Friday, November 1, 2019

What Happened Today


Uddhav firm on CM demand, says talking to Cong & NCP

  • Uddhav Thackeray told his party legislators that he would not settle for anything but the CM’s post and that the Congress and NCP were in touch with the party.

My Opinion: I guess this is one of the first times when the BJP is seeing such strong defence in the state. I am sure that is not going down well with them, and thus, now this seems more like an ego battle. Although I appreciate a strong opposition, it is time that we narrow down on the Cabinet and the CM.


Govt asks WhatsApp to explain breach amid phone snoop row

  • The government said it had asked WhatsApp to explain how Israeli spyware ‘Pegasus’ had been used to infect the phones of many Indian rights activists and journalists to spy on them, and how the company would protect the privacy of Indians.
  • The response, articulated by IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, followed WhatsApp’s revelation that 1,400 people had been targeted worldwide, including in India, by surveillance technology so invasive that it can read and transmit the entire content of a phone as well as operate its camera.
  • NSO, said it sells Pegasus only to vetted governments and their agencies.
  • Those targeted in India were mainly rights activists, lawyers and journalists fighting for or speaking out for tribals, Dalits and people fighting the government in court.

My Opinion: It is of core importance to understand that the NSO said that Pegasus is only sold to VETTED GOVERNMENTS AND THEIR AGENCIES. 


Unesco tags Mumbai, Hyd as creative cities
  • Mumbai entered the global network of creative cities under the film category and Hyderabad under gastronomy.
  • Till now, Varanasi (music), Chennai (music) and Jaipur (crafts & folk art) were in the network, which was on Thursday expanded to 246 members, with the inclusion of 66 cities, including Mumbai and Hyderabad.


Twitter’s ban on political ads gets guarded welcome
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced early on Thursday that the platform will no longer run political advertisements, saying that “political reach should be earned, not bought.”
  • Ads in support of voter registration will still be allowed, it added.


Passengers choosing BEST over taxis, autos
  • Slashed fares increase BEST’s passenger count by over 11 lakh
  • “In July 2019, the average number of daily passengers was around 19 lakh which has now risen to 30 lakh,” said Manoj Varade, deputy PRO of BEST.
  • According to AL Quadrose, leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union, after the revision of bus fares the taxi drivers have suffered a loss of 15 to 17 per cent passengers 



Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What happened Today


Fadnavis may take oath by Fri despite spat with Sena
BJP In No Mood To Part With Top 4 Portfolios 

This, in my opinion, would be a huge blow to Shiv Sena and the Marathi Manoos sentiment. Supporters of Shiv Sena like to believe that they have an upper hand in Maharashtra’s politics, watching their party bend down so easily won’t be an easy pill to swallow.

https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIM%2F2019%2F10%2F30&entity=Ar00103&sk=B6867074&mode=text


Youth dies in police custody, five Wadala cops suspended

Five cops, including two assistant inspectors and a sub-inspector, of Wadala Truck Terminal police station were suspended following the alleged custodial death of a 26-year-old youth on Sunday night.
The incident led to protests as a crowd from Antop Hill where the victim, Vijay Singh, lived gathered at the police station demanding that a case for murder be filed against the cops involved in his alleged torture.
Police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse protestors.

Let's also look at the fact that over 100 people have lost their lives in Maharashtra between 2013 and 2017, allegedly after being beaten up in police custody. No policemen were convicted in such cases during that period, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics. According to the report, in 47 of the 106 incidents, a magisterial or judicial inquiry had been initiated, while in 14, cases registered, and in 19 of them, chargesheets had been filed.

 Lawyer YP Singh said some custodial deaths take place due to torture but many also happen because of natural causes, including a precarious mental state and appalling detention conditions.

