*

9 Apr, 2014 / 8 notes

Do you vote?

For the completely clueless, CEO of Delhi’s “A Guide for the Voters” remains as relevant as ever.

Another very useful and remarkably engaging piece of resource for the young voter is a handbook called Vote Smart by Tanvi Ratna aka the Policy Girl.

Another useful page pdf, on the CEO Delhi website is the Know your MP/MLA which lists Lok Sabha MPs AS WELL AS Rajya Sabha MPs and MLAs from the December 2013 elections. This is useful as a reminder that AAP was a surprising winner in the last elections, and cannot be written off easily.

Of course, among those who think AAP is a joke, The Hindu today came up with a comparison of manifesto’s of the three of its MOST FAVOURITE parties in the world: INC, BJP, and CPI (M). A similar article appeared in Hindustan Times which is why HT sells and TH doesn’t, but anyway. OR if you’re too lazy to play the match-the-following-game and keep track of what party you most agree with, you could use this quiz to give you an idea of what party you’d most agree with.

If you want to have a look at the candidates in your constituency I’d recommend this page which has drawn its data from the affidavits which are available in zip (ugh) format on the ECI website.

For those voting in Delhi (esp the New Delhi constituency), please do take out the time to explore the options, despite the “race” being a “three-legged one”. How about the youngest candidates? In India, you can get employed in hazardous industries at 14, get married with parental consent at 16 (21 if you are a male though), not get jailed for rape till 18, vote at 18, get employed as a civil servant at 21, drink at 25 (varies between not at all-25 across the country), and get elected to the Lower House at 25. If you’ve survived all this, you could try getting elected to Rajya Sabha at 30. But I digress.

Another article about Delhi as a state and the New Delhi constituency in particular.

Finally, if you’re still unsure, confused, or dazed by all the election mania, you could simply use the NOTA button. OR better still, vote for this lady.

BONUS link 1: Interesting facts and figures about the mammoth task that is the Indian elections. The MEA seriously needs better editors though.

BONUS link 2: An infographic about Indian elections by Al Jazeera.

4 Apr, 2014
From Flickr.
I’ve been trying to clear out some of my stuff from the house of late, especially books. They’ve all been kept packed in boxes and dumped out of sight in various corners of the house since we last got a whitewash, which was almost a year ago. Yes, I’ve been unkind and cruel. I’ve even acquired a kindle in the past year, so yeah, you’re talking to the Book Fiend here.
As I sift through the piles, I find many gems, torn pages from notebooks, crayon drawings, (dips)diaries, some absurd books, some strays from my parents’ collections, many old favourites, many a lost friend…relics of the childhood of a quiet and bookish (and a tad lonely) child. And so, I’ve felt temptation. Temptation to hang on to these relics, temptation to open a Champak in the middle of room literally overflowing with books and read till I forget, temptation to be selfish and clingy and obstinate as the 8 year old who owned and loved these books.
But I mustn’t. I just mustn’t keep succumbing to the temptation. Last October, I discovered my maid’s daughter playing with what used to be my favouritest, loyalestest, bestest doll till the age of 11. And I was surprised to find the feelings of the indignation, jealousy and outrage coursing through me. I’m ashamed to admit, I snatched Dolly (that’s what I called her) from Shalu (coincidentally sharing name with another of my dolls)’s hands. I confronted the mother about how Dolly escaped the box of ‘to keep… for sentimental reasons’ toys. Apparently, somehow, the box of ‘to keep’ and ‘to give away’ got mixed up. The next day, of course, I bought Shalu a brand new toy and relinquished, with a heavy heart, my emotional grip over that box of ‘to keep’ toys and gave up any thought of ever tracing back any of them.
Next I proceeded to carefully rewatch the third Toy Story about three times in a row and cried a few buckets of tears.
I learnt my lesson, though. And I learnt it so well that I want to extend it to my collection books as well, which have, in comparison to the toys, suffered better treatment under my hand; sorted, dusted and revisited regularly.
I have piles of children’s books, comics and magazines. I have abridged novels and collections. I have proper grown up stuff. Out of these, some I plan to still hang on to—naturally, most of the grown up stuff. Some of the childhood ones…I find I’m more attached to the books (and toys, but *sniff*) of my youngest years- say, till the age of 7, and not so much to the artefacts of late childhood, maybe because the books (and toys *double sniff*) from that age are more reliable objects of memory; actual memory from that age being faded, or jerky, or absent… these I will keep (and protect with lock, key, roundhouse kicks and murderous stares). Some of them are just so dear. Two of my favourites are depicted in the photograph above. Both of them are unique and, to this day, my benchmark for children’s books. The Three Ducklings, a hand-me-down from a cousin, was a ‘touch-and-feel’ book. Little Mary’s hair is real (doll’s) hair! Isn’t that amazing? To the four-year-old Nidhi, it was very advanced technology.

