Sharadiya Bhopal 2014



It is Navratri time in Bhopal. Time for Dandias, time for Mata rani, time for devotion and fasting. The hidden motifs of that promotion, that land deal or business deal, that college admission or campus placement - everything can wait, let us get down to devotion of ten days first. Surely "Mata rani" will take note, she knows all desires of every heart, right ?




For the Bengali community of the city though, it’s "that" time of the year - Durga Pujo.

So what is different, apart from the spelling ? The Bengali community, most of whom are second generation Bengali whose father had migrated into the city of Bhopal, try to follow the traditions of Bengal as closely as possible.To start with, the Pujo starts from the sixth day - the Shashthi. The preparations for the Puja are made complete on this day. Preparations on Sasthi consists of three aspects Kalparambha, Bodhan, Adhivas and Amantran.

Ghantiwale baba


So, you wan't a story ?

Okay, so one and only one you will get. Then you go to sleep. Fine ?
In olden days,when the djinns and darvishes roamed freely in the world, there lived a farmer named Salim. Salim was a hard working man, who used to toil on his fields, did not gamble, did not even go to the village tari shop, saving all his money to bring true his only passion. He wanted his son - Ibrahim - to get employed with the Nawabs.

Ibrahim, the preteen handsome son of Salim, knew of this over whelming dream of his Abbujaan and prepared well to fulfill his dream.
           Looking at the growing young boy, Salim fondly recollected the times, when as a restless toddler, Ibrahim would run out of the house so often that Salim had to tie a cow bell on his torso. Ibrahim used to be traced by the sound of this bell, earning him the title "Ghantiwale baba". 

AIIMS BHOPAL



As per the official website

"AIIMS Bhopal is one of the SIX AIIMS like apex healthcare institutes being established by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna(PMSSY). With the aim of correcting regional imbalances in quality tertiary level healthcare in the country, and attaining self sufficiency in graduate and postgraduate medical education and training the PMSSY planned to set up 6 new AIIMS like institutions in under served areas of the country.

These institutions are being established by an Act of Parliament on the lines of the original All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi which imparts both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in all its branches and related fields, along with nursing and paramedical training. to bring together in one place educational facilities of the highest order for the training of personnel in all branches of health care activity."

Bringing true the worst fears of the above "sarkari" declaration, AIIMS Bhopal is the proverbial government "work in progress" since Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government announced on 15th August 2003 establishment of new hospitals on the lines of New Delhi's AIIMS. The foundation stone was laid on 20th January 2004. Soon after UPA-I government was formed, which luckily decided to go ahead with these institutes.

Dr Harshvardan - the Central Health Minister - visited AIIMS Bhopal on 16th June 2014. The work seems to have picked up after this visit.

Only 300 patients are being allowed in Outdoor Patient (OPD) as on date. For this, tokens are distributed in the morning from 8 AM onwards till 11 AM officially. However the ground reality is ques are seen from as early as 6 AM. Tokens of two series A and B are distributed - one each - on first come first served basis. The tokens reportedly are over by 8.30 AM, by which time the registration counters alos open up. Two queues are formed for series A and B. It takes about 1.15 minutes for one person to register at the counter. For registration name, address, mobile number, medical depatment you want to goto and an amount of Rs 10/- is asked for. Once you have registered, you can go to the respective department, get your pulse, blood pressure recorded at the nursing station outside and wait for your turn with the doctor.

For follow up visits you require the registration number printed on the registration prescription. This registration number is unique to a person and should be saved for future references. You require to pay Rs 10/- and move on to the respective department, without any token problem any longer! Most common investigations are available in the premises, for some you might be asked to get them done form outside.

Departments                                                                                        Telemedicine

Another interesting facility is the Jan Aushadhi facility started for cheap medicines by the government. This operates from  Gurudev Tagore Complex - located on the road leading from RRL to AIIMS after crossing the the AIIMS hospital turn. Open from Morning 8 AM to 8 PM the medicines are unusually cheap, and the owner is pretty helpfull.

How to reach - Turn left from Regional Research Laboratory after crossing the Habibganj under bridge. After crossing Sagar Public School on your right you can see the AIIMs building. Take a right turn and act important to convince the guards that you are authorized to park the vehicle in front the AIIMs building. If unsuccessful, take the turn after divider and park on the other side of the road, walk across the divider. So if you have a patient you are taking along with you, you would like to win this one.

Tokens distributed in the morning are a major bottle neck. Reports abound about budding entrepreneurs selling these tokens. If you fail to manage a token, just wait patiently while the token holders line finishes and politely request the staff - not the guards - for a registration after they are relatively free. They usually oblige. This happens by about 12 noon give or take an hour.

AAP ka Bhopal

After taking the National capital by storm, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to contest the Lok Sabha 2014 across India. The way Arvind Kejriwal - head of AAP and  Chief Minister of Delhi - has gone about his politics has fired the imagination of people. Luminaries like Mr. Chetan Bhagat and Mr. Digvijay Singh has started acknowledging this new phenomenon in Indian politics. In arun up to Lok Sabh aelection 2014, hunt for worthy candidates to contest on AAP tickets for Lok Sabha 2014 has started in Madhya Pradesh too.




