Thursday, July 30

Maharani Gayatri Devi

Known to her friends as "Ayesha"

Her Highness Maharani Shri Gayatri Devi Sahiba, Maharani of Jaipur.
The personification of beauty, grace, charm and elegance.

Wednesday, July 29

Wetting my appetite.

Niagara Falls has often been called "the world’s most famous address and indeed it is.
It took us almost 10 hours to reach the American Pilgrimage .loll. We were delayed by the part of Obama’s stimulus package as lots of jobs are created in recession . We could see work in progress on the highways. Nonetheless we thoroughly enjoyed our expedition crossing towns and countryside. We crossed City of Buffalo best known for the bills, Sabres and chicken wings and off course historic architecture and bustling theatre district. It is the second most populous city in the state of New York.Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River . Not to miss the Mittals steel factory a part of the Mittals empire. President William McKinley was shot here. We stopped at the Lake theme park resort which has amphitheatre showcasing today’s biggest names in music. I wanted to visit the cultural and the intellectual center of the Chautauqua and Ellicotville which was not easy as was out of way but also visited the Ford and Chevrolet plants.
The food cooked by my sister was delicious and we faced no issues at the front. My niece Hiba just enjoyed my company and the two year old Monster Mustufa my nephew was tied to his car seat. When bushed the song of film main hu na were treated as lullaby for him. It poured cats and dogs on the way but didn’t beat our spirits.

You have to see it to believe it! We all were there for breathtaking sights and sound of the majestic Niagra falls. Niagra falls state park is Americas oldest park established in 1885 and designed by a great landscape architect, Fredric Law Olmsted perhaps better known for designing New York City’s Central Park. Olmsted believed that parks should be places of natural beauty, where “the masses could be renewed.” This philosophy was applied throughout Niagara Falls State Park, with an entire network of footpaths through wooded areas and along the banks of the Niagara River .Trust me Its ONLY at this falls where we can get up-close and personal with the falls. It’s a fitting tribute to the man who believed that Niagara Falls belongs to all of us.
We reached in the afternoon and made ourselves comfy for the day and night ahead of us. The hotel was 20 minutes drive from the Niagra falls. Soon our adventure trip began. Parked the car and reached the Niagra Information center. My sister and brother in law were well informed as visited years back. So… the adventure began right with an elevator ride 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge. Then, clad in a souvenir rain poncho and sandals, we went to the wooden walkways to the Hurricane Deck, less than 20 feet from the torrents of Bridal Veil Falls. This walkway is removed every November and reassembled each spring so it won’t be damaged by winter weather. Cave of the Winds was an ultimate experience. Have never faced the pounding waters. It was a almost like facing a 5 degree hurricane as informed We were mere feet away from the thundering waters. It was a rocking experience. The Maid of the mist boat tour of the American and the Canadian falls was thirty minutes ride but a lifetime experience. It was spectacular. The boat took us right down to the base of the falls. It took us so close to the waterfall that we gasped for air, we drenched in the falls water but one thing I dI couldn’t stop capturing the moments which came out quite decent as expected as the boat was rocking throughout in the choppy waters.

Although the most widespread and extraordinary views of the American Falls can be seen from the deck of the park’s Observation Tower. Extending out over the Niagara Gorge, the Tower allows you to look directly out into the cascading waters of the American Falls or down into the raging torrents below. Four elevators provide access to the base of the gorge and the boarding site of the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Trust me these firangs knows adventure. We came back awestruck. Imagine 3,160 tons of water flowing over the falls every second. This accounts for 75,750 gallons of water per second over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls.

Next day we planned moving in a tour bus which could take us to the topmost of the falls. On the way we were informed that native Americans living in the Niagara region were most likely the first people to behold the power of Niagara Falls. The first European to document the area was a French priest, Father Louis Hennepin. During a 1678 expedition, he was overwhelmed by the size and significance of Niagara Falls. When he returned to France, Hennepin published an account of his travels in "A New Discovery". The book brought Niagara Falls to the attention of the western world for the first time and inspired further exploration of the region. The development of the rail system in the 1800s opened Niagara Falls to throngs of visitors and made it a prime destination for travelers from all over the world. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte’s young brother, Jerome, honeymooned with this American bride at the falls. He is sometimes credited with starting this tradition.

