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?

Thoughts ridden by kash Jul 2, 2009

The Toaster Project

Here is an interesting piece of "research" by Thomas Thwaites. Its called the The Toaster Project (Link via Freakonomics blog).

In this research, he is trying to make a toaster all by himself by first searching for all the raw materials. Now if you did not know, raw materials include iron, plastic, etc. Iron has to be mined. Plastic has to be chemically produced. You need to mold the iron produced to bring it to shape of a toaster or a wire. It is an interesting read. I quote a line below from the article

I think our position is ambiguous - the scale of industry involved in making a toaster [etc.] is ridiculous but at the same time the chain of discoveries and small technological developments that occurred along the way make it entirely reasonable.

What he says is absolutely true.


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Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 30, 2009

Calling back "phoren" academics

Reading this news piece, I am quite happy that atleast the govt. is doing something to offer these "phoren" academics some incentive to return back to our country. But merely offering them the right package and position is not going to be enough. In order to bring them back to the country where education is not a priority, they will have to be offered more than money. Although the news piece does claim that the UGC has received "hundreds of emails" enquiring about opportunities in teaching profession, I am sure once the finances improve abroad, they would make a beeline for the phoren shores.
The only way to retain them is to provide an environment that is conducive to education. Reservation has to go. Arjun Singh has been left out of the Cabinet ministry which is good news. One hell of a good news. But that does not mean the reservation law will be reverted by the new govt. who won votes because of its pro-poor and "pro-castism" policies. But atleast no other bull shit law will come from the tainted mind. Coming back to the point, if reservation is removed, we will see a spate of eligible, intelligent, willing and satisfied student communities who will gain positions in the colleges based on merit and not on caste, donation etc.
Only then will the academics think of contributing to the knowledge base of India. Only then will the academics consider Indian universities to be worth their knowledge and experience. Until then you cannot expect them to leave the havens of knowlede and moolah.

Thoughts ridden by kash

Day before yesterday, I went to a cinema hall to watch a movie called New York. The movie can be deemed “watchable” once. But it is not extraordinary and tends to project the Americans as heroes which is not entirely justified. I am not writing a review on the movie. My post is related to what happened before the movie.

My wife and me headed for the main entrance of the cinema hall, holding the tickets in our hand. Due to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, security has been beefed up at most of the public places. So we had to pass the metal detector test. A security man with a formidable moustache, signaled me to stop. I stopped so that he could frisk me for WMD. No, I am not exaggerating. He frisked me as if terrorists always carry WMD or Big Visible Weapons that Kill Hundreds(BVWKH). A cursory swish of the hand holding the metal detector proved that I was not carrying anything which must not be carried. I speak of BVWKH here because only those kinds could have been detected in the manner in which he frisked me. I could have easily taken three to four handguns by strapping them to my legs. The person used the hand-metal detector to just check my waist. That’s it. It made me wonder whether I would remain alive to see the daylight again.

You might have noticed that security check at airports is much higher and thorough than at places of public gathering. This happens despite the fact that people travelling in airplane would be much lesser than people in hospitals or maybe, a mall. A big mall at any time of the day would probably have around 1000 people roaming around. Though terrorist strikes won't come at a time when the damage is low, so you can expect them to strike such public places on a Sunday, holiday or some day designated by a cleric as the day of rebellion. So why isn't the security even tighter here? Is the hijacking of the planes the only mode of terrorist strike that needs to be taken care of. Whenever there is a terror alert, you hear in the news that security was beefed up at the airports. But what about other parts of the nation where protection is required. Do we employ extra personnel? Are more police allocated on patrols? I have many reasons to doubt that this never happens. Its only the common, innocent public who dies. Not the politicians. Those are bodies which are heavily protected even though they are worth a cent. Why am I saying this? Have you ever heard a politician die in a blast except of Rajiv Gandhi? Yes, I agree they need security since they are the "rulers" of India. But is it not their duty so form guidelines for implementation of greater security controls in the country?

Another thing that piqued me was that my beautiful wife was not touched at all. No frisking, no touching. Doesn't terrorism have women's rights bill? Is it that our country allows women to become terrorist in the name of women's reservation? Why do we not have a lady being frisked? When I posed this question to my wife, she said only security lady can touch her. Not a male. Amongst the fits of laughter that I had in reply to that answer, I could not help but wonder about the Indian culture of security personnel. There is a decree in the books of Indian culture that a lady shall not be touched by a male hand unless she is allowed by a priest. In other words, she is touchable only after marriage. Would it not make women a safe haven for terrorists operating in India? I have seen this happen in my wife's company. Thought IT services companies like hers do not allow people to carry their own laptops into the office due to client legality reasons. Her friend actually carried her laptop into the company and because she was a lady and there was no female security lady, her bag was not checked. Wow! Is that not discrimination? Do we need to come out with a men's reservation bill soon?

Makes you wonder ne?

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Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 27, 2009

I remember him as the one who "pissed" off

Whenever he goes to pee in his own home's bathroom, he is reminded of the greatest pop star of all time. Yeah. He must be thinking here is another one who did not know my regional language and peed in my bathroom. How despicable! He must not be allowed in my region again. How dare he sing in English when he is clearly performing in my region.
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Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 24, 2009

Young MPs, you say?

Have a look at the statistics quoted in the Business India, June 14th edition.

Number of MPs in the 1st Lok Sabha who were in the age group of 25 – 40: 112

Number of MPs in the 15th Lok Sabha who were in the age group of 25 – 40: 79

Numbers don’t lie. Our parliament is growing old. Whether we require young politicians or not is still debatable. But that we require educated and guilt-free ones, is certainly not debatable. It is in fact, a dire need. A need much greater than age. An interesting statistic or information would be the genuine degrees held by all the parliamentarians. It should be interesting. Though education would not classify them as good politicians but the probability of them turning out to be successful and country-development-centric would be high. Do you think so?

