Sunday, October 19, 2008

BRTS Mumbai

BRTS cannot succeed in Mumbai unless authorities take huge efforts

Introduction:
BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System) was started by Best in Mumbai by introducing Long buses with cushion seats, conditioners that keep you cool in the hottest weather outside and running right across from Backbay (South Mumbai) to Dahisar (North Mumbai) - from one end to other end of the city. Pricing is pretty comfortable for an air - conditioned bus at Rs. 65 from Backbay to Dahisar (check the BEST website which says 55 but the conductors charge 65). The minimum charges are Rs. 10.  
The bus is deputed in the mornings and the evenings from Monday to Saturday - targeted at the car owner who uses his / her vehicle to travel to work. 

Practical Problems
The absence of a dedicated lane for the Long bus (which is seemingly impossible in Mumbai or in any city in India) makes the travel a long 3 hrs from Backbay to Dahisar - the time in which you can reach Pune, thanks to the expressway. But in Mumbai, if you are returning from work - 3 hours, trust me, tend to be extremely long. BEST estimates a time limit of 2 hours which can still be long. The other alternative, the bone-crushing travel in the local train which is faster at 1 hour but totally strains you out - Air condition is out of question but getting a place would also be difficult in the local train. 

Epilogue:
The fact that it takes more than double the time to travel between the same places, the travel being extremely relaxing with those super efficient suspensions but in this world where people are always short of time, the pleasing environment inside the bus might not help lure mass Mumbaikars.  

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rock On - The bollywood movie

The Bollywood movie "Rock On" rocks.. a must see !!


It was a hectic week in office, and I was already dreaming of going back to a good sleep. My friends suddenly came up with this plan to go for this movie.. that too a late night show.. phew !! I could not imagine what I could have missed I had not joined them on this show.. !!

This movie simply goes by its Title - it simply rocks.. Based on a group of guys who had a band (a rock band) out of sheer passion and had even won a Channel V contest to bag a cool music album sponsorship... what happens next ? I would like to leave that for the time when you yourself would see it in the cinema hall...

Finally, a great story directed very well... Shankar ehsaan loy has yet again given good numbers suiting to the film.. Lyrics could have been better but who listens to lyrics in rock songs.. !! oh did I hear that you dont like rock music ?? But chill .. even I dont like it still now .. but i love those numbers in Rock On.. those are simply awesome...

A story with love, friendship emotions and yes of course the rock music all mixed very well to create a masterpiece

I would simply give a "MUST SEE" rating to it..

Monday, July 14, 2008

Top Tips to attract traffic to your blog/website

It’s always an aim of any blogger to increase his blog traffic day by day. I started my blog about 18 months back and have followed some great tips to try and make it known in the internet world. Follow some of the tips mentioned below to anticipate an increase in traffic which I am using or have used..

1. Visualize yourself to be the audience of your blog/site and anticipate what readers would get from spending time on your site. Is it useful enough for them? Will you be able to provide the right information the readers are looking for?

2. Include many references, links in the article to make it more robust and ensure that the article is not too verbose – People nowadays don’t like to spend more time on a single site. They want information quick and in an assorted manner

3. Include links for ‘Related posts’ for the article on your blog to ensure some people who would like to read more about that topic navigate to your other posts – thus increasing retention

4. After you have created the post you think will ‘rock’ spread the word. Participate in forums related to the article with including a link to your blog. Submit your articles to popular article databases like ezinearticles.com, articledashboard.com etc.

5. Answer questions in popular sites like answers.com related to your topic and of course include your URL, submit your URL to popular aggregators like bloglines.com etc

6. Submit your site to the mother of all search engines – Google – Many surfers would have their way through Google, and your site being found there is always an advantage – If your site is popular then Google will automatically index the site, but if not visit the URL à http://www.google.com/addurl/

7. Create custom and attractive feeds for those who subscribe your feed with the help of sites like feedburner.com

8. Place labels of other content on your blog for allowing people to know about the other content, place comment boxes & polls on your blog to get feedback from your readers

9. Enable swift registration of your subscribers by placing subscribe boxes on your blog

10. Register for Statistics at any site providing those services for your blog. I would personally recommend Google Analytics to constantly monitor the traffic and preferences of the audience. Judge which is the ‘hot’ topic is and try to improve the topic to ensure reader retention!!

