Sunita Williams missing

I lived in JNU for two days with my Muslim friend. His brother and cousin are also student at JNU and they also live here in the hostel. They told me a really crazy story. They said that when they were in Aligarh Muslim University a few years back, once all the students were called together to listen to a lecture which was going to be delivered by a mullah (a religious leader of Islam). They did not know what this mullah was supposed to talk about but what they heard in his lecture made them really angry. The lecture was supposed to be about Islam but in fact it was against America.

The mullah talked about the India-origin astronaut named Sunita Williams who went to space under a NASA program in the year 2006. The mullah said that when Sunita was in space and looked towards the earth, she found the whole earth dark but two places- Mecca and Medina ( two holiest cities of Islam). He said that everything looked dark to Sunita but Mekka and Madina were shining like a star. It was a miracle of Allah and it proved that Allah is the greatest one and Islam is the only true religion. After seeing this, Sunita with other six astronauts, who were working together in space, turned highly devoted to Islam.

And after coming back to earth they converted to Islam. But the American government did not like it and they did something and now Sunita and the other six astronauts were missing. The mullah did not say anything about what happened with them but it was a clear indication that something wrong had happened with them. He meant to say that Sunita and the other people were missing only because they converted to Islam and the American government did not like it. My friend told me that the mullahs were so angry and loud when they were telling this story.

The mullah was saying that Sunita was always on Indian TV before she went to space and even after coming from space for few days. But after a few days she never appeared on the TV again. The mullahs were asking to the students where was Sunita? Was this her fault that she found Mecca and Medina most shining cities on the planet and realized the truth that Islam was the real religion and Allah is the only God and finally they converted to Islam? After hearing this students were so angry. Even my friend who is doing a PhD also believed him. My friend is not an exception but I was shocked to see such an educated person believing this kind of crazy story.

I knew that this story was bullshit so I showed him some information online. I already knew that Las Vegas was the most shining city on the planet and I told him about it. He was pretending to be against that mullah’s story after reading the Las Vegas article on Wikipedia but still it seemed like he believed that mullah’s story more. I remember that once my friend had told me that it was his dream to see the complete destruction of America sometime before he dies. I asked him why and he told me several stories of America in Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq…

I do not understand why a few religious leaders do such things. What is the problem with them. They must understand that spreading wrong information and getting involved in politics is also one the reasons why Christians have stopped going to the Churches. I don’t think religion is bad but religion becomes really bad when such religious leaders become the leaders of the religion. A few of my Christan friends told me that churches in the West used to issue a certificate saying that the all the sins are forgiven and they charge money for it. People stop practicing religion when such things take place and when people come to know about the reality and these religious leaders must understand it.

They must know that they are not doing something good for the religion, in fact it will show a terribly negative impact in the future when people will have information and Internet is spreading fast and they should consider it as a alarm of danger for them. People will question them and they will have no answer.

Airtel mobile phone scam

The SIM card I use for my mobile is an Airtel, which is the biggest service provider of India. I had received a call from them a few months ago which was about choosing a caller tune for my mobile. The computer played some songs first and then said to press the button 3 if I wanted to choose the song as my caller tune. It said that if I press the button 3, I will be subscribed for the service for next week and they will charge me Rs. 10. I wanted to hang up but by mistake I pressed button 3 instead of red button which was just above button 3 and got subscribed for the service.

But I did not mind it as I knew that I had got subscribed only for a week. The next week they sent me a message saying that they had renewed my subscription which I did not want to do. I tried to contact customer care but I could not because I had a lifetime validity plan. I went to their office and they said that lifetime validity plan customers can not talk to the customer care, it was crazy. I think they do this because life timeplan customers pay less money.

It continued like this for three months and I kept loosing my balance but I did not know where my balance was going. I used to recharge my mobile and did not get proper balance. I used to think that somebody had used my mobile and my balance was negative and when I recharged my mobile, they deducted the previous balance. After few months I changed my plan. I chose a monthly billing system where they send the detailed bill. I was shocked to see my first month’s bill. They were charging me Rs. 68 per month for that caller tune.

If I had subscribed for a caller tune on a monthly basis, then I would have paid Rs. 30 per month but since I had chosen this weekly subscription they were charging me Rs. 68. They used to charge me Rs. 10 per week for the caller tune and Rs. 7 per week for an SMS which was sent automatically to renew the service for the next week. I never sent that message. Computer used to send the message and then charge me for it. It was crazy. This amount of Rs. 68 was not a big deal but I did not like the way they cheated me.

I went to their office to get unsubscribed from this service and the representative there asked me to call on a number. I asked her to unsubscribe me from that service by using her office computer but she said that it could not be done by any office; it could be done only if I call that number. I called that number and it was really crazy. I still remember when I had subscribed for that service that the computer was talking to me in Hindi. Actually there was an option for choosing the language but when I wanted to unsubscribe, there was no option for choosing the language.

The computer was talking in English. I hung up the call and connected again just to see if there was any option to choose language or not and again it was same- no option for Hindi. The thing that made the process more difficult was the accent; it was a very hard American accent. Even though I often talk with the Americans and am very familiar with the American accent but still it was hard for me to understand what the computer was talking about. The computer was speaking too fast with some strange accent.

I listened to the computer’s voice twice and then I could understand and could unsubscribe from the caller tune service. But I wonder what the people can do if they do not know any English or are not familiar with a foreign accent. What they will do, keep paying Rs. 68 per month for nothing??? These crazy corporations can do anything, just anything to make money.

No computers, No English, No stock market, No harvesting machines…

The politics is at its top in India nowadays. All the political parties have released their manifesto for the coming election. Samajwadi Partyalso released its manifesto yesterday in Lucknow. The chief of Samajwadi Party, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav ,said yesterday that if they win the election and come in power then they will ban computers, English medium schools, stock market, harvesting machines, high salaries in the corporate sector… He believes that computers create unemployment, English is also not good, harvesting machines also create unemployment, high salaries paid by corporate sectors are also not good…

I think it would better to help Hindi and strengthen it, not to kill English. India is known as a global market for all sorts of things and we are better than China only because we speak better English than them and this Samajvadi Party wants to ban English in India. What would we do if English is stopped? Fewer and fewer people want to speak Hindi now and government is not doing anything for it. Our prime minister, president, chief of congress, and a lot of other politicians never speak any Hindi but Samajwadi Party never suggested to them to start speaking Hindi, at least when they address the nation.

The son of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav also got his schooling from an English medium school. Mulayam Singh used to be a teacher at that time but he did not think about the importance of Hindi when he sent his son to English medium school but he wants to ban English medium schools for the general people of India. I think they should better introduce some law that talks about giving priority to Hindi but please don’t stop English. I wonder if Mulaym Singh Yadav was sleeping when Raj Thakare had targeted thousands of Hindi speaking people in Mumbai?

Hundreds of people were killed, kicked out of Maharastra, lost their jobs but Mulayam Singh Yadav never spoke against this crazy and cruel activities but now since elections have come up, he talks about the importance of Hindi. I am really sad the way Hindi is disappearing from India but it doesn’t mean that we should kick English out of India. We need both languages but Hindi should be given priority at least when we talk to Indians. Mulayam Singh Yadav wants to ban computers also which could be the craziest thing to talk about. In the 21st century when the whole world wants to implement as many computers as possible in the system, our politicians want to ban them.

Didn’t Mulayam Singh think about how his manifesto was printed? I am sure this manifesto was printed by computers. India makes a huge amount of money from the computers; we are a global computer and IT market and Mulayam Singh wants to ban this business. I think they should better try to stop corruption not computers. When Mulaym Singh Yadav was ruling Uttar Pradesh last time, his government had created thousands of new jobs in the police force. His party lost the next elections and new party led by Mayawati came in power.

She constituted a committee to audit those police jobs and found that all the jobs were given after taking bribes. She terminated all 18,000 policemen and the case is still pending in Supreme Court of India. I think computers help decrease the corruption and Mulayam Singh Yadav wants to ban them so that when he rules Uttar Pradesh next time and recruits new policemen by taking bribes, nobody can find any evidence against him. This is very smart decision, I think, which will help Mulayam Singh in the future but what about India?

Mulayam Singh Yadav doesn’t like stock market either. I can think of only one reason behind it which is all the politicians are supposed to declare their assets before filing their candidature-shipin the elections. If they invest in the Indian stock market, they will have to declare this investment also because this share trading is maintained on computers and is very tough to hide. Our criminal politicians, government officers and other rich people have deposited $1500 billion in Swiss banks and their money is safe there, so they do not need to declare this money. So if there is no stock market in India, they can steal India’s money and deposit it in the Swiss banks and people would never know about it.

Samajwadi Party talks about stopping harvesting machines. They do not like them because they think that these machines create unemployment. I wonder where the Samajwadi Party was when their supporting party Congress gave a contract to American companies to bring their machines to destroy Setusamundram bridge? Isn’t is crazy? They want to bring the machines to destroy an icon of Hindu culture? Each and every Hindu has respect for this bridge and the government wanted to destroy it. Mulayam Singh Yadav did not talk about this issue but he talks about the harvesting machines.

Our politicians don’t even think about what they are saying. They just need the vote and they can do anything to get it. This is their only motto, that’s all. Mulayam Singh Yadav has targeted poor, uneducated and innocent people of India as his vote bank. He is trying to say that computers, English, stock market and harvesting machines are responsible for their poverty. I think Mulayam Singh Yadav should better plan something to provide them good quality education, to do something to decrease corruption and to preserve our culture by preserving Hindi and Setusamundram bridge. “Vote ke liye sala kuch bhi karega. ..”