Another fascinating technology featured on the cover of the Little Red Riding Hood album, a hologram! Would you believe my endless awe and enjoyment that arose from that one ‘3-D photo’? Nope, no way is Nidhi going to give The Three Ducklings or Little Red Riding Hood. She has however purchased several touch-and-feel books for her toddler nephew. A bit early for him, but years later, he’ll be thanking me, I’m sure.
So here’s what I want: the names of your favourite libraries or charities where you donate your old books with the assurance that it will reach children who need them. And any other ideas or stories about what to do with old books. Also, any tips to prevent (or rather, cure…) mottling.
I also want to give away some of the grown up stuff to friends and family, so yes, visit, visit!!
20 Jan, 2014

From Flickr.

I’ve been trying to clear out some of my stuff from the house of late, especially books. They’ve all been kept packed in boxes and dumped out of sight in various corners of the house since we last got a whitewash, which was almost a year ago. Yes, I’ve been unkind and cruel. I’ve even acquired a kindle in the past year, so yeah, you’re talking to the Book Fiend here.

As I sift through the piles, I find many gems, torn pages from notebooks, crayon drawings, (dips)diaries, some absurd books, some strays from my parents’ collections, many old favourites, many a lost friend…relics of the childhood of a quiet and bookish (and a tad lonely) child. And so, I’ve felt temptation. Temptation to hang on to these relics, temptation to open a Champak in the middle of room literally overflowing with books and read till I forget, temptation to be selfish and clingy and obstinate as the 8 year old who owned and loved these books.

But I mustn’t. I just mustn’t keep succumbing to the temptation. Last October, I discovered my maid’s daughter playing with what used to be my favouritest, loyalestest, bestest doll till the age of 11. And I was surprised to find the feelings of the indignation, jealousy and outrage coursing through me. I’m ashamed to admit, I snatched Dolly (that’s what I called her) from Shalu (coincidentally sharing name with another of my dolls)’s hands. I confronted the mother about how Dolly escaped the box of ‘to keep… for sentimental reasons’ toys. Apparently, somehow, the box of ‘to keep’ and ‘to give away’ got mixed up. The next day, of course, I bought Shalu a brand new toy and relinquished, with a heavy heart, my emotional grip over that box of ‘to keep’ toys and gave up any thought of ever tracing back any of them.

Next I proceeded to carefully rewatch the third Toy Story about three times in a row and cried a few buckets of tears.

I learnt my lesson, though. And I learnt it so well that I want to extend it to my collection books as well, which have, in comparison to the toys, suffered better treatment under my hand; sorted, dusted and revisited regularly.

I have piles of children’s books, comics and magazines. I have abridged novels and collections. I have proper grown up stuff. Out of these, some I plan to still hang on to—naturally, most of the grown up stuff. Some of the childhood ones…I find I’m more attached to the books (and toys, but *sniff*) of my youngest years- say, till the age of 7, and not so much to the artefacts of late childhood, maybe because the books (and toys *double sniff*) from that age are more reliable objects of memory; actual memory from that age being faded, or jerky, or absent… these I will keep (and protect with lock, key, roundhouse kicks and murderous stares). Some of them are just so dear. Two of my favourites are depicted in the photograph above. Both of them are unique and, to this day, my benchmark for children’s books. The Three Ducklings, a hand-me-down from a cousin, was a ‘touch-and-feel’ book. Little Mary’s hair is real (doll’s) hair! Isn’t that amazing? To the four-year-old Nidhi, it was very advanced technology.

image

Another fascinating technology featured on the cover of the Little Red Riding Hood album, a hologram! Would you believe my endless awe and enjoyment that arose from that one ‘3-D photo’? Nope, no way is Nidhi going to give The Three Ducklings or Little Red Riding Hood. She has however purchased several touch-and-feel books for her toddler nephew. A bit early for him, but years later, he’ll be thanking me, I’m sure.