My Opinion: This is such a delicate situation, a person has died in police custody. That person was allegedly harassing a couple. Where does your sympathies lie in such a situation?

https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIM%2F2019%2F10%2F30&entity=Ar00202&sk=6B543F9D&mode=text


Good news, Achieving a five year best for environment, Mumbai has recorded the lowest maximum noise levels for Diwali day and the cleanest air quality the day after the festival

On Sunday, the maximum noise level—112.3dB—was recorded at Marine Drive
On Monday, the city recorded a ‘satisfactory’ air quality index (AQI) of 96

https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIM%2F2019%2F10%2F30&entity=Ar00126&sk=DE397E8B&mode=text

Around 65,000 students appeared for their Class X board examinations in Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday,

Braving an atmosphere of uncertainty that was accentuated by the absence of public transport and recurrence of clashes between stone-pelting protesters and security forces at several places.
After the paper got over at 3pm, terrorists in Pulwama fired six to seven rounds at Rashtriya Rifles personnel patrolling a road that leads to an examination centre at Drabgam village.
CRPF inspector general Ravideep Sahi was quick to scotch rumours about the school being the target of the attack. “The firing incident occurred half a kilometre away from the exam centre and terrorists fled the moment there was retaliatory fire from the patrol party,” Ravideep Sahi said.
In Srinagar, many parents sat on the footpaths outside exam centres waiting for their wards to step out after the three-hour paper. Since no public transport was available, most examinees either walked all the way to their examination centres or travelled by private cars.
My Opinion: Can you imagine going for your exams under such circumstances? Let’s just agree that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is not ask simple as we think.

https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIM%2F2019%2F10%2F30&entity=Ar01306&sk=961D9EAD&mode=text


Fat-cat politicians and businessmen apply for houses in a project in Wadala meant for mathadi workers

According to the Maharashtra Hamal, Mathadi and other unprotected workers (Regulation of Employment and Welfare) Act, a mathadi is a person who carries a load of material either on his head or on his back to earn a living.
A petition filed in the Bombay High Court by a social worker claims that Satara MLA Shashikant Shinde, former MLC Narendra Patil, chairman of Hindustan Co-operative Bank Ganpatrao Jagtap and some board members of Satara-based Vatsala Group have applied for flats in an upcoming residential project in Anik village, Wadala, which is meant for members of the Mathadi Workers Cooperative Housing Society.

https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/MumbaiMirror/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=MMIR%2F2019%2F10%2F30&entity=Ar00300&sk=684E5A26&mode=text


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Aarey re - #SaveAarey




If you live in Mumbai, I am sure you are well aware of the Aarey plight. A citizen-led protest that is taking over the state government for the benefit of the city’s ecology and people, is all over the news these days.

It is common knowledge that the easiest way to keep the pollution low is to plant more trees. Mumbai, along with several Indian cities, has been topping the charts of “Most polluted cities” across the globe. Mumbai is also one of the few cities which has a forest and wildlife living right in the heart of the city. In such a scenario, it should be obvious that protecting a forest that is providing us with fresh air should be our top priority – unfortunately, it isn’t.

So let me start with a few crucial reasons why it is important to save the Aarey Forest,
  • It is a part of the only surviving green lung of the city. So if you want purified air for yourself and your family, this issue should be important to you.
  • To save wildlife and protect the ecology at place there.
  • The car shed site is in the flood-plain area of the Mithi River. Building the car shed there means additional flooding in the city.

What the MMRC is saying is,

It is just a small part of the forest, that too in the peripheral region.
This can be true about the car shed, but this is just the first part. Several projects are coming up in the Aarey Forest, basically stripping us away from our green cover, one by one. A metro inside a forested area means the potential to extend it into a station and turn the area into a residential hotspot. While we are just focusing on the car shed, there are a few other projects also being planned in the area, like,
  • A Zoo (Yes, they are cutting a forest to build a zoo)
  • A Metro Bhavan (A 30 storey commercial space)
  • An SRA Project (slum dwellers from across the city would be moved here to open up prime property for builders)

It is also important to note that for the upkeep of the Car Shed, the groundwater would be utilised. Remember, this is the groundwater of a forest, which means it is pristine and potable. Let’s not forget that before monsoon this year, the groundwater across the country had dipped and we were nearing or were already at the emergence of a drought-like situation. In such a case, we would be using drinkable water to wash metros. According to an activist, the estimate is that close to 50,000 litres of water would be used daily.