11. Earn Online by installing advertisements on your site to monetize your site – to which I would recommend Google Adsense – the audience generally lands your page in search of information and if they don’t find it, they would rather navigate to another page by clicking on a prominent ad on your page ensuring some money earned for yourself

Saturday, July 12, 2008

India at 60

Is this what India dreamt of, after 60 years independence, did we achieve what we dreamt of?

India was centuries ago known as the ‘Golden Bird’ and consequently knowing this the whole world ran towards the country trying to grab a share of the pie. Starting from the Mughals to the Britishers, they had it all and what was left for the people here could be only imagined. What was built by Mughals was destroyed by Britishers and memoirs like the famous ‘Kohinoor’ was shipped off to the place where the Queen lived!! India was always exploited in the hands of rulers who are famous now. After ruling & exploiting the country for nearly 180 years the Britishers with their common strong strategy of ‘Divide and rule’ divided the land in what is today known as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

It has been 61 years since we gained Independence and have established ourselves as the largest democracy in the world, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and a close friend of Lord Mountbatten, the then Viceroy of Indian territory had said “When the whole world will be asleep on August 15th 1947, India will awaken to a new world to have a tryst with destiny…” Since then the country has a come long way in terms of Politics, Development, Industry and nearly every field we might talk about. As long as one stays in India, it would be always great to see India achieving something new and advanced. My visit to another developing country gave me the advantage to look at the comparisons for our country. Its only when you compare that you find the shortcomings in the nation’s prosperity.

Apart from comparison, some incidents always hinder my mind questioning the prosperity of the country and will it ever change.
1. A young boy is studying for his final school exams, in a candle light, because his village in rural Maharashtra faces a minimum 12 hour power outage for a simple reason – there is not enough power produced – The state faces an acute shortage of power because the power supply has remained stagnant over decades while the power demand has increased proportionally. Who fails to anticipate the demand and ensure the supply is increased??
2. A family is homeless in a hamlet in Orissa due to floods – I do agree this is a natural calamity, but should it then happen every year. Last year people were homeless in Bihar and it floods every year but does that mean we put it on natural calamity and keep quite?
3. Back in Mumbai’s suburban station, Goregaon, is full of people wanting to catch the next train to town. A person is valiantly trying to get into the already overcrowded train. Finally after the 4th attempt he has to wait for the next train. Poor, does he know the next train might be worse - I certainly agree that population has exploded in the last decade in Mumbai but does that mean we still have to use the same local train network that was built at the time of the once ruled India !! Couldn’t have we built another network supporting the current local train?
4. Metro rail which started work almost now 3 years back is still no where!! Will it be ever ready by its target date?? – I would attribute this to the intense politics and the inefficient processes in place
5. A truck driver is found with 8 driving licenses (yes you read it right.. 8) Every time he was being caught for offence and his license confiscated, the driver would simply use his other licenses – Now I am lost, I have no reasons for this other than a sloppy process in place
6. A political party is always on the neck of the ruling government threatening to withdraw support in the reason that the government would sign on a Nuclear deal with the US (which supposedly would solve the electricity problems being faced) - I really don’t know who’s correct but atleast reaching to some consensus which would be beneficial to the masses should be done

Of course, there are reasons for everything.. But what matters would be the passion in the people (by the people and for the people) to make it a better place to live..

Obvious, it will be continued…
Disclaimer: The blog include the opinions of the author and does not intend to or relate to any individual. The author does not intend to hurt any religious or political sentiments

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day of Life in Mumbai - 2

Words: 729
Reading time : little above 3 mins


One fine evening, we were lucky enough to get a chance to return home early from a training session but even we didnt knew what was in store ahead..

I was with one of my colleagues, who also stays at Borivali, the last stop on the suburban local route for most of the trains. We found ourselves waiting for a train at Matunga, the station next to Dadar while coming from Churchgate. The time, described by many people as the 'peak time', but frankly speaking, I never find any difference in the crowd levels at any time of the day, maybe its a bit more crowded at peak times. One of the slow trains ( here slow does not refer to the speed but rather to the train which stops at every station) arrived in quickly at the station and was fairly less crowded so to enable us to at least find an easy entry (the most difficult part of traveling in local trains). We were always wanting to catch a fast train so as to enable us reaching our destinations faster and to the effect of which we decided to get down at Bandra - the next junction where a fast train would stop.

