Sunday, July 20, 2014

Its all over ! - FIFA 2014

The FIFA world cup was pretty much over when German Mario Goetze received the ball on his chest and kicked it inside the Argentine goal post. The world cup season of 1998, 2002 , 2006 and 2010 have been special (be it good or bad) for me , not sure what was special personally this time but I followed almost every match this time.

In India Sony SIX broadcasted this event but it started with a very disappointing manner given the fact that John Abraham was in the analyst panel in first few matches. He had done some great movies but no way qualified to be there. Actors should be called to these event only if they paid a lot to do their film promotion :).

Apart from cable TV the XBMC plugin Sports Devil played a very important role in live streaming the matches. Both ESPN and BBC 5 Live were airing the audio commentary which was a live saver when were driving during matches.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Media features

To kill the daily commute time in city traffic I listen to couple of podcasts. While Indicast is release once a month on an average, BBC World Update : Daily commute is published everyday with news summery everyday.

Last week I sent an audio captured in my village to BBC and featured it in their "World Update" program which is hosted by Dan Damon. You can listen to the episode, you can seek to 40 mins.
Here is the actual clip published by them.

Previously I sent a picture to the Indicast which got featured in the Episode 197 Check out the last 4:05 minutes.


Finally NewsLaundry featured a clip from Aaj Tak channel I sent. Check out this episode at 23:02.

Earlier Clothesline featured one more clip pointed by me and Madhu Trehan was generous enough to give me credit also :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bidar Trip 2014

With not many option to go for a day long drive around Hyderabad I have been planning visit Bidar for a while now. Its situated in the state of Karnataka about 115 KM from Hyderabad. I was told the road to Bidar (Major part is National Highway 9 ) is in pretty bad condition but I realized it was an overstatement. It was not to bad. Pretty much like national highways of 1990s which used to be 2 lanes without any divider and  with large amount of stretches which are not smooth (the vehicle and the tires make noise ). In fact the state highway 14 (from Zaheerabad to Bidar ) was new.

Entrance of the Fort. Remember to blow horn as per the instruction written in the board (Compulsory Horn) otherwise vehicles coming from other side may block your way.[/caption]

Bidar Fort with beautiful garden[/caption]


Had "Langar" for lunch inside the Gurdwara, it was really good to see so many dedicated people working without any expectation to feed so many people. However as usual I have never liked the laws and restrictions imposed by religion. In the case remember to keep your head covered with clothes all the time. Its quite understandable that every religion has a specific set of rules so that the followers just follow it blindly , may be because sometimes its difficult to explain and convince each person. Rather religion just imposes the rules (possibly making people afraid of gods). Most of the rules were made for some good reason e.g. one needs to wash their hand and remove their shoes before entering a temple , possibly because no one wants the dirt outside to enter the place. Its probably most complex in Hinduism because of the fact the its the oldest one and no one really knows why the rituals were made. One of my friends said that one should not travel with bananas , possibly because you may just peel it and make someone slip ?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tadoba Trip 2014

We drove about 400 KM north of Hyderabad to reach Tadoba Andheri Tiger reserve which is famous of tiger sighting and other animals and birds. Lucky did see a tiger in one of the safaris on Gypsy.

My friend Joydeep Mitra captured some good snap of it.

Following was pretty much where where we went. The road condition is very good as of now.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

English - 2020 V2 (Now for Hindi, Bengali or Telugu speakers)

During 2012 Christmas holiday English 2020, an easy to use English speaking software course was launched. The author of this product is my uncle Dr. Ranbir Sinha who is an educator, inventor and scientist. He received his Ph.D. from University of Minnesota in 1994. While he has contributed to the most successful space rocket projects  till date, he has also spend his last few years researching about how English is spoken all over the world and what is the best way to speak that is correct. He wanted to come of with a "standard" version of speaking English,  so that everyone can understand every other English speakers by correcting some obvious mistakes in the sounds. He has also involved various language experts from many English speaking countries in this project to make it perfect from all perspectives. Tough I contributed to this project voluntarily, I personally find this product incredibly useful for the following reasons.

