CALIFORNIA WILD FIRES — DEVASTATING ONES by Brijkaul

California  devastating  Fires  with firefighters fighting the battle of fires photo AP.

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On Wednesday 30th October in SIMI Valley California wild fires   caught northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County unwares,and by nightfall charged 1300 acres(526) hectares,the fury of fires threatened thousands of homes ,orchads ,oilfields, forcing displacement of thousands(roughly7000) of  residents in California to safety .

The scrub fire flared up threatening the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The  fire in Simi Valley flared up early in the dawn , the  flames went  across the dry  grassy slopes  of the hilltop Reagan Library, which houses the late president’s archives and other important manuscripts.

The strike teams of firefighters, backed by water-dropping helicopters and airplane tankers covered the area with  loads of fire retardant, as flames  moved in  on the library campus.

The devastating fire, forced 26,000 people from some of the city’s posh localities to flee.

The fire broke out from a separate conflagration burning in shrub-covered hills near the Getty Center museum . The museum has a collection  including paintings by Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Manet, Greek statues and an array of rare manuscripts.

The fierce Santa Ana winds were cause of a string of fires that engulfed the whole of Southern California. and Riverside County, east of Los Angeles.

With adverse weather conditions the ambers flew across air igniting the spot fires .across the dry forests.

Chad Cook, the chief of forest department Ventura County explained to the reporters, who gathered to ask for  the cause  and remedial steps to ward off  the menacing fires.

“The fire outflanked us very rapidly today, pushed by those 40- to 50-mile-per-hour (40- to 80 km per hour) winds,” . “We did experience gusts up to 65 miles per hour (105 kph) this morning, which made long-range spotting very, very dangerous.” he continued explaining sportingly.

The National Weather Service issued an unprecedented “extreme red flag” .

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen us use this warning,” forecaster Marc Chenard said. “It’s pretty bad.”

The weather services issuing alerts for critical fire warnings covering more than 34000sq.kms involving some 20 miliion people.

Nearly 400,000 homes and businesses statewide on Wednesday went as powerless as a precaution by the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Co, a unit of PG&E Corp (PCG.N).,

The blaze prompted public Schools and Colleges in the area to cancel classes . On nearby ranches, residents in the protective face masks were seen helping horses and other livestock into trailers to drive them to a safety place

The Santa Ana winds at a sustained speeds of 80 to 110 kmp, are a regional weather phenomenon that cause wildfires very often.

Investigators say the Getty fire was likely caused by a broken tree branch blown into power lines during high winds on Monday morning. It spread, consuming 745 acres by Wednesday morning, many houses were gutted completely.

In northern California, the blaze destroyed at least 189 homes and other structures but was largely contained on Wednesday.

The deadly blaze displaced as many as 200,000people.

The fire has begun to cool off after causing menacing damages across much of Southern California for two days.

The subsided fires helped the authorities to gain control over the situation and easing the process of restoring a bit of normalcy.                                                       Sources Reuters

CONCLUSION

It is a fact that Nature cannot be tamed but some steps could be taken to avoid damages to the homes and people at large by shifting them permanently to the regions of safety. for good. The Californian think tank should rummage their brains to scheme out of this frequent fire menace.

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PUNE THE CITY OF DREAMS by BrijKaul

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Pune  The most liveable city.

On the clear October afternoon day 2019, I visited a small hillock on the side of Parvati in Pune for spending an hour or so in peace and tranquility.

This is the place one can have an overview of almost entire city swathed in greenery of monsoon rains.

Below me the city with its criss -cross bazaars, blaring horns, the grisly roads with open drainage culminating towards swollen rivers, looked a sprawling one. The skyline has assumed alarming proportions.

The city looked gorgeously green .

I could see one more distant range of hills followed by a stretch of plains, a fascinating view.

The clouds started gathering and the sky was overcast .

A loud growling followed by a lightening , instantly it began to rain, a cold steel rain.

