Enjoy light reading

 

 

  • When I refused to fly the PM

    The date of refusal was November 26, 1961 and the passenger involved was Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the Prime Minister, with an entourage of other VIPs. It was on the first transport aircraft to be built in India, the Avro 748 which was put together from imported major sub-assemblies by the Indian Air Force.

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) manufacturing an aircraft for its own use was in itself a unique event, perhaps first in the world. Despite the lack of experience, our technicians and engineers did a very good job. I flew the aircraft on its maiden flight on November 1, 1961, with the Defence Minister, V.K. Krishna Menon and AVM Harjindar Singh, the father of the project and host, watching from the control tower. With hardly any testing done, the flight was uneventful.

    Since elections were due soon, Krishna Menon decided to blow his trumpet. The Prime Minister was asked to inaugurate the aircraft and ‘dedicate it to the nation’ on November 26 at Palam. By then, not all systems had been installed and production tests had not been completed. But as is our wont, there were many cynical and adverse comments rife about the aircraft within IAF and Indian Airlines (IAC). In view of this, I decided to show off a really major safety feature of the aircraft: coping with one engine failure during take off.

    For the Inauguration and to watch the flight, Prime Minster, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru and guests were seated near the Blue Hangar by the side of Runway 27, about three hundred yards away from it and also down to the right from the dumb-bell. Others present were Krishna Menon (naturally), Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Aspy M Engineer, several other ministers, secretaries and some senior IAF officers. A special invitee was Sir Roy Dobson, Chairman Hawker Siddeley Group which had by then acquired A.V. Roe & Co. Most pilots, not otherwise engaged, from Air Hq Communication (Comm) Squadron were seated in the rearmost row. Sqn Ldr C.V. (Chandu) Gole was to provide the commentary

    After being sent off ceremoniously to fly the aircraft, my co-pilot Sqn Ldr R.D. Sahni and I boarded the aircraft, started both engines and lined up for take-off at the 27 dumb-bell. During the take off run, as we reached decision speed, I feathered the critical right engine which was on the side of the spectators. Pilots of Comm Squadron all stood up in alarm, perhaps thinking that the aircraft was about to crash. We took off, climbed to 500 feet, turned around and right in front of the guests, re-started the engine. Only then it became clear to the spectators that stopping the right engine was a deliberate act for display. The rest of the show was good but perhaps over-praised by Chandu. My hope was that both IAF and IAC would recognise that extreme safety was built into the turbo-prop aircraft, the certification requirements for which had evolved from the dangerous failures of engines on piston engine transports.

    After landing and switching off close to the spectators area, we were met at the bottom of the steps by the PM. I was introduced to him by Krishna Menon. Pt Nehru gave me a tight welcoming hug with a huge smile on his face and said, “Yes, I know this chap” (Like hell he did! It was just a political comment). In the next few minutes, all senior people climbed into the aircraft and all seats got occupied with Pt Nehru in the front row. He whispered to Krishna Menon who came up to the front door where I was standing and asked if the PM could be given a ride.

    I was horrified at the idea of carrying the PM and others in an unproven aircraft which had not even finished the essential production tests. I told Krishna Menon that no flight for the PM or any other passengers was possible. I suggested that he look at the people seated in the aircraft, the safety of which was yet to be ensured. I said half the Government of India, many Governors, Ministers, Secretaries, etc were present. There was no way I would risk flying them in the aircraft which was not yet ready to carry passengers. I explained that the IAF took extreme care to ensure safety of its passengers. I did not mention that I was not even qualified to carry any of them anyway. His only comment was that I had been flying it and showing it off. I explained that I was a test pilot and it was my job. It was limited to testing the aircraft till it got ready to be used in service.

    Krishna Menon turned away and spoke a few words to the PM. The conversation was so short that I knew he never mentioned even the smallest part of my explanation. All he could have said in those few seconds would have been, “The pilot refuses to fly us”. Anyway, Pt Nehru immediately got up from his seat and in a visibly angry huff without once glancing at me, walked down and out of the aircraft. The CAS followed him and Krishna Menon. As the CAS passed me, he said in a soft undertone, “Well done, Bhargava”. I then knew that I was not about to be tried by a Court Martial.

