Sunday, December 20, 2020

Work from Work @ UN – The Mini Globe


Work from Work @ UN – The Mini Globe

Ever since I joined the UNHQ in Dec 2019, I have wondered about what makes the place so special and unique. Lately, it has dawned on me that the UNHQ is the most diverse place in the world and de-facto is the mini-globe under one roof.

Remember walking in the secretariat lobby on a normal working day (which seems so distant, in past and future both), one hardly meets two people from the same nationality. Even if they are, they are from a different ethnicity or background. Its a beautiful garden of many kinds of colourful flowers, each of which adds a different hue to the landscape.


This makes the place extremely rich with experiences and perspectives. One feels that we are so ‘incomplete’ alone and soon it becomes a habit to seek different viewpoints before making a decision.

The organization provides a forum at the international level to discuss myriad of issues of domestic, bilateral, regional and truly multi-national variety. This unique opportunity to discuss issues prevents violence and hence I feel that the UN is truly an organization for the humanity. May it get stronger.

I feel thankful that during this pandemic, our organization could support its staff in numerous ways like flexible working arrangements which allowed us to take care of many other pandemic inflicted issues, that one feels proud to be part of this great and historic organization.

However, I lately feel that we may be slowly losing the fondness to work from work. While work from home and flexible working does seem to provide a relaxed opportunity to let us clean up that cupboard in our house we have been meaning to sort out while still being ‘at work’, work from work may offer more efficiency in terms of a quick ‘walk – chat-discuss-decide – act- relax’ progression over a ‘schedule a MS Meeting – discuss with camera switched off and mics muted while checking mails and preparing a meal – decide – postpone action – back to virtual meeting’ routine.

In my views, hence, we must pray that we get back to the ‘working from work’ and ‘homing from home’ routine to restore some semblance of normalcy.


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Don't Go Viral

Spring is in the air. The weather, the clouds and the breeze create a symphony of life. But, there is an eerie silence all around. It is as if the world has come to a standstill. The traffic lights and the escalators function flawlessly. But there is no movement, except for the occasional shrill siren of the ambulance piercing the silence. The once vibrant roads wear a deserted look. Like a beautiful maid not willing to get adorned. The city and the parks call out to people and children, there is no joy without them.
On the streets, mannequins and dummies stand tall, posing in front of the passers, almost mocking, as if saying, though you created us, you can perish, but we cannot. This little virus can slaughter you but not us. We are immune and thou of flesh and blood are susceptible and vulnerable. 
The streets witness few people and fewer vehicles. An elderly couple, holding hands passes by a teenager. The sight of another human on the erstwhile crowded streets brings comfort, a comfort that is hardwired in all species. We are birds of a feather. But as the other person approaches close, there is fear and suspicion, what if he spreads the poison. What an irony, what a confusion.
People are surprised when they realise that they long for going to work. When they realise that internet and TV are not real happiness. They want to meet real people and shake hands with them without fear. Something they always took for granted. That may take a long time now, they know nothing is for granted.  
The virus has broken too many walls, barriers and borders. Foes have become friends. Kings and paupers stand exposed and vulnerable in front of each other.  However, it has also brought out biases of people and their prejudices are being proven correct or they are filtering facts to convince themselves. People are reading selectively to reinforce their beliefs, faiths and pre-dispositions. They now know more strongly whom to hate and whom to blame and who has caused this situation. Something they always knew.
Asto ma sadgamayam
(O Lord) Keep me not in (the Phenomenal World of) Unreality, but make me go towards the Reality,
But somewhere deep down the conscience a new reality is also dawning. That perhaps the human kind has gone too far in trying to toy with the nature. Perhaps few people control a bit too much. We are forced to believe as what we read and see may be regulated. We get to know only what some want us to. And maybe a matrix of falsehood is being spun around. Some hope to control the future of humanity and our blue marble.
And while we fight over minor issues, some decide whether a few score people would see another dawn. Perhaps, this is a wakeup call. A call for more accountability.
Tamso ma Jyotirgamayam
Keep me not in (the Ignorant State of) Darkness, but make me go towards the Light (of Knowledge),
In  these trying times, a subcontinent is showing resilience. It re-realises the truth, something the people always knew, something they may have left far behind.  The tehzeeb of Aadab and sanskriti of Namaste and the culture of respectful and courteous social distancing is the new world order. Their own way of life and special principles and values, which the natives had lost in the shimmer and mirage of materialism, are being embraced again.
Mrityorma Amritamgamayam
Keep me not in (the World of) Mortality, but make me go towards the World of Immortality (of Self-Realization)
The world is experiencing nothing new. This has been happening for eons. It is the proverbial Law of the Jungle as Kipling called it which is old and true as the sky. It is Natural Selection taking form in front of us. Those of us, the fittest of all shall survive. And pass on the resilience of the human race down the line.
Spring is in the air.  Time for new life to sprout. The virus has challenged the human race, a species which has seen and endured and survived and thrived. The world is rising together against the challenge, taking the bull by its horns. Its only a matter of time, when the virus shall be history, something not to be forgotten, but kept alive as a lesson.
Virus the countdown has begun. Your days are limited.
We shall overcome. We shall prevail. We are humans.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Rahane is the new Dravid.

