Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bharatiya Saur Calender System: ( Indian National Calendar )

Navi Mumbai, Dated:  Bharatiya Saur : Chaitra 1, 1937          ( i.e. March 22,  2015):

         Today, 21st March is Gudi Padwa, a very auspicious and  new year day as per Hindu Calender. However, 22nd March , as per Indian National Calendar- Bhartiya Saur- is Chaitra 1, of the year Saka 1937, a New Year Day. So let me wish all of you, a very happy and prosperous  new year i.e. Saka 1937.  
         We  know about the national bird, national animal. etc; but, how  many are aware of the national Calendar of India ? It is effective from 21st march 1957.   We are used to Gregorian Calender so much so, that we find it 'inconvenient', to  use any other calendar instead.  However, I feel proud to use  Indian national calendar, henceforth called 'Bharatiya Saur Calender', for many reasons.
        The Indian National Calender (sometimes called Saka calender), is the official civil calender in use in India.  The Saka calender is also used in Java, and Bali among Indonesian Hindus.  Nyepi, the "day of Silence" is a celebration of the Saka new year in Bali. 
    Firstly it is the most scientific calender ever created. Senior Indian Astrophysicist Meghnad Saha was the head of the Calendar Reform Committee under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. It was Saha’s effort, which led to the formation of the Committee. The task before the Committee was to prepare an accurate calendar based on scientific study, which could be adopted uniformly throughout India. It was a mammoth task. The Committee had to undertake a detailed study of different calendars prevalent in different parts of the country. There were thirty different calendars. The task was further complicated by the fact that with calendar religion and local sentiments were involved. India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in his preface to the Report of the Committee said “They (different calendars) represent past political divisions in the country…now that we have attained Independence, it is obviously desirable that there should be a certain uniformity in the calendar for our civic, social and other purposes and this should be done on a scientific approach to this problem.” 

            We carry an impression that the present Gregorian calendar is flawless and does not need any correction. The reality is far from this.  Look at the names of the months "September", "October",  "November" and "December". By meaning of the names, these should have been 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th month of the year, respectively. Are they ?  In fact, they were so, in the past, till "intrusion" of the months "July" and "August" after  Roman Emperors Julius Ceaser, and Augustus. So, political interference has already flawed the Gregorian calender. However, more than the names, the major flaw with Gregorian Calendar,  is that, it is not in sync with the climatic changes. Nothing special happens on 1st january, climatically.  Ideally, a Calender need to be in perfect sync with the change of seasons.  
              Architect Sanjay Mahashabde, has shared very valuable inputs in this regard on his site .  According to him, the Moon has no place in the exclusive solar time measurement system. While in the exclusive Lunar Time Measurement System, the Sun is thrown to winds. The time management system can be divided in two ways; viz. Lunar Time Measurement system for religious purposes, and Solar Time management system for social and practical purposes. The cycle of seasons is totally dependent  on  the Sun and the mainstay of all religions is the moon. The Hindu religious belief is that, the Sun influences the outer life i.e.  body, whereas, the moon influences the  mental activity.   The Indian national calendar is based on solar movements, and therefore is in tune with the change of seasons. 
             Names of the 12 months of the Indian Civil Calendar and Correlation with Gregorian Calendar :

  * Leap years

               The Reserve Bank of India has mandated the use of Bharatiya Saur Calendar by banks and financial organizations to accept legal cheques bearing dates as per Bhartiya Saur Calendar.  Ignorance, unawareness, and lack of availability of such calendars could be some reasons, for non usage of this Calendar. Efforts are needed to create awareness about the usage of this scientific calendar in day to day activities. The difficulties we foresee, to a large extent, are in our mind only.  We should take pride in promoting the Bharatiya Saur Calendar and be instrumental in spreading the knowledge about this Calendar.  Let's see the result !
                     Jai Hind ! 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Journey with Rotary !