Other options are not available
The Metro 6 car shed is being planned at Kanjurmarg, which was deemed unfit for Metro 3. It is unclear how an area which can was deemed unfit for one phase is fit for another phase of the same project.

Will help reduce pollution
Delhi and Kolkata have an amazing network of Metro connecting the entire city. The cities still top the list of most polluted cities in India. In fact, at times Delhi is even worse than Mumbai.

This is selective outrage, you did not protest when other development happened in the area
Umm, so, just because we did not protest earlier means we shouldn’t protest even now? So we shouldn’t correct our mistakes?


Picture: Amit Bar
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(Obviously, you must be wondering what qualifies me to write this blogpost. I would like to clarify that this is based on several interactions with the activists, government officials, Tribals who live in Aarey and after attending a couple of court proceedings and actually visiting the Aarey Colony.)


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

6. The Missing Call


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Tired, she went to sleep at 10pm.

Two hours later, her phone rang. Reluctant she answered, “Happy Birthday!!!!,” her friends screamed into the phone.

This was the second birthday she was not celebrating, she felt pathetic.

She never thought her breakup would cause her to be this depressed, anxious person.

Honestly, after all the efforts her friends put in last year without any reaction from her, she thought they would just give up on her this time.

They did not.

They were waiting outside her home with a cake.

The next day, her friend took her for a short trip out of the city.

Something that she had not done since the break up. Her life basically meant going to work and coming back home and repeat the same thing everyday.

The entire day, whenever her phone rang she looked at it hopefully -  Maybe, just maybe, he has  
decided to wish her.

The only thing she wanted was for him to just wish her a happy birthday.


She is waiting.






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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

3 easy ways to always stay positive

There's one thing that I have noticed, people are easily annoyed. They are easily annoyed by everything,
they are also annoyed because they find someone else annoying. 

Why so? 


Have you ever wondered?


It seems like these days we are constantly looking for ways to outrage about something.
The sad part is, we don't even outrage right. A facebook post or a tweet isn't going to change much,
but it sure will spoil your mood and make you grumpy for the rest of the day. 


Instead of being forever grumpy, why don't we decide to look at the bright side. 


For example, my boss today asked who all had reached office. Instead of pointing out the one person
who was late, I instead sent him a group picture of everyone who had reached on time. 


So, if you are looking for a quick fix for positivity? Here’s my small contribution,


Be Grateful
It feels like I am circling back on the same thing, but be grateful! We have a ton of things to thank the
universe/god/whatever you believe in for, let's concentrate on that. Once you start thanking for what
you have, you will naturally start looking at things in a positive way.


Workout
Yes, Endorphins are necessary for you to stay positive. You do not need to hit the gym and go through an
intense workout, a walk or a quick jog does the trick as well. Also, when you start noticing the magic that
working out does to your body, you will naturally start feeling more confident again making you feel
better. 


Look at the bright side
For every situation, you will have a choice. Yes, just like Shahrukh Khan said in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le
Jayenge. One will be a positive side while the other is negative. Try to look at the good in the situation
and your work is done. 




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Sunday, August 25, 2019

An opinion on an opinion piece

While flipping through the paper the other day, I happened to chance upon this on piece, and while I was reading it, several thoughts came to my mind. As I had nobody around to share those thoughts with, I just decided to write them down. Here is that humble opinion, written in red.




A Strong Willed PM
It’s the quality that separates Modi from other Indian prime ministers
Amit Shah

Since independence India has seen 17 Lok Sabha elections, 22 governments and 15 PMs.
No doubt, each of these regimes have contributed to nation building, but had a very limited
impact on long term destiny of our country. 
The author in the very first sentence has demeaned all of the previous governments, without
stating what makes them superior. This could be a way of ‘Magic Bulleting’ the idea that the
previous governments were not up-to-the-mark while this government is the best, into the
minds of the readers. 