Madhya Pradesh State Secretary of Aam Aadmi Party Mr. Akshay Hunka joined Bhopale for a informal chat on Bhopal ka Patiya


Assembly Elections 2013

The voters of Madhya Pradesh are being given a stark choice: pick between a caring Mama (maternal uncle) and a man whom the masses address as Maharaj (king) because of his royal roots. BJP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, 54, is projecting himself as a “farmer’s son” who will “serve” and not “rule”. He is seeking a third term saying kings in their palaces know or care little about the people. Jyotiraditya Scindia, 42, a royal scion educated at Harvard and Stanford, is silently countering the charge by cultivating the image of a mass leader. The Congress chief campaigner moves around in an open jeep, leaning across and stretching his arms out to shake hands with people in the streets. His plea: throw out the corrupt Shivraj government. Each has distinct advantages and weaknesses. The “tried and tested” Shivraj acquired the “Mama” tag after the success of his Ladli Laxmi Yojna, under which the state gives a girl child over Rs 1 lakh in instalments till she turns 21. His problem is that most of his colleagues are seen as corrupt. “Shivraj is in our hearts but his ministers and MLAs are thieves,” said Banwarilal Shak in Gwalior city.
Jyotiraditya’s problem is that a faction-ridden Congress, despite putting up a united face in recent months, has balked at declaring him its candidate for chief minister.

“As chief minister, he will certainly do well, but will the Congress make him the chief minister? It has too many kings in its ranks,” said a doubtful Suraj Singh, sarpanch of Baretha gram panchayat in Gwalior. His allusion was to the known differences between Jyotiraditya and fellow Congress royal Digvijaya Singh. Shivraj knows his ministers are pulling him down; so he is trying to blur his team out of the picture. “If you don’t elect the MLAs, how will I become chief minister?” he pleads with folded hands. But while some of his government’s schemes have been popular, the failure of many others has earned Shivraj the nickname of “Sapno ka saudagar” (seller of dreams). So, Shivraj has been left playing the Mama vs Maharaj card. “All the kings have joined hands (in the Congress). But they live in forts while I am your servant and live among you,” he says.

The Man Who Would Be King

Background recommended reading: French Connection and Bourbons Of Bhopal


Anon—so beginneth the tale of Balthazar Napoleon de Bourbon, with an angel swooping o’er the earth. The angel flew over the green pastures and sunflower fields that were Europe, above the burnt highland that is Asia Minor, and then out across an emerald ocean, the Indian, to the lush shores of its namesake. The angel’s silver wings were those of a jetliner, and he sat inside the machine of his being, reclining in splendor, perchance sipping some fine wine. In the course of flight, the angel’s shadow fell over spired castles and well-appointed châteaus, exquisite alcazars and fortresses made of red clay. In the interior of India, he passed over a resplendent marble mausoleum engraved in jasper known as the Taj Mahal, built during a seventeen-year span by a king named Shah Jahan as a tribute to his third wife, who died in childbirth. (For his troubles, he was dethroned and imprisoned by his son and left in a cell to die, though one that permitted a view of his glorious creation.)

The angel’s destination was a city on the Malwa Plateau called Bhopal. 

Bhopal—built atop volcanic rock, its own ancient palace crumbling upon itself, streets clogged with cows and goats and sari-clouds of color, birds circling at dusk in the pinkish-orange gloaming like the slow movement of a dark scythe. Looming over the lower city was a giant mosque, Taj-ul-Masajid, its pale white domes hovering in the shimmery heat like an extraterrestrial incursion, its minarets reaching to heaven, its tiny rooms full of boys memorizing the Koran, their voices murmuring across the hot stones of the vast inner courtyard. And there was one other notable landmark, a death memorial really, the abandoned chemical plant—that of Union Carbide—on the north edge of town that on a particular December day twenty-two years earlier oozed methyl isocyanate, a toxic plague that ultimately caused 22,000 deaths.

Before Shit Hits The Fan


Some time back, while surveying the low income areas of Madhya Pradesh to start a sanitation project, an woman member of  NGO stopped by one of the houses to drink water. However, she was taken aback to see the women of house looking horrified as she drank an entire glass of water. When she asked the reason for their surprise, she was told that, no matter how thirsty they were, women in that area could never take the risk of drinking a full glass of water at one go during the day. Surprisingly, it was not the quality of the water that compelled women to drink less of it, but their 'imprisonment by daylight'. With no toilets inside the house or in the village, women and girls must go to the nearby fields to relieve themselves. But modesty forbids them to do so during the daytime when they are in full view of men. They have no choice but to limit themselves to a few sips of water all day, so that they can wait until dark before needing to use the fields. Although sometimes a newlywed woman leaves her husband's home and returns only after a toilet is built, largely the women folk of India remained "Imprisoned by Daylight".
India sanitation cell phoneIn the shadow of its new suburbs, torrid growth and 300-million-plus-strong middle class, India is struggling with a sanitation emergency. From the stream in village to the nation’s holiest river, the Ganges, 75 percent of the country’s surface water is contaminated by human and agricultural waste and industrial effluent. Everyone in Indian cities is at risk of consuming human feces, if they’re not already, the Ministry of Urban Development concluded. A report by the WHO and the UNICEF says that India has a shocking number of 58% of all people who defecate in the open. China and Indonesia share the second place with just 5% of their population not having toilets. Pakistan and Ethiopia are third with 4.5% such people.