आज आनंदी आनंद झाला – Google Transliteration

मी आज खूप खुश आहे आणि याला कारण म्हणजे गुगलनी नवा टायपिंग चा फंडा विंडोज वर उपलब्ध करून दिला आहे. Transliteration च्या माध्यमातून आणि त्याला शब्दासंग्रहाची जोड देऊन आपण लिहीत असलेल्या नेहमीच्या रोमन लिपीतल्या मराठी शब्दाना आता देवनागरी लिपीची जोड मिळाली आहे. आता मला मराठी भाषेत लिहिणे खुपच सोपे झाले आहे मला खरेतर इन् स्क्रिप्ट कीबोर्ड येत होता आणि त्यावर माझा स्पीड पण चांगला आहे. पण रोज इंग्रजी मध्ये टाईप केल्याने त्यात फार काही वाढ होत नव्हती. माझी आहे तीच सवय कायम ठेऊन त्याला तंत्रज्ञानाची जोड देऊन गुगल ने मराठी आणि इतर आणखी काही भारतीय भाषा भगिनींना जागतिक नकाशावर आपला ठसा उमटवणे आणखी सोपे केले आहे.

मायक्रोसॉफ्ट असाच काही प्रयत्न अरेबिक भाषेकरिता करत आहे. आणि मला खात्री आहे की या शर्यतीत ते मागे राहणार नाहीत. स्पर्धा कायमच तुम्हाला काहीतरी नवीन आणि चांगले करण्यास भाग पाडते. आणि त्याचा फायदा जर जगाला होत असेल तर त्या बद्दल या अमेरिकी कंपन्याना धन्यवादच दिले पाहिजेत. आज या कंपन्यात हजारो भारतीय काम करत आहेत आणि त्यामुळेच आपली आणि आपल्या भाषांची दखल घेतली जात आहे. या साऱ्याचा फायदा आपल्या देशातील असंख्य लोकांना, ज्यांना इंग्रजी भाषा येत नाही किंवा जुजबी येते, अशांना संगणक साक्षर होण्याकरता नक्कीच होईल आणि या कारणाने भारताची प्रगती आणखी कैक पटीनी वेगात होईल असे मला ठामपणे वाटते.

आपणालाही जर माझ्याप्रमाणे मराठीत टाईप करायचे असेल तर गुगल च्या या पानावर जा. आणि हे सोफ्टवेअर डाउनलोड करण्याकरता या पानावर जा.

Puneri Pundit Voted

Puneri Pundit voted in the Maharashtra Assembly elections 2009 but unfortunately 50% of Puneris did not cast their votes leaving me wondering as to the reasons behind this. One thing I feel is that when the government declares holiday and that to on a day like Tuesday, lot of people from metros jump on this opportunity and take leaves on Monday to enjoy a long weekend and desired break from work. So the measure from EC to ensure high voting percentage did not work. On the other hand it does bring in a doubt in my mind that was it an intentional move from government? The MNS support figures from urban areas were worrying the ruling party as well as opposition and most of these voters were new and young voters who would typically go on long weekends on any such opportunity.

Whatever may be the reason, 50% of the urban voters said they are not interested in voting. Now if we look at the share of votes by all winning parties, they typically get about 30-35 % of the total votes which means about 15-18% of total voters. Does it really make sense to declare these folks are winners in the election? How should we reduce that fractured voting and ensure that the ruling party really represents majority of us? One idea comes to my mind is that the losing candidates should declare support to top candidates from any constituency until the winner gets 50% of the casted votes at least. This will then show the inclination of the small time players in the field and also let people know as to who was supporting them really from behind.

Another way I feel is that the elections should be conducted on Sundays. The reason I believe they conduct them on weekdays is to allow candidates connect with voters on the weekend. But by conducting the voting on Sunday we can really get a better turn out and hence better representation.

I am happy that since I have voted, I can talk about the government, politics and other issues where I feel we deserve better.

Prabhu Ramchandra to Raj Thakre –Times have really changed

Well you will ask me what is connection between Prabhu Ramchandra & Raj Thakre. Appearantly there is nothing that you can find quickly. But little bit of reference to history and you will find it quickly. Wasn’t Prabhuji the prince of today’s bhaiyyas? He was the first UPite to come to Maharashtra. Who were residents of Maharashtra & may be Karnataka then? In Dandakaranya, it was land of rishis and munis and the rest was wanarraj. Sugreev was fighting with his brother Wali even in that time. Fortunately the issue of Bhaiyyas was not that hot at that time. Hardly anyone from north used to come down under. So there was no Raj Thakre in that time.