Congress, which has ruled for 55 years in all, has had eight opportunities to serve India with
full majority governments, but not even ten measures stand out that would be remembered
for ushering in transformational change. The Vajpayee government took serious initiatives to
jolt the status quo only to see its policy interventions thwarted because of lack of numbers in
Parliament.

The previous government bashing continues.

In many ways, 2014 marks a point of inflection in India’s governance and policy paradigm. 

In a way, saying, We The Best!

For the first time a non-Congress government won a full majority in the Lok Sabha. The
Narendra Modi-led government has since rewritten the grammar of change. In the last
63 months, dozens of signature policy initiatives have not only brought about significant
qualitative improvement in people’s lives, but also pitchforked India as a global growth
engine, cementing its status of eminence among the world’s leading nations.

He is complimenting his own party and governance period. So, we go from ‘how bad
Congress is’ to ‘how amazing we are’, but without a single concrete mention of their policy
initiative.

The hallmark of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been his strong willed approach. The
nullification of Article 370 and abolition of Article 35A, despite the opposition’s inexplicable
resistance, as also the lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha, exemplify this determination. 

This was his address to the public/reader, and instead of explaining the nitty-gritties of the
situation and the party ideology. He is just basing it on the PM’s ‘strong will’. Because that's
the only thing required to take concrete history-making decisions - consulting experts,
speaking to people who would be affected or taking a well thought out decision is just passe. 

I am sure, after reading this, many would say that maybe they did take a well thought-out
decision. My only question is, why not talk about that then? Why only focus on the
strong-willed aspect. 

Article 370 in its original form and Article 35A were not compatible with India’s development
aspirations, as these severely restricted the state’s progress and, also, promoted separatism.
Terrorism has killed more than 41,000 people in the state, while a few families merrily
pocketed the bulk of central government aid, pushing an entire generation into poverty.

The peculiar brand of appeasement politics, coupled with lack of political will, ensured that no
leader dared to change the “special status” of J&K perpetuated through Articles 370
and 35A. The Modi government’s decision on Article 370 and Article 35A, and the passage
of the relevant Bills in both houses of Parliament illustrate Modi’s resolve and political
statesmanship to actualise the “one nation-one Constitution” principle, and lead
Jammu and Kashmir into a new era of development.

Likewise, moves such as demonetisation, GST, abolition of the evil practice of triple talaq,
air strike and surgical strike on terror launch pads across the border, one rank one pension,
direct benefit transfer (DBT), institutionalisation of chief of defence staff (CDS), UAPA
amendment bill and constitutional status to OBC Commission, which were hitherto seen as
difficult asks, were executed by the Modi government. These moves certainly make him the
most strong willed prime minister India has ever seen.

Demonetisation and Make in India was a fail, the surgical strike is questioned upon, there is
no update on the Smart Cities project (if I remember right, it was not even on their manifesto,
this time around, correct me if I am wrong please) - they are completely ignored here.

Successive governments since independence have implemented a policy matrix through a
binary prism: rich-poor, industry-agriculture, and cities-villages. This approach presented a
set of selfimposed contradictions. For instance, there evolved a perplexing strand of thought
that the poor can develop only if the interest of rich is compromised and vice versa. Modi has
demolished this baffling attitude by making a clarion call: “There are only two classes: the
poor and those who want to eradicate poverty.”

Which basically establishes the same thing as the binary prism he is talking about - creating
a divide between the two. Just naming it something cool and inspiring doesn't make it any
better, the essence of it is still the same. 

