Monday, October 12, 2009

Relocated

Readers,


Hopefully Yahoo sticks to its promise of not screwing Tumblr up. 

Do visit. 


Best,
Nikhil Sharma

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Analysis of possibilities - Part II

5:00 pm on the day of election results. PM and future PM's mummy had a press conference an hour ago. With the jubilation done with, and the dust having settled down, it is time to analyze some possibilities and aspects that stare us in the face today.

At the end of it all, RJD is twiddling its fingers with a paltry 5 seats. Mulayam Singh's demeanour resembles his name now with his party bagging no more than a apologetic 20 seats. All the prospective allies have no bargaining power with the Congress this time. This shall work in the best interests of Congress after having entered into an alliance with the TMC (Mamata Didi). You may wonder why. Well heres the juice : Mamata Banerjee , for long has had a 'thing' (if you allow me) for the Railway Ministry. Now, in a 20 against 5 statistic, Mamata straightaway scores a brownie point against Laloo Yadav in the race to bag that ministry.

The next controversy in waiting is cabinet positions for Kalaignar Karunanidhi's entire family. And that is probably going to be followed by raking up the murder charges that have been slapped on Azhagiri. Home minister Palaniappan Chidambaram had been trailing all day today. Had he lost, it would surely have been a terrible loss of face for the Congress. But Bingo!! News flashes in the evening inform me of a recount that took place in Sivaganga and miraculously, P.C has won!... My teachers in school told me , there are no miracles; Illusions are created and made to look like miracles. Well, I rest my case with a

Samajhne waale samajh chuke hain, jo na samjhe, na samjhe - just wait and watch!


Now, the mother of all possibilities. Long back, --> here , I had asked you, Whats in a name, anyway? Maybe, today , I myself shall be able to provide an answer. What do you instantly visualize when you come across the name Rahul? The maximum number of answers I have got, point to one of Shahrukh khan's cheesy characters. What if I add a Gandhi to that name? There!, you have your PM(in waiting). Thats what a name gives you : The top post in the country. Immediately after this landslide victory, every leader in the Congress has attributed the success to Manmohanji, Soniaji and Rahulji. Manmohan Singh, coming out at the press conference at 4 :00 and saying that he shall force Rahul Gandhi to take up a cabinet portfolio is as farcical as farcical can get. Manmohan singh is already not in the pink of health after his bypass surgery. So, do not be surprised if sometime at the middle of his term Manmohan Singh abdicates his throne and gets Rahulji in the hot seat. If you find this theory to be baseless, pray tell me why a mummy would want her bacchu to waste 5 productive years of his life. The mummy would rather get her baccha to become the youngest prime minister of the largest democracy in the world. This is one of those things that would get Jyotiraditya or Sachin Pilot to remark "Humne kya gunaah kiya tha ?"

Two more interesting aspects before I wrap this up.

Shashi tharoor has been promised a cabinet position. This is an excellent prospect. I am hoping that he gets MOS EF(external affairs). We need brains at the top. Young people, fresh faces and heads firmly on shoulders : Am glad that we will not see a cabinet abundant with people who visit the Apollo hospital more than they visit their constituencies.

Finally, Arnab Goswami might need to create work/news over the next few days. With the Congress winning so cleanly, he might not get any fodder to ruminate on. News is bound to get de-sensationalised (allow me to term it as boring). The Hindi Channels do not come under the purview of this generalization . Elections are over and done with; but UFOs from Mars still suck up cows from remote faraway Village roads and a Ganesha Statue can still drink milk. The hindi channels are going to be in business.

Many more possibilities are yet to be discussed. Some possibilities that could not be tested also may be discussed. One that comes to my mind is What would Pratibha Patil have done in the event of a hung parliament. Thats hypothesis now and I shall let it be that way.

Cheers.

>> May be continued .. >>

Friday, May 15, 2009

Analysis of possibilities - Part I

10:00 AM on the day of Poll results - Congress is surging towards probably becoming the single largest party in the country. As a candid Digvijay Singh remarked, "For the second time, we shall see a UPA govt. headed by Dr. Manmohan singh and led by Soniaji Gandhiji (sic)" and am sure that the same line is going to be used by the NDA to criticize the UPA during its stint in opposition.

L.K. Advani leads in gandhinagar but would again have to settle as the leader of the opposition. Lalu's strategy of contesting from both Saran and Pataliputra is paying off. He is leading in one constituency while trailing in another. My glee knows no bounds when i see Renuka Chowdhary trailing. Renuka is a political analyst's prototypical example of an incompetent politician. She is neither a grass-roots person, nor has the hold to argue on national issues on public forums. Credit to her for carrying on from Khammam for the past five years as a mother, daughter, sister and daughter in law. Enough of the tomfoolery; Khammam has 'jaagoed'.

