The great Indian baggage lost problem

Have you ever had your airline baggage misplaced, mishandled or lost? Don’t worry thousands of flight goers have to face this problem ever year so much so that many flyers have now developed a phobia of having their baggage lost in transit.
Take Amitabh Bachchan, a frequent flyer in India as well as overseas. His luggage has been misplaced eighteen times by British Airways. The latest being when he was in transit from Toronto to Trinidad. On this occasion it was Air Canada. If it could happen to the greatest of stars, it could happen to just about any one. Karan Johar, Rahul Bose have all had their luggage misplaced and have often arrived abroad with their designer suits missing. The lost baggage problem that affects the Indian airlines these days is of immense magnitude. Thousands of baggage are lost by domestic as well as international airlines in India. And quiet often the scene is so chaotic at some of the airports that you have no idea how to get to the lost baggage section, and then the document have to be shown and filled and then comes the compensation. But the mental agony and the turmoil that the person goes through is unbearable.
Misplaced or mishandled baggage costs the global air industry a whopping $2.5 billion every year. And with more and more flights getting added, this figure is only going to rise. Some airlines in India do offer compensation to the travelers to the tune of Rs.450 per KG whereas others give you a bag of important necessities and accessories to aid you till your missing baggage is found. This unclaimed and lost baggage industry has become a major industry in the states where a company buys and collects unclaimed baggage from the airports and puts it up for sale at an internet portal. Thousands of visitors flock to the unclaimed baggage centre in Alabama in order to find their long lost baggage. Every day seven thousand items are added to the list and people buy it goods at cheaper rates than the rates at the market. A similar system could be applied in India too.
Travelling by air has its own perils hence. Imagine arriving at a foreign destination with your clothes, office files and other important stuff missing. It could be even worse when you lose your currency, travel cheques or other documents. In the chaos at the airports, it could happen to anyone. Either to a VVIP or an ordinary person like us. Luggage losses are growing rapidly and a method has to be found to curb them for compensation can never really satisfy a customer. Losing your prizes personal possessions can be the worst feeling for any traveler. The chances of baggage getting misplaced are very high these days for they have a paper loop around them and if that loop comes off then tit becomes very difficult for the airport authorities to find out as to where the baggage is headed. Technology will have to come to the rescue of this problem for travelers even refrain from writing their name and address on the luggage these days for security reasons. So here’s hoping that a solution be found out to the Great Indian baggage lost problem else you and me will continue it be gripped in this fear whenever catching a flight next.

Ganguly: A glittering career comes to an end

Whatever may be the reasons for Sourav Ganguly’s retirement, it is time we all stood up in admiration of one of the greatest Indian cricketers and lets just hope that he goes out with a big bang as he had entered the world of cricket in 1996.
Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and Sourav Ganguly have something in common. No it isn’t any brand that they are endorsing. They have scripted the best comebacks that any one can remember in their respective fields. It is said that Character is judged at times of adversity. These three men have sprung a surprise whenever they have been written off by the critics. Sourav Ganguly- the most charismatic and successful captain that India has ever produced is said to retire. This will mark the end of a glorious career in cricket. Whether you loved him or hated him but you could never be indifferent to him.
What started off with a bang at Lords in London is said to go down against the most formidable team in the World. The aussies have always been wary of the Indians specially in their own backyard. And as Ganguly said in the press conference yesterday he would like to go off on a winning note. All eyes will be on the ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’ as he goes out for his last prowl against the Aussies. Every time he will effortlessly caress the ball through the off side, millions of people all around the country will jump in sheer delight.
Through out his career, Ganguly has been in the media glare. He got the ‘Bad boy’ image going but he gave the team an aggressive outlook when he took over as captain something that had not been seen too often in Indian cricket. He has had his string of ups and downs but the resilience, grit and determination has always stood out in his tough time. His partnership with Dravid in the match against Sri Lanka at Taunton in the 1999 world cup, his hundred against Australia at Brisbane last tour and his double hundred against Pakistan in the last series were some of his best performances. Toronto perhaps was his favourite venue, where he wom four man of the match awards in a series against Pakistan.
As a captain, Ganguly had great achievements. Won twenty one tests, out of which twelve were won abroad. His famous Natwest series win against England at Lords when he flung his T shirt off and yelled foul words changed the image of Indian cricket and also made Freddie Flintoff a bit more reticent in the future. His series win against Australia at home in which India scripted a great comeback and went on to win a test after following on. This series is regarded as the best series ever where the underdogs sprung a surprise on the champions and is still one of the greatest inspirational stories in the world of cricket. India’s maiden win in a series in Pakistan also came under the captaincy of Ganguly. The Indian team’s performance of reaching the finals of the 2003 world cup in South Africa could also be credited to the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly who also struck two hundreds in the series.
Ganguly was the poster boy of Indian cricket for a long time. Many feel he may not be as talented as Sachin or as technically correct as Dravid, but when it came to stroking through the off side he was the most gifted players ever. He did have his weak points like the rising short delivery, or fending outside the off stump, not one of the best fielders of the side and a poor runner between the wickets. But every one has some weak points including a great called Achilles. Ganguly has called it a day now, and lets not ruin the moment and contemplating as to why he has done it. There are theories of voluntarily retirement schemes, some sort of deal sprung up with the board and even threats of kidnapping his daughter. Lets give attention and credit where it is due. Here’s a cricketer who has devoted his life to the sport and is one of the most loved sportsmen in India. This aint his end yet, just the beginning of the end. We will still see him coming in black and gold and scaring the hell out of the other bowlers in the IPL’s seasons. It is time we stood up in admiration of this great cricketer and hope he has a fitting ending to a great career.

Mumbai is for all.

The dogs in Mumbai have been unleashed once again by power hungry regional politicians. Petty ‘taxi drivers’,’chaat waalah’ and other poor vendors are being accused and abused physically in broad daylights, in the heart of financial capital of India, Mumbai. Indian newspapers are full of reports that North Indians (particularly those from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) in Mumbai are being attacked by supporters of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, a regional political party founded by Raj Thackeray in Maharashtra. Raj has been giving anti- North Indians statements for quite sometime and is ridiculing the festivals of Northern India (particularly the Chhat festival of Bihar). Just a few days back, he alleged the superstar Amitabh Bachchan of not doing enough for Maharashtra and insulted him for his love for the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Marine DriveThe comments of Raj are not only naive but stupid as well. Mumbai has 30% population from North India. The trades related to Dairy, Milk production, education, Paan (beetel leaf), Taxi transport, Flour Mills, Vegetables, Security Guards and junk items are being managed by North Indians in Mumbai. In fact these people have become part and parcel of the life in Mumbai and they are doing their best in making this city the financial hub of India. As such a blatant attack on them is likely to hamper the overall functioning of the city. Raj is of view that Mumbai should be run by Maharashtrians and none from outside should meddle with Marathi Speaking people. But attacking the innocent is condemnable act. He is just targeting poor and daily earners and none from those who control the economy. This is the way he want to bring “Navnirman” in Maharashtra. Going by his worldview, some native Americans should now vandalise Indians out there, right?

The Shiv Sena’s changed ways – the party wants to go beyond its traditional Maharashtrian vote bank and hence wooing North Indians – have given Thackeray a chance to make a bid for its traditional voter base. And Raj Thackeray, hoping to divert the Marathi manoos to his party, has jumped in to occupy that space.

I have been in Mumbai for last 3 years and find it very nice. It was the first time in my life when i saw the various cultures together. The Marathis, Gujaratis, Marwadis, Rajasthani,North Indians, South Indians, etc. This is what is known as spirit of Mumbai. Mumbai has something for everyone and this is what so very especial about Mumbai. Mumbai is considered to be the Global City of India. It is home to one of the world’s top 10 centers of commerce in terms of global financial flow. Mumbai is also the commercial and entertainment capital of India, and houses important financial institutions. But the incidents like this certainly dent that image of Mumbai.