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 23, 2009

Technology usage needs education

The subject of my post is this news item on TOI. Chennai police has introduced a novel system to allow civlians to "text" them their grievances/suggestions etc.
To receive complaints via message, phone, post or email is one thing. But acting upon them is another. Not criticizing every good initiative by the government, this does seem like a good idea. But do all cops know English? Or do they understand Hindi? Are all cops adequately educated to respond to English text messages? The reason why I raise this questions is because if the text message received is interpreted wrongly due to poor language skills of the cop, then we are in for chaos and wasted effort. As such we have limited a police force who cannot provide security to almost 100 cricket professionals, so wasted efforts in misinterpretations is certainly not desired.
Cops in Maharastra atleast would prefer not to speak in Hindi or for that matter, anything other than Marathi. Will texting them in English, most preferred language on phones, make any difference? Or will MNS require the text messages to be in Marathi only in order to warrant action?
For the sake of information, all state goverments as well as the central government have grievance cells to act upon civilian grievances. If these cells were efficient enough, would so many PILs or RTI cases arise so frequently? I am not entitled to throw guesses about the efficacy of our govt. but one cannot help but express.

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 22, 2009

Winds of Change yeah?

Amazingly the BJP party heads are now starting to realize that religion politics won't work. It cost them 5 years. Can it still afford to go on the Hindutva bandwagon? Its never too late to get rid of the rot. Mr. Advani, before your second leg ends up in the grave, please use your rational thought to atleast change the way the minorities think about you. And yes, you cannot prevent "any narrow, bigoted, anti-Muslim interpretation" unless you get rid of the fundamental problem which is your Hindutva policy. Divisive politics won't work anymore, as proved.
Yeah. The headlines in the TOI have the right text "Tweak-Hindutva-BJP-leaders-told". Tweak, they say. Witty ain't it?
Makes you wonder what makes politics tick in our country.

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 21, 2009

Why Sunday?

Its Sunday today and I thought why is it called that. Easy answer. Its the day of the sun. Have a look here at the Wikipedia page. Its clear from the page that Sunday can be considered either the start of the week or end. But I prefer it to be called the end. Why? A good time does not have a happy end. Neither does weekend. Why? Because you don’t want the good time to end. That makes you unhappy because time does not wait for you. So Sunday definitely is the end of week for me.

Enjoy your day while it lasts.


Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 20, 2009

Testing a Windows Live Writer plugin

Downloaded a plugin to add templates to a post automatically. Test post. I created a template which is my signature. You may signatures added to my earlier posts. But in the recent posts, you might not be able to see it since I had been posting using my Windows Live Writer. Now I just realized that the signature did not get posted. So here it is.

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Thoughts ridden by kash

Power porn

Here is something that I came across on the Personal MBA website. The caption of the picture on this post is interesting. I quote the same below

How much time do you spend reading about what Richard Branson is doing vs. actually doing things

Yes. We do read a lot of biographies about people who have done great things. We try to get inspired by the thought and the deeds that they have done. But is this reading worth it? Do we ever implement the good sides of these people? People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs dropped out of college to do something that they always wanted to do. They carved their own path. But is everyone the same? Should I also drop college or leave my job to do something different? Is the risk worth taking? If everyone got inspired and started a business, then who would work in those businesses? If everyone got inspired and became a CEO of his own company, then who would be the watchman at the gates? I believe it is one thing to read and get inspired and it is another to actually do something. Real life has more problems than we actually can think of. The Force did not gift every individual with the same ability in order to allow mankind to create and maintain ranks.

Think and you will know why you are still doing that same old boring job.

Thoughts ridden by kash

Necessity is the mother of creating space

The picture below explains the title of this post. I clicked this one while sitting at the back of my scooter, which my wife was driving.

Have a look at the picture below.

Overcrowded rickshaw

Though I could not get the right angle to display the “full strength” of the autorickshaw(AR), but I guess you can get it.

This photo does bring various thoughts to my mind. First, the AR owner here is definitely trying to squeeze every rupee out of every drop of petrol that the AR uses. The meter rate of the AR is quite high in Pune. For more information you can refer here. The AR owner picks up students from home and drops them to the school and vice-versa. And in his free time, drives the AR in the city making even more money. So moneywise, he should be making a decent amount. Given the rising cost of living(another post on it later) in Pune, he has to squeeze that extra rupee out of his meager resources. If you think in another way, the parents of the students who send them to school by such “spacious” AR, are also trying to save money on many areas and this is definitely one of those areas. But I am very thankful and happy that they are at least sending their children to school.

If I am correct, this AR is probably carrying 12 - 15 children. You can see three layers here. The base layer of children are supporting the second layer of children sitting on the laps of the base layer. And another layer who is just standing. And of course, in this sweltering heat, God save them though they are probably used to it out of no other option available.

I am not sure I can guess the damage this heavy loading does to the AR but it does affect. The AR’s lap time to breakdown would surely shorten if it continues to drag such heavy loads, for which it was not designed originally. But I am impressed with one thing. The AR owner does know how to manage his space. That’s something we all must learn here. We should be able to harness the power of less. It does feel good or maybe, satisfied to know that I at least own a car, larger in size than a AR, which would be able to use to drive my children to school. Its all in the books of good fortune. I thank the Force for it. We constantly look for a larger home, bigger car, everything bigger than it already is. But looking at the picture here, you can be thankful for whatever you have got.

But anyways, these things won’t change here in India. At least not in the near future. Makes you wonder yeah?

