Mother Tongue

Throughout my use of the internet I have been surfing sites in English. Localization was not a big issue for me, as in I did not want Google in Hindi or to be able to blog in Hindi. Well they are beautiful features nevertheless, but then personally I do not find as much use of it. Maybe it’s just me, but then I can’t picture the next generation of vernacular based software developers and planners using any of our national languages to do the programming of the next gen software. Unlike countries like Russia or France or Hungary etc where people thrive on the vernaculars; India is a nation where the respectable person is only one who speaks English well. A person is regarded as well learned by the Metro Generation only if his English is good, no accent. Well I think we don’t think outside the box here in India.

I can confuse most people, when I am talking in my mother tongue cos its very rarely used. Well to tell you some interesting facts about the languages in India, Indian main languages are Hindi and English, But practically they are one of 800 Languages spoken in India and a total of 2000 Dialects exist for them. Out of the 28 states and 7 union territories, only 10 states and 3 union territories have Hindi as the principal official language. Every other state has its own regional language. And although I am from the state of Karnataka, my mother tongue is Konkani. The official language of Goa. It is so cos the name Konkani is derived from the region I am from originally called Konkan. And Konkan spans 3 states with different state languages. Confusing huh.

Anyway the Metrosexual personalities of people in India is driving the vernacular languages and people who speak vernacular languages to the side. Well that’s a bit more of the vernaculars digging their own graves, cos the commotions and strikes that all the antisocial elements conduct are under the veil of the vernaculars. Anyway, someday people will realize. But in the mean time the fact that the vernaculars are seen as outsiders is prompting more children to learn English more than any other language in India. At least so the metros, well there is only one issue with that. We are going to loose out on the language soon, in one or two generations we are going to be a complete mass of English speaking Indians and loose our vernacular individualities.

Konkani being my language is prompting me to take notice for the same reason. When I am thinking of the same thing, I am prompted to look at some options online. http://www.maaibhas.com/ ; http://www.daijiworld.com/, http://www.mangalorean.com/ and http://www.daijidubai.com/ are some of the options I looked at. But the most impressive for them, is the site called http://www.savemylanguage.org

Its Magic !!

What happens to a bunch of grown up engineers when a magician comes along and sweeps them off their feet. Well guess what ? They get thinking logically how does that trick work and debate over it. Thats exactly what happened when we guys from work, had an outing to the Mall of the Emirates this Saturday.
Rather than enjoying the show we were endlessly wondering of the abilities and the how did he do that. Atleast i know i did. Seeing the video, the strongest voice is mine, cos i recorded the whole thing on my N80. Well as interesting as it may seem, there seems to be a trick somewhere ! This is exactly what we were thinking.
Guess some things are better left alone without thinking how. this is one of them.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)

This is definitely one of the defining moments in the Human Evolution. People are able to produce something extraordinary from computers once they spend enough time with it. Imagine what it would do to a child’s way of thinking, not bound by the shackles of society and stereotypical thinking, One Word, Miracle. I remember the first time I saw a computer it was when I was in 9th grade. I would walk up and sand outside the computer lab for hours, fantasizing about the computer and the computer teacher. Some of my weirdest dreams at that time included both of them in it. Anyway, it was a black screen with a cursor and some text spewing when a person keyed in something into the typewriter attached to it. I was hooked.

Through the years, I have used computers for a lot, even learnt software authoring and the likes. It always used to make me wonder, from the time I saw my first computer to this day its about 8 years and I should say I have learned quite a bit, if not all of it. What would a young man come up with who has been with computers for about 25 years or more. He would have a lot of answers to our questions. Increasingly popular internet resources and knowledge bases online have forced every sort of educational institution around the world to provide internet and computers as part of their learning process. I think to find the answers to such a question the team at MIT Labs took fourth the mission of providing a laptop to all children in about 100$, maybe eventually even free. This especially in the developing countries.

This weeks tribute goes into the OLPC Foundation for trying to achieve the impossible, burning the flame of knowledge………….

Auto Racers, Quite Literally for the Clinically Insane.

For all those who have been in an Auto Rickshaw in India you will know what I am talking about. The Maikalal Schumachers if India are supposedly the Auto Rickshaw Drivers, or at least that’s what they think they are. Especially driving through the streets of narrow Indian roads, with vernacular abuses when translated, can shatter the dictionary. Well there is now a place for them to test their racing skills out, quite literally.


Just when you thought you had seen the weirdest, there comes along something that just makes you wonder. For friends of mine who don’t know what an Auto Rickshaw is : An auto rickshaw (auto or rickshaw or tempo in popular parlance) is a vehicle usually for hire and is one of the chief modes of transport in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka it is also popular in many other countries. It is a motorized version of the traditional rickshaw, a small two- or three-wheeled cart pulled by a person, and the velotaxi. The auto rickshaw is also related to its Thai cousin, the tuk-tuk and the Bajaj in Indonesia. Some more ways this is called are auto rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, auto rickshaw, auto rickshaw, auto-rickshaw. Motorized rickshaw, Motorized rickshaw, Tuktuk, Three wheeler and in many parts of India simply as AUTO. Here is a You Tube video to give you a small experience to see how a ride on the Auto feels like. Detailed look and feel of the auto rickshaw

The fact that all the proceeds are for charity makes you take notice of the event. The Indian ARC (Auto rickshaw Challenge) 2007 is an event organized by indianarc.com and will be in fact a charity based event. The website is very interesting and counts down a total of 87 days and 12 hours; which means that on August 5th the world will witness one of the most bizarre motor sport endurance rally. The race is not for the faint hearted as this rally certainly would test ones physical strength, and mental character. Rightly stated it is for the clinically Insane. Well interestingly the route is very scenic, it would be a foreigners delight to see so many places in a single trip so many places with so much to offer.

Chennai is the automobile capital of India – and aptly – as it is from here that with an exuberant start the challenge begins for an unrelenting journey through the west coast of India.

  • Station 1 is the Fort City of Tamil Nadu, Vellore
  • Station 2 is my Hometown of Bangalore which is The tranquil and picturesque “Garden City of India” with its many gardens and boulevards is also India’s silicon city,
  • Station 3 is the tranquil town of Hassan is the oldest town of the Hoysala Empire, the city almost dates back 1500 years.
  • Station 4 is Mangalore, a city of vivid contrasts. On one hand you see narrow winding streets with cozy, red-roofed houses and on the other there are lofty coconut trees lining the beautiful beaches.
  • Station 5 is Bhatkal. Bounded by the shimmering sea and rolling hills, this place is a favourite tourist spot and known for the gorgeous temple perched on a hillock by the shore.
  • Station 6 Karwar, The beautiful Devabagh Beach in Karwar is said to have inspired Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore to write his first play. It is also home of the Indian Navy’s Biggest Fleet.
  • Station 7 welcomes you to the Paradise of India, Panjim. The Capital of Goa.
  • Station 8 invites you to discover the forts of Malvan. Malvan is today known for its salt pans, Chinese clay pottery and the special Malvani cuisine which is quite distinct from Konkan food.
  • Station 9 is the worlds most well known for the King of King of Fruits, the Alphonso Mangoes.
  • Station 10 is the hillside town of Mahabaleshwar, exhausting amounts honeymoons and romantic sunsets cant reduce the lusture of this romantic hill station.
  • Station 11 is Alibagh, an idyllic town where you can rest your weary feet. It’s a small town with a beautiful beach and the green hills on the other side, free of pollution and noise.
  • Station 12 is India itself, Ancient yet modern, fabulously rich yet achingly poor, Mumbai is India in microcosm.

I would not be able to jot down a better itenary for any person visiting India. The sights and sounds and the heart beat of India can be felt in only one visit, the Most Amazing Race ever. The organizers of the Indian Auto Rickshaw Challenge have taken a specific notice of the lack of good education, low literacy levels, and the high percentage of child labor that affects the Indian society. By fostering the Adopt a Village program and donating every penny of the profits from the rally to this worthy cause, the organizers of the Indian Auto Rickshaw Challenge hope that the ultimate winners of this historic rally will be the children of India.

The Busy Devil’s Advocates, race for the fastest Saint in History is On !!

As far back as i can remember or have looked up on, the record for the fastest sainthood declaration for anyone in the history of mankind has been 27 years, a feat achieved by Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, who was canonized in 2002. The saint who looks most likely to break the record seems to be the popolarissima Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who currently stands as the fastest to attain beatification (the last step before sainthood), just six years after her 1997 death.

The crowds who are now chanting “Santo Subito!” (Saint Immediately!) in John Paul’s name in St. Peter’s Square and the countless individuals praying to his soul, are counting on him reaching those two respective thresholds beatification and canonization faster than either Mother Teresa or Escriva. A more credible hint that the wait will be relatively short was Benedict’s declaration Monday that “in the communion of saints, it seems we can hear the living voice of our beloved John Paul II, who from the house of his father, we are sure, continues to accompany the Church.” In other words, for the current Pope, John Paul is already among the chosen few.

Canonization causes do often begin with popular movements, and are brought forth from the diocesan level of the Church hierarchy to the Holy See for consideration. John Paul’s cause is being presented by the dioceses of both Rome and Krakow, where he was Archbishop. This week they presented mounds of evidence of his virtues, and at least one miracle said to be credited to his intercession, to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Officials will study the case of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a 46-year-old French nun diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease — the same illness that afflicted the late Pope — that inexplicably disappeared two months after John Paul had died. The typical procedure to verify a person’s saintliness includes the equivalent of a trial, which includes a lawyer arguing against the cause (who gave name to the expression the “Devil’s Advocate”), and doctors testifying to the proof that purported miracles have no scientific explanation. A post-mortem miracle must be verified to reach beatification, and a second for canonization.

John Paul signed off on more beatifications (1,340) and canonizations (482) than all his modern predecessors combined. Benedict may be slowing down the process. While John Paul’s, Mother Teresa’s and other cases march forward in the dark offices of the Vatican, it is in the light of day that we see a subtle shift on sainthood policy in this papacy. Yes, most of the valid causes already under way are moving forward, but Benedict has decided to no longer preside over the beatification ceremonies in St. Peter’s as John Paul had done. Later this month, in three separate Italian cities — Turin, Castellammare di Stabia and Rimini — local bishops will beatify three respective local figures, without the presence of the Pope. The faithful can be assured, however, that there is at least one likely beatification ceremony on the horizon that Benedict won’t want to miss.