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Windows 7: First Look

Installed the pre-beta release of windows 7 (Build 6956) yesterday and it didn’t surprise me as Vista (or Longhorn) did two years back. Windows 7 (code name Vienna) borrows a lot from Vista, its interface is similar to Vista. There are a few new features which are actually an improvement of existing features in Vista.

Here are a few screenshots:

MS Paint has a new look, also start-up panel has got a new functionality, it displays all the recent files opened by a program. Squared programs are the new addition into windows Accessories.

Window-flip of Vista is absent in W7, but new feature of displaying all the similar programs in a tab bar is better than Window-flip, you can close a window without switching to it.

This is the next release of windows media player i.e. version 12, there are a few minor enhancement but overall it looks same as version 11, which is what we use.

The Great Wall of India

Almost a decade earlier I had a habit of collecting newspaper cutting related to my areas of interests. This no-profit business ended in 2001 with two files containing more than 4000 paper cuttings, covering various fields like science, geography, history, sports etc. But all of them were from Hindi newspapers so half of them were unreliable. Hindi newspapers are one of the worst sources of information; they are good for only local news.

Once my eyes caught a small article bearing a heading “Bharat ki Mahaan Deewar” (The Great Wall of India). Though the article contained only two small paragraphs, the information it contained was astonishing. It said there used to be a wall running no more than 2,300 miles, from Himalayas to Orissa. It was not made of concrete or bricks but of bushes and plants, and it was built by Alan Octavian Hume (founder of Indian National Congress). The article said nothing about the objective of the wall but there was information about the year when it was built, it said around 1870s. But when you search over internet about any such information you get nothing. Even biographies of A. O. Hume don’t say anything about 3,700 kilometers long wall. And when you search ‘The Great Wall of India’ on internet, the results will display content related to famous cricketer Rahul Dravid.

Historians always ignored it and therefore very few people knew about it, the people who saw it. In 2001 a tea planter Roy Moxham published a book on this subject and named it “The Great Hedge of India”, in which he explained the objective of the hedge was to prevent salt smuggling, 12000 people guarded this hedge. There were heavy Salt taxes imposed by British rule and therefore there were salt smugglers. There was hardly any relationship with A. O. Hume with the hedge. The hedge was built by East India Company, and was fourteen feet high and twelve feet thick.

For more than a century a significant part of history of this country remained unconscious. And now when we know about it, we know very little. The hedge vanished and there are hardly any remains left today. Roy Moxhan found some remains in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh but no one can be sure about the remains of a hedge which existed almost 140 years before. The history is lost!

Pinyana in Wonderland

When I was in seventh standard I had a tuition friend; Ajit. Once I had to visit his home for my maths tuition. We were busy with our tuition when a very familiar but irritating sound distracted our ears. It was a motorbike with two persons sitting on it, Ajit almost shouted, “My father with my new motorbike.” I asked him, “Which one is your father?” He replied, “The person who is on the second seat.” Again I inquired, “And the first one, who is he?” He shocked me, “He is the driver.”
I had my railway reservation from Howrah to Shahjahanpur. There was an old couple on the front seat. It was night and I was on my berth, asleep. Next day the old man asked my name and my destination, I told him, he said that he was going to Haridwar for Shiv-Darshan. By noon the coach was thoroughly perused by a dozen of beggars, different kind of them; blind, crippled, women, kids, and poor; but the old couple never cared. When the train was crossing a river near Varanasi this old woman took some coins from her purse and threw them in the water.
Monoj Prabhakar is my father’s cousin that is my uncle in relationship. His parents sent him to Gwalior University for his bachelor’s degree. He stayed there for two years and returned home unsuccessful. Next time he was sent to Allahabad. He studied there and fell in love with his landlord’s daughter. He completed his bachelor’s degree in arts and married to his love. Nobody had any objection since the bridegroom had a bachelor’s degree and in their world bachelor’s degree was the certificate to a good job. Almost two years later when he was sitting in his room unemployed he got a letter from an employee of NTPC Dibiyapur that he can work under him with a payment of 6000 per month, which was quiet considerable. After two months only he learned that the job required hard work and regularity. He resigned and gave a set of reasons to his kin. After another three years of unemployment he got his dream job. Today he is getting 2500 per month which is adjustable with his cell phone and motorbike expenses. His wife and two kids are living on his father’s earnings.
When I was in sixth standard I had a very good friend Snajay Gupta (Sanju). One day he told me that he was going to discontinue his study. I urged him not to do that because he was the only friend I had. But he told me that he had no other option. He explained me, “My father is sick, he can not work anymore and I have three younger brothers and sisters, therefore I will have to discontinue and work for my family.”
My precious summer vacations were over and I was on my way to Lucknow from Shahjahanpur. I always use general coach for this three hours journey. Somehow I got a place to sit after perusing two and half coaches. In the front seat there were four guys and on my seat there was a guy right to me and an old lady left to me. Three front guys and the guy who was right to me were traveling together. They were traveling from Bareilly to Lucknow. One of then was a law practitioner in Lucknow. All of them were in their early thirties. When train started moving from Shahjahanpur they began talking about the city. One of them said, “Shahjahanpur is such a dirty place!” Other guy added, “Yeah, It is due to the Muslim population of the city.” Train stopped at a station named Balamau, one of these said, “I am hungry.” The guy who was sitting right to me said, “I’ll get some samosas.” He brought some 4-5 samosas and all of them began eating. After some ten minutes later when all of them were finished with samosas, the place which was almost clean ten minutes earlier was now a mess.
Balkrishan, my father’s colleague, one day received a phone call and left immediately to his hometown. Next day he was at his parental house where his younger brother’s dead body was kept preserved. Almost two days before his brother ended his life by taking poison. Balkrishan came to know about the matter through his elder sister, he peeped outside the window where a shopkeeper was leaned over a local newspaper which had two photographs of different persons and the headline said “An unmarried couple took its life over an unsuccessful love affair” one photo belonged to his brother and another photo was of a girl who lived nearby.

How are you going to interpret each event, It is up to you.

Road to Profession

Car arrives at 8:25AM; I am eating a 4.50 Rs chocolate cake which is my breakfast. Front seat is already occupied by Abhisek. I get at the rear seat. First job I do after getting into the AC-less car is to open the windows. As we move on the road, you can just notice the first statue, the statue of ‘i don’t know’, which has a woman in sari holding some rounded thing in her right hand perhaps her wrapped bed, and a guy is doing something, again I fail to find out what. Some yards from this landmark there is another statue called Netaji Statue hence this place is called Netaji Nagar. You can find these black statues all over the Kolkata. These statues give your place a name and a place where birds can shit without any tax.

We are on the main road now, Abhisek gives a missed call to the guy who will occupy my seat after some time and I’ll have to move to the right of the seat. These missed calls are to make sure that the next guy will be ready when car reaches at his residence to pick him up. As usual the road is busy in doing its business with taxis, cars, motor-bikes, city buses and the three-wheelers, among these taxis, three-wheelers and buses are the main transportation facilities of the city (which run on the road). We cross the Ranikuti and Tollygunge, in Tollygunge you can find three other sources of transportation: metro railway, local railway and trams; among these trams are legendary; the slowest and chaotic; Kolkata is the only place in the country which has this museum piece running on the rails creating chaos all over the place. However there used to be trams in Kanpur, Chennai, Bombay and Nasik too. In Kolkata trams are run by a company called CTC Ltd, which also runs the CTC bus service in the city.

We are heading to New Alipur to pick up the next guy. New Alipur is a congested area, where you can find 2-3 buildings under construction all the time you land there and narrow roads, covered with the piles of building material. Car somehow gets at the residence of the guy, who will delay further 10-20 minutes, forcing driver to kill the engine and roam around the street. The building is quiet high perhaps five-storied, the ground floor is kept for the car parking. After some 15 minutes we are on our way to Rashbehari Avenue to pick up the next guy and to end this picking up business. Oh sorry, I forgot to tell you about the last guy whom we picked up from New Alipur; his name is Mr Rudra Kamal Sinha Roy or simply Rudro (in Bengali), who is presently sitting left to me, holding his Ericson cell in right hand and a cigarette in left hand; his laptop bag resting between us on the seat. Mr Rudro is in his late twenties and perhaps unmarried, he will ask me first question after sometime he gets into the car and after some thirty decades later he will ask another, I’ll answer and that will end our precise conversation. Rest of the time I won’t talk at all, I will just think about my usual habit of getting F grade at least in one of the subjects I take each semester or I’ll think about non-spherical and fair faces of Kolkata.

Yeah I am referring to girl thing only; you can find these spherical faces all over the place. Hardly these spheres bear any expressions except the expression of enormous hunger, in case you don’t want to believe me, just give them a 100 ton sack of junk food, man I bet they will just chew it without even blinking twice. All the time you’ll find them chewing something like goats and buffaloes, man they hog even those things you’ll just look and will feel like puking all over the place like puchka and all. About non-spherical and fair faces, they bear three kinds of expressions: fuck me, fuck you and fuck off. You hardly get such faces around the city and in case you find one you consider your day lucky and all. But the bad-luck is that you’ll never find them alone, at one side there will a monster size lady purse and at the other side a monster itself. I wonder what do they carry in such purses, may be their brains, they know that they are going to use it very rarely, may be once or twice in a decade.

Rashbehari Avenue is always crowded with phoney guys and spheres, but sometime you can find these object oriented guys who don’t even know what is happening in their own pockets. They involve in their work like psychos and all, you will have to hit them million times to drag them into the real world. I can see one such guy standing with a leather bag in his left hand, man you can’t guess his age, you’ll definitely say that he is in his late sixties or seventies, but he is not more than thirty if you want to know the truth. His name is Mr Nilanjan De and he’ll put a full stop in this picking up drama. Mr Rudro will take his laptop bag in his lap and make some room for the new guy, this will make me squeeze and force me to remove the possible gap between me and the right-side door. This significant displacement will make me vulnerable to sun and I’ll stay there until car reaches to the destination and the destination is still decades away from here. I’ll just bake myself and sing ‘Nuthin But a G Thang’ without even using my larynx and tongue.

After some ninety decades we get there, leaving behind Ruby Hospital, Science City, Nicco Park and SDF Building. The name of our destination is iViZ Techno Solutions Pvt. Ltd. which is located at the 1st floor of the Rashmi Complex (also called Dhanashree Building), Sector V, Salt Lake; like an atom in a pile of thousand ton metal. This is the place where I am doing my summer training.