Commentary

‘Smart City’ a lot of hype & hot air. Focus on ‘Smart Citizens’

Its not strange at all that some words catch people’s fancy and soon start being bandied about without anyone pausing for a moment to think what the hoopla is all about. ‘Smart Cities’ is one such ‘fad’ word. It’s suddenly TOIbecome the flavour of the season, especially so since the powers that be want to sell another dream so that we the people somehow forget the reality that we confront every single day.

Another aspect of this ‘smart city’ concept is the large consulting firms and technology giants have everything to gain since there’s big money involved and hence write papers on it, sponsor conferences and seminars where dazzling presentations are made to aggressively fuel the hype further and sell the idea to the city fathers.

For me a smart city should first and foremost mean a more liveable city, which offers the basics to every citizen rich or poor, be it good roads, water, consistent power supply, affordable transport, schools, open play grounds, cultural hot-spots, accessibility to differently abled, environmental care etc. I find it most strange that a city that cant handle a heavy downpour without its streets turning into rivers, power black-outs, landline phones being rendered dead and the entire city coming to a virtual standstill being promised the label of a smart city.

Incidentally not one ‘smart city’ in the world is a success story so much so that there isn’t even an agreeable definition of a smart city.

We who cant run a half decent city bus service, a waste management system, a citywide traffic and parking system, an urban planning that inspires any confidence and we are being sold another humongously expensive concept of a smart city! Remember it is we the citizens who will have to ultimately pay for this.

What we really need probably are smart citizens who are participative in the city’s development. Use the technology backbone by all means to ensure greater transparency, monitoring and data-driven decision making, so that if a school teacher of a corporation school doesn’t show up we know, if a religious structure comes up on public land we know, if a mall knowingly flouts the city’s developmental regulations we know, if area shown as parking is usurped by the owner we know and as involved citizens to do something about it.

I may stand out like a sore thumb for going against the tide but I guess that’s smarter than suffering when the ‘smart city’ will seem like a dumb idea with a huge price to pay by future generations too.

The TOI peice TOI

Are you ready to make the change?

How long will this continue?

Aren’t we ashamed of what’s happening around us?

Can we not make a small difference at our own places of work & homes?

It may be a small difference for us, it’ll be a huge leap for (Wo)Mankind.

Let’s not be condescending, we aren’t doing anyone a favour.

We are simply following nature’s law.

It is her world as much as it is ours. No exceptions!

Get out of your rust-zone

cocoonHave you ever seen a cocoon? Now imagine the caterpillar in there. How comfortably well snuggled it sleeps inside. Left to itself it probably would never want to come out. But then, what an opportunity it would miss! To become that multi-hued butterfly flittering away on fragrant flowers which generously offer it their nectar.

Isn’t the same true for us humans too? We too love to be left in our comfort zones. Our homes, routines, friends, offices, clubs and parties. I call them our rust zones. We too would never sprout butterfly emerging from cocooncolourful wings and feast on the best of the opportunities the world has to offer if we aren’t prepared to break through our cocoon – our comfort zone. And eventually rust away.
Anything that is worth achieving is always a stretch away; and that is the only way to grow. Whenever things get too cozy look around, you may be headed down a slope, as that is the only time you don’t need to peddle.
Make a habit of doing something ever so often that challenges you. Whether it’s learning a new skill, creating a new revenue stream or merely making an extra effort to images-2restrain from picking up that dessert bowl. With every extra effort what you actually do is expand your comfort zone. And then, get ready to exceed it again. That’s an achievers life. In fact that IS LIFE!

Make Mine an Xtra Large Xmas

To my small mind, Christmas is less about making it extravagant by splurging, partying and merry-making. And more about bringing a little joy, a little happiness into the lives of those who are less fortunate.
With so much pain in the world wouldn’t that be the right thing to do?
Didn’t Jesus spend his entire life doing exactly that?
Lets follow his example and get into the true spirit of this festival, the true celebration.

Have An Xtra Merry Christmas!

Merry Xmas

Bheed

हर एक इंसान हवा में उड़ता फिरता है…

फिर ना जाने जमीन पर इतनी भीड़ क्यों है…

#Shair #Shayari”

Yaad

जिंदा रहे तो हर दिन तुम्हे याद करेंगे,
भूल गये तो ये
समझ लेना,
खुदा ने हमें याद कर लिया…

#Shair #Shayari