Few men were struggling to enter the gents compartment in the fast train to Borivali standing at the Bandra station but finally decided to vouch their hopes of catching the next train thus staring the 'indicators' for the next train time. Observing this from the overhead footbridge, we were highly regretting our decision to get off the slow train in anticipation to catch a fast train. The next strategy was to take a slow train again as there were no hopes of the crowd waiting for a fast train depleting , which made us to go to the slow train platform. But as bad luck was at its best, we found ourselves waiting for a train with horde of other people too. There were absolutely no chance of catching a train and we thought of not prioritizing the travel so as to risk our lives.

When in a race, the car runs out of fuel, it ends up in the pits to fill more fuel to end the race and thats what literally was happening in our case. The next step was to take a mere crowded train to Andheri, 3 stops ahead and thus inching us more closer to our targets. Andheri falls exactly the 5th station from Borivali and is the next junction for fast trains to stop. But getting down at Andheri to catch is not a smart deal, as Borivali fast trains generally are the same beyond this stop. i.e. stopping at all stations.

Now if I again say that we got down at Andheri to see the same situation of the trains going to Borivali I would be pretty much redundant. But thats what the situation was...
One stroke of luck and some rush of energy accumulated from the day's gained calories, and not to mention the sacrifice of our neatly ironed shirts which were pretty much in shape even in the evening, helped us barge into a train. I was struggling with my bag encapsulated between me and others in the compartment, but getting the bag out of way was not without some irritation from the other co-travellers. A person wanted to get down at a upcoming station and was moving towards the door, now one of the other person was irritated and started blaming the person for pushing him. The travel is incomplete without encountering at least one or two such war of words sessions between people trying to prove their point in these over crowded trains.

Dodging hands moving to catch hold of the overhead support bars is another valiant task in a local train. You actually never know which hand from the hundreds around might hit you.

Borivali station was just 10 mins and the train had almost emptied almost 3/4 its load on the second last station, Kandivali with the remaining people just trying to overcome the oxygen shortages their lungs were facing for about an hour, and thinking that one more day of travel in the local trains has come to an end..
Me standing at the door, recollect the memoirs of the journey to home creating ripples of many thoughts....

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Alibaug

"Alibaug was more of a being together with friends rather than a more relaxing trip" - Amit, Colleague

"I had never experienced so many emotions in a such a short span, that when we started the trip there was excitement and happy ness, but when it ended I felt as if something close to my heart was ending" - Jaypreet, Colleague

Total Words: 537 words
Estimated reading time: 2 mins 14 secs


Alibaug, situated around 60-70 miles from Mumbai, is now becoming a major residential hub for the people of Mumbai more than a tourist spot. The district, Alibaug, is a collection of about 60 small villages seems to be attracting people from Mumbai for weekend relaxation trips to investments in farmhouses. The land prices, till now, has helped many people grab up places in Alibaug. Also real estate developers seem to be keen on building hamlets/farmhouses. Some developers are also expected to be providing an exclusive yatch service to Mumbai, since mumbai is just 20-25 mins away by sea route..
With the excitement of going with the help of waterways, we one day decided to end up in Alibaug, for a weekend trip for nothing more than some time away from city life.. So we all decided to meet up at Gateway in Mumbai one morning to make it convenient for us to take a ferry to Alibaug. We all boarded the ferry, which costs you around 60 INR for a 60 minute ride to Mandhwa jetty. The ferry takes you through the numerous ships anchored around the Mumbai sea face, some of them being naval ships. A little bit into the sea and the skyline of Mumbai is a mesmerizing scene, which makes you thank yourself for boarding a ferry to Alibaug.
Alibaug's main village lies another 30 mins ride by road, after the ferry drops you at the Mandhwa jetty. The ferry providers deploy their own buses to enable you to cover this road distance. After reaching Alibaug, the main task was to look for an accommodation, which we havent done as the plan was instantaneous and we had hardly any time to do our bookings. We found a pretty decent resort "Ravi Kiran" which was situated near to the main chowk in the town.

