NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND .

GREEN BHUTAN

 

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THE GREEN BEAUTIFUL BHUTAN

Carpeted in forest nestled high up in the eastern Himalayas BHUTAN is one of the the greenest countries in the world.

Amazing Facts;

The forests cover 70 percent of the kingdom and

absorb around three times more carbon dioxide than the country of around 750,000 people emits.

Consequently Bhutan charges tourists $250 per day to avoid mass tourism in order to sustain green environment.

Bhutan is also called as Shangri-La for its magnificent mountainous beauty.

Bhutan , encircled by china one side and India on the other , a tiny kingdom of 14,800 square miles just the size of Maryland.

Bhutan is carbon negative because its work force  is largely engaged in Forestry or agriculture.

By 2020Agriculture is slated to be entirely organic .

By 2030, the country hopes to recycle all of its waste. Bhutan’s constitution stipulates for Gross National Happiness and not bound by economic growth alone.

 

Taking a cue

 China and India jostling, both ,with climate change pollution and what not, can take cue from tiny wise Bhutan and thus increase the forest land following as an compulsory administrative measure with lucrative financial incentives to start with.

Pollution is largely man made problem and needs adequate solutions to wriggle it out to a great extent.

Bhutan’s commendable leadership is laudable as they refuse to budge from the commitment of keeping the kingdom Carbon negative.

The people of this so called Utopian country want democracy for the welfare of society.

The country held ist round of voting in September 2018 and final on 18th October 2018.

The first round results have shocked voters by voting out the party in power and regulating the unknown DRUK NYAMRUP TSHONGE Party  to the forefront runners status.

The youth unemployment ,corruption, abysmal poverty dampened the spirits of people and want  Monarch  to cede power to Prime Minister and Parliament.

The women are battling for the menace of sexism rampant in Bhutanese society.

Women Representation

Out of 188 candidates who fought the primary round of third democratic elections only 18 in September 2018 ,only 18 are women candidates. Women want more of its representatives to be in the Parliament to vouchsafe for their problems of leading safe and respectable lives in sex driven society.

The Bhutanese government through a consultative process, tried to push for 20 percent quota for women but failed to muster support.

 India Bhutan Relations

India ,unfortunately , in july 2013 resorted to withdraw all subsidies on the cooking gas and Kerosene to Bhutan, arguably the unquestioned ally

among the neighbours, thus creating huge crisis in the kingdom and impinging upon the bilateral relations severely.

The cut was seen as a result of Bhutan’s cosying up to Beijing.

However following the visit of the king Jigme Wanchuk, to New Delhi recently, the Govt of India has extended credit facilities to the tune of Rs 1000 crores .

The bilateral relations, since, then has been once again excellent one.

 

AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT

 Nearly 170 Afghans killed  and many more injured in poll-related violence on Saturday ,20th October 2018.

Most of the killings were in Kabul in multiple explosions , as per acting health Ministry spokesman Mohibullah Zeer.

Amidst the threat from Taliban the voting has been extended to Sunday in 360 polling centres across the country.

Despite the threat of violence large number of voters turned up at the polling centres to caste their votes.

Seventeen years ago, President George W. Bush sent American troops to fight out permanently the Islamic Jehadis.

US diplomats are currently holding high level talks with Taliban to end the bitter long fighting .

America desires to keep its hold on Afghanistan .

Taliban wants America and other allies to quit the country so that they could rule the country accordingly.

Afghans would like to have full say in running the country affairs without any hindrance from outside either from Washington or elsewhere.

But US argues that American presence is needed to ensure that Taliban doesnot fail to follow through the deal provisions clause by clause after negotiating a deal with American negotiators.

American point of view is valid as lookingto the deadly attack carried out by Taliban on Provincial governor’s compound in Kandhar on Thursday. This deadly attack killed   not only Kandhar police chief Abdul Raziq but also tried to target the US Army. General chief Austin Miller who escaped unhurt by the providence of nature.

 

Conclusion

But peace seems inevitable as both sides are tired of fighting the unending long war.

The UN disclosed in its survey that atleast 8000 Afghan

Civilians have been killed fighting through September this year alone.

Let us hope sanity rules the warring groups finally and both work assiduously for much awaited  indestructible durable peace bringing tranquility to the Afghans at last.

