Reflections: The Beauty of Ratnagiri: Ratnagiri… a land of almost unparalleled beauty just waiting to be discovered. A beautiful town with a nice serene atmosphere, it is a tow…
But first, getting there…. I recommended the Rail link- Konkan Railway. This is because of the superlative scenes of stunning visual appeal that greet you along the way. If you are a photo-enthusiast, I suggest you travel by Sleeper class to get some awesome shots, which are so plentiful that you will be spoiled for choice as to what to capture on camera. No joke, there. Some snaps are given below, taken only with a Sony Ericsson Mobile Phone with 2 MP camera. I did not even have a camera in my hand luggage, since as it was not a sight-seeing tour
Ratnagiri lies on the Konkan Railway line, and is one of the most important stations on that line. The station itself is a distance of 6 km from the mail town, and you will require an auto (@100 – 120) to get to the town. It has decent rail connectivity with several major trains having a halt.
Please note that some lovely scenes were missed – including a couple of other waterfalls as I was not prepared and properly equipped. But these will give you some idea of the beauty of the line
The Konkan Railway is a real treat – I counted 32 tunnels myself, with one being more than 10 minutes in terms of time spent in the tunnel… awesome. Treat yourself – take a trip with konkan railways! At Ratnagiri itself, hotelling is not a problem. Details are easily available on the internet, with contact numbers which you can use to book in advance.
A word about the food: Pure Vegetarians watch out! If you want a pure-veg restaurant, there is only one, but that is very good indeed – Hotel Mithila. The rates are reasonable, the quality is superb and the taste generally is what you would expect.
The Sea Beaches at Ratnagiri are awesome in their virgin beauty and unspoiled calm – no crowds, polythene or general littering, untouched and pristine – a sight for sore eyes tired of seeing crowded beaches. These are beaches you can truly enjoy, in whose beauty you can truly revel.
There are a multitude of locations to visit as per your taste- Theeba Palace, Theeba point, Pawas, Ratnadurg Fort, Ganaptipule, Parashuram Temple, Bhatye Beach, Mandvi Beach to name but a few. For most locations, autos are easily available and indeed recommended – even Ganpatipule and Pawas. In fact, you can even catch a bus to Ganapatipule – it takes 45 minutes by bus, 35 by auto. There are also several pilgrimage spots – Ganapatipule, Parshuram Temple and Pawas, for example
Ganapatipule is famous for the Swayambhu Ganeshji Temple, and is one the most famous pilgrimmage locations in this part of India. What is not too well known is that Ganapatipule is also home to one of the most spectacular, pristine, clean sea beaches you can even clap your eyes upon.
Pawas – a village with visual imagery you will by now have become acquainted to – is 15 km from Ratnagiri town, and is home to the Samadhi of Swami Swaroopanand, now a lovely and awesome temple. It is also home to a Parshuram Temple, and is decidedly worth the visit.
Thiba Point in main Ratnagiri town is home to a lovely stepped garden ( Daytime snaps below is from an online site; we were there at sunset as can be seen from our snap)
Some snaps from my and my wife’s mobile camera are given below that will give an idea as to what awaits the tourist…. Plan a trip to Ratnagiri… not for the mangoes, but for the beauty. I have purposely steered clear from mango and its derivative products that are available, and the Mango orchards, since all too many people are aware of that! There is far more to Ratnagiri than mangoes…
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Reflections: Inflation… a household perspective; a case for C…: Inflation: The Hot Topic of discussion in all financial newspapers as well as dailies; stating 9 – 10% figures; food inflation in the range …
Inflation: The Hot Topic of discussion in all financial newspapers as well as dailies; stating 9 – 10% figures; food inflation in the range of 15% or thereabouts… They further state that this has been a problem for the past 2 years only
The only objection I can think of is that this would cover only consumer products, and the other categories are left out in the cold. To that extent, that is accepted as a shortcoming. But, if you think about it, the data for such categories would be far simpler to collate once the major voluminous consumer data is collated. Secondly, the impact of technology must also have been felt in that sector as well, and can be harnessed. One thing is sure, though: if we want representative and accurate data for our economy we will firstly have to harness technology, and secondly we will have to do it fast
The only question that now remains regards the efficacy of such efforts. One such example can be quoted from our Media- the almost incessant focus on Black Money, which is just showing signs of bringing in some results. The moot question is how did this happen – black money was always a serious issue. Why has it taken centre-stage now? In my opinion, the people started getting more vocal, bringing this issue centre-stage. The Media, to be fair, also helped in this by continously highlighting cases of corruption.
From this we can conclude that the Media, thus, has another important role in a free society, over and above the 3 primary roles of Reportage, Information & Analysis and Entertainment: leading change – social as well as economic – maybe even political change. In that, our Media has been sightly slow and reactive rather than proactive. (Even so, there have been notable exceptions which are unfortunately very few and far between). However, recent developments have altered the scenario a lot: there is increasing evidence of proactivism. For this to continue, we need to keep leading issues centrestage in our minds and be supportive in terms of our attention. This passive support from us will suffice…
There is a hindi proverb: taali do haaton se bajti hai, which is quite apt here. For this to continue, we citizens too have to do our part. All that is required is passive support in the form of our interest and awareness (awareness that problems exists AND that they are serious enough to impact our families).
