which takes decisions that consequently carves the futures of more than a billion people. Till date all my information about Delhi has only come from history books and friends. For the first time I will get to know for myself if all that I have read and heard is true.

I have come to this city with some preconceived notions. I have been warned by everyone that the Rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers are just waiting for customers like me whom they can rip off easily. I hadn’t booked my hotel till the last minute and was absolutely certain that I would be shelling out about 500 to 700 rupees only to reach the hotel. Every Internet blog put up (especially by foreigners) speaks of how the money divide is huge in Delhi and how crowded and chaotic the markets are here.

Of course the history books are full with all the major events that took place here over the last 2000 years. Not to mention the fact that the capital city of the pandavas, Indraprastha is very close to this very city as well. In a sense Delhi has been the capital of India for about 5000 years now.

Today I will be clearing all these doubts that I have. I will be trying to speak with people to check if what I have heard is true or not. Visiting as many monuments as I can and clicking as many pictures as possible. I need to make this day as fruitful as possible. I also have a lot of shopping to do for Ladakh. Need to buy a card reader (Forgot to pack my data transfer cable  ), An additional batter for my camera (Which I could not buy in Bombay) and of course good sun glasses (Which I did not have and need to protect my eyes from UV radiation in Ladakh  ).

Finding the Hotel was the easiest thing for me. There was always an element of doubt if the room would be good, and I must say I am not disappointed. The Room is big spacious and very comfy. I could spend my time sleeping all day in the room and still it would not be a waste of time. But then again I have a lot of things to do today  . I have not yet had my first brush with the Taxi drivers here. I took a prepaid meru so that don’t get ripped off. I reached my hotel in 300 rs, much less than the estimated amount. However the driver was probably not happy dropping me at Kirti nagar (Quite close to the Airport) and kept complaining about how meru has converted him into a postman from a taxi driver.

The ride was smooth and the hotel quite good. All I could think off after reaching the place was “Sleep”.

I hope today, I am actually able to see the city without any hassles. I am almost through with my tour plan. Don’t see any scope to travel on the Delhi metro. Possibly I will experience it when I am back on the 13th.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One more Reservation bill????

As an open category student I have been a first hand witness to the way reservations in educational and government institutions are misused. How it is used as a political tool to garner more votes by incompetent politicians and how easily it can fragment Indian society, which by the way is the key to win any elections in India.

I cannot express how angry I was with the Congress when the then human resource minister Mr. Arjun Singh just could not stop ranting about why the reservations for backward castes must exceed the current 51 %. He was visible in every TV news channel giving his opinions and views, managed to get a lot of support from a few and sparked out violent protests in Mumbai and other cities. But I guess all is well that ends well. The Bill never saw the light of day; however the congress managed to present a Dalit/OBC/ST/SC friendly face just before the elections. This could have been one of the reasons as to why they had such a good showing in the hindi heartland.

However when the Women reservation bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, I was ecstatic. I had what so ever no doubt in my mind that this was history in the making. A day of which I can talk of when I grow old to my children or grand children and say “I was there when this happened”. Finally the right, left and central politicians agreed on something which was for the greater good of the country. Never before have I seen the Indian parliament so very much in tandem about an issue. Of course there were some unruly scenes in parliament, but guess it is not uncommon for the Yadav’s to make such a ruckus.

But then my mind wondered. What was so different about this bill? Why did I support this one when I am in general opposed to all and every reservation system anywhere?

Well as per rules of the Vatican, the process to declare a person as a saint does not start before at least 50 years have gone by after the person’s death. And the rule is for a good reason. Emotions need to be eliminated before you can take a decision or make a point or support a cause. I was not going to wait for 50 years to express my views on this matter or write this blog, but I did wait for a few days just to check out how I feel about it a little later. I am still quite positive about the whole affair. I still believe this will increase credibility of the parliament. Bring in more clean politicians and would by and large sensitize our law makers in terms of women issues.

But then I ask myself, Will this bill really make a difference?
If you ask the detractors of the bill they have the same points to speak of. Women will be little more than puppets in the hands of their Husbands!!! Parties must have self imposed quotas… etc. Countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan have more than 25% women in their parliaments and their lot has hardly improved… And the list goes on and on.

