Friday, 25 October 2013

'Smart Suraksha' Android app : it's relevance in today's India

This is an incident from six years back. My sister, and her friend were returning via autorickshaw from their tuitions . It was already quite late, and a male passenger was sitting with them in the back seat! Suddenly, my sister noticed, that her friend was fidgety...she was nervously looking at her feet. Taking a closer look, sis found that the man was repeatedly trying to adjust his shoe laces or socks , and on that pretext, touching her friend's bare leg , below the hem of her skirt ! Sister, owing to her typical firebrand nature, immediately protested, and asked the passenger to leave the seat. But he was adamant, and only when the autodriver stepped in to ask the passenger to get down did he oblige.
    This was just a trivial case of groping ,in Kolkata, which was , on course to become a hub for some of the most notorious offences against girls in the coming years. My sister and her friend were lucky, that they could get away from an eve-teaser , by taking the upper hand, but the same good fortune did not befall some others, like the Nirbhaya case in New Delhi, or Barasat's Rinku Das , or Park Street's Suzette Jordan. Since the New Delhi case was reoprted all over India, and is well known , I'm referring to two other instances in the recent past, that were in my city , Kolkata. Let's turn the clock back again.

 February 2011, Kolkata was stunned at the news of the murder of Rajib Das, a 16year old boy, who was escorting his call centre employee sister Rinku back home, on his bicycle at 10pm,in Barasat, on the outskirts of Kolkata. They were ambushed by drunken eve-teasers , who tried molesting the sister and then wanted to take her away, but when the brave brother protested, he was brutally thrashed around by the goons , and later, stabbed. The boy finally succumbed to his injuries. All this took place only about a 100 metres from the District Magistrate's Bungalow , where the guards refused to intervene , citing 'protocols' , and only gave the phone number of the police station to the sister , who was frantically searching for help. They were helpless victims for a period of 20 minutes , when Barasat police station was barely 1 Km away from the spot. Nobody came to their rescue, even though the spot was not completely desolate, due to fear of the armed goons.

Jump to  February 2012, and this time , a horrific tale of a gang rape of a woman , in the heart of the city, at Park Street. The victim, who was bold enough to come out and present her case before the world, Suzette Jordan , was sexually assaulted at gunpoint by several businessmen inside a car, after a stint at a posh nightclub . The case reached high-profile status, as influential people got involved in the dealings , with the government ending up in a huge mess with conflicting renditions of the story by top ranking officials. The city of joy erupted in protests, and the efforts to nab the culprits were escalated to greater levels.

          The purpose of me recalling two such gruesome events in the recent past is to highlight the fact that we are so alone in this big, busy world of today. Crimes have gotten more ruthless,and nobody can rest easy if a family member, especially a female, is outside till late hours. There is no false sense of security too, as even a kid knows that Kolkata is no longer an "oasis of peace" , as had been famously claimed by a ruling Chiefminister. In this age of uncertainty, the latest Android app Smart Suraksha takes the cake for coming up with something, that can be immensely helpful to the woman of today! Built for the Android platform of smartphones, it is a small app, that can be easily installed from the Google play store on all android phones, and its clutter free , seamless design makes sure that even the non-tech-savvy ones don't find it difficult to use. 
     The app is set to send 5 distress SMSes to five pre-determined people on a person's call list on a single button press , in case of an emergency , and will also notify the nearest police station of the problem. What's more, even if the person's GPS is turned off on her phone, the exact location from where the distress messages are coming will be notified, so that aid can be rushed to her. Above everything, this app can now calm the mind of women, who are all too nervous, when they are alone . After the pepper-spray came in vogue, this was just the thing that the dwindling standards of humanity in the society needed , because the pepper-spray can come good against Roadside Romeos and alcoholics, but not against armed criminals.
 I wish the app spreads in popularity rapidly amongst the masses, because every alternate person  is now using a smartphone. Had it been developed a few years back , the events of Barasat and Park Street might have been entirely different. I wish they had Smart Suraksha with them ! In both the instances, the Police Stations were only a few minutes away from the crime spots, and the perpetrators of crime could have been caught red-handed.
         Here's to wishing Smart Suraksha a very successful journey. It has been given the responsibility to pave the way for a more secure India , so that people think twice before setting their hands on an unfortunate victim. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

French Toast in 10 minutes....from a non-cooking guy

What do yo do when you are super hungry at 00:00 hours, and have no one to bring you some tasty food that you are craving for?? you wont sleep hungry, would you?? here's a little recipe, that's a trademark of yours truly! i have no shame in admitting that i rank amongst the worst cooks in the history of the country, but this thing tastes heavenly, no matter how shoddily i prepare it. go on, glance through it !! Even if it might mean nothing to accomplished cooks, there's a fair chance, that the novice may get interested! and to top it all, you don't need to slog it out in the kitchen, a mere 10 minutes would have it ready!!

There you go!! convinced, that even no-brainers in the field of cooking would find this one worthy of a try?? Go ahead, try it yourself too!! and do let me know how it tastes!! Cheers!!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Goal.....or ??

