3 retarded idiots indeed!


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Few films have been as truthful in their choice of titles as the 3 idiots because in this article, I will prove to you what assholes the three protagonists in the movie really were. “Wait, what?” you say, “Three protagonists?” I say, “You heard me right.” The film was supposed to be about three of the most self-obsessed wayward idiotic samples of men you could ever find in this whole wide world and who lay siege to the entire society to serve their own interests without considering what harm they are bringing about in the process, all the while justifying their foolish and evil acts to be in the larger interest of the society. And you see this kind of generalization again & again in the movie, just because a stupid filmmaker tried to adapt a fun novel into a more dramatic crowd-pleasing movie meant for nitwits who know nothing about anything really, let alone engineering.  A movie, where Rancho is the beginning & Rancho is the end. I am tempted to replace “r” in Rancho with “b”. If you aren’t, you will feel the urge shortly after reading this article…

1. Farhan Qureshi aka Fucktard





Farhan is a dick. Let us call him Fucktard from now on & have a look at his fucktardness chronologically.


  • Farhan has no gratitude for his parents who sacrificed their own comfort and installed the one AC they could afford into Farhan’s room. Have you seen a bigger dick? See my point is if Fucktard didn’t want to be an engineer, he should have come clean off it in front of his parents. He owed them that. His parents’ nights might have been much more soothing and comfortable in the sweltering Delhi summers had he pointed out earlier that he didn’t have any interest in studying hard and hence had no need of an AC.
  • A case can be made that Fucktard’s Hitler father was kind of an asshole too since he thought his Fucktard deserved an AC only if he could study well to be an engineer (He doesn’t say this but he believes so, in all probability). But what about the seat Fucktard has so shamelessly wasted? There is no defense for that. Some other eager-to-be-engineer lost his seat because of Fucktard and his parents. Not cool!

  • Even after growing up & becoming a photographer, Fucktard displays anti-social tendencies. I am talking about the airplane emergency landing incident. That is the first scene of the movie. Seriously what kind of asshole does that and delays an entire flight solely for meeting a friend who has been out of touch for like, only some years? He wasted both time and money of his fellow passengers in doing this. This kind of non-concern for others by convincing oneself that one’s needs are foremost and to their end, all is fair; is exactly the adage gangsters, criminals and even terrorists live by. Not very good material for a movie protagonist.
  • What makes Fucktard even more dangerous is that he is a follower- someone who has to follow a particular individual to have some meaning to their lives without which they cannot remain sane. A leader provides them a purpose, a direction into which they can channel their energies but always play second fiddle to the leader. The leader himself or herself might be a do-gooder or a trouble-maker- we will get to that; but that doesn’t diminish the potential danger such followers might pose to the society. We see these kinds of followers everywhere- inside politics, mafia, religion, etc.;who need an idea to keep them going, however nonsensical the idea may be, as long as it keeps them involved it keeps them alive!




2. Raju Rastogi aka Raju


Raju seems a very benign and no-nonsense type of guy. He is poverty-stricken, honest & hard-working pyjama-kurta wearing person. You couldn’t possibly think that he is a jerk with no will power, that he easily bends opinion about a person on the basis of a personal favour & that he is not a good son at all. Well, I am here to change your thinking.
  • Raju commits an attempted suicide. Just because he was being rusticated from some Imperial College or something. Many would say that that is reality and yes, people do commit suicides because of the different pressures they encounter. But let us talk about Raju. He has grown in a poor house-hold, probably faced numerous hardships like lack of money, lack of proper food, his father’s illness & his mother’s constant nagging. That ought to have turned his nerves to nerves of steel. This weak-willed behavior by such students, even in reality, has to stop and has to stop soon. Seriously, how can things be so bad that they think up such a stupid way to get out of it all? Their selfish suicidal acts end up harming their parents, their college & serve as bad example for other weak-willed students too.
  • Raju easily bends his opinion of Rancho just because Rancho helped to bring his paralytic father to the hospital on time. I am not saying he should not be thankful. By all means, he is welcome to do so. But Raju had rightly spotted all evil things Rancho stood for, before Rancho did him a favour. Now suddenly Rancho is a good guy and all his acts have to be forgiven with this new insight that he helped a friend out. “Uske mujhpe bahut ehsaan hain. Main use daga nahi de sakta!” I am sorry but this is the basis of many criminals going scott-free because nobody dares speak against them because they had helped them out in some way or the other. This is also the foundation of the minister-gangster nexus. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Probably, but big things have small beginnings.
  • So we have Raju, who has to get a good job to marry off his sister, take care of his mother & pay the bills for his father’s treatment. You see it is family all the way for this guy. So after getting a good job, he will probably live together with his parents and his wife. No? Wrong! Raju lives in Delhi’s Vasant Vihar only with his wife. He has abandoned his parents because we do not see them anywhere during the brief scene we get to see him inside his new house. They must have been staying in some other room, you say? Probably, but shouldn’t we get to see how the job improved his situation? It was a major concern for him, wasn’t it during his engineering days. Shouldn’t viewers get to see how he reversed his misery? Or the filmmakers probably aren’t very intelligent & the thought didn’t strike them but Raju still lives with his parents. Either way, Raju is boring as hell. Fucktard was much more interesting.