Rtn  Nandu Joshi, DG Dr R M Bhatt,  Vashi Club President, Dr Jacob, Ramchandra Bhoyar, and Madhav Mahashabde.
     Year 2015 marks the Silver Jubilee of Rotary Club of New Bombay Hillside, a club formed in CBD  Belapur, Navi Mumbai.   It was on 21st June 1990, the Club started functioning under able leadership of  Charter  President  Dr Alfred Soparla James Jacob.  His team comprised of  Advocate Mulla, as Vice-President, Madhav Mahashabde  as Charter Secretary,  and Dhananjay Hiwase as Charter Treasurer.   When I look back at my journey with Rotary  over last  25 years,  I must say that rotary provided  a very valuable platform  for  development  - professional  and personal.  Rotary has played a major role in shaping my personality.  There are   many good memories, experiences and the joy of fellowship. However, the biggest joy is in  the sense of service to the society.
    When I joined Rotary, I was at the beginning of my profession. So the culture of Rotary in which I was groomed was reflecting in my professional activities as well. The declaration of professional ethical conduct, the four way test also helped cementing foundation of professional development. The rotary was like a catalyst for my profession.   On professional side, as a Convener of Study Circle, and then as a Chairman of Navi Mumbai Branch of WIRC,  my rotary experience definitely gave me an edge.
    GSR (Governors Special Representative) Ramachandra Bhoyar was a very dynamic Rotarian from New Bombay (Vashi) Club,  who was instrumental in formation of this club. I always used to wonder, where he derives his energy from.  He was like a live wire.  In difficult situations also, he would help us in steering the club to right direction.
    DG in first year was Dr  R.M. Bhat.  He was a huge source of knowledge  and inspiration. He wasd an excellent orator. It was always  a feast, to listen to him.
    Dhananjay Hiwase was also a dedicated Rotarian  who was a live example of ‘Service above self’.   He would do anything and everything for rotary, and that too with smiling face.
    Dr. Jacob, being with management institute, was more experienced to handle the club matters. A Japanese team of Rotary International, visited   our site of 'polio plus' activity. They inspected our records of census of children 'under five'.  Please note that NMMC was not in picture then (in 1990). So it was club’s job to carry out survey of 'under five' children and administer polio doses to them.   The RI team was highly impressed   by the way   our records were maintained, and the way we carried  our polio project, in the very first year. The major role played in this, was obviously, of Dhananjay Hiwase, who never boasted for it.  
    The year 1992-93 was my presidential year. I fully enjoyed it.  The District Governor then, Kishore Jobalia, was also  a Chartered Accountant.   He was a very hard task master, and very ruthless about punctuality.   In District conference, he used to sit with buzzer in his hand. If a speaker exceeded his time, DG would hint him to wind up. If a speaker failed to take clue, then DG would start pressing buzzer near other microphone, till the speaker leaves the podium.   Another memory of DG is about his precision.  His GML (Governors Monthly Letter) would always carry a small line in fine print on the last page: “This newsletter does not contain any printing error.  If anyone finds any error, treat it as having  planted there, to satisfy even those persons.”  He was also the first DG to have planned a ‘Inspirational Training workshop’ for all  President Elects. It was 3 day work shop at Matheran - Hill station. We, all President Elects  from the district, were fully energized to take charge.    
      It’s always a team work, in Rotary.  I was lucky to have in my tenure, Dr Dattajirao (DY) as club secretary. We had absolutely wonderful time. We worked on many projects. One project involved donation of a tricycle to differently abled student. I remember a picture of Manoj (a student of Brahmanand Pratishthan) with his tricycle, which was donated   by our club. This picture had featured in ‘The Rotarian’,  the RI magazine in 1992-93.  To have 16 Paul Harris Sustaining Members, was one achievement of that year.  Our club, for the  first time,  got Presidential Citation Award for balanced activities in that year.  One more event; a picnic to Kihim Beach, was a turning point in club fellowship. Attending Rotary Conferences was also very satisfying  experiance.   
      Fellowship is one very important gift of Rotary.  We enjoyed the picnics, fire side meetings.  The beauty of fellowship was, it’s along with Service to society and involving everybody of the family.  I remember, once we were playing  antakshari  while travelling to Harihareshwar.   Rtn. Sitapathy started singing a famous Marathi song ‘dehachi tijori.. bhaktichach theva.’ with all three stanzas in proper tune.  Being surprised, I asked him how come he knows it completely.  He said, such songs are equally famous in Tamil also. He showed me a printed book of songs.  I asked him what is that as, I could not read. He said these are all famous Marathi songs printed in tamil !  Sithapathy, was one more such Rotarian whom the club will never forget.   His contribution was immense. Fellowship really cuts all barriers, and instantly connect everybody.

