Emirates is the flight to be in

Day: 10th July, 2011
Time: 04:00 am
Location: Mumbai International Airport, India

I was boarding the Emirates flight to Dubai. While still in the boarding queue, I had a casual look at the cream-colored costume of the ground staff of Emirates. And i must admit that my initial impression wasn’t good. The strange white scarf (or whatever you call it as) connecting the top & the red cap seemed unusual. The extra kilos put on by the staff made me feel that the flight might be boring. Also, the boarding for a scheduled flight of 04:30 had not started; many anxious faces eagerly awaiting their turn to enter the BOEING-777.

Finally when boarding started & I entered the flight, I was pleasantly amazed to see the flight – beautiful orange & lavendar color adored the interiors. Comfortable reclining seat, good leg room & wonderful window view added to the ‘class’ of emirates. Generally flight take offs scare me a little. [See – I accept the fears I have :-)]. But this flight had the most smooth takeoff i have ever experienced in my life. Though the in-house entertainment wasn’t the latest; I was happy with the food offered and mood lighting. Each time before the meal they provide warm hand towels to clean your face & hands. I liked this hygienic idea.

All and all it was the best flight travel I ever had. Clearly a 9/10 rating for Emirates from me.

Oh! Did i forget to tell that I got the same experience in A380 jumbo jet from Dubai to NY? 🙂

Jan Lokpal Bill .. Salient Features

1. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

2. Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.

Crusader against Corruption 3. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

4. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

5. How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.

6. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.

7. But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

8. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.

9. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.

10. It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.

Tell me why…

I have lived on this planet for about 28 years now. There have been many questions which are left unanswered till now –

1) Being a software engineer by profession, I have come across many chart based applications; most use varied colors especially RED & GREEN. But ever wondered how these charts will be seen by color blind people. Would they make any sense to a color blind person?

2) India has been blessed with many historic monuments; all across India. I was fortunate enough to visit some (Gateway of India, Ajanta caves, Elephanta, etc). But I have not found even a single place which provides access to wheel-chaired Indians. Why are we insensitive towards them? Why can’t they see Elephanta Caves (which needs a nice hour long climb)?

3) A billion strong India is one of the largest democracies in the world. Our general elections cost more than Rs. 400 crore. I have been a voting loyally since I reached 18. But never have I seen a postal ballot [or now EVM] having Braille for the blind. Shouldn’t their vote count in general elections?

There are many such illustrations which can be quoted – each distancing the disabled from the mainstream India. Many public places in India – Cinema halls, Shopping places, government offices remain elusive from a GOOD design, inclusive enough to all Indians irrespective of their physical (in)ability.