I took to my heels literally and did not give hoots to the beautiful surroundings, but hurried to get on to main road and continued to walk on looking for a cover to avoid being drenched in the awful spattering rains. The chaotic traffic of cars, two wheelers ,where every vehicle was trying to overtake the other ,the honking of horns plunging the street into deafening noise center much to the displeasure of pedestrians.

Among the generality of Indian males ,I am medium sized—five feet five ,very wide of shoulder and eventually because of my size I could take brisk strides and run in between the thickly rains for getting on to take refuge under a cover.

I did manage to stand in the corner of a sweet shop. There was a sizable crowd already, a couple making way for me with a wry smile. Puneites are friendly people and very conciliatory especially to senior citizens.

The rains continued pouring down and did not seem to abate at all.

Recently Pune had rains without any warning and the city almost got drowned with hundreds of vehicles being carried away in the fierce rains and the winds that was not less than any hurricane.

I watched the dripping trees and the clouds coming down over the distant valley giving it a hazy look all around.

As I was standing waiting for rains to stop,I heard someone calling me not far away “ kaul sahib, kaul sahib here I am Prasad”

I saw a tall hefty man coming towards me and standing face to face, I stared at him with a glimmer of remembrance in my eyes ,I recognized him instantly. “ hello Prasad how are you here.” I asked, little puzzled. He was carrying an umberalla big enough to take me underneath.

we walked into a nearby restaurant for a strong sweet tea with hot Kachoris.

“ So Prasad tell me what are you doing now.”I said with a beaming smile. “ ah! cannot believe seeing you after 35 years.it is amazing unbelievable” I continued startled .

“Me too “ Prasad replied with a guffaw.

Prasad was my head inspector in Jg glass factory long back in 1970’S, good at job and a great singer. He was handsome tall with wrestler’s body having six pack muscles, very affable in nature, a pleasant lively smile lit up his face all the time.

I being the head of quality department, he was very obedient and respectful subordinate.

we had a long conversation over a few steaming cups of teas.

“ I could educate my only son to be an engineer and he has become GM of an MNC from Germany, kaul sir” he declared with some sense of pride.

“ you can call me kaul only ,no need to say sir Mr Prasad. you are my friend and one time colleague’ I corrected him

“ no kaul sahib you are my sir all the time. It was your constant drumming that motivated me to educate my son Ravinder.” He said apologetically.

“ do you still sing? “

“ yes I do “

“can you sing that Rajesh khanna song” I asked

and he started singing in his profoundly melodous voice.

“ Tum ne kaajal lagaya Din mein Raat ho gayi chup gaye Tare nazare oye kya baat ho gayi .”

The other guests turned their heads to listen him and cheered him for his singing the Bolly -wood block buster of yesteryears.

As Prasad emerged a singing celebrity in the small crowd ,engrossed in the new found fame,  I went into a reverie to ramble through my memories about my first encounter with bright and beautiful Pune.

I walked into Pune ,the city of my dreams, ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’ , ‘the queen of Deccan’ as popularly called those days, on 21st june 1961 to look after my ailing sister shanta whom I called fondly Bengashi. 

My father had coaxed and cajoled me to take the vexed long trip to assist my brother in law Raj nath Wakhaloo ,who had moved into the city in 1959 on Govt of India assignment in Post and Telegraph Pune division. Raj nath ji popularly known as Wakhaloo Sahib, a typical Kashmiri Brahmin, tall handsome ,with chiselled features a long straight nose , dimpled chin ,liked the city and its people , its mild climate and hilly topography .

My brother in law, JEEJAJI, was waiting for me in the pleasant morning at the Pune station.

I walked the platform and hugged him ,thanking him profusely for coming to greet me in the early morning.

We went to home ,a small low ceiling ill ventilated one room rented apartment in Soomwar-peth in the city. His office was at a stone’s throw from the residence hence the choice of hiring that apartment.

After dropping my luggage, and having a hurried brief breakfast ,we drove down to the Dr Karve Clinic at the foothills of Parvati ,where my sister Bengashi was admitted. My sister was glad to see me and hugged me intensely, the tears flowing down her cheeks profusely.

she was having clot on the lower leg and being under treatment of DR KARVE, one of the best doctors of Pune at that time.

