Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blind with eyes open

You tune out when they need you the most
Can't you see the fragile hands?
Can't you see the pain behind the frame?

Too busy to underpin, you let them take support of peglegs
Have you forgotten the time when he gushed you on your first step?
Have you forgotten the days when he was the gladdest dad watching you crawl and run?

Keeping them happy in a swish house full of likewise geezerhoods,
Is similar to providing freedom to a bird in cage.
All they ask for is some time worthwhile, not seeing you turn guile
So open those eyes, wake up and foster those dry leaves. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's with the staring?

Have you ever tried to dress differently in a crowd? Be it going in shorts for a movie in chinchwad, wearing a singlet top at laxmi road or even a summer dress at MG road? I bet you'll get more stares than Rajni and Shahrukh together! Esp from the fairer sex. And I am not talking about revealing clothes or way out of the ordinary - just simple attires but a little non-desi. I sometimes avoid them but nowadays can't help but stare back at them and sometimes even ask "Is something wrong?"

It's one thing to check-out what's in and who's wearing what but these arn't those. These are more like "How can you wear this?" or "which country did you buy THAT from?" It really bugs me and I even tried to ask my friends if they get the same kinda gaze and yes, they do too! It's disappointing that this happens more often in India than any other country. Have we not heard the term 'Minding your business'?

So if any one of you fall under the lot of 'gazers' please enlighten me on why do you stare so much or you truly not aware that you are gapping at a girl awkwardly? Wonder what Lady Gaga thinks about this!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Paranoid about Android?

We all keep hearing about Android and Android phones, but what exactly are they? Well, quite simply, Android is a mobile operating system, based on Linux kernel and developed by Android Inc., in 2005 that was purchased by Google. They all have a nice touch screen interface like the iPhone. But there are other features that distinguish it from the rest of the lot. One is that Google built Android as an open architecture – that means anybody can develop applications (“apps”) and enhancements for your phone – making it infinitely customizable. Other touch screen phones may allow you to add apps but might not give you the flexibility to change the core interface; don’t like the way your phone handles text messages? You can download a different text messaging application. While the most phones can only run one app at a time, the Android is a proper multi-tasking mobile OS that can run multiple apps like the Google Maps, media player and browser at the same time without any hiccups. Android Market is the online app store run by Google, though apps can also be downloaded from third-party sites. Developers write primarily in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries. No wonder Android is world’s best-selling Smartphone platform. The operating system (OS) is also used on net books, tablets, Google TV, and other devices.
The release of version 1.0 was in September 2008 and there have been a number of updates since its original release. These updates to the base operating system typically fix bugs and add new features. Generally, each version is developed under a code name based on a dessert item. The code names are in alphabetical order (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and the future version, Ice Cream Sandwich).

Facts about Android:
1. Android was devised way back in 2003 by Andy Rubin and Rich Miner only to sell it to Google for $50 million. Google put the concept in cold storage until 2007 when it announced plans to launch the Android mobile platform. Today Rubin is the director of mobile platforms and Miner the group manager, both at Google.
2. The Android operating system consists of 12 million lines of code including 3 million lines of XML, 2.8 million lines of C, 2.1 million lines of Java, and 1.75 million lines of C++!
3. The first publicly available application was the Snake game.
4. The first mobile phone to run on the Android operating system was the HTC Dream G1 released on 22 October 2008.
5. The first malware for the Android OS was the SMS-Trojan, which was called Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.apk that would run up your text messaging bill.
6. A recent survey revealed that the majority of Android users are men. Actually, the majority of all Smartphone users are men, but in the case of iPhone the difference is slight, 57% are men. With Android 73% are men. So now you know which one to gift to your spouse. ;)
7. An important point to note about Android is that concerning of music and video. It does not have the official media to desktop syncing client.

How to choose an Android Phone?

Some of the best selling Android phones in India per thinkdigit.com are Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Incredible S, Google Nexus S, LG Optimus 2x and Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. As you might know it’s raining Android phones in the market. Moot on the following factors before you buy one:
a. Processor - Welcome to the 1GHz and dual core processor age, bringing lightning fast performance to many new Android Smartphones. Dual core Smartphones are increasing, but a lot of smartphone buyers may find adequate power by sticking with 1GHz.
b. Data Storage – Most can go up to 32GB of external memory with a Micro SD card, but do not forget the internal memory especially those of you who run a lot of applications or multi task at a high rate.
c. Display - Decide between a multi-touch display, a traditional physical QWERTY keyboard, or a hybrid; this will greatly narrow down your search.
d. Battery Life - For those that are using their device for work or other situations where a long lasting battery is key, this will be a major consideration when comparing devices.
e. Price - Last but the most important factor is how much of your pocket do you want to burn to possess the gizmo? Or as the ad says, what did YOU do to get your android phone?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


There was a time not long ago
When there lived an angel
Never knew her charm, nor her magic spells
Sari clad, oh she used to mingle

She worked through day and night
Seldom glancing into her wishing well
Trying to please folks around
With lotsa lines about

Then came a time
When the stress took its toll
But then she realized
It was too late to fight the blow

Slowly her light started to fade
To make her glow forever in fame
Wishing her presence in good and bad times
Amma we miss you every single second!

Monday, April 4, 2011


A stone-age hunter tracked a set of paw prints through the grass
lands. He eventually came upon the largest and most ferocious
looking saber-toothed tiger he had ever seen. The animal was
recently killed and a small man stood beside it.

Amazed, he asked: "Did you kill that?"


"How could a little guy like you put down a huge beast like that?"

"I killed it with my club," the man replied.

"Wow!" the astonished hunter exclaimed. "How big is your club?"

The man thought for a moment. "I guess there are about 30 of us."

We may not be hunting saber-toothed tiger, but we all need some help
to get through this life. We need people who are ready to assist.
People who will encourage, teach, challenge, support and watch out
for us. One of the best metaphors I know for such people comes from
Charlie Plumb, a public speaker and retired naval officer.

After Plumb graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, he flew jets in
Vietnam. He was shot down by a surface-to-air missile after 75
combat missions. He ejected and parachuted into the jungle. The
Vietcong captured him and held him prisoner for six years in North
. Today, Plumb lectures on lessons learned from that

He likes to tell the story of a day when he and his wife were
sitting in a restaurant and a man at another table approached them.
"You're Plumb!" the man said. "You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from
the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked the former pilot.

"I packed your parachute!" he said. Plumb gasped in surprise. The
man pumped his hand and continued, "I guess it worked!"

Plumb assured him it did. "If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't
be here today."

The pilot couldn't sleep that night, thinking about the stranger. He
wondered how many times he might have seen him on the ship and not
spoken because he was a fighter pilot and the man who packed his
chute was "just a sailor." He thought of the many hours the sailor
had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the carrier,
carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute,
holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.

When Plumb lectures, he often asks his audience, "Who's packing your
parachute?" He is asking: who is watching out for you? Can you
identify the people who have packed your parachute over the years
and those who are packing it today?

I think of a music teacher who taught me that it was not enough for
me to learn the instrument. I must also have fun with it. Ever
since, music has been a source of supreme joy for me.

I think of a school teacher who, after listening to a reading of a
short story I performed before the class, described the impact of
that story on him. That day I fell in love with story-telling and
understood the important role stories can play in a person's life.

I think of a young woman who believed in me and instilled within me
a life-long belief in myself.

I can think of many people who have packed my parachute. In their
own way, each helped me land a little more safely. Some have been
true teachers for me, some have been compassionate healers, and some
have put me in touch with deep, spiritual values. They influenced me
more than they ever knew.

Who is packing your parachute? And just as important, whose
parachutes are you packing? Who looks up to you? Who may depend on
you for courage or encouragement? For understanding or guidance?

To those who have packed my parachute over the years, I am indebted.

For those who are packing it yet today, I give thanks.

And to those whose parachutes I am packing, I promise to do my best.

-- Steve Goodier

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bhigwan – Birder’s Paradise

In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence - Robert Lynd

             There are many places in and around Pune for a birder’s delight but for a vivid birdwatcher, Bhigwan is a solace. It’s a catchment area of the mighty Ujani Dam, a small town on the Pune-Solapur highway (NH-9), about 100 kms from Pune.

How to reach Bhigwan?

1. Public Transport –

ST buses bound for Solapur and onwards from Pune and also Solapur/Chennai bound fast trains stop at Bhigwan.
a. Duration – 3.5 hrs for bus, 2 hrs for train

b. No need to drive, cost effective

c. One will have to manage exploring the vast area on their own, which can be a turbulent task. To watch the Flamingos, one has to reach Bhigwan before sunrise, public transport schedules may not be suitable for this.

2. Personal Vehicle –

Cars [Bikes are also suitable for the more adventurous bunch ;)]
a. Duration – 2 hrs

b. Time flexibility, can explore many birding spots, can carry photography equipments, food and other luggage, best option if you want to watch the Flamingos at sunrise.

c. Roads aren’t car friendly and even though you can explore a lot of birding spots, you may have to park cars at the closest point and walk. This is not the case if you go on a bike.

3. Things To Carry –
Breakfast and lunch, water, cameras, laptops to transfer images (if reqd), binoculars, cap and an extra paper bag to dump waste. Please do not litter.

4. Route -
Head towards the NH-9 then follow the route Pune > Hadapsar > Loni > Kedagaon > Patas > Kurkumbh > Ravangaon > Bhigwan. Once you reach Bhigwan, take a left towards Diksal before the river bridge. Take right from Diksal and travel by road which heads to Bhilarwadi Sugar plant. This road cuts through the backwaters and is very tapered, wide enough for just one vehicle to pass.

                 As soon as you start driving towards the lake, with water bodies on both sides, you immediately start to spot migratory water birds in large numbers -- ducks, terns, twany eagles, cotton pigmy goose, lesser whistling teal, ruff, clamorous warblers, marsh harriers, comb ducks, ruddy shelducks, common kestrels, Eurasian wigeons, gadwalls and shovellers. It’s advisable to walk this patch of the road as birds are very sensitive to the engine sounds. It also saves your car the scratches from the thorny bushes on both the sides. You also start to see a lot many egrets, rollers, bee-eaters, kingfishers, drongos, coppersmith babblers, crow pheasants, gray hornbills which are not that camera shy.

                 After travelling for about 4 kms, you reach the end of the bridge, where fishermen have set up a small roadside village. From here, one can hire a small fishing boat to take a closer look at the ducks, sea gulls flying over your head and eagles catching its preys. Exotic species such as flamingo grace this place with their presence between the months of Dec – Mar. The boat ride to see them up close costs about 150-200 per head. One can sit there for hours watching them fly, hunt, sleep and dodge partners lovingly.

Words cannot completely express the glee of visiting this place and one can just hope and pray that awareness and government’s proposal to turn this place into a bird sanctuary will enhance the Bharatpur of Maharashtra!

                                            On my way!

                                The flamboyance of flamingos...

© All the photos are copyrighted to Arthi Audiseshan

This article was printed in the Dec'10 issue of Pune City Digest magazine.

Design Downloaded from Free Blogger Templates | Free Website Templates