MNS has surprisingly struck a jackpot in Mumbai South. Milind Deora, due to lack of development initiatives may have to spend five years on the fringes as a sevak. Although I do not favor the MNS in any way, this is a fully justified mandate by the people. Kamal Nath, who was trailing for the past hour has started leading in Chhindwara. Mohammed Azharuddin, is surprisingly leading in Moradabad. The only agenda he had in the runup to the elections is to build a stadium in Moradabad. Yes Azzu Bhai.. Once the stadium is up, you may start an academy there and insure your old-age. And ya, dont forget the the cliched crap that you mumbled the other day on television : 'hospitals', electricity. You mumbled your way through cricket. I expect nothing special from you in the parliament. Mark my words, five years down the line , Azzu would say- "We tried our bets(oops best), you know, We served , you know, the people, you know but still there, you know, are neither hospitals, nor is there , you know, electricity here. However, you know, we have built a stadium here which would churn out cricketers who , you know, would play as Kaccha Limbus in the IPL"

Kalaignar is leading in a major way in TamizhNaad. BJP has shamelessly attributed this mandate to the incursion of Vijayakanth in politics. Left parties have been amazingly done-in by the Cong TMC and the Cong UDF alliances in Kokata and Kerala. In retrospect, it seems to have been a masterstroke by the Congress in both the states in going to bed with the Left's opposition.

Potential PM Mayawati has bagged 44 seats till now. My earlier analysis was that Mayawati works on the long tail strategy and that has been proved correct.



If we see a break-up of Mayawati's victory, 60pc of her seats have come from the UP and 40pc from non UP. The entire count goes on to a mammoth 44 (for a non national level party). Giving attention to the long tail always pays dividends. Maywati's victory simply proves that fact. However, in the context of Indian elections, I find it weird that this strategy works. Consider a case where I might need to expect Maya to carry on development activity in my constituency which is in the heart of Mumbai, Maharashtra, a constituency unknown to Maya and here party(hench)men. The core fact is that Maya is plainly looking to establish a national presence with her cliched and inconsequential Dalit ki Beti ranting while not having a firm agenda on development and strategic progress. This is my primary and only argument in not favouring Maya Behen ever as a PM.

Mamata Di has hit the jackpot this time after abysmally losing out last time round while being in the fold of the NDA. Consider this : Last time, the CPM bagged 35 out of the total of 42 seats for which they were fighting on.

Its been a while, I have been garnering facts for this post over the morning today. Currently, Cong is at 208 nationally. A projection coming out is Cong (208) + Left(31) + Fourth Front(40) > 272. I feel Cong should not cut the umbilical cord with the Left. While, the Left parties are a pain in the ruling alliance, they would be a PAIN in the opposition. The Left parties are not averse to walk outs and bandhs and I, as a tax payer am just not keen on having a 30pc cut on my pay every year just to see a lack of quorum in the parliament all the time.

Also, if the Left is going to sit out of a UPA alliance, the only big party that remains is the BSP. Hell, again, I am just not keen on having my tax money build statues of Kanshiram, and Behenji in all parks all across the nation.

>>First among a set of posts. >>

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Refrigerator breeds.

Am sure you have come across one of these. Apparently , they call it the Pepsi refrigerator. Search on google and you get 144000 results pointing to the same. Excuse me if I sound stupid

but I was really not aware that one is not supposed to keep products other than those manufactured by PepsiCo in these Pepsi-branded coolers. The same logic holds for all other breeds such as Cadbury Coolers, Coca Cola refrigerators et al. Till date, I was of the view that these banners/logos are purely brand promotions of individual products. Evidently, I was wrong ; This is a part of such products' business model and the below account shall describe how it all falls in place.

How does the system work?
The local franchisee of a particular product approaches the shops in the locality asking them sell only their product. The targets of such requests/proposals are shop owners at critical nodes and stages. The created monopolistic chain is lengthened by approaching many more such nodal shopowners.

Whats in it for the shopkeeper?
Ah, I am no Galileo. This is possibly the first question that even the 'baniyas' pose to the franchisee representatives. Heres the key. The fridge/refrigerator belongs to the company whose product is going to be enfranchised by the shopkeeper. Maintenance, Servicing and periodic cleaning of the refrigerator is completely managed by the product company. The shopkeeper safeguards his peace of mind at a relatively small CTS - Cost to Serve. He only needs to ensure that he is stocked with the products of the aforesaid company at all times. But is this really a little CTS? Well I do not think so. Lets place it against the Opportunity Cost of the baniya.