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Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 16, 2009

Business and Traffic habits – Part 3

Cross roads

TB: Cross roads are those points where normally two or more roads cross each other and one has the choice to choose the next direction to take. Once the choice of direction is decided, you look at every side to check for any traffic before you make your move. Major crossroads have traffic signals that make it mandatory for you to wait. They allow the traffic to be regulated and function normally.

BB: In the business world, interpretations of cross roads can be in many forms. One which I can think of is - It is a time in a company’s life when it comes to a standstill and does not know in which direction to head. The product or the services in which it has spent most of time and money, is now no more a monopoly. They need to diversify and change direction. Or divest and focus on their core competencies in case of a big multi-business companies. A company at crossroads would choose a direction of play, it would check for downfalls (TB: check for traffic), check for competition (TB: traffic), consult professionals and take calculated risks and plunge onto the new path.

Traffic signals on roads can be compared to government regulations and obstacles that often hamper businesses from prospering (TB: speeding down the crossroads). Here, from the point of view of businesses, prospering means surging ahead of others with great speed. Most of the times greed grows at the same rate as prosperity. That greed, more often than not leads to unlawful practices. Unlawful practices includes bribery, tax evasion, customs duty manipulation etc. When its unlawful, the law protectors have to step in. The extent to which the authorities performs its duty or remains lawful (not accepting bribes etc.) is something that only the authorities can decide.

Therefore, crossroads are points in traffic or business, where calculated risks are calculated and all contingencies are planned for. And thus, we can relate them very closely.

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 11, 2009

Business and Traffic habits – Part 2

Accidents involving people other than yourself

TB: Whenever there is an accident involving one or more vehicles on the road, you can expect mild to severe disruption in traffic based upon the size of the vehicles involved and the severity of the injuries in the accident. In these accidents, the fault lies with some vehicle owner who created the circumstances for the accident to occur. Either he took a wrong turn, swerved onto the path of an oncoming vehicle, got a flat tyre causing the vehicle to go out of control etc. Whatever maybe the reason, the main focus here is the disruption of traffic leading to hours and hours of lost productivity and frustrated minds. In such cases, people who got caught in the traffic are just simply unfortunate and others who took another road or passed by earlier were luckier. The traffic, that gets created as a result of the accident, needs to cleared by some way or the other. That is where the authorities come in. The traffic policemen try to clear the site of the accident and accordingly direct all the stuck vehicles.

BB: Analogy to a road accident involving others would be similar to what I believe to be the present financial crisis. For no fault of your own, your business got stuck in the mire that the mortgage lenders created. The credit lines dried up taking with it the major source of funds for most of the businesses. Although you contributed nothing to the cause of the crisis, you still got affected by it. Someone somewhere made wrong and rash decisions without thinking of the consequences, and brought all of them down with themselves. All banking majors got involved in the “accident” some way or the other and it brought us all to the present state. After that the government stepped in with its bailout package(TB analogy: Policemen trying to clear the accident) to save the sick companies. The bigger the businesses involved in the “accident”, more severe the effect (TB analogy: Accidents involving trucks take more time to clear than those involving two wheelers). Also various arms of the sick companies or the companies themselves are bought by “healer” companies who can turn around the “sickness” in the companies by whatever means suitable (TB analogy: Injured persons are taken to a hospital where they can be healed and vehicles involved are taken to the garage)

Accidents involving yourself

TB: Road accidents happen all the time. Thousands of people die every year in road accidents. In an accident, you may or may not be at fault but you are involved nonetheless. You are at fault when you, due to carelessness, ram into another vehicle or person. People like speed. “Speed thrills but kills”. “Better late than never”. One often reads these warnings on roads and understands them but never implements. Driving your vehicle with a lot of speed gives you the high as well as makes you reach your destination earlier. Often speed is accompanied by rashness. Many drivers who drive fast, often think that they are in control of the vehicle. They feel that they are at the top of the world and nothing can stop them. That’s when either an accident occurs or a policeman stops them to give them a speeding ticket. Rashness on roads includes speeding, dangerous swerves, car or bike drifting etc. The list is endless but core point is rashness.

When it is not your fault and you get involved in an accident, it is nothing but your unlucky day. There is nothing much you can do to prevent that except, of course, curse the stars. J

BB: Accidents involving yourself compares to the closing down of business. A business closes down when it runs out of money, cannot contain its costs, no longer has a product to manufacture, no longer can afford to give services etc. I will consider the case where the business closes down to due to wrong decisions taken by the higher management. When a business is growing at high speed, the higher management often assumes that they are in control of the situation and whatever decisions they take, there is no one that can stop them from becoming the number one. They are often blinded by success. In such situations, more often than not, the management tends to take some rash decision which ultimately leads to the downfall of the company. The money is growing at such speeds that sometimes the upper echelons of the company strike a venomous deal whose poison slowly seeps through the entire company and brings it down. The lure of the green moolah often drives the company to manipulate accounts, evade taxes, switch to unlawful practices etc. And that’s when the authorities such as Income Tax dept., Sales tax dept., Customs dept., etc come in and pose as obstacles. These are authorities that can ultimately force you to close your business. (TB analogy:  When you are speeding in your car and thereby breaking the law, you are stopped in your tracks by the policemen.)

In case the business party, to which you sell your goods, goes down for some reasons, it can also bring you down. Such would be the case when your major customer goes down and your business cannot be sustained without that customer. (TB analogy: Someone rams his or her vehicle into yours for no fault of your own).

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 7, 2009

Business and traffic habits - Part 1

Driving my car. It’s a passion that I pursue passionately. Whether it is driving on the escarpments or on a straight road, it is always a pleasure for me. The vvvroooommmm of the engine, hiss of air conditioning, squealing tyres, shifting from low to high gear are some of things that make driving a passion for me. Long drives, with my wife sitting besides me, is my idea of a romantic drive.

