Swach Bharat Abhiyan – a good start

The one best thing that Modi has given us after becoming the PM of India is the “Swach Bharat (Clean India)” mantra. It was about time that someone raised this issue about the big elephant in the room. Everybody knew that India is filthy in large pockets. But everybody was skirting the filth and leading their lives as if nothing was wrong with our streets/mohallahs. Now, courtesy our PM this has become a talking issue for all. Even the corporate sector is chipping in with their brand and muscle power. There are many things wrong with India, and we need to take up all those issues, but this issue about the filthy neighborhoods was the worst, and I am happy that this is being addressed by the Swach Bharat Abhiyan.

It’s been 67 years after independence and one would believe that a country had enough time to have some basic things under its control. Basic things like garbage collection and handling, waste management, effluent treatment and release. Call it the apathy of the government or the apathy of the people we are in this mess. We have left things to the government to straighten up for a long time. And by reinvoking the guru mantra of Swach Bharat, our PM, has implicitly, given us the charge to take things in our own hands and correct the situation. We can’t ignore this problem anymore. We already have great people initiatives like the “Ugly Indian”. Their moto is “Muh band Kaam chalu”. That is stop giving lectures to people about how they should manage waste…blah…blah, but if you feel that something wrong then make it right yourself. Redo a dirty place in such a way that it sparkles and people feel guilty dirtying that place again. And it has been known to work almost all the time.

God knows that there are 100s of places around my house that I would want to redo if there is a group who’d want to get dirty. Most of the times we can’t form groups of like minded people who can get down to take up such projects. But the least that anyone can do is to act like a responsible citizen and do your bit to keep your environment clean. I am already doing these things in my house:

1. We don’t throw away the wet waste we produce. We compost it and use it in our our garden.

2. When we are out of the house and we have a wrapper or plastic bottle or anything to discard after consuming the stuff in it we look for a garbage bin nearby and dispose it there. If we do not find a garbage bin then we put it in our pockets and bring it home and dispose it off. Throwing it out in a dump/gutter is not an option.

3. We seggregate our plastic containers(shampoo bottles, water bottles, etc), cardboards, newspaper and dispose them off ourselves. If it is any consolation we get paid too doing that 🙂

Well, those are the baby steps we are taking. We can, and we need to do more.

Just in the tenor of this post Strepsils has started the #AbMontuBolega Campaign. In keeping with the spirit of Swach Bharat, Strepcils has picked up the gauntlet and created its own campaign of #AbMontuBolega. I salute this spirit. You can learn more about it here.

You can also connect with Strepsils on their Facebook and Twitter pages for this campaign.

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Desi Price Compare

Desi Price Compare – The new way to buy anything!

At Tranquilsoft we have launched yet another useful and creative app called “Desi Price Compare” to make the lives of consumers easier. This app, as the name suggests, is targeted to the Indian audience. With it one can do a real time check on the price of any item, anywhere on the most popular e-tail websites of India. For now, the app fetches search results from three of the most popular e-tail websites i.e. Amazon.in, Flipkart.com and Snapdeal.com.

Let me take you on a tour of what you can do with the Desi Price Compare app:
1. Assuming that you have zeroed in on the product you want to purchase. And let us say that the product is Google Nexus 5. Then you would open the app and put the search keywords as “Google Nexus 5″ (minus the double quotes). The basic idea is that you must be as specific about the product, as possible. It is always better to use model numbers of the products along with the names. For examples, if you are interested in checking the price of a laptop Apple Macbook Pro 101HN/A then please use the name and full model number. It helps in obtaining more accurate results. Searching for only Macbook Pro would get search results of all Macbook Pro laptops but not necessarily the exact model you are looking for.

Desi Price Compare

2. When the search finishes you will be shown a screen with the search results of products from all the e-tailers and sorted on price. Thus making your job of selecting the right e-tailer easier.

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3. That’s not all! You can select the search result you have short-listed. On selecting the product you will be shown more details of the product, like what was the Maximum Retail Price(sometimes this might not be available due to some technical short-comings). From this popup detail window you could also choose to go the product website, perhaps, to purchase the item. And we encourage you to do so.

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4. As you can see here, you will be taken to the product page in your favorite browser. Here, you could proceed to purchase the item!

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The days to come are pretty exciting for Desi Price Compare. We will be adding more e-tail sites. We will add more features too. An iPhone app of the product is awaiting approval from Apple. So watch the space. And thanks in advance for downloading it and keeping it in your favorite list of tools on your mobile phone!

Interstellar – A journey into the miracles in store for the stellar traveller

Yes, you guessed it right. This is my take on the movie Interstellar.

By some quirk of fate all of the family was at home mid-week today. And we spontaneously made this plan of watching this highly rated movie on the big screen. We thought Rachna doesn’t dig sci-fi and Gautam doesn’t understand such hi-fi movies, anyway. So it might be a good idea for Sid and me to go for it. But the rest of them protested and they were promptly included into our plans. And, boy, did we all come home satisfied! It’s one of those movies which we come out of with more questions than answers 🙂 Each one of us had numerous questions and the others would chip in with their understanding and then promptly they ask their own question 🙂

Until now we had movies where the movies were entirely science fiction like Star Wars and Star Trek or movies like Gravity which borders on sci-fi and reality but doesn’t scratch profound theories of interstellar physics like worm-holes, time dilation or black holes. I am amazed at how my 12 year son, Sid, has a grasp of such profound theories of interstellar physics. He has nothing to learn from my knowledge of black holes or concept of time in universe. More on him later 🙂

Here are some things that bamboozled me about the movie(spoiler alert, if you haven’t watched it already);
1. Cooper sees gravitational anomalies at his home due to which they find the co-ordinates of the super-secret NASA center. Which in-turn eventually triggers his selection to captain the space flight to discover new habitable planets. Which in-turn leads him to get stuck in a black hole where he is able to see his young daughter and communicate with her in morse code. Which in turn leads to the co-ordinates of the NASA center being given by Cooper. This leads you to think of this as a cyclic chain of events which don’t have a start, you see?

2. How does Cooper manage to transmit the data of singularity to the seconds hand of the watch given to Amelia? And how does it keep replaying? Does it even keep replaying? These events seem super-natural, at best. It is hard enough to communicate profound concepts of physics in pure english and think how hard it must be to convey it in morse code!

3. How does a person come out of a black hole, even if he is not crushed to a small ball? What is a tesseract? Reminded me of Thor 🙂 Black hole, afaik, is a ball of infinite mass which attracts anything closeby to its core. Not even light escapes its attraction.

4. On earth can you create conditions that would make time dilate? That is go slow with respect to the time outside the test area? Scientists have spent billions to create the particle collider at CERN to create god particle. This can be another project they must consider 😉 A person walks into the test area and spend a few minutes and walk out to find that his children have grown up 🙂 Wow!

5. And, boy, where does god fit in these scheme of things? Is he the one who creates the worm holes 🙂

6. Last, but not the least, we think we know a lot about the universe and, particularly, the solar system. It looks to me like we have hardly scratched the surface of the things yet to be discovered in the universe.

Once again we get to see a power-house performance from Mathew McConaughy. He might be in for a back to back Oscar this year! Loved the moview, as you might’ve guessed by now. Not to be missed if you are a science lover.