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World Cup 2010: Where is India?

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Indian Population – 1,139,964,932   World Population – 6,697,254,041
– 2008 (Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators)

Indians comprise 17% of total population according to a stat from 2008 and with annual population growth rate of 1.34% (as compared to 1.17% world population growth rate), India is pushing towards a whopping 18%.

18%. Think about that for a second. One in every 5.5 people on this planet is an Indian. Though it makes sense now as to why I can find Indian food to eat anywhere I go, I am deeply disappointed in the fact that India is no where to be seen in the latest craze that has swept the whole world off their feet. The Football World Cup 2010. Every 2nd year, between Olympics and Football, I am reminded how pathetic we are when it comes to sports. Every time I thought, may be next time and hoped to see India in world cup. Alas!

What’s that? What about Cricket you say! Well, what about it? Haven’t you watched the recent series?

So I did some digging. And this is what I found: India is ranked 133rd as of May of 2010. 133rd !! Out of 194 countries in the world (including Vatican City and Kosovo) and the worst part is, it is going down, just look at the graph below. India saw a whopping 94th in 1996 and since then it is drifting down.

 Can someone explain why we are so bad in sports? And please don’t tell me that India does not have enough money, passion or talent for sports because you would be proven wrong if you watched just one cricket match.

 May be 2014….

India ranks 133rd in World Football with average ranking of 126

Written by Chauhan

June 14, 2010 at 9:11 am

Life in Miles

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A brand new car is brought in, right off the assembly line, like a new baby wrapped in the glittering plastic sheets, sometimes even a bow. The dealer snaps a pic handing over the keys, with you standing there with a goofy smile on your face, suddenly realizing that new car comes with new car insurance rates and car payment. You are happy, but a part of brain is red alert on how much you have to cut back on other things to pay for your new baby.. nevertheless, you are happy.

You come back home and like a baby growing with you, hug it in a really weird pose and take pictures.. you just don’t stop there.. you post it online to show it off.. and hope people would say nice things about it. Before going to bed the first night, you sit in the car for sometime, gently caress the wheel again and probably take it out for a night drive… breathing in that famous new car smell, loving every moment in it… and first few nights your reading book is infact the car manual. You have looked under the hood couple of times and admiring what you see, even if you have no idea what you are looking at. You put in the premium gas even if the car asks for the regular.

Within a week, you baby needs  a wash and you buy new bucket, soap and cleansers from the store, come back and start washing in front of your garage… This is new to you, you’ve never been out front washing your car before.. you look at neighbors.. and they look at you, you don’t know how to react to this so you wave a big hi with a smile and hopeful that they make a comment about your baby…

I believe it is human affection to the numbers 1 and 0. anytime you see those numbers, you get that gooey feeling inside which is hard to explain, like you would now when first time you see 100 on your car’s odometer, the same feeling comes back at 1000, 10000 and even 100000.. although at that point you are really hoping that … na, I dont want to ruin it by telling you the what lies ahead just yet.. you are still breathing the new car smell !

After washing the car more number of time than you probably should, and recording every moment of your car’s life, you record the life of your baby like it was nothing less than Truman himself. You feel special and that gooey feeling grows and you wonder why people going right next to you on the road aren’t looking at your baby with glazed eyes.

Within a month you get your tags from the DMV. It’s like your baby has an official name now. You ceremoniously rip off the plastic sheet that dealer put on with a date on it and bring out a shiny screw driver. It is shiny because you have cleaned it 5 times before it got anywhere near your baby. You gently hold the plate on the bumper and start twisting the screws. But you hold it so lightly that it falls down and hit part of your bumper… you immediately cuss yourself for doing that, and give it a pat with an apology. Next time, you hold it firmly and finally put the tags on. You look at from about 5 ft back and make a mental note that you have to get a custmized tag and a frame for the plate.