"No,the ball went past the post,it isn't a goal", he said.
The little striker shook his head, and trudged back.
The defenders cheered in unison.

He was watching his son play,so he was sitting behind the makeshift goalpost, which were made with cricket stumps.
The ball had definitely gone through the posts, but in the melee, all the players were not convinced.
They were arguing, and very innocently, they had asked for his views as he had seen it all, and being an elderly person, his statement was of importance.

He had lied,just because his son was in the defending team.
He smiled wryly,that the children didn't know he had vouched for his son.Ignorance indeed is bliss, he thought to himself.

But the kid striker's distraught face came back to him.
He was of the same age as his son.
Nepotism on his behalf had robbed a small child of his genuine delight.
He cursed himself.
He started feeling miserable.
Telling the kids that he had lied wasn't a solution at all.

He regretted his impulsive decision to lie.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Confusion calamity ...!! 55-fiction

They were on a blind date.
"What do you value the most?", he asked.
She said "Pride".
He mistook it to be 'Bride'.
He assumed she had fallen for him already and was sending out her signals!
He jumped the gun.
He immediately proposed.
She disposed.
She left abruptly....

 ..........and they NEVER lived happily ever after!!!!! 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

An insider's account into the Launch of AR45: Rahmanishq smartphone by Celkon Mobile at Kolkata

AR Rahman in different moods during the launch

A.R. Rahman! The name itself springs to the mind the image of a little man, a sorcerer on the music front! And when that man, decides to associate himself with a smartphone that promises to blend the worlds of music and technology, a masterpiece by the name of AR 45 results: the flagship torchbearer of the Rahmanishq series of phones by Celkon Mobile!

Neeti Mohan & Javed Ali
   Graced by the entire line-up of the 
Sukhwinder Singh & Harshdeep Kaur
Rahmanishq team, that’s slated to perform in four cities of India, starting off with Kolkata, and continuing with Vizag, Jaipur & Ahmedabad, the singers, namely Sukhwinder “chhaiyya chhaiyya” Singh, Harshdeep Kaur, Shweta Pandit, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, 
Suchismita Dass, and above all, Mr A.R. Rahman himself, it was a starry event that attracted the media by the multitude

         Kolkata had its first appointment with this grand collaboration , in a packed hall at Swissotel, New Town , on 30th September, 2013, when the path-breaking launch of a new smartphone  shook up the tech-world! 4D Holographic launch?? What was meant by that?? Well, the lucky few people who had managed to gain access to this wonderful event, watched awestruck, as augmented reality took a whole new turn, with a shimmering screen displaying the rotating phone, portraying the concept of 3D, while a 4th D was added by a person, performing the stunts in perfect synchronisation with the music,behind the see-through screen!

 In the presence of Mr. Y Guru, Chairman and Managing Director, Celkon Mobiles Mr. Murali Retineni, Executive Director, Celkon Mobiles, took us through the new features of the phone, based on Android JellyBean 4.2.2,and  named AR45,after the legend himself! The crowd really enjoyed the announcement of innovations like ‘shake-to-transfer’ , a feature by which media can be transferred between phones in a couple of seconds , and also the feature that the phone is intrinsically bound to music, what with excellent equalisers to help the listener cater his soul to the music of his choice! But,what really brought the house down was the announcement that the phone would come pre-loaded with AR Rahman’s chartbusters! A trendy new headset would come free with it ,and the High-Definition camera would definitely pack a punch! Priced competitively at Rs 7,999 , the phone would become available across all retailers by October!

      Asked to wield the microphone to utter some priceless words, AR Rahman lauded the indigenous company’s efforts to innovate, and also urged all to back Indian technological endeavours like the one by Celkon Mobile! But he was quick to add rather cheekily, that he himself used all foreign gadgets, since they were not available in india currently!

Sukhwinder Singh shares his experiences,
while Harshdeep Kaur looks on

 Sukhwinder, Harshdeep, Suchismita, Shweta pandit, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali....turn by turn , everybody admitted to the growing needs to marry music with technology, in this fast paced world! While Sukhwinder added a few anecdotes of his past concerts with AR Rahman , leaving the maestro himself in splits, Javed Ali hoped that the weather in Kolkata,which has been raining incessantly, would hold true, so that Kolkatans are not left ruing a missed opportunity , on 1st October!

Shweta Pandit and Javed Ali are all smiles as Neeti Mohan speaks

AR Rahman flanked by Mr Y. Guru (left) and Mr Murali Retineni (right)

The whole Rahmanishq team

AR Rahman takes questions
    As a parting shot, there was a Q & A session, where some fans got their questions answered by AR Rahman, but he was always ready to deflect the microphone to his junior colleagues, in the talented singers!
The gala lunch was the crown jewel to an entertaining afternoon, with a rocking new phone’s arrival. Before leaving,the stars promised even more delight for the next evening, when the Rahmanishq concert juggernaut starts rolling out at 7PM , at the Salt Lake Stadium!! 

The bloggers for the event, me, Titas Kar (left) and Sammya Brata Mullick (right) at the end.