Posts Tagged: cyber crimes

Independence from bullies.

Recently I was privy to a certain gentleman, a regular troublemaker of sorts, a cyber bully who loves the eye ball effect, call names to the security guard of a housing society and also threaten to slap him all because the guard was unable to open the alternate gate of the society because it was raining. He took largely to social media calling names to people who were supporting him and with a lot of chest pounding he says if I am paying for his services he should deliver. We have been receiving torrential rains in our city in the last few days. The society’s directive to use one single gate for management purpose was issued well in advance to all society members in different medium like notice boards and whatsapp and email. In spite of this the gentleman (read caveman) hurling obscenities at the security personnel and the society members who supported him.

In another instance there was a power outage in certain flats in the society and I was unable to find the reason for the same. I took to social media to find the reason for the same. A certain gentleman gave me many reasons as to why the electricity was not working but never once offered help physically.

We celebrate our independence day this week and I am really stunned as to where our society is heading. We are living in an age of utter intolerance where the people do not think twice before hurling obscenities and physical violence if their wishes are not met with. What happened to the first thing that we learnt as we were kids (at least I did!) “BE KIND” is it a very huge thing to ask for. In the second case the person in question could have come down and offered to help to sort the problem but rather stayed back enjoying the monsoon at his home. Empathy and Sympathy have flown out of the door long before but just being kind to a fellow human…… Is that too much to ask for???

What kind of a society am I envisioning for my daughter….. One that says that if you have the money, everybody else who has less money than you can be abused physically and verbally. Social media evil has finally caught up. We have been writing and reading about its evils for long but now seeing them in action is totally overwhelming. Cyber bullies rule the scene. You can say anything to anybody and get away with it. People would rather comment on various social media about what has to be done rather than help a fellow human in need. Such behavior is truly appalling!!! They are the worst onlookers in the world….. the ones that witness an accident and do nothing to help in fear of getting embroiled in serious legal cases.

One thing that is paramount on everybody’s brain today is that what is there in it for me. I will only pitch in if it affects me. My house should be clean and nice even if that means somebody else’s house gets dirty in the process. Kindness has left us. It is so saddening. We just want to hurt people and the thing is that in most cases they get away with it. It is something that remains a chapter in the moral science books of kids. I am scared of the society I will be passing on to my daughter. Terrified of her physical and mental health when she is exposed to these social psychopaths.

In my childhood I remember living in a totally different set up. It seems like a different city or a different age. But the fact remains is that the geography is still the same and the age is not so long ago….. It is the people who have changed. I remember my neighbor aunty would pop in at home and ask my mom if she wanted anything from the shops as she was visiting the same. When mom was hospitalized and dad went to take care of mom, my neighbor literally took us in fed us saw to our school and everything else…… she even celebrated my birthday as dad and mom were not around….. just like my maasi or any other relative would have done. If there was a fuse problem we would ring our neighbors bell and ask uncle to fix it. We never thought twice about it. We never missed family. Our neighbors were our family. At one instance there was an accident and a neighbor brought me home. Today these are stories….. we no longer share the same relation with our neighbors….. rather if we find a neighbor making a mistake we would gloat about what a horrendous person the family is and add lot of pictures to it as well. Help to rectify it…… I have never heard of. We need occasions to meet our neighbors….. which has to include a show of wealth!!!! Let me give you two scenarios and rest my case

Scenario 1996 : It is raining cats and dogs. Child rings neighbor’s bell….”Uncle there is no electricity and Papa is not at home”. Uncle was having tea and pakoras says “ok lets go!!! must be the fuse……”. Fuse repaired electricity restored took all of five minutes. Child thanks uncle and they go home to return to their respective activities.

Scenario 2016 : It is raining cats and dogs. Child rings neighbor’s bell….”Uncle there is no electricity and Papa is not at home”. Uncle was having tea and pakoras says “I have electricity. Have you asked Shukla jee? I can see that all the neighboring flats have electricity as well. Where has your father gone?”  Child “Dad has gone to buy Lauki” Uncle “I don’t understand why the electricity goes off only in your flat so often. You must be using some heavy duty equipment. Do you have an inverter? It is such a necessity these days. So very convenient for your father to go to buy lauki when there is no electricity. Have u checked all the rooms? Have you pressed the reset button? Have you checked if it has tripped? Have you checked the fuse? I will forward you the google link for “How to change fuse so you can change it”. That link is very reliable. Also I will whatsapp you the numbers for the electricians in the vicinity. I will also share the zimmber app so you can get a discount for the electrician and I get a benefit of points from the referral. If your father can afford lauki he can also afford the services of an electrician. Why can’t he take responsibility for his home….. Kaamchor!!! Makkar!!! See I have been so helpful….. If all of this does not work you should call MSEB you can find their app on google playstore and register a complaint and don’t forget to post it on whatsapp so that others can all file complaints. We should always be united and help each other. And once electricity is restored I will give you a thumbs up for it in whatsapp.” Took all of 30 minutes….. Child thanks uncle and returns home to darkness uncle to his pakoras which alas have become cold…… All because of the pesky neighbor’s annoying kid. So neighbor is eating lauki….. He seems to have become rich!!!

I used the example of Lauki because it is not an expensive vegetable and everybody can afford it. But at neighbor’s home lauki becomes a status symbol. The changing of the fuse would have probably taken 5 minutes atleast that is the amount of time it takes me to change the fuse. But uncle would rather launch on a long rhetoric discourse of options available. Who wants research when simple changing fuse could have helped!!!

People prey on other peoples weakness, their mistakes, their judgmental errors!!! I was taught that if a person considers that they have committed a mistake they should be forgiven. To err is human after all. But when the person thinks that they are right because it effects a person who is of lower economic strata…… he is poor, he deserves it….. it is appalling. People think they are God because they can pay…… but they forget God does not judge…… at least that is what I was taught to believe in. Rather these people would prey on their mistakes and make a social mockery of them.

Independence from evils….. isn’t that what we wish for??? for ourselves, for our kids and for the people we care. Then why have we lost it??? Is being kind so difficult. Empathy Sympathy are they tough??? People flood the social media with pictures of mistakes of other people….. I haven’t once seen a positive picture, in this case a picture of a smiling security guard who is thousands of miles away from his home his family his children protecting other people and their kids their homes and their families. Not one good deed of theirs is highlighted. These people stay months away from families not knowing who is protecting their kids. Who doesn’t wish to spend a wet and rainy day indoors surrounded by your loved ones??? But monetary constraints have them travelling to far off places in search of livelihood. The society member in question could easily have reversed his car in the rain and used the other gate which is 200 or less meters away. But he chose to hurl abuses physical and verbal at the security guards because he has paid for his services. Since you are poor u deserve to get wet in the rain! My intention is not to glorify the security guards but to highlight the reaction of a member of society because his wishes of opening the gate were not met….. because he paid for the services of the security guard.

Kindness people…… we need kindness for our world and intolerance against people who are not kind until they realize they can’t get away by being rude and mean to people. We have lost a lot of lives because of cyber bullies. These bullies prey on innocent and weak people and back them up to commit life threatening consequences. Stop them!!! Give our children and ourselves the gift of a healthy surrounding. Not one where people sneer mock and threaten!!!

If you see something like this happen to anybody don’t stop to protect. Your child or you could be next!!!! Give us independence from these people. Force them to be kind!!! Stop using social media for proving your wealth and poverty of others and for chest thumping. In my experience as a social worker I found immense peace and happiness by just helping people….. If you don’t agree it is ok……. let it go. Not everything in this universe deserves a reaction from you. But don’t let that stop you from protecting those who can’t protect themselves. Tell them they can’t hurt people!

Kindness goes a long way!!! Try it !!!!

God is a Gamer……. a review

Ravi Subramanian is the author for best-selling thrillers and he has not disappointed his fans. God is a gamer is an absolute page turner guaranteed to keep you engrossed and on your toes all through till the end. It has a whole range of everything…… terrorist attacks, murders, suicides, hit-and-runs, espionage, ATM heist, cyber crimes, online phishing, money laundering, illegal sites, online crimes, politician and underworld nexus etc. This is my second Ravi Subramanian book so when I started the book I knew what to expect and I was not disappointed. I read the book cover to cover non-stop in 7 hours……

The book takes you to the fascinating world of Bitcoins for use as alternative currency for online transactions. What follows is an interwoven series of events spanning across New York, Washington DC, Mumbai, Goa etc. The book starts with the assassination of US senator and close aide to the US President, Gillian Tan in Washington DC, on his way to a meeting with the US President for the use of Bitcoins as a legal form of currency. A phishing scandal in New York International Bank in Mumbai has disturbed the peace of the banking world and has put the job of Swami, head of retail banking on line. Meanwhile Josh Connelly in New York is preparing for a major ATM heist using the TOR browser and making online transactions on “Cotton Trail”, a website for all illegal activities like narcotics, prostitution, banned substance even paedophillia which is accessible only through TOR and making payments for all of these via Bitcoins.

The book is about Aditya and Sundeep…… mentor and close friends of Swami who are floundering with their gaming business. The death of a top banker and aspirant for the post of RBI governor Malvika puts the whole plot in a frenzy with the CBI and FBI joining hands to solve the various interconnected crimes. The job of solving all this falls on the FBI officer Adrian, Tony and Dan and CBI officer Kabir.

The story also revolves around Varun and Tanya. Their love and romance puts the story in a lighter note. While Varun helps his father Aditya’s floundering gaming business to get back into track, Tanya tries to come to terms with the mystery surrounding the death of her mother Malvika and suspects the finance minister’s hand in her death.

The book is beautifully interwoven with lots of twists and turns in the plot. I was very fascinated with the whole bitcoin theory….. the first I heard of it….. also using the concept of downloading Bot malware while updating the gaming programs into the plot was a genius. Gillian Tan’s wife Nikki, daughter Gloria and White house head of staff Mike Hendricks keep the plot twisted and confused. The thriller ends with the hooker’s blog connecting all the dots to complete the picture. I kept wondering about the tag line “Is revenge a crime”…….. I understood it only after I finished the epilogue.

What I liked about the book was the pace in which it moved. It kept me glued to the book asking for more. The chapters are very small so for a person with a short attention span this is god-send. I was totally flummoxed reading the epilogue. It turned the story round totally and gave the whole book a totally different angle. The book is very informative….. I had no idea of the .onion pseudo domain host sites that can be accessed only through TOR browsers. Using hotel key cards for an ATM heist and hacking into the bank servers to increase the withdrawal limits made me realise we are totally not safe at all times and that cyber crimes have reached our door steps….. we better wake up and take note. All in all I was transported to a whole new online world of cyber crimes which I had no idea about. It was an absolute revelation. My knowledge barely covered phishing and hacking….. The events took the concept of cyber crimes to a whole new level.

The cover of the book has the white house in the background and the Bitcoin logo. The pictorial depiction of the black clouds moving towards the White House in view of a whole new kind of sophisticated criminal genre in the form of Bitcoins being used to finance crime is a new challenge for the whole world and therefore very apt for the theme of the book.

What I didn’t like about the book were the number of characters in the book that kept increasing with every chapter and often I lost track of them…… some of them were totally unnecessary. The book moved too fast from Washington DC to New York to Mumbai to Goa and back so I wasn’t really able to connect to the characters or empathise with them. The prologue was absolutely unnecessary and was not part or in any way connected to the main plot. Some of the events in the book were totally not necessary. The dramatic end where the FBI and CBI are revealing the killer reminded me of CID’s ACP Pradyuman and Salunkhe and I kept waiting for Daya or Abhijeet (Shome) to do some door breaking 😀 (LOL ).

The book is a gripping thriller and absolute value for money. Must read for all!!!

Thank you Blogadda for the autographed copy of the book it was an excellent read.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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