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Travel: Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary- Bird's Paradise

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Keoladeo Ghana National park or the better known Bharatpur Bird sanctuary is as good a heaven for birds as it is for birdwatchers.  Thanks to almost no rainfall this season both were missing from this spectacular natures abode as we planned an almost sudden trip to Bharatpur.
On Friday night we looked around for places in an around Aligarh for a much needed weekend break. Just before we fell for Delhi (yuk again!!) Google baba enlightened us with a 110km far sanctuary. It was non-other than  Bharatpur , the one  we all might have marked as red dot in school geography Atlas book. By 8 am next morning  me and my spouse hit the road and by 11 am we were in Bharatpur.  We checked in a government guest house and allowed our lethargic body to compensate for a lesser morning sleep.
Bharatpur is a small district in Rajasthan and shares border with Mathura and Agra in Uttar Pradesh. It is well connected by road and rail networks. Nearest airports  are in Delhi and Jaipur, both roughly  180 km a…

The Laal Batti Syndrome

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We Indians are not very specific in what we choose. In many ways our choices are not ‘our’ choices. Like Darwin’s Homo sapiens our choices alter shapes in conformity to the external factors. We seek the inner self only as a matter of spiritual theory but when it comes to choosing a career we look around for inspiration.
So on one day a child aspires to become an Army Jawan after watching the movie ‘Major Saab’. On the other day he finds in him a cricketer in making as he launches into the television for a mundane IPL match. The same child stuck in a traffic jam when sees a flashing red beacon make its way through, realises how he always yearned to serve the nation through bureaucracy.
The blitzkrieg surrounding the 3Bs-Bollywood,BCCI and Bureaucracy vie for a space in transitory young ambitions . Thanks to the Govt recent complete ban on the use of beacons, except emergency services, bureaucracy might further slide down the list of career choices.(pun intended).
During my growing up…

de-Merits of Drinking

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Drinking and socialising are synonymous. Socialising quotient in an individual is more when people are drunk  than when they are allegedly under complete control of mind. So much so that you can intentionally slap a drunk friend and still get a “tu mera bhai hai” in return. Or demand a 100 rupee note and be prepared to get heaven in return “tujhpe jannat qurbaan bhai”. It is a different matter that their socialisation (unlike M.N Srinivas’s sanskritisation) is limited to people who are equally drunk and so there is no class upliftment. To those who are not drunk it is still socialisation with an added ‘anti’ as prefix.

Had it not been the moral support of alcohol hundreds of young adults, ditched by girls who change their boyfriend as eagerly as their dress, would become the loitering Devdas like the pet dogs around NewDelhi’s Connaught Place  market. It is then the booze that uplifts the moral of depressed soul to escape the promise of love and die together to find new promise of hate…

It's a Bus, It's a Train, It's a Railway-Man

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“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.”- Thomas Mann
Time simply flies. Minutes to hours, hours to days, days to years. Years to 5 years. 5 years into the world of a legacy enriched for hundred of years diligently by people now no more, world of rolling wheels and cruising metals, world of rails, tracks and bridges, world of Indian Railways.  These 5 years also gave me an opportunity to visit several places across India. Opportunity to interact with several wonderful people and make long lasting relationships.  I learnt about a species of superhero called Railway-Man whose single pursuit is to keep the wheel rolling and the giant moving. Whose muscles are not of steel, like Super-Man, but his thoughts are. Who doesn’t weaves a web of silk, like Spider-Man, but brilliantly weaves a web of railway tracks. And unlike all superheroes he wears his underwear correctly.  He can battle it …

Curious Case of Salary Slips

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*Also on readxp.com*https://readxp.com/thoughts/curious-case-salary-slips/*
While other people receive salary statements, we as govt employees receive salary slips or pay slips in government parlance.
Any thing which is not tangible does not goes down our throat. The pay slip is not just a piece of accounting paper. It is everything what a slip is ordained to be. It is born as a slip and it dies like one. You can fold it over and over, roll it, crumble it, or laminate it 15"x5". The last being least recommended because of least profit and more effort.
The joy of a government employee at the sight of a neatly folded salary slip as the first thing on his office table is inexplicable. Sensing the worthiness of the immortal paper, the peon brings it like a pleated shawl, with full guard of honour. As though he is entrusted to deliver the Padma Shri to  his immediate officer. The officer also reciprocates with cheap love and a rare grin. In a spirit of celebration and generousness …

Coins and Notes Call a Nationwide Strike

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The auditorium was packed beyond its capacity. Notes and coins of all denomination were jostling for space. Sweat ensured that all notes new and old looked crumpled as if just rescued from drowning into a washing machine along with a lousy jeans trouser. Torn and worn out notes were pulled up by young brigades wearing silver lined suits. All had assembled to stage a protest. A protest to earn their self-respect back, a protest to mark their dissent, a protest to bring back the nawabs of Indian currency-500 and 1000 note. It was ironical that those who always comprised ‘change’ or ‘chuttein’ among Indian currency had assembled to resist a change initiated by Govt on 8thof November.
“Remember remember the 8thof November, the ban on 500 and 1000 note. I know of no reason why these currency denomination should ever be forgot”, roared a tattered 5 rupee note as its body trembled like a piece of paper. The improvised dialogue of Guy Fawkes met with thunderous applause from  crowd of 10 rupee…

A Wednesday!Re-Modified - Common Chaiwallah's Uncommon Story

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*Also on theunrealtimes.com*http://www.theunrealtimes.com/2016/11/13/neeraj-pandey-announces-film-on-5001000-ban-a-wednesday-re-modified/*
Neeraj Pandey is set to release the sequel to  his 2008 thriller  drama A Wedenesday. Set on the backdrop of PM's million dollar stroke that is set to change the face of Indian Rupee(Re). The movie is titled A Wednesday:Re-Modified.
The protagonist is an  old chai wallah who is frustrated after serving chais from morning to evening to affluent people.Poor chai wallah is highly irritated when people emerging from luxurious cars offer notes of 500 and 1000 to him and ask "Chacha Chuttey kar do". Feeling it as a mockery to his honest profession at the hands of people who have no worth of Gandhi's ideals or his currency notes.
Tired of such contempt of large currency notes he arrives on the roof top of an under construction building and calls the Governor of the Bank of Nation to share his 'Man ki Baat'. He asks the governor to b…