    My display had an interesting fallout. I heard from some kind people that Sir Roy Dobson, immediately after our touchdown, said to Pt Nehru that it was the finest display of a transport aircraft he had ever seen, surely an exaggeration meant for currying favour and promoting his own business. The result was that two months later on Republic Day 1962, I was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (VM) for courage and professional skill. The medal had been instituted only a year and eleven months earlier. Mine was among the first 12 or 15 VMs for IAF. This had its own tale.

    All early decorations were awarded in the Rashtrapati Bhawan by the President himself. My wife and I attended the investiture in April 1962. As is the custom, after the ceremony, we were ushered in for a cup of tea with the President. Soon after the two of us sat down in front of a small table, two cups of tea appeared. We were facing President Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. Seated on his right was Pt Nehru. Almost before I took the first sip of my tea, the President asked me, “Since when have the Bhargavas been a martial race?” My reply was instant, “Since Parashuram, Sir”. Pt. Nehru bursts out laughing but the President went quiet and never said another word to me. Fortunately for me, Pt. Nehru was gracious enough to ask how the Avro 748 was doing. Obviously he had not forgotten the refusal. I explained that we had completed tests on it and the aircraft was fit for passengers. But we did lose the main passenger door the first time we pressurized the aircraft. By then the involved design fault had occurred on five aircraft around the world with an air hostess being sucked out as the aircraft was heading for Lima airport of Peru. I hoped that he realized the significance of IAF not risking its passengers.

    It was time to leave, though we were kept back for a few minutes extra for two other awardees to join us. As we came out, the Naval officer escorting us told me, “Sir, you have upset the President”. I was horrified and asked him how. He said that my reply was that the Bhargavas were martial people since Parashuram. I said that I did not think that it was a rude or offensive reply. It was very much a part of our mythology. He explained that all was well but the President was also a Bhargava. He never thought that he was from a martial race. I knew of him as a very gentle person.. He was a teacher, a philosopher and was devoutly religious. I had read most of his exposition of the Bhagwadgita. But it was a realization too late. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to make amends.

     

     

     

    (Contributed by : Amr on 27.11.2012)

  • Punjabi ABC..!!!

    This one’s not just for Punjabis but for all those who have faced ‘Punjlish’.

    A is for Aiscreame
    (Ice cream)


    B is for Backside
    , and it has nothing to do with your butt. It is an instruction to go to the rear of a building, or block, or shop or whatever.


    C is for Cloney
    (colony ) and its not a process for replicating sheep, nor is its first name George. It is merely an area where people live e.g. ‘Defence Cloney’.


    D is for the proverbial ‘Dangar da Puttar’
      (son of an animal)


    E is for Expanditure
      the spending of money


    F is for Fackade
    , and even though it sounds like a bad word it is actually just the front of a building (with backside being the back, of course).


    G is for Gaddi
    , (vehicle)  and the way a Punjabi can pilot his gaddi puts any F1 driver to shame. (If the Grand Prix does come to Delhi there’s no way Hamilton, Alonso or Kimi can overtake Balvinder, Jasvinder or Sukhvinder’s taxi.)


    H is for ‘Ho Jayega Ji’
    ,(will be done) and the moment you hear that you have to be careful because you can be reasonably sure it’s not going to happen.


    I is for Intzaar
    (wait)  and to know more about it see P.


    J is for Jutt
    (Jat) which every Punjabi seems to be.


    K is for Khanna, Khurana
    (very , etc, the Punjabi equivalent of the Joneses
    (e.g.’Keeping up with the Khuranas ji’)



    L is for Loin
    (lion) the king of the jungle


    M is for ‘Mrooti’
    (Maruti) , the car that an entire generation of Punjabis were in love with.


    N is for ‘No Problem Ji
    .’ To find out how that works see H.