In india, every one is a cricket expert. Thus, each is allowed his own predictions. I too believe, looking at his temperament and his technique, that ajinkya Rahane is the new WALL. He is today's and tomorrow's Rahul Dravid. Let's see how true it turns out to be.

Let's wait and watch.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


DHANUSHKODI-The Silent Beauty!

Thanks to the long midterm break, we got south bound and availed the opportunity to explore the beauty of Southern India. The aim was to explore places of some significance in this part of the country. One such place at the confluence of archeological, geographical, historical and mythological marvel is Dhanushkodi. Some of the websites even mention it as one of the seven wonders of India. 
Dhanushkodi is a mesmerizing place. It was (now totally abandoned) a small township at the southern tip of Rameshwaram island, on eastern coast of Tamil Nadu. In fact it is India’s Eastern most projection into the Bay of Bengal.  It is about 29 km West of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The interesting fact is that it is the shortest land border in the world between any two countries measuring only about 45 meters.

Location of Dhanushkodi on India’s Tip
To reach Dhanushkodi one has to cross another engineering marvel at the Pambam bridge. It is a  road bridge measuring 2340m and a cantilever broad gauge rail bridge along side it on the sea. Till the Worli sea link opened in Mumbai which exceeds it in length by only about 60 m, the Pambam bridge was India’s only sea bridge. The cantilever ‘opens’ to give way to the naval traffic. The bridge connects Rameshwaram with mainland India. The rail journey over the sea bridge is also a treat for train enthusiasts.

Author on board a train over sea at Pambam Bridge

The Majestic Pambam bridge                                           

The cantilever ‘opens’ for naval traffic

Prior to 1964, a rail link connected Dhanushkodi directly with Mandapam on main land when it was washed away by a cyclone causing massive destruction and loss of about 1800 lives. An entire train with 115 passengers on board perished in the high tides. Today, 4x4 busses and jeeps connect the destroyed town with Rameshwaram over a 20 m wide stretch of land which during various times of the day is completely submerged under water and the vehicles literally ply over submerged land. It is an enthralling experience as these vehicles run on water and beautiful blend of sea, land and sky can be seen in the true purple spirit.
Dhanushkodi lies on a limestone or shoal ‘ridge’ under water. This ridge connects the main lands of India and Sri Lanka. The ridge appears on the Google Earth as a bridge or a  continuous belt of land under water. Higher parts of the ridge appear as islands on the Palk Strait. It is here that the Sethu Samudram Project is being conceived after destroying part of this ridge. Geographically speaking, this shoal ridge separates the two water systems of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. So technically, each sea lies on either side of Dhanushkodi.
Mythologically,  Lord Rama had built a bridge called Ram Setu between mainland India and Sri Lanka in order to get his army across the sea and after he won the war, Vibhishana requested Rama to destroy the bridge with his bow to prevent Lanka from further attacks and hence the name ‘Dhanushkodi’(‘Dhanush’ – Bow, ‘kodi’- End Of). There were two Generals in Rama’s army by the name of Nala and Nila who had the powers of making stones float on water. Today there is a temple at Dhanushkodi which has a small tub of water in which a coral ‘stone’ floats quite easily. These corals are likely to be the stones which have been referred to in Ramayana.

A floating coral ‘stone’ in Dhanushkodi temple 

Captivating Beauty
The ghost town still survives and comes to life on your visit. One can see the remnants of a church, post office, railway station, community hall, besides many smaller dwelling places. One is able to imagine the life at one of the remotest corners of India. Today a number of vendors selling refreshing drinks stay in the town during day to serve the tourists. One of them proudly showed us a paper clip mentioning that his father had won a swimming competition in crossing the sea to Sri Lanka. The competition across India’s ‘English Channel’ was reportedly organized by the Dhanushkodi town administration.

Remnants of a church at the ‘ghost town’.