 

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MY STORY Journey Of challenges:

 

We live to die. A fact one cannot deny or decry.

Life moves on ineluctably thus cannot be arrested or released at will. Life is a journey of strife beset with challenges every now and then.

you need to cross over the boulders , overcome the hurdles and make it smoother by actions ,right ones, correct decisions ,and right attitude . Once faced boldly it becomes harbinger of happiness and prosperity.

A concerted effort making things to happen the way you would love to see your life moving with pleasure than pain.

Way back in early 1970’s I happened to work as Quality assurance Manager in a Glass company in Pimpri Pune .

One fine morning our M.D. Mr Agarwal called me in his office ,and after making me to sit comfortably, said softly

“ Kaul being my best man I need your help to straighten things in our glass plant at Rishikesh .”

After a pause for a second he continued “we are not getting good production there both quantity as well as quality .

Due to bad quality the consignments get rejected. With your expertise and experience I want you to proceed to Rishikesh immediately to set the things right.”

“ there is my Manager Mr Thadani he will give you all assistance .” He said with an air of finality.

“ I have some questions sir ” I said a bit nervously.

“Yes tell me” Mr Agarwal said firmly.

“Sir I have heard Mr Thadani is not a good man. Will he cooperate with me.” I asked timidly.

 

“He is my Manager .I have directed him to listen to you and your expertise.” He retorted angrily. “You will report to me directly and send me production quality reports daily through telegrams . I am giving you a letter and give it to Thadani. Do not worry. I trust you and God will guide you .”

“Meet Kane , Plant Manager in his office, he will do the needful for your travel etc” He concluded the meeting affectionately reassuring me about his support to me.

In a huff I went straight to see my friend Tapkir , Mould Manager and we discussed at length the pros and cons of my conversation with M.D MR Agarwal.

“ you cannot do much than to proceed quietly. It may open new vistas for your future. Who knows.” Mr Tapkir said confidently.

So mentally prepared I decided to move to Rishikesh .

On 16th july 1974 Pune looked gorgeous with drizzling all along and the green verdure on the hills surrounding the city, was really a delight to watch. I developed a strange close association with this beautiful city .Ipromised with myself if God wishes I would like to come again to reside in this city of love and compassion.

I boarded a Taxi for Mumbai with other three passengers from Taxi stand and we zoomed on in the wet rainy weather. The downpour was incessant since last night and the sky overcast with dark clouds. The Sun was seen nowhere .

The taxi driver was tall burly sikh , very affable but talkative. He was casting furtive glances intermittently, talking consistently .one of my fellow passenger warned him to drive carefully in this inclement weather.” Hello sardarji drive carefully as the roads are slippery” he said sounding scared and anxious.

“ no worry sir keep cool .” the sikh driver retorted back.

He drove off without caring a hoot for the aggrieved passenger.

The rains were profusely pouring and pouring ,the hill tops covered with green carpets exhibiting a bewitching spectacle all around. There were a number of waterfalls gushing water into deep ravines down.

No sooner we crossed the plains and moved into Ghat area the driver took a sharp turn to negotiate the bend ,lost control of the stirring wheels and inched down the ravine close by . The door flung open I somersaulted out on to the green patch some two three feet down from the highway.

I watched the taxi going down the ravine into the gorge deeper in a great awe.

As providence would have it I escaped unhurt not even a bruise anywhere.

The crowd came in twos threes ,helped me to safety on   the main road . one of them offered me water,the other a cup of tea, and said “ Thank God you are safe. Do you want to go to Mumbai.”

“ Yes I have to go to Mumbai to catch a train for Rishikesh”

I replied gasping for breath.

 

“My suitcase with clothes , bag etc gone . The ticket for onward journey was in my upper pocket ,lost somewhere ” I replied in a state of delirium.

I rummaged into my inner small pocket of my Pantaloon and found my money safe. “God is great” I murmurred to myself.

The good men arranged a lift for me to Mumbai in a private car and I reached safely Mumbai.

“ will you sir drop me near Railway station so that I could board the onward train.” I pleaded to the car owner.

“yes no problem. You also buy some new shirt as the one you are wearing is torn and dirty .” He said nonchalantly.

 

I went to the railway Manager explained the predicament I was in and he managed to issue me ticket to Hardwar , the nearest station to Rishikesh.