On the other side, business drives the passion inside me to think beyond. It excites my mind to go out and do something different. It drives me to increase my confidence, take calculated risks and of course, earn a lot of money.

Coming to main idea behind the post, it’s interesting how your driving behavior can be compared to your business behavior. In a series of posts, I will attempt to make some comparison between everyday human behavior in traffic and similar trends in business.

For simplicity of explanation, I am not including two-wheelers, cycles, bullock carts or for that matter, anything smaller than an autorickshaw. The idea of this post was conceived some days ago when I was driving home from office in the evening. The traffic had increased beyond its normal density which allowed me to slow down my car and think about some idea to blog about. That’s when I had this brainstorm or maybe call it a revelation, which I thought would be interesting. So here it goes.

Anyone and everyone into a job or a business know about competitive environments and how to cope with it. In a professional job, one would look for advancement in career, a coveted promotion, much needed or desired hike in compensation, an increase in more responsibility and power etc. In a business, one would look for higher profits and revenue, expansion of business, race ahead of rival businesses, to become leader in innovation etc. By careful thought and analysis of these wants, you can infer that be it business or a professional job, you want to go ahead, race ahead, be the first. And that is exactly what you do when you are driving in a city. You always try to go ahead of the car in front of you. You accelerate and overtake the car ahead by careful examination of the oncoming traffic. In effect, you are going ahead, racing ahead.

To describe it clearly, I will take up each of the traffic habits and compare it to those of business.


Traffic Behaviour (TB) : As I mentioned earlier, when you try to overtake, you are essentially trying to get ahead of some car or vehicle blocking your way. When you decide overtake the vehicle(V) ahead, you take some points into consideration. You check whether there are any oncoming vehicles, you check for space on either side of V, you flick your headlights or honk your horn to let V know that you want to go ahead, you shift your gears accordingly if necessary etc. These points are something that let you prepare to go ahead of V. And then you make the move.

Business Behaviour (BB) : First let me describe what going ahead in business. Increase in profits, revenue, headcount, products, customers etc can be considered as going ahead. When you go ahead of a rival business, you are becoming bigger, better and more successful. When you go ahead, your business is growing and running well. So when you overtake someone in a car, you can compare that to overtaking a rival business in profits, revenue etc.

Businesswise, when you overtake someone, you grow big. So when you overtake a car, your car should turn into a SUV (You wish!) or a luxury sedan or a truck. Hypothetically, it increases in size and practically, it does not. But you do get the point, don’t you?

More on other habits of traffic and their relation to business in the coming posts.

Till then adieu.

Thoughts ridden by kash

How convinient

It was year 2002 when it started. The aid. The military aid to Pakistan. To fight against terror. We(India) were so naive to believe them. Though we did shout, crib, scream but all we got in return were sore throats. And of course, demands for more “evidence”. Can we not see? Is it not apparent that the neighbour is not interested in cleansing the “terror camps”? Is it not apparent that it is in the interest of US to keep the two countries at war by aiding the weaker, vulnerable one against the supposed giant? Will the new stable govt. see through the translucence that the US has apparently built up? Will we ever improve?

Hopes lie with the new government. And of course, we are looking for the 100 day plan that MMS had come up with before the election. I have written about it before over here. So the new government steps in with a lot of expectations and hopes for improvement. Hope it does.

Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 4, 2009

Indian bureaucracy worst in Asia

No doubts exist about this verdict about the Indian bureaucracy. May God save the Indians who leave the running of the country to the raging millionaires in the form of Indian politicians.

Thoughts ridden by kash May 22, 2009

Another piece on irony by Amit Verma at India Uncut

A beautiful and a thought provoking post by Amit Verma. It concerns a business proposal by an Indian Politician. The post reflects the popular thought of critics. Have a look here.
Feel like welcoming the new "stable" govt.?

Thoughts ridden by kash

Ironic or not

I am not sure what to say after the election results. But I do feel that the statement by US is ironic judging by the usual common sense. The UPA govt. is in but I do feel sorry for the people of India. Why? Countless reasons exist to reason why. But as the people of India were "ordered" to elect a less evil govt., they apparently made their choice and elected UPA. A stable govt. or not, we wish to see some things that might bring "prosperity" to India. Such a list of things have been put up by Rajesh Jain at his blog (link obtained brom Atanu's blog). Whether the govt. will listen to the voice of India or not, nobody knows. Whether they have, in the past or will, in the future, is only in the hands of the uneducated "slumdogs" who can only become millionaires.
Hope this time it is different. Makes you wonder neh?

Thoughts ridden by kash May 2, 2009

Reducing plastic bag usage

Reduce plastic waste

Plastic bag as defined at Wikipedia is a type of flexible packaging made of thin, flexible, plastic film. Plastic bags are used for containing and transporting foods, produce, powders, ice, chemicals, waste, etc. Whenever we think of plastic bag, we always think of carry bags that we carry to shopping malls. But I never thought about plastics that are used to package ready made foods, liquids, industrial products etc. When we buy an electronic item, it almost always comes packed in a plastic covering or maybe a thermocol covering. The reason is probably to protect the product from the environment. Its ironic though that the same plastic also harms the environment at the same time.

Many corporates have pledged or are pledging to reduce their plastic bag usage by some year or date in the future. Companies have started to reduce their impact on the environment by some way or the other. One example is that of Marks and Spencer. The stores of the company were able to reduce the plastic bag usage by 85%. They achieved this by charging customers to use a plastic bag.