Times have really changed. From the prince of Ayodhya, now you will find the poor common people coming here. The MNS equates them to monkeys. Tries to shoo them away. Ram is now worshiped in Maharashtra as well as all southern states of India. Hanuman from this area is worshiped in North. So much so the monkeys are treated as avatars of Hanuman and they have become a big time menace in Delhi. So the men are being compared to monkeys and monkeys are being compared to God.

Times have not really changed. Brothers in Maharashtra still fight with each other. Earlier it was wanar princes now the human beings. To kill his own brother Sugreev took help of Ram. To win elections in this times, vote banks of North Indians are being created. Kingdom gaya bhadme. Muze meri gaddhi chahiye.

So the Maharashtrians can really claim the authenticity/ originality of there genes and call themselves as locals and sons of this soil as long as they can keep fighting with each other. North Indians do not worry. Raj will never get majority. Our own brothers will ensure that. You are most welcome.

Note: Please take this entire writing on a lighter note. I personally do not intent to offend any of our Gods. They are as much as mine as yours. I do not intent to demean the human beings or any race or people from any region. But just give a different direction to look at our history.

 

Can Pune Municipal Corporation Sustain CYG Beautification

With the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 Pune Municipal Corporation got ample funds to improve the roads and infrastructure. There are lot of traffic signs everywhere, streets are beautified, reflectors, lane stripes are now clearly visible. The city has a refreshing look. All good work so far.

Now the question is, for how long will this last? Does PMC has enough funds to maintain this? Or will it be the same story again within few months? We in India have habit of painting our homes on festive occasions like Diwali. Later all that enthusiasm goes down and we keep pushing the maintenance to lower priority till the next festive season.

Apart from PMC’s responsibility, do the citizens of Pune feel themselves responsible in maintaining the infrastructure that is also a big question. This responsibility includes not to misuse, keep watch on PMC and it’s contractors, not allowing general public to misuse. All this expense has been done out of tax payers pockets and that means everyone in the country. Not just income tax payers. Everyone pays taxes indirectly.

Let’s make all, who are part of the city or visiting the city, aware that it is in our interest to maintain this infrastructure so that the income is spent to improve/ add new infrastructure and not just maintain the existing.

Bomb Hoax in Pune

India has no doubt one of the most craziest people in the world. Just a few days back one person walking on Pune roads saw two young men riding on a bike dropping a packet on the sides of the road. The bike apparently did not have a license plate. Cautious due to recent bomb blast modus operandi of the terrorist, he alerted the police. They in turn called the anti-terrorist squad(ATS). The story is normal till this point.

In most of the Hollywood movies we have seen this hundred times that one of the bad fellas or a cop fires gun and the crowd in the public place starts running around, scared to get killed. We never thought this is wrong. This is normal human reaction.

But here is what sets India apart from the rest of the world. When the Bomb Difusal guys arrived at the scene in Pune, instead of running away from the place to save their lives, there was a huge crowd to see how they guys defuse the bomb. Really… this is not a fantasy. People actually did not think twice before gathering at that place. Have you ever seen such people elsewhere?

However, as the mob expected the so called bomb turned out to be leftovers from some student’s kitchen.

Traffic Improvement Awareness Campaigns

While the traffic situation in Pune is still not improving, lot of volunteers and NPO (Non-Profit Organizations) are coming forward to improve the situation. Government and traffic police department is also spending a lot in creating awareness.

Most of these campaigns are focusing on the safety aspects of the traffic rules. For example:

1. Wear Helmets

2. Follow traffic rules and avoid accidents

3. Don’t use mobile phones while driving

All these are good advertisements, it does not connect with me (as a common man) because I know the probability of meeting with an accident every day is not that high. Almost 99% of the time I am troubled with too much of traffic and delays due to traffic jams. Common cause for this is undisciplined drivers who do not follow lanes, do not obey traffic signals, believe that by driving on wrong side of the road they will reach early and so on…

If I have to do a campaign, I will do it to address these issues. I can use video clippings of disciplined traffic. I will focus on the cumulative benefits on time saving. I will focus on cumulative saving on oil (this is current hot topic as well).

