Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On my way back to India...

"Dear Applicant,


You have cleared the final stage of the selection process. You have been selected for AIESEC's Work Abroad Program! You are officially an intern of AIESEC in Belgium. We shall assist you in securing the right internship opportunity, through the multiple opportunities that are available through the AIESEC network."

In other words, I'll be back soon in India!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Proud to be an Indian

Obviously a yes/no question is a bit simplistic... Proud to be an Indian? Why? Share with us the reasons why you love, like, dislike, hate India. What makes you proud to be born there? What are your hopes, expectations and dreams for your country? What image would you like foreigners to have of India?


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sarvendriyanam nayanam pradhanam

"Though India has about 95,00,000 deaths every year, only 10,000 people donated their eyes in a year, at last count."

Pledge to donate your eyes.

There is a misconception that the process involves unnecessary hassles like taking the person to the hospital and waiting for procedures and/or even paying for them. Many are unaware that the doctors come home and do it within hours and all free of cost.

There are also many superstititions and strange beliefs to contend with in India, especially in rural areas: one will be born disfigured or blind in the next birth if eyes are removed before cremation/burial or there is scarring/disfigurement and this mars the sanctity of the last rites. All this also probably explains why India imports a large number of corneas from Sri Lanka where eye donation is considered sacred.



-There are an estimated 12 million blind people in India of whom three million suffer corneal blindness, which means their vision can be restored with donor eyes.

-Every time one person donates his or her eyes, it gives sight to two blind people since each eye is given to one person.

-Almost everyone can donate eyes. Even those who wear spectacles, with high B.P., diabetics, or even systemic disorders like asthma, tuberculosis, or undergone cataract surgery can donate eyes. The only criterion is a healthy and clear cornea.

-Although the entire eye is removed from the body, it is only the cornea that can be transplanted. Usually artificial or plastic eyes are put in the socket of the dead and eyelids stitched together to restore normal appearance of the face.

-A person can pledge to donate his eyes after death by filling and signing the forms available at the nearest eye bank and deposit it with the bank (Or print it here. Lower part of the page. And send it to the national eye bank). Donor cards will be issued to those who pledge their eyes. The person who pledges to donate his eyes after death should inform his family members, friends and family doctor of the same.

-The next of kin can also donate the eyes of a dead person who had not pledged his eyes. However, the eyes cannot be removed without the consent of the kin even if the deceased had already pledged his eyes.

-The cornea has to be removed within six hours after death but it would be better if it is removed before three hours in view of the humid climate in India. The removal takes 10 to 15 minutes. The cornea is stored in an eye bank for transplantation to a needy person. The collected eyes can be stored upto 72 hours in an ordinary refrigerator, and up to a few months in chemical preservatives and even up to two years in freezing temperatures.

-The first eye bank in India was set up in Chennai in 1945. Today there are over 150 eye banks in the country.

-The identity of both the recipient and the donor is kept a secret.

-There is no payment or money involved for donor or for the recipient for the corneal transplantation i.e., there is no payment for the eye or cornea. (However, the recipient may have to pay for the operation charges).

-The donor does not have to be taken anywhere. The eye-bank team will come wherever the donor is, at no cost.

-In the event of death of the individual the relatives / kin are required to inform the nearest eye bank or the physician taking care of the individual about his wish of donating his eyes. Eyes have to be harvested within six hours of death. Till then, switch off fans, keep the air conditioner or cooler running and place wet cotton with ice over the closed eyelids. It will help keep the tissue moist. Raise the head with a pillow. Sign a consent form before the eyes can be removed.

Source: 1, 2, 3.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Access to all blogs and websites hosted on blogspot.com, typepad.com and geocities.com is blocked in India.

While there is no official comment, most people are speculating that the ban is connected to the recent blasts in Mumbai as it is believed that terrorists used encrypted messages in the form of blog post to communicate.

Interent Service Providers easily blocked standalone websites but banning blogs was a more daunting task as subdomains can’t be blocked. As a result, Internet service providers cut off access to domain names instead of targeting specific sites.

Alternatives to access blocked blogs

Examples are based on my blog "erasmus-in-india.blogspot.com". To read any other blog, replace “erasmus-in-india” with the name of the blog you want to access.