I was supposed to look after my sister as my brother in law J e e j a j i was attending office.

I successfully completed my assignment to my best ability, looking after my beloved sister with ease and comfort. Went to Kashmir back after nearly two months.

At that time I could have n e v e r imagined Pune would be my permanent home town some day.

As providence would have it I got my first job in Pune as management trainee way back in 1970 in a glass container manufacturing unit after great efforts and started liking to live in Pune.

My sister’s prayers worked for my settlement .

I lived in Meera Society near Shanker Seth road, a new decent colony with built in spacious apartments of most advanced building technology.

Here I struck acquaintance with Mr Pran Tickoo working as a senior engineer in Tata Locomative engineering company . We soon became great pals and spent lot of good time together ,mostly enjoying ‘Boti kababs’, ‘tandoori chicken’ and many niceties at Dipen’s barbaquee run by an affable Punjabi couple close to Petrol pump on Shanker Seth road. Pran  Tickooji had flair for attending to social activities and displayed leadership qualities and enjoyed doing so very much. Currently associated with many such social platforms  contributing his mite to the good of society. 

Pune city was very alluring beautiful with almost no traffic and big broad roads ,having hilly background with trees all along the routes making beautiful long avenues to look at.

It had shades of my Srinagar city ,with Parvati hill standing in the heart of city like Hari Parbat of Srinagar city. The pleasant weather was one more similarity to my Kashmir.

Pune is the second largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai, with nearly 5.05 miliion population currently. Situated 1840 feet above sea level on the Deccan plateau on the right bank of Mutha river.

Pune has profound no of Nicknames ‘ Oxford of East’ ‘ Queen of Deccan ‘ so on and so forth

with its cool sizzling climate, vibrant greens adding tantalizing serenity to the Nature, Pune stands out a thriving city to live in .

Pune is always young with its young student population, and is nerve center of arts crafts ,offering opportunities for jobs, research and has been a commercial hub for many industries.

 

I woke up from my reverie and called for Prasad ,who seemed completely absorbed and enjoying the new found popularity.

“shall we make a move now” I blurted out to Prasad .

“yes sir yes sir” he replied briefly.

The rains had stopped and I looked for an auto rickshaw to take me to my residence in Bibwewadi.

Prasad called for one and I squeezed in and it zoomed away without allowing me even to say goodbye, with a foreboding of having seen Prasad for the last time.

 

WORLD AT A GLANCE by Brij Kaul

CHILE

 According to the World Bank Report Chile has been one of South America’s fastest-growing economies in recent decades. Following neo –liberal reforms in 1980s and 1990s — lowering Taxes ,cutting public benefits and taking a host of other reforms   setting stage for economic renaissance, enabled the country to reduce the population living in poverty (on US$ 5.5 per day) from 30 percent in 2000 to 6.4 percent in 2017. with a brief sluggish growth (1.3%)in 2017,the economy bounced back in 2018 to 4percent.The lower interest rates and higher copper prices revitalized mining production and gave great impetus to the economy.

The central government debt declined for the first time in six years, from 2.7 percent of GDP in 2017 to 1.7 percent in 2018 due to increased revenue.

Despite facing various challenges in different forms Chile Government is making efforts to rationalize the tax system, facilitate employment mobility, improve the pension system , facilitating the linkage between education and lobour market, and strengthening the financial system to maintain growth and any vulnerability to external risks..

On the social front the Governmentt is enhancing the quality of health and education to women for their participation in labour market to alleviate poverty amongst the middle class.

The World Bank helps the Chile Government in implementing a technical and financial assistance programme in areas with a strong impact on development.

For instance in last four years The World Bank has done nearly 30 studies in areas of higher education, health, water, institutional development and land development.

The Financial assistance to the tune of USD50 million dollars to strengthen Public universities and thus put a heavy thrust on higher education.

