Please don’t get into debates on ‘why call every high speed train a ‘bullet train’’. We love to call (proverbially) every wrestler (or bodybuilder) Dara Singh or Gama Pahalvan – every racer (or someone who walks too fast) Milkha Singh. For a long time, each vegetable ghee brand used to be ‘Dalda’ for us and every noodle ‘Maggi’, every soya nugget brand Nutrela and every fairness cream ‘Fair & Lovely’.

Likewise, every high speed train came to be called a ‘bullet train’ – the English nickname of the high speed Japanese trains Shinkansen – the world pioneers in the category. And it is said so the world over – even if we have seen other high speed rail services in different countries – like French TGV or German ICE or American Amtrak and so on.

I believe calling many names by some ‘name’ is in our genes and is not country specific – a simple principle of brand visibility – that every brand aspires to master.

So, how will a Delhi-Varanasi bullet train change my life?

I am born and brought up in Varanasi and I love my city. I am in Delhi for the last ten years but Varanasi is my priority to settle down.

So what if it is among the most polluted and dirtiest cities in India! So what if you find its roads stuffed with filth in many areas! So what if civic amenities are virtually non-existent!

If we have no reasons to believe in Narendra Modi’s words, we don’t have reasons to doubt his intentions either.

So what if the work to make Varanasi Kyoto, the Japanese temple town and a global standard in maintaining heritage with modernity, is yet to begin!

So what if Varanasi is still the same Varanasi that it was when it had elected Narendra Modi as its parliamentary representative in 2014!

At least his words have flown with all their might and I believe the day will come soon that will bring ‘Achhe Din (good days)’ for Varanasi – and all its residents like me!

Now with a feather in the cap – with this proposed bullet train corridor from Delhi to Kolkata that will take a part of it – the Delhi-Varanasi corridor on priority!

Like ‘bullet’ is used with anything that moves at a very high speed, I believe the Delhi-Varanasi bullet train will graduate me to a fast paced life. It will do so by removing the most pressing problem on my mind – of finding and maintaining a rented accommodation in the megacity Delhi that is getting expensive every passing year – burning a deep hole in your pocket. Add to that the annual 10% raise the house-owners put in the rent-deed. And above all, even complying with all the demands (and whims) of the landlord, you are never sure that your house-lease will be extended next year. When this is the situation of a borrowed life in a rented accommodation, one can easily imagine how expensive it is to buy a house in Delhi.

The Delhi-Varanasi bullet train will solve this life-threatening problem in one go. It will help me to go back to my home town without affecting my livelihood options in Delhi. I will again stay in a big-enough house that is my own – while commuting to Delhi daily. I have a good sized house back in my home town that is many times of my rented, squeezed in apartment in Delhi. And I will be making some very smart and much needed savings. After all, maintaining a good lifestyle in Delhi, and that too in a rented accommodation, leaves you high and dry many times.

The proposed travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes from Varanasi to Delhi is something that you can easily make your routine every morning and evening. The nightmarish traffic of Delhi and NCR takes around similar time and when the distance is long, like from East Delhi to Gurgaon or Noida to Gurgaon or Ghaziabad to Faridabad, it can easily take around 2 to 3 hours for a one side trip.

So 2 hours and 40 minutes sounds quite good. In fact it can be a good time to have some ‘hours’ of power nap. Being a bullet train, obviously, it will be expensive enough for most people to afford. The Chinese high speed rail experience, with the longest high speed network in the world now, says that most high speed trains run with empty coaches there due to the high fare structure.

I can afford it when I see this in the context of the high cost of living and maintaining a lifestyle in Delhi. I believe a share of that can easily suffice my monthly travel expense by the proposed Delhi-Varanasi bullet train. I firmly believe that the opportunity cost will be favorably tilted in my favour. Then there is always this ‘very real’ probability that this travel time will come down further. The high speed trains have achieved a speed of over 400 km/hour in test runs and Delhi-Varanasi rail corridor is just within 800 kms.

