Oct 18, 2016

A New Way to Talk

The other day, I suddenly wanted to learn a new language. Not that my other languages didnt make a skid mark every time I try to form intelligible and engaging sentences out of them.
Tamil, a language I learnt after 4 years in Tamil Nadu to speak to developers and convey ideas faster to them. And to make sure they are not speaking behind my back, in front of me. :P

English, Hindi and Sanskrit, which KV(Kendriya Vidyalaya - the central government school in India) decided to engrave in every child who went through them.

And my Malayalam, which, I came engraved on. Although I never received any formal education for Malayalam, it became my ego issue when mom made fun of me when I was a kid, that I did not know Malayalam. I learnt Malayalam from the Bible, trying to read and understand all words in there. Probably why I realized religions were all (at least the one basing themselves on this particular book I was reading) based on just hope.

Unfortunately, now I am not able to use much of Sankrit (which nobody speaks in, these days, except the AIR news reader) or English (unless it is to the clients on the daily evening calls) or Malayalam ( except to the half baked Malayali I am married to). This has taken me to a situation where I mix up languages in a single sentence! "njan sandwich sapten!" (which is quite a weird way of saying I ate a sandwich, because it is in 3 languages)

Anyway, I realized that probably learning another language would help.
So I searched online for sites that help people like me. And I found 2 useful ones:


Babbel was the first site I went into. Although it is a paid service, it covers vastly the European languages.
As my attention span ranges from 2 minutes to 5 minutes, (for example, I did 15 other things while working on this blog, from morning) I tried other options and stumbled upon Duolingo.
The services are similar. But Duolingo is unique in a way that it makes you compete with yourself, earn points, and give you frequent tests. It is free so far. Also, it shows you what your progress is and what is pending. And mentions your level (Basic, Intermediate etc.) You can see the discussions ongoing, while you are working on the lesson and learn related things that other learners have discussed. This, adds value to what you are already learning.
There are other desirable items that I am still discovering. But so far, so good.

It was curious that in Sanskrit and French, the forms of verbs and roots are similar. But that is food for thought in another blog altogether.

Till then, Au Revoir!

Oct 17, 2016

E-rekha - An awesome initiative by Kerala Govt!

While I was browsing around in Twitter, I came across a tweet that mentioned that it has become easier now, to check the details of lands in Kerala.
Although I was skeptical about it at first, I clicked on the mentioned link, nevertheless.
The home page comes out as cold, dry and unpromising on the first look. But once I started clicking on each of those 'dry' links, I realized that it was more than just words. The links were clickable (contrary to the expectation on a government site, which if non-existent, would fatten the koshers of government 'servants') .
Search page worked perfectly.
FAQ clearly mentions what needs to be done.
You can even buy services such as documents verification from the site. There is a checkout page for this and the rates are also provided online. If you want the document verification done, you have the application form as well, online.
They have even mapped the number of entries in each of the blocks. With this kind of depth in details, you just need the survey number and everything is displayed for you on the screen.
If you want the document verification done, you have the application form as well, online.

2 things I could not verify (for obvious "monetary" reasons):

1. Checkout
2. Application form and response time.

But the survey numbers show up the old documents, scanned, with preliminary and resurvey records, online. For basic research before buying land, can definitely be done here.
Great work by Kerala Land Information Mission and Kerala Bureaucrats!

Time saved, red tapes removed.

You can also check out the details of kerala lands here : http://erekha.kerala.gov.in/search.php
It really surprised me, to say the least!