The Opportunity Cost
Well, the primary purpose of stocking products of only a single brand is to kill the demand for those of the brand's competitors. But this approach focusses on a scenario where all the brands are equally placed in the market in terms of their demand,differentiated product offerings and also their timing of production, shipping and delivery. But that is usually never the case. Demands for such FMCG products change by the day. New products or product lines launched can also play a huge role in shaping the demand. Convenience of Use and Availability is also key in brand loyalty retention. For example: Pepsi might have soft drinks available in tetra packs whereas Coke might not. Similarly, Pepsi might have employed a poor service in shipping which might be delaying its replenishment dispatch orders. In such a case, if the demographics of a locality are bent upon having the product in a particular form and quantity, their local convenience store does not give them that provision, they would rather go to a super market and shop for the month rather than compromise on every daily purchase. Carpet Bombing does not always solve the issue of a 'need based' marketing campaign. This is a huge opportunity cost to pay as the local convenience stores end up losing customers while aligning themselves to a larger objective of that product company. However, the 'baniyas' are not people to be cowed down by such externalities. Workarounds are devised and margins are maintained at a Green level.

The Workaround.
No prizes for guessing. The shopowners bribe the person who delivers the product line and checks for aberrations in the shopkeeper's conduct as per the unspoken agreement. The shopowners also extract intelligence about the existence and timings of periodic checks from the higher authorities of the said company. Who is the sufferer? It is the company which tries to establish the monopoly by getting the grass-root players in their favor. These companies end up doing all the dirty work of maintaining those refrigerators which ultimately house their competitors' products!.

That is one manifestation of an utterly complex microeconomic scenario for you.

The next time you visit a shop which houses multiple products from multiple brands, be sure to check the cases where these are stored. If you see a Coke standing comfortably in a 'Pepsi refrigerator' or a Kitkat snoring in a 'Cadbury Cooler Case' you know what went on behind the scenes.

Blogger errors - bX-r1ezpk,bX-ic7rvl

Trust me, these errors scare the daylights out of you. Consider this: You spent a considerable chunk of your day adding widgets and beautifying your weblog and now, you cannot access it. Reason - One of the pieces of code you added, was probably not well formed and so it is behaving weirdly. In tech jargon, this situation is referred to, as a parsing error.

If you do encounter this, do not fret. There obviously exists a solution. I'll address the proactive measures of the solution first and then touch upon the reactive ones.

- First, take a backup of your blog template and of all those scripts which you have added for your custom widgets

- Second, bookmark the 'Edit Html' page of your blog. Among all the pages of your blog, only this page is accessible when this error pops up.

- Third, remember your blogger password correctly or update your browser settings with the latest password if you have the habit of having the machine to 'Remember me'. This is important as Blogger, like google, goes crazy even if you input your password wrongly once. And you dont want your account to be blocked in such a scenario.

Now, the reactive measures.

- Go to the Edit Html Page with your credentials.
- There is a checkbox at the bottom of the page saying 'Revert to original widget templates'
-Click on that and save the HTML.
-Click on the View Blog button at the top of the page and voila!, your blog should open as previous.

I am hoping that this post comes to your rescue when you use Google Search as your first reactive measure. Sadly, Google also houses just 2 useful pages on bX-r1ezpk.

I have only Peter Schiff to thank for resurrecting my blogosphere. Hope I could be of help to you with this post.

-Peace.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thumbs down- To the lazy apathetic Mumbai Voter

Voter turnout estimates
Mumbai Overall - 41 pc
(South Mumbai - 22 pc avg)

They gave you the options; They gave you the reasons; Their incompetency itself should have been the motivation to get you out of your bean-bag couches and wield your finger. If a horrific terror attack and a 6 month long campaign failed to spur you on, I am not sure what else would. Kudos to the Jaago Re camp for making a sincere attempt to get the champagne socialistic pachyderms off their arses.

Heres a quick one for you lethargic thick skinned mammals - I did cast my vote :


The mark on my finger is for the party I voted for; the gesture is for all those of you in Mumbai who did not vote.


Your apathy shall do nothing but allow parties with symbols and ideologies llike these(see fig below) to spring up and possibly assume a role in the thick of things.
Source:www.bleedindia.com

You may continue to sit on those bean-bag couches, take long weekends to Mahabaleshwar/Matheran, visit inconsequential gatherings/parties, be glued to your idiot boxes guzzling on your alcohol and with each of these activities, shamelessly and categorically remark : "India ka kuch nahi ho sakta!".