So here’s what I want: the names of your favourite libraries or charities where you donate your old books with the assurance that it will reach children who need them. And any other ideas or stories about what to do with old books. Also, any tips to prevent (or rather, cure…) mottling.

I also want to give away some of the grown up stuff to friends and family, so yes, visit, visit!!

26 Dec, 2013 / 2 notes

Now that I have nothing to do…I don’t feel like doing anything!! Seriously all I’ve accomplished in the last 24 hours is a LOT of facebook, staring at the ceiling, sleeping. That’s seriously all. 

*stares stupidly at 50 item long post-exam to-do list*

Right of Franchise on Flickr.

On a totally random note, the policemen at the Polling Booth congratulated me when I finally found my name in the lists outside. Who said the Delhi Police sucked? I totally love them! :P

I’ve been trying to figure out not just WHO to vote for but also HOW. And as anybody who has any experience with government websites in India, this is a bit like waging a war. 
Well, that’s what you’d think.
I’ve been very pleased to find that the government websites are not just working really well, they’re a mine of information. Here’s a set of links for fellow Delhiites:
1. ECI’s Guide for Voters is a good resource to begin with.
2. Look for your name in the Electoral List on Delhi CEO’s website (serious breach of privacy here, btw).
3. If you are not sure about your constituency (like me) then you can use this rather rudimentary map to figure out. Or use the Locality Search here. 
4. You can now search for polling booths in your constituency using this map.
5. Next, you might be interested in current MLA’s. Have a look here.
6. I urge you to go through the affidavits (wealth, education, political affiliation, contact details) filed by the candidates in your constituency here. I was quite disappointed to find not a single lady in mine. But the wealth of information here is remarkable and quite illuminating. Not many judgments or inferences can/should be drawn from it, but, like I said, illuminating. 
7. Now for the all important question—which symbol do I hit? Match up here. An extremely handy list, there is everything in here from “bungalow” to “hat” and “camera” and even, yes even I got my hopes up, “batsman”. 
8. Finally, I can assume the results will be uploaded on this page on 8th December.
I hope this helps somebody, even if it’s just one person. I’d be really grateful if people pointed out errors. I’m still looking for a few links, like maybe a “compare manifesto’s”  or something. Please do help! 
*For those of you living under a rock, Election Day is on 4th December 2013. Be there. 
Also, why the NOTA option is useless: “Therefore, even if the number of electors opting for NOTA option is more than the number of votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate who secures the largest number of votes has to be declared elected.” (Source: ECI)
26 Nov, 2013

Right of Franchise on Flickr.

On a totally random note, the policemen at the Polling Booth congratulated me when I finally found my name in the lists outside. Who said the Delhi Police sucked? I totally love them! :P

I’ve been trying to figure out not just WHO to vote for but also HOW. And as anybody who has any experience with government websites in India, this is a bit like waging a war. 

Well, that’s what you’d think.

I’ve been very pleased to find that the government websites are not just working really well, they’re a mine of information. Here’s a set of links for fellow Delhiites:

1. ECI’s Guide for Voters is a good resource to begin with.

2. Look for your name in the Electoral List on Delhi CEO’s website (serious breach of privacy here, btw).

3. If you are not sure about your constituency (like me) then you can use this rather rudimentary map to figure out. Or use the Locality Search here

4. You can now search for polling booths in your constituency using this map.

5. Next, you might be interested in current MLA’s. Have a look here.

6. I urge you to go through the affidavits (wealth, education, political affiliation, contact details) filed by the candidates in your constituency here. I was quite disappointed to find not a single lady in mine. But the wealth of information here is remarkable and quite illuminating. Not many judgments or inferences can/should be drawn from it, but, like I said, illuminating. 

7. Now for the all important question—which symbol do I hit? Match up here. An extremely handy list, there is everything in here from “bungalow” to “hat” and “camera” and even, yes even I got my hopes up, “batsman”. 

8. Finally, I can assume the results will be uploaded on this page on 8th December.

I hope this helps somebody, even if it’s just one person. I’d be really grateful if people pointed out errors. I’m still looking for a few links, like maybe a “compare manifesto’s”  or something. Please do help! 

*For those of you living under a rock, Election Day is on 4th December 2013. Be there. 

Also, why the NOTA option is useless: “Therefore, even if the number of electors opting for NOTA option is more than the number of votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate who secures the largest number of votes has to be declared elected.” (Source: ECI)

5 Nov, 2013 / 4 notes

Diwali 2013