822-year-old-living person

Elections are coming and the Election Commission of India is working hard on getting voter ID card to all the voters. It’s a new system in India that all the voters should have a voter id card otherwise they will not be able to vote. The government always says that they will block any person who doesn’t have a voter ID card but every year two three days before elections news comes from the Election Commission of India saying that anyone can participate in the elections, even those who don’t have a voter ID card because Election Commission of India was not able to reach everyone.

The government has been spending a huge amount of money on this project but they were never ever successful. The funniest thing is that almost 50% of the voter ID cards have wrong information or some kind of misprinting. I often hear about these things but today I heard about a huge mistake that a human should not do. Amar Ujala, the leading Hindi newspaper of India, has published an article today (08/04/09) saying that the Election Commission of India has issued a voter ID card for someone named Ballu who lives in Muradabad and his age is mentioned as 822 year old.

He went to the Election Commission of India office but they did not have any answer and since elections are not more than 10 days away from now, Ballu will not lose his time by going to the office again and again to get a new voter ID card. He will use the same card and vote as a 822 year-old person. In the same way they have issued voter ID cards to Nanhi and Khurseed where they are mentioned as only two years old. They will also do the same thing- vote as a two-year-old girl. Their third mistake is that they have issued 424 voter ID cards on only one address, which means according to the Election Commission of India there are 424 people from the same family and same house.

When I got my first voter ID card, I still remember that my father’s name was printed on my card and the address was also wrong. I went to them to complain about it and they asked me to come back before a month of next elections, after five years, when they will start working again on this project. Even though the voter ID cards are issued by the government of India, they are not recognized as a residential or personal identity proof by any institution in India, whether government or private, only because of these terrible mistakes. The newspaper Times of India had published an article on the 24th of March about the same kind of mistake done by the Election Commission of India where they had issued a voter ID card to a twelve year old girl.

The Indian government is not smart enough to deal with issuing better voter ID cards but just to show off they are going to built nuclear power plants. With voter ID cards they are just supposed to collect good quality datas and print them on paper, and they can’t even do that propely. How will they deal with such a huge project like nuclear power plants??? I always wonder if India is ready for this kind of project where there is no margin for error or if our government is smart enough to deal with nuclear waste or nuclear power??? After looking at these kinds of mistakes, it doesn’t seem so to me, though.

Meeting advocate for tour guide lawsuit

I went to Delhi on the 9th to be part of the case that is going to be filed against the Ministry of Tourism for the Government of India for not the starting tour guide training program in 2008. This training was supposed to start from the 6th of October but could not because the Guide Association of Jaipur sued the government for organizing training in different way than their training. I had a lot of work to do in Delhi but I could not do anything except meeting the advocate because the train was delayed for three hours and the advocate was busy with someone else.

I was supposed to arrive in Delhi at 9 o’clock but I reached there around 12 o’clock. I had planned to get my laptop and camera checked at some store in Delhi, and get some photos of the hills of plastic around Delhi city but I could not do anything because of the delay of the train. I went to meet the advocate at the High court of Delhi. He was already busy with some very important person. I had to wait in his office for more than two hours. The advocate said that he was talking to the DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police).

The advocate said that there was some case against the DCP related to extra income beyond normal salary. I heard them talking that CBI (Central Bureau of Invistigation) was also involved in this case which means this DCP was too corrupt. A DCP gets around twenty thousand as salary, but all the DCP rank officers have very fancy cars, bungalow and a lot of other luxury items. How do we hope for a good system if the system makers are not systematic? If a DCP is corrupt then everyone working under him must also be corrupt because the bribe never goes directly to the upper officers, it always passes through the lower management people.

After waiting for two hours I finally met the advocate. I was surprised to see that a young, only 30-35 years old, High-court advocate knew nothing about computers. He was not even able to type properly. He took at least ten-fifteen minutes to type my name and address. He told me to type on his computer but I did not do it because I had enough time and because I wanted to see a High court advocate struggling with a computer. He printed the wrong paper three times. He would write my name but print someone else’s paper.

After spending one hour watching the advocate struggling with the computer my work was finally done. He told me to call him on the 22nd of this month to see the judgment of the court. He charged me Rs. 3000 as his fee. He had charged Rs. 2000 last time for the same kind of case so I don’t know why he charged me Rs. 1000 extra. It is worth giving three thousand if he can get me the permit. He said that this time he will appeal the court to order the Ministry of Tourism to provide a license which would be valid until they start the training program.

Last time permit was only valid for one month and I had to go to Delhi again and again to get it renewed. I hope this time they don’t do this. I walked all the way from High court to Cannaught place and took some time there just watching the modern people of modern India. I think now the time has come for the government to introduce some health-related subjects to all the students. I saw a lot of, lot of young fat people. I am sure it is neither from meat nor from ghee (butter). It is all impact of western culture.

People in modern cities of India like to have lots of fast food and soft drinks which is the prime cause of obesity. The percentage of literate persons is higher in big cities than small cities, but health of the people is still better in the old cities like Varanasi. I see a lot of people driving Mers and other luxury cars or the people who look very educated opening the window of their car and throwing rubbish on the road. I think we need a huge change in our education system.

I had planned to take some pics of dumped plastic near the railway track but could not do it because it was already so misty, and anyway I had already taken few photos morning time. I think I have to take pics in Varanasi. It was not very successful trip but neither do I regret I went to Delhi. At least I will get the license.

India-America nuclear deal

Its a big news here about India-America nuclear deal. I dont know exactly about this deal but we often hear about it in media. I wanted to learn about how nuclear power works and it was best opportunity for me to learn with Stephan who was a electric engineer from Switzerland and was staying at my guest house. He said that Switzerland has nuclear power stations which produce huge waste but there is no way to get rid of this waste completely. Switzerland either dig the montains and fill it with waste or throw it in the ocean which sounds terrible.

Indian government is trying hard to get uranium from America to built nuclear power stations in India. Indian government had to face huge problems when they brought this idea of making a deal with America to get uranium. Their supporting parties took support back and the government was about to fall. They had to prove their majority again in parliament. Finally they were able to do it but if this deal is just about polluting our natural resources then we should not think about it. Definately we will have more power which we are in need of but there are other ways also to generate elecricity. We have already destroyed our rivers, jungles, trees, animals and other natural resources and now it sounds like turn of ocean and mountains.

The supporting parties of congress took their support back because they wanted to know about this deal and congress was not agree to tell them everything about it. So it is very much hided that very few people know about it. I tried to look online about it but there was not enough information. I have heard that this deal is about getting uranium from American and let them interfere in our nuclear programs? I am not sure. I dont know what our government wants.

Canadian Web Developer studies Music in Varanasi

I hosted a tenant from Montreal for one month in my guest house. His name is Will Eizlini but my family gave him a Indian name- Willu. His friend Bijay had contacted me through some Lonely Planet Forum posting where somebody had recommended my name. I still don’t know who did that but I was happy to get a long term tenant. Willu wanted to learn Tabla in Varanasi but he didn’t know any teacher therefore I told him about Pandit Shivnath Mishra’s school. Even though they are famous for Sitar but they have Tabla teachers also.

Willu works as web developer and he could work from anywhere in the world, he just needed Internet connection. So he asked me if I had Internet or not. I had Internet in my room but not in guest’s room but I always wanted to give Internet to all my guests so this was the best opportunity for me to spread Internet in my home. First I thought to buy Wi-Fi modem but my service provider suggested that Wi-Fi still doesn’t work well in India so I bought a router and spread the wire in all rooms. Thanks Willu to make me spread Internet in all the rooms.

Willu was happy to attend his office right from my room. I was also amazed to see him working for Canadian company right from my house. He would make over Canadian $30 per hour, it was a amazing salary for a traveler. I think his job was best for a traveler. Willu took Tabla classes at Shivnath Mishra’s school for 3 days but he was not happy with them because his Tabla teacher could not speak any English. Willu didn’t want a fluent English speaking tabla teacher but he wanted his teacher to be able to make him understand the things.

At the same time there was a live show of Pandit Shivnath Mishra, his son Pandit Deobrat Mishara and Fazal Qureshi (brother of Zakir Hussain) in Diamond Hotel, Varanasi. I was invited by Pandit Deobrat Mishra but Willu had to pay Rs. 500 to go there. We saw that show and it was amazing, really amazing. I loved seeing Fazal Qureshi as he was so fast on Tabla. Sitar was kind of boring for me but I loved Tabla. I had never ever seen someone playing that fast Tabla before.

Willu met few Canadians there who were also learning Tabla in Varanasi. They were going to Mr. Pravin Uddhav who was professor of Indian classical music at BHU (Benares Hindu University). All those Canadians recommended him and we also decided to meet him. We went to his residence next day which was inside the BHU campus. I left Willu and came back and when Willu came back to home he was so happy that finally he got the right teacher. Willu said that Pravin Uddhav was very good Tabla player and he could good enough English to make people understand.

Willu quit going to Pandit Deobrat Mishra’s school and learnt with Pravin Uddhav for one month. Willu flew back to Chennai after one month. He wanted to stay longer in Varanasi but his another instrument (don’t remember the name) teacher was going to perform a live show in Banglore which Willlu wanted to attend.