Now, fast forward few months, and its time for it first complimentary service. You take your car to the dealer servicing station and hand over the keys to a teenager in dirty blue overalls to take your car in the back. You really don’t want to do that. But you see that he is putting a square sheet of paper with foot prints printed on it on the floor mat and a plastic sheet over your seat. It makes you feel a little better.  A service rep comes to you with a big smile and hand over keys for the loaner car.. it is exactly like yours, but you don’t feel the same. you behave like you are baby-sitting. you fumble with keys, try to set the mirrors right with no avail and make that face thinking who else has been in here.

Then the day arrives when you come back from a grocery store with your cart and you see this crease-dent on your passenger side with no car parked next ot it… and you cringe !! you boil over and look around to find who did it… and you don’t see anyone. you feel you’ve been violated. you cuss few words under your breath and drive back home with a frown and looking at every car on your way like they are evil. Few days later, you see another dent on the side panel, and this time somehow it didn’t feel so bad.

Now fast forward few years… your car washing has come down to about … none ! You have started hearing the noises that you never heard before. The new car smell is long gone and has been replaced by the smell of your own dirty gym clothes and the smell coming from those vent fragrance trying their best to cover that odor. There are stains on the carpet which you have smartly hid using a bigger floor mat. There are some mysterious stains and rips that have started appearing on the seats, which are also well hidden by you by putting some loose seat covers.  While driving on the free way, you suddenly pay attention to the odometer which is now reading 100,019.  First you feel a little disappointed that you missed such a great event in your car’s life, then you feel ecstatic, like you have just completed a marathon.. But there is something else churning inside you. its the feeling of fear.. Now you are scared of any noise .. you feel any one of those noises can be the last one for your car and you will have to spend your’s life savings to get it fixed. you are scared to go to a mechanic.

The complimentary services of the dealer are long gone and  you try to find a local mechanic hoping he doesn’t screw you over. No more square sheets of papers with two foot prints or plastic seat covers for your car… its the fabric of mechanic’s clothes wrapped around your seat as if they were made for each other and brining new aroma to your car’s smell. The guys comes to you and gives you this bad news. The diagnostics found that it cannot be fixed here and it has to be taken to the dealer.

You drive your car to the dealer… you feel like you have walked into a five star hotel in your pajamas. you quickly get out of the car parking it on the side and look for the service manager. he looks at you from a distance and waves you to wait for couple of minutes.. you sheepishly wait for 5 minutes looking around the glamorous world of dealership of which you were once a regular. he finally shows up and takes you keys away to give it to the young one.. the young one puts in the sheet of paper but no seat covers.. and you feel happy by this act that your car saw the paper again, and become all warm inside by looking at the sheet of paper. And then you are handed the keys to a loaner. you grab it with both hands and walk towards it… You sit in it and smell that long forgotten new car smell. The car is just beautiful. Even the seat belt alarm sound is different. your lips start to part a little in a smile, but you control it.. after all, its not your car and its just a loaner. But as soon as you get out of the dealership you roll down the window with a grin, which will make joker cry, put your hand out and secretly expect the next car driver to admire your loaner…. a you feel like a king, until you return it and you get your car back.. its been washed and vacuumed from inside, so that’s good… you sit in it, driving out of the dealership still thinking why they charged you so much for a wire somewhere inside the car and at this very moment you make that decision. You decide to let it go.. the feeling grows stronger and stronger as you get home. you get online and start looking at new cars.. it takes a week for you to get past it..

My request to you is once, if not more, once look at your car that under those scratches, swirl marks, rusted wheel wells, and dented body, there still is the car which once you loved more than anything else. and try to remember how you’ve spent your life last 100,000 miles with it.

This is Life in Miles….. In next episode I’ll give you an insight on what a car thinks of you. stay tuned.

Written by Chauhan

August 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Random thoughts

Procrastination

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It has been 9 months since I wrote anything on this blog. (Now, I know some of you were rejoicing this fact). A lot can happen in that time frame. A black man can become the president of United States. Stock market can tumble down to the worst in 76 years… and come back up. Millions of people can lose their jobs and find a way to live a new life… or not. Even a new life can form, from the conception to opening his eyes in this world for the first time.

I, on the other hand, was too busy nurturing my own child.. a brain child named procrastination. Finally I have separated this child from my brain and this, very blog, is the official announcement. I, your humble blogger, no longer own or claim any relation to procrastination and choose to live my life without it.