The number of full-time faculty members who hold PhDs has increased from 5,109 in 2011 to 7,883 in March 2016. Additionally, studies by World Bank experts provided input for key changes in legislation to improve the accreditation quality assurance system and the accountability of institutions,

Additionally, the World Bank is providing USD500million as financial protection for natural disasters like earthquake risks.

The Bank has funded project supported the design of over 45 regional plans, 250 infrastructure projects like roads, water and sanitation, energy and other productive activities in different regions of the country. Approximately 320,000 people benefited from improved infrastructure, land planning and implementation of development programmes.

International Finance Corporation has also helped the country in focussing on the activities with a strong potential for development with reference to small and medium-sized industries, energy, education and agribusiness.

Around 80 ,000 teachers went on strike seeking reform in the education system,as the Chilean law does not ensure education as public right ,hence the private sector exploits the admissions etc through voucher system thus depriving the poor ones from acquiring the rightful education.

Despite all such social drawbacks Chile is on the economic upswing.

 Germany

Descendants from Nazis

The Germany Interior minister Horse Seehofer in.” a statement said “Germany must live up to its historical responsibilities, He wanted to help people whose parents or grandparents had to flee.”   “with the legal degrees which come into force from Friday we will create a swift ruling that is immediately valid for these people to get German Citizenship.” He continued.

Germany will enforce two decrees to make it easier for people, mainly Jews, who fled ,between 1933 and 1945, to Britain, the Nazi regime because of persecution, as well as their descendents to have their German citizenship restored.

The Brexit decision fuelled the campaign by the descendents whose applications for German citizenship have been rejected despite constitutional guarantees provided by the law.

Article 116 (2) of Germany’s Basic Law denotes that former German citizens and their descendents between 1933 and 1945 deprived of their citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds can have their citizenship restored.

Germany currently received more than 1,500 applications from Britain under Article 116 in both 2017 and 2018 and are keen to give their assent to the same thus make amends for the historical mishap.

DONALD TRUMP AND KIM JONG ON PEACE MISSION By Brijkaul

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Trump  and  Kim  Jong in deep conversation  in North Korea. Sunday .

 

American President Trump’s brief encounter with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in North Korea’s fortified demilitarized zone on Sunday (30/6/19) seen as a major move to bring two warring American and North Korean diplomats to the negotiating table. The two leaders agreed to re-start the negotiations.

Greeted by an agile smiling Mr. Kim, the president stepped at 3:46 p.m. local time and walked about 20 paces to the base of a building on the North Korean side for starting long stalled talks in an unprecedented friendly manner.

“It is good to see you again,” an excited hopeful Mr. Kim told the president . “I never expected to meet you in this place.”

“Big moment, big moment,” Mr. Trump replied back

Mr. Trump soon after escorted Mr. Kim over the line into South Korea, slipping inside the building known as Freedom House for a private conversation along with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. The meeting lasted over an hour

Mr. Trump said he would invite Mr. Kim to visit him at the White House.

“This has a lot of significance because it means that we want to bring an end to the unpleasant past and try to create a new future,” Mr. Kim told reporters. “So it’s a very courageous and determined act.”

“Stepping across that line was a great honor,” Mr. Trump replied. “A lot of progress has been made, a lot of friendships have been made, and this has been in particular a great friendship.”

Mr. Trump clarified he and Mr. Kim had agreed to designate negotiators to resume talks in the next few weeks. The American team would be led by Stephen Biegun, the special envoy , however the North Korean side head was yet to be announced.

Trump had already plans to meet Kim Jong in DMZ during his trip to South Korea but he protrayed it as a spontaneous decision in his usual flamboyant manner.  Source  N.Y.T

Background to Korean dispute.,P

it is necessary to know background to Korean dispute visa vis Japan and recently with USA.

Korea was ruled by Japanese Imperial Government under Japan –Korea annexation treaty in 1910 until the second world war in 1945, resulting in South Korea and North Korea. separated by DMZ .South Korea being patronized by Japan and United states and North Korea by Soviet Union and China. Later The Soviet Union influence wanned and China remains the sole mentor .