Dhanushkodi is a must visit place for any person interested in geography, mythology or archeology.  It is a place stuck in timeless history and has a fascinating aura around itself.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some achievement

Pl visit this link. In 20 years of existence of the Coll, some 5000 students would ve passed out. My name appears in the top ten list of distinguished alumni.
Feels good. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29 Feb 2012

so this day has come again.
Lot of things have happened since the last one. on the last one, i was in kalimpong. today half way across the world from there. and it is snowing here to commemorate the day.

in these last 4 yrs, i ve become a husband, a father. Life has really moved quickly for these 4 yrs.
its taking quick leaps between these leap yrs. hence probably the name.

Lets see, how things are on the next one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Remembering KolKata

This is my first blog off the cell. I just got nostalgic about kolkata. This happened b'coz i spoke to my cousin who stays in kol. Also i watched the last scene of parineeta, a movie i am as it is quite fond of.
Well almost everything is worth remembering. Here are a few:
Park st
The evening at maidan
Eden gardens
Ganga or hooghly
Local train
Kathal bagan
Rickshaw horn
Cop in white
Puchka outside ac market
Ambassador taxi
Bada bazaar
Howrah stn
Both howrah bridges
Tata steel bldg
Rabindra sadan
Kali bari
And lot more...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Parichay the soap on colors: strong condemnation.

i ve been watching parichay on colors since some time. if some of you think that's uncool, so be it. but till now i ve really liked the soap. story line was different and fresh.

but something that's happening now is totally anti-social. the people behind the making of the program are encashing on the latest public emotion. and that's fear - psychosis. these people should be sued for creating and spreading terror in our homes at prime time.

i think there should be a public apology and even the govt should take strong view of this.

let me explain why. in the serial the hero dies in a bomb blast. these has accentuated the effects of a terror strike. everybody has started to imagine in fear the same about one's loved ones and the darkest fear of losing them so suddenly and abruptly. now what is this feeling. this is 'TERROR'.

this is exactly what the terrorist organisations want. terror is not because of a strike , but rather its in the mind. few people die in a strike and a community is affected. after 9/11 air travel in USA came down by 80%. so thats where terror strikes. in the mind. at the psyche. you could be terrorised of heights . but thats just in your mind. and this serial is affecting common resilient indians . it is drawing them in the dark pit of fear.

so even if nothing is happening, people are scared. scared that something like what happened to our hero in the serial my happen to them or their loved ones.

so i appeal to the makers of this program to ammend their mistake by issuing a public apology and also to the TV community in general to refrain from taking advantage of the raw nerve of the common man.

i strongly condemn the last few episodes. if you agree please popularise the same among as many people as possible. i also request you to post your comments on this issue.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Women Reservation

i know i am traversing a difficult path; to write about such a sensitive topic. but i feel, there is something fundamentally wrong or rather inappropriate about women reservation and ladies compartments in trains. i write this with full respect to ladies and as a husband and the father of a daughter. we live in the world of hypocricy. and we tend to take sides as it suits us. we all support en masse( or do we really?) anna hazare and his efforts to end corruption. but the very other moment we participate in it ourselves by bribing a train TTE or a cop at the tfc signal. so conviniently we decide our take on lot of things. similarly this concept of reservation. today's 21st century girl has an individuality and a social status of her own. she is free and sets rules for herself. she is not bound by society rules and traditions. a no of organisations are fighting for noble cause of female liberation and eqaulity for the few ladies who are still not so 'aware ' as the former. during this time talking about reservation is a regressive step. i believe reservation is something for the downtrodden and also for the very basic of needs . certainly not for the highest office of the country. i have travelled a lot in this country, and observed that how difficult is it for a single girl to travel by various modes of tpt incl mumbai locals and dtc busses. also i have found a no of men rather chivalrously giving their seats to women who are standing. a no of ladies have been found to deny the offer for they are the 21st century lot. also chivalry can be shown to people who actually deserve it. a lady is also required to demonstrate lady like behaviour in public. when she fails to do so chivalry gets discouraged. i ve seen women not offer their seats if a frail senior citizen is standing next to them. this discourages a man from offering his seat to an able bodied fit female. my appeal to all the women in this society is that they should take a call. whether they would like to traverse the convinient path or reservation or talk of gender equality. pl do not always find the easy way out for yourself. stick to your indl stand. a failure to do so confuses the entire society. and therefore the overall respect for the fairer sex is found to be diminishing can be commonly observed. and so it is a submission that this 'opportunist' behaviour must be discouraged. comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

masoom- india of the 80s

remember the movie -masoom. and the colours of the movie. the dresses, the style the lifestyle.

it was so much the india of the 80s. the india where i was born. the india which i can relate to and identify with somehow. i dont remember it but somewhere it has been etched permanently in my sub-conscious. whenever i see scenes or even pictures from that era, i kind of get nostalgic.

does the same happen with u. pl let me know.