Thursday, July 19, 2007

Guess who?

I am busy, so got disconnected from my Blog World, will come back by 1st Aug, meantime guess who are they in the above picture.

And finally back, thanks for your comments, the correct guess is from Nanditha Prabhu , the above pic is of me and my twin brother Pabitra - when we were three years old (current pic below).
Pijush & Pabitra

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kharagpur : Nomenclature

Collage of pics taken by me, click to enlarge

Not enough good articles we have on Kharagpur in internet, not even good books in English. So I thought to start my Kharagpur series in this blog. It will mostly contain historic and cultural information of my home town, a city of more than 100 years but a place of thousands of years.

The name of every place has its own meaning, so the word Kharagpur should have something; however there is no literary meaning of the word ‘kharagpur’ in Bengali dictionary. Thus this must have been inherited from some themes, subjects.

From my childhood I knew that Kharagpur is named after the old Khargeswar temple. But recently I was reading a book where it claims that Khargeswar temple was founded 400 years back, but Kharagpur exists from the age of Mahabhat. So, definitely the so called nomenclature history is not true, rather the fact is on the other way around.

Regarding this matter thorough research has done by Shyamapada Bhowmik in his book Kharagpur: Itihas O Sanskriti.
“One of the popular hearsay is the place is named after the king of Bishnupur,
Khargamalla at 841AD. But that time Kharagpur was ruled by Bengal King Devpal
(810-850), an emperor per-excellence of Pal dynasty, whose far-flung kingdom was
extended from Bramhaputra to Sindhu River and even in south India, which means
almost the whole India was under him. So it is most unlikely that the place will
be named after some other King. Thus this is again a rumor.”

If we split the word in two parts Kharag – Pur , then we have separate meaning. The literal meaning from the Samsad Dictionary are given below.

Kharag –n, a large falchion for immolating beasts; a large falchion; the horny
appendage on the nose of the rhinoceros.

Pur –n, a house, an abode, a city, a town, a village.
The combination gives a meaning of the word --- “A place inhabited with armed (with scimitar or sword or falchion) people”.

This meaning can be accepted as no other logic can prove the nomenclature of the place.
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Monday, July 9, 2007

Indian Road & Traffic : Some Observations

Some of my current observations regarding Indian Road/Traffic condition are listed below.

1. Some of the roads are one-way in morning and two-ways in afternoon.
2. Some of them are closed for contractions for months, which create massive chaos.
3. There are hardly any provisions of street lights in National highways; however huge toll fees are collected in many places. Highway should be of three lanes either way, but max it is of two lanes.
4. After the rain the pits and holes are often created in the big roads.
5. Sometime the drives in normal roads are compared to some fun rides, car damage and punctures are very usual things.
6. In the streets of city, there is hardly any lane concept; cars are choosing the virtual lanes randomly at their wishes.
7. Sometime traffic lights are not functioning; in most of the cases traffic signals are not present in major crossings.
8. Directions and information are almost not maintained; even the exits from city, the directions to airport/stations are not there which is absolutely solicited.
9. Very few flyovers compare to the demands.
10. The road conditions in the countryside are even worse, narrow and peach less.

And some facts.

1. Five out of seven recent deaths of IBM India employees caused due to road accidents.
2. On the way from Khragpur to Kolkata(130 km) on 03.07.2007, I have seen four massive accidents, where the vehicle lost control either because of rainy weather, or drove mistakenly.
3. It was a horrible experience for me as the visibility was very poor in night and the massive downpour or rain made it rather difficult to see what next after 5 meters. I was scared by the tempestuous wind above a semicircular bridge, where I almost couldn’t see the edges of the bridge. Fortunately I survived but the absences of street light always foster the probability of accidents.
4. However I reached Kolkata safely, I found it not safe for driving, not because of the reckless drivers, but for water bogged poor state of the roads after the rain, which looked like virtual canals.
5. Everyday in road accident at least few people dies in Kolkata, one of the recent victims is grand father of my friend, passed away couple of months back after being shoved by an small vehement auto riksa. Sahib Singh Verma, ex Delhi CM died in accident recently. Hundreds of accidents take place everyday across India, and thousands more survives luckily or by intuitions of the drivers.

The situations are really horrible. But is it really because of the deplorable road conditions? No. Here go some more observations.

1. Even though some roads have lane concepts (by white markers) people used to drive in the middle of it, to take the advantages of both lanes.
2. Every one is in rush in the city and not ready to leave space for anyone. “Blow Horn” if you want to pass someone in India, in contrary developed countries are minimizing the use of horn.
3. Traffic rules are not that strong in case of accidents and defaulters. Manipulations are encouraged by traffic police to violate rules. Poor qualities of materials are used for the road constructions, again the tenders/contracts system are under the vicious circle of corruption.
4. Process and rules are made to be broken, that’s the mentality of maximum public taxi/auto/truck drivers. They are not educated enough to follow the traffic rules. Even the common people cross the road anywhere they want.
5. Foremost there is lack of projection from state govts, which is clearly proved by the statistics that only 8% of the whole are roads in kolkata which is much much less than the standards.

So basically the problem is in out characters, attitudes. The infrastructure and facilities can not change the country unless the people change. The same person drives his car differently in Europe/US and in India. In fact I do the same sometime, because I am an Indian, a typical Indian!!

Visibility in daytime
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