And Again I ask myself, how valid are these objections? Will this Bill really make a difference? I still cannot answer with great confidence. But I do feel, it will bring about a positive change. India should strive not only to be a land of equal opportunity but also a land where every one enjoys equal growth. Women have long been in the fringes of Indian politics. This will surely empower them to change India.

Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope the bill makes its way to the LS this very session.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Right Side of the Brain: Finally Activated ….

I have always enjoyed drawing. However, drawing and Sports were two things I was never good at in School. I had a Drawing teacher who always insisted on having a black border line for all drawings. Weaither it was made using water colours, poster colours or sketch pens. The medium never mattered. She always insisted on the black lines which would define (or should I say spoil) the features of the drawing. I don’t think I need to say most of my paintings had a poor remark on them. Sports … I was never interested (I am not interested in it even now).

But when in my eighth grade I joined a special class in my school where in a new teacher trained me for a particular government exam (Elementary Drawing Exam). We called him Nadkarni sir (I don’t know his first name), and he was very good with the pencil. I remember he used to ask us to draw a line, any kind of line on the black board and name an animal. Within minutes he would convert the line into the animal we named. I still hold immense respect for him. He was the first guy who actually taught me how to draw and paint. For the first time in my life I got good grades in drawing under him. Not only was it a huge boost to my confidence with regards to drawing, it also inspired me to experiment with unconventional methods of drawing. I could not draw very well after the 3 month training session but my drawing had certainly improved. The examination itself consisted of three papers, Nature drawing (where they would give a flower and ask us to draw it on our drawing sheets), Still life and Scenery. I cleared the exams; Not exactly with flying colours. I got a C Grade overall, but I did manage to pass.

I took those classes for a reason I can’t seem to remember. I guess I just wanted to draw a little better than what I was doing then. Clearing those exams were a bonus. My interest in drawing did not wane away after that, but I never took the next step to learn and draw better after that. Nor did I have teachers like Nadkarni sir teaching me drawing. But the passion to learn and do better was always there.

After completing my engineering, I started to try and build on the base my teacher provided me with. It was not all that easy, although I could draw line diagrams, shadows and shadings were a nightmare. I tried every approach to do better and failed. Until I came across a book called “Drawing from the Right Side of your Brain”. It was literally drawing demystified for me. Many of the things actually came as a revelation to me. I could understand clearly why I could draw profiles better than foreshortened views before I began learning from the book. The author also spends some time building your confidence and convincing that drawing is not all that difficult. I bought the book a year ago. And started building my skills one step at a time or should I say one chapter at a time. I am almost at the fag end of the book where I am actually supposed to draw my own portrait.

I must say I was very skeptical when bought the book. But by now, I feel I can draw much better. The techniques mentioned in the book did work. As I mentioned above, Drawing is de-mystified for me thanks to Dr Betty Edwards. I have still not drawn my portrait, but I tried my hand at drawing my role model and I think I was pretty successful at it. I do not think that I have actually learnt all the techniques mentioned in the book. The Negative spaces concept is still beyond my reach. There is also an exercise wherein you actually draw with a eraser !!!! .

I still have miles to go and a lot more to master. But the journey seems to be much easier now. Drawing from memory will be a totally different ball game and I need to perfect that if I want to improve. I am still using my picture frames to complete my drawings. I hope that by the next year, I will be able to post a much more detailed and precise colour picture of Albert Einstein.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Of Religious Leaders and Directed Democracies.

My first tryst with voting and democracy was when I was in the 5th Grade. We used to have elections for the for the Student Council members. As a fifth grader I was eligible to vote only for the head boy and the head girl. One week in advance, all the probable candidates would queueup and speak about themselves and explain to us why they felt that they were the best candidates. The whole process was pretty boring. Everyone used the same phrases in their speach and invariably ended it with “Elect and select the best, but do not forget so-n-so”. It was, but a good experience. I somehow felt important on the day of the elections. I felt as if was a part of some important process.

My first brush with democracy was “ideal” if I could put it that way. We never had any candidates who were in the bad books of the teachers, standing for elections. The students who were selected were always “Scholars” (It was a term for studious children in my school). Even the Sports captain was someone who scored marks and did well in sports. Everything about the election was in one word “Perfect”.

