Leap Day Post

Today is 29th Feb, 2012, a leap day. I wanted to publish a post on this day as i will get this opportunity four years later.

Since this is a special day i would share some interesting facts about a leap year.

  • Earth takes 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds ( 365 days and 6 hours approx) – to circle once around the Sun. Since it is difficult to adjust these 6 hours every year,  an extra day was added every four years.
  • If this extra day is not added then our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days after only 100 years!
  • Since February is the shortest month, this extra day is added in February.
  • The year this extra day is added is known as a leap year and the extra day is known as leap day. All other years are called common years.
  • A leap year is divisible by 4 or divisible by both 100 and 400.
  • This Boolean expression i found on Wikipedia
    is_leap_year = ( year modulo 4 is 0 ) and ( ( year modulo 100 is not 0 ) or ( year modulo 400 is 0 ) )
  • The chance of being born on a leap day is often said to be one in 1,461. Four years is 1,460 days and adding one for the leap year you have 1,461. So, odds of 1/1,461. Babies born on 29 February are known as “leapers” or “leaplings”.
  • The leap is one of those days when a woman could propose and the man could not reject her. 😀 Funny right ! He would have to pay huge fine if he refused.
  • In Greece it is considered unlucky to marry on Leap Day, and even during a leap year.
  • In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on Leap Day.

Sources – Various

Book Review – I Dare

I Dare by Kiran Bedi

Recently i read I Dare by Kiran Bedi, and i can say that it is one of the most inspiring books (a biography) i have ever read. It is the complete story of the life of the first and highest ranked woman IPS (Indian Police Service) Officer of India. Kiran Bedi is the role model of numerous people. And through this book we can understand how she was able to win the hearts of millions of citizens of the nation.

The book begins with the family history of Kiran Bedi. Her parents were much ahead of the times. They sent all their four daughters to the best schools and encouraged them to participate in sports like tennis for their all round development despite the resistance from the elders in their family. Kiran Bedi won many awards in tennis. An important lesson which can be learnt from her is time management. She used to have a fixed schedule and never ever wasted a single moment. All her focus was on her studies and tennis practice.

She was the first woman IPS of India and was allocated the Delhi cadre. She lead the Delhi Police Contingent on Republic Day, 1975 and the then PM Smt. Indira Gandhi was impressed and called her for a breakfast meeting. She was impartial and never favoured anyone, whatever their rank or position. She towed the car of the PM which was parked in the no parking zone.

She worked in Delhi, Goa, Mizoram and Chandigarh. Everywhere she implemented her unique style of work. Always her main focus and the top most priority was the welfare of the citizens. She devised new ideas and methods to carry out the work effectively and efficiently. Thus she won numerous national and international awards. She always inspired her juniors to fulfill their duties towards the nation by working wholeheartedly.

Her work in the Tihar Jail won her the prestigious Magsaysay Award. The jail which was earlier a terrible, frightening place was converted into an Ashram. The prisoners were treated with a human touch. Classes were held by the NGOs where they could new languages, soft skills etc. Festivals of all the religions were celebrated with same fervor. Smoking was banned and thus the health of the prisoners improved. All this happened in a short duration and was possible due to the efforts put in by Kiran Bedi.

She was appointed as the ‘Cop of the World’ at the United Nations. She travelled a lot and grained a global perspective. When she came back she was expected to be appointed as the Police Commissioner. But the people inside always hated her and were jealous of her. So despite she being the highest and the most deserving candidate for the position, she was not selected for that post. As a result she resigned and took voluntary retirement.

But it did not stop her work but rather increased it. Now she works by herself without any pressure from anyone. She has started two foundations Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation which are doing some great work for the society. Currently she is an active member of the team Anna which is trying to get the Lokpal Bill passed in India.

