Cities of life.

When I woke up today’s morning trees was washed and roads were wet. Yeah, today morning Delhi had showers of rain. Life on roads was crawling and took longer than what people take time to travel, as city was not prepared for uncertain rain. I got lost in memories and that took me to the cities where I have been in past years.

Visiting a country or city is much more different than living and working in it. Then only one get the real feel of the place when one stay there for a period of time not like being a guest. When he communicate, search for grocery shops, super markets and where to get home delivery of cheap yet yummy food. Not like seeing the monumental sights or going to biggest mall or ordering delicious dinner by sitting in five star hotel. And when one ownself finds out the details that is what called getting ‘city experience’. I read somewhere- “The world is like a book, if you don’t travel, you only read one page”. My list is quite long to visit this wonderful world, will talk about it some other day.
For now here goes the list of some cities where I stayed in recent past.

Ahmedabad – It is in Gujrat state, this city is full of enthusiasm, colors and traditions. People are nice, friendly thorough little bit orthodox. If you know Hindi, you can understand bit of Gujrati too.
Pros : Safest city for women, you can travel alone. Just be careful while visiting old city areas in riots time or something. Enjoy ice-cream (It is world largest ice-cream consuming city.), milk products at cheap rate.
Cons : It’s a dry state so be careful if you thinking to booze there. Be alert, as you never know when earthquake shakes you from sound sleep.

Chennai – It is automobile hub of India. As it lies on the thermal equator so weather is always hot and full of humidity. Filter coffee is specialty and you can get good south indian breakfast every morning.
Pros : If you are a beach person, you would love to go for morning or evening walk either on famous marina beach or beach near your place.
Cons : Water problem, Drink only mineral water. Language is again a problem.

Gurgaon – It is in Haryana state and Delhi’s NCR. Historically it is connected with Hindu mythology (Mahabhartya). Its is India biggest outsourcing hub and all major MNC offices and IT & BPO companies are here.
Pros : You would love skyscrapers and Multiplexes in this city. You will get world class living apartment with security, 24-hour power backup and water; on a good high price for sure.
Cons : Public Transport. Get a car for every family member. There are no auto rickshaws or anything if you want to communicate in the city or even problem if you are coming from outside. And currently no plan of connecting it with Delhi’s Metro trains.

New Delhi – Capital of India, have everything that you would like to have in a metro. Cultural diversity as people from all states comes here still you will feel Punjabi flavor at every corner of the city.
Pros : Wider and connected roads. Nice places to roam around, enjoy mughlai cuisine. Being here is like seeing the whole India from local perspective.
Cons : Water problem in most of the areas, Not too safe to travel alone and Auto rickshaws walas are moody.

Mumbai – This metro is in Mahrastra state. Famous bollywood is here only. Weather is always same throughout the year. And Mumbai’s rain; the local people are just used to it better you to be.
Pros : This city remains awake 24 hours. It is quite safe to travel alone. Can get food and wine easily.
Cons : Traffic is terrible. As city never sleeps so you can get struck up in traffic anytime you go.
More on city’s life in next episode.

Blog Culture

XI th DBM (Delhi Bloggers Meet) with BBC. Yeah, three people (Bill, Julian, Gareth) from BBC, UK came to India. Bill is one of the Britain’s leading authority on blogging and Net activism and advises the EU. He also writes a column for BBC’s website. While Julian is broadcast journalist & producer of the BBC world programme Digital Planet and Gareth is the presenter of same show.
Then there were regular DBM members along with lots of new members and very old members, coming from 1st DBM that happened in 13th January, 2004. Like Twilight Fairy, she is regular from very 1st DBM meet.

Initial DBMs used to be about photography or discussing given issues or just for the sake of a meet but this DBM was special as we were talking about the Indian blogging scenario in a global context. How more & more people are being aware of Blog ( as you might know the percentage of internet user in India is less compare to USA & UK internet population, now imagine the time they spend on internet specially for blogging). We talked about personal stuff writing bloggers to professional & corporate bloggers. How now a days bloggers started making money by using blogging as a source of income and how effective is cyber journalist.
Some issues like accessibility etc were also discussed. What bloggers blog about – Is it good to give links to others websites or jotting down own original thoughts about an issue. How long they remain an active member, the frequency of their posts.
I came back quite early so I missed the 2nd half. More reviews should be on the other DBM members’s blogs.

Here are some of captured moments at India Habitat Centre, 6th may, 06, 6:30 pm onwards.

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Knowledge Upgradation.

‘Books are the best friends’. So is being a bookworm is more important or keeping own self updated. I have seen many people who love to read a lot for information gathering. And there are people who don’t like to read much. There is contradiction yet what is common in both, both keep themselves updated with the latest and familiar with old. Then there are two more groups- who don’t read at all, just thinks what the need after college and getting a job, remain in hidden inside a cocoon. Or there are people who read lots not useful. And one specific sector how can I forget because at times I feel I belong to that group J who reads (or like) but can’t remember after sometime.
I found a very interesting post ‘the myth of Keeping up’. Here Kathy is talking about:

What you plan to read and what actually you read in a week.
I have seen my IT friends reading a lot of technology stuff, all coding related books but at times forgetting about the other important and relevant information. A software engineer might say why I read about the making of this part or it is not so important for me too know about assemblance of this when there is 24 hours availability of system administrator or so in company. Instead I read more about .net. Like a doctor would be much interested in knowing about what technologies related to health but would neglect the other area that might be useful at a rare time when he is working on his laptop.
Just like designers who might be not much interested in reading literature and would not like to know about history which could be useful at times. Design schools faculties always says to students to read newspaper daily and knowing little bit about business and economics and for that they never get time.
Time is such a factor that restrict ourselves numbers of times even when we are really interested in knowing and reading about that. At times we have such a long list of ‘to read’ or subscribe to so many groups and newsletters that we hardly get times. Even check your blogroll it might be so long that by the time you get chance to visit your favorite blog it has been a month and you missed an interesting post.
In past few years I have observed lots of people reading habits; specially youngsters. I have seen employers reading their favorite novels while sipping a cup of tea or browsing their favorite blog in-between the boring work- life. Then there are college students half sleeping with heavy books or visit library for sleeping in AC and school kids mugging the school books. Even few of my friends don’t read newspaper (even headlines) at all and don’t watch TV. The only way to know about world for them is listening from others mouth. Then few can’t sleep without reading a novel. And there are people like me who save things to read soon. And this ‘soon’ neither comes sooner or later.

I was thinking what basically make difficult for people to read and remember or hurdles after overcoming the time problem:

– Few subjects are so hard to understand that one will give up just by having a glance, few seems so boring that you can’t start and few seems like I know about it or read similar before so why to read.

– One more issue is how we read. Reading while traveling is worst way to read. You can’t remember much this way. Reading half sleepy is again make no sense. Reading but not paying attention much to content but more to people around you. The lighting or the ambience.
– Reading so much that there is over flowing of information and you loose track what you read exactly and mix up the information.
– Reading for the sake of reading like you have to subscribe to that many newsletters so have to finish but your mind is thinking simultaneously about the project deadline.
– Buying so many books and getting confused what to start first.
– I read about this & that now I want to blog about it. So while reading your brain is more working what will I write if I have to talk on this subject while missing the already said contents.

Well there could more issues but who am I to talk as myself is very bad reader.