I boarded the Train finally for onward journey to my destination.

I had nightmares about the horrible accident ,woke up twice during the night ,crying. The other passengers looking surprised.

I closed my eyes determined to empty my mind of everything and went into a deep slumber at last.

Next morning the train chugged on to the Hardwar Railway station and I thanked God to be alive to live up to the expectations of my M.D Mr Agarwal.

Interestingly later on after a month or so  to my  surprise I received  an envelop containing letter from the Taxi driver  followed by M.O for Rs  65 / towards the  encashment of my ticket he managed to collect from the accident scene.

His  exemplary sincerity and honesty stunned me  but also felt proud to see India living  and thriving on due to the good deeds of  such noble unknown souls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE WORLD AT A GLANCE

South Africa

 South Africa’s ruling party ANC (African National Congress) Chairman Gweda Mantashe supported the Party’s controversial plans to re-possess land from white farmers who possess land more than 30,000 acres individually , the excess land to be redistributed among the black citizens.

Speaking to south Africa’s News 24 ,Gweda further explained that the step is being taken as a conciliatory gesture in recognition of the Colonial oppression of black citizens under apartheid.

According to UK’s Express News , Mantashe said  a constitutional amendment will be required before enforcing the act of re-possessing excess land from the white farmers.

Currently black people of South Africa possess only 4% of the private land while 72% is owned by the whites , and 24% by other ethnic groups.

While some hail it as correcting historical wrongs , imbalances heaped on black Africans ,others fear that similar Programme in Zimbabwe destroyed its economy.

The issue of land distribution is very emotive over a period of two decades in South Africa after apartheid.

However AfriForum’s leader Ian Cameron warned the plans to seize land from farmers would spark “anarchy”.

AfriForum is an organization in SouthAfrica founded in 2006 to work for solidarity of trade union.

AfriForum leader Ian Cameron reacted angrily saying, “ we are heading for   state of anarchy if something does not change drastically .There are places where the police simply refuse to act. They do not know the law well enough or refuse to apply it to logical reasoning when it comes to defending people’s property.”

The South African President   Mr Cyril Ramaphosa however refuted the fears by saying “there is no need to panic and start beating the war drums “.

Chile

Chile is lately surging with the influx of immigrants — 4,60,000 in 2015 to nearly 2 million last year as per voice of America.

The figure is more than double what Germany had in 2015 when refugees poured in .

In Chile the immigrants form 7% of the population.

It may sound intriguing a bit , but Chile, Continent’s wealthiest per capita country is home to the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East.

As US President  Mr Trump blew the bugle to curb immigration ,the other Latin American richest country opened its arms to welcome the region’s poorest migrants with full gusto.

The Chile’s ageing population and the age old cultural of readily accepting newcomers ,thereby assimilating them  in the mainstream, are some of the factors that made Chile to welcome the migrants without rancor or remorse.

The Palestinians by dint of their hardwork have risen to be extremely prosperous and influential ones both in politics as well as industry.

Chile has been the fast growing economies in Latin America in the recent decades. Reduced poverty from 26 %% to 7.9 between 2000 to 2015.

Due to decline in copper prices the GDP fell from 6.7% in 2015 to 1.6% in 2016.

But as copper prices increase again GDP is expected to be on its proper rail soon.

In order to reduce its dependency on the copper exports Chile is diversifying its immigration policy to be technological driven in order to be technical hub in south America

Hence Chile new visa system for technocrats and enterpreneurs make the country more attractive.

Thus just to hedge its bets by diversifying its economy the START UP Chile began slowly in 2010 and now has gained more traction for 2017. As a result more than 1300 STARTUPS already in operation in different fields in eight years.

The President of Chile, Mr Sebastian Pinare is determined to invite the US giants Apple ,Google ,Amazon to make investments and help  build up Chile an economic giant of South America.

 

THE MISTY MORNING.

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I like the misty morning.

Dewy dusky

engulfing the prospectus all

around

groping my way in the dense waves

so profound

I stumble against a myrtle

twirl twist turn turtle

scramble ,squinting and crouch

to gather myself

   I   stride along slowly on to

my walk.

Crimson beams hover over the distant

 horizons

The Sun gleams through the

dense haze

tearing apart the mists

into

a dazzling myriad hues

Promising a clearer day.

