Friday, June 26, 2009

Pathetic Condition of Lokmany Tilak Terminus

Yesterday night i had gone to L.T.Terminus(Kurla) to see off a relative. All the thoughts of great improvement in Railways under Laluji were dashed. The terminus is in pathetic condition. Rlys. have expanded the terminus, so now it has 5 platforms,of which only 2 are in active use. since they did not complete the work in time, so approach road is paved with rocks. taxis and Riks take up most of the available parking so there is no parking place. If you want to drop passengers near entrance then you have to go round the Tilak Rd. station and come back for parking. porters have to carry luggage on their head as carts cant be used as there is no road.

Terminus is smelly,overcrowded place with Dogs moving around freely. You have to pinch to be sure that you are in Mumbai (future Shanghai). There is a Tea stall but it is next to Restroom ( Toilets) and stench from there is puky. We had gone for LTT-Luknow Holiday special. there was no announcement and indicator was just Welcoming all passengers. For Holiday special, the train arrived from Lucknow and in an hour or so left for Lucknow- a 24 hrs journey. You can imagine the cleanliness of compartments and toilets. Only consolation was that it was complete AC train.

Now onwards things would go from bad to worse. Didi is busy with WB politics and Lalgarh. her hands are full with this enormous task of dislodging well entrenched CPM govt. Rlys can wait.and Loksabha elections are after 5 yrs and manmohan cant ask her to perform. So there.--PK

Saturday, June 20, 2009

La affair " Shieney"

These days Newspapers are full of Actor Shiney Ahuja's rape case. He is accused of Raping his maid in his house. Most of us now know the entire incident through 'selective Leaks' from Police in media. His wife -being Loyal and Loving Indian wife- has mounted a very spirited defence in the Press conference. At present he is in Arther Road jail,sharing cell with (?) Abu Salem. yesterday Mahila Ayog got into the act and has demanded Fast Tract Court to try this case and CM has reportedly agreed to it.

Now normally i would accept that if someone is accused of Rape than it's more likely to be true. Very few women have stomach for the publicity associated with the case and subsequent trial. Movies which has depicted rape case trial ( Damini- starring Minaxi,Chintu,sunny Deol and Amrish ) have shown what accuser will face in court. So false allegations are rare ( but not imppossible). Also thats why few cases of Rape are reported and insignificant number of accused are convicted. Main difficulties are 1. Whether the Sex was Consensual or Rape ? 2. Victim chooses to drop the case due to Hostile witnesses, Adverse publicity and victimisation by family,friends and Society.So much so that many victims have dropped charges and preferred to get married to the Rapist!!.

But in the case of Shiney, i am not so sure. Why? Because Actors have this Divine Power conferred on them during their Acting Career. Their Fans simply love them and are willing to do anything for them. Absolutely Sane successful person would behave irrationally when he/she comes face to face with an actor. Last week my nephew who will be dentist in a year, got all excited when we passed a person in my hsg Society. I asked him who was the person ? He was incredulous ! " You don't know him? He is " so n so", Anchor in Roadies.( Motorcycle show on MTV). He is very famous in Pune. "Sab Ladkiyan Marti hai us par". Most of us who stay in Versova,lokhandwala,Andheri ,Juhu come across actors almost everywhere.We haave seen how people and we behave when we see them. Its much worse when person visiting Mumbai from outside sees them.

Newspapers and films like 'page 3' and 'Luck by ..' have depicted the 'sexcaped' of actors and stars. On reported flings of star, his wife would accuse Girls of 'Throwing at Him'( being available for sex). So having sex with female co-worker, junior artiste, aspirant of movie career and female fans is part of job profile or perk of Acting career of Male actor. BTW this is not Indian thing.Its true all over world. i remember a Vidio clip of Micheal Jackson tour to S.E.Asia where a Female fan was shouting 'HE TOUCHED ME!! HE TOUCHED ME' !!! A mere touch of a singing star was enough to make her day. WTF eh?.But thats the POWER ! Ambanis,wadias,Tatas and Mittals cant compete with these Khans and Kapoors. Even Bill and Buffet would take a back seat. They cant compete with Udyan Mukherjee and Sarin Bhan !!.