By this time were got access to the cave Goat island which was dramatic as we had to go through the cave of the winds, t op of the falls restaurants , three sister island, terrapin point, luna island and the rapids! This was the place where world’s first large-scale hydroelectric generating station opened in 1895. However, the plant used the direct current (DC) system, which could only transmit electricity 100 yards. Then, in 1896, the famous electrical engineer Nikola Tesla proved that he could transmit electric from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, New York, using his new alternating current induction motor. This was the first use of the AC system of electricity that is used around the world today. The current Niagara Gorge Discovery Center is located above the site of the Schoellkopf Power Station, from which electricity was first sold as a commodity.

The ultimate was never forgetting Illuminating experience witnessed by me produced by the massive spotlight beamed across the gorge onto the falls, the beams were sent across the side of the falls which is Canada.its was mind me the lights competed with all the lights of the was spectular…

Now I wonder why for generations, the majestic beauty and humbling power of Niagara Falls State Park has fostered a sense of awe and wonder. Through the years, countless people have enjoyed the sparkling scenery of the falls, making the Niagara Falls vacation spot a favorite.. rushing torrents, spectacular scenery and one-of-a-kind attractions while letting your excitement flow as freely as the waters. I want to visit once more but now I would like to watch it from Canada.. across the bridge.

Friday, July 24

Internal security VS Home Minister

The National Security Guard (NSG) was set up in 1984 as a Federal Contingency Deployment Force to tackle all facets of terrorism in the country. With the primary role to combat terrorism where the State Police and other Central Police Forces cannot cope up with the situation used for specific situations and in exceptional situations. Additional tasks of VIPs security, Anti hijack duties, Data collection on bomb explosions were entrusted in 1986-87.

What we see are politicians who are not a "national asset” protected by so many security Personnel. It has become fashionable and a status symbol. The more people (security men) surround these people (politicians) the more prestigious they feel.

Politicians moving around with gun-toting security guards took strong exception to what they called “selective” withdrawal of security cover to politicians, the RJD’s Mr. Lalu Prasad, SP’s Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav and JD-U’s Mr. Sharad Yadav today said the UPA government should be held responsible for any possible attacks on their lives after scaling down their security cover ..The parliament could not function properly today because UP Chief Minister Mayawati's party men were enraged....just at the thought of their leader's security being reduced. MPs of Madam Maya's disrupted both the Houses to such an extent that they had to be adjourned twice.

On the other hand National Security Guards (NSG), do not want to guard the VIPs but focus on terror entirely.

The inept governance which continues to linger that lead to tragedies, highlight challenges that India’s internal security apparatus faces. In response to the terror attacks, the government had planned to increase the headcount of the National Security Guard (NSG) and establish centers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. The second item planned involves establishing a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) along the lines of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Based on the “Combating Terrorism” report issued by the Second Administrative Reforms Committee, the FIA has to be established as an agency of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who will be responsible for investigating federal crimes, including organized crime, terrorism, sedition, trafficking in arms and human beings, etc.

Will cutting on the guards do well to the country? NO……Cutting on the security of the politicians will bring no good to the country. We need RAW.. Get RAW. The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), our spy agency, has been spiraling into a bottomless pit for over 10 years. The organization has become a pawn in the hands of the powerful at South Block and is being used against political rivals rather than against enemies of the State.

In fact a separate federation should be created and on the expense of the politicians for their security purpose SO THAT THEY CAN DO POLITICS IN PEACE.

The Internal Security should no longer be a part time job for the Home Minister. We need to learn from America’s lessons post-9/11. India’s 4,700 mile coastline comes within the purview of the Coast Guard, Port Trust, Civil Aviation, Customs and Immigration and Border Security, which report to six different Ministries. The lack of coordination and communication is one of the primary reasons why the Mumbai attacks were so successful. These organizations need to be streamlined and rolled into one Ministry directly reorting to the PMO office. If a lay person like me can understand this mismanagement why can’t those who are being paid for the job?