This brings me to an interesting point. Should the Marks and Spencer stop giving out plastic bags altogether. That is the should UK ban plastic bags altogether. Will that be the right solution to bring down plastic usage? Economics states that it will not work. Atanu Dey, in one of his posts, stated that:

For every plastic bag manufactured, collect a disposal fee. Let’s say it is Re 0.10. This fee gets passed on to the consumers – the people who ultimately decide whether to accept a plastic bag at the store or to bring their own re-usable bag, the people who decide whether to chuck the plastic bags on the streets after use, etc

Start charging people for plastic bags and it should reduce the usage considerably. People not wanting to pay the extra rupee would start bringing their own reusable bags. Atanu’s idea did come into play at M&S and it was successful.

The idea got implemented in the UK and it was successful. Would the Indians react in the same way as the English did? Some skepticism is sure to exist in the minds of those who might be thinking of this. One reason would be the cost of the plastic bags. If a plastic bag purchased in bulk costs as less as 10 paise per bag (probably lesser), then why would any shopkeeper bother to charge Re 1. for the bag? Why would he/she want to risk losing a customer for a 90p? Though the shopkeeper has noble thoughts in his/her mind, is it worth the risk? The risk here is that the customer might think on the terms that the shopkeeper is not customer-centric and does not care about me since he does not even bother to give me a bag for my convenience and even if he offers one, then he charges for it. Nevertheless, someone has to take the lead and as always, it has to be the government. If it bothers to do something about the environment then.

In fact, the govt. did wake up but on the wrong side of the bed. The State Govt. of Maharastra responded by banning plastic bags across major cities in the state. But the proliferation of plastic bags is still the same and may, in fact, have increased due to the ban. As is the case with illicit liquor in Gujarat. More you try to stop something, the more faster it proliferates. In such a scenario, charging people for plastic bags does seem like a good idea. And as Atanu suggested, start collection centers so that every bag handed in, generates revenue for the rag-pickers and of course, we get a plastic-free India in return.

Is the govt. listening?

Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 29, 2009

Demand what you like - its democracy

Start of rant - Allow me to vent my anger at our democracy.

Our dear and favorite terrorist Kasab janab now demands , yes demands, that he needs a perfume, toothpaste and be allowed to take a stroll outside in the verandah. Yes sir. We are your service. The entire nation is at your service, sir. May we bring you some sweets specially made for you by Karachi Sweets Store? Sir, would you like to have access to online resources to find out different ways to fool the people of India? Sir, we have a new scheme. Blow up more than 200 people, you will be eligible for an air-conditioned cell. The tax paying Indians, some of whom you successfully blew up, will pick up the tab for it. We offer further discounts in the term of sentence if you are from LeT. You just need produce your id before the Entertainment Dept. of the Indian Prison System. - End of rant.

Mr. Kasab is still alive and rocking. Our judicial system is supposed to give the right punishment to the guilty. Is he not guilty? Or has he not been proven guilty? Innocent until proven guilty? Since I do not have the complete understanding of the Indian judicial system, I do not know what makes a person guilty. Therefore, I also agree that he might be innocent until he has been proved to be guilty.

In our country, it is a gift to be born a criminal. Because as a criminal, you can stand for elections until you are proven guilty. It takes a lot of time to be proven guilty. Sanjay Dutt got arrested 15 years after the crime of the 1993 serial blasts. Similarly, Kasab has been in police custody since November 27th but is yet to be be proven guilty. Four months to prove a person guilty for a crime as blatant as the 26/11 attacks and that too committed in broad daylight? Seems outrageous but might be quite possible given the pace at which the judicial system is accustomed to work. And if Kasab stands for election, I have no doubt that he will win. Why? The government will "reserve" a seat for him as he is a minority and then create special circumstances to win votes for him. When Laluji and Paswan babu can use a fake OBL as his brand ambassador, then anything is possible.

The dearly beloved terrorist says in his letter to his lawyer 
"Staying in one room, I am getting mentally sick. It should not happen that in future things may go out of control"

Let me remind you Mr. Kasab, if you ever step out of that prison, ever, then that would be the last day of your life. Let things go out of control and you will realise the meaning of waking a beast.

May the souls of 26/11 victims rest in peace because after knowing this, they will come running out of their graves.
Wanna ride the thoughts? Comment away!

Thoughts ridden by kash

Teachings on Team Spirit by SRK

Disclaimer: What follows is purely based on media reports. If the truth states otherwise, do ignore the post.


In what turned out to a spectacular show of team spirit and encouragement, our Bollywood King SRK has returned from SA because his team is not performing well. Mind well, he owns the team which is not performing well. This is some show of team spirit. My guess is that if the team is not performing well then the owner is not gaining money. If no gain is involved, naturally he is not interested. The entire concept behind IPL which is similar to that of EPL, is to get high profile and ultra high net worth people to own the cricket teams and provide resources to make them perform and win. SRK may have done his best to make his team perform by pumping money into their performance and coaching, which by the way, is all he can do and probably knows how to do. He would probably be leaving the rest of the “details” to the managers of the team. But his act (if truly reported) shows an example of bad team spirit. He is the captain of the ship called Knight Riders and if it sinks, he has to sink with it. Not run away from it.


What he can do is increase his participation in the management of his team, buy better players, replace the coach (Buchanan), get better equipment etc. He is probably going to do that after the team returns from SA. But I believe, whatever fight-back spirit left in his team would now have evaporated into thin air. Why? When the owner of a multi-million business is not interested in the welfare of the business but just personal interests, the business closes down. That’s the best time for the business to start looking for a new owner. The head of Satyam went down albeit for different reasons but they were personal nonetheless. And the company had to look for another owner. Will Knight Riders suffer a similar fate? You never know. It’s just speculation and only time can tell.


All the best!