With clowns like you filled in our country, I very reluctantly, have to agree to that statement.



Monday, April 27, 2009

Murphy's laws P&C

  • Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.
  • Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day's work.
  • The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.
  • After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.
  • Don't be irreplaceable, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
  • To err is human, to forgive is not company policy.
  • The more pretentious a corporate name, the smaller the organization.
  • Hardly anyone gets sick on Wednesdays.
  • If the salesperson says, "All you have to do is..." you know you're in trouble.
  • Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it.
  • A working program is one that has only unobserved bugs.
  • No matter how many resources you have, it is never enough.
  • All Constants are Variables.
  • No matter how hard you work, the boss will only appear when you fool around on the Internet.
  • In a transistor circuit protected by a fuse, the transistor will always blow to protect the fuse.
  • The probability of forgetting your password is directly proportional to the frequency of changing it.
  • Some one always gets the good jobs first.
  • The job you want is well paying, interesting, fun, rewarding, conveniently located, or attainable; pick one
  • If you come late to the office, the chances are, your boss is already in his room.
  • Your Boss will always call you, when you aren't at your desk.
  • The chance of the buttered side of the bread falling face down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
  • The other line always moves faster.
  • If it jams - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
  • Everyone has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.
  • Murphys golden rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Creatiwitty

Its not the mountain in the front that bogs you down, its the pebble in your shoe that does. Be creative. Think about every problem you face, from all possible aspects and angles. Stonewalling does no good to anyone. Treat obstacles as detours and not dead ends.

The text that proceeds contains aspects that have been beaten to death earlier but I have still tried to get back to the basics and put things in perspective.

Rule 1.
Creativity, like success is not a destination. It is a journey. You need to touch upon your creative side everyday, in every aspect of your day to day activity. A sub rule within this rule is that you already are and possibly have been creative at various stages in your life. Think about all such instances , analyze and estimate the extent to which your boundaries have constricted you. Absence of success should prompt you to ask yourself 'What could I have done better?' and the presence of it should prompt you to ask 'How could I have done this better?'.

Rule 2
Do the don't, Can the Can't. Your mind is ductile, malleable and can be easily swayed. Swaying it using the right winds of thought is your responsibility. Give a direction to neutrality using your positivity.

Rule 3
RCA. They call it Root Cause Analysis. Well, RCA is the key to being creative. Creativity is not about ignoring four perfectly justified ways of solving a problem by hopping onto a fifth. Sometimes it might imply changing the water tap, but almost always it is about scouting for the actual location of the hole in the tap and repairing it even when you are not armed with M-Seal.

Rule 4
Respect Information. Waterboard yourself with information. It is not without reason that almost all major internet companies are coming up with ways to make life easier for you in this age of Information Overload. IO is a boon and categorization, segregation and classification tools coming up in the market are enablers that empower you to use this boon for your benefit. Creativity is a phenomenon that thrives on the base of multiple alternatives and with more information, more often than not, you create more alternatives for future processing.

Rule 5
Question yourself; Be flexible. Always have your END GOAL in perspective. If you are spending 8 hours a day on something that is not adding to your end goal, then you need to either a) Check whether it can be tailormade to align in any manner with your goal 0r b) Scrap the task completely and do whatever it takes to do something that has the 'accrual' effect. Creativity is all about flexibility. Incorporate it in yourself.

Rule 6
Changes and Distractions are not bad. Embrace change and treat it as an opportunity. There is an opportunity in every little change that happens in your life. Most distractions add value to your being. Even distractions warrant your attention and with a slightly improved attention span, you will see that most distractions give you information which ( as mentioned in Rule 4) is a critical aspect towards being creative.

Rule 7
Stress check. Creative thinking and stress usually do not co-exist. If you find that you are experiencing stress, it is a direct indication that you are not thinking creatively. If you are thinking creatively, more often than not, you will not experience stress.

Suggestions, interjections are welcome!

-Peace

Monday, April 20, 2009

The 3 Cs

This is an extract from an article I read recently.

Life, essentially consists of the 3Cs. Create, Consume and Connect. The elaboration is intuitive enough for one to join the dots and create a story around these three words. It is very aptly said that a compromise on either of these aspects leads to a stagnation of growth. Lets analyze how.

- If you continue to only Create and do not Consume and Connect, then you become outdated. Your throughput/output does not provide any benefit to society. You cease to remain a participant in any form of partnership/barter programs and thus your progress is severely hindered.

- If you continue to only Consume and fail to Create and Connect, then there is evidently no input coming in from your end to contribute to your progress. You essentially lead the life of a parasite, wherein a critical factor leading to your success is your dependency on externalities. In the absence of such external factors, your success ceases to exist.