The author is not pro-Media; nor pro-citizen. This is just an objective statement based on personal observations. There has been increasing evidence of some superb work by both the Media and the general populace in recent years… let us keep this up and even extend this. From our side, as I stated earlier- all that is needed is passive support and awareness…
The Aakash… coming after the Nano, is already making waves across the world. It seems we are getting a reputation for creating affordable technology solutions. Another example is the connection of rural hinterlands through the computer kiosk that provides farming, fishing and market information.
A tablet at that price is certainly going to make an impact. But care needs to be taken that the primary focus and positioning is not lost. Consider the Nano – it has become a second or even third car for families, while the original target segment of families who could not afford a car remains untapped. The Nano is still delivering decent numbers of 5000 – 10000 per month – but these are nowhere near the targeted numbers or the potential of the original target market
Similar is the situation with the Aakash – it might just become a second device of professionals or middle / upper middle class people. We should understand one thing clearly – in such hands, there will be a comparison with the higher – end models, which will generate negative publicity for the product. And, in the handset market, negative publicity can be critical
Hence, initially, it will have to ensured that the targeted segment is tapped properly. Once that has been done, avenues to tap secondary market segments can be thought of. It needs to be understood that this device is not meant to compare with the higher end tabs that are currently present. It is a simple price-feature trade-off to cater to a market segment which would otherwise not be able to reap the benefits and advantages of a tablet technology. Secondly, it is meant to provide affordable technology in the hands of such people who will be able to use its productivity features to learn technology, get adapted to it, and use its features to enhance their productivity. It is meant to be used as a tool to create a techno-savvy populace, if I can state a generalisation
The future looks to be bright for the Aakash, which will fulfill a felt need. With proper distribution and after sales support, there is no reason why it cannot make it. Furthermore, beyond the sceptre of sales and profitability, it has already started enhancing Brand India’s image even before its launch, judging from the article on Washington Post. Let us hope for a success in this venture… it will be a shot in the arm for Brand India, as well as give a vital technology tool in our hands….
BRIC…. that is what we are known as. BRIC… all of us Indians – at least the educated ones – take immense pride in the supposed fact that we are the poster-boys of the world. We are growing at 8% in GDP terms (some of us might even think that 6.5% is not bad considering how the rest of the world is doing), we escaped the 2008 financial crisis. Great. Fabulous.
BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India, China. How do we compare? And why are we thinking only about China? Look at some facts now, enumerated below (click link for full details)
- Adult Literacy:
- Russia 99.6%
- Brazil 90%
- China 94%
- India 62.8%
- Even Sri Lanka 90.6%!!!!
- Life Expectancy:
- Russia: 68.8
- Brazil: 73.5
- China: 73.5
- India: 65.4
- Sri Lanka: 74.9!!!!
- Under-5 Mortality:
- Russia: 12
- Brazil: 21
- China: 19
- India: 66
- Sri Lanka: 15!!!!
- Total Fertility Rate:
- Russia: 1.5
- Brazil: 1.8
- China: 1.6
- India: 2.5
- Sri Lanka: 2.2!!!!
- Gender Inequality Index:
- Russia: 59
- Brazil: 80
- China: 35
- India: 129
- Sri Lanka: 74!!!!
This is not about the enclosed incident… it is more concerned with the response. The first question that comes to my mind is why should some boys have the courage to first of all eve tease, and then secondly back it up with violence. The next question that comes to my mind is equally disturbing – why are such incidents – I am referring to random violence – on the increase? And the third obvious question that pops up is what are we as individuals and as citizens doing about it?
I dont have an answer to the first one. Quite frankly, I dont have the slightest idea as to the reason. One thing is certain, at least to my mind: our falling morals standards, our it-doesn’t-concern-me attitude, corruption and the attendant I-can-get-away-with-it feeling, are all involved. One cant just state that there is one specific reason. As to the second question, this is obviously connected to the first.
My main concern is what is our response? Do we, as a people care? If by response you mean reading the news and ruminating over it / blogging about it (like me) / forgetting it / discussing it, then neither constitutes a response. In my mind, we need to become a lot more community minded, to join together and create a cohesive response. This is indeed not going to happen overnight, but it needs to be done. And the impacts of this will be experienced in a multitude of areas. It might sound far-fetched and idealistic, but there is no other sure-fire way
Because, when you come right down to brass tacks, the absence of a fear of a punitive response is one of the major factors that engenders such behaviour. And if you look around you, this absence of a fear is evident everywhere. Punitive response does not mean action from the side of the law (which is a topic unto itself) but rather presenting a common front; responding to a person in genuine need; ensuring a community feeling; creating proper pressure on the administrative machinery to act etc etc.
We are so concerned with ourselves and our families that we fail to see the impact on society, or our roles and responsibilities as citizens.And it is this that is most worrisome… it is this basic lack of understanding that is at the root of several problems – even corruption. We pay bribes – to ease our own way, unmindful of the long-term damage that is being done to our country. And, somewhere along the line, corruption is also one of the factors that is equally to blame, since corruption engenders a safety net for illicit behaviour – people believe that they can get away with it. Thirdly, the lack of a proper functioning legal system where the guilty get swift retribution is also yet another factor that is responsible.
Community awareness, Corruption are both social evils- and they are affecting us in diverse ways. Unless we wake up to our responsibilities, there can be no improvement….