Via blog feeds

Rule 49-O


Often, the lack of choice results in colossal voter apathy, expressed either in the form of invalid votes or by preferring not to go to the polling station.

What you should know

In a particular constituency, if a voter has dislike to all of the candidates competing, he can show his dislike to all of them by registering for 49-O .

Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 states that if a person decides not to record his vote, then the presiding officer shall make a remark to that effect against his name in the register of voters and obtain the latter's signature or thumb impression against such remark.

If the rejections exceed the number of votes polled, a re-election is ordered, but the rejected candidates do not have the right to contest again.


In the voting using the conventional ballot paper and ballot boxes, an elector can drop the ballot paper without marking his vote against any of the candidates, if he chooses so. However, in the voting using the Electronic Voting Machines, such a facility is not available to the voter and the secrecy of voting is not protected anymore.

Proposal for electronic reform

It would be technically very easy to mark one of the buttons as 'None of the Above' to facilitate negative or neutral voting and to maintain the secrecy of the ballot. The Election Commission had recommended such a change in 2001.

So, if you don't like any of the candidates, don't forget that a neutral vote is also possible! Make full use of your democratic rights...

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

It happens only in Bangalore

Technology on the street. A techie tranfers fund for a penalty from his laptop near Trinity Circle in Bangalore.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Temple Addiction

Written by Vikas...

People in Madurai go to temple daily. It is a habit ingrained in them. Why would someone in the age group of 15-25 go to a temple? Well, I faced this question as I was working on my summer project. So, I asked myself what were the reasons when I went to temples.

Reason 1: Good LuckYou want something to happen and you know there is more than hard work, intelligence or talent required for success. You need luck. And who other than God can provide with luck. Well, in my case it ceased to be a reason very early as I understood that mera to bad luck hi kharaab hai. If I asked God something, it sure was rejected. Still, appeasing God for luck is the most common reason for going to temples.

Reason 2: Hello to God
Before I completely stopped going to temples, I went there because the people I respected or loved wanted me to go there. So, people go just because they are asked to as a kid. The habit continues and soon becomes a part of life. I can describe it as people go there just to say hello to God.

Reason 3: Peace of Mind
I went to the temple in BHU because it was really clean, had cool tiles and the bells resonated. I would sleep there when I was lost. But there are few temples, where you can actually sleep. Banaras is full of temples. Still, I never felt like going to any other temple there. However, people say that they go to temples for peace of mind.

Reason 4: Girls
Many people whom I knew would go to temple to look at girls. And in fact it was used as an opportunity to touch girls. Well, touching a girl is still a big thing in many parts of India. The famous temples have long queues of devotees waiting to see the idol and perform the puja. In such a rush rubbing someone can be claimed as accidental. Therefore, in many temples, there are separate lines for men and women.

Reason 5: Dating
Temples are best dating spot for lovers hailing from conservative families. I used the word lover because the India where I’ve spent most of my life have people claiming to be in love even before their first date. Anyways, I’ve been to temples twice to meet girls. The first time it happened I was 17 and the girl with me educated me about temples as the best dating place. She beckoned me to the various lovers there. She was quite a learned girl. The second time it happened I was 22. This time the girl was from a conservative muslim family. And that was the only place where we could sit together without her well built brothers finding us. I was really scared then as I imagined my dead body with half slit throat hanging from a tall building. Anyways, I survived. I believe that temples are indeed a great place for boys and girls to meet.

The reasons I cite are neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive. These are again my experiences with truth, lies & …

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Serial blasts in Mumbai

I sincerely hope that none of your friends or relatives was injured or killed in the blasts.

Friday, July 07, 2006


My boyfriend accused me of hijacking his blog. True! Let's promote his blog here.

What he wrote on his blog

"This is to inform all my blog readers (I can count them on finger ;o)) that my blog has been hijacked by one Miss (name removed). She has tampered with the template and has used my blog to advertise her blog. However, I cannot take any remedial action as a man is always exploited by his woman. Oops! it is in fact true not only for human beings but extends to all species. Needless to say that I am expectantly looking for a saviour.

PS: Do read her blog or else I'll be sleeping on the couch for the rest of my life."

What I would like to add

No worries, our fights always end well. After, the first step (above on the pic), below are the following ones.

Second step: We ignore each others

Third step: I apologize

Fourth step: He kisses me

Fifth step: I sleep on his shoulder