Saturday, September 19, 2009

Technology to the rescue you said?

Travelling by rail, last week, I decided to check on my cellphone, the confirmation of the railway ticket for the return journey. And got this reply:

H1 http status 404/witness/witness size=1 no shade=no shade some more squiggles followed. Status report witness/witness more squiggles
requested source not available apache tomcat end.

Left me wondering whether I had mistakenly sent this message to a departmental store.

However, the last part of the message seemed to indicate that I had sent a message to the US airforce.

Certainly did not help me with my rail reservation status.

My old trustworthy telephone told me - sabhi line vyasth hain. kuch der baad dial kijiye. (All lines to this route are busy. Please dial after some time.)

Technology as a solution provider, you said?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My daily dose of nature's tweets

When we moved from crowded Delhi to suburban Gurgaon, we were looking forward to some peace and quiet. The new house was everything we longed for. But quiet, it certainly was not. Our balconies were host to a huge variety of birds of all shapes, sizes and colours. We have photographed at least 20 unique birds. The 12 parrots in the crack in the building next to us have been the subject of numerous videos and photographs. Our crowning glory was when a peacock flew into our balcony on the second floor and called loudly on my son's ninth birthday.

Today the city is being rapidly urbanised. But I am hoping to capture on film the joys of nature's bounty which has been ours to enjoy for the last six years.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Disabled towards disorders

In my first post I mentioned the child who has an attention deficit syndrome. I meet his mother everyday and share her pain at the insensitivity displayed by schools and indeed the entire system.

The child was thrown out of a school after he was diagnosed with a disorder. The second school, a progressive public school in Dwarka, confined him with mentally retarded children.

But nobody remembered that thsi child also has some exceptional qualities - he is exceedingly good at sport and art. He was to have represented his school in socer at Bangkok and has designed the posters for the Times Internet Ltd treasure hunt.

What can be done to make our system more sensitive?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Helpful cops, thankless work

It was a nightmarish journey of over 50 km cutting through some of the most crowded parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. But it ws not the crowds that did me in. It was the severe water-logging due to an hour-long spell of heavy rain during peak traffic hour.

While the traffic was practically at a standstill, I was all admiration for a bevy of cops from the Delhi Police who had braved the intense showers to wade into the water, directing traffic through the motoroble sections and warning motorists to stay away from the deep water. Most importantly, they were doing this cheerfully even as angry and frustrated motorists out-honked each other. Probably because even their chief had left the comfortable environs of his office to reach the crowded India Gate circle. He was leading from the front and his men in white and blue were taking the right cues from him.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Giving children their space

A child from my children's friend's circle committed suicide because she could not cope with peer pressure on no getting into the college that her friends had not got into. A sad comment on our society that does not give children the means to cope with issues that either they or our society magnifies out of proportion.
A few months ago, a colleague came with another problem which could have similar repurcussions. Her son was was diagnosed as Attention Deficit Syndrome. A borderline case, his only problem has been with academic performance. The doctors recommended motivation as a solution to his problems. Instead the first school threw him out, the second placed him with mentally challenged children and the third, which has mediocre academic acheivements is letting him. be. Are we not pushing this child over the edge too?