- If you do Connect, but neither Create nor Consume, then you do not add a penny worth of value to people around you. You are isolated and thus rendered incapacitated to progress any further in your life.

Simple but profound.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Interesting Ad-Wars

Nikon Vs Lumix (Face detection)











Pepsi Vs Coca Cola








Audi Vs BMW Vs Subaru







Monday, April 6, 2009

Peace


8:30 AM. Peak time; Rush hour.



P.S: The virginity of this picture has been maintained. It would have been criminal to lay a digital air brush and manipulate the glow that this little girl in the picture exudes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Despicable creations, not fathers

A girl's father is the first man in her life, and probably the most influential. - David Jeremiah (Quoted in Fathers Who Dare to Win by Ian Grant, 1999)

I wish to draw your attention to the darker gruesome facet of this statement. A Josef Fritzl shocked the world a quarter of an year ago. To the shock and disgust of many of us, there has been a sudden spurt of cases like Fritzl's in India over the past couple of months.

Spare a thought for those girls who have been subjected to incest by men whom they look up to; men, who, ideally are supposed to protect them from the depravity in society existing due to a heavy influence of baser instincts in people's actions.

In cases where the female sex has been exploited by spineless insensitive men, decision makers in the society have prescribed nothing less than capital punishment as a deterrent for the perpetrators. In most of these cases, the perpetrators have been related to the victim's family in some manner. Such is the gravity assigned to existence of trust between the perpetrator and the victim in cases of exploitation that a supreme court ruling treats illicit relationships between a man and a woman under merely the promise of marriage as rape. In terms of the existence of trust, the father probably occupies the highest pedestal in a girl's life. Considering the precedents that we have set, and the case in question, isn't it justified to call for a form of punishment far more grave than capital punishment for the fathers in question?

India can continue to be a 'Shantipriya' country and treat these cold blooded, apathetic individuals with velvet covered batons. 'Law will take its own course', 'No criminal shall escape the long hands of the law' - seem fairly lame and laced in idealistic philosphy to say the least. My prime point of contention here is concerned with the whole psyche of society with such cases coming to the fore. I fear that these cases threaten to dislodge the whole equilibrium that exists in familial relationships in India today. Let me cite a statistic in UK to substantiate my apprehensions: A week ago, the Telegraph reported - "More than a quarter of England's primary schools have no male teacher". A source from TDA(Training and development agency, Great Britain) said "People expect male teachers to fit into one of two stereotypes: sporty and practical or effeminate and 'therefore gay'," he says." I am neither, so I'm in a sort of uneasy third place. People can be suspicious of your motives and feel they need an explanation, which they don't with female teachers."

I was as flabbergasted as you are, after reading this statement. Well, if you were to check the increase in the cases of pedophilia over the past few years in the UK, you would understand that the claims of this TDA representative are not unfounded.

The same logic applies to the cases of incest as well. Cases like those of the demonic, reprehensible fathers, threaten to alter the societal make-up and manipulate the existing equilibrium of trust.

An appeal to all the parents witnessing such degeneration in society : Counsel your children. In today's scenario, when your kids are growing up ogling at crass reality television and base naked truths shown on news channels, it is never too early to have a heart to heart chat with your kid and have him/her confide in you.

Transformation from a boy to a man is purely biological but transformation from a man to a father is something far deeper and emotional. Maturity gained during such a transformation, should be utlized in instilling a sense of right and wrong in the generation of today.

Fail Safe Operation

Sun took the term 'Fail-Safe operation' to a completely new level by testing their data-centers against a massive earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale.

In contrast, i was just mulling over the nature/level of fail-over guarantee that Indian IT companies provide to their clientele. Clustered operations, Backup and Recovery mechanism, Tape Drive backups - These can mitigate only the most minuscule of glitches in case of a disk crash or a power failure. Is there any guarantee provided against natural disasters like the 26/11 deluge or mild earthquakes(we know Mumbai and Pune are prone to them)?

What stumps me is that, most clientele are satisfied with flimsy caveats in SLAs by IT companies with respect to fail-safe operational performance. I am not sure what needs to be transpire to remind them that a fail-safe operational metric is not a 'good to have' . Its a 'must have'.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

......... (Well, I am speechless)

I just had to post this video, for those who have not seen the catch. It is by far the most intelligent catch I have ever seen.

The catch is by Adam Voges from the T20 match between Australia and New Zealand.