Once I internalize the proposed travel time initially – I need so because my current daily commuting time to my office is around 1 hour and 30 minutes (to and fro) – it is then raining benefits from all the sides.

I will be able to stay in my home city where my family and other relatives are. One doesn’t need to explain how important and mentally healthy it is for you to spend time daily with family – that how important it is to regularly meet your neighbours and relatives. I will get home cooked food daily. I will have weekends full of family and fun time. I am sure the ‘quality of life’ will have ‘very real’ connotations for me then than now.

And above all, I will have company of good vibes – driven by the ‘high and mighty’ promises that Narendra Modi has made for Varanasi. There is always this wait that when Varanasi is going to be next Kyoto for the world – that when will it get dirt and filth free – that when will it become the spiritual capital of the world (and not just India) – and accordingly would get aptly suited civic amenities and infrastructure including a swanky new airport and the proposed Varanasi metro train line that passes through my house – and so on.

Someone has said ‘hope is probably the best thing to happen to a person’ and I thank Narendra Modi to give me another reason to hope for ‘Varanasi’s Achhe Din’.

I thank Narendra Modi for the good time that I will have while waiting for the ‘hopes of Varanasi’s Achhe Din’ and for a life with positive changes.



Kerala sports minister E P Jayarajan is in news. He is in news because of the views he has put forward so emphatically – again because of the office he holds.

And this is when he is just few days old in the office. So, he is on the job right from the day one.

And he a Leftist – from the intellectually most sound political lot!

He is from the Left Democratic Front government of Kerala. LDF is led by CPI(M) which won Kerala state elections last month ousting the Congress party and its chief minister Oommen Chandy from the office. It was a desperate win for the party that is otherwise becoming irrelevant in the Indian politics.

E P Jayarajan is in news because of the allegations made by Olympian athlete Anju Bobby George. Anju said Mr. Jayarajan misbehaved with her and made harsh and derogatory statements against her.

Anju was made the President of the Kerala Sports Council by the previous Congress led United Democratic Front government and she had gone to meet the sports minister in that capacity.

Though Mr. Jayarajan has denied the allegations, we are going to believe Anju Bobby George given the precedent set by Mr. Jayarajan – a much discussed feat!

Mr. Jayarajan has been in news because of the precedent he has set.

He began with undoing of what, so far, had the last preserve the Left-wing politicians in India (or for that matter elsewhere) – that the Communists (or the Left Front) politicians are intellectual – that they all are well read!

How well read Mr. Jayarajan was – was out in the open before everyone when an international news broke – thousands of miles away – across the Pacific – in America – that the boxing legend Muhammad Ali was no more.

Now Muhammad Ali was one of the rare breed of sports persons who not only became synonymous with their game, but also became crusader of human issue – like fighting for Black Americans.

Mr. Muhammad Ali was as familiar for boxing in India as Dara Singh was for wrestling. In fact, many Indians would not know the names of even its top ranked boxers of the day, but they would certainly know the name ‘Muhammad Ali’ – even if they would know the details of his personal and professional life.

Mr. Jayarajan was in news because he said Mr. Muhammad Ali was born in Kerala and he had brought home name and fame winning a Gold Medal. According to the off-the-record versions, he did not stop at it. He, in fact, went ahead with his glowing wisdom, and was to announce some financial compensation for Ali’s family – whose fortune is estimated to be some 90 million $.

Here is the conversation between him and a news channel anchor (courtesy – Firstpost):

News anchor: The state’s sports minister, E P Jayarajan is now with us on the telephone line. Mr Jayarajan, Muhammad Ali, the legend, has left us. How would you share your memory about that legend?

E P Jayarajan: I just came to know that Muhammad Ali died at America. Ali was an eminent personality in Kerala’s sports world. Ali elevated the name of Kerala internationally by winning a gold medal for us. I hereby share the sadness Kerala’s sports world in Ali’s demise.

