Wednesday, May 22, 2013

3 things that mattered most this summer

This summer, I guess three different things that rocked India this summer.

  • One is the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL matches.
  • The other is Gold Price
  • The third one is the Scorching Sun. 

What is common about all these three?

1. Very hot to handle
2. Went up and down
3. They were all over
4. We went mad (after them)
5. All three become part of every day life
6. We were sweating because of them
7. Because of them, we almost forgot to handle other issues
8. We set aside some time for them
9.  Sometimes unpredictable
10. You guessed, all are yellow!
I heavily rely on the portal when I want to track the train timings. The website has undergone major changes in the recent times.

Some key information:

1. One can find the status of the current train running either by typing the train number or the destinations. *Remember* - If a train is running overnight, remember to select "yesterday" if the train started previous day.
2. There is a feature to check for any station, which are the trains come in the next 2 or 4 hours.
3. There is an interesting feature call which helps to track the train on Google Maps.
4. What I greatly miss is
the complete train timings schedule from source to destination which was earlier available. However, I noticed that this is available in the mobile edition.

Google Search 
However, the UI is not that intuitive. You learn this website by trial-and-error.  The link to RailRadar is not directly listed under TrainEnquiry.  However, you will find this listed in Google Search.
In addition to this, there is an interesting website called which gives some good stats about each train. We all know the trains run late. Do the authorities use these stats to improve the train performance?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bangalore Railway Stations

A puny girl risking herself
through the window
Happened to visit the Bangalore Railway stations - both City and Cantonment.

The City railway station is in a mess as there are two civic work happening in front of the station.  One is on the main road due to Metro work.  Another one is inside the station campus.  I always felt this station is neither hi-tech nor old-fashioned.  With advances in technology and infrastructure, this station still functions like that of a town. Two years back, the platforms were paved with slippery tiles which poses danger during rainy days. That thousands of people come and go everyday, this station needs big improvement and modernization.

The Cantonment railway station is small and cute and favorite one. But there are some issues -
Drinking Water;
Also a Wash Basin!
1. Crossing the road in front of railway station is a challenge. The pedestrian cross signal stopped working. Good thing is there is a cop always to guide. Every time, the cop says report to the High Grounds police station.
2. Platform tickets are issued in different places in different times.
3. Short cut to enter the platform #1 from the main road is next to station master's room. Its something dangerous and illegal as this is a threat in several ways. The railway police controls sometimes but does not restrict.
4. Stray dogs freak the platforms.
5. Drinking Water area is used as a wash basis as well. Many passengers spit inside the basin.
6. Walking on the track is something many passengers do to get to the opposite platform. Police do not control. Its irony that police were reading Kannada newspaper on Monday which had big photos and news on risks in level crossing.
7. The parking area owner does not issue tickets unless demanded.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Beliefs Workshop

Another focus area is on the way - Beliefs Workshop. I am a huge fan of Belief System. Its a big theme by itself. Any treatment on beliefs will be vast. I have researched in the last few years and have developed certain viewpoints on Beliefs. Launched the Beliefs Workshop blog

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My obsession with History

I recall how much stress I went through learning the dry subject of History. The history was never interesting and the teachers could not never articulate. I could not related many things. Ok, that is history anyway.
With the advent of Wikileaks, Sting Operations and several unauthorized biographies, all that we know seem to one sided version.
On the other side, just take today's news snapshot and see for yourself what could keep the Indian Government busy. There are denials, inaction, instability.  I am worried what the future generation will learn about India.
When my frustration reached a peak, I decided to two reasonable things:  (a) To read a book on history written by a historian (b) To read the autobiography of Gandhi.
Recently my neighbour recommended Guha Ramachandra's "India After Gandhi".  I ordered one for myself and will start reading soon.
I felt ashamed when I realized that I have never Gandhi's autobiography from my heart. Gandhi was often quoted by leaders, and many favourite authors. I am giving myself Oct 2nd as the deadline for finish reading the autobiography atleast once.