Tag Archive: life



Corruption is one of the biggest problems plaguing our country right now. Despite numerous attempts to remove corruption from its roots, we stand here at this point in time having failed miserably to tackle the problem of Corruption. Anna Hazare and his team started the Jan Lokpal movement over a year ago and having lost much steam they plan to restart the agitation, but is this enough?

Corruption is a very old science. I refer to corruption as science because there is more to it than just giving bribes and getting your work done for a cost.
Now if you look at the Indian administrative system, the volume that the department has to handle is huge, the incentive that the government workers get in terms of their salary is not huge when you compare it to the private sector. The free houses and utilities they get, they have become used to it and it no longer qualifies as a perk for them. Let us try peeking into the life of a government agent.

The child of a government worker comes to him and says, “Dad in class everyone has a PS, why can’t I have one too?” the father will explain to him saying, “Son, Your Dad does not earn as much as their fathers and I cannot afford it.” It will kill him to say this and deny that worldly pleasure to his son but he will do it once. The next year when his son asks him for a new “Nike” football because his friends believe that only Nike is the good stuff, he will tear a little piece of his heart but buy his boy the expensive football because after all how many times does his son get a good birthday gift? Soon his wife starts coming to him and says that all the other ladies in the government colony use expensive make up and go out shopping, but why is it that we do not have enough money to do all of this? How can he explain to his wife that while the other officers in the colony accept bribes, he has stayed true to his belief and not accepted a single bribe.

Is his belief more important than his family’s happiness? The man is in a dilemma. He consoles himself by saying that he is doing the right thing and it is the best for everybody, but he himself knows the hollowness of these words. Soon he loses the will to fight the battle alone because he is not getting benefits nor is it bringing him any happiness. He goes to the office the next day and starts accepting bribes and soon see’s the happiness return back in his family’s eyes. That is how he justifies his corrupt nature.

If there are x corrupt officials in a government agency, there are 2x non-corrupt officials. But we always have a tendency to look at the corrupt ones and frown saying the whole agency is corrupted, but how do you think that makes the non-corrupt officials feel? Is it possible that our disdain and hatred towards a government agency since the last 20 years because part of it is corrupt, has actually caused the non-corrupt officials to become corrupt?

Let us have a look at the common man, a typical Mussadilal(We will call him Mussadi) if you remember the show “Office Office”:

Mussadi is missing his office today because his son needs a driving license. His son has “threatened” him by saying that since every one of his friends has a driving license; it does not look “cool” if he doesn’t have one. Regretfully he agrees to use one of his personal days at the office and accompany his son. When he arrives at the RTO, he sees a line as big as the line for rations at his village. After waiting for 2 hours he gets the form, filling it up quickly, he and his son rush to the officer to get it verified. This time he finds an even bigger queue disappearing into the room. At this point, his son says “Dad, I need to meet my friends so I am going to go but please stay here and get my work done. Thanks” and leaves. Having no option he stays there in the queue. Just then a man walks up to him and says that why are you standing in the line and doing all this “magajmaari”, just hire an “agent”. He enquires about how much the agent would charge and on finding that it would cost him a whopping 1000 bucks decides he is better of alone. There are 4 different departments to visit in an RTO and it is absolutely necessary to have an agent, otherwise you are not taken seriously. After getting the forms verified and then getting the payment slip done, getting your driving test done is a nightmare as the officer in charge is permanently surrounded by agents. As Mussadi would later come to realize at the cost of time and money that sometimes you just need to give in because unless the complete system is overhauled nothing can be really done.

These are exaggerated events no doubt, but what they are trying to is both sides of the story. Sometimes for a government official he might start the job with the best thoughts but somewhere along on the road, the pressure gets to you. Even for the common man it is a struggle to maintain a living and do the right thing. Sometimes it is just not feasible to stand up and be different because you cannot afford to. In the fight against corruption, we need to understand that it is a way of life for people. It might be easy for you and me to forgo 5 days of work and sit on the government officials head and refuse to pay a bribe, but for someone who needs to work just to maintain his family asking for those 5 days is too much.

I am not trying to justify corruption or in any ways defend it, just trying to say there is something more to the story.

-Shail Vani

Are We Alone


Are We Alone?