Recently there were positive efforts by the leaders of both South Korea and North Korea to discuss inter-Korea relations and to take positive steps towards denuclearization.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea met for 3 days summit in Pyongyang on 18th September 2018 to deliberate on reunification of two Koreas. A delgation of 50 leaders in business and politics,sports culture from South Korea met the counter part from North Korea and recognized the importance of fostering trust a common vision for building good relations and thus lay strong foundation for ultimate reunification.

Trump visualized the role of United States to ease the long standing dispute and thus supported Moon Jae –in’s efforts for reconciliation .

Trump’s Gamble

Trump virtually gambled that the gesture of amity could break the nuclear logjam underlying his faith in the  prowess of his diplomatic skills even to deal with kooky persons like Kim Jong-un.

More than halfway through his term, Mr. Trump is hoping against hope that a resolution to the vexed problem apart from bringing much awaited peace finally, could also yield dividends to his re-election campaign.

Even a modest success in reconciliation with North Korea would mean a lot to uphold his grip over his critics who are hell bent on not giving any credit to Trump for reducing the tension with North Korea.

Although Mr. Trump was confident that nobody can deny the fact that during his tenure North Korea has suspended nuclear tests, released detained American soldiers and handed over to the United States the remains of American soldiers killed in the war.

“There’s no reason to regard the current situation as a stalemate in the peace process on the peninsula just because the pace has remained slow,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in. All others agreed broadly that tension has reduced in the region and Mr Moon praised Mr Trump as “the peace maker of the Korean Penunsula”

The Singapore meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim was a step towards reconciliation and some possible promises to eliminate Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal. Their second meeting in Hanoi was complete failure as Kim did not comply with the promises made in first meeting.

The stalemate continued for a long time.

But suddenly in the recent past weeks Mr Kim exchanged some letters with Mr Trump promising some positive upbeat in the diplomatic relations.   source   Politico  Times of India

Conclusions.

The Bromance between two leaders finally made possible the third meeting in North Korea on 30th June 2019. hoping to resolve the long standing conflict amicably.

Mr. Kim said he knew nothing about a possible meeting until the president’s tweet.

“I don’t think this kind of surprise meeting would have happened without the excellent personal relationship between your excellency and me,” he told Mr. Trump in Freedom House.

Though the path to peace remains slow but both leaders show renewed enthusiasm and determination to overcome the fiery rhetoric and long standing animosity with peace and love letters .

A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE BY BRIJKAUL

 

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City of Melbourne

 

Off to Melbourne .

The plane taxied at the Melbourne airport for about ten minutes before coming to halt at 5am on 12th September 2004 .

The door flung open and I stood straight ,the legs failing me for being tied to the chair for nearly Eight hours .

But the eagerness to see the Melbourne ,the city so lovely and beautiful offering places of charm and nature’s beauty of parks, gardens ,the simmering cool river Yarra and the roaring waters of the port of phillip bay, rejuvenated my energy to stand erect and walk to the tarmac.

Outside it was day break and the sky was deep blue with shades of dark patches of fluffy clouds hovering over, unmindful of the gleaming rising sunrays.

As soon as I came out I noticed my colleague Brian Morgan smiling and waving towards me .I waved back and walked quickly to stretch out my hand for a warm shake hand. Holding my hand in his ,we walked towards the parking and in a jiffy we were on the main highway plying towards Melbourne ,the capital of Victoria state with population of nearly three and half miliion people, of various cultures customs of far off lands living together for centuries..

“ Hey Brian glad to see you here but sorry you had to start so early from your home” I said apologetically.

“ Brij never mind, Glad you could make it finally.” He replied smilingly.

“ yes true you know it was purely your efforts .” I said softly.

“ No Brij you put Ferro products on the map of Indian and adjoining market. A remarkable effort.” Brian retorted confidently.

“ you have been officially invited in lieu of your recognition of great performance” He continued.

‘Today is Sunday we will go to my residence in Mornington , after having lunch I will drop you in hotel for tonight.

Tomorrow I shall collect you at 8am and we will go to check in the Royal hotel opposite to Yarra River side ,a beautiful place in the city. Thereafter we will go to Ferro Corporation office and factory,”   Brian explained briefly the schedule for my stay in Melbourne.

I had joined Ferro Corporation India office 5 years back in 1999 as Marketing Manager and Brian Morgan Export Manager Sales , Asia Pacific Region, was my immediate superior .Brian Morgan was very efficient Marketing guy with full knowledge of the products. It was great pleasure to work together ,touring India and Sri Lanka very often.we eventually became friends and continue to be so..

India office administrative head was Dr Aziz sheikh who had selected me for promoting glass sales in India and adjoining markets of Saarc countries. Dr Aziz was director of Ferro USA deputed temporarily to establish Ferro Corporation Sales office in India. one of the finest  suave  gentleman I  ever had met .He was promoting Electronic products and responsible for all corporate office activities.

He had a good office at Pune ,being his native city, and one agile, petite young girl Marina Fernandise assisted him. She was very efficient and assertive in managing an upcoming MNC office.

I was third one to join the group.

The car sped away and Brian was explaining that the Mornington Peninsula stretching down the eastern side of port Phillip Bay with its rolling hills ,rich fertile plains , a bewitching panorama of spectacular vineyards ,red white in sparkling styles, a picturesque view and one could explore the bountiful region ,the gardens  all across ,a number of sanctuaries teeming with bird life .

As we neared the Mornington town , one could see a lot of restaurants, shops wineries all across with lot of vacationers loitering around with gaiety.

Brian’s residence , a beautiful bungalow with a sprawling living room neatly done up with cushions of beautiful upholstery .

Mrs Brian ,Lorraine, a tall lady with aquiline features pretty with golden hair , greeted me with a smile

“ Hello Mr kaul, glad to see you welcome to Mornington” she said ,ignoring my outstretched hand , gave me a hug instead and asked me to be seated comfortably on the sofa nearby. She is a kind woman .

“ I will make tea while you can fresh up in the rest room.’’ she said in a low tone.

After having a sumptuous lunch in an Indian restaurant on the beach side , I checked in a hotel and Brian said “ you be on your own now for the night, see you in the morning” he drove down the road in his red car for a restful afternoon.

The next day was busy day at Ferro office ,a visit to nearby Ferro factory.

The office was big one with open cubicles all around . Brian briefly introduced me to one and all especially to Katerina ,Sally, Robin Brehney, Ron Mathews and finally chief boss Geoff Dowdell.

Geoff greeted me warmly saying “Brij you are now our one of the best man and we made it a point to invite you for direct intervention with all here so that you feel yourself a member of Ferro family” . “Thanks Geoff “ I replied briefly.

“ Brian and each of us will take you for city sight seeing after 3.30 pm daily.” Geoff continued.

I had a busy schedule both at the Ferro office as well as manufacturing unit.

Ferro Australia manufactured glass colours Pepsi and coca cola ones for screen printing on the bottles itself and many other ceramic products of high quality. Ferro worldwide was and is a renowned group of USA having manufacturing units of various products in roughly twenty two countries.

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Author  at River Yarra Melbourne

EVENINGS IN MELBOURNE

I was looking eagerly for evenings to take a stroll of this lovely glittering city of MELBOURNE in company of Brian for most of the time.

Melbourne is a charming city of river Yarra the placid downstream view from prince Bridge is a treat to the eyes.

In the morning while standing on the balcony of my room the city simply reflected in the Yarra waters, a mesmerizing scene to adore and cherish.

The river Yarra has source at Baw Baws some 210 kilometers from the city port and the water flows down rocky hills ,green pastures and finally through Melbourne city bordered by the gardens , the people gather enjoying on its embankments for partying in the mushroom of restaurants that have sprung up all along its pavements. .

The people throng the place in the glittering evenings for playing in the crown entertainment complex ,the largest casino .where the dice is thrown for million of dollars every day.

Just on the other side of the river the city center is Southgate., a fascinating shopping complex ,shops galore in its multitude of art galleries ,Jewellery, and all essential items .

