Odd Even formula to say OKTATA to Pollution

Day 1 of the Odd Even formula to curb pollution seems to have gone well. News on TV said that.
I had gone out and counted only 20 even numbered private cars over a 15 km distance. On the drive later in the night past 8 pm there were more even numbered cars. Looks like the people of Delhi are adhering to the Odd Even formula.

Odd-even plan: Delhi, you deserve a bow for rising to the occasion

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Odd-even scheme: On Day 1, Delhi’s air quality fluctuates

Say OKTATA to Pollution

With Odd Even implementation for vehicles in Delhi around the corner it is time to say OKTATA to pollution as far as possible.

Numerous questions have been posed. Many solutions have been proposed.

Hopefully this step will help. If not, it is on a trial basis for 15 days and might be withdrawn.

I’m going to set up a Car Pool solution on this site soon.

Wonder if the below suggestions would help curb pollution?

1. Should diesel vehicles be completely banned?

Should diesel car owners be provided tax subsidy on purchase of CNG vehicles & assured fair market value for their diesel cars? Or, should diesel car be fitted with petrol engines which are then run on CNG? (if that is possible). In old days there used to be advertisements on TV to replace Petrol engines with Diesel engines for cost efficiency. Is vice versa possible now?

2. Should SUV sales be completely banned?

3. What is the contribution of the Metro construction on Ring Road and other stretches to the current pollution levels in Delhi? If that is significant should it be halted and work carried out in phases on particular stretches? Initial Metro construction had been in phases.

4. Would it be possible to have the Ring Rail service augmented and brought under the aegis of the Delhi Metro? Would there still be a need for the construction of the Metro line on Ring Road?

5. Are trams really not meant for big cities? Those might be slow but surely are easier to implement?

6. Maybe we need more buses (CNG?) than the Metro?

7. What is the contribution to pollution of the construction of the elevated stretches on Outer Ring Road? Read in the newspaper recently that more elevated roads are planned. What will be the impact on pollution?

Northern Ireland

A beautiful countryside and a friendly people welcome you to Northern Ireland. The emerald island is blessed with lots of rainfall which gives its countryside a lush outlook.

The giant’s causeway, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption is a sight to see. Rocks with  hexagonal cross section seem to rise up from the ground aiming towards the sky.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge gives a wonderful (and scary) view of the sea and – on a clear day – Scotland.

Whisky lovers would cherish the pilgrimage to the oldest licensed distillery – the ol

d Bushmills distillery.

Bordeaux and the Wine Country

Most visitors to France will go to Paris or the south coast. However, the Bordeaux region is just as attractive for a leisurely holiday.

Left largely untouched by the second world war, Bordeaux has buildings which are outstanding architecturally. Due to its proximity to the sea, its relatively mild weather is ideal for wine cultivation.

There are many cave complexes on the Dordogne Valley prehistoric humans lived in fairly elaborate communities.

On the way back to Paris, you can visit Rouen, where Joan of Arc was martyred. Rouen cathedral spire was the tallest structure in the world till late 19th century.

The Land of the Rising Sun

For someone whose travels were limited to South Asia and Europe, Japan was different. I cannot describe the difference in words, you have to go and experience it. A mixture of ancient culture seamlessly juxtaposed with modern technology. The hustle of Tokyo and the relatively relaxed way of life in the ancient capital Kyoto.

Tokyo is the largest city in the world and it shows in the crowds and also the efficiency with which the city operates. Shinkansen or the bullet train form the backbone of intercity travel. Mt. Fuji, a mere hour away by train (and a long trek up of course) beckons in the summer months.

Kyoto will mesmerize you with its beautiful temples and awesome food.



Being on the frontier of the Occident and the Orient, Istanbul is one of the architecturally richest cities in the world. Examples of Christian and Islamic architecture abound in the city which will keep you busy for a few days or a lifetime.

Ephesus, an ancient Greek city, near the present day town of Selcuk boasts of magnificent antiquities and a carefully restored library building. Driving east will get you to Pamukkale, a site of amazing beauty with white calcified terraces covering a whole mountain side.