So it's perfectly logical that Maid might have chosen to work in Ahuja household and would have bragged about it to friends. She might have secret crush on him. She might have agreed to have sex with him and worst Shiney would have agreed to have sex as favour to his maid because this is part of his life persona or myth created by media which he has to uphold. Thats why he was not surprised when Police turned up at his place. It was not bravado as Police has alleged but It might not have crossed his mind that maid has cried 'Rape' and complained. Thats why he allegedly confessed that sex was consensual. Why did maid complain ? well its anybody's guess but even if it was consensual, most would have sense of Guilt & fear when they have sex out of wedlock. besides being first time it must have been painful and not a pleasant experience which must have left her bleeding and with pain in and Abdomen. that might have scared her.

Or Shiney had really raped her.

Lets hope that truth will come out in court as hoped by Mrs.Anupam.

But first we have to learn and understand that Actors are human like us with no special power.They are not super Human Beings. they are like us with Acting as Proffession. There should be limit to adulation. we have to be rational in our reaction to them and their life.---PK

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Public Transport?

In the evening a friend called.He wanted me to join him for dinner. On Sunday evening Drinks,Dinner and chit chat with close friend ! what more can one ask? I readily agreed. we went to 'On Toes" in JVPD,Juhu. Good food, noisy but nice ambiance and catching up with latest after 3 months in US. We left the restaurant at about 10 pm. My friend R, doesnt have a car and uses Ricks and Maru cabs for commuting. usually there are 3-4 Ricks waiting for passengers. But today there were none.Only desperate ,exasperated couples and families trying to hail a Rick. I knew that this is a bad situation. we waited for almost 30 mnts or so with no luck.There were no Ricks to hire,thats all. finally I told R to hop in my car and I drove him upto Nanavaty Hosp.where we could find Rick willing to go to Santacruze station.

it's nice and politically correct to say that we should avoid using personal vehicle for transport and should use Public transport to save fuel and reduce pollution. Our air will be better if this is done. Today I read dire warning about danger to Environment when Nano and other small cars will replace Two Wheelers in India. But I have been in situation described above. Buses are full and they dont even stop at Bus stops, Ricks are full or refuse to come in the direction my home is. I have waited for 30-45 mnts without success and then walked some 2-3 miles before I could get transport. What can one do in this situation?.If you are with Wife and Children or aged parents, and you cant get transport, what is one suppose to do? You feel utterly helpless,frustrated,angry and impotent.

Do people in US and West face such situation?. They can just get in the car and go wherever they want to in comfort.would i like to tell them to shun their personal transport and use Public one? No way !! When we do not have easy alternatives then what right have we got to tell people to use non existent Public transport? Last week High Court in Mumbai directed the State Govt. to restrict entry of personal vehicles in Fort( Downtown) area. So what that person is suppose to do after getting down from Train at Charni Road station ? Walk all the way to Malabar Hill if he has work there? There is no Public Transport from Charni road to Malabar Hill. Unless you make sufficient arrangements ,its futile to restrict use of Personal Vehicle. You will only increase problems faced by already harried "Aam Adami". Ministers,Bureaucrats, Police,Judiciary will use their vehicle 24x7. it will be common men who will face the besura music.--PK

U.S. home Mortgage rates

Recently US Home Mortgage rates have started their 'up' movement.This week it reached 5.95%. Till about 2 weeks ago the rate was below 5% with 1 point. Now it is almost 6% with 1 point. Sometimes it is better for consumer that Govt. intervenes and regulates. It's myth that Markets will take care and will correct itself. Between speculators and Greedy players markets and rates will go up and down without any sound fundamental reasons. makets do not behave rationally and for serious matter like Home Mortgage Rates,Regulation by must as it affects consumer for a long time. In U.S. loan application processing takes 2-3 weeks,if rates are going to change by a Point than its very unfair to Borrower as he will get stuck with this high rate for 30 Yrs.

