Monday, 28 February 2011
Monday, 21 February 2011
Sunday, 20 February 2011
In January and February, newspapers were full of stories about the horrendous incident in which a senior Government Officer was allegedly burned to death because he had witnessed the pilfering of fuel by some people from a tanker in one of the towns in Maharashtra. The name Sonawane became synonymous with the name of an honest Government Worker! The news headlines reminded me about the various kinds of scandals we are famous for, like the 2G scandal, the CWG scandal, and now we had the so called fuel pilferage/adulteration scandal. I thought that like the other scandals, this too would die away, and thought no further! Little did I know about what was to happen to me.
One fine day, in the first week of February, (the second of February) I left school as usual after 2:00 p.m. for home. I was riding my bike at a steady pace, when, near T-junction on the road to Ashok Vihar, a place called Wazirpur Village, the engine of my bike sputtered to an embarrassing stop. Well I free-wheeled a bit switched the fuel tap to reserve, and then stopped the bike. I ran a mental check list of what could have gone wrong- spark plugs(there are two)-check, reserve fuel-check, tilt the bike to its side, use starter, and choke-done! All my activities were futile, the bike just wouldn’t start, it would start, sputter and then stop!
Sweating, fed up and angry, I went looking for a mechanic, and found one right next to a puncture-wala who had once sold me a substandard tube for the rear wheel. The fellow was busy and he told me to bring the bike to him! Couldn’t help it, I went back to the bike, and brought it to the mechanic. He started it, it spluttered and the engine note faded away. “Water” he said and went on to drain the carburettor. He showed me drops of water and said he would have to clean the fuel tank. “Well do it!” I said to him having no other option! The mechanic drained the petrol from the fuel tank, and what I saw shocked me beyond words! Out of the four litres of petrol drained from the tank, half a litre was water! The water had settled to the bottom of the pet bottle and the petrol was floating on top of it! Another mechanic arrived, looked at the dismantled tank and commented, “water in the tank, well this has been a common complaint during the month of January, especially after the hike in the prices of petrol!” I felt really angry that I had not only paid more for the adulterated petrol, but also had been stranded in Delhi and wasted so much time, and sweat!
It all connects.If fuel is adulterated in a faraway town in Maharashtra, then there is a chance that it would reach you in Delhi, and next be in your tank! It is infuriating to think that you have spent your hard earned Rupees on and already overpriced commodity which is also substandard. Adulterated fuel can also damage the engine of your costly car. Water has a corrosive effect, and it can eat away into the cylinder-lining. Kerosene in the petrol can lead to formation of excess carbon deposits in the cylinder head, and tappets. It is difficult to imagine the quantum of loss caused to the National Exchequer by adulteration of fuel in India. What I know is that the water in the tank of my bike caused me a great problem. I wasted a lot of time, had to pay the mechanic for cleaning the tank, and most of all had to sweat unnecessarily!
I remember Sonawane and this is a tribute to all those honest Government Workers who are waging a dangerous battle against pilferage and adulteration of essential commodities in India! Pilferage exists everywhere, and at all levels. I could not blame the petrol pump which I frequent regularly because for all I know, the petrol was already adulterated with water when it reached the petrol vendor. That this was not an isolated event was borne by the mechanic’s remark that he had received many such cases in the month of January and February.
Saturday, 19 February 2011
I zip along the highway,
And see the green fields pass by.
The green fields of wheat and yellow of
Mustard greet my eyes. I wonder if,
The greenness of the fields could,
Refresh a tired mind!
The yellow of mustard remind me of
The bright colour of Autumn. The fresh air of
The fields assault my senses,
The bounty of mother nature teaches
That one should appreciate nature,
For she is bountiful and mature.
To be one with nature is my dream,
Haryana, you are the land of my dream!
The farmer on the tractor chugs through,
He is lost in green thoughts through and through!
I am lost in green thoughts of what my future will be.
Will I pass into a place where life fruitful may be!
Friday, 18 February 2011
The recent turmoil in Egypt and the growing unrest in North Africa including Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Tunisia are all indications that the common Man is becoming tired of despots, tyrants, and dictators! The twenty-first century has become an era where the common man’s voice is heard, and respected! The advent of the Information Technology Age has empowered the common man to make his voice heard.The Internet is the mouth-piece of the common man. Incidentally, the Egyptian leaders attempted to switch off the Internet, so that the outside world could be kept in the dark about the events in Egypt! The firewalls however couldn’t shut down internet traffic on cell phones, it was only cables that were shut down!
The discontent of the citizens of the countries close to Egypt Geographically was manifested in Bahrain, on the 17th. of February where the protestors were dealt with a harsh hand. The days of the Desert Lion, also seem to be numbered, and the people of Libya seem to be preparing for, “A day of rage”. People in India often wonder how events in Egypt,Tunisia and Libya could affect them. Globalisation has meant that today we are living in a Global Village, and what happens in a far away country has a ripple effect.Thus, if there is instability in West Asia, or North Africa then oil prices are bound to shoot up, and of course, the Sensex goes into a nose dive, the market becomes rather nervous and jittery!
In an already delicate global environment, it has become important to introduce reforms at a fast pace. Centralisation of powers should be done away with. The need of the day is to introduce de-centralisation, a system of appointing leaders, presidents, and prime ministers where the common man has a choice or a say! It is pertinent of the Honourable Prime Minister to say that that Egypt cannot be replicated in India, because India is a Democracy where Indians can change the Government if they choose! However being a democracy doesn’t mean that we should be complacent. Change is inevitable, it is a fact, a reality, and it is there to stay. We have to steer away from a dictatorial style of Leadership, and instead adopt a more democratic style of Governance.
Saturday, 5 February 2011
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
The Dhanpatmal Virmani Senior Secondary School celebrated its Annual Day on the twenty-ninth of January 2011. The Chief Guest on the occasion was Professor Satish Chander Parasher, an old boy of the school and the Principal of the College of Architecture at Cheheru, Phagwara, Punjab. Mr. Anil Virmani, the Chairman of the school was also present on the occasion. Also present on the occasion was Mr.V.K. Palta, ex-Vice Principal of the school.
A colourful and scintillating cultural programme was presented by the students of the school, these included: Ish Vandana,Folk dances, and Hip Hop dances and Jugalbandi which enthralled the Audience.
The prize distribution ceremony was an important part of the function. Prizes and certificates were given to meritorious students by the Chief Guest, Professor Parashar, Mr. Anil Virmani, the Chariman of the School, and Dr.Dharmbir Singh, the Principal of the school.
The function was anchored by Miss Archana who made the occasion lively with her comments and introductions. The Chief Guest spoke a few words to inspire the students, and Dr.Dharambir Singh read the Annual Report detailing the progress made by the school. Mr.Anil Virmani read the vote of thanks. The function ended with the singing of the National Anthem.
The Dhanpatmal Virmani Senior Secondary School is grateful to Professor Parashar for sparing some of his valuable time for his old school!