Cappadocia, with it’s Martian relief, is a out-worldly experience. Massive fairy chimneys and hillocks carved into living communities has to be seen to be believed.


Asterix went to Rome only once, and he limited his stay to the great city. But when in Italy, Rome should be only one of the destinations to visit. Rome will keep you busy with its Coliseum, the Roman Forum next door and of course the Vatican. Do not miss the Sistine Chapel. If you are there on a Sunday, the Pope addresses the audience on St. Peter’s Square at noon.

Head south to the commercial city of Naples, which is adjacent to two archeologically magnificent ruins of Pompeii and Heraklion. Most of the tourists head to the larger site Pompeii, but the quality of the antiquities at Heraklion is much better. A drive up to see the crater of Vesuvius with the some coming out is another high point.

A day’s drive north will get you to Pisa, which is famous for a tower. Florence is an hour away and is home to some of the best architecture, paintings and statues from the Renaissance period. While Venice is a big tourist draw, Padua nearby is very beautiful too. And also where Petrucio tamed the shrew.

Coliseum at Rome



St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican



Sistine Chapel, The Vatican



Crater of the Vesuvius



The prominent lean



David by Michelangelo




Row of Gondolas in Venice



Duomo di Milano



Greece, the home of Western civilization. The name conjures up images of architecture of great historical significance – or idyllic islands with miles and miles of soft sandy sunny beaches.

Greece is full of archaeological riches and a lifetime is not enough to fully appreciate them. But a few days of historical touring gives you a snapshot of the most important stages in its history.

Athens is the home to the Parthenon which is the biggest draw. Other sites in Athens do not disappoint either. A couple of hours drive will get you to Delphi from where the oracle used to prophesise. Do not miss the ancient site of Olympia. You can also run in the main stadium to relive the experience of the athletes thousands of years ago.

Many tourists may miss the monasteries of Meteora. That would be a mistake. The geological marvel of giant pillar like rocks coming out of the ground and monasteries built on top evoke images of monks living austere lives for thousands of years.

Temple of Athena at Delphi
One of many monasteries at Meteora
Entrance to the main stadium at Ancient Olympia
Athletes' living quarters at the Olympia
Athletes’ living quarters at the Olympia
Intricate carving on marble depicting cloth on the sculpture
Intricate carving on marble depicting cloth on the sculpture
The Parthenon
The Parthenon
The Parthenon at night.
The Parthenon at night.


Home to some of the greatest archaeological treasures in the world, Jordan is an important destination in understanding the Roman and early Christian history. Flying into to Amman, you can take a half day tour of the awe inspiring roman ruins of Jerrash followed by Ajloun Castle which is nearby. Another couple of hours from Amman will take you to the Dead Sea, where a dip is the thing to do. You can visit the baptism site of Jesus Christ which is next to the West Bank border with Israel. Expect to see some unsmiling border guards as you touch the waters of the river Jordan.

A drive south from there will take you via the Wadi Mujib which is one of the most spectacular canyons in the world (after of course the big daddy of them all). The drive south will take you to Petra the jewel of all archaeological sites that you may have seen till now. Expect to be astounded.


Ajloun Castle
The Ajloun Castle


The central market in the ancient site of Jerrash


Christ's Baptism
Greek Orthodox Church at Christ’s Baptism site


Dead Sea
Sunset at Dead Se


Wadi Mujib
Wadi Mujib


Treasury Building Petra


Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum


Sachin Tendulkar, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Sachin Tendulkar retired from cricket a few days ago.

The video, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara,  of 1988 vintage, must be updated. It is a great video with fantastic imagery, lyrics, music and vocals.

There is only one sound thing missing in that video. Only because that sound had not originated till then. A year later, on 15 Nov, 1989, Sachin Tendulkar debuted for India. And somewhere along the line shouts of Sachiiin, Sachin found voice.

Sports persons and other other eminent personalities who didn’t feature earlier, who were yet to start in their chosen fields, or who weren’t born 25 years ago can now be added.

And this time the music director will have to add shouts of Sachiiin, Sachin to the score.

I came across this new version uploaded three years ago. Sadly, it is no match for the original.




Phir Milenge