The same evening saw us leaving for a nearby beach, it was supposed to one of the better ones in Alibaug. To our surprise, the water were too dirty, as compared to the waters at Diveagar... maybe because of the proximity to Mumbai.. So instead we had some plans of playing beach cricket. We snapped the gear required on hire from the adjacent shops and had our game started in no time. In an hours time all were tired and ready to chomp on bhajji's and some hot tea. The dinner back at the hotel, saw many cuisines being ordered in a haphazard manner, which is many times a fact when we all find ourselves together for dinner in some restaurant. One side of the table was indulged in savoring the food, but the other side was discussing "horror" stories.
Back at the hotel, all gathered in one room for gossips and timepass. How time passed by in that whole night, in which hardly anyone slept would take me another blog to describe..!!
The next morning, we had to pack our bags to get going back to our homes, back in Mumbai. The return journey was a more thrilling one as we experienced a high tide on our way back. A ride on a ferry during a high tide cannot be explained in words.. The ride was the most enjoyable for some whereas some where just wishing to be back on shore at the earliest..


To Get there:
  • By Waterways
    • Ferry - INR 60 to Mandhwa jetty and bus at no extra cost upto Alibaug
      • Expected Travel time :80 - 90 mins
    • Catamaran
      • Air Contd - INR 110
      • Non AC - INR 60 - 80
      • Expected Travel time : 50-60 mins
By Road
  • State transport
  • Private buses plying on the route
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Anger management

The Bee, a small creature teaches a lot to the human kind

Total Words: 384 Reading time: 1 min 36 secs

Anger is one thing which a human brings with himself right from birth. The only difference between two people would be the degree to which each person can control their anger before doing a 'blitz kreig' or say, can reach their threshold of being patient. A human, when he gets angry, does not realize the harm that he would be or have caused to the person in front of him. The degree of this harm can depend on the person in front at that time. Does a person in anger would realize what has he done ? Can he take some learnings from a small creature that god has created better known as the "bee" ?

A bee or a wasp can sting a human, which can harm the human a lot based on the power of the bee sting which has been described at different levels of pain by famous entomologists (for further reading refer Schmidt Sting Pain Index). A common bee sting can create an inflammation of the skin. A further point to be noticed is that when a honey bee stings, she is almost dead. Hence, a bee can sting only once in her life or in other words, the bee has to control her anger so that she can save herself by not stinging someone !! In turn a bee harming someone else, she harms herself more than the other !!

Doesnt that ring a bell in your human mind ?? It surely did when I came across this fact. Applying this fact to humans, a human should take care of not hurting anyone when in anger because he is in turn hurting himself more than the other. The other person might feel the pain of the sting but when it comes to one who is angry s/he might have hurt him/herself more and would have a hard time to
over come it.

So in simple terms, a bee teaches us that our anger should be managed well enough so that it does not hurt our relationship with others, not only because it hurts the relationship but it hurts our own souls more than the other person. Beware the next time when you get angry !!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Change the width of your blog

Changing the width of your blog in Blogger new is very easy, only with some logical calculations. Traditional blog widths are basically made to suit 800x600 screen resolutions, but you can easily intercept them to change the width of your blog

Heres a small lesson on how to change the width of your blog:

Before changing the existing template, save the template by clicking the 'Download existing template' and then start making the changes.
Go to the Template and Edit HTML in the respective blog, from your dashboard in blogger.
Turn off the Expand Widget templates for further simplification
Find the following lines in the HTML

/* Outer-Wrapper
-----------------------------------------------
*/ #outer-wrapper {
width: 660px;
margin:0 auto;
padding:10px;
text-align:$startSide; font: $bodyfont;
}

#main-wrapper {
width: 410px;
float: $startSide;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
}

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 220px;
float: $endSide;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
}

The Outer wrapper contains the main wrapper and the sider bar wrappers.The dimensions that specify those pages is the Width parameter. The positions of these wrappers are mentioned with the help of the "float" function. Notice that the outer wrapper does not have the float function as it is positioned in the center of the page which is specified by 'margin:0 auto:'

Change the "width parameter" in the Main Wrapper & the Sidebar wrapper and then change the width of the outer wrapper by the same amount as it has to accommodate itself to the new width.

Important:
Change only one dimension at a time and hit the 'Preview' button to see the changes before saving the changes
If you want to discard the changes you can always upload the previous template, you had downloaded before making the changes.

To change the width of the HEADER, look out for the following HTML code

/* Header

-----------------------------------------------
*/ #header-wrapper {
width:660px;
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid
$bordercolor;
}


Then change the 660px to whatever you want.

Remember to keep the width under 750 px to make your blog viewable for most of the screen resolutions.
Some templates may not have the 'Outer Wrapper' section, for which you can look out for the 'Body' section and changing which would get you the required changes in the width of the posts