Thoughts ridden by kash Jul 15, 2010

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Thoughts ridden by kash Jul 3, 2010

Business and Traffic Habits – Part 3

I dedicate this post to the incessant and insatiable urge to sound the horn. A driver who is an Indian citizen driving on Indian roads has the right to honk whenever and wherever he likes, whether or not required. This is the fundamental right of an Indian vehicle driver. But I will save the rant for some other day. For now, I will try to relate the use of horn to a possible business situation.


Traffic Behavior (TB) : Whenever a vehicle obstructs your path which causes you to apply brakes on your vehicle, you blow the horn either in protest or in an attempt to alert the other vehicles of your presence. For example on a road, if you encounter a vehicle blocking your lane, you sound the requesting horn to alert the blocking vehicle that you want to overtake. Either the vehicles yields and gives you the space to go ahead or denies. If denied, you sound the horn which now becomes a protest. If vehicle does not move, you try to overtake it from the wrong lane. This may be illegal or dangerous and may lead to an accident.


Business Behavior (BB) : Your daily business is running well until you encounter a rival business who is slowing you down. The ways in which it may be slowing you down may include stealing secrets, poaching talent, spreading damaging rumors about your business etc. But in all cases, it slows down your business. So you “sound the requesting horn” to let the other business know of the damage and inconvenience being caused. The rival business either stops damaging your business or is not affected at all. In protest, you respond with legal action or employ a riskier, illegal tactic to go past the rival business. And thus achieve satisfaction of overtaking.


Previous posts in this series – Part 1, Part 2

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Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 27, 2010

Language legacy and politics

Does medium of education matter whether a child will be successful in future or not? I certainly feel that success does not depend on it but being educated in English medium does help you attain success, maybe a little faster. This is not necessarily true, at least not outside India. Take a look at China. Traditionally, the country has been against adopting or propagating any language other than Chinese. But it is developing successfully nonetheless.


MNS, the political playground of Mr. Raj Thackeray, has been forcing the use of Marathi on the people of Maharashtra and the immigrants. They have been doing this for quite some time and has been instrumental in generating some political clout. Fierce proponents of protecting the Marathi culture and language, they are not so strict when it comes to educating their children. All grandchildren of the Shiv Sena Chief, Bal Thackeray, have been educated in English medium and one of them has even opted for a German language course. Party and political ethics do not apply when it comes to their family. And then, why should it? It is not the fault of the grandchildren to be born in a family which will embrace globalization as long as everyone speaks in the regional language. At least it feels good to know that they are not letting their ‘business’ get in the way of their children’s education.


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Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 26, 2010

Yet the traffic moves on

Manas Gupta has written an interesting piece on the road drivers of India. Worth a read to those who tackle the monster traffic everyday in their lives.


My other traffic related posts[1, 2, 3, 4].


Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 23, 2010

Treating the better halves as equals

Most interesting thoughts come to my mind when I am doing nothing. I firmly believe that when we allow our mind to do nothing, it does more by generating creative and not-thought-before thoughts. One such thought that has been returning to me time and again has been treating women as real equals. Not just symbolically but equals in thought as well as position. Men speak of women to be equal to themselves, but seldom do they act in the manner befitting the same.

In marriage, it is always the fairer sex that gives up her family to join the husband’s family. At least that is how it functions in India. Most of the times. Has it ever occurred to men how unfair the custom is? Has any husband been asked to leave his parent’s home? Has he ever adopted the surname of his wife? Why is that a mother, who gives birth to a child and plays the biggest role in the upbringing, does not have her name appear as the middle name of the child? Why is it that the income of a working wife is considered to be the income of the husband’s family? Why is that her monetary contributions to her ‘former’ family frowned upon?

Take for instance, the IT profession. Professionals at offshore are often required to travel onsite(foreign) for their project work. And that includes fair number of women too. When both the husband and the wife are working in the IT industry itself, this situation often creates unfair cases. If the wife is offered a long term position at onsite, she will not accept it because she cannot ask her husband to leave his job and travel as a dependent of hers. It is considered a ‘taboo’ that a man has to be dependent on the woman. But the other way around is a largely prevalent condition. A woman can happily leave her job, forget her career, move onsite with her husband and never look back. How can they easily give up their careers while all men think about is money and careers?

I admit I have been a culprit to some of these inequality ‘crimes’ too. But I have a lame excuse, as do all married men. It has been like this since eons. Why should it change now? Our forefathers did it for a reason and so shall we. Who are we to question the customs and traditions?

Is it not time now that we start treating the fairer sex fairly because that is certainly the right thing to do?

Are all you male chauvinists hearing me?

Update: I recommend reading the first chapter of SuperFreakonomics, Putting the Freak in Economics. Especially the part where the authors describe why being born as a woman in India is a bane.

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 19, 2010

Traffic and me

Being stuck in a traffic jam is boring. And that’s when your mind takes over. Either it starts cursing your fortune or it starts planning a rebellion against the slow government actions on traffic regulation. With Pink Floyd advising, “We don’t need no education”, I actually I started thinking that education is not worth taking if you are not going to apply it. You may be a senior manager in a big conglomerate but if you cannot apply your education to help solve societal problems, then it’s not worth getting educated. Because then you would just be “Another brick in the wall”, with no purpose and wasted money on education.