    O is for Oye
    , which can be surprise (Oyye!), a greeting
    (Oyy!), anger (OYY!) or pain (Oy oy oy…).



    P is for Punj Mint
    (five minutes) and no matter how near (1 km) or far (100 km) a Punjabi is from you he always says he’ll reach you in punj mint (5 minutes).


    Q is for Queue
    , a word completely untranslateable into Punjabi.


    R is for Riks
    , and a Punjabi is always prepared to take one
    (risk), even if the odds are against him.



    S is for Sweetie, Sunny, Simmi and Sonu
    , who seem to own half the cars in Delhi . (The other half by their Pappas – like ‘Sweetie de Pappa di Gaddi’)


    T is for the official bird of Punjab : Tandoori Chickun
    (tandoori chicken)


    U
    is for when you lose your sex appeal and become ‘Uncul-ji’


    V is for VIP phone numbers
    @ Rs 15 lakh and counting.


    W is for Whan
    , as in ‘Whan are you coming, ji?’


    X is for the many X-rated
    words that flow freely in Punjabi
    conversations.



    Y is for ‘You nonsanse’
    , when anger replaces vocabulary in a shouting match.


    Z is for Zindgi
    (Zindagi – life) which every Punjabi knows how to live to the fullest.

     


    (contributed by: Mohan Rao on 11.11.2011)


     

  • Incredible India: In pics

    A Sufi Kalandar (wandering ascetic) performs an act of self torture during devotion at the annual Urs (death anniversary) of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer on June 2, 2011. Also known as Gharib Nawaz or ‘Benefactor of the Poor’, he established the Chisti order on the Indian subcontinent and is the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order in the region.

    An Indian child carries the head of Mahisasura, who is killed by the goddess Durga in Hindu mythology, after the immersion of idols in the river Mahananda during the Dusshera or Vijaya Dashami Festival, the final day of the Durga Puja festival, in Siliguri on October 17, 2010. Durga Puja, the annual Hindu festival that involves worship of the goddess Durga who symbolizes power and the triumph of good over evil in Hindu mythology, culminates in the immersion of idols in bodies of water.

    An Indian Sadhu (Hindu holy man) performs a routine exercise in Kolkata, 10 January 2006. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims have started to converge for the Gangasagar Mela which will be held 14 January, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, a holy day of the Hindu calendar, at the confluence of the River Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, some 150 kms south of Kolkata.

    An Indian Sadhu (Hindu holy man) performs a routine exercise in Kolkata, 10 January 2006. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims have started to converge for the Gangasagar Mela which will be held 14 January, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, a holy day of the Hindu calendar, at the confluence of the River Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, some 150 kms south of Kolkata.

    Assam state Zoo veterinarian Bijoy Gogoi carries a tranquilised leopard from a well in Guwahati on March 28, 2009, after the animal fell into the well in a village on the outskirts of the north-eastern Indian city. The fully grown female leopard was later taken to the Guwahati Zoo, becoming the second leopard to have been rescued from this particular area of the city in a month. Earlier another leopard was rescued on March 15.

    An Indian youth jumps into the Arabian sea during high tide while the landmark Gateway of India monument is seen in the background in Mumbai on June 16, 2010. India’s monsoon, the annual downpour crucial to farmers and national economic growth, hit the western Indian city of Mumbai this week with hopes high for better rains than last year. The Indian government is hoping for a good monsoon to tame soaring food prices after last year’s drought, the worst in 37 years, brought poor harvests and despair to farmers.

    An elephant crosses a railway track which runs through the Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of Siliguri in west Bengal on September 16, 2010. Shrinking forests and encroachment on elephant territory causes multiple deaths per year in the elephant-human conflict, due to poaching, crop protection and other accidents, including vehicle-elephant collisions.

    An Indian dancer performs during the press presentation of the show ‘India’ on December 15, 2009 in Frankfurt am Main. The show, produced at a cost of 7 million euros with 75 dancers, artists and musicians, will start on December 17 in Frankfurt and the will tour to Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Vienna (Austria) and Brussels (Belgium).