Please note that this video is courtesy Ballhype.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mollify them to 'Poll'ify them

History teaches us that we never learn from History. I read somewhere that the Mumbai Carnage was like a 'Black Swan'

A Black swan (according to the article) is an event that has low probability and a high impact and is characterized by retrospective predictability.

Today, 2 months after the attack, many heads have rolled and many more are on the verge of being guillotined. From a broad security perspective, nothing must have changed, but at the ground level, the Mumbai-ites are seeing a sea of change in the way the political parties are trying to mollify the vote-base.

Mollification formulae have changed. India Shining and Bharat Nirman face way too much flak even from regular voters these days. The pro Marathi campaigns initiated by Shiv Sena and MNS have also been put on the backburner.

Barring a few shameless exceptions, no political party within Maharashtra has the gumption to come out and claim that it will tackle terrorism. Left with no option, the entire spineless community has now reverted to the tried and tested methods. Bijli, Sadak and Paani have resurfaced as the strongest poll plank supports.

I hail from a suburb in Mumbai that used to face regular 3-4 hour power cuts. Over the past few months, the power cuts have ceased to a nought even though I still hear validated reports of Maharashtra facing an acute power deficit. I work in a company located in a god-forsaken area to the south of Powai. Anyone who has been using the approach roads passing via IIT would agree with me that those roads have been in an appalling condition for decades now. For the past two years in my experience now, the flyover from powai to eastern express highway has been regularly ostentated by chains of cars stuck in traffic snarls. Over the past few weeks, however, the road widening project, an initiative towards easening out the traffic, has been super efficient. Tasks that would ideally take weeks/months just to get approvals from concerned authorities are being actually implemented on ground in a couple of days. What has changed? The ruling government has remained the same for the past 5 years. Only the CM and HM were changed a month ago. I doubt whether that made any difference because most of Mr Chavan's salad days at office were consumed in issuing clarifications for his incompetent predecessors' insipid comments and actions.

Then what has changed? Well, nothing. It just happens to be a favorable time; A time that comes once in 5 years in this country.

This is a forced realization that has come in Maharashtra. Sadly, it is missing elsewhere and inconsequential initiatives and issues still continue to be poll planks. The building of the Ayodhya temple or the hanging of Afzal Guru is not going to make females feel safe while travelling in Delhi and Gurgaon at night. Fiery speeches politicizing terror attacks are not going to create the infrastructure to house the 26 million births that take place in India every year. Money used for poll/publicity campaigns shall rather be used in people centric programs. OLPC, NREGS, CAP have all remained at raw pilot stages. Amar Singh would be better placed if he donated money to NGOs in UP rather than the Bill-Hillary foundation for AIDS. We may yap about India's growth story in times of recession, but the ground reality is that growth in agriculture has fallen from 4.9 pc last year to 2.3 pc this year. With 65% of the agro-based population in distress, it is time for less yapping and more zapping while creating election manifestos and later implementing the mentioned activities.

Mollificatiion cannot be on hollow terms and inconsequential planks. It is 'Jaago re' time, not just in terms of casting your vote but also casting it to the least useless neta among the rest in our political landscape.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Article : Politically Incorrect - Shobhaa De

Below is an excellent article by Shobhaa De on the recent diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan. Pay special attention to the last line of this article.

I am not pasting the link since it behaves anomalously sometimes.
POLITICALLY INCORRECT
'Show me the real evidence'
8 Feb 2009, 0112 hrs IST, Shobhaa De

My neighbour is a really difficult chap. There are no major problems as such. I am ok. He's ok. Same soil ke phool etc. But it's his dogs that
drive me crazy. I have nothing against kuttas - provided they are well-trained, well-behaved and don't crap on my doorstep. Even I have kuttas. But they aren't anything like my neighbour's. I have control over mine, and if they ever mess up my neighbour's space, I take full responsibility... and clean up after them. It's the right neighbourly thing to do... right?

We have had touch-and-go incidents in the past, and exchanged angry words over this issue. But this time my neighbour's kuttas have gone a bit too far. They tore into my home and destroyed everything in sight. Worse, they caught my own dogs (and me!) napping. Taking full and total advantage of the situation, they created havoc in our lives and left crucial evidence behind - a huge mass of dog poop. This was just too much. I called up my neighbour to protest, but he hung up on me, the bloody so-and-so! I called again... and again. But he refused to answer.

Finally, in sheer frustration, I called a common friend to complain about the outrage. He was good enough to offer immediate intervention. But that's because he is a Gora and often borrows my neighbour's car when his own conks out. Still, i thought it was pretty sweet of him to take up this ugly matter with that crazy man.