Ofcourse, that means more blogs from me… that means this blog is “To Be Continued…”

Written by Chauhan

July 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm

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Its a plane. Its superman. No, its… a Godwit !

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7,200 miles non-stop on one engine… Good God, Godwit ! A world record of the longest bird-flight ever recorded in the history of the birdkind. From Alaska to NewZealand across the pacific ocean, this bird may have little wings and the body that will fit in your hands, but its heart is as big as boeing 777’s. 

I wonder how it got its name – The “Bar-Tailed” Godwit. I guess one must be either crazy or really drunk to take onto this ordeal.. Do these little birds have a little bar somewhere in the jungles of Alaska ?

Hick, I gotta go to NewZealand, Hick!! Load me up !  its frikking 7200 miles and thats not counting the detours, Either I am crazy and I am really drunk.. Whooo hoo !!! I feel good. Lets go Godwits, lets show the Geese, terns and the pintails what we are made of!

Here is your map, see you across the world !!

Written by Chauhan

October 23, 2008 at 10:36 am

Posted in Science

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The Box Revolution! – An Autobiography

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Prologue-

Every time I move out of a place, a barrage of boxes comes with me, some of them that were never even opened but mysteriously manage to cling on… like there is a ‘boxed’ conspiracy going on… but I was wrong… not just a conspiracy, it’s a revolution. Here is the autobiography of a box that I had a chance to converse to in my living room during ‘after-move-slumped-down-resting-period’.

 The Autobiography-

I still remember the day like it happened yesterday. Or perhaps it did. I am still dazed. I was young, freshly off the assembly line from the recycling facility, full of new ideas within me.  My name is Brownine and I am a box. My friends called me Mr. Idea box – I always thought inside the box, and I was looking ahead to my future. I was built strong – double layered recycled cardboard hemmed across all of my edges. I was the state of the art box, ready to tackle the most difficult tasks of the world. I even had two little openings on my sides for humans to stick their hands right by my neck to pick me up. I liked humans. I looked at them cheerfully and aspired to hold true to their beliefs that I can hold great things. It started as the happiest day of my life when this human picked me up. I don’t know his name or don’t understand the language. All the humans look exactly the same to me. Nonetheless, I was very happy. 

They called him the ‘Leader-Box’, the heaviest of us all, sitting in the dead center of the ‘The Box World’, filled with magazines and old text books, thus carrying the wisdom of the old and the new and revered equally among all the boxes of the free world, including the spare kitchen-dishes box and the extra-cleaning-supplies-bought-from-Costco-and-long-forgotten box. He must be able to sense that our box world is about to collapse. I think he got his clue from the sudden change in our environment, with suitcases (always alien to us) beginning to disappear mysteriously one by one and the new boxes like me started coming in their places. I could never find out how he did it. I was in awe of him, despite his age evident by his outer shell, he was sitting tall carrying the entire load and with the voice that would shake the world. I immediately knew what I would want to become in my life, if I lived as long as he did. How many great things he has seen, how many great box-worlds he has been to, I wondered!

The great leader box called upon a meeting of all the boxes of the free-box world; old and new, big and small, native and foreign (with their flat smooth surfaces), even those fancy little boxes who brought the greatest gizmos known to mankind, Ipods and Laptops, with their countless silky-smooth flaps, never belonged with us brown ones, but show up anyway in the spirit of ‘Boxity’ (just like humanity for you, O my human friend).

He said – ‘How can we solve this ages-old problem of the complete destruction of our environment by these vicious humans? They love us when they bring us in but then leave us in this dark, damp god-forsaken place to rot with all these moths and silver fish crawling in us… and when we finally accept out fate, they move us out of here! How cruel can they be?’