And I wondered as to why we had such “Clean” Candidates coming up and occupying top positions in the Student Council of my school, while we have criminals occupying prominent positions in the Indian Parliament. The reason was simple; the system in my school could not be termed just as “Democracy”. “Directed Democracy” was a more appropriate term; something similar to the kind of “Theocracy” that is practiced in Iran. The candidates were handpicked by the Principal, vice Principle and the supervisor. There were always two candidates fighting for a given post in the student council. There were hardly any real issues to be spoken about during these elections let alone debated about. It was as if one candidate was a mirror reflection of the other. And I wondered a bit more…. Is this system better than democracy?

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Freedom is not worth having, If it does not include the freedom to make mistakes”. Iran’s concept of democracy would never allow its people to make “Mistakes” or in others words allow them to have an opinion which differs from the opinion of their Supreme Leader. Whatever the Supreme Religious council says is more like Law and if major issues are to be sacrificed for petty religious matters, it is acceptable. The system could be better termed as “Pseudo Democracy”. The people are given a false sense that they are in control of the government, when the truth simply is that the supreme leaders could change or influence the election results anytime they want too. As a student, I was repulsed by this kind fake show of democracy in my school. In fact it would not be wrong to say I was in very angry with the very fact that my teachers did not trust my judgment in choosing the right candidates for the student council. I started believing that socialism and communism were better alternatives to democracy. I fail to understand what good the common people of Iran see in the system that they have.

What has happened in Iran now has only reinforces my belief. Any protests against the new regime have been struck down with brutal force using militias like the basij. For now, drunk with power, the Iranian leaders believe they have brought down the protests and have started trading charges with the west stating they have instigated and financed it.

For now a dumb tyrant who can do no more than a little lip service to the people of Iran is occupying the top civilian post in Iran. His concept of nationalism is very similar to the hundreds of tyrants who have come before him. His sensational comments and rigid concept of Islam will do no good for the People of Iran.

But I am sure his fate going be similar to that of the previous tyrants. He just needs to pick up the history books of Iran to understand this.
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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mumbai’s Lifeline:

Well, If you ask Euclid what will be the shortest distance between any two points, He would say it will be a straight line, Put the same question to Einstein and he might say, not necessarily a straight line as Space can be bent! Put the same question to a Mumbai commuter and you will get only one answer, “It’s by train”.

Trains have always been the lifelines of Mumbai. They are analogous to the Farcasters in Dan Simmons’s Hyperion trilogy; cheap as hell, amazingly efficient, almost always on time and carrying at least 200 thousand people every day to various destinations. Mumbai would certainly not have been the economic capital of India without them. It’s also a place of sorts for people of different faiths, ideologies, and political convictions to come together to discuss and deliberate upon issues. These discussions are generally more intelligent, smart and to the point than the debates we have in the Indian Parliament. In fact I have got to hear many interesting points of views and opinions without being a part of these discussions.

However, the most interesting people I have met in trains are the hawkers who get on trains to sell their wares. These range from Pens, chocolates, Wallets to books, fruits and even electric shavers. They can come up with the most interesting pitches and could put the sales representatives of the most reputed companies to shame. I suspect they also have a proper time sharing mechanism in place. Till date I have not seen two guys hawking the same product in the same train.

I was traveling to Church-gate yesterday. As usual, the hawkers were all around selling things like wallets and Folders. But what did catch my attention was a sales pitch given by a guy who was trying to sell perfumes. He started off with explaining the science of Perfumes and how alcoholic perfumers loose their “flavor” within a couple of hours. The perfume he was selling was supposedly non alcoholic, so it could retain its “flavor” for the entire day. He went on to explain how we spend our hard earned money away on expensive perfumes when his product costs just 10 bucks and gives them much more. And to add to it, the perfumes were supposed to be of Denim, Charlie and Havoc.

By far the most interesting sales pitch I ever heard, was from a guy who started off by saying, that the world was full of cribbers; Right from our bosses to co workers to friends and relatives. But as per him the worst cribbers were wives. And for cribbing wives he had the best solution.

I was attending college back then. But even I was drawn to this pitch. Almost everyone in the compartment was looking towards him. He looked like a Godman who was going reveal some divine secret . He put his hand inside his bag and pulled out needles, threads and buttons. For a moment I thought he was going to say, “Stitch their mouths with these”. But the guy was a progressive thinker. He recommended to all the husbands in the train that they do they own stitching. The Kit he was selling had everything in it, including a device which could help them put the thread through the needle. By doing that he said; they could prove to their wives that they were loving and caring husbands. I am sure that would be giving the exact opposite pitch in the ladies compartment.