Interestingly I was able to observe a lot during the traffic jam today on my way to office. The traffic policemen were there, trying to regulate traffic as efficiently as possible. But what they do not think or understand is that you should be trying to prevent traffic jams. I saw a certain number of policemen arrive on the scene after the jam became unmanageable. We are talking about the daily traffic jams near Hinjewadi IT park in Pune and on all roads leading to it. In an effort to regulate traffic, they started whistling and waving their hands to make the traffic move. What was not clear to them is that waving hands was not going to make the traffic move any faster. Everyone wants to reach office and are travelling in the right direction so waving hands to edge the traffic in the right direction is no help.

Crossroads and no-common-sense vehicle drivers are the major source of traffic jams. Rather I would say that we, as vehicle drivers, are the major cause of traffic jams. Let me give an example from today’s traffic jam. By the time I reached the tail of the traffic jam, the vehicle line was already around 200 mts long. During the start of office hours, the oncoming traffic is usually minimal. Though it was tempting to break lanes and go down the wrong lane and reach office fast, I decided not to. As an educated citizen who wished to use his education, I thought if I went down the wrong lane, I would be causing an even worse jam. I don’t think anyone was thinking on the same lines as mine. Because I could see all vehicles breaking lanes and causing even more jam further up on the road. The more time I spent waiting for the jam to clear, the more inclined I became to strangle the necks of those who did not understand the simple reason behind why you should not break lanes. If your normal two lanes of office traffic changes to three, then you leave less room for oncoming traffic to go. As a result, the oncoming traffic then starts breaking lanes to go from two to three. Thus, you see an example of a classic deadlock where nobody goes nowhere. And this leads to a even bigger jam. All those breaking lanes, were majorly and interestingly IT professionals who are amongst the highest paid professionals in India and supposed to be educated enough to be part of big conglomerates. A deadlock is a software concept that has been studied by IT professionals during their college education but they cannot seem apply the same to real life. It has been rightly said in the movie 3 Idiots, that “we are well-trained but not well-educated”. We are trained to become a professional but not educated enough to be a professional. It’s sad to know that parents spend so much money on their child’s education but they forget to teach them how to use it.

Though it’s sad to know that the Indian education system may not change overnight, but the need to apply your education should be an immediate change that any thinking citizen can practice.

Thoughts ridden by kash Oct 18, 2009

Beckham detained at LA airport

I imagine the Queen would now shoot off a strongly worded letter to the President of US for detaining a very popular star of England. And then all hell would break loose over why Beckham was detained? Was it a publicity stunt? Or a case of mistaken identity? Or was it the meticulousness of the airport security of the US that has prevented any terrorist attack on its soil after 9/11?

Get the drift, Mr. SRK?

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Thoughts ridden by kash Oct 3, 2009

Mont Blanc and Gandhi

The famous pen maker, Mont Blanc, has decided to honor Gandhiji (Link Thanks: Gagan Malik) by producing a special series of hand-made fountain pens, which will be worth $25000 each. Only 241 pens will be produced to honor the number of miles that Gandhiji had walked during Dandi March. Also the pen will come with a 8 metre golden thread which can be wound around the pen, representing the spindle and cotton that Gandhiji used.

What disturbs me is that a Consumer “Education” board in Kerala has filed a lawsuit saying that the company is defiling Gandhi’s name and using him a “poster” boy. I cannot help but wonder what the board teaches the consumer about consuming. We honor the Father of the Nation by not going to work and declaring a holiday. A German company decides to honor him by producing something that will in some way add to economy. Part of the sales proceeds will go to the charity run by Gandhiji’s grandson, Tushar Gandhi. Aren’t those proceeds going to help some poor family in some way or the other? The German company is doing what is does best, making pens and through that means is trying to honor the Father of some other Nation. Are we so faith-blind to even respect the sentiments of non-Indians?

Its true that a German company decides to make money by using his name. But why is it being considered in a deprecating sense? The chief of Mont Blanc says about the values that Gandhiji lived by and taught. Interesting is the fact that the comments come from Germans whose past is fraught with violence. Its time we left behind the petty issues and started to look at the bigger picture.

Makes you wonder why there are so many pending cases with the judicial courts at all levels.

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Thoughts ridden by kash Sep 27, 2009

An icing on the cake that will never be baked

Kapil Sibal, the Union HRD minister, recently said that, foreign universities need to adhere to quota laws in India. I wish to vent my anger. Why would a foreign university set up its camp in India when it would be forced to choose students as per the government’s directive and not its own standards? Can India ever expect an Ivy League  college to set up its overseas campus in India if the Indian govt. imposes such restrictions on them? Yet, on the other side, the govt. is willing to give 100% ownership to the foreign universities. An icing on the cake which will never be baked. Don’t you think so?

Is this not the right time for the govt. to loosen its stronghold on the education sector in India?

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Thoughts ridden by kash Sep 13, 2009

Out-of-school children declining in terms of percentage

Some good news in the education sector. Lets see how long its lasts.

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Thoughts ridden by kash Sep 12, 2009

Why sell weapons when all we want is peace

We haven’t yet and continue not to realise that it is in the interest of the US to keep the developing nations at war. Weapons market is a lucrative and a powerful market. This market has a potential of nearly 55 billion dollars a year. Though the figure seems quite low, it is nevertheless huge. US controls around 70% of this market. No wonder why it is called a super power.

The report says that US of A’s largest customers are developing nations but what is even more noticeable in the report (link above) is that UAE is the largest customer of weapons. With one hand, US nurtures the seeds of terrorism and on the other hand, claims and aims to reduce terrorism in the world. Complex nation, is it not? And that brings me to an intuitive question. Why does a nation buy or sell weapons when all it wants is peace?

Some would say, we do it because someone else is doing it. India buys weapons because Pakistan does. If Pakistan fires a missile across the border, we retaliate. If Pakistan strikes a multi – billion dollar deal with Russia, we go sniffing for some arsenal in the US. They buy aircrafts, we buy anti-aircraft missiles. They buy nuclear weapons, we strike nuclear deals. We test-fire Agni III, they test-fire Mumbai. We infiltrate ISI, they infiltrate RAW. We spend millions on acquiring weapons that are already old-school by the time they are delivered. Meanwhile, thousands have died of hunger back home. Does it really matter to have the latest weapons?

Do we really need weapons when all we want is peace? I don’t have the answer. Do you?


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Thoughts ridden by kash

Pakistan invites Indian bureaucracy for a debate

Pakistan has sent an open invite for a debate on 26/11 to the entire Indian govt. Who should be chosen as a candidate representing India? PM? PM Controller (5 guess to identify who is that)? Maharastra CM?

I just imagined something. If what Rehman Malik said about the language of the report is true, then I believe Maharastra CM will doggedly deliver his speech in Marathi for two hours pointing out the flaws in Pakistani statements. At the end, a Pakistani bureaucrat would humbly stand up, bow down and ask, “Sir, Could you please repeat everything in English or Urdu please?”. I would love to see the faces on podium as well as the audience.

How hard headed can we be? Makes you wonder yeah?

Thoughts ridden by kash Aug 31, 2009

Are cows really sacred?

Come the month of Shravan, cows suddenly become sacred and allowed to roam free on the roads. In the other months, they are held by chains and milked dry.

The selfish human mind seeks favors from the God by doing good deeds only during the sacred months. One of the good deeds is to let the cows roam with utmost freedom. During any other non-sacred months, many would prefer to eat beef. But later, they ask for forgiveness for their misdeeds by being good boys/girls or performing rituals.

Human mind is funny, isn’t it?


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Thoughts ridden by kash Aug 27, 2009

F1 is not a sport, says govt.

The sports ministry has declared that F1 is not a sport. Motor racing cannot be considered a sport and spending money over it is considered wasted. The news item says that the govt. wishes to utilize the money on more important issues at hand. They say “it (the race) would have no impact on the development of sports in the country”. Given the history of Indian sports, I would rather not be so blatant in making a claim of impacting “other sports”. There is no other sport in India except for cricket as far as a major percentage of the population is concerned. And as far as cricket is concerned, it has got enough money to sustain itself for the next 20 – 25 years.

JPSK sports asked for just Rs. 177 crore for hosting the event. Is it not paltry as compared to what the govt. apparently wants to pay (Read 656 crore) for building statues (link to my post)? F1 is a rich sport and power honcho like Vijay Mallya had to look outside India to build his own Force India. Is it time for the sports ministry to wake up?

Thoughts ridden by kash Aug 24, 2009

Bribing to delay a child

My first thoughts when I read this item linked via IndiaUncut, were to chuck away news item into trash. Why? First, it does not make sense economically. Second, its the tax payer’s money that is being spent. If our country wants to control the spate in the population, it needs to educate people. Not bribe them. Via education, they will be able to take decisions that would make economic sense to them and the country as well.

Any thoughts?

Thoughts ridden by kash Aug 4, 2009

Again and again .. when will it stop?

I have been away from the blog scene for a long time. The excuse this time is my internet connection. It has not been working for a long, long time now. If I try switching to any other provider, then the story is still the same. Its heartening to hear the world is becoming small due to the Internet but I certainly haven't been feeling that for some time now.
Its the news and its about the stupidity of the govt. that is bothering me right now. As a result of a lot of heavy brainstorming, the UP CM and her team has managed to come up with this. I don't need water at all. Its statues that I need to survive. The politicians will never know the drought problems faced by the common public unless they themselves face the situation, which of course they won't.
My enemity is not with the chief minister or any other politician of India. I am against the system that allows such people to exercise power and implement laws and policies that throw back the country into the past. I am against the so called "Indianized democracy system" where people and their opinions do not matter. I am against the system that allows the govt. to suppress education rather than encourage.
The country still functions and continues to prosper despite all that I or we say and criticize. Makes you wonder whether you are wrong or they? Yeah?