This is biggest dilemma in Free market situation. If there are no regulation and absolute freedom is granted than there will be repetition of what happened last year. Its prudent to set baseline regulations and fixed interest rates for certain period as is done in India. then both Lender and Borrower know what to expect and there will be more stability. With fluctuating Interest rates Lenders and borrowers are dissatisfied when rates fluctuate widely. Besides it creates negative effect in markets as has happened in US in last 2 weeks. For last 2 weeks Lenders were not enthusiastic to lend in expectation of higher rates.Now borrowers have stopped borrowing cause rates have gone up. They will wait for rates to come down and the momentum achieved by Obama's plan will be lost

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ashok Jadeja,Self proclaimed Goddess was arrested by Gujrat police. he has allegedly promised his followers that he would double or triple the money deposited with him. Initially he paid the amount as promised,But knew that sucker would again invest the entire amount and Jadeja was not going to loose anything. Now his followers are agitating in front of his Ashram(!). Police has arrested his relatives and an aunt ,who is supposed to be Brain behind this scheme.

A T.V. channel has reported similar event in Delhi. Every year hundreds of people from all strata of Society fall prey to such con.(Nigerian, Rhodesian inheritance is other common con). Though such cases take place regularly and get widespread publicity in media,still there are enough fools in this land to make these Natwarlals rich. We have a proverb in Guju " Lobhiya hoy tyan Dhootara buhkya na rahe"( Where greedy people live, Con men will never starve).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

There is big hue and cry about huge sum being charged for admission in Medical College.Times Now did a sting operation on M.P.from southern state and exposed(!) the scam. Now almost all the aspirant to medical college know the asking price for seat in MBBS/BDS and Post Graduate courses. Its an open secret and these days students dont even appear for CET conducted by Pvt.Med.colleges. All the seats are booked in advance,sometimes 2-3 yrs ago. Every one knows but no action is taken because the Management belongs to Ruling party-Congress/NCP.

Both Congress and NCP have fine tuned this Business in medical Education and today its a Multi Crore business. All these Patils,Kadams and Nimbalkars have built up Educational Empires almost from nothing. it's very simple.

It started in 70s at District Level in Maharashtra. Local Politician( Mostly Congress) with the Blessings of the state level leader,would set up ****** Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana ( Cooperative Sugar factory) and would purchase 5 shares. He is the Promotor. Farmars would be persuaded to join in by purchasing 5 shares each. It's easy to get permission from Govt. ( Congress Govt.). Now from this seed( 5 Shares) a big banyan Tree will grow!. Sugar factory is the source to have seed capital. Coop banks would give huge loans against almost no surety and NO sugar factory has ever repaid the loan. if there is shortage than the farmers are there to contribute towards various causes like natural disasters and Wars.Ofcourse this is not paid to charities but is gobbled by the Chairman of SSK. There is limit to how much one can borrow from banks and poor impoverished farmers can be coerced to contribute. Fortunately for them, big hunger in India's huge middle class to be Doctor or Engineer showed them the perennial source of making money.

Next to Sugar factory they started School and Junior College. Land was available. Initial capital was diverted from sugar factory.People applauded.He has brought Education to their doorsteps.
But what the children would do after passing 10th in Marathi? Ah! He got the's Technical Institute, with courses in refrigeration,Automobile repair,electrician,Wireman & Diploma in computer,Electronics.

In few years upgrade this to Engg. College with permission from State Govt. This doesn't require lot of Infrastructure. (what's Infrastructure and Labs?). 50% of the seats are paying seats where one can take Donation money under the table. So now the Role is reversed. Instead of asking for contributions He can demand and also can grant favour by reducing or even agreeing to give admission. This is Political windfall as well. Now its easy to get elected as MLA . if luck is good may be MoS or berth in State Cabinet.

But his own family is also growing. His children are rearing to go and he has very little time to manage all these institutions. So he has to expand College,tech. Institute in new Mumbai.Pune.Nashik... so many cities in state. There is surfeit of Eng.Seats. But real shortage of Dentists and Doctors,especially in Rural area. now he is MLA/Minister, so its easy to get permission to start Medical/dental College.