Can somebody show the money at the right place? India’s law enforcement agencies, including Central Police Force, State Police Forces, NSG, and State Anti Terror Squads (ATS), are poorly funded and headed by corrupt, inexperienced, inapt and gullible officers. Images of Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare trying on helmets and bullet proof vests an hour before he was martyred will continue to haunt India..

We’re not an impoverished country that we were in 1962... Can’t we have decent funds between national defense and internal security? Cutting on politician’s security doesn’t do any good. It’s a wasteful exercise.

Our Anti-Terrorism Law doesn’t provide for special courts to try the accused. No matter how good intelligence gathering is, or intelligence agencies and counter terrorism forces are, if we’re working within the framework of an anemic anti-terrorism law, the whole system still fails. Imagine a kindergarten without a play area?

No matter how well controlled the country is every man, woman and child on the street needs to be security conscious. It is unrealistic to expect high security cover for every school, temple, hospital and mosque in the country. But citizens need to be made aware of what to do and what not to do in the event of an attack. If there is a security incident, they should be made aware of how and to whom to report it. It should be the internal security heads job.

Our politicians should be involved in end-to-end emergency preparedness drills. Ultimately, it is they that authorize action against perpetrators.

Lastly, the media must use their judgment in determining what to show during live coverage’s. I was horrified when one channel (I think it was Times Now) showed NSG commandos gesturing to each other as they prepared their attack routes outside the Taj.

Coming back to the point…Cutting on NSG will do no good to the country.

  • The NSG has told the Union
    · It cannot protect any more people as it is short of hands
    · That affects operational capabilities
    · The NSG wants most of the 3000 or so commandos on VIP guard duty to be redeployed in the four new hubs set up after the Mumbai attacks
    · This itself could fill as many as half the vacancies

Wednesday, July 22

Photo Story

Be nice to your kids
They 'll choose
Your Nursing Home

First they say remove shoes, Mr Kalam ! and now they say fly with us, Mr Kalam

Former president of India Mr APJ Abdul Kalam was subjected to a full body check and even asked to remove his footwear as he waited on the aero bridge of the New York-bound flight at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on April 21.
Not a single soul raised a question on time!!
Imagine this being happened to the United States President! Or any President for that matter. And you complain that aam aadmi is being harassed!
Taking a serious note of the frisking of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam the government slapped a show cause notice on the US-based Continental Airlines for violating guidelines under section 11A of the Aircraft Act for wilful violation of the law. The Aviation authorities sought an FIR against Continental for making Kalam take off his shoes and undergo a humiliating security check at Delhi airport before being allowed to board flight CO 083 .
The discussions on the media channels are raising questions on VIP security , importance of security and to the extent a country that is grappling with full-blown terrorist attacks from Islamic fundamentalists, afford to overstate our concerns on courtesy at the cost of security?
Damn them!
None knew that Indian laws exempt dignitaries like former presidents, ex-PMs, Chief Justice of India and even Robert Vadera from being frisked at airports.
As usual ..realizing that it has committed an offence , the US airline Continental Airlines has issued an apology to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam for frisking him at the IGI Airport in New Delhi on April 21.“We have tendered a formal apology and we sincerely hope he will fly with us again,” Continental Airlines said in a statement.“Our intention was never to offend the sentiments of Dr Kalam,” the airline said. “We apologise to Kalam for any inconvenience caused,” it added.“We reiterate our commitment to comply with the rules,” the airline said.

These incidents are deliberate and absolutely unpardonable.

First they say remove shoes, Mr Kalam! and now they say fly with us, Mr Kalam!
How Dare...

Friday, July 17

Whats in a name?

Madhya Pradesh Cabinet Minister Mr Jayant Mallaiya wife , spokesperson of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh ,Ex member of the National women Commission Mrs Sudha Mallaiya is known as sulphas kee golee to many.loll.

Few girls from the dental college in Sagar owned by her protested against the atrocities and mismanagement in front of her husbands official residence in Bhopal . The girls were beaten up and thrashed by the police.

The students alleged that Mrs Sudha Mallaiya running a nursing college denied them of basic facilities. She would often threaten them with rustication. The unexpected allegation was the accusation of running a prostitution racket in the college campus.The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) supported the medical students.

Last year the poor Minister had to reply a question in Vidhansabha for allotting a land to her wife for her NGO Ojaswani.