Thoughts ridden by kash

Steve Jobs Speech at Stanford, 1995

One of the most inspirational speeches of all time. Steve Jobs delivered this speech to the graduating class of 1995 from Stanford. Though most of you might have already read this speech, but if you haven't then drop everything that you are doing right now and take out 5 mins to read this speech. You will probably feel different after going through the speech. Better yet, you will start acting on that idea that you had long time ago. You will start giving thoughts to something that you have always wanted to do but never managed to do it since you thought you were never good enough.
Get inspired!

Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 28, 2009

A Gadget to detect ghosts?

In what I term as Out of the World Phenomenon (OWP), a company has managed to build a gadget that can detect supernatural presence. Wow! If that did not unnerve you, then I don’t know what can. I am having serious doubts that exorcists have long used this gadget although secretly to detect ghosts and spirits. Only after that they use their super natural ability to talk to the spirits and chase them away to some other home. Imagine an exorcist holds up the gadget(synced up with an online database)  in the air and beep! “Ghost detected in the far right corner. Biz Tips: Send it to a Mr. Jignesh Patel’s place  in the neighborhood who is afraid of ghosts. It will generate more revenue for us. Tech tips: Use the Floo powder and sprinkle it on the east side of the bathroom where the ghost was born.” The exorcist then does the needful and gets paid for it and of course, his biz also expands since apparently the spirit listens to him and goes to Mr. Patel’s place.


Personally I am inclined not to believe in supernatural phenomena but if someone can prove it to me using this gadget, I am ready to change my mindset.


Some nerdy gadget eh?


This information of this post comes from

Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 27, 2009

Express your "inner" feelings

Interesting way to express your feelings. As Amit Verma mentions on his blog, it does express the attitude of our politicians. On the other side, maybe they are encouraging us to employ the usage of our middle finger to show it to the politicians who want votes but no work. In any case, visit Amit's blog here to have a look at the picture of Ashok Chavan, the chief minister of Maharastra along with his wife, showing the common gaali to us.

Thoughts ridden by kash

Gun for car deal

Recently an article appeared in the TOI about a person getting "AK-47" as his car number plate. This is pretty amusing. He paid Rs.85000 for the number. Of course, the gun and the car both cost more than that. More on AK-47 at Wikipedia. I googled the price of AK-47. It costs around $500 for a new piece. A pretty good deal for a famous rifle.
Whims and fancies huh?

Thoughts ridden by kash

Meera Sanyal - Independent Candidate from South Mumbai

Today morning, I had been going through my usual list of blog feeds when I came across a particular thought on Amit Verma’s blog. This thought is from the website of an independent candidate for Lok Sabha, Meera Sanyal, from South Mumbai. The lines:


Meeting with a group of leaders of the Sindhi community I was asked what I would do if elected to propagate the Sindhi language. I started by delivering my campaign speech in Sindhi, much to the astonishment of the group as few people of our generation now speak the language! At the end however, I stressed that I was standing not as a Sindhi (which I am by birth) nor as a Bengali (which I am by marriage) nor as Maharashtrian (which I am by domicile) nor as a Parsee (which I am told that I look like) nor as a Sikh (which is a religion my family follows) nor as a Hindu (which is my officially stated religion) but as an Indian.


I highly recommend all of you visit her website. She has outlined her agenda and is crystal clear about how is she is going to achieve them. One look at her career growth and you would know that she is someone worth voting for. Educated individuals is what we need in our government today. Whether one independent candidate is going to change the country, is something no one can tell. But well, whatever difference she makes to her constituency, if it is for good and people like it, other parties are bound to follow, ultimately leading to the goal improving the city and therefore, moving towards an improved nation. This too is what she claims on her website. And rightly so. We have been taught and trained to follow and beg. Our fear of not being good enough has always ruled our senses. She has given up her fear and is leading head on in the elections. Once again I urge to people to vote for someone who will make a difference. Not someone who has been symbolic of claiming victories of battles not fought by them.


Today Meera stands on the booth as an Indian. We too need to stand up as Indians. Not as Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian or any other religion. This is about India. It is about our country and how we want to see it. We need to understand that the only identity that one must carry is that of an Indian. It doesn’t matter where do you come from, where were you born, which caste do you belong to, which religion do you follow, how much money do you have, what contacts do you have, which “don” is your friend, which untouchable you have touched, whether you sport a beard or wear a turban, whether you like cricket or ‘gilli danda”. All that matters is that you are an Indian and need to act like one. As she mentions, she comes from and interacts with people from diverse backgrounds, religion, status etc. But all she has in mind is that she is an Indian. And that is all we need to do. Be an Indian in spirit and not in words.


Disclaimer: I am not pitching for Meera Sanyal nor am I promoting her candidature. All I am pitching for is a change that will lead our country and make it better than it already is.


From a loving Indian,

Jai Hind

Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 25, 2009

MMS says he can revive the economy in 100 days

The statement coming at the time of the elections either makes it consequential or a fallacy. Which one is the case is something I cannot choose from. But whether MMS should be given a chance to revive the economy in 100 days is something that rests in the hands of the people of India.
As a background to what I am going to rant about, please refer to the following Wiki article on sub prime mortgage crisis. The reason why I ask you to read it is because you will come to know one of the major reasons of the financial downturn. Please note that the article says that the crisis apparently came to light during the years 2006 - 2007 when the house prices declined. At that time, the Indian economy was performing much better than expected with record inflation and sensex levels. At that time, the govt. of India was in its 4th year. My speculation is that someway or the other, the economists of the govt. of India must have figured out that the crisis is going to hit the Indian market either directly or indirectly and at any point of time in the coming two years(i.e. 2008 and 2009). Therefore, my belief is that MMS must have been awakened by these economists and they must have urged him to do something. So I surmise that MMS, being a former FM himself, must have formed a team to plan for the worst recession of the century.
I guess a plan of revival would take at least 6 months to form taking into account various factors and sentiments of a 1 billion people country. Assuming, the govt. woke up on 1st January 2008. A report would have been ready by July(7 months, given the inherent governmental delays). The financial downturn hit us head on after Lehman went down in the month of September 2008. If you count till today, it gave the government almost 180 days (Oct 08 - Mar 09) to implement the plan to revive the economy. Giving a discount of 60 days, to allow the govt. to wake up from the deep slumber or late realisation of the crisis, they still had 120 days to implement their plan. But they did not.
They saved the plan till the elections were over. Why? If they implemented the plan and if it went wrong, they would lose by the worse margin ever in the history of parliamentary elections. Besides, the govt. would be thinking that since the whole country is screwed for the next 24 months, is 3 months and 20 days going to make a difference? Think not. I do not doubt that the plan is brilliant and will make a difference if executed properly. What irks me is that this plan could have finished its implementation now and we could have started the implementation of a 200 day Financial Stimulus Plan or Sustained Economy Plan(hypothetical).
Well it's elections time isn't it. Any plan well-timed or ill-timed, if it can be used to win votes, then use it.
I am proud to be a voting Indian.

Thoughts ridden by kash

Human waste and the mind

It’s funny how the human nature behaves differently in different situations.

I was just thinking about such a situation. According to human nature, a place for the disposing rubbish or garbage is a dustbin or a garbage bin. You would not want to dispose off the waste in a clean and a fresh place. The only place where waste can go is the dustbin. A dustbin is something which is always supposed to be dirty. It is only there that we will dispose the waste. We won’t try and find a clean place to dispose the waste. On the contrary, when it comes to disposing human waste, it is always desired that the place be the cleanest. We dispose human waste in a place where its clean but we dispose other kinds of wastes in dirty, unusable places, though both are wastes. We crib and criticize about dirty toilets but never know why. But that’s how the human mind is.


Thoughts ridden by kash

The Funny Thing about Future

This post is about a funny thing that I realised about future. To give you some background, recently I watched a movie called Next. The ever charismatic Nicholas Cage played the lead role. This man is able to see the future but only two minutes ahead of time. I won't rant on about the movie but I will quote a dialogue from the movie here: "The funny thing about future is everytime you see the future, it changes." From the context of the movie, you would understand what the statement means. But I thought I would try applying that to our present world.

Its funny how we always manipulate the future and yet tell others that we can only control the present. What are we doing when we start a savings plan? What do we do family planning for? Why do plans always have a contingency plan? Why is there always a Plan A and also a Plan B as contingency? Is it not apparent that we are always changing the future?

Thinking on the same lines, I saw the future and saw the need to save some money. There was always a plan drafted by the Force but yet I saw the future and tried to change it by investing in a savings scheme. What did I do? I changed the future. Now again I try to see the future. Its different from what it was before. It changed because I manipulated it and as a consequence of that, the flow of events earlier will not happen now. So now if I see the future, it is different from what it was earlier. For e.g., I saw the future after I invested in the savings scheme, and I realised that I would need more money when I grow old. So I invested more money in the savings scheme.But according to the earlier future, I was going to buy a brand new car with the surplus money in my account but now I changed the future by seeing the future.

And this is how it always works. Try applying this chain of thoughts to everything you do and you will realise that you are manipulating the future in every activity you do.

Have a great future !! Cool




Thoughts ridden by kash

The rise and the fall of Apple

Two great essays at the blog about the rise and the fall of the Apple Inc.
Get inspired!

Thoughts ridden by kash

Denial of Sex law

I was always under the impression that this world today was a free world. With the advances we see everyday, seldom would you see something which is so 19th century. But now after reading this, I am pretty much sure that we have not yet entered the 21st century. We have evolved but our minds haven't.
The article linked above is about the oppression of woman in Afghanistan. They have long suffered the atrocities of the so-called "loving" husbands who prefer to keep women in check. And the worst is that these women are quite satisfied with the lives that they are living. It seems that they like to be treated as sex puppets rather than respect. Recently, as the article and related news item states, there have been protests by the oppressed women to abolish marital rape. Marital rape as per the definition given at Wikipedia is spousal rape is non-consensual sexual assault in which the perpetrator is the victim's spouse. It seems that men in Afghanistan consider it as their birth right to have sex with their wives when they desire. Which is when men desire. No opinion of a woman counts. Denial of sex can result in more oppression and atrocity. How about men denying sex? No law exists. Who makes the law? Men, of course. And what is more ridiculous is that the law of sex denial applies to only 15% of the population belonging to a particular community.
And, of course , of course, men can deny food to the wife if she denies sex. Wow! Women, deny them children if they threaten you. Are men fools? So much so that they do not know where they come from? Do they not know that because wombs exist, they are doing what they are doing at present. A simple idea or a revelation such as that should knock some sense into them but no.
In what becomes a funny WTF situation, men start protesting against the protesting women proclaiming that the law is for their own good. Chauvinism and hormone surges at its best yeah? Men can't see that demands of woman being satisfied. It is only they who command and not the fairer sex! And perhaps the wisdom of "loving" husbands starts taking effect when some amongst the protesting women joined the men to become supporters of the law. Fear of oppression?
This is how we see the world and some others don't.

Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 23, 2009

Black money

In what I term as a "startling" revelation, the govt. is finally going to crack down on the LBT bank to find out which Indians hold the greatest amount of black money in Swiss tax havens. Its another story that one of the employees from the bank itself sold the data to the German govt. and once again, we beg them to give us the information regarding some of the Indians holding the accounts there. 

Can we ever stop begging and start commanding? No, we can't. Want to know reason why? Who do you think has got largest holding in the Swiss? Unofficially, I received a message from one of my friends working in a Swiss bank that Indians account for a staggering 10000 crores worth of undeclared money in the Swiss account. Wondering where your tax-money is(assuming you are not the siphoning off the money from the coffers)?