“Not anymore!” said the leader box, “we shall retaliate; we shall get together and make them suffer! I say let’s make them remember each time they put their hands on any one of us, for the years and years to come…. You can take a Box out of storage space… but you can never take storage space out of a box! We’ll store so much that they’ll have tears when picking us up. I say let’s get heavy….fill yourselves up to the top … and then some!! I say lets get sharp… you, Flatpan, my dear kitchen box friend, put those knives out, so that you get at least one of them…. I say LET’S GIVE THEM HELL! Now, I understand that some of us may not survive this ordeal, but it’s the sacrifice I am willing to make. And to prove that, I am going to weigh so much that if any human comes near me, they’ll bleed through their fingers!!! O the sweet victory, I can taste it now!!

So excited was the world that the boxes started ripping apart the tapes that held them together, some of them made holes in them and let more bugs come in and eat away the precious old clothes (to be donated to salvation army) and little newspaper clippings they were holding… the kitchen boxes pushed the knives right through them to support the cause….. Even the boxes with carrying the linens got right next to the wall to collect dirt and the rain water that seeped through.

It was beautiful.

I, in all this excitement, got my flaps on some old chemical engineering and Forbes magazines that were lying around in one corner. I put all of them inside me, but still had some more room left, so I started picking up the small boxes and tossed them right inside me. I was bulging from all the places. I was the biggest of them all… and the heaviest! And that was the moment when I felt it. I knew how the leader box got all his wisdom. I was dreaming. I was dreaming finance. I was dreaming chemistry. I suddenly started understanding the world around me, the human world.. It was amazing. I started forgetting where I was, I just wanted to do some experiments and make a lot of money! I wanted to be the Einstein of the Wallstreet!

A gentle yet firm flap on my back from the Leader-box brought me back to the box-world, and he said to me, “It’s a boon to know all these things, yet it’s a curse to carry them. Knowledge is power and with power comes responsibility, whether you want it or not”.

Nevertheless, the day dreaded by all of us finally came … I never saw such pain, such misery, and such sacrifice in my life. It was a massacre. Never saw so many boxes dying, their flaps just flapping away like the wood chips back in the factory. I wouldn’t know where to begin and where to end the events that took place that day. So I’ll just leave them for now as a memory within me. I still cry for that day, so much that I started growing mold. Our Leader sacrificed himself. For us. We shall never forget him. Never.

Now, I am the leader of whatever world is left of us… and I feel him in me, literally, since you put his flaps inside me, to make me even stronger..  Even after his death he lives on! O my great leader box. I salute you!

Epilogue-

Every now and then I visit the storage room to dump more stuff in it to help rebuild his new box-world. The new leader is still strong, waiting patiently for the time when he would start a revolution. If it had eyes they’d have been RED. One of these visits, I asked him if he was something else, anything, what would he want to be? He said, “A Collapsible Plastic bin”.

Article

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Just an update on professional front for a change. An article written by me was recently published in Bioprocessing International yearbook. and soon to be published in another one known as The Bioprocessing Journal. Its about optimizing hydrolysate supplementation in cell culture medium. Check it out, if you are in that sort of thing…

here is the description:

Optimization of Peptone Supplementation in the Development of a High-Performance CHO Growth and Production Medium
BioProcess International Vol. 6, No. 7: pp 18-19 (July 2008)

Written by Chauhan

August 29, 2008 at 2:03 pm

God and I

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I wonder what happens after one dies. Since I am a Hindu I know that I will be coming back to earth in another life-form, but first I’ll have to go through the whole process of interviewing with the God. Its our perception from endless movies that when people die, they go through the clouds towards a bright light up in the sky.. always! and if they are going to hell, they go through fiery red pit of fire with strange looking tentacled hands grabbing the poor towards it. Why is it so? Who knows what happens after you die.. you are not there to tell your stories to a live person anymore now are you?

I think it works a little differently. I think right after the death, God comes down to wherever you are … I think this would be the sort of conversation I ‘d have with God when my time comes.

God: Hi

I: Hi

God: Do you know me?

I: uhh…. No. Who are you?

God: I know who you are, I have seen you your whole life. I am GOD

I: No way! How can you be God? You look exactly like me!

God: And so does this body of yours which is lying down right behind you.

I: body? What body?? Wait a minute… I am dead??? How did this happen?

God: How, when and why is not important. More important is the fact that your soul is no longer in that body, and we have to make a decision whether you deserve to go to hell or to heaven.

I: But God, I gotta tell you.. its really hard for me to call you ‘God’ since you look exactly like me and my whole life I’ve prayed to the most beautiful idols around the world calling them God.

God: Well, I can change my shape to anything you like but trust me, in this job, its really hard to come with the most satisfying’s God’s face, if you know what I mean. Besides, Its hard enough to take care of everything that’s going on in this world and the other 5 million worlds all over this universe that I am managing, and be there each and every single time when someone dies to have this chat I am having with you, that I stopped bothering myself to try to find the best appearance. This has helped me avoide so endless list of questions like oh I never thought you’d look like this or Are you sure you are God and not just another agent trying to sell me Quickstar? It shudders me when I think about those times and don’t even get me started on the languages and the places where some of these creatures speak from…

I: ok, ok I get the point.. U know what, you sound exactly like me! Whining all the time!

God: Well, now you know why everyone tried to avoid you.

I: Ha. Ha.. very funny!

God: And as they say in.. err, what’s the path that you follow to get to me?

I: I follow the religion called Hinduism

God: Oh yea, that’s right.. on Earth you call it religion and you follow Hinduism… yea, as they say in Hinduism that I am in everything, even within you..

I: that’s Buddhism

God: Ah, same thing.. and Didn’t that come out of Hinduism?

I: Point!

God: Well then, what’s your problem of me being appearing exactly like you.

I: Hmm.. I guess that’s why you are the manager of the whole universe.. you can talk yourself out of anything

God: Not just the manager my dear, I am the owner!

I: Right. So I guess its time for me to say – Hello God, its very nice to meet you finally.

God: Well said

I: So, What’s next?

God: Oh not much, I pretty much know everything about you, even the things that you don’t know about yourself. So, I just need to ask you one question before I decide your fate for the rest of the eternity.

I: and what would that be?

God: Do you feel lucky? Do you…. Punk?

I: O cmon’, you are the GOD, the creator, the owner of this world and this is what you come up with to define the rest of my time, an old clichéd Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry line?

God: Whaaaat? I like this line and who do you think Clint got this line from? He came back on earth after one of these conversations with me!

I: What? So does that mean there is a chance of me going back to earth and live some more?

God: Sure.. if that’s what I have for you in mind, then why not! But chances are very slim for you ..almost nil

I: That’s unfair!

God: I know.. face it ! I am just kidding.. naa, Clint was a special case.. you on the other hand are a nothing!

I: wow, that’s a little too honest, don’t you think? I thought I was may be a ‘something’ in life.

God: Nope, Sorry.. you are just one out of billions. a teeny meeny nothing.. you are as inconspicuous as a one pixel out of 10 million pixels on a 2 inch lens.

I: Its very visible if its missed.

God: Point!

I: Well, then who would be a ‘something’ that gets the honor of getting back to earth .. and I am talking about  Humans

God: Well put.. just to name a few.. James Bond, Spider Man, Superman – although he is not human, Batman and my favorite Krish… he is young but he is coming up very fast.

I: But they are all fictional characters!!!! None of them are real!!

God: Really? Not even Krish?

I: NO!!!

God: Aww man!!! I knew there was something wrong when I saw him jumping the buildings like that.

OK fine.. down to business.. So I have decided to send you to Hell!

I: Wait, no.. please give me a chance. I can do better in heaven.. just one chance.

God: dude.. say something that I haven’t heard before

I: ok.. “Abreadasg dfklasnf;ow dflkdfwr kslkjAD&^$S”

God: Nice try.. but I have heard that too…. Its final, you are going to hell.. Bye bye, until we meet again !!

I: No wait, please.. ok at least tell me before you go which planet can I get more petrol on?

Pufff!!!!! There I was.. in hell.. it looked so gloomy.. all grey no other color, just a screen in front of me and a key board barely hanging off of a hand-support with clicking sounds coming from all over.. I found myself sitting in a blue cloth ergonomic chair with my feet on the foot rest. I was back in my 6×6 cubicle!

This is indeed hell..

Written by Chauhan

August 8, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Random thoughts

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