Friday, December 31, 2010

Ring out the old, ring in the new

With fizz of champagne
And sparkle of fire works
A New year begins

Light the lamp of hope,
Of freedom, but leave behind
despair of darkness

Here is wishing you all a prosperous new year. On this New Year, let us for a little bit pause ourselves from the mad rush of our busy lives in the rat race for success. Let us revive ourselves and think of the little change we can bring around us for the good. Let us ring out the old, and ring in the new. Let us ring out the darkness and ring in the kindness.

New Year Wishes from Minnesota; Photo from Minnehaha Creek, Minneapolis

Although written about two centuries ago, this particular poem still stands good in the current scenario also. And this is 106th Canto of "In Memoriam A. H. H." written by Lord Tennyson.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Micro Finance Institutions, the Indian scenario


Organizations that offer financial and banking services to low income people are called Micro Finance Institutions (MFI). Low income population, more specifically poor people, who do not have any assets for mortgage formally and/or proper employment cannot get credit benefits from the mainstream financial institutions like banks. These MFIs accesses financial resources (money) from the banks and give the poorer people the benefit of credit. Their prime target is to help microentrepreneurs (from the low level income strata).


Some of the main goals MFIs try to achieve through their services are to understand and identify what helps people to move out of poverty by creating self-employment opportunities. And, they also provide financial resources to the under-previleged and train them in putting the resources to their best use and generate income and employment through it. Micro financing is also profitable because if properly it can generate upto 50 percent returns on investment and it also helps the clients to pay higher interests.


One of the major challenges that our MFIs come across in promoting micro-financing is the client illiteracy and lack of experience managing their finances. This requires people trained in micro-finance to deal with people in training them, and their unavailability affects the growth of the organization. And other challenge is in distributing the funds that government releases in support.

The Indian Scenario

Major Indian population resides in villages, and there has been a consistent effort by various governments after independence to develop rural India. The governments have tried to reduce poverty by providing grants, subsidies and credit through the main-stream banks. But these schemes proved to non-profitable for the banks and often led to their misuse. And it was also ineffectiveness on the governments' side in helping out the targeting beneficiaries. This scenario gave a platform for local money lenders to dominate the poor by lending money at exorbitant interest rates, which often leads to selling of assets and suicides due to inability to pay the debts. This has also led to the urban migration in search of a better living. With this, India adopted the micro-credit concept.

Just like anything else, the MFIs could not even protect themselves from the face of corruption in India. These non-profit organizations with a 25,000 Crore INR industry gradually turned out to operate for profits. And these "for profit" MFIs have grown spectacularly in the recent times by charging greater interest rates. Which made, MFIs a paradox in India. A recent study revealed about the coercive practices used by some MFI agents to recover the loans. There were incidents which have led to lots of suicides in the recent past, and which were allegedly coerced by the agents so that the loan money gets repayed through their insurance. And, government has recently taken steps to monitor these MFIs after they have faced the allegations at various levels.

But do these people, who face hardships through out their life for making a living, need to face exploitation at this level also?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mobile Version for Blogspot blogs

Sweet is the word to describe the mobile version of blogspot blogs. "Blogger in draft" rolled out mobile version for the users of Blogger. All you have to do is enable the appropriate settings, and the screen shot below explains it all. For more details, please have a peek into Blogger in Draft's blog.

To enable the mobile version of your blogspot blog

This is how the mobile version of my blog looks like. Life made easy! And, simple and elegant will be the words too.

Psyche's Visage - mobile version

One draw back I noticed so far is that all the scripts are disabled. So, if you are using an external script to keep track of your statistics, then the visitors from mobile phones don't make it to the total count. The "Stats" tab in your "Blogger in Draft" does its works perfectly fine though.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Is Google Now Into Medicine?

Google which rules our life with access to our data through various services it provide is now into the field of Medicine. Are they planning to make it big with their internet services in the field of medicine? We don't have any answers now, but only time will tell. This application matches with my area of interest as it deals with how the power of graphics can be leveraged to improve the field of medicine. And I am one of the happiest person to see this tool live and working. But I don't think my boss will be a happy man since we were working on the exact same idea for many days.