Ensuring ease of living has been the primary pillar of the Modi government’s governance
doctrine. Jan Dhan, Mudra, DBT, house for all, electricity for all, LPG for all, crop insurance
scheme, increased MSP for farmers, pension schemes for small entrepreneurs and working
class, and Kisan Samman Nidhi: all epitomise this approach. In addition specific policy
initiatives have been taken for the development of historically marginalised social segments
such as SC, ST, OBC and women.

Modi has always believed that a country cannot advance if the business community does not
lead this progress. His emphasis on the role of wealth creators in a nation’s growth underlines
the importance this government attaches to the business community. 

We, as a country, which is made up of at least 70 per cent rural population were of the belief
that the country will progress when the farmer progress. Now, that narrative has completely
changed and we are now believing that serving the business community is of utmost
importance. No wonder, we hear about farmer suicide every other day and protest marches
every few months.  

From overhauling a creaky banking system (which most of the well known economists as well
as RBI data has proven to be a major fail),  clamping down on corruption (only when it is
revolves around the opposition, because clearly the news website  which unearthed
Jay Shah’s questionable turnover got a 100 crore defamation case) , enhancing investments
in infrastructure (which still let to flooding almost across the country this monsoon), to GST
and procedural simplification – all have turned India into a much easier place to do business.
India remains the world’s fastest growing major economy and is cantering towards the
$5 trillion GDP mark (We are in an economic slowdown, ignoring this fact isn’t going to better
the situation).

Under Modi’s stewardship India’s status on the world stage has grown by leaps and bounds.
When India carried out surgical strikes and air strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan, the
world’s leading nations stood by us, while our neighbour was, and continues to remain,
isolated. 
You honestly could have stopped at, leading nations stood by us, there is absolutely no
need to stress that our neighbour stood alone.

Recognition of Yoga International Day, UN’s Champion of Earth Award to Modi, leading role
in International Solar Alliance initiative, successful launch of Chandrayaan and highest
number of simultaneous satellite launches from India are some examples of India’s growing
international stature.

National security remains nonnegotiable for this government. The decision to appoint a CDS,
modernisaton of the armed forces as well as successful launch of anti-satellite missile
demonstrates the government’s steadfast focus to protect India on all fronts: land, sky, sea
and space. The decision to implement the long-standing demand for OROP also mirrors the
government’s firmness to keep the morale of India’s soldiers high.

The contrast between previous administrations and the Modi government is clear. While
earlier governments’ decisions were primarily guided by the sole objective of retaining power,
the Modi government is focused on pushing changes of long-term significance, no matter if
they don’t seem popular in the near run. This has resulted in courageous policy and
legislative moves even in the face of widely perceived political risks. PM’s popularity shows
that when tough measures are taken with popular welfare as the sole consideration, people
reward you with wholesome support. The overwhelming mandate in 2019 that bettered even
the 2014 record is a testimony to this.

Why is it that, every time he needs to compliment their government or the PM, he has to put
someone else down?

Friday, May 17, 2019

5. Sex It Right


Photo by luizclas from Pexels



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“I know that if I just lose some weight, I will be one of the hottest girls,” her friend said.
“I am closing in on my mid-30s and I still haven’t done it,” said another one.

She wondered what is making these two strong, independent women who are close to a decade apart, deal with similar challenges.

Both are in two very different and yet similar life situations. While one is just looking for a boyfriend the other is looking to find a husband. The shots however, are still called by the male in the scenario.

Want a boyfriend? Lose some weight so that you are attractive enough for a man.
Want a husband? Don’t be fooled by the false illusion that your choices, wants and demands are of any importance. The man will lay down his rules and you will have to find ways to obey them.

Obviously, it is not so blunt in real life, but the gist of it is the same. Sugar coating won’t turn an arm-twist into a handshake.


****

Growing up, we have all watched movies like ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ and ‘Bridget Jones Diary’. Both the movies in a way shame or make fun of the protagonist who hasn’t had a sexual experience during the society stipulated “acceptable age”.