Here is the video:

See it to enjoy the new age Leftist wisdom in India – that is tasting some new waters after facing the crisis of a lifetime – of being relevant in Indian politics – after being pushed to the distant third spot in the West Bengal assembly.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


I came across a social media post today. Later, someone forwarded it on my WhatsApp ID.

It was a perfect example of how labyrinthine Indian bureaucracy is – that how tortuous its ways are – that how obsolete its functioning is – still!

It was a newspaper cutting of an advertisement by the General Administration Department of the Himachal Pradesh government – issued on May 31.

It is a tender advertisement issued in the name of an Additional Secretary level official.

And it is for!! Hold your breath!! Even if you are aware of some silly ways of the Indian bureaucracy!!

It is for turbans to be used by the drivers of the GAD, Himachal Pradesh.

Okay, if transparency has to the sole point, then why not follow the due process – even if it is for turbans or for a bicycle!

But what if it is for two turbans – and one of the stated terms of the tender notice says it cannot be more than Rs. 50 a meter.

So, for the sum total financials related with this ‘turban’ requirement cannot go beyond Rs. 350.

That is the sum total wisdom of our bureaucracy that propels the minds of the most brilliant lot of our nation – after all, recruitment to the Indian civil services is probably the most gruelling selection procedure in the country.

And examples like this ‘turban tender’ show transparency can never be more transparent than this!


This is the screenshot of the page with the directing link on Himachal Pradesh’s website.


And this is where you are directed.


And you can find the PDF of the tender document here.

I would not say ‘see it to believe it’ – because such pathbreaking acts are a norm with the archaic mode the Indian administration functions – including its bureaucracy – be it the archaic laws – or the all pervasive VIP culture. You can add more to it.

‘See it to feel the way you want to feel about it.’

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


I had the fine luck of watching ‘London Has Fallen’ last night – and after watching the movie (it doesn’t matter if it was in random shots), I could not stop myself from writing about it.

Okay, I decided I would not go too deep as it will reduce gravity of my words. I decided to keep it direct – but with a bit of haziness. After all, we all exist in greys – with only occasional interactions with extremities.

The obvious first step or the first brush on penning some words about the movie was going for that little birdie on Twitter. And here a shocking revelation was waiting for me. When I tried my tweet with the hashtag #LondonHasFallen, I found that I was the first person using that hashtag.

Now, it was the first natural hashtag that people should have gone with while writing about the movie. Why they haven’t sounds a bit strange. Anyway, I ‘created’ the #LondonHasFallen hashtag (and felt good on creating something) and went ahead with my tweet.

Now, it is the time for my reflections on the movie:

Well, first of all, the movie is of epic proportions – the kind of destruction, and that too of London, and that too not by supernatural heroes, but by terrorists, is unprecedented.

No other producer or director can think to show London fallen to this extent. No actor can expect that the creative freedom to show destruction can be taken to this extent.

No producer, director or actor can be so unbelievably bold in killing most of important world leaders in one go – an act that #LondonHasFallen does so efficiently.

And where the mastery lies – in the manner all world leaders have shown to be executed – quickly, swiftly (and unbelievably).

The conspiracy has been shown so adept and meticulous that you can see a French President is shown taking waterways to reach London (without the routine entourage and security) or an Italian power couple giggles and ogles from a building and so on.

The meticulousness goes to the next level as the film shows the main protagonist and the side protagonist (here the US President) on the run and terrorists find men and eyes in every part of London virtually hijacking the city – where all layers of defence – aerial or ground forces or from Thames are shown completely fallen – with no trace of their activity.

And when so much of filmmaking talent is oozing here, brimming over, in fact, is spilling over, who cares about CGI or special effects or acting. The epic level of disaster on display takes care of everything. The movie leaves no time to think about storyline, character development or points of logics/ill-logics/bad logics/silly logics/funny logics.

Certainly, the movie that has earned thrice of its budget will remain a ‘lone’ achiever for the years to come. After all, it is rare to see so much of talent – in acting, directing and cinema-making – coming together on a single platform.

Thanks folks for giving us this filmmaking gem – a class act – like a ‘lone wolf’ – a study in point – that will be read again and again.

The film should rightly be spelt as ‘Lon’e’don’ Has Fallen in its respect.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Love then
Was in the air
Or flowing in your veins
Well, whatever
It didn’t become jugular
Though it always thought
That it was the one
Love then
Was inside you
Or over you
It didn’t speak much
What mattered
Was the word
And its romanticism
Whether it was artistic
Or pushed you into literature
You really didn’t know
All you were concerned
Was about primacy
Of your feelings
And of your individuality
Love then
Was you personified
Giving you solitude
And days of soliloquies
Where you loved to speak
To yourself
With all the smiles
And the momentary pauses
That would creep in
Making you blue
Or making you blush
Love then
Was the last word
Of your longish nights
And the first thought
Of your rushed daybreaks
And of all your teeny vibes
Yes, it was there
Certainly in the air
Even if
It didn’t become jugular

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Obviously in the Indian context!

Is there any limit to the shit being run on GEC TV channels?

Has story-writing become dead as an art for storywriters/screenwriters/dialogue-writers for television writers?

Either the screenwriters of these ‘wisdom-operas’ are so brave that they can write the same stuff again and again – without getting bored and bottlenecked – for same television serial or for some other.

Or they are so naive they cannot think beyond the routine sob-and-conspiracy stuff that makes families look like coming from Mars.

Or they are such chauvinists (considering they are males) that they do not want to think beyond sobbing or robbing women – a kind of gender discrimination and thus exploitation – portraying women in a closet.

The counterpoint – what about female screenwriters, producers, directors and actors?

Or – do they have the wisdom of common sense?

Or – why they so adamantly stuff the viewers with such boredom operas so much so that they like to think that they are contributing to the lucid flow of wisdom operas on the entertainment television channels in India.

Or – they are simply dumb to come with innovations and experiments in their writings?

Why it is such an obsession (or fad) with the production houses or the television channels to paint the ordinary Indian family in such a derogatory skew – multiple affairs – extramarital affairs – sibling rivalry to extent that a brother kills a brothers, a sister conspires against a sister, relatives try to kill each other?

Whatever that is left is dumped with fillers like grand parties, film songs and lavish events.

An increasing trend these days is the increasing population of superstition-based, supernatural or fantasy television shows that look horribly shabby in the absence of proper story and character development and totally unacceptable regard for aesthetics.

They work so questionably that they convert even the good storylines into worn-out, bizarre spectacles!

They simply tell why television is still called the ‘Idiot Box’ – in spite of being the most powerful communication tool in the mainstream media.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


World Peace begins to percolate: the much hyped, the much controversial, and so the much newsy World Culture Festival began this evening.

As expected, massive traffic jams adorned Delhi’s ‘lifeline’ roads. Areas around the ‪‎World Culture Festival event venue, the Yamuna riverbed, and areas lying on or connected through the main arterial roads that in turn connect south and east Delhi – to Noida – and to other parts of Delhi – so quite a large area – had people stuck in the messy long queues of vehicles and looked scratching their foreheads to find some elusive ‘peace’.

Then it was the day of some ‘rainy’ forecasts in Delhi – and it proved correct this time. So, there were rains – pouring and outpouring people.

Then there some 20,000 odd weddings planned in Delhi today, more than enough to send any traffic management system in disarray if not properly handled.

And above all, it was the rush of the evening after-office hours – people heading back to Delhi and people heading back to their houses in NCR settlements – which is nightmare on any given day.

Welcome to the healthy concoction of the wealthy mess! It is the new age mantra to work for the ‘World Peace’ – festive – cultured – (and it was showered as well today)!