    An Indian dancer performs during the press presentation of the show ‘India’ on December 15, 2009 in Frankfurt am Main. The show, produced at a cost of 7 million euros with 75 dancers, artists and musicians, will start on December 17 in Frankfurt and the will tour to Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Vienna (Austria) and Brussels (Belgium).

    A man takes a nap on a bed being transported by cycle rickshaw driver in Amritsar on March 7, 2010. These labourers earn approximately 100 rupees (USD 2.48) per day. Eighty-six percent of working Indians earn less than 20 rupees or half a dollar a day, untouched by the country’s blistering economic growth, a government-backed study said recently. Out of 457 million workers, 395 million are employed in the so-called unorganised sector, in areas such as agriculture, construction, weaving and fishing, the study found.

    Indian commuters ride through a downpour of heavy rain in Hyderabad on August 19, 2011. Monsoon rains are a key factor for global commodities markets, strengthening the output of various crops in India, which could help bring relief to Asia’s third-largest economy in its battle with high food prices.

    A troop of monkeys relax on an airconditioning outlet on a building at The Ministry of Health Complex in New Delhi on November 29, 2008. Monkeys are an intergral part of life in the Indian capital, where they live in thousands of numbers.

    An Indian barber Shahrukh Khan (L) shaves a customer’s beard at a roadside barbershop in Amritsar on September 12, 2011. Khan earns 150 to 200 Indian rupees daily.

    An Indian child carries the head of Mahisasura, who is killed by the goddess Durga in Hindu mythology, after the immersion of idols in the river Mahananda during the Dusshera or Vijaya Dashami Festival, the final day of the Durga Puja festival, in Siliguri on October 17, 2010. Durga Puja, the annual Hindu festival that involves worship of the goddess Durga who symbolizes power and the triumph of good over evil in Hindu mythology, culminates in the immersion of idols in bodies of water.

    An Indian man participates in a bicycle balancing competition during 71st Rural Olympics Games 2006 in the village of Kila Raipur in the northern Indian state of Punjab, on 18 February 2006. The games are a composite of sports and cultural events, including bullock cart race, kabaddi, loading and unloading of tractor trailer and wrestling, as well as musical and dramatic presentaions.

    Assam state Zoo veterinarian Bijoy Gogoi carries a tranquilised leopard from a well in Guwahati on March 28, 2009, after the animal fell into the well in a village on the outskirts of the north-eastern Indian city. The fully grown female leopard was later taken to the Guwahati Zoo, becoming the second leopard to have been rescued from this particular area of the city in a month. Earlier another leopard was rescued on March 15.

    Bikers perform stunts before the launch of Lenovo’s new series of tablets in Mumbai on October 11, 2011. Lenovo announced the launch of its IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad as part of their strategy, over the next six months, to introduce tablets of varying sizes and platforms, to cater to the needs of their consumers.

    A Hindu devotee pours milk over a cobra during a Nag-Panchami ritual at the Shiva Temple in Amritsar on August 4, 2011. The Hindu festival of Nag-Panchami, observed during the monsoon and sees prayers and tributes to snakes, is observed by many as the day of victory of Hindu God Lord Krishna over the Kaliya snake leading to Krishna also being known as ‘Kaliya Mardan’.

    Indian men try to repair a taxi on a road submerged in water in Mumbai on July 8, 2009. India’s financial and entertainment capital recieved an overnight deluge of monsoon rains that left some streets and homes flooded. Heavy rainfall overnight July 7-8 left many lower-lying areas under water and forced pedestrians to wade shin-deep through muddy water.

     

     

    (source:http://news.in.msn.com/gallery/photoviewer.aspx?cp-documentid=5660804#image=1)

  • Horrifying Story.

     

    Horrifying Story

    This happened about a month ago near Lonavala.
    A guy was driving from Mumbai to Pune and decided not to take the new expressway as he wants to see the scenery. The inevitable happens and when he reaches the ghats his car breaks down – he’s stranded miles from nowhere.
    Having no choice he starts walking on the side of the road, hoping to get a lift to the nearest town. It’s dark and raining. And pretty soon he’s wet and shivering. The night rolls on and no car goes by, the rain is so heavy he can hardly see a few feet ahead of him.
    Suddenly he sees a car coming towards him. It slows and then stops next to him – without thinking the guy opens the door and jumps in. Seated in the back, he leans forward to thank the person who had saved him – when he realizes there is nobody behind the wheel.
    Even though there’s no one in the front seat and no sound of any engine, the car starts moving slowly. The guy looks at the road ahead and sees a curve coming. Scared almost to he starts to pray, begging the Lord for his life. He hasn’t come out of shock, when just before he hits the curve, a hand appears through the window and moves the wheel. The car makes the curve safely and continues on the road to the next bend . The guy, now paralyzed in, watches how the hand appears every time they are before a curve and moves the steering wheel just enough to get the car around each bend.
    Finally, the guy sees lights ahead. Gathering his courage he wrenches open the door of the silent, slowly moving car, scrambles out and runs as hard as he can towards the lights. It’s a small town. He stumbles into a dhaba, and asks for a drink, and breaks down. Then he starts talking about the horrible experience he’s just been through.

    There is silence in the dhaba when he stops talking ….. . . . . .and that’s when Santa and Banta Singh walk into the dhaba. Santa points and says “Look Banta – that’s the weird guy who Jumped  into our car when we were pushing it.”

     

     

    (contributed by: Mohan Rao on 04.12.2011)

     

     

  • Really Cool Photos

    cool photos 11 ap

    cool photos 11 ap1

    cool photos 11 ap2

    cool photos 11 ap3

    cool photos 11 ap4

    cool photos 11 ap5

    cool photos 11 ap6

    [Contributed by: TUNA on 03/03/2013]

  • Tips to Check Food Adultration

    In  a country where official systems set for food safety and prevention are constantly outdone by a booming adulteration business, the onus of safeguarding one’s family against contaminated food, unfortunately falls on citizens themselves. From loose packed ground spices, to wet produce such as milk, khoya, paneer, to dry spices and grains, almost everything you can buy might be adulterated, if purchased from an unauthorized vendor in a box unmarked and untested by either Agmark or ISI. While some of these could be less harmful, such as water or bran, chemicals and colouring agents such as metanil yellow, lead chromate, sudan red III, are known to be carcinogenic.

    The chairman of the Consumer Guidence Society of India, Dr Sitaram Dixit, lists a few commonly used food items, and suggests simple home tests to check for their most common adulterants. In case the test asks for the presence of an acid, you could use common toilet-cleaning acid, or easily found citric acid or even lemon juice.

    1.) Turmeric Dals and Pulses such as Moong or Channa

    Adulterant :- Metanil Yellow and Kesari Dal (added to enhance the yellow colour of a food substance).

    Test :- Dissolve half a spoon full a Besan or Turmeric powder in 20 ml of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of hudrochloric acid or any commonly available acid at home. If the water turns pink, violet or purple, it shows the presence of metanil yellow.

    Harmful Effects :- It’s considered to be highly carcinogenic and if consumed over a continuous period of time, it can also stomach disorders.

    2.) Green Chillies, Green Peas and Other Vegetables

    Adulterant :- Malachite green (to accentuate the bright, glowing green colour of the vegetables).

    Test :- Take a small portion of the sample and place it over a moistened white blotting paper. Coloured impressions on the blotting paper indicate the presence of Malachite green.

    Harmful Effects :- It’s a coloured dye that has proven to be carcinogenic for humans if consumed over a long period of time.

    3.) Mustard Seeds and Mustard Oil

    Adulterant :- Argemone seeds (used to add bulk and weight).

    Test :- When pressed or crushed, argemone seeds are white inside and have a rough outer surface whereas mustard seeds are smooth on the outside and are yellow on the inside.

    Harmful Effects :- The consumption of these could cause epidemic dropsy and severe glaucoma. Young children and senior citizens with poor immunity are more susceptible to this.

    4.) Paneer, Khoya, Condensed Milk and Milk

    Adulterant :- Starch (used to give it a thick, rich texture).

    Test :- Take a small sample of the product in a test tube, add 20 ml of water and bring to a boil. Cool to room temperature and add a drop or two of iodine solution. If the solution. If the solution turns blue, it clearly marks the presence of search.

    Harmful Effects :- Unhygienic, unprocessed water and starch can cause stomach disorders. Starch greatly reduces the nutritional value of the ingredient.

    5.) Ice Cream

    Adulterant :- Washing powder (used to add a bright white sheen and lightness of flavour).

    Test :- The best thing would be to squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on the ice cream. If it starts to froth and bubble, it marks the presence of washing powder.

    Harmful Effects :- It can cause severe stomach and liver disorders.

    6.) Black Pepper

    Adulterant :- Papaya seeds (used to add bulk).

    Test :- Float the sample in alcohol. Mature black pepper corns will automatically sink whereas papaya seeds will float to the surface.

    Harmful Effects :- Very few people know that papaya seeds can actually cause serious liver problems and stomach disorders.

    7.) Coffee Powder

    Adulterant :- Tamarind seeds, chicory powder (used to add bulk and colour).

    Test :- Gently sprinkle coffee powder on the surface of water in a glass. The coffee will float whereas chicory will start to sink within a few seconds. Also, the falling chicory powder will leave a trail of colour behind due to the large amounts of caramel it contains.

    Harmful Effects:- These can cause diarhoea, stomach disorders, giddiness and severe joint pains.

     

    (source: Times of India, New Delhi, Date – 23.01.2012)

  • Why men store fat in bellies, women on hips

    Why men store fat in bellies, women on hips
    Researchers claim to have answered the age-old question of why men store fat in their bellies and women store it in their hips – the fat tissue is almost completely different, genetically speaking that is.”Given the difference in gene expression profiles, a female fat tissue won’t behave anything like a male fat tissue and vice versa,” Dr. Clegg said. “The notion that fat cells between males and females are alike is inconsistent with our findings.”
    In humans, men are more likely to carry extra weight around their guts while pre-menopausal women store it in their butts, thighs and hips.The bad news for men is that belly, or visceral, fat has been associated with numerous obesity-related diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Women, on the other hand, are generally protected from these obesity-related disorders until menopause, when their ovarian hormone levels drop and fat storage tends to shift from their rear ends to their waists.
    “Although our new findings don’t explain why women begin storing fat in their bellies after menopause, the results do bring us a step closer to understanding the mechanisms behind the unwanted shift,” Dr. Clegg said.For the study, researchers used a microarray analysis to determine whether male fat cells and female fat cells were different between the waist and hips and if they were different based on gender at a genetic level.

    Because the fat distribution patterns of male and female mice are similar to those of humans, the researchers used the animals to compare genes from the belly and hip fat pads of male mice, female mice and female mice whose ovaries had been removed – a condition that closely mimics human menopause. Waist and hip fat (subcutaneous fat) generally accumulates outside the muscle wall, whereas belly fat (visceral fat), a major health concern in men and postmenopausal women, develops around the internal organs.

    In addition to the genetic differences among fat tissues, the researchers found that male mice that consumed a high-fat diet for 12 weeks gained more weight than female mice on the same diet. The males’ fat tissue, particularly their belly fat, became highly inflamed, while the females had lower levels of genes associated with inflammation. The female mice whose ovaries had been removed, however, gained weight on the high-fat diet more like the males and deposited this fat in their bellies, also like the males.
    “The fat of the female mice whose ovaries had been removed was inflamed and was starting to look like the unhealthy male fat,” Dr. Clegg said. “However, estrogen replacement therapy in the mice reduced the inflammation and returned their fat distribution to that of mice with their ovaries intact.”

    Dr. Clegg said the results suggest that hormones made by the ovaries may be critical in determining where fat is deposited.

     

     

     

    (source : The Times of India on 17.08.2012)




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