The dinners in the Italian restaurants were most enjoyable here.

One day we visited the MCC and spend a few hours to see the World’s famous Cricket Club,

 Ferro Friday Party

Geoff Dowdell the chief boss announced a party ,Ferro Friday Party for all staff, managers with families. It was a pleasure party announcing the successful performance of Australia unit over the years of its operation.

The party was well organized with wine and whisky pouring down gleefully into the sparkling tumblers to the tune of placid music.

Mr Geoff along with some other gentleman made some announcements highlighting the progress of the company. He was kind enough to speak about me as well.” Mr Kaul from Ferro India is amidst us today and I would place on record he and Brian have done a great job for the company by promoting Ferro products in big way in the Indian sub continent. A rare achievement. I congratulate Mr Kaul for his brilliant performance”

There was great applause and I felt glad to get this grand recognition of work.

Life flows on and on . I worked undauntedly for almost fifteen years before jumping on to another isle for another onslaught.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY STORY A Crucial Decision by BrijKaul

 

 

Ashrams_on_the_banks_of_Ganges_Rishikesh

HOLY TOWN  RISHIKESH

we live to face the challenges in life moving ineluctably at a jet speed reluctant to relent its pace even for a moment or two. Despite one’s coaxing   cajoling life undulates ahead without batting its eyelids for a fraction of a second.

After spending fourteen years in Bilt in their glass units ,ten years at Rishikesh and four years at Pune,I took a crucial decision in 1983 to free myself from the shackles of my comfort zone to move forward to some other corporate corridor on an elevated position.

The picturesque beautiful Town of Rishikesh was holding me back for a long time. The green surrounding hills and the Holy Ganges with crystal clear cool rippling waters and the magnetic spiritual aura had benumbed my mind to think of leaving the place for better prospects to progress and pride on .

I was imbued and enthralled by the beauty of this holy town beyond my imagination .

I loved sitting in my window ,usually evenings and watching the clouds gathering and roll down on the nearby hills.

with the sunset the sky turned orange red, blue ,crimson with white fluffy clouds ,looking so gorgeous . The smell of rose ,daffodils entering the nostrils lilting the body and mind with exuberant fragrance.

Moreover my wife , two daughters aged between seven and five were equally enamoured  by the bewitching beauty of this Holy town .Thus making me indolent enough to make a move for a positive change.

But finally wisdom dawned on me and I instantly landed into a lucrative job with higher responsibilities and better financial raise.

One of my best colleagues in Glass world across the country Mr K.C. SHARMA called me “ Kaul sahib pl listen .we , a group of engineers from HNG headed by Mr M.S Kini have joined UGL at Sahibabad. I have given your reference to Mr Kini and he would like to talk to you. Here Iam giving phone to Mr Kini.”

“ hello Mr kaul Iam Kini speaking. “ A sweet loud resonant voice was heard on the other end.

“ Yes sir pleased to talk to you. “ I replied softly.

“ I want you to join us as quality chief in UGL. I know you are one of best glass operation man and if you say yes I will talk to M.D of UGL.” He continued.

“It will be pleasure to work with you sir .kindly go ahead.” I replied confidently.

And that was it.

ON16th April 1983 I joined Jagatjit industries in their Glass unit ,Universal Glass at Sahibabad near Delhi as chief quality controller . JIL was established liquor manufacturer with premier brands in India .

The Glass unit, Universal Glass ,was manufacturing liquor bottles , quality jars for their well known   brands and food milk products like Viva and Maltova.

It was not a great decision because The Universal Glass had notorious reputation of dismissing production team on pretext of non performance rightly or wrongly. In fact no body alone or in group would join   Universal Glass normally that time.

I had raised these apprehensions with Mr Kinni at the time of interview but Mr Kinni had assured that nothing of such sorts could happen any longer..

The M.D had reportedly convinced him that nothing of such sort could happen.