Two hours later, the Gora called to say he'd had a word with the kuttawallah, who told him it was not his kuttas that had entered my home in the first place! I was stunned, shocked and enraged. "What the hell does he mean?" i demanded angrily. "Of course, those were his dogs... i know their paw prints... why, even their poop is pretty distinct given the strange diet they're on." The Gora promised to get back. I waited... and waited. Finally, he called to say, "Proof. He wants evidence. Can you prove the damage was done by his dogs and not your own?" I nearly fainted. "Are you nuts? Why would my dogs do this to me in my own home?" The Gora remained impassive. And the neighbour refused to open the door when i knocked.

We were clearly getting nowhere. So, i rang yet another neighbour. This one had also been attacked in the elevator by those kuttas. "Why don't we join forces?" i suggested. And that's exactly what we did. Being civil with that guy was getting us nowhere. "Shall we just break down his door and barge into his house to confront the liar?" my co-sufferer asked.

"Forget it... we don't want this to escalate and involve the entire building," i said resignedly. Then i got a brain wave - if it's hard evidence he wants, it's hard evidence he'll get. I got down on all fours to collect samples of poop, tufts of doggy hairs... even a broken tooth that had fallen off during the attack.

I made three or four neat packets and sent them off to the secretary of the building society. One lot, I handed over to the scoundrel next door via his driver. "This poop does not belong to my dogs," he thundered from the window across my room.... "and the hair do not match my pets' either. As for the tooth... it is clearly a plant to compromise me and my dogs. It is clearly non-state dogs you should be tracking. In fact, this whole thing is a conspiracy because actually you want to grab my flat, my dogs would never do such a thing. Never. I do not accept your evidence because i know it is concocted. My dogs did not leave my home that night... and i can prove it."

I was speechless. I certainly didn't expect this from a man who always had a smile plastered on his face whenever we met to discuss matters of mutual interest. "Come and see the damage for yourself... get any neutral person of your choice to assess it. It is your dogs and your dogs alone that are responsible and unless you admit it, i am going to unleash mine on your home just to teach you a lesson." My neighbour laughed. His kuttas were about to crap again. And mine were still sleeping.
Sourced from The Times of India (link)

Its about time.

They say, "Be it an apple or be it fame, whatever goes up has to come down". Newton proved the adage for an apple. A number of celebrities/sports stars have proved the same for fame/success.

Michael Phelps is the latest to join the bandwagon.

Two awe-inspiring pictures that remained etched in my memory after the last olympics :

Usain Bolt thumping his chest before making it to the finish line:














Bolt's confidence was extremely inspiring. Whenever I used to see the footage of him in that 100m sprint I used to think, "What if he had lost th
at race due to his antics?" Well thats confidence for you. He was confident he wouldn't lose. As a very dear friend of mine would say, "You can't buy confidence from the market. Its inside you. You have got to light that fire within."


Michael Phelps after his 8th Gold:
















Phelps on the other hand, filled my mind with wonderment. I am running on 23 and I am ashamed to say that I have achieved nothing that may be even remotely comparable to what he has achieved.



Michael Phelps : Inhaling through a glass pipe

However, his latest actions have let me down. Phelps was photographed smoking/pretending to smoke cannabis
through a glass pipe.

It has reinforced my belief in the fact that humans are prone to mistakes. Phelps was touted as God then. Well he turned out to be human after all. Contrary to readers' perceptions, I am not taking pleasure in penning this article. It pains me to see a blooming career wither so. It bothers me to see a 'barely-23' year old young turk having to answer and justify his actions to the entire world; actions, which are practised possibly by majority of his countrymen at a lower age. Phelps has been suspended for a couple of years. Kellog and Co has tried to protect its brand image by booting Phelps from its contracted rolls. Speedo and Omega are still persisting with Phelps as their brand ambassador but one cannot say for how long they shall continue to do so. In times of recession, reduction in consumption plainly due to a spoilt brand image is the last thing any firm would desire.

An analogy that strikes me here
Gravity : Apple
World's prying eyes : Celebrities

The apple just had weight; It did not have wings. So it had to come down when acted upon by gravity. Phelps had the success and the ensuing popularity. As evident, he did not have the sensibilties to shoulder the responsibilities entrusted upon him. The microscopic eyes of the media highlighted his condemnable actions and brought him down in no time. Even a privately committed mistake, as in case of Phelps made front page news in very quick time.

A major issue with Phelps more than any other errant celebrity is that he is a role model for kids.; the primary reason being that swimming lessons are started from the salad days in a person's life. Phelps should have realized this and checked his actions.

The milk has been spilt and there is no use crying over it now. The incident might raise questions on Phelps' maturity but it surely cant make people point fingers at his achievements.