3. Rancho aka Phunsukh

Rancho is the leader that Raju & Fucktard blindly follow. What he says is gospel, what he does are virtues and what he instructs are commandments; as per the other two idiots. One can only enumerate a few of Rancho’s esteemed accomplishments in such limited space.
  • First of all, Rancho…, ah well let us deny him such a cool name that rhymes with an Indian swear word; from now on he is Phunsukh for our purposes. Phunsukh doesn’t care a hoot about other people’s pain. Agreed it is wrong to rag juniors but what is the punishment for  little ragging? The correct answer is get the culprit’s dick electrocuted. Yeah, right! That is what Phunsukh does- on his first day of college. Is it just me who feels that this guy is going to be the most serious criminal later on?
  •  Phunsukh opens up anything mechanical he finds. Yes, he doesn’t care about things like property, ownership or rights. He is awesome, that is that. He also breaks in other people’s houses, steals question papers, & rides a scooter inside a friggin’ hospital. All is fair in a film hell bent on portraying him in a positive light.
  • Phunsukh is quick to fix blame- like a kangaroo court. When a student commits suicide(?) because his professor didn’t consider his impractical design (which was really impractical, because the student wasn’t able to make it fly), he blames the professor. It is Engineering, for Christ’s sake! If you cannot perform, should you commit suicide? The student has to take the blame, not the professor.
  • Phunsukh mocks others- be it Fucktard’s father (he laughs at his face when the father is damn serious), Raju’s mother (making fun of her constantly reminding Raju about the price of vegetables) & Silencer (Phunsukh teaches him a lesson in a way highly disproportionate to Silencer’s mistake, making him an object of ridicule in a huge gathering of people). Hey, but that was all comic relief. Let us forget all that, shall we?
  • Perhaps the most serious crime Phunsukh has committed is his taking the degree in the name of Ranchoddas Chanchad, who is another guy; and who is winning “highway tenders” on the basis of the engineering degree. But after all we have seen above, you would expect that from someone like Phunsukh. What does he care if a fraud builds highways seriously endangering life and property? It is not like Phunsukh himself hadn’t displayed I-don’t-care-a-a-damn attitude time and again!
  • Moreover, he abandons all his friends and the love of his life, to a life of ignorance and misery just because of a stupid promise he had made to the real Rancho’s father. Don’t you think he owed his friends the truth? Indeed, he did; after all they had been his partners in numerous crimes.
I seriously hate the movie and its’ characters and the fact that they ruined Five Point Someone, a much better story than 3 Idiots!!
Lastly, why the hell did I spend so much time and effort reviewing a, in my opinion, mediocre movie? Well, only a mediocre movie offers enough scope for a writer. I could have discussed Inception, instead, but my heart would not have been in it!
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What they should teach you at engineering school…

Admit it- you are mad at your engineering school for not giving you enough of information to face the big bad world. It has been a case of pushing a soldier into a battlefield full of vicious Mongols without, say, an armour; which is to say, you are done for in pretty much, any way you look at it. However excited you were to attend the school at the start, knowing you will learn a thing or two about the ins and outs of appliances and materials all around you, sadly most engineering schools have their focus on useless learning, without a thought given to develop actual engineering instinct. So you see, I understand the hapless situation of the engineering lot with all sincerity because of the above and also because the years you have spent may have been better utilized by intuitive and interactive learning; with an added bonus of a better female to male ratio, as an icing on the cake!
Engineering is the discipline, art and profession of acquiring and applying technical, scientific and mathematical knowledge to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and processes that safely realize a desired objective or inventions. Oh give me a break, Wikipedia, will you?!
1)           How to fix a bloody mobile phone
Mechanics, engineering drawing and systems are all well but which is the best engineering device that comes to mind that is useful to the point of us being called slaves to it? Undoubtedly, the mobile phone. How many of you electronics majors can claim to pinpoint the actual problem in the mobile circuit system when the touch screen is sloppy, when the phone won’t charge and the battery is alright and when the mobile phone keeps restarting even though everything else seems ok? Or can claim to fix broken things in general? For your information, not many. 
It is pretty sad, actually. Those who claim to milk the shit out of the working of diodes and semiconductors and capacitors shrug their shoulders in despair when faced with the daunting task of opening the phone and repairing it. For them, it is always ‘hey, take the phone to the phone repairer’ and that is that. Well, it is not surprising, at least. Engineering schools do not teach them that and their focus is on feedback loops, signals and their gazillion transformations, Kirchoff’s law and their application to pretty circuit loops and a dozen other things much better understood in an abstract manner and out-of the-box thinking approach than mathematics, impossible assignment deadlines and course cramming. To top it all, relatives of engineers are all like, ” Hey, didn’t you use to work at a top mobile company (equipment vendors, they mean, like Ericsson, etc.)? Well, my mobile is broken- it won’t charge!” Taking the mobile into your hands, engineers try to make it seem they are studying the problem. They quickly observe the usb pin is all loose and awry and suggest them to get that fixed. That is when disaster strikes and the relatives blurts out, “Well, can’t YOU fix it? I heard you went to a good engineering school!”
Attention all the non-engineers! What you are looking for is a repairer or technician- not us engineers! Understand this. The job of engineer is to design, mostly with a team, and overcome problems encountered over a period of time. They don’t just open a machine and repair the shit out of it. You have to give them credit for being the most misunderstood (as regards their responsibility) professionals! It is like asking a doctor to stitch each and everything inside a human body, if broken.
2)           How to start a broken car