Plan B

Life is a challenge and every moment has something new and surprising to offer. A person is able to successfully sail through this journey if and only if it has been planned beforehand. It’s true that our life’s journey cannot go on exactly as we plan. Sometimes it may be a little different and sometimes completely different from what we had planned ! But this does not mean that we should stop planning. A good plan helps us in facing tricky situations and handling them tactfully. And sometimes we may need to react spontaneously if the situation is not as per our plans. And that’s what we call LIFE ! Life shows its colors and gives us varied experiences from which we gain wisdom.

So my point is regarding the plan B of life. Plan B is the second (sometimes third :)) option which we keep in hand for ourselves for some difficult or tricky situations. Thus due to some reason if plan A fails then plan B is there. Now there are two theories regarding the plan B, one in favor of it and one against it. Let me elaborate both of these in detail.

There are some who are in favor of keeping plan B. They say that one should keep in mind both the positive and negative aspects about anything. So just in case in your plan A fails you will atleast have plan B about which you had already planned earlier. It is also less depressing in case your plan A fails. Life is not always rosy. It has its ups and downs. A person is well prepared only if he has foreseen both the sides of the coin i.e. he is prepared for both flowers and thorns. It is not negative attitude but reality. Thus it cannot be denied.

On the other hand some people are strongly against having a plan B. They say that by keeping a plan B you are giving yourself an option. So you are not going to give your 100% percent in achieving your plan A. In some corner of your mind there is someone who says “No issues if you fail, you always have a plan B”. And thus the probability of plan A’s success decreases. Also they say be positive ! Look at the bright side of things. But in this case just by chance if plan A fails (if it has to it will) then the person can get depressed. This is because he had thought only of success and is thus not prepared to face the new and unplanned circumstances. Hence now he needs to take the decision in a hurry without planning which can be disastrous.

I have thought a lot about both these viewpoints. And i feel both are correct till a certain level. Sometimes i have a plan B and sometime i don’t. It all depends on the situation. But i would suggest that whatever you do, do your best. Because it’s the worst feeling when you feel that you did not try hard enough. Give your best and then choose from the best option you have. But never ever settle for less than you deserve. As Maureen Dowd has said, “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”

What do you think. Is plan B important ? Should we have a plan B or not ? Please do share your views and opinions regarding this …

Do you talk to strangers ?

I often get a chance to travel by myself. Sometimes I get to sit all alone with nobody on my side whereas sometimes I have to sit with strangers. And believe me one gets to see a variety of people while on the go. The person sitting across you may be elderly or young, rich or poor, simple or stylish, sleepy or awake :-D.

It’s so fun to observe these people. But I like to observe them from a distance; usually I don’t start a conversation or interaction with them. I like the “my time” which I get while traveling.

Every time we have a new experience and something new to learn. Sometimes there are talkative aunties who are ready to tell you everything, yes literally everything 😉 about themselves and their families to you and they may share even the deepest secrets with you if you show a little bit of interest. They just go on and on. They don’t care whether you are interested or not.
And if you are lucky enough you may get an opportunity to travel with intellectuals who may share their wisdom with you if provoked.
It’s also fun to see gizmo friendly people who are busy with their mobiles, iPods and laptops. It’s almost as if the whole world is invisible for them.
It gets very irritating when the sleepy guys start snoring loudly and disturb everyone. Some even rest their head on the shoulder of a stranger :-).
Bookworms find their heaven while traveling. They usually read a book from beginning to end without any interruption (if the journey is long enough). For them time just flies.
And then there are the nature’s beauty observers who just keep looking out of the window all the while. I have even seen some, who look out in the dark all night.
Which type of person you are? If you ask me, I get bored very easily so I do all the stuff for some time!

Travelling is a lot fun. Next time you are on the go observe the people around you. I am sure you will enjoy a lot and if you a lucky enough then you may spot someone who is strange or funny. Can you easily interact with people who are strangers? Or you also observe them like me. Either way you can enjoy yourself and be amazed by the variety of people created by the Creator.

Have fun!!! 😀