As an initial step, Google today launched an application called Google Body Browser. Body Browser is a browser based tool for human anatomy which lets you navigate through various anatomical structures of human body. Developed using WebGL, a technology based on OpenGL for browsers, you can now have a detailed look of your body's functionality in 3D right down to the muscles, bone structures, nervous system, and even vital organs. The application starts with a fully clothed human model, and as you select various modes the details increase with transparent rendering of outer layers. There is also the labeling feature which is very important for these educational applications to tell you exact scientific names of the anatomical geometries. And how can you not have a search feature in a Google product? There is this ever friendly search bar that lets you look for anatomy you know.

Google Body Browser

To get it working you will have to enable WebGL on your browser.
For Google Chrome, download the latest stable Beta version and install it. Type "about:flags" in the address bar, search for WebGL in that page, and double-click on the "Enable" and restart your browser.
For Firefox, download version 4 Beta and install it. Type "about:config" in the address bar, search for "WebGl" in that page, and double-click "webgl.enabled_for_all_sites" to set it to true. And restart your browser.
Happy learning!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Beautiful Smile

Sireesh was able to perceive the changes around him in that room but could not control even his eyelids. To assert that he was not in a brain dead state, doctors would occasionally hook his head to MRI and scan while asking questions to watch the response of his brain cells. They would also try to monitor his brain's activity by opening his eyelids and placing an object infront of his eyes and make him track it.

As a kid, being born to a doctor couple, he always thought he would never have to go to hospital as his parents can take care of any health issue he would encounter at home itself. But, fate took a fatal turn for him. In the early days after his hospitalization, Sireesh used to have frequent visitors. His friends and well wishers. They used to talk endlessly with occasional breaks waiting for a response from him. But it was like a bad cellphone conversation where you would hear the person on the other side and realize they could not hear you. As days passed by, there were no visitors except his mother.

"Ma! The most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Strong, graceful and selfless as ever. The smile on her face when I asked her about their love story! The pride in her eyes when I became the topped my class. The tears on her cheeks when dad left the world. The fear in her look when I was hospitalized." If it were not for her, he would just have been a subject of experiment in the hospital and nothing else. Everyday she would read for him in the night even though she didn't have a clue if Sireesh was listening or not. "She never knew that was how I differentiated between day and night. Ma! Do you hear me?"

There was not even a single day he haven't thought of being normal. Of being able to take care of his mother rather than his mother taking care of him. He was bound in invisible shackles, which he could not break free from. Even a prisoner on life sentence would get a cell for himself, but all Sireesh could get was a 6.5x3 ft bed. "Can I just not break free from the darkness that surrounds me?" Sireesh let out a loud roar only he could hear, for all he could do was cry in his heart.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Fall of Faith

Source: Google

Eyes closed and hands tied
Let go yourself from above
Strong hands of faith hold

Posted for Haiku Heights (Theme: Faith)


The good place that has got a bad name.

Badlands National Park in South Dakota provides a picturesque view with the colorful ridges, sharp spires, steep canyons and deep gorges formed out of volcanic ashes. These volcanic ashes are carved ans sculptured into breathtaking forms by erosion caused due to rainfall and winds over the years. The name These lands made the lives of our ancestor dwellers very difficult to cross them during their exploration, and hence the name Badlands. For more information on Badlands, follow the link here.

P.S. Watch for Rattle snakes when you go there.

Posted for Thursday Photo Contest (Theme: "Brown").

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Mystery

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 17; the seventeenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

"You'll end up dead or incarcerated, but you'll be looked up by everyone." The words Pete uttered before his oath resonated inside Bret as he hung up the phone.

With a semi-automatic, Bret headed to Pete's place. It was dark. Unusually. As he entered, Bret heard a click behind him. He knew what it was!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.