And be ready folks, it is here for two more days!

Hope, by 13th (thankfully that is not a Friday), the world, especially its South Asian corridor, will be a much calmer ‘peace’-theatre!

Meanwhile, it is up to you to make interpretations, suggestions, rants, opinions, thoughts, afterthoughts (and observations as well)!

Ravishankar Eng


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Folks if you don’t have come across a Dalmia Cement bag – if you have not jogged on the roads made by Dalmia cement – or if you have not crossed a flyover built from Dalmia Cement – you don’t stand any chance to fall in love (or succeed in love).

This is the wisdom that starts floating (flowing) after you ‘watch’ the latest television commercial of Dalmia Cement.

Now, I have no authority and competence to comment on the quality of Dalmia Cement. That is simply not my area and concern.

But communication tools are! So when I saw this ’emotive’ advertisement – bridging the gaps – I could not stop myself from writing some lines on its ‘floating wisdom’.

Much in the same way as its copious content is – with a lyrical flow – like a rose drenched in rain – that makes you fall in love then and there – and then you wander here and there – and then a bridge is built – symbolically – physically – and Dalmia Cement is the cement there – in both cases – bridges between hearts or cities!

Watch it! Assimilate its message if you wish to, if you can! Enjoy it!


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –



— How really smart a smartphone is?

— Should your smartphone be smart enough to make you look dumb?

— How long should the life of your smartphone be?

— Should there be a mental barrier on how much you should spend for a smartphone?

— What should be your upper mental barrier on the pricing front when you are looking for a new smartphone?

— Do smartphones with sky-high prices justify with smartness of their tech specs or it is just about that premium brand you are ready to pay for? In that case, you need to think if you are really smart enough?

— On an average, what percentage of a high-end smartphone features are fully used?

— What should be the line you need to draw between you and your smartphone usage habits?

— Should your smartphone be Hulk or Batwoman – the gigantic, ever-enlarging screens – or that four-inch or so curvaceous comfort?

— Should your smartphone be Barack Obama or Xi Jinping – should it add spontaneously to you – or should it make you cautious to add it to your lifestyle?



©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Funny – at its most insane!
Boisterous – at its most verbose!
Pampered – at its most mollycoddled!
Rowdy – at its most gaudy!
Outrageous – at its most audacious!
Cosmetic – at its most superficial!
Melodrama – at its most dramatic!

The hero:

  • Drives auto-rickshaw, or,
  • Is a bicycle riding college student, or,
  • Is a street vendor of vada-pao, or,
  • A goonda living in a slum.

The heroine:

  • Is from heaven.
  • From a family of high and mighty politicians, or,
  • A larger than life businessman, or,
  • A mafia Don flying in chartered plane.

Rarely, the narrative is developed with role-reversals.

Either the hero approaches the heroine or the heroine has the ‘instantaneous’ love-at-first-sight, no time is wasted in coming to the point – its direct and precise – irrespective of the ‘class’ difference – without going into details – like smooth and efficient!

Love happens so readily – only after few sitcom scenes – and the glues is so strong – that you feel that these films are the true representatives of a ‘classless’ society.

Either love is so ripe or directors are so experienced in these movies that they don’t waste any moment in nuances of going ‘in between the lines’ – or they refuse to see the beauty there that others see!

True post-modernists! Iconoclasts in their own league – so much so – that they have started a league of their own, their ‘own Masala’ within the larger ‘Masala Films’ genre! Proponents and followers of Communism should take their worldview (social take) on society seriously!

(P.S. – While randomly picking up a Dhanush’s movie on TV!)

(P.S. – South Indian cinema produces some of the finest movies in India every year. This is just about the so-called mainstream gibberish that is so prevalent even in the Mumbai cinema or the Hindi film industry – though, even there loves doesn’t happen so readily – and is certainly not ‘class-less’!)


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –