Category Archives: Trivia

मोदी हैं सपनों के सौदागर मात्र!

मोदी सरकार के 100 दिन होने को आये. इस विषय पर तथ्यों पर आधारित आलेख को थोड़ा व्यंगात्मक लहजे में कहने का प्रयास कर रहा हूँ. भक्तगण मित्र भी उसी भावना से लें!
प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेंद्र मोदी हमेशा से कहते रहे हैं कि मुझे सिर्फ विकास की राजनीति करनी है, मैं बदले की राजनीति में यकीन नहीं रखता. मगर उनके  प्रधानमंत्री का पद संभालने के बाद से ही जिस तरीके से यू.पी.ए. सरकार द्वारा नियुक्त राज्यपालों को चुन-चुन कर परेशान किया गया और किया जा रहा है तथा संवैधानिक पद पर बैठे व्यक्ति की मर्यादा को तार-तार किया गया, इससे तो यही लगता है कि मोदी की कथनी और करनी में कोई समानता नहीं है.

श्री मोदी कहते हैं कि वो सिर्फ विकास की राजनीति करते हैं. हां, वे विकास की राजनीति तो करते  हैं, पर आम आदमी के विकास की राजनीति नहीं बल्कि अपने दल के नेताओं का विकास करने की राजनाति में जुटे हैं. उनका एकमात्र एजेंडा है कि साम, दाम, दंड और भेद, किसी भी तरीके से अपनी पार्टी के रिटायर्ड नेताओं को राज्यपाल के पद पर आसीन करवाना, ताकि पार्टी पर उनकी पकड़ और मजबूत हो. इसके लिए उन्हें प्रशासनिक और राजनीतिक हथकंडा अपनाने से उन्हें कोई गुरेज नहीं है.

कई बार मंच से श्री मोदी ने महंगाई घटाने और भ्रष्ट्राचार मिटाने का सपना आम लोगों को दिखाया है. सत्ता पर उनके आसीन हुए 100 दिन पूरे होने को आए मगर महंगाई से किसी को भी राहत मिलती नहीं दिख रही है. रही बात भ्रष्ट्राचार के खात्में की तो उनकी सरकार भ्रष्ट्राचारियों का साथ देती नजर आ रही है. एम्स के संजीव चतुर्वेदी मामले से तो यही लगता है कि उनकी सरकार ईमानदार अधिकारियों को ही हटाने की मुहिम में लगी है. फायदा सिर्फ करीबी नेताओं और कॉरपोरेट घरानों को पहुंचाया जा रहा है (crony-capitalism).

जिन युवाओं के समर्थन से मोदी प्रधानमंत्री की गद्दी पर विराजमान हुए, आखिर कब बेरोजगार युवाओं की सुध लेंगे? देश के युवा दर-दर भटकने को मजबूर हैं पर मोदी हैं कि गुजरात के ‘विकास’ की ‘खुशफहमियों’ से बाहर निकलना ही नहीं चाहते. आखिर उन्हें कब एहसास होगा कि अब वे प्रधानमंत्री हैं, गुजरात के मुख्यमंत्री नहीं. आखिर पूरे देश को ‘विकास’ की झांकी कब दिखाएंगे!

मोदी कहते हैं कि लोकतंत्र में उनकी गहरी आस्था है. मगर अफसोस, चाहे-अनचाहे वे लोकतंत्र की जड़ें खोदने में ही लगे है. क्या बगैर विपक्ष के एक स्वस्थ लोकतंत्र की कल्पना की जा सकती है? मोदी हैं कि उन्हें विरोध के स्वर पसंद ही नहीं हैं. अपने जयकारे की उन्हें इस कदर आदत लग चुकी है कि सरकारी कार्यक्रमों में भी दूसरे दलों के मुख्यमंत्रियों की उनके सामने हूटिंग होती है और वे मौन रहते हैं.

मत भूलिए, मोदी जी! ये लोकतंत्र है. निंदक को पास रखने में ही भलाई है. शिकायत सुनने और विरोध सहने की आदत डालने होगी. वरना जिस जनता ने सर पर बिठाया है, वो गिराने में भी वक्त नहीं लगाती है. हाल के उपचुनावों के नतीजों से जनता का मूड भांप लें और जो सपना दिखाया है, उसे पूरा करने के लिए कुछ काम करें.

Halva: What is the Origin of this Word?

My wife asked me that day:” What is the origin of the word ‘Halva’ (हल्वा)? I said it is a Hindi word. She came across her one of the East European colleagues savoring a dish which he so proudly declared as Halva. When my wife confronted her what was that halva all about, he sheepishly admitted- even though he continued to munch the delicacy- that he did not know the details, but halva was not something new to him. And obviously he had not purchased it from an Indian grocery store. The halva that East European guy was eating looked and tasted same as we know in our Indian culture.

So when my wife threw the question at me , I was not prepared to think that halva could be anything but Indian or Hindi. Thanks to the internet technology, I passed the question on to Google and pat came the reply: Halva is a derived from Arabic word “alāwa” which means sweet!

I continued in a my ‘professorial style’ to Bharti and added that a language must be flexible to absorb words from other languages in order to grow and prosper. Thus call it the flexibility of Hindi that it has enriched herself by including words from other cultures and languages. Now does not it sound interesting that Halva- poori or puri (पुरी) is a common hybrid word or phrase used in Hindi. Poori is a purely Hindi word, by the way! The mesage is: Combine and thrive! BY the way, I remember during our hostel days in medical college in India, halva used to be a common agenda when the mess /cafeteria was closed. I remember, my friends Golu and Vinay were pretty skillful on that item!
Between us!

Haggling: I know it!

What is ‘Haggling’ ? Well, even if you do not know the meaning, you probably have done it all your life in a country like India. Whenever you go out to buy something, you have to indulge in the practice called ‘haggling’ ! Really! Well, yes, indeed! In other words, it is the practice of buying a good after bargaining with the seller. Now we know! Be it a parley biscuit or a jacket or a refrigerator or a car: we practice and preach ‘haggling’ as one of the virtues! It is not always to our liking or taste, but you got to do it in order to save pennies!

Now one unquoted reference on internet says: “Haggling is, in many of what are regarded as “less economically developed” civilizations, an acceptable means of agreeing payment for goods.”
That- if we consider it true- displaces us to kind of less civilized people! Well, whatever you call, but definitely, haggling is a phenomenon not seen in richer nations. But you never know, its subtle form is being seen in richer countries too with the advent of economic slowdown.

Merriam Webster Dictionary explains the meaning of haggling: 1: to cut roughly or clumsily : hack; 2. archaic : to annoy or exhaust with wrangling.

BRIC Nations

BRIC or BRICs are terms used in economics to refer to the combination of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
General thinking is that the term was first prominently used in a thesis of the Goldman Sachs Investment Bank. The main point of this 2003 paper was to argue that the economies of the BRICs are rapidly developing and by the year 2050 will eclipse most of the current richest countries of the world.
Goldman Sachs predicts China and India, respectively, to be the dominant global suppliers of manufactured goods and services while Brazil and Russia would become similarly dominant as suppliers of raw materials. Cooperation is thus hypothesized to be a logical next step among the BRICs because Brazil and Russia together form the logical commodity suppliers to India and China. Thus, the BRICs have the potential to form a powerful economic bloc to the exclusion of the modern-day G8 status. Brazil is dominant in soy and iron ore while Russia has enormous supplies of oil and natural gas. Goldman Sachs’ thesis thus documents how commodities, work, technology, and companies have diffused outward from the United States across the world.”
Source: Wikipedia

KAL Stevia: a Natural Sweetener

Have you heard of Stevia extract ( manufactured by KAL company) used as a sweetener? Some say that it is better than artificial sweeteners as Stevia is extracted from natural herbs. It is an extremely sweet herb, thus you may have to use a very small quantity ( even less than a gram will be equivalent to a teaspoonful/ 5 grams of sugar). Whereas I was not able to find much about the merits of Stevia as a sweetener some people just love it.

Safe Drinking Water

In the recent Newsweek magazine, I read about the article on LifeStraw. This company has produced a $ 3 filter which can be used to filter water so as to make it safe for drinking. This portable device – kind of straw filter- has reportedly won accolades from the world over for its simplistic design, convenience and affordable rates. While more than 1 billion people across the world do not have access to safe drinking water and 6,000 people die each day of water-borne diseases, this product holds promise and could alleviate the sufferings of mankind.
The CEO of the Company is Vestergaard Frandsen and he says: “It is a product that can save lives without spare parts, electricity or maintenance”.

Pariah

Januray 27,2007:DAVOS, Switzerland — Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry slammed the foreign policy of the Bush administration on Saturday, saying it has caused the United States to become “a sort of international pariah.”

What is a pariah? Mariam Webster dictionary gives us the following account: Etymology: Tamil ‘paraiyan’, literally, drummer
1 : a member of a low caste 2 : one that is despised or rejected : outcast
Notably, this word Pariah is often used in Hindi language also.