Monday, January 12, 2004

Today is Swami Vivekananda's(1863-1902) 141st birth anniversary.

His own words reflect the concepts of communal harmony and religious peace that seems to be missing in this world nowadays...

" Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if any one here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, "Brother, yours is an impossible hope." Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.

The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant. It develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.

Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth "

Some photographs of the Swami

Saturday, January 10, 2004

India Rising - Returning to the golden ages...

India is surely on the path of resurgence - no doubt about it and will reach on to a greater position of strength this new year ! Certainly apart from the Gujarat riots, the BJP led National Democratic Alliance's five (plus one) years tenure has had lots of positive facets as it is working hard to raise the economic, strategic and domestic image of India and raise the standard of living of the citizens of India. From a passive observer, it has gone on to forge active ties with USA, China, Israel etc. etc. flexing its muscles when required (remember the manner in which Pokharan was done (NTK - something that seems impossible in India) - CIA and USA first time came to know something from Media ! ). The morale and spirits of people as a whole in the country is certainly high at this time and not a false high this time around.
With such passionate visionaries like our scientist President (A P J Abdul Kalam) and our poet Prime Minister (Atal Bihari Vajpayee), Mission 2020 (India turning into a developed nation) will be a dream come true.


- Our GDP growth rate this year is 7% + (projected)
- Foreign exchange reserves are at 102 billion + USD
- The major stock exchange BSE (Bombay stock exchange) stands at a never before high of 6200+ points
- The telecom connectivity density has gone up to record levels.
- The Golden Quadrilateral National Highways Project has injected a surge in the number of vehicles on Indian roads

And many more things that I am not aware of ...
Let us get some more statistics guys !

To Maharashtra and back.

Just back from Nashik and Pune after a week on official duty ......
During onward journey in 2 Tier AC, we were thrown out at Dharmavaram on 3rd Jan 'cause I and a colleague were under waiting list.
Then came back to Bangalore and went by a Volvo semi-sleeper bus coach on 4th Jan upto Pune.
The travel in bus was not very eventful with two long tunnels on the Bangalore - Pune ? Highway; the first one is long and lit up with electric lights all through the length of the tunnel. The bus as such gets 70/100 marks for comfort from my side. Trains are certainly more comfortable.
Pune to Nashik in some private bus.

Work (testing of hardware and software and successful interfacing of certain devices and equipment) at Army camp (School of Artillery) Deolali on 6th 7th and 8th. Other people had started off their work on 5th itself.

Visited the Sai Baba ashram at Shirdi too on 8th Jan!
The Ashrama has a Darshan Sthan akin to the Tirupati Darshan with an imposing marble figure of the Baba in sitting posture, with some amazing brass and silver filigree and sculpture work all along the ceiling. Then there is the enclosed tree where the Baba used to sit, now a shrine and the mosque where the Baba used to meditate now a holy place for both hindus and muslims - true religious harmony. There is also a fire burning there in the interior of the mosque which was supposedly lit up by a miracle by the Baba.

Came back via Indian Railways... Coimbatore Express on 9th Jan 10 pm.

Food on the trip we took to a minimum extent to keep out germs and maintain stomach ailments away; as travel and food always seem to be rivals for me.
The hotel we stayed at in Nashik � The Panchavati Yatri was also quite good.
Had a good time. Stay was fine - temperatures are not too extreme there, just as in Bangalore.