     Being Chartered Accountant, I am required to share my views  on Union Budget, year after year.  I thoroughly enjoy this, and attempt to deliver to the best of my ability. I consider myself as privileged to do so.   The second job which was consistently assigned to me for many years, was to be a ‘Returning Officer’.  For conduct of club election, I happily carried this task.  I take it, as the trust or faith of all Rotarians in me, due to fellowship. 


   With galaxy of  presidents  and talented  Rotarians including all Doctors ( Dr. Shirish, Dr.Surekha, Dr.Dulera, Dr. Bhushan, et al- forgive me, if I miss anybody) are real assets of the club. The  club has evolved over a period of time and has become more and more dynamic. Each president dedicated his time, skill, and attention and has taken club to greater heights  and has raised the bar still  higher  than before.  I think, this is very healthy sign for our club.   
   I have full satisfaction about my association with Rotary, and wish our club to scale still greater heights in days to come. I wish best luck to Silver Jubilee President Rtn Devidas Buchake.  I am indeed greatful to all Rotarians, and would express my feelings towards them in following lines…
              “ Ehsaan mere dilpe tumhara hai dosto, ye dil tumhare pyrka mara hai dosto..”


Sunday, 8 February 2015

"Forget it !"

     It happens quite often, that we forget something, and then face huge embarrassment.   Spectacles, keys, umbrella, are very common objects being forgotten.  Some forgets cell phones, purses, and other valuables also. The height was, when one of my friend routinely visited another place in his new car, and while coming  back, came by bus. He was so used to travelling by bus than by car, that after reaching home he realized that he forgot his Car !. I know of another person who was excitedly travelling on Motor cycle from Pune to Mumbai, with a friend.  They stopped at one place to take nature’s call.  When he reached  Mumbai he realized that his pillion rider was ‘forgotton’ on the way, about 80 km behind !. You will laugh at it saying, “This is too much”. However, these are real incidences, and you will agree, that everyone comes across such incidences of forgetfulness. For example, forgetting where car is parked in big parking lots,  or  not able to locate the correct lane or address, or something or the other. The consequences are same.  The wrath of family members, the bitter comments and unsolicited   ‘advises’, and   the conclusion that how aging is taking its toll on you !
     Now, you need not worry about such things at all!  
    I came across a very interesting  article  about ‘absent mindedness’ in today’s  Times of India. The startling conclusion of the article was that, there is nothing wrong being absent minded. Far from being negative, it is a desirable state that everyone can or should, aspire to!

   Isn’t it interesting? I was also impressed by the article in ‘O-Zone’ in today’s  Times of India, and would like to share some thoughts from it.
   “Creative people are most notorious for their absent-mindedness. Several anecdotes revolve around Albert Einstein and Sir Issac Newton.  Einstein once called the University he worked at to ask for his own address! Newton would forgetfully keep visitors waiting for hours, and had to be reminded to eat!   
     Children are reprimanded for day dreaming and taught the virtues of staying focussed.  But, wait a minute. Who says that to be absent-minded is to lack in focus? The absence of mind just means the mind is meandering through fascinating labyrinths that are invisible to the open eye. Or, that it is focussed on something else that is not of this world – an elusive element that we seek to chase, understand, grasp and perhaps bring into this world as poetry, writing, a sketch, a unique thought, or a great discovery! It points to a mindlessness that allows us to soak up experiences and knowledge that too much mindfulness of the present reality cannot give us.”
     So now be assured and feel proud to possess those traits of great people !

    The word “naman” in Sanskrit, means ‘to pray or bow down before (God)’.  ‘‘Na-man’’ means ‘no mind’.  The purpose ‘‘naman’’ is to jettison the baggage of thoughts and become ‘mind less’.  That is the state of Samadhi.  When an artist (say, a dancer) is so engrossed that she, and her performance becomes one and the same. When the creator and creation becomes one, the state of meditation or a divine state is achieved. The  above articles  says, “When you become mindless, you unite with the Universal flow, allowing right brain to take over”.

   If this is all becoming too much, just forget it!  Enjoy those moments of forgetfulness, as well.  Instead of pressing panic button, laugh out saying ‘It happens’, and relax.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

My USA Tour of 2014 :

           On May 30th 2014, I set out for USA-visit,  for  next 40 days.  It was a very eventful trip and so there are  many things which I wish  to share with you,  in the series of blogs that will  follow.   This is pictorial description of my USA tour, with particular thrust on the various modes of transport and allied places,  such as  the Airports, the Aircrafts, the Metros,  the train, the stations,  the Bus, the trolly, the trams, the Catamaran,  and of course the  Cars,  which made possible for me,  to travel a huge distance of  more than 45,000 Kms, which is more than the Earth's circumference ! (By the way, the Earth’s  circumference is 40,075 Kms only).        

The CST or Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai, was  my starting point for the USA journey.  The T-2 (the New Terminal) is indeed very impressive and something of which we should be  proud of. Mumbai to Frankfurt (6,600 kms), was the first journey by Boing-747-400 of Luftansa. 

The next journey was from Frankfurt to San Francisco (10,300 kms). The equipment was Airbus A-380. The speed was 1,018 kms per hour at an altitude of about 40,000 ft.

The next major journey was by hired SUV  GRY KIA Sorento 4WD.  The total distance travelled by this car was 1,283 kms. It was from  San Jose to Beverly Hills in  Los Angeles, and back to San Jose.

Within this LA  journey, one Catamaran Journey to   Catalina Islands about 22 nautical miles south of San Pedero Bay .                              

The next big journey was from San Francisco to New York (JFK)  of 6,560 kms by JetBlue Airlines Airbus 320. It took about 5 hours to reach New York.   It's like travelling from Mumbai to Kolkata, but of course , the distance is far more

On 86 th Floor of the Empire State Building.

Next journey was from New York to Washington DC, about 390  kms. by Bus.

The White House

Washington to Niagara was another big road journey 397 miles (635 km).


From Niagara we took a small aircraft, 37 seater Flight Dash-8-100, from Buffalo Airport back to Philladephia. The distance was 650 km. The Aircraft was like a small bus.

Inside the Dash-8 Aircraft

From Philadelphia, there was another small Aircraft, Bombardier for going to Reagan Airport, in Washington DC.   It was just 35 minutes flight (204 km).

At Washington I  traveled  by Metro train (Yellow line)

A Take Off at Reagan Airport,

Washington to Trenton (New Jersey) about 288 km, was by train called Amtrak.

Inside the Amtrak Train

                                                                          Amtrak Journey

                                          This is Trention Station View

Next journey was from Newark to Houston, a distance of 2,542 kms, by Southwest Airlines Boing 737.

A River walk at San Antonio

A short trip from Dallas to Austin, and San Antonio of 1,276 kms in two day, next attraction.

At Henry Cowell Redwoods  Park

                              This is a Giant Redwood Tree !                                                                 video

At Santa Cruz, CA

 Trip to  Napa vally, visit to Stirling Wineries, was  347 km drive.

A Cable Trolley to reach Stirling Wineries, at Napa.


                                                        Dallas to  San Francisco, 2,750 km was by American Airlines.

Last big journey was San Francisco to Chicago (3,430 km),  Then Chicago to Frankfurt (6,920 km) and lastly from Frankfurt to Mumbai  (6,600 km.) .