Archive for the ‘Things to Know’ category

‘Vande Mataram’: a brief on India’s national song

August 14th, 2012

‘Vande Mataram’: a brief on India’s national song

Ahead of the Independence Day, Ahead of the Independence Day, Lets us know something about Vande Mataram and the history of the song..

The  novel written by Bengali litterateur Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and published in 1882. Written in Bengali and Sanskrit, the first two verses of this poem were accorded the status of India’s national song (distinct from national anthem) in 1950. The tune is set to Desh raga.

The novel was set in the backdrop of the Sannyasi Rebellion of late 18th century. The poem is a hymn to Goddess Durga, symbolising India. It played a vital role in the Indian Independence movement, first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.

Subsequently, it became the war chant for freedom fighters in various corners of the country. In 1905, when Bengal, the hotbed of nationalism, was sought to be partitioned by Lord Curzon, singing of the song and raising similar slogans were completely banned in Calcutta. The song continued to inspire militant nationalists in Bengal, Maharashtra and Punjab. It was repeatedly sung in various programmes of the Indian National Congress.

Aurobindo Ghosh translated the poem into English. The first two verses of the same is considered by many including the Government of India as the official translation of the first two verses.

It reads:

I show gratitude to thee, Mother,

richly-watered, richly-fruited,

cool with the winds of the south,

dark with the crops of the harvests,

The Mother!

Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,

her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,

sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,

The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.

The song has had its fair share of controversies with sections of Muslims and Sikhs opposing it on the ground that it talks about worshipping one’s mother which is prohibited by the respective religions. However, the All India Sunni Ulema Board on Sept 6, 2006, issued a fatwa that Muslims can sing the first two verses of the song. The Board president Moulana Mufti Syed Shah Badruddin Qadri Aljeelani said that “If you bow at the feet of your mother with respect, it is not shirk but only respect.”

In 2002, BBC World Service conducted an international poll to choose ten most famous songs of all time. Around 7000 songs were selected from all over the world. Vande Mataram, from the movie “Anand Math”, was ranked second.

Lets proud to be Indian… HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

Tips for driving in the rain

August 8th, 2012

Tips for driving in the rain

The smell of fresh earth, the trickling rain drops, the water boats and the rain dance; finally the monsoons have hit the entire country and have given us a much awaited relief from the rising mercury. But on the flip side, your car may have to pass through of lot dust, grime and corrosion while you struggle to find your way through flooded sewage, water puddles and traffic jams.

Check for mud flaps as that will help to keep the sides of your car more clean and reduce your maintenance work.

Rains bring water to the parched earth turning nature green and wonderful, banishing the heat of summer and filling our rivers with water to last the year. While at the same time our roads turn to a mucky, slippery, smelly death trap.
Both consequences are inevitable and while experiencing the boon is exquisite, living with the bane is possible with preparation and practice. Whether it’s two or four wheels that ferry you about, we have a list of tips to get you through the wet without too much hassle.
The best way to go about it is to see how the monsoon affects your driving that makes difficult and uncomfortable, what is, a daily task for most of us. The three things that get primarily affected are your vision, the vehicle’s grip and your ability to control the vehicle. While your ability to control the vehicle and the grip available is interrelated there are other factors that go into controlling your vehicle.

Vision is the most crucial and easiest to tackle and requires no modification to the vehicle. Always ensure that your windscreen is clean and dry on the inside and once this is done you don’t touch it till you are cleaning it again at the start of your next drive.

If it does start to fog use the defogger and aircon to clear this up. Avoid wiping this from the inside while on the move as in addition to being distracting and dangerous I also find that the misting happens more frequently and unevenly after this is done.

Most modern cars with climate control will turn on the AC when the defogger is selected. This also means that you need to ensure that your blower and aircon are working properly. Also keep your windshield washer reservoir full. You can add some liquid soap or a branded additive to improve the cleaning.

Also understand that if your vision is compromised so is that of the other people on the road. Driving with day time running lights is the best way to ensure that others can see you during the day and at night try not to use the high beam in heavy rain as the light tends to reflect off the rain and obscure your vision further. Only use hazard lights when in trouble. This takes care of your vision and also ensures that you are visible to those around you.

Now let’s move on to your grip. The reason your car moves forward, stays in a straight line, turns when you want it to and stops is because the tyres grip the road. Wet roads reduce this friction to a considerable extent and hence your ability to accelerate, turn and stop changes.

To ensure that this degradation of performance is at its minimum check that your tyres have sufficient tread depth and are inflated to the correct manufacture specified pressure. Also have your braking system thoroughly checked.

Staying in control of your car would mean that you would need to make a change in the way you drive. You will need more space to come to a stop and turns need to be taken at slower speeds to successfully navigate through them.

Getting on the gas smoothly and braking with gentle progressive pressure will ensure that you accelerate safely and come to a stop pointed in the right direction. Try using your brakes on deserted or open stretches of road to see how much grip you have.

This ‘practice braking’ will help you gauge the amount of grip you have. Most of the time you do have more grip than you think you do, except when the first rains fall. In the first showers the rain mixes with the mud, oil and muck on the roads making them really slippery but once this washes away the grip does get better.

Also stay away from standing water as far as possible. Driving through this at speed can cause the car to aquaplane – when water gets trapped between your tyres and the road surface taking away all grip from the tyres.

The only way to recover control is to get off the accelerator and the brake and wait for the car to regain grip. Once you feel the tyres regaining traction then gently apply the brakes. The easiest way to avoid this is to creep through standing water. Yes, sometimes caution is the better part of valour.

If your car is equipped with anti lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP) and traction control make sure that none of the systems are reporting warnings on the dash.

Make sure all your lights (including hazard and turn indicators) are functioning and keep them clean. Also have the body/frame/chassis of your car checked for any chips in the paint/protective coatings as these will corrode faster in the rains. Having these painted, or at the very least touched up, is a must to avoid rust setting in.

While this is can be a tiresome time for commuting it does not always have to be so. If you take the right precautions and prepare in advance, you and your vehicle will safely make it through the season unscathed.

Driveway Car-Washing and Maintenance Tips

July 11th, 2012

Driveway Car-Washing and Maintenance Tips

Cleaning your car’s exterior:

Be well-soaked: Make sure the car is fully rinsed off first and kept wet during the wash. You want to float the dirt off the surface
Use the right soap: Ford recommends soap specifically formulated for cars. “Even a mild dishwashing liquid can strip wax protection and possibly cause waterspotting concerns,” said Gerry Bonanni, senior engineer, Paint and Body Repair
Grab your mitt: Ford recommends a sponge or wool mitt. Keep the sponge or mitt wet and sudsy to help float the dirt away instead of rubbing or scratching the surface
Start at the top: Wash the top, then the sides and save the bottom for last, which is where the most grit typically accumulates
Dry it off: Use a water blade and a soft towel to fully dry the vehicle
Wax on: Ford recommends waxing your car to help keep the surface protected
Wiper blades: Use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
Each Ford vehicle undergoes a five-layer paint process designed to enhance long-term durability. The procedure starts with a pretreatment that protects against corrosion and ends with a clearcoat that aids in reducing chips and scratches.

Cleaning your car’s interior:

Instrument panel: Wipe the instrument panel, interior trim areas and cluster lens with a clean, damp white cotton cloth, then use a clean and dry white cotton cloth to dry those areas. Household or glass cleaners are not recommended
Vacuum: For fabric, carpets, cloth seats and safety belts, use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and loose dirt
Use the right cleaners: Ford recommends using auto-specific carpet and upholstery cleaner for light stains. If grease or tar is present, Ford recommends spot-cleaning the area first with an auto-specific spot-and-stain remover
For leather seats: For routine cleaning, wipe the surface with a soft, damp cloth. For more thorough cleaning, wipe the surface with a mild soap-and-water solution. Dry the area with a soft cloth. Leather cleaning products designed for automotive interiors also are available
Summer-specific issues
Ford recommends never washing a vehicle that is hot to the touch or during exposure to strong, direct sunlight. In addition to warm weather, summer also presents other challenges when it comes to keeping your car looking nice. When you’re hit with the following, try to clean off quickly and follow these tips:

Bird droppings, bugs, suntan lotion, insect repellent: Wash off with car wash soap and water as soon as possible
Tree sap and tar: Use a good quality bug and tar remover and wax afterward
Bothered by bugs? Going on a long trip and don’t want to face a windshield and/or bumper full of dead insects by the time you arrive? Wipe down your windshield with a tumble dryer sheet; bugs won’t stick to the glass as easily. Also, give your bumpers the once-over with cooking spray
Don’t scratch it; smear it: Can’t get that sticker from the amusement park or beach parking lot off your window? Saturate it with cooking oil before you start scrubbing
Here are a couple of tips aimed at those who display their vehicles at car shows.


To clean aluminum wheels and wheel covers:

Use wheel and tire cleaner. Heavy dirt and brake dust accumulation may require a little elbow grease with a sponge. Rinse thoroughly with a strong stream of water
Never apply any cleaning chemical to hot or warm wheel rims or covers

To clean the engine:

Take care when using a power washer. The high-pressure fluid could penetrate sealed parts and cause damage
Do not spray a hot engine with cold water. You could crack the engine block or other engine components
Use specially formulated engine shampoo and degreaser
The battery and filters need to be covered when cleaning. Refer to your owner’s manual
Never wash or rinse the engine while it is hot or running; water in the running engine may cause internal damage
Never wash or rinse any ignition coil, spark plug wire or spark plug well, or the area in and around these locations
Be sure to refer to your vehicle owner guide for more cleaning and care information.


source : ford media

Ertiga vs Innova – which is the best for a Family

June 12th, 2012

Ertiga is based on a stretched Swift platform, which means you sit much lower than in the Innova. This makes getting in and out much easier. The front seats from the Swift are big and accommodating andfeel more comfortable than the Innova’s too.

Thanks to the longer wheelbase, the Innova has a much better middle row in terms of space. The wide rear seat can sit three passengers with ease and seats are comfortable too. There is loads of legroom and if we were to nitpick, it would be about the seat squab, which is a tad short. However, the optional ‘Captain’ seats are supremely plush and offer a level of comfort the Ertiga can’t match. The Innova also has a second, dedicated air-con compressor for the rear passengers while the Ertiga makes do with a single one for the whole cabin. Still, the Ertiga’s middle row has good legroom and the soft seats are quite comfy, but the narrower cabin means three-abreast seating is more of a squeeze.

The Innova has the bigger cabin, but the flexible seating and clever packaging of the Ertiga’s cabin mean its third row is more usable than the Innova’s. The Ertiga’s sliding middle row helps generate more room at the back, and unless you’re travelling with a quartet of six-footers, the last row, for most practical purposes, is actually the comfier of the two. The Innova’s middle seat doesn’t slide as much but with all three rows up, it has more boot space. The Ertiga shares its dashboard with the Swift, so quality is quite good and the design is more appealing than the Innova’s dash. Still, quality is not as consistent as in the Innova.

LIVE! TRANSIT 2012 Venus

June 6th, 2012

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