Are we truly Alone?

“The large-scale homogeneity of the universe makes it very difficult to believe that the structure of the universe is determined by anything as peripheral as some complicated molecular structure on a minor planet orbiting a very average star in the outer suburbs of a fairly typical galaxy.”
– Stephen Hawking

The universe is a pretty big place with about 80 billion galaxies and 10^24 stars. Humans have lived on this earth for millennia’s. We have always thought that are we the supreme beings in this cosmic junction are we the only sentinel beings in such a vast place. If it were only us wouldn’t it be an awful waste of space? I have always, as a child been interested at the enormity of our universe I have always wondered “are we alone?” We are just mere dust fleck in this vast cosmological sea. We are just a pale blue dot, the third rock from the sun lucky enough to sustain life.

We have heard of UFO sightings and of alien abductions all our life and we discard them as hokum or fun. We have all heard of little green men coming in ships to observe or annihilate us.

There have been numerous stories about contacts with extra-terrestrial life forms ranging from aliens abducting cattles to humans themselves. The most famous UFO incident ever dates back to July 8 1947 in place called Roswell, New Mexico. On that uneventful night a huge crash was sounded in the middle of the desert on the next day a huge army encampment was found and the headlines given by Walter Haut an army official read “RAAF captures Flying Saucer”, this led to huge hysteria among people.

At that place where the crash happened a farmer, W.W. “Mack” Brazel lived who saw what had crashed and he diatribe’s them as silvery-purple objects with certain humanoid forms inside. In the next week the army took back its statement saying that there weren’t any flying saucers but it was just a weather balloon.

Well there is another connection to Roswell incident and alien conspiracy theories and it is said that and secret US military base in the middle of the Mohave desert in Las Vegas Nevada called Area 51. It is said that the three alien life forms encountered at Roswell and the debris from the spaceship was taken to this site where it is till date being studied and deciphered. The movie independence day and the TV series 7 days even are based on such dogmas itself. Outside of area 51 a warning states that violent force will be used if anyone tries to enter within the radius of the facility and photography is strictly prohibited. The US Govt. denies that area 51 is even a base of operations.

Stephen Hawking believes that if ever we encounter alien life it won’t be better for humanity. If they travel so far from outer space they won’t go without making contact. Probably a civilization which is so developed to travel hundreds of light years, it could probably have expired its resources and plans to attack earth. It might be possible such an developed civilization can even annihilate us if it found us. For them we must be like vermins infesting a planet full of resources and nature’s bounty.

Some scientist believes that we don’t have to go looking for alien life in the far reaches of the universe; we might find it in our very own solar system. Our own neighbor Mars has shown the prospect of life; it still has frozen water, scientists believe that any number of bacteria or virus can live at the depths of mars craters. Although this life might be primitive but would surely qualify as extraterrestrial contact. Films like Mars Attacks and Andromeda strain to the classic book by HG Well War of the World have depicted as mars having life and its inhabitant’s invading us. Europa one of Jupiter’s moon has a 6 foot of frozen ice layer on its’ surface but inside has flowing water and scientists believe that maybe marine life might exist there and aphotic bioluminescent bacteria might exist there.

SETI search for extra-terrestrial intelligence was started by one scientist Frank Drake in around 1960 where he pointed all his auditory satellites up to look for outer audible signals and thus began an intensive search of space for electromagnetic radiation which are the best source if aliens contact us. Project Orion started by US deals solely with SETI and listening to outer space is heard.

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Dr. Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University. Delaware, Ohio.[1]The signal bore expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-solar system origin. It lasted for the full 72-second duration that Big Ear observed it, but has not been detected again. The signal has been the subject of significant media attention. Scientists believe that WOW signal was of alien origin probably sent by an intelligent life form. . Only about 15% of the know space is known to us.

There is a famous quote from X – Files which I love that is “The truth is out there” these lines have a profound meaning just as CIA agent Fox Mulder passionately keeps on trying to find clues to extraterrestrial life forms in the same way humanity must itself keep on striving to find our cousins light years far away from here. And maybe then we could answer one of the question that haunts humanity from time immemorial and that “why are we here? And what is our purpose?”

By Ali Akbar
(A Minerva-M Writer)
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