The second category of non commuting people in trains are the Performers (or more aptly beggars). They would come in with their harmonium or flute or sometimes with just two slices of Rock and start singing and playing their instruments. Most of them would just irritate you into paying them some money so that they would leave. But some are particularly gifted. I particularly enjoyed listing to a blind musician who used to play old Bollywood songs on his flute when I used to travel to national college. The music was always soothing to hear.

The railways would always be there in Mumbai. And No matter how rich we become, or how many new flyovers are built, and how many Nano’s we buy. Trains would still be the preferred way to travel in this city. When the trains were targeted on 11th of July serial bombings, this lifeline got affected for a mere 2 hours. Something which even the London civic atrocities could not accomplish when their subway faced a similar threat.

Nothing can stop a Mumbai train on its tracks (except of course for the rains). And with the Mumbai metro all set to open next year, I can’t help wondering what lies ahead for this lifeline of Mumbai.
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finally !!!! Indian Democracy comes off age.

The signs of change was always there. But every one looked in the wrong direction.
The Indian electorate was waking up from a long and deep slumber. People were getting more restless and impatient. Everyone ignored this "people resurgence" in 2004. But After the 2009 elections every one will have to take notice.

Caste, Religion and Regionality were hugely influencing the electorate in India. People were always taken for granted. Fake and unconstitutional promises were always made and forgotten. Secularism was seen as a tool to get votes rather than as a fundamental tenet of Indian democracy. Spreading hatred and inciting fear were key elements to gathering votes.

It was all true till the 2009 General elections.
I have been watching election coverage’s since the 1996 general elections. And my mood after every election has always been that of despair; People discussing about horse trading and corruption within the Indian political establishment; Criminals winning by huge margins; Open and shameless negotiations by parties which held as low as 3 Lok Sabha seats and Unworthy people grabbing top jobs in the parliament.
But this time my mood was positive and upbeat.

In fact when Kalyan Singh swore in 95 members of his coalition as ministers in the UP government, it was seen as a necessary evil for stability in UP. Not long ago in the 2007 Assembly elections both the SP and BSP boasted of along list of convicted criminals who contested elections under their banner and won.

But, it all changes in 2009. Most of the criminals were either denied contesting elections by the supreme court or lost them. Mayawati’s Caste politics took a huge beating. The Shiv Senas communal agendas got a thumps down and MNS’s rationalistic politics hardly got them a single seat. Even the Tamil Ultra nationalist Leader Vaiko, failed in the elections miserably.
All of them had failed to interpret the signs of change.

There was but only one mantra to win these elections; “Development”. The BJP’s manifesto did contain a lot of positives, but was highlighted very poorly by the Party leadership. The only message which was delivered to the common man was, “We will build a Ram Temple”, “We will not allow the setu samudram project to take off”. On the other hand the Congress manifesto highlighted the schemes such as NREGS which they implemented during their rule and promised economic reforms after the elections. This time, Probably the BJP lost the elections even before the votes were cast.

Of course Narendra Modi won more seats than the 2004elections. But the BJP will be totally wrong if they attribute this to the hard line Hindutva policy he follows. He won solely on a development platform. Even the muslims were keen on seeing him in Gujrat. The BJP got more seats in Bihar, where Nitish Kumar was the face of the party, and he spoke only of Infrastructure Development, elimination of criminals from his state and a more responsible and transparent government. Yes !!! Varun Gandhi won in Philibit , But that was based on his mothers reputation. The price for supporting Varun Gandhi was paid for by the BJP at the state level. The BJP did win the kandhamal seat, but lost face and partners in Orissa and were demolished. The Left paid the price for not supporting the Nuclear deal and for all the atrocities they committed on the people of Bengal.

In the coming elections, every party will have to keep development high in their agenda. They will have to put religion and region on the back burner. Even the Congress will have to stop harping about “Secularism”. Their strategy as far as projecting a secular image to gain votes failed miserably in Gujarat, Orissa and Bihar. They will have to focus on delivering their promises to the people of India now that they are in the center. If they tread on the path of minority appeasement and Vote bank politics the will meet the fate of the BJP in the next elections.

Today as the counting winded up and the process of government formation started, I wonder; Where do we go from here. Will the VHP start a new campaign in Mathura or Kasi for creating a situation similar to Ayodhya? Will the congress attribute their success to Vote bank politics and intensify their efforts in that direction. As Always, I can think of only one thing. “Time will tell”.
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

In the company of strangers:

I recently read Ramanujan’s biography (The man who knew infinity). The book was very well written and focused on Ramanujan as mush as it focused on others with whom Ramanujan interacted with. The book speaks about his isolation in Brittan and his tragic death in India. It has also in a way compared the two cultures in which he lived (Indian and British that is).

It started the comparison, describing how a Hindu temple would have a gopuram (the Temple Gate) which would be the tallest structure of the entire complex, then came the temple building it self which would be a moderate structure full of ornate pillars and beautifully carved statues and finally the main praying area where the deity was kept, would be a small room where only a single individual (or probably two) could stand at a time; Whereas the Churches of Britain were completely different. The gate would be quit normal; the church building itself majestic and the altar with its dome spell binding.

But the section which did catch my fascination was how he described Ramanujan’s isolation in Britain. Indians the author believes are more open and welcoming then the British who keep a stiff upper lip and are very reserved when it came to interacting with others. And to add to it Ramanujan himself was a reclusive individual. He seldom made the effort to familiarize himself even with Hardy who was his mentor. Indians the author says are so communicative that if you chat with them for even half an hour, you could know everything about them. Whether they were married or not? What work they did. What kind of dreams they had? What was their town or village of origin? Practically every thing there is to know about him.

And I wondered……. How true was that in the present day? I myself am an introvert. The only people I can communicate easily and with trust are my parents and my sister. But how about the others? Well just like the Joker (From the Dark Knight), I decided to carry out a small “Social Experiment” of my own and try to communicate with as many unknown Indians as I possibly could. And I had the perfect place for it. I was flying back to India soon and I had a 6 hour stopover at Ataturk Airport.

My first challenge was to understand how to begin a conversation with a complete stranger. I assumed smiling at someone was the easiest way. Of course I did not anticipate much success by this method. But none the less, I had no other Ideas.

My “Experiment” almost immediately began, when I was standing in the queue for getting my boarding pass, I tired smiling at the Indian who was standing ahead of me and it worked. He asked if I was an Indian and was traveling to Bombay. When I answered in the affirmative his instant reaction was “Great… Now we are four of us. We can certainly kill time at Istanbul”. I was a bit surprised by how easily assumed that I be willing to spend time chatting with him. After I got my boarding pass, he introduced me to the others he knew. One of them was his colleague from IBM; the other guy was a fruit exporter from Pune. We all proceeded to the main terminal. We still had 2 hours before boarding and the topic they were discussing was what to shop for in the duty free stores. I already had a list of Dead Sea “Beauty Products” which my friend had asked me to buy. As they went to the Electronics stores, I quietly slipped into the cosmetics store making a small excuse. I wasn’t sure if they would take any kind of offense because of it; but anyway, I proceeded to buy those “beauty” products. Once done I went back to the electronic store, not to meet my new found friends but to actually check out if some new electronic gizmo was available. A one terabyte external hard drive caught my attention. But it was prized at 150$ which I thought was a bit expensive. I moved on and in sometime spotted two of the guys I had met sitting near a coffee shop. They started to wave their hands the moment they saw me. They even pulled out a chair for me to sit and started inquiring as to what I had bought. I showed them the Avaha products I had got for my friend, the fruit exporter (Well sorry, I do not remember any of their names.) was visibly disappointed that he did not know what his wife wanted and the other was analyzing if it would be worth spending so much on his girlfriend, but soon the topic changed to about what they had seen around the airport duty free, and then the IBM guy started discussing the policies in IBM as far as foreign travel was concerned. Next they discussed how the taxi drivers in Israel are constantly taking on speaker phones, when the other IBM guy arrived and suddenly they were back to the discussing the duty free shops. The IBM guy was lamenting about how much he wanted to buy a diamond ring that he saw in one of the stores for his wife, but could not buy as it was priced at around 12000$. At this point something surprising happened. The exporter waved his hand towards someone. And a minute later someone new joined us, pulling one more chair towards the table. I was amused to know that he was actually a diamond merchant, who was in Tel Aviv to buy raw diamonds. And now the topic was diamonds. The new guy actually described in detail how diamonds were valued. He also advised the guy to buy diamonds from India itself as they were much cheaper. I couldn’t help but notice that he was clinging to his hand bag very tightly when discussing. He probably had a few in his bag. I could have made a fortune running away with it, I guess. We all just did not realize how time flew by and the boarding announced for the Istanbul flight.

I did not have much of a conversation in the flight itself. The flight to Istanbul was just about three hours. After alighting from the plane, I made a conscious effort to avoid my new friends for sometime. I had planned to read a book on my precious Iliad. I quietly started reading my book away from them for another 4 hours or so. But I soon joined them again to spend my remaining time. They had already discussed a plethora of subjects by the time I joined in. But the moment I arrived the IBM guy who had joined us a little later at the coffee table immediately started inquiring about the Avaha products I had bought. His wife and mother were suffering from joint pains and wanted to know if some product would be useful to them.

However now they possibly realized that I was not very comfortable around them. They asked me as to what I did and the company I worked for. The moment said I was a telecomm engineer; they started discussing mobile phones and other related stuff. Probably, just to involve me in their discussion. When I mentioned about the 1 terabyte Hard disk which I liked, the exporter offered to help me buy it in India at much lower price through his son, who knew a few shops in Delhi which sold them.

A little later the exporter started explaining how fruits were exported from India to Europe and Israel. He spoke of the different packaging systems used in it. He even spoke of how exports of exotic fruits like Pomegranates were increasing and how recent awareness in health foods, had driven the sales in Europe. He also joked how lazy the Europeans were as they had to literally export only peeled pomegranates. Unpeeled pomegranates had no market over there. The discussion never seemed to end and we literally “killed” time as my friend wanted to.

The flight was delayed by around 40 minutes and that much time was enough for them to make one more friend. This Indian was some sort of a big short in aviation. He had come to Istanbul to understand the functioning of huge airports. Like the others he was also more than willing to share his experiences. When the Diamond merchant asked him as to why Mukesh Ambani was not allowed to have a new helipad in his new house (Actually he almost sounded as if he had been denied the permission and wanted an explanation for it). The guy coolly explained how messy the whole process of giving permission for new helipads were. He went on to give a detailed analysis of what problems might occur if helipads started cropping up unchecked all around the city. When my exporter friend asked him if they were anytime lines for the new Bombay airport, the guy stated in a matter of fact way that the Land mafia over there would ensure that the project would never takeoff. He went on to list areas which were bought by builders at a cost of around sixteen lacks per hectare and were demanding about a core for selling their land for the airport. I actually have many friends who actually believe that new Bombay is the next hep and happening place and how the new airport was going to shift the focus from Bombay to new Bombay. Guess this will be news for them.

Soon boarding was announced. The two IBM guys had got a seat behind me. And it did not take much time for them to befriend the Indian who was sitting next to me. They guy was actually traveling from Skopje. I had never heard of a city by that name in Europe. He explained that it was the capital of Macedonia. The only city I knew in Macedonia was Pella; Or so I thought. He explained that Pella, the birthplace of Alexander was now in Greece.

As the flight took off, my neighbor (who was a charted accountant) spoke of everything, right from his family his work and his experiences meting different people across Europe. He also very humorously disclosed that the flight was delayed because of him as it was snowing very heavily in Skopje and all flights were delayed there.

I had always believed that Wikipedia and goggle were the two tools enough to gain all knowledge. I still believe the same, but I have come to realize one other thing. There is only one way of gaining insight into people and that is though direct contact. No social networking site will help us with that. No amount of bogging will connect us to others. We need to reach out to them in person. That is one thing technology cannot change. My “Social Experiment” was certainly an eye opener for me. It has in a way changed how I look at things. I came back a little enlightened that day.

I could possibly go on writing about what all I discussed with the different people I met. But to cut the long story short, I realized that we Indians are different and unique. Not because of the distinct culture we have, that is something that every civilization has. But because there is something that binds us all; something which breaks the barriers of Caste, creed, status and region. I now firmly believe that it is not just the love we show to our fellow citizens but also the trust that we show to each other which makes us different and it is this trust, above all that defines our Indian ness. Trusting others is something I still need to learn.
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