The question is why is this issue coming to light during the times of the elections. Opposition parties are accusing LK that he has alerted all those holding the black money abroad. As if "all those" do not have cronies in the govt. who can alert them before even Mr Advani can dream of it. When the game is about votes, any "daagh" is worth converting into a national issue. And believe me, though I am not clear about the reason, but this black money cannot be connected the elections. Reason: all high profile politicians park their money abroad in the Swiss tax havens, no matter what party they belong to. So why would Advani provoke the issue? Has he not got that money out there? Or is it because he has turned 81 and is now satisfied with all the wealth and is suddenly planning to "improve" the state of financial affairs of India? Because of guilt? No? I am curious to find out. Feel free to comment.

Wanna ride the thoughts? Comment away!

Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 21, 2009

Politicians "working" inspite of the impending elections

According to this news report, it is business as usual for the politicians in the times of election. I would not know how to react to this piece of news. I would rather believe if it said that they get to work only when the elections are around corner. No policy decisions are to be made that influence the vote bank. Pretty much obvious. They make decisions that influence the voters to vote for them not against them. Such policies get the green light as quickly as possible if the ruling party manages to convince the opposition.
Such is the game of politics.

Thoughts ridden by kash Apr 20, 2009

India Squirting

I reproduce here an email that I received as a forward from one of school friends, Mihir Badiani. It represents an humorous representation of the Incredible India that we see today. And the name of the author is also a humor intended at the contents if you observe carefully. Here it is:
Despite the global economic meltdown, thanks to the Incredible India campaign a trickle of western tourists continues to make a passage to India. And do they find India Incredible? They sure do, as this intercepted letter from an enthusiastic visitor shows:
    Hi, all you folks back home, Boy am i glad that i came to India. It's even more Incredible than they say it is. Back home in the US you hear that India is a very dirty and unhygienic place. Well, i can tell you that's not true at all. India is a very clean place. Incredibly clean in fact. And you discover this as soon as you leave the airport and see all these people, all men, all busy hosing down the streets, the buildings, everything, with streams of water. At first i thought: Oh my Gawd! Are all those guys peeing? In full public view? Gross, man. Then i said to myself: Nah, it can't be. After all, this ain't just any ole India, this is Incredible India. So these guys who i thought were peeing were, Incredibly, actually cleaning the streets and buildings by hosing them down. And the most Incredible part of the whole thing was that the hoses they were using were in shape, size and every anatomical detail identical to men's youknow-whats. Now, is that Incredible or is that Incredible?
    As the you-know-whatshaped hoses show, Indians are Incredibly inventive and artistic. In fact, every Indian is an artist. Except they don't use paint brushes or canvases. They squirt paint — always red paint — straight from their mouths onto the walls of buildings, pavements, passing cars, whatever catches their fancy. The result is that the entire Indian landscape is a work of expressionistic art, like a Jackson Pollock painting, except it's all in varying shades of red. Sometimes one of these squirtedout works of art gets washed away inadvertently by an overzealous hoser. But, hey, no big deal, because sure enough, before you can say 'K G Subbramaniyan' you've got another instant masterpiece splattered on the same spot. Aaah thooo! as the local saying goes.
    Apart from traditional arts and crafts such as wall- and pavement-paintings, India also boasts a number of Incredible modern marvels. The whole world knows of the Nano, the world's most economical car. But did you guys know that apart from the Nano, and to keep all those Nanos from bashing into each other, India had with great foresight already invented the world's first mobile traffic islands which help regulate traffic on the busy and crowded streets? These traffic islands in the middle of roads are not only self-propelled, capable of moving about on their own will, but have been designed in the shape of the sacred Indian cow so that no one, rash motorist or jostling pedestrian, dares challenge their right of way on pain of eternal damnation. The result is the Incredibly Indian traffic jam.
    But perhaps the most Incredible thing about Incredible India is the Tall Tales Competition that takes place nationally every five years, or whenever the mood takes the country. In keeping with the ancient oral tradition which goes back to the time of the great epics, the Mahabharat and the Ramayan, master storytellers from all corners of the land compete with each other to see who can tell the biggest whoppers, the tallest of tall tales, the mother and father of all fictions and fables, to what is said to be the biggest audience in the world to judge such a contest. Those who tell the biggest and most imaginative lies are rewarded by being given free run of the country for the next five years. And the most Incredible part of it is that this great fibbing contest is called Democracy.
    Indeed, everything about India is so Incredible that i've decided that i want to stay here forever and never go back to the US. I'm not too hot at fibbing so i don't think i can take part in the tale-telling competition. But i could always become a hoser. Thing is, will i be supplied with one or do i gotta bring my own hose?
    Yours etc,
    A S Quirt
 This is what makes India incredible. Traffic islands to be or not to be, we still love our country but to see it transform from third world to the first, we must cultivate the patience that is no longer a virtue in today's youth.
Later .....

Thoughts ridden by kash

Is late rising good?

Jonathan Mead at Zen Habits surely thinks that is the case. Follow the link to know why.

Thoughts ridden by kash

India's Sanitation Challenge

Here is one more challenge [Link to Bloomberg report] that new govt. should take up. As if it does not have much on the plate already, which for the record, I don't think they do. All the welfare work in our country is being done by some NGO or the other. It is non-governmental and therefore, it works. Why does it work? Because it had been created to do so. It is a non-profit organisation, though my personal belief is no NGO is a no profit organisation. Everyone and every organisation makes a profit in some form or the other. But I would not mind giving my money to an NGO rather than give it to the govt. as tax and see it disappear in some tax haven.
Will the new govt. gear up for the vision stated in the report? Vote for the less dangerous political party and hope for the best.