The wind

Spinning the verdant leaves.

Shimmering words flow

Unintentionally

my lips move

to

sing a soulful song.

I like the misty morning

Dewy and dusky

Cool and creepy.

THE FASCINATING ISLANDS

Islands are fascinating and meeting places between sea and land.

The Islands date back to million of years , scattered all across the oceans of the world , one time a flowing molten lava and over thousands of years have become a lush tropical ones .

The wonders of Island life remind us without doubt that the earth in itself is an Island flooded with resplendent plants animals and unique birds ,seas, mountains ,rivers and what not.

Origin of Islands

 Islands have evolved in two ways , Continental Islands and the Oceanic Islands.

The Continental Islands are the land part of the Continental mainland, cut over the years either through erosion or due to geological forces leading to major upheavals in the surface structure of the earth .

Oceanic Islands are formed where molten rocks pile upon the lava flow upon lava flow and build volcanic mountain.

This phenomenon takes thousands of years ,before the mountain growing to a such a height thus breaking from the ocean surface.

The volcanic islands get exposed to wind weather waves and rain .

The   off shore coral reefs form a barrier against the crashing sea waves that could limit the life span of the volcanic islands.

The Continents have shifted continuously in a slow way and this phenomenon still continues unabated.

Over 200 million years ago as geologists believe all the land on earth was a great one mass called Pangaea.

Later after some million years the dry land split into two super continents; Gondwanaland ,which is todays South America ,Africa, India ,Australia and Antartica; the other Laurasia ; consisting of North America ,Greenland ,Europe, and Asia .

 It is humanly impossible to know or assess how many islands have been on the broad surface of this earth to be eroded away or to have been washed away in its bosom by the rising seas.

Life on Islands.

 Every island as a result of evolutionary process develops its own organisms and life sets its foothold .

Whenever man settles in an island ,he has brought with himself food, plants, pets like dogs .

The Continental islands support a community of living things when they are separated from the mainland. But the colonisers bring other species from elsewhere and the evolutionary mechanism gives rise to unique plants and animals ,thus setting meteor of life for more environmental changes with the passage of times.

 

The Oceanic islands are sterile and devoid of any life on its rugged surface.

The surface life of plants and animals emerges only through settlers from other islands.

The plants and animals that reach an island have to survive against the environmental odds and ends thereby gaining access to new breeding sites . The organism manage to ross over the oceans and settle permanently in the scattered odd number of islands.

The plants that survive on arrival are Algae, lichens, fungi, mosses ,ferns.

The birds fly out in seas to make nests on the vegetated cliffs and in the dense plant vegetation and thus survive the new hazards.

The other animals like lizards, bats, land snails ,spiders carry themselves successfully in the ocean voyages.

Though spiders do not fly but it is common to see them weaving strands of fine webs and move like parchutes with the breeze that carry the spiderlings   far aloft.

Nature works its way for every one in this beautiful universe. Only the beholder should be alert to see and feel the impact of the beauty around .

 

The scientist writer Thomas Huxley in his famous essay

“ Life Growth Change “ has demonstrated that animals evolve unusual adaptations in relation to the physical environment .   For instance if an animal is transformed from Iceland to a desert of intense heat, the animal adapts slowly to the changed Circumtances and in the successive generations they become completely different from their ancestral breeds.

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The largest lizard ,the 9ft komado dragon found only

In Indonesian island of Komado , preys on monkeys and deer.

 

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The 4 inch long mouse Lemurs of Madagascar island are the smallest of all primates, also the most primitive. Lemurs hide in the foliage and come out in night to feed o insects

 

 

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A unique Parrot lives in the islands of West Indies. This red-necked parrot lives in the mountains forests of   Dominica.

 

The Caribbean islands exhibit lush islands numbering 700 ,stretching from Florida to South America. A few are Continental in origin but majority of these are of volcanic   and the volcanoes that formed them are extinct now.

The Caribbean with total land of 91000 square miles ,the many islands of West Indies are spread over 971,400 square miles of open ocean.

 

The   islands of Philippine archipelago are without human settlement. The larger islands are mountainous with 20,000 mile shoreline ,with extreme weather of humid warmth at sea level, to the chill of 9000ft high, Philippines is home to variety of beautiful plants and animals.

 

Island life is a manifestation of diversity and uniqueness in character. The bizarre kinds of plants animals and their habitations make islands fascinatingly charming abodes of beauty.

 

 

MY DAYS IN RISHIKESH

On November 19th 1989 I stepped carefully from the State bus ,my right hand firmly holding on to the bar ,after negotiating the broken rickety foot-hold, I eased myself down. I heaved a sigh of relief once my both feet were well on the ground , a task ,though simple one, was done without any incident.

I was not old ,barely in middle of forties ,but the fatigue stress of corporate job had intensified the telltale of the years on my face.

The Rishikesh bus stand was familiar sight ,crowded as usual with passengers thronging the place making unusual  noise with push and pull for getting into and out of the buses.

It was return of the native for me as I had spent nearly a decade from 1973 to 1983 as corporate manager in the Glass unit in this beautiful town.

Joining the Glass decorative unit as General Manager I headed for the waiting car towards the picturesque town .

The car went past the busy streets ,much more crowded than years gone by , slow stream of cars ,honking of buses and trucks ,drivers shouted at one another.

 

Ashrams_on_the_banks_of_Ganges_Rishikesh

Temples on the  bank of The Ganges River

The town was still beautiful , standing on either side of Holy River Ganges, the placid rippling waters causing a cool breeze that fetched freshness to the torrid looks.

The sacred river flows through the city originating from Shivalik hills in Himalayas and flows into the plains of India . A small town ,encircled by tall Himalayan range of emerald forests ,with string of Temples ,big and small, stand along the river banks, a real treat to one’s eyes.

The tourists make a beeline for Char Dham(four ) sacred abodes, Badrinath ,Kedarnath , Yamnotri ,and Gangotri passing through the gateway of Rishikesh.

The Hindu pilgrims are of firm belief   by visiting these places they seek salvation to heaven.

The car sped past the traffic and made way towards the TAPOVAN ,the site of our Decorative Glass unit.

 

We entered the gates of the Factory and Dr Lall , the M.D greeted me with a broad smile .

“welcome Kaul Sahib back to home” He said extending his warm hands for a handshake, which I took graciously.

“Thank you sir.it is pleasure to get chance to work with you again for an august company like BILT.” I replied politely.

 

“we are schedule to do decoration for beverage bottles for both Pepsi-cola and C o c a-cola and you have to do a lot of planning for decorating 500,000 bottles, mostly 300ml, per day.” D r Lall continued.

“ it depends on various factors . By the way what is production now?” I enquired anxiously.

“ About 100,000 bottles for various Indian customers. We need to reinforce infrastructure to enhance production and quality to cater to two giant multinationals .” Lall said with an air of finality.

“ I know you can do it . All I promise you will get my support and free hand to handle Plant affairs .” He continued emphatically.

“I shall put in all efforts to come up to your expectations” I replied back.

The meeting ended.

We went across the beautiful L a x man-J h o o l a for a sumptuous lunch at famous CHOTTIWALA.

“ I must thank you Lall Sahib for such a fabulous lunch. I have enjoyed every bit of it.”

“ Never mind , it is ok.” “ the next fortnight is crucial for us as both of the top executives of Pepsi-co l a and Coca -cola are visiting our plant here in Ta p o van for approving our plant operations . I want you to move swiftly on this so that we bag the full orders . By the way Kaul Sahib do you know any one from these two cos.” Lall Sahib asked anxiously .

“ Yes I know a couple of important guys from International Coke as well as Pepsi. But they are very professional sir and would be very strictly judging our skills of both operations and quality tests. We should get both orders but I need some immediate equipments for the laboratory for international testing of decorative bottles. These are very important” . I replied affirmatively.

 

“Discuss with the Purchase Manager and procure immediately whatever you require. Do not wait for my sanctions. I am going back tonight to Delhi and leave everything to you. I must have both orders . I trust your communication skills should be additional factor for our success. Good luck to you” l a l l sahib shook hands with me and proceeded to Delhi ,leaving me to fend for myself to accomplish the task as effectively as possible.

 

Needless to say we succeeded not in getting the full orders from both Giants but also in making huge profits for the company in the long run.

My second stint in R i s h i k e s h was very successful in all aspects and now a myriad of memories flow intermittently  to bring a moment’s peace to the soul and body together.