If at all, engineers need more salt to their wounds, it is people around them asking to get down and dirty and pull screws on a broken car which by chance you also happen to be traveling in and their conviction that you being an engineer, can magically mend the sorry car or bike just by doing so. They do not understand that broken means broken and you need to have all equipments and quite a lot of experience in identifying the source of problem and attacking it, for a thing as complex as the car. It is a part of their dreamworld in which four years at engineering school equates to post-mortem of cars and bikes by the potential engineers. When you say sorry and excuse yourselves from the predicament and possibility of embarrassing yourselves in acting the mechanic, all you face are dirty smirks which seem to be saying, “I knew it. You know nothing of engineering!” For non-engineering folks, it is a favorite pastime to belittle engineers by putting them up against all kinds of insults because mainly, they were not smart enough to get through to a decent college. Still, one wishes, somewhere, the numerous labs which were housed in our schools and which we never visited even once during our course, housed an engine, spark plugs, batteries, and car parts and an experienced lab attendant taught us the nitty-gritty of car working, preferably, with a speech like,” This is all you are going to need to assert yourself as a proper engineer!” with lots of hoots, claps and whistles by the enchanted engineers-to-be!
3)           How to save money on TV repair by doing it yourself
For even engineers, the television with scores of tubes, valves and scopes is a scary proposition to attempt to repair. There are a thousand things that could go wrong and the engineers are as lost as a layman when the box is opened and they stare face to face at a mini-city like circuit housed in the casing looking at them with vindictive pleasure inviting them to fudge one more thing and face the wrath of the TV owners. All engineers would be familiar with is the basics of TV reception and how the Cathode ray tube works in projecting an image on the screen. Again TV repair is an art that people perfect over a course of time with experience gained by repairing a wide range of televisions and remembering how an earlier problem was solved with another set. Well, it is news for the non-engineers that there is not enough time to do so at the engineering school. Engineers are pretty much stumped already with understanding the functioning of diode-valves and semiconductors as it is than also to be able to repair such monsters at the call of the neighboring aunt whose naughty kid took revenge for refusal for a snack on the television!
4)           How to attract girls inspite of being intelligent
I am discussing this item only for the male engineers. Female engineers are pretty much set the way they are because face it, men are desperate. So when our poor intelligent male engineer is in need of some action, his experience falls woefully short because the girls he wants are stupid and cannot understand the deep introspective intelligent conversations our dude is accustomed to making and listening to. Also our dude is pretty reserved and easily annoyed when the bimbo talks of make-up and high heels and implants! In this fight of attractiveness and stupidity, it is the stupidity that tends to dominate and the engineer dude already faced with pretty steep options to go out is depleted of any chance he possibly might have.
The school did not help the engineers in this matter. Amongst all the talks of wisdom, intense research and grey cell improvement; what is lost is an equal attention to the basic instinct of a human which is linked to mental and physical well-being of the human apart from ensuring a progeny who would carry on the unfinished engineering tasks of the father engineer. As such, engineers are all on their own in gathering the knowledge not to seem awkward and nerdy when wooing a girl of their dreams. Hence they more than 9 times out of them tend to make a fool of themselves.
I am sure there are more things. One can go on and on. But you get the point!

Western Sh*t!

Whoever invented this western toilet system deserves to be hit with a brick. High-class people will call me backward and uncivilized at this statement but the fact is that the commode is the worst that has happened to humanity. It is a perfect example of aping the west along with our junk eating habits, our obsession with Hollywood movies and the mall culture that is engulfing hordes of Indians especially in metro cities and even spreading it’s tentacles to tier-II cities.
Coming back to the point, my target of insult is the potty. Can you ever imagine a more uncomfortable seat to rest your butt while trying to do the most important chore of the day- answering the nature’s call? And can you imagine a more disgusting way of letting the material travel from our butt to the sewage pipe- a loud splash, that is? Again and again I have given thought to this particular point- why is the potty the way it is? What possible reasons could the inventor have to make such an inefficient transport system for passing our waste matter? I really have no answers. All I have is a humorous pointed critique of the same.
First case in point can be made by noting the unhygienic way of sitting on the chamber pots- resting our derriere on it. Any method which involves contact with something which is holding our stools is bound to be severely unclean. Contrast this with the Indian way of doing it- squatting, where in no contact is required. Also western toilets have an intrinsic flaw- they are like normal seats and some trigger is required for the mind to let it know that you are actually sitting to pass some (serious) sh*t. Indian toilets overcome this problem with ease- squatting itself generates enough pressure on the intestines and what is required is only a newspaper, magazine or in these days- a smart phone to seal the deal. More over, flushing is a major problem for the pots as compared to the Indian style toilets. Lastly, what is with the fountain to clean our exit? With such a method, there is no way to be sure if your outlet is really clean or not. Although it does feel kind of nice for a steady stream of water striking your privates! Please don’t get me started on the tissue paper part. The less said about it, the better.
Yes we Indians have a different way of sh*tting. But we should be proud of it. It is technologically better and efficient. It keeps our butts clean and free of rashes. It keeps us less in the toilets and more outside them because it is a quicker way of discharging through squatting. Most of the discoveries, business ideas, major life-changing decisions in India probably happen in our conservative Eastern style toilets. Although we use water and the left hand (mostly) to clean our exit, we make sure to wash our hands after the deed and not to use the left hand (mostly, again) for touching anything that goes into our mouths. If someone feels this is disgusting, please let that someone tell us a better way of doing it and we will be indebted to him/her! And yes, when we step out of our bathrooms, it is with satisfaction and pride and not with a feeling of disgust and humiliation!