He has the permission but MCI has this stupid rule.There should be a Hospital attached to Med.College. This is really nasty as setting up 200 bed Hospital requires good kitty and lot of hard work. But there is Khajana at the end of the tunnel! so there will be well meaning friends and well wishers, who would contribute towards cost of starting hospital and and they can request him to admit their candidates.Ofcourse after paying the Donation or Capitation Fee.

Now he has become "Sikshan Samrat".His trust has number of Engg./dental/medical colleges. His children are managing them staying near these Institutes in houses provided and maintained by the Institute. Car,telephones,vacations,Forign Tours are paid for by Institute. He has now applied for "Deemed University" status for his Trust colleges. Congress Govt. in state and Centre,and that hard working HRD Minister will give permission.

As "Deemed University" one is finally free from all supervision.Can conduct own Exams.can confer Degrees which may not be better than one given by Pvt. Management Schools. demand and take money for admission.A blank answer paper can get marks sufficient to get admission in Dental/med college as fixed. yes, Times Now has carried out sting operation but its a minor irritation.Congress friends in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha will make noises. It should look politically Correct. But admissions will continue as it used to. Elections are round the corner and party needs funds. So the Charade goes on. Are Bhai, if this Ukrainian,Russians and even Chinese are making so much money from med.Edu. why should you grudge Patils/Kadams/Nimbalkars making money?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Today after 3 months i entered Operation Theatre. I had to assist in Tubal Ligation operation by Laparotomy. Both for surgeon and for me it was doing an operation after a long hiatus. For almost more than decade Laparoscopic T.L. is preferred method. But once in while we get a patient who prefers this open method with almost nil chances of failure. For surgeon this operation is more difficult than Lap.TL, takes longer to perform.

when i joined as Resident in OB/GYN yrs ago.T.L. after Delivery was the First operation a Resident would get to do.After 2-3 operations, he was expected to do it on his own with only a Nurse to assist. Every operation day would have at least 4-5 T.L.s. Today the scenario has changed completely. TL is not preferred method. Among my friends and colleagues, i dont think anyone has undergone TL op. In our practice also number of TL op. have gone down drastically and after delivery ( once a preferred time) no one advises TL. If TL is to be done than Interval Lap TL is preferred method. This must be real spanner in achieving targets for Family Planning staff. Lap TL requires costly equipments and trained Doctors. ---PK

Monday, June 08, 2009

After longish 3 months stay with my son in Bay Area, it was back to Mumbai. Its really HOT here! After bracing 20 C in Sunnyvale,Mumbai's sweltering 30 C was really painful,life sapping ordeal. Today friends had planned to meet in Club. After 3 months of respectful 'Uncle" treatment,it was real pleasure to be with friends. Beer never tasted so refreshing and good. It was time to catch up.Though we were in constant touch thro phone,emails and chats, nothing surpasses get together and chat with friends. In months nothing changes as such but one expects that things would have changed for better during your absence. No such luck!!. Same Crazy,unregulated traffic,Eunuchs and Fruit sellers at Traffic lights,same chaos and Bheed everywhere. Ill have to start getting back to routine. Drive as one has to in Mumbai.

Amit Varma's first book has been published.Though we dont know each other, his blog on Tsunami got me hooked to this wonderful world of Blogs. i will remain indebted to him for this.I have missed his visit to Crossroad in Juhu to promote his Book which has received good reviews and i think i will buy it on my next visit to Crossroad.

Talk with friends these days is dominated by latest affliction suffered by Mumbai suburbs. "Redevelopment". Though the buildings are not even 30 yrs old,their prime location between Bandra and Andheri has made them prime target for redevelopment. So the talk with Builder is "on",then 'Off'. Started again as market in Real Estate has on and on. Funnily the cost of construction is suppose to be Rs.1000/- PSF. and Market rate for flat is Rs.15000/- psf, so the builder cant pay out even 2-3 residents if they are unwilling to join. It exceeds the entire project cost!! Everyone wants to join in and wants new,bigger house,no maintenance charges with nice corpus. But no one is sure when they will get the possession and how long they may have to stay in rented apartment. If builder runs away then what? For every completed project there are 4 incomplete projects with building demolished and owners staying in rented houses for years. Legal remedy is costly one in these cases. New problems on daily basis for Aam Aadmi.--PK