It is surely a very hard lesson for the swimmer. My full sympathies with him. Hope this enables him to come out stronger.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine's Day Special

Sriram Sena. Rings a bell?

Well, it should ; considering the fact that the name is more in the news than those of the doctors who repaired our PM's cardiovascular region.

I am yet to figure out what the political ambitions of Mr. Muthalik are. After leading a marauding campaign against western influences on our culture,one thing that he may have ensured is isolation in the political landscape. Every party, belonging to Karnataka or elsewhere is thinking twice even before issuing statements in favor of the hooligans.With the general elections being just around the corner, parties would rather use tried and tested formulae rather than champion for newly generated causes. Take the spineless Kalyan Singh for instance who has apologized for the Babri Masjid demolition. Well why would'nt he? He isn't a member of the BJP anymore. He has joined the SP (read: a party having more such spineless workers and a majority Muslim votebank to cater to).

Renuka Chowdhary has shot off a statement against the Sriram Sena citing the prime perpetrator's(read: Muthalik) bachelorhood as the reason for his condemnable actions against women at the pub. Pray tell me what has marriage got to do with it? I do not believe marriage teaches you to respect a woman.Going by the same logic, As a bachelor, is it justified if i don't respect women? For once, I would like to laud Renuka for chasing this issue but would like to remind her to stick to the issue and not digress from it by initiating an inconsequential personal slander. It is the lack of sensibilities, a quest for power and a lopsided view of culture, values and traditions that is driving the blasphemous actions of the hooligan-army led by Muthalik.

I was amused by this new dictat by the Muthalik army threatening that they would forcefully marry off couples frolicking and celebrating Valentine's day. Now, there is an interesting angle to this. If I as a participant in a relationship, am not being accepted by my partner's parents, all I have to do now is roam around with my partner on the 14th of Feb around the Sriram-sena 'adda' (Goons don't have HQs, they have addas). I don't even have to worry about breaking the news to my partner's parents. The local camera stations employed by the Sene would do the needful in my assistance. If not them, I can always bank on Aaj-Tak, StarNews, India TV to take the byte to the rest of the world and my partner's parents with the desired special effects and background scores.

I have been ranting in all my previous posts that the moderates in this country need to toughen up. Sensible, moderate parents in Karnataka, now have to decide whether they would wish to lock their offspring at home on Feb 14th or start off atleast a wave of thought against such extremism and force the impotent Yediurappa government to take action against the Sene.

This line does not mark the end of this article. It marks the start of a discussion that we need to engage in. This morality protection contract taken up by a handful of saffron brigadeers does not seem like it would die down soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Next is what?

Greetings. I am back after a self induced hiatus from regular updation. In my hibernation period, there have been numerous instances when I have itched to pen something but have lost motivation somewhere along the way. Today, when I view my blogger dashboard, the number of drafts are multiples of the number of posts.

Anyway, I have been seeing this ad-campaign featuring Aamir khan by Samsung Electronics (pronounced as SamSum by the 'seller community' at ChorBazaar) for a while now. Khan, in keeping with his latest image of a grimacing retard has given a pretty stupid performance in the advertisement.

But thats not the point. I found the catchline very very catchy (much to the disbelief and diagreement of a close crony). Thats one reason it finds place in this blog as a headline. The other reason is that It is a one line description of the reactions of millions of sensible people amidst billions of nincompoopish buffoons in India.

Amar Singh (with the bandana gifted to him allegedly by goons of Mayawatiji) shamelessly faced shutterbugs a week ago and declared "Sanjay Dutt is responsible for keeping the Gandhi flame alive and educating youngsters about Bapu through Lage Raho. So me and Mulayamji invite him with open arms to SP ". It was very evident that this was a 'bailout' package coming in Sanju Baba's way and as expected, he accepted it 'gracefully'. I remember Dutt having categorically remarked on a talk show in the past "Anything, but politics". Time and circumstances change people and mentalities. Dutt too has not been spared.

Am speechless. Well what can I say? This is definitely not the first time such a thing is happening in India. Over own Govind Ahuja got a Congress ticket five years ago citing his will and desire to do 'desh ki seva' . He ended up trouncing the then Petroleum Minister and old political warhorse Ram Naik. Govinda's achievements during his five year tenure as an MP : Grinning impishly, a dud called Nyay, Grinning impishly, issuing a major bloomer during the parliament voting on the 123 deal, Grinning impishly, a Mind numbing performance in a horrifying comedy called Partner and well that was followed by more impish grins and painfully stupid statements to the media about the state of affairs in the country. I feel I should reiterate, lest you readers forget, This guy defeