Saturday, 26 January 2019

The Bus runs on poo

As man evolved, he understood that, compared to other animals, he was a weakling. This was apparent on his various hunting expeditions to provide food for his dependents. In addition to many other parameters, he lacked in speed. Most of the time, his prey galloped away or ran away, and he was left panting by the wayside. Thus his need to domesticate various other animals like the horse to gain speed. This was his preferred means of transport, whenever he needed to travel faster, till the industrial revolution, when mechanised vehicles were introduced in the form of cars. But these cars ran on petrol or diesel which were in short supply, hence expensive. He felt the need to transport a larger number of people at a time and thus a bus was born. Though it ran on the same expensive fuel, the higher numbers it carried made it economical. But this dependence on buses and cars for faster travelling meant burning of the highly polluting fuels which became one of the major factors of global warming. Thus started the search for cleaner and inexpensive energy sources. Electrical energy is cleaner and today it is taking baby steps towards electric cars but there are other cheaper energy sources too, on which buses and cars can run. Like CNG, LPG, etc. but man is never satisfied. Which brings us to the news which I read today. It seems UK has taken a very important step where they have test driven a bus run by poo. Poo, did I say! Coming to think of it, it certainly would be inexpensive as it gets generated regularly, mostly every morning. Of course, there are those unique specimens who generate it untimely. And then there are few who fall ill and cannot hold it in and have to rush to generate. There are enough species who do this extremely important social work day in and day out and contribute to reducing the global warming. My salutations to the scientists who conceived this unique energy source, based on methane conversion. The day is not far, when this poo generation takes the form of an industry where various species are lined together every morning to generate energy for the ever growing vehicle numbers. Already I see the importance of certain middle Eastern countries going down and corresponding elevation of another country which already has such an industry lining the huge network of railway tracks all across the length and breadth of its vast geography. It just needs to be tapped and exploited in a proper way. Yatindra Tawde

Thursday, 24 January 2019

The legend of a photogenic Egg

It's said that Social Media is a world of'likes’ and'dislikes’. But in this world, these words are in their sillier avatar. But that is expected to happen when people can socialize only by ‘liking’ or 'disliking’. Nowadays 'likes’ have taken the form of 'love’ which is denoted by a red heart. Whereas 'dislike’ has taken an ugly turn in the form of 'troll’. But today we will concentrate on'likes’ since recently it was in the news. A puny brown egg; yes brown, for the racially sensitive, managed to dethrone the current queen of social media, on one of the social apps. Now, anyone would wonder how can people like a photo of a humble egg, that too in such large numbers. After all, it is meant for creating a life or feeding someone. Why would anyone give it so much importance? This Eggegend; that's my word for the egg legend, it gave me sleepless nights. And a depleted breakfast, as I couldn't bring myself to cannibalize a legend in the making, or rather a legend already made. So my research started and where did I roam on the big, bad Earth for doing this research? Nothing like what you would imagine. I spread myself on my sofa after eating an eggless cake, which served two purposes. One, I was eating an vegetarian snack and second, I was respecting a legend. While I lazed on the sofa, my mind was concentrated on the search engines which chugged across the pad screen. And lo and behold! There was this story of an Indian teenager who was the mastermind of this whole saga. And this was a proud moment for patriotic me. This is his story - He clicked an enticing photo of the brown egg, which did all the hard work of posturing before a DSLR camera. The teenager too, did not leave any egg...er... stone unturned, to capture the historic moment on camera. With just the right lighting and innumerable captures. Finally he was ready to challenge the reigning queen. The next step was to share his invaluable capture on the same photo sharing app, the fiefdom of the Queen. And then the masterstroke! Appeal to the empathetic feelings of the people; their propensity to support the underdog. So the photograph was captioned, 'Let's make the Egg the most liked on this app and challenge the reigning Queen!’. And the public did the rest. And the rest is history. Today this photograph is the most liked after dethroning the Queen and still counting the likes. All hail the Eggegend! Yatindra Tawde

Friday, 11 January 2019

Sterilization

From the title, you would think I am going to sermonize. But I have not joined any administrative service so why should I? Neither have I a target for sterilization. After sterilizing his own species to control population explosion and then using this weapon to sterilize his pets, man was itching to apply this birth control method on sundry species on the planet. So a search started for the most dangerous pests. And which other species is dangerous as well as a pain in the neck for the humans? The tiny mosquito, of course! In addition to stinging on all areas of the body, this pest has a tendency to buzz around the human ears, that too, in the dead of the night, acting like an alarm clock. And finally today, it made it to the news. The final frontier has been crossed. A protein has been found. And also a way to block the protein has been found too. Apparently it works like this. With whatever chemicals the scientists work with, a protein is blocked and this results in faulty eggs in which the mosquito embryo does not develop. And more than that, the female mosquito is rendered unable to concieve again in her three week life. So is it possible that in a few years there won't be any mosquitoes left on Earth? I think not, the mosquitoes might turn into a Super Bug. Yatindra Tawde

Monday, 7 January 2019

Public Library

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Recently a library in New Zealand had to un-install a buzzer from outside their premises.

Apparently this high frequency buzzer had been installed by them to get rid of bullies who did not allow the students of the studious variety to study in peace. In short they were a nuisance.

But the authorities decided that the buzzer itself was a nuisance since, in addition to the bullies, it disturbed the students too.

And it was said to violate the fundamental rights of the bullies too. And , what may we ask, are the fundamental rights of the bully?

And mind you, it was not any library attached to a college or something, it was a public library.

In India, there is no such need for a buzzer to get rid of bullies, especially in a public library. First of all, the public library is usually situated in a real public place, which is quite noisy in itself. Due to which, there are not many patrons for it.

Usually such libraries are bang in the middle of the vegetable markets thus the major study which happens is, “potato 100 Rs. A kg.”, etc.

If a person goes to study physics, the only knowledge he will gain is, how the vegetable prices go on rising defying the laws of gravity. And if he goes to study the mechanics of flying rockets, he will be brought harshly down to earth, by slipping on a banana peel on the way.

I know of a public library in Thane, which is located near a fish market. It is a good place to study about the edible aquatic life and also the local names of all such fish. But then you should be able to survive the olfactory onslaught on your senses. And you can also learn haggling of the highest order.

Another library that I know of is situated bang inside a cloth market. Here you get good knowledge of the traditional Indian sarees like Kanjivaram, Paithani, Banarasi, etc. and the latest trends in fashion industry.

To keep things short, there is no need of such buzzers near our public libraries since the job is done very efficiently by the very fact that they are located in real public spaces.

One must say too efficiently, since the patrons too keep far away from them.

Yatindra

Sunday, 30 December 2018

An escape from the dentist

My breath became laboured, my heartbeat increased, as I sat there under the bright light. Though my eyes were open I saw nothing in particular. My mouth was open, as if locked in a silent scream. My hands grabbed the blue arm-rests, my fingers taut, as droplets of sweat formed on my forehead.
“We have to get out of here”, my thoughts directed towards my numb tooth as I felt like scooting off from the claustrophobic chair.
Alas! I was but, a mere pawn under the mask-covered thug who peered into my oral cavity.
——
I wouldn’t like to admit it, but I had myself brought on these nightmares, thanks to my very sweet tooth, which now was the subject of attention of the dental archeologist.
Though I like to take life’s challenges on the chin and meet them with a smile on my face, here I was with a numb mouth, a jab of a needle inside the cavity paralysing the smile causing muscles.
As I lay there motionless, my head sometimes twitching with agony, the mad dentist drilling and filing away at the root, I wondered at the variety of life conjured up by the Ultimate Maker.
Here was I, the epitome of manliness (or so I liked to believe), egoistic about my power and resilience but then here was a colony of tiny bacteria, which had decided to make a home inside one of my tooth, making my cry out in pain and fright in the middle of the night, just by touching some raw nerve.
Yes, it had all started one night, after a particularly wholesome meal followed by dessert, when I tossed and turned on the bed, to the exaggerated discomfort of the better half, with one palm on my cheek, trying to ease the pain.
The mad dentist, on my first visit to his den, explained to me that the foundation of a bacterial colony, was laid long back in my mouth, whenever I shied away from “swachch mukh Abhiyan”, known in common parlance as nighttime brushing.
Then with an evil grin he had said, “Let’s take a selfie!”. That was the time when I first doubted his mental condition.
He had then proceeded to push in a vile tasting plastic film into my mouth, in front of the culprit black sheep of my 32 pearls.
The selfie stick was manoeuvred near my cheek and a click indicated that the pic was taken. The film was developed and I saw the extent of the colony, slowly but surely advancing, with one bacterial foot inside the nerve doorway.
Then to enlighten me further, the dentist proceeded to frighten me with a set of a mobile chewing mechanism, with obnoxiously pink gums and pearly white teeth, to show me the extent of damage caused by the tiniest species.
——

To cut a long story short, I had a narrow escape along with the said tooth, though with a protective cap on its sheared off head.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

A Chocolatey day

In my childhood, I just loved a yummy song in my mother tongue,

“I wish to in a beautiful  chocolate bungalow,
Golden and silvery, shining so brightly…”

Oh, how I wished to live in such a delicious bungalow. It's another matter that I didn't get to live in a normal bungalow, leave aside a chocolate one.

As I grew older, I realised that such chocolatey worlds are only in a child's dream.

However recently, in the German town of Werl, this children's dream almost came true. Well almost…

It so happened that the Chocolate manufacturing unit in the town had an unfortunate accident. That is, unfortunate for the Chocolate factory but good fortune for the residents.

A storage tank of liquid chocolate sprang a leak and the goovy liquid flowed out on the street outside. Soon there was a river of chocolate which solidified into a thick layer, in the cold air.

But of course, the authorities being the same everywhere, especially when it involves something joyful, got down to the job. Before the townsfolk could get any inkling of the goodies flowing down the street, the authorities started cleaning.

Not only did they shovel away the hardened sweet stuff, they used hot water and blow torches to further liquify the remaining chocolate and swept it down the drains. So merciless and unromantic. And who were the perpetrators of this ghastly act; it was the normally helpful firefighters.

Finally nothing remained for the humans, the cats, dogs and mice of the world; at least nothing remained for free consumption though it was available for a price, at the shop counters.

But I wondered what would happen in some other countries, especially the hotter countries.

The citizens would think nothing of dipping their fingers in the goovy stuff, with a mobile in their other hand for an impromptu selfie.

Some enterprising individual would come up with a 'Chocolatey Slide’ where the customers can slide on the squishy liquid, of course, for a price. Last seen, some customers were sliding on their tongues, the cheaters.

Another one could come up with the concept of 'chocolate puri’ and make his millions.

While the authorities would let the happy stuff remain on the street for days to come, just like they let all the rubble remain after the umpteenth road digging project.

Yatindra Tawde

Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Guards change

Housing Societies are happening places. So much happens in the background.

Recently our Society went through a change in the Security Agency. And though the reason given was appointment of a more professional service, the real reason was cost savings.

Like any professional organisation worth its name, the Managing Committee of the Society decided that there should be proper handing over-taking over from the old guard to the new.

So for a period of one month, the Society was inundated with two different uniforms, Dark Blue and Light Green. I am sure there might be some other words for the colours but for the benefit of partially colour blind (including yours truly), let’s stick to the mentioned colours.

At the end of the one month period, the Managing Committee decided that due process of handing over-taking over has been followed and the old Security Agency was discontinued.

And that’s when the fun started…or rather, the complaints to the Secretary started.

“Yesterday a few guests visited us and the watchman never called us to inform. So irresponsible. It is all due to you. Why did you replace a good security agency?”, one member…

This is the same member who used to scold the old security agency for making his guests wait. Only after the call had been placed and answered the watchman used to send them up.

This one member made the life of the secretary a pain with his constant complaints.

Finally the Secretary asked the new watchman to call this member irrespective of whoever wanted to visit him.

Next day morning, 5.00 o’clock.

The intercom rings incessantly. First, the man of the house pushes away his alarm clock.

When that doesn’t help, he bangs it. No effect. The ringing continues…

Finally he wakes up, stumbles like a zombie towards the intercom and picks up the mouthpiece.

At the other end, “Hellooo…the milkman has come. Should I send him up Sir”

The irritated man of the house gives his piece of mind to the zapped watchman in the choicest vocabulary.

The confused watchman disconnects the phone and calmly asks the milkman to return back telling him, “Sab bahoot garam hai. Shayad unko doodh nahi chahiye. Tu chala ja.” (Sir is very angry today. I think he doesn’t require the milk. You can go back.”

The Sir’s family has to go out that day to buy their daily quota of milk.

The member now complains to the secretary about the new watchman calling him repeatedly to announce the arrival of all and sundry.

Isn’t it surprising folks?

Yatindra Tawde

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