(I wrote this article way back but recently in 2013 found a supporting post on my views on the western style toilet. Check it out!!!…http://www.fastcocreate.com/3016425/have-you-ever-considered-that)

Anime’ated!

The Japanese industry seems to be churning out anime after anime like hot cakes! Yes I am talking about those animated series where in you can see protagonists with weird hairdos, girl characters with incredible bosoms and stories with outlandish plots. First impression of any anime in any person’s mind is definitely going to be a resolve- not to touch it with a barge pole. But appearances are deceptive. Some of the anime generated by the Japanese people have taken storytelling, direction and animation to an entirely different plane.
Death Note
It does take some time getting used to the language which is primarily Japanese. But the charm vanishes if you go for watching dubbed episodes in English. So it is always recommended to go for the subtitled episodes. They explore a myriad of areas like fantasy, thriller, suspense, mystery, drama etc. and they handle all pretty well. A case in point is Desu Noto or Death Note, an anime which I consider the best out there. It is not your typical Duck tales cartoon sort of thing. It is dark and gloomy and is likely to give chills even to the adults, let alone the small ones. An intelligent cunning high school boy comes across a supernatural notebook. The one whose name is written inside the notebook will die. There are rules to use the book. But such an absurd storyline is taken to such elevated dimensions of superiority with incredible characterization, soulful direction and brain-racking situations created that are likely to considerably improve your gray cells. A simple act of writing things in a notebook assumes marvelous stylized proportions as the protagonist sets out to rid the world of all the sinners and pen their names in the infamous Death Note. A battle of wits ensues when he locks horns with another teenager who possesses remarkably similar intelligence skills. Each episode is a gem in itself and I highly recommend the stuff to the uninitiated.
Detective Conan
There are also a lot of themes inside anime which are related to the detective stories genre. Meitantei Conan or Detective Conan is an outlandish story of a teenager whose body has shrunk to that of a kid. He retains his deductive powers though and starts solving crimes in increasingly unbelievable situations and getting out through tight corners, by knocking out his girlfriend’s detective father with a dart and impersonating his voice through his very own gadget. But the cases depicted are so intriguing and multifaceted it takes several viewings to understand the tricks the criminal employs to clear the blame off himself/herself. The clues revealed appear too random and irrelevant until Conan arranges all of them step by step and spells out a brilliant deduction spellbinding everyone present. Almost all amongst nearly 600 episodes are of a very high quality and that is indeed a startling accomplishment. As the show is aimed for young audiences, you may find yourself losing patience in some parts but trust me once you move to the actual suspense, it will all be more than compensated for! Another cousin of this genre from Japan is the Detective School Q. Although all the cases here also are pretty tough, a couple of episodes are just too good. Especially the séance murder case has a truly disturbing and unexpected revelation at the end which helps catapult Detective School Q into one of the better animes out there. Some childishness and tom-foolery is present here too though.
I have watched limited anime series so my article might seem misleading. But I have got inputs from so many friends that confirms the fact that indeed, most of the Japanese anime out there are pretty good. For some one who doesn’t want to take the leap and start watching these intelligent works of art from Japan impeded by the garish nature and the language barrier present, I will say you are missing out on something on the good things to watch part! Do it, take a leap of faith and you won’t regret it!
Recommended anime: Death Note, Detective Conan, Detective School Q, Berserk, Avatar:The Last Airbender (non-Japanese but anime-style), Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach.

A list by genre and with short synopses: Anime for Newcomers

Airbending Slice! (Avatar, the Last Airbender)

ATLA
I was hesitant to begin watching TLA, as I had thought it was just another one of those animated series in which improbable and impossible fantasy lands are created to fool the viewers and help them escape to a land of their dreams. I was skeptical because Bleach had made me! I was wary of touching TLA as they say- A burnt child dreads fire…
But how wrong I was! Even with all the prejudices and notions, one wintery night, with nothing better to do, I began watching the series starting from the first episode. And right after I was finished with the first one, I knew that TLA was a masterpiece of an effort. In most fantasy oriented material, you are not that ready to accept certain themes which go against the normal physics we are used to. So it is essential for me that a fantasy cartoon justify its plot using analogies to make it more convincing. Avatar did just that. All the episodes begin with a montage and a narration by Katara, the heroine of the series, explaining the entire theme of the series so crisply you can crunch on it! In the Avatar world, there are martial experts, having varying degrees of skills, called benders who can manipulate certain elements at their will. Each Earth, Air , Fire, Water bending is linked to an actual martial arts style. The nature of the elements reflects in the bender’s qualities as well. Earth -unmovable, firm, determined; Air- free-spirited, without vices; Fire- strong, aggressive; Water- caring and generative. Laying down an intelligent plot, Avatar certainly breaks some grounds in storytelling.
But what follows is an even better chain of events. The all-powerful Avatar- who can master all the four elements is the strongest of all the benders of his time. He is Aang, a twelve year old airbender, for the period on which the show is based. He is pitted against Firelord Ozai, the baddest man on the planet! How a kid takes control of his destiny and proceeds to do a difficult task forms the rest of the series.
The most awesome part comes when Aang goes into a state called the Avatar state. Aang by nature is very mild mannered and kind. But in bouts of Avatar state, we see him in an entirely different persona. He is menacing and destructive when the fit is upon him. And yes, he is out of control when seized by the frenzy and only at the climax does he learn to control his capabilities. In his quest for saving the world, he is supported by a group of excellent friends, each having unique qualities. And yes they have a flying bison and a flying lemur too!
Even though the tone of the series is quite dark, the show does mix darkness with copious fun. Sokka, Katara’s brother is the major comic relief. The humour quotient of Sokka is indeed exceptional. Sokka, as he describes himself, is meat-loving and sarcastic. Probably he is the most loved character after Aang. But let not all this fool you! Sokka is a master strategist and expert in machines.
Character development is top notch. The characters created are very complex and it is very difficult to predict what each one will do given a situation. The most complex one is Zuko, the Firelord’s son. Most viewers will identify with Zuko’s predicament. With a horrific burn mark on the left eye (given to him by his father), he is desperate to seek his approval. So he hunts down the Avatar, seemingly aided by his fat lazy uncle Iroh, another capable but a good firebender. With no concern of what he himself wants from his life, Zuko is on a mad chase. Iroh at all the appropriate times tries to dampen his misplaced intentions to hunt Aang, and keeps a firm watch on him, indulging in some quality humour from time to time. Katara , a water-bender, although very caring is most annoying. Toph is of Aang’s age and she is an earth-bender. Zuko’s sister Azula is the embodiment of evil. Since Ozai is kept reserved for Aang’s final showdown with him, we don’t see much of him. So the writers brilliantly incorporated Ozai’s splitting image into Azula and she has plenty of show-time.
The climax episode is one of the best ones I have seen ever. Two fights all brimming with power and mystique form the core of the final episode. Zuko finds where his true allegiance lies and sides with the Avatar. He duels Azula with an Agni Kai. Throughout the series, Zuko is unsure of his abilities and Azula is shown to be more capable firebender as she trumps him time to time. But here at last Zuko finds his bearings and displays an expertise with firebending that stumps even Azula. Zuko is the clear winner here, having learnt true fire-bending (alongwith Aang) from the Dragon masters themselves. The other fight is between Aang and Ozai. It is also not less magnificent than the first one. Aang’s nature doesnt allow him to be aggressive and decisive when he is confronted with taking Ozai’s life. So as long as Aang’s Avatar state doesn’t step in, Ozai has the upper hand. Ozai gives some scare as he skyrockets in the air with ease and shoots lava lumps and fire chunks at Aang who can only duck and evade inspite of mastering all the elements. But then Aang’s chakra is unblocked through an improbable accident and now he is in control of his Avatar state. He promptly moves to that state and again appears menacing and ready to kill. Catching hold of Ozai’s beard and stepping out from the heap of rocks is the best directed scene and I will keep watching it again and again for a long time, now. Summoning all the elements into a cocoon around him, Ozai tastes some of his own medicine but bitter, at the hands of Aang, the Avatar! But that is not the point. Aang is now in total control and he still refuses to take life. So he takes Ozai’s bending powers away. Inspired and taught by what many consider as dues-ex-machina to the plot- the Lion turtle, Aang performs energy bending on Ozai. This puts Aang into the league of the greater Avatars since all the earlier ones had taken one life or the other. The score that accompanies the fights is nothing short of chilling and apt.
All in all, Avatar is not just a children’s cartoon. It is much more than that-it has the quality to gravitate even adults towards its remarkable storyline and brilliant animation!

The Delhi Metro- A Class apart!

Apple of Delhi’s eye!
Did you wake up late in the morning somewhere in the NCR region and have to be somewhere else in NCR in like an hour? No worries mate! Your friendly neighborhood transport system Delhi Metro is here to your rescue!
Gurgaon which is a satellite city of NCR region is being hailed as the Millennium city. Let us not talk about the deplorable transport facilities in Gurgaon because this topic has been discussed by so many other able writers and bloggers. Also an entire thesis can be attempted on the same, simply because there is so much material and data to back up the argument. Here I want to talk about why New Delhi is the best and top class city in India as of now, one of the reasons of which is the Metro. Set out on foot anywhere in New Delhi and you can be sure to get to the nearest metro station, study the map of junctions and decide which metro station to get down on, to reach your destination. A perennial flow of auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws in New Delhi is echoing with shouts of “To the Metro?” and it is a re-assuring thing especially when you are lost and want to get to familiar territory. At the Metro everything is so simple! Every place in New Delhi can be reached through the web of nearly 150 stations of the Metro. There are no polluting buses, no overcrowding, no waiting in the sun for long hours for Delhiites. The Delhi Metro has de-congested a large portion of the routine travelers and taken upon itself the task of plying them in a clean, well-maintained, affordable and efficient way. So much so, the Delhi Metro has earned the UN distinction of being the world’s first rail-based system (and Metro) to earn carbon credits because of its clean, environment friendly operation procedures.
When I was pursuing my first year of engineering nearly seven years back, the Metro trains used to remain almost empty because the phenomenon had not picked up then. For the masses, it was a new and strange process to purchase the ticket tokens, study the map to decide where to go, pass through security and use the tokens to enter and exit at the appropriate points. So they were hesitant leading to fewer passengers. But now, all of the above are old hat for our Delhi people! The result is a bustling train reminding you of the Mumbai local. The only differences being people are not hanging outside the train and the automated announcement is requesting the passengers not to sit on the floor! Recently I read an article on the web about how the Metro is expressing itself as an integral part of the lives of Delhiites. It talked about how boys and girls are now developing relationships after first meeting on the Metro! It even gave them tips on how to approach a particular girl or boy they liked. I admit it was a very interesting and unusual read. The point the writer drove across is that now you cannot separate the Metro from the Delhiite and so many people use the same train lines everyday to commute, that the probability of them meeting the same person again on the train is considerably high.
New Delhi is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and is home to numerous national institutions, museums and landmarks. Now it has added one more asset to its kitty- the Metro. And I am sure the other cities will have a hard time catching up to this particular facility available in New Delhi. It is a source of pride, indeed for the city to have come up with a project planned and executed so successfully. This is also notably one of the best Government project in terms of accomplishment of the originally planned goals. After taking lessons from Kolkata Metro which was delayed because of technical problems and political interference, the Government of India and the Government of Delhi established the DMRC, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Modeling the system after the Hong Kong MTR, which has stations at all major entertainment, shopping, eating, commercial and residential areas of Hong Kong; the DMRC got rid of technical snags. The DMRC was in full control of all decisions pertaining to the Delhi Metro and hence political interference was a non-issue. Phased construction ensured that complete focus was given to the construction at hand. Although it was an expensive project, the Delhi Metro is now operating profitably because of the revenues generated through ticket sales, advertising and consultancy for similar projects in other parts of the country. It is a shining symbol of what can be achieved if one is bent upon doing it and how the Government can similarly increase profitability in other ventures, too, through targeted planning and adoption of correct procedures.
This is not to say that the Delhi Metro is without its fair share of problems and difficulties. The prime problem, in my opinion, is the inequitable traffic distribution at stations. Since I mostly take the Yellow Line, I will talk about it. Rajiv Chowk Station, notably, on this line is so immensely crowded at nearly all times that it is very difficult to get down or board the train at this station. Still it is not much problem for young people to do this feat. But the old and senior citizens face a very hard time in such a situation. De-congesting stations like Rajiv Chowk is the primary concern that the DMRC should address. Constructing some satellite stations at this junction for each of the lines and running new trains more frequently on this station can probably alleviate the rush this station faces at peak times. But India is a populous country. No matter how many trains you increase, there are still people left to ply. So I guess the DMRC has quite a challenging job ahead to address this issue. Feeder bus service is also one thing which needs to be worked upon. Currently these are operating on select routes and stations and expanding them will increase the value of the Metro system to passengers. Finally, making the Metro more handicapped-friendly will truly seal the deal and make the Metro go into the history books as one of the best man-made marvels- alongside the Taj Mahal and maybe, the Pyramids, too…you never know!

My review- Deathly Hallows book (contd.)

The defining moment
It is very important to understand that Voldemort was an outstanding wizard. Sample these particularly exceptional bits of magic performed by Voldemort- the Diary, the Resurrection Potion, Legilimency skills, the curse on the Ring Horcrux, his ability to fly without means, his resistance to Dumbledore’s exceptionally powerful Elder Wand & his ability to perform Avada Kedavra. You will say, what’s with the last point? What am I playing at? But as Dumbledore put it, isn’t killing not nearly as simple as the innocent believe? The killing curse works only if you mean it. Very difficult to do! Remember the look of revulsion Snape artificially generated on his face before his curse could work. Well Voldemort’s works every time because he pretty much hates everything, except Nagini, of course. Magical skill was one thing Dumbledore & Voldemort had in equal measure. For example, had I given both ordinary wands and asked them to do something with them, both would have impressed me in equal measure. Some will disagree. They will say Dumbledore was more skillful. Not quite. Remember the Ministry of Magic duel between these two greats? Dumbledore seems pretty awesome- transfiguring statues, conjuring the mass of water and wrapping it around Voldemort, generating the powerful spell that gave Harry goosebumps. Agreed, but all this was because leaving the Unforgivable curses, Dumbledore’s options to hurt Voldemort were very limited. Voldemort also could have done all those things. But he didn’t bother. He had the most effective weapon with him- the Killing curse. I think even Dumbledore would have been hard put to generate a Killing Curse as powerful as Voldemort’s.
So you see, with such immense aptitude, Voldemort had few roadblocks. Everything had worked like clockwork for him till Harry survived. So Voldemort had few reasons to look beyond his Horcruxes. To look at and study the functioning of wands & their relationship with their masters, to look for the Hallows, to study other forms of magic more powerful than the Killing curse- love! At once, if you consider all these things, Voldemort does not look stupid having died as the book depicts. Voldemort is still menacing, mind you! To study wands and to look for Hallows were two things he seriously didn’t need to do. At the height of his powers, why would he have bothered? This makes a lot of sense. And love, the terribly powerful brand of magic (according to Dumbledore) was a subject of study at the Ministry. This was the among the most obscure magical disciplines. Probably nobody understood it or knew about it. But this was before that fateful night. Dumbledore knew the sequence of events that had transpired that night- when the curse refused to work on Harry. Harry’s mother had shown proof of love for his son. Immediately the automatic magic had shielded little Harry. And how true the prophecy was! You see as Dumbledore got to know Harry better, he understood that Harry was somehow left marked with Lily’s love. Harry loved nearly everyone. And he was exceptionally selfless. He will give his life for his loved ones. Dumbledore who was scarred with the losses of his family members because of his neglect toward them, understood. Harry had the one power that will work against even the Killing Curse- the power that the Dark Lord knows not! And the power now Dumbledore knows exists!
Now let us see how Dumbledore knew and understood the above things (wand, hallows). Dumbledore had a fiery relationship with Grindelwald. He inflamed Dumbledore, led him astray. This was the moment Dumbledore was almost as bad as Voldemort. I say almost because in his letter, he expressed his approval for responsible use of power. Plus one to Dumbledore over Voldemort! Dumbledore had learnt about the hallows, had got infatuated with them. He thought merely laying hands on them will make them his. But as expected it was never that simple with those powerful magical objects. The
hallows themselves would find their worthy possessor. In other words, the ones who hanker after them are unfit to possess them. They will not remain long with such people. Alas, Dumbledore realized this later. Beetle the Bard was true. The owner of the hallows had to be like the third brother. Dumbledore now knew how the hallows actually worked. They yearned to be owned by someone with selfless intentions, the one who will embrace even death when required of him. So Dumbledore dueled Grindelwald, knowing fully well both were evenly matched. But the Elder Wand favoured Dumbledore, because he had waited till a point when the Wand knew Dumbledore didn’t want it for himself. Hence Dumbledore won the duel. This is a standard question among fans. How can Dumbledore defeat evenly skilled Grindelwald with the Elder Wand? The answer is above- selflessness. And Harry had loads of it. Dumbledore had noted this and internally smiled, knowing Harry will be the end of Voldemort. But all these highly advanced and obscure magical nuggets Voldemort had no way of knowing. One, he had never wanted the Hallows. Two, his wand worked so well he didn’t need to understand the it’s working. Three, he knew no love so studying it was a bizarre option. And Voldemort’s fallacies only Dumbledore had known. He was the chief instrument in Voldemort’s removal. Frankly, had Dumbledore not been there with his supreme intelligence and experiences, Harry Potter was a piece of meat for Voldemort, with love or without it. Why? Without Dumbledore Harry wouldn’t know about the Horcruxes. Dumbledore even had correct ideas on what they were, too. To top these, Dumbledore had supplied the memories related to Voldemort. Could anything else have been more useful to Harry to finish Voldemort? I think not. Because of Dumbledore, at a certain point close to the end, Harry knew Voldemort inside out. Because of Dumbledore, Harry understood the complex working of wands, power of sacrifice and futility of Horcruxes. Salute to Albus Dumbledore!
Now it becomes so clear why JKR chose this ending. Voldemort didn’t understand love, so was taken in by Snape’s lies. Because he believed Snape could not have loved Lily so much. Even Dumbledore didn’t do so, I believe, till Snape conjured the doe Patronus in front of him. Ok, acceptable. Vodemort neither knew the wands’ complexities nor understood the Elder Wand’s ownership. But Harry understood all these after so many months of deliberations and with so much help from Dumbledore. You see, Dumbledore had tried to keep the Hallows from Harry. Instead he prepared Harry to sacrifice himself like a hero. Knowing Harry’s character, he was sure Harry won’t falter. And the Hallows were thus impatient to be owned by this brave selfless boy, not the barbaric maniac bent to kill everyone in his path! Thus the ending is justified and Voldemort seeming so vulnerable is acceptable. After all, in an act of war, it is not always how strong your opponent is that makes the difference; it is whether you attack the enemy’s Achilles’ heel, too!
There! JKR’s stroke of brilliance never ceases to amaze me. There are ever-emerging vistas, unexplored possibilities, uncharted territories in her writings.

The Hallows, the Dark Lord and the double agent

The beginning

Much has been said & written on the finale of the Harry Potter Books Saga, expressing discontent as well as satisfaction in equal measure. The Harry Potter world has been so minutely studied by the fans that they had already come up with lots of revelations supposed to be known not before the last book. But probably half of them were completely turned off by the dry ending. Did such a brilliant series deserve so lackluster an ending? Well, let us see.

First point we must discuss is the title. JK Rowling has a penchant for strange but apt names and once again she does not disappoint with “The Deathly Hallows”. This title created enough eagerness & suspense amongst the legion of HP admirers making them go berserk with speculations & theories. But nobody, I am sure, even came close to the actual Hallows of JKR.
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows starts well. Amazingly well. Yaxley & Snape meet outside the Malfoy Manor, being used as a Death Eater base & deliver separate useful information to Voldemort. Here JKR expects us to understand scores of things. That is partly why she is such a terrific writer- implications galore in her penmanship! What she expects to drive home is Voldemort’s menace! Throughout the series we see people peeing in their pants at the mention of Voldemort. Here we see why. Voldemort is ruthless, as he mercilessly kills a Hogwarts professor and then & there feeds her to his giant snake. Which Death Eater won’t fear such a monster? Then again, no Death Eater know about Voldemort’s Horcruxes. But they know that he has taken precautions against mortality. Horcruxes are a very obscure branch of magic even for Dark Arts. That is why the Death Eater’s ignorances are believable. An unkillable man is frightening when he is ruthless. Don’t you agree?
Secondly, concentrate on the Snape- Voldemort relationship. Bellatrix is very close to Voldemort but unfortunately she is very impulsive, though brilliant. So she looses herself scores of times. In short she is not fit to lead the Death Eaters. Enter Snape, who has just killed Albus Dumbledore, the one person Voldemort is scared of. Now Voldemort is not foolish. He should have considered the possibility that Dumbledore may have died voluntarily. He considered it but he did not understand how that was possible. You see, Voldemort had right from his very first stint at magic considered death a mark of a Muggle. Surely Dumbledore, the great old wise crooked master would not have laid down his life so cheaply! Here was the biggest handicap in Voldemort’s absoluteness- fear of death. Whatever Dumbledore might have said about death being not so terrible and all, surely actually dying prepared for it is an inconceivable task, thinks Voldemort. And it is, actually. Snape is thus loyal to Voldemort, or so he thinks. He now trusts Snape with important tasks and information. He asks Snape to procure information on when Potter will be moved. Snape is an excellent Occlumens, well, not just excellent but the best. How? He has learned to shut himself from the world. The only person with whom he was actually himself was Lilly. Rest of all of the world had rejected him as hopeless. It is a curious thing. Don’t we see people like these all around us? Snape pretty much had mastered this ability, being continuously tortured & poked throughout his life. So when Voldemort looks for traces of lies in Snape’s information, he detects nothing. He is satisfied. Snape is also more intelligent than others say Yaxley. Snape is given the task of being Hogwarts Headmaster, a very important position and I must admit, a very brave one too. As the Hogwartians think Snape had actually murdered Dumbledore, you can imagine how difficult it
was for Snape to be roaming around them within the same castle, bear their hatred, tolerate their mean looks and all. More so, because he was still on their side.
That is it…the awesome start to the mysterious last book, the Deathly Hallows.

Hilarious take on Harry Potter (Only for fans)

Check this funny spoof on the incident with Voldemort, Malfoy & Snape at Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows! I picked this up from a community post on Orkut:


Special recording taken from Malfoy Manor!
dated: before Voldy died, before he had invaded Hogwarts.

Snape shuddered as Lord Voldemort walked towards him. His browless eyes narrowed as he faced the few who stood before him. he smirked “Diagon alley… source of all information, thanks to the Daily Prophet! Baah! Go burn that place down! And as for Gringotts, they will surely bring out their dragons.. so remember their greatest weakness…”

“I know!” interrupted Lucius Malfoy with enthusiasm. “A dragon’s weakness is his nose! I think a nose-bleeding prank from the Weasley’s wizard wheezies ought to do the trick!”

The others in the room slapped their forehead in unison as Lord Voldemort exploded on him “NOSE?! You imbecile, you better not take the lead when the others hit Gringotts… the goblins will personally have u barbecued! Severus…”

“Yes my lord” spoke Snape with absolute humility.

“Let this fool deal with Madam Malkins and Flourish n Blotts… his level has fallen considerably… meanwhile u take the rest to take the alley down…”

“As u wish my lord” said Snape as he bowed low.

“and Lucius, my slippery friend.. for your kind information, its their butt!”

“M…my apologies master..” mumbled Lucius.

Voldemort took his cloak off and began to admire his six-pack abs as he turned around to face Wormtail. “Wormtail, its time for my body massage… please conjure that lovely babyoil that u tried last night, I loved it!”

Lucius trembled as Voldemort faced him. “And u Lucius, use the perpetual allergy curse on the dragon’s bottom beneath its tail joint if u want to survive… and if u manage to return alive, do not come back without a few packets of those edible darkmarks… I have kinda fancied those for a while now!”

“Yes my lord” muttered Lucius as everyone disapparated to their next target-Diagon Alley. Suddenly Wormtail called out from nowhere “Master, your bath is ready.” “Aaah~” smiled Voldemort “just gimme a minute, I’m on my way~ now where is my rubber-duckie-eating-rubber-snakey?” 😛

To be or not to be…

Are we actually there or are we not?? Is the universe governed by materialism? Materialists say we are actually there i.e matter rules. According to them matter is eternal: it has been forever & will stay forever. But let us look into some very befuddling mysteries first.
First of all let go of all bias & emotion. The computer before which u are sitting is the computer u r seeing inside a dark place in ur head called the brain. Although no light ever reaches the brain, we are still able to see a brightly lit world. Consider a hypothetical situation…If the nerves which carry the vision impulses from ur eyes to the brain are suddenly severed, would u be able to see the computer??? I think not. Not just vision, all the senses are formed & processed in ur brain. The table u touch is a “table” as told to u by the brain. If the brain is somehow manipulated to process the table u are touching as say, a chair, u would say the table is a chair.
Consider another situation. This one is good material for science fiction movies. If the sensory nerves to ur brain are severed & replaced with (by exchanging) those of ur friend sitting home enjoying a movie, u wud be the one now watching the movie while ur friend stares at the boring computer screen. All ur thoughts & feelings will be correspondingly interchanged. U wud no longer be you, u wud be ur friend….
Take a long breath, I know this is not easy to digest but it is a fact nevertheless. You & ur surroundings are what ur brain tells u they are. Nothing less, nothing more. The consciousness of the brain surpasses the material aspect of things. I do not claim to understand every bit of the mysterious thing called the brain but I want to make people think & decide for themselves…