Tuesday, October 30, 2007

UFO over Kolkata!!!???

When I read the news, i was immediately reminded of the song by Anjan Dutta, "Haripada ekjon sadamata chhotokhato lok"! Well although i laughed after reading the news on Times of India, but for someone it was a serious business. Against the popular idea that these extraterrestial objects are visible for a very short period, this stayed on the sky for 3 hrs, in the late night sky over kolkata !!! Some person named Farhan Akhtar had caught a 2.30 hrs. video of this object and it seems he is not the only person who saw it, there were lot of people gathered at the EM Bypass that time to see that object. According to Mr. Akhtar it was visible even after dawn and after that it disappeared. Sounds strange right? well with time it may add to another mysterious story but for Kolkatans its the first occasion. Well I hope the ETs didn't take Haripada kerani along with them!!

here is a video put on the youtube, taken by a cell ph camera, see the changing colour of the objects, looks beautiful....

youtube clip

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Royal tigers: a response

Sometimes back i had a post on tiger sensus, and i expected someone will enrich my knowledge about it, i felt very happy to find this response to my post from the Author of the book Guidelines for Estimating Wild Tiger Population Using the Pugmark Technique Dr. L.A.K Singh, it carried some important information and i thought i should post it....thanks Dr. Sing for the information

I am glad to see your interest in tiger numbers. I have studied tigers and refined the pugmark technique during my 16+years tenure in Similipal Tiger Reserve, Orissa. The sincerity with which the staff conduct pugmark tracking and the type of data produced from pugmark tracking is unmatchable. No other method can surpass pugmark tracking. It is quick, it allows us to know the movement area of each tiger and leopard, their population structure- male, female, cub with pugmark sizes (hence, idea about age class too), links among cub-mothr, female-male; their spatial distribution map; it is economic, it employs local tribals who skill in animal tracking. A Guard, at the end of census is able to know, which exact tigers are in his territory and in his neighbouring territory. There is no statistical extrapolation, hence no mathematical tigers. Do you need a copy of the WWF guideline? send your e-mail address. ........

Book title:Singh, L. A. K. (2000):
Tracking Tigers : Guidelines for Estimating Wild Tiger Population Using the Pugmark Technique. (Revised Edition). WWF Tiger Conservation Programme, New Delhi.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So Here I am

It was night, quite late, Chicago O Hare Airport was deserted. It was Sunday so it was understandable. I was trying to make a cal, to let my family know that I have reached here safely. Whenever someone comes to US people back home gets worried for obvious reasons. So I wanted to let them know. I was trying hard to call home but didn’t know how to reach there using the AT&T coin telephone, already I had spent few quarters and was desperately looking for help, I saw an American gentleman in a big hurry went past me, seeing him in a hurry I didn’t stop him, but he stopped, he realized I need help so he came and asked me whether he can be of any help, so this man tried his best to make the call, unfortunately he too couldn’t make, so he picked up and called AT&T and asked why there is no instructions, and finally he made another call to get me the detail instructions, I was touched by this gesture, he apologitic and told me since he cant make the international calls from his cell so he couldn’t help me, I was really amazed didn’t expect the help, so I could finally make the calls. Before leaving he told me he knew about India and since he had to catch a flight in 15 min he couldn’t stay with me till I finished the cal….Welcome to America 1.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A fine balance: short review

I bought this book as lots of recommendations poured in, and finally yesterday I end up reading it, I has been a really depressing novel, I didn’t read such novel for quite sometime. Rohinton Mistry, as many says is an outstanding author and truly speaking “ A fine balance” has been written with similar craftsmanship, it was an extremely great one to read.
The novel is written with the emergency period at the backdrop (1975), so during the whole book, Rohinton did a great job in keeping the tension alive. There are many characters in this novel but the majority part is based on couple of Parsi families, although Rohinton didn’t get deep inside the Parsi culture but still he mentions a lot about them. There are many small stories which were finally streamlined to form the main one, but manly the novel was built around a woman called Mrs. Dina Dalal, very strong character by itself, will draw your attention all the time. Rohinton nicely described the misery, exploitation during the time of emergency, without being explicit. Social oppression on the “lower” caste has been depicted extremely vividly in the novel. Before I get distracted, let me sum
marize the story, Dina Schroff is a Parsi lady who after a painful stay with her brother gets a short lived freedom when she married a Parsi guy called Rustom Dalal, but Rustom passed away in an accident, Dina went alone to survive on her own, and during her professional search for tailors she came across couple of tailors: Ishvar and Omprakash, who were cobbler by their family profession and turned int tailors, had gone trough immense torture in the hands of Jamindars in the village and their misfortune pushed them to the City. Dina gets a paying guest who is a son of his friend, Maneck Kolah, from hills and again had a different set of fa├žade. The best part of the novel is the time when these 4 characters stays together and presents different philosophies towards life. Rohinton, although didn't mention much about the city, but it will surely remind you about Bombay, instead of Delhi. Altogether a gripping novel, with lots of painful truth inscribed.

The novel has a theme, and it was mentioned at least couple of times, “everything ends badly..”. Its an extremely depressing line which made this novel unbearable. None of the characters, who struggled all thorough the novel was spared. The identity of the characters were never lost, though the suffering remained, except the crooks everyone in the end was at a loss. It was on the struggle people did to survive, but the end was pretty dramatic and saddening. Another point that struck me was the backdrop of emergency was not removed even after the ordeal was over, Rohinton mentioned about the same hopeless situation which prevailed. Altogether the book is extremely good to read only if you can bear the depression.
There is a movie also coming on this book, I hope the movie will be good, but I don’t dare to watch it

Few links:

Movie

Readers group