 

However on Ist day of my joining I was a bit disappointed to find my cabin ill maintained,a dingy one with a a table broken at the edges. The chair was equally in dilapidated condition. A small fan whirred up in the ceiling with a creaking noise .giving it a shabby look.

I immediately went to Mr A.S BASU, Works Manager and told him that it was not possible for me to work in the cabin offered to me. There were some more officers with him. at the time.

Mr Basu smiled and said “ Mr Kaul I understand the fact that the cabin is not good one but will do something soon to look it better and comfortable to work on for you..”

“with due regards to you sir ,I cannot join my duty unless my cabin is overhauled. It lowers my morale to give my best.” I replied a bit angrily.

“ do you mean to say you will not join “ he asked surprisingly.

He dialled the telephone to M.D and said quite audible to me “ hello sir , Mr kaul ,who joined us today finds his cabin not adequate enough to sit in and work. Wants renovation of the same ,Otherwise may not work with us.” Mr Basu said softly.

After an interlude Mr Basu said “ Kaul talk to M.D” he handed over telephone to me .

“ hello mr kaul how are you . pl note I have asked Mr Basu to renovate your cabin and possibly all others in a week’s time .pl be sure it should be done speedily. I am glad you have set new standards for us.” the M.D said politely to me. “ Thank you sir. God bless you.” I replied handing over the phone to Mr Basu.

Needless to say the cabin was upgraded soon after.

The change was fruitful as I got chance to show my technical skill primarily as well as administrative commitment to produce quality products eventually to stand up to the market competition.

UGL got huge orders and the team working under the guidance of MS KINNI did remarkably well.

The team comprised of another genius production Manager Mr Subhash vishwakarma . He was very adept in managing the ISmachines and supported me not to pass bad quality .

His two engineers Mr KC Sharma and Mr Ahmad were equally good and highly adept in their engineering skills.

Mr Subhash was positive minded engineer rarely seen in glass units those days.

Our Plant Manager Mr A.S Basu was well known ,highly qualified, Glass Technologist ,who supported my staunch stand to maintain quality of glass products at any cost.

His affable , smiling disposition combined with long experience, acted as an epitome for all of us to achieve great strides in meeting production targets with ease.

There were friendly people in Universal glass, who were elated to see the company progressing ahead with good production and profits.

To be frank I loved the other colleagues like MrRakesh Arora , Mr A singh , MrChampati , Mr subhash Gupta, and many others who were source of joy inspiration to forge ahead the ship of Universal Glass.

Time passes on slowly gently and getting through it peacefully is no mean feat.

The one place I had been happy ,undoubtedly happy.

But I would confess doing away with spiteful rumours of losing jobs ,Universal Glass stood the test of time and became one of the rising stars of that bygone era.

After working for nearly seven years I one day decided to move ahead into one more green pastures to explore and imbibe a different culture.

Life is on going process. Donot stop in between.

On my triumphant farewell I took some accolades that fixed my destiny in future.

There are moments when you drive your temptations to some logical conclusions irrespective of hurdles .

 

 

 

BREEZY VALLEY by Brij Kaul

The wheezy sneezy breezy

valley

forsaken decades yore

stealthily

under the cover of darkness of shitty

night

tears, lurking fears, tormenting heartburns

finally

soothing with the running

times.

breezy valley nestled among

the

gorgeous green mountain cliffs

mammoth charming Chinar

trees

swaying leaves in the cool morning

breeze.

The wheezy sneezy breezy

valley

forsaken decades yore

alas;

cannot be forgotten any

more.

The afternoon red sky

with

shady sunshine and drizzle

A real moment for to be in

trizzle

the mellifluous cooing of

Cuckoo, Mynah ,Thrush, swallow

the birds that flocked

my window sill

bringing

morning musical thrill

to the torrid ears.

the shepherds grazing sheep

on the rolling green hills of

Yusmarg

the beatific belles young

walking frisking in pairs

singing

gleefully the popular

folk songs

while crossing the

purring streams of

Tangmarg,

The wheezy sneezy breezy

valley

forsaken decades yore

cannot be forgotten any

more.