If you are an Indian or have a favourable knowledge about Indian parenting, you would know that this “acceptable age” is the day you get married. Of course, the times are changing and kids are discovering things on their own. So, even if one starts dating at the age of 16, they will still pretend to be na├»ve at 26 in front of their parents.

I wonder why we have such a stigma about sex in our society. To start off, due to the lack of proper sex education, teenagers are out to fetch for themselves. If in the process they explore their sexuality, it is a ‘hawww’ moment. If they don’t explore their sexuality in their teen years, then they may be ridiculed within their friend circle. So in either situation, one has to face wrath somewhere.



Monday, May 13, 2019

Fat shaming or not?




It is a long day at work today and I am really craving something sweet. I check all the three food delivery apps on my phone, looked at all the delicious items that were on offer and then closed the app.

Got back to work.

I once again started wondering about the food. I drank some water, I had read somewhere that at times when you feel hungry, you are actually just thirsty. The water felt good. But the craving didn’t go away.

I wasn’t hungry, I was just craving something sweet.

I took into account all the things that I have eaten that day, everything was healthy. Not salad healthy, but home cooked healthy.

I finally give in and order waffles.

When the waffles arrive, everyone in my office who see me eating say, “wow! How can you eat so much sweet? Haww! I am toh off sugar to lose some weight and get fit.”

Friday, May 10, 2019

Celebrity Style Decoded - 2

Dress like your favorite Celebrity, here's where you can buy outfits similar to what your favorite celebrity was wearing while sticking to your budget!






Deepika Padukone wore this amazing yellow fitted, mermaid hem vintage gown by designer Zac Posen, she layered it with a patterned coat. While we know it is too hot in India to wear that Coat, we did find you a similar looking yellow maxi dress, it is perfect for the summer!

In winter, however, you can dawn the entire look complete with the oversized coat.



Here are a few link where you can find something similar, 
Amazon: 
  1. https://amzn.to/2H5SvTK - Although this one isn't a perfect fit but it is deal in for the Indian Summer
  2. https://amzn.to/2DVGiAr - This is so close to the real one, you can pull this off just like this or with a jacket on top

SheIn: 
  1. https://www.shein.in/Double-V-neck-Maxi-Tank-Dress-p-645358-cat-1727.html - This one again is a close on to what Deepika is actually wearing
  2. https://www.shein.in/Lace-Up-Back-High-Low-Cami-Maxi-Dress-p-365458-cat-1727.html?_prot=1 - While this is a twist on Deepika's outfit, while we are sticking to the yellow maxi dress idea, we have jazzed it up and added an ooph factor

Myntra:
  1. https://www.myntra.com/dresses/label-ritu-kumar/label-ritu-kumar-women-yellow-colourblocked-maxi-dress/9002725/buy - a bit out there but this Ritu Kumar's Yellow Colourblocked Maxi Dress can be a statement dress that you can own




Ananya Pandey who is currently super busy with 'Student of the Year - 2' is giving us super causual and wearable outfits this summer

You can buy this outfit here, 
SheIn:
Tops:

Skirts:
  1. https://www.shein.in/Floral-Print-Tie-Waist-Wrap-Skirt-p-713141-cat-1732.html - This is the closest I could get
  2. https://www.shein.in/Satin-Floral-Wrap-Midi-Skirt-p-718389-cat-1732.html - This one is another option, I think this would look great if you wear it for a semi-professional look
  3. https://www.shein.in/Waist-Knot-Asymmetrical-Hem-Solid-Skirt-p-696522-cat-1732.html - This one is for those who don't link the floral print, you can still get the look with this skirt
Myntra:




Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Ananya Panday are all sporting the Denim Jumpsuit, why shouldn't you then?

Here's where you can buy it, 

Amazon:
  1. https://amzn.to/2Vp7PVo - This is close to what these ladies are wearing
  2. https://amzn.to/2J8gS6U
  3. https://amzn.to/2VnV1ib - If you want something shorter or smarter, this could be it

Myntra:
Jabong:




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