Just to give you an example, let’s say if 4-5 errant drivers create a traffic mess to save two minutes of travel time. This would save them let’s say two rupees of petrol. Total saving for these guys would be not more than 20 rupees. Now once they land in mess, they get stuck for 10 minutes each. But they also cause a traffic jam due to other similar drivers going on wrong side of the road. This causes a delay of 20 minutes to about 200 vehicles at least. Now if each vehicle spends petrol worth 5 rupees each (roughly 100 ml) in those 20 minutes, the cumulative waste for 200 vehicles is about 1000 rupees compared to saving of 20 rupees.Is this not a reason enough for those 4-5 drivers to go a little slow and spend those 20 rupees rather than wasting 1000 rupees for all of the vehicles?

I don’t have enough connections and networking to take this up. I hope somebody reading this has. Even if they don’t, at least we can implement it for ourselves. One thing I do regularly is to give way to another person crossing my road before there is a line behind. This causes me 10 seconds may be but avoids a traffic jam or halt of 2 minutes later for at least 50 vehicles. There are many ways to improve speed of traffic on the road. Discipline can actually make traffic faster and still safer than today.

Fight for your own right

For past few days I am going to office by car rather than the company bus. More and more I travel by car, I have observed that the traffic jams in Pune are caused primarily by drivers driving on wrong side. On a 4 lane road, you are going at good pace as there are not many vehicles on your side and suddenly you find that one of the rash drivers from the oncoming side is driving on the wrong side without any provocation. I say "Hey! that’s my side you are driving on!" A typical Puneri answer you will get is "What’s the problem man? You have some much space further to your left! Why don’t you give us some space"

Am I responsible if there is so much traffic on your side, I say. I have every right to drive on my side of the road. I finally have started doing one thing. I just keep my side and stop in front of the errant driver’s vehicle. This causes lot of anger on their part but I keep my cool and do not abuse anyone or say anything. At least I am resisting and not letting these guys go. My wife says, why am I wasting my time on these people, but if no one resists, people will keep doing wrong things. Isn’t it?

This reminded me of something that we used to do when I was in school. Remember in our geometry box we have something called as divider? A small tool with two pointed needles? It was not just a tool for geography. We had wooden benches in those days. So this divider was used to divide our desktop in two halves and the bench partners would fight for their share of the desktop. I was not allowed to move my book on the other half of the desktop and I did not allow my partner to do that as well. You know… fighting for our own area was in our blood. I am sure this trend is still there in school children. Why not use that same spirit on the roads? Will this not better the situation? One of the foremost thing that needs to be implemented in Pune traffic is lane discipline. I am using my childhood learning to do my bit.

पहिली अमेरिका वारी

अखेर अमेरिकेला पोचलो. आकाशातून बघताना सगळी पृथ्वी सारखीच दिसते. पण जरा जवळ आल्यावर जे नियोजन पाहिले तेव्हाच कळले की हा देश का वेगळा आहे. (इतके मराठी टायपिंग बास झाले एका दिवशी)

San Francisco when seen from the top looks so well planned. The town planning is very well defined in blocks. Most of the blocks are pretty rectangular and the houses within the block are quite similar to each other and give a planned look to the city. Having ample land makes most of the houses about 2-3 storey tall. Even the office buildings are all spread across.

I have been in sub-urban and rural areas of South Africa and now I am seeing various suburbs in California. What struck me most was that most of these houses are just like our houses in rural India. Sloping roofs, garden in front or back, car parking etc. But what makes them far more attractive and high quality is the overall discipline, neatness, cleanliness and detailing in the finishing touches. All houses have a well maintained garden/ lawn around. Very well defined parking area, all compound walls are well constructed and complete. You will hardly find broken walls. Also the people here can easily manage with a nominal boundary. Go to the crowded areas, on the roads, between buildings you will find that just a nominal barrier is enough to maintain discipline. Rarely you will find people crossing roads at will and at any place. It is in nature to cross the road at junction or at zebra crossings. This is a diagonally opposite of Pune, where even a 4 feet road divider is not a guarantee that people will not cross the road over it.

I keep on wondering, why is it impossible for us in India to show this discipline? Why are not our rural houses so complete till final detail?

Updates

My website (http://hemantsathe.net) is currently offline as I am finding new hosting service provider. My earlier provider was too costly for the kind of traffic I had.

I have started another blog for the technology and management related posts. This blog I want to keep limited to Puneri stuff. Do visit http://techpm.blogspot.com.

I am missing comments on my posts. As much as I like to express my views, I need reader’s feedback to keep myself going. Please make it a point to comment if you liked or disliked the posts.

Hemant