The recent developments have revived the question whether those living in metropolis have a right to target migrants from other states. It is high time that as a Social Secular Democratic Republic, we rose against regionalism and learn to treat all as Indians? This political gimmick is unnecessary, unwarranted and will spark tensions among common residents of the city of Mumbai and state of Maharashtra. Raj has lost his political sheen since leaving Bal Thackeray & forming his own party MNS. Instead of Nav Nirman his party is only busy in destroying things. The situation needs to be calmed very soon because the Political Games hve begun (Reference to speeches of leaders from Samaajwadi Party, MNS) and one more incident can lead to chaos in Mumbai which will be totally uncalled for. A sense is required from people of Mumbai and don’t fall prey to this situation. I really hope the people would show a great maturity at this hour.

An Open Letter to Raj Thackeray

Raj ThackerayRAJ THACKERAY, the name, which in the last two days has drawn a lot of flak nationwide, started his political career as a youth-wing leader in the Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray’s (his uncle’s) party. He steadily rose up the ranks with his charisma and was seen as the number two in the party. However, this was before Uddhav Thackeray (Bal Thackeray’s son) entered the scene.

Reportedly, as insiders claim, Raj’s decline in the Shiv Sena started in the 90s due to his alleged involvement in the Ramesh Kinny murder case (seen as a political murder). As a result, Bal Thackeray pushed his youngest son Uddhav into the limelight.

Always seen as a firebrand speaker, Raj was well known in the Sena for his aggressive ways to hold demonstrations and bandhs. However, recently it seems, he has bit more than he could chew. His recent outbursts against migrants from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar are totally unconstitutional and uncalled for.

Does he want to divide India on the lines of states of origin?

He shouldn’t forget that it took the efforts of one man, better known as the iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to integrate the erstwhile 600 princely states into one dominion, India. Is Raj’s agenda to again disintegrate India – at least his idea of Jai Maharashtra, makes one believe so. If he really wants to be a national political figure and command respect, shouldn’t his slogan be “Jai Bharat”?

Maharashtra is an integral part of India. Any Indian or for that matter any foreigner, with correct antecedents has the right to work and earn a living in Maharashtra as long as the person is contributing to the nation (and not just Maharashtra). However, it seems that Raj Thackeray, either doesn’t have the political finesse or is incompetent to deal with issues that are much more serious than this trivial issue.

What has he done for the farmers committing suicide in Maharashtra and Gujarat? Or, since he is more concerned about Maharashtra, at least for the farmers in Maharashtra? What has he done about the welfare of the Maharashtrians?

His sympathisers might say that he doesn’t have the power. But is Raj fit enough to be given the power, with his evident play of divisive politics? His acerbic tirade against the icon of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, cast aspersions against Raj’s frame of mind? His question is what has Amitabh Bachchan done for Maharashtra?

The writer’s question is what have you done for Maharashtra, Raj Thackeray?

When the Indian cinema was dying in the late seventies and eighties, it was Amitabh Bachchan’s movies that gave bread and butter to thousands of technicians, junior artistes, carpenters and painters, including Maharashtrians (though the writer prefers to call them Indians).

What has been your contribution to the nation’s or your Maharashtra’s economy, Raj Thackeray?

With the photos of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s activists rioting, vandalising and spreading hooliganism in Dadar area in Maharashtra, are you really concerned about Maharashtra? The damage to public property means additional expenditure for Maharashtra’s government to resurrect it, are you ready to pay for the damage to the government. Moreover, are you really a well wisher of Maharashtra? What about your alleged irregularity of funds in Kohinoor Mills’ deal?

Lastly, how can Maharashtrians even think of giving you an electoral mandate, when you, in a cowardly act (universally condemned), send your activists (or hooligans) to throw bottles at Amitabh Bachchan’s house?

With the conscience of most of the politicians dead in this age of power, fame and wealth, it will indeed be heartening to see, if this letter touches your conscience somewhat and renders an apology from you, for your unpardonable divisive act targeted at our secular nation, India.

By Sanjay Ara in Merinews