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  •  English speakers around the world, do not understand each other easily.
    English is a popular language in India, with most of the official work being done in English, most of the educated people know this language fluently. Even I used to consider myself  fluent in English till I talked to someone outside India. While people at my work in India could easily understand me in English, my colleague in USA could not. I had to repeat several times and ask him to repeat before we could get the complete sentences. Soon I realized that I have to get rid of the regional accent and speak slowly to make him understand. I could not ask him the same but he realized and slowed down soon and we conversed happily there after :) . The lesson was that both of us had to come down to a common ground where we could understand each other easily. Imagine the whole world doing that ? Your parents from India go to Canada and at the immigration  counter both understand each other without asking each other to repeat over and over again ? The problem was never that one party knows little or more English, it is all about how they sound, where they pause and if they are allowing the other party recognize the words at one go. The usual problem is to pronounce a very familiar word in such a way that it sounds alien and it makes the whole sentence unclear. Remember humans recognize the patterns, do a lot of approximation to understand something and not necessarily listen in very detail and break down every word and apply grammar to it (what we do while writing/reading ) . Hence every word we say has to sound familiar to other party.

  • There are qualified people not able to make themselves a good candidate for a job.
    Lately I have been taking interviews for my company.I am mostly looking at the problem solving and Java/Database skills but I must admit sometimes I have given preference to candidates who speak better.  The communication skills does matter in day to day work. In the past I really had tough time speaking and dealing with colleagues who are excellent coders but can't complete a single sentence while discussing about some design or problem. Its painful when it takes several minutes to convey a single statement to others while working on tough deadlines. When working as a team you don't want to scratch your head to make someone come to the point. You also don't want spending all your day asking them to repeat and guess what he is trying to say. Not only me , I think a lot of recruiters now a days are making sure the candidate it able to communicate in a clear and concise manner, especially in telephonic rounds. I may sound biased but I am sorry, I want to increase productivity of team instead of wasting time understanding each other. Good programming skill non necessarily make you a valuable member of the team. English-2020 can just solve this problem if yours. You don't need to learn English all over again , you just have to listen carefully and try to say the words and sentences in the same way when you use them. You will be able to showcase your skills in a better way to interviewer.  There are so many engineers and so many jobs but it does not impress me when one says "En-vee-ron-ments" while saying "Environments", "egg-nest" while saying "against" and "Fix-ed" while saying "Fixed"

  • You don't need to learn difficult words to converse fluently in English
    To be honest I learned English mostly from TV and Newspaper. I was in a school where the teaching medium was primarily in the regional language. Hence my vocabulary is very small and I realized that  in day to day conversation I don't even have to know a lot of words for which I already know an alternate word. All one need to do is to pronounce the known words correctly so that it sounds familiar to others and understandable. English 2020 course is exactly does the same. It has about 2000 words that we already know and use daily but you will spot the difference why the other party always asks us "can you come again ? " or "I didn't get you" or "Pardon me" again and again when you try to say these words. Its just that we speak too fast without respecting the syllables. Some people are just in a hurry to finish the words. There no point in speaking long words from dictionary and  sound something else. This product also has translations in Hindi, Bengali and Telugu to help the native speakers of these languages understand the English words used in case they are not familiar with them.

Quickly learn to say 2000 very useful sentences in English correctly. 20 Text + audio lessons covering 10 practical situations where you need to speak English. Simple and clear expressions with a combination of American and British English. No complicated grammar, no old-fashioned English and no slang or local dialects - only standard English that is understood all over the world. Topics covered are: Essential English for daily use with friends and neighbors, at school or workplace, in a restaurant, going shopping, meeting new people, making friends, etc. Two special lessons absolutely essential for travelers to foreign countries. The method used in organizing the content is Memory-Web-Association-Method for quickly absorbing and recalling useful information making it an efficient learning process. It is best suited for students 10 years old to any age, those who can read English and wish to practice speaking English on their own. The level is beginner to intermediate.

How to get it ?
To order this product right now you can write to The product is on sale now and details can be found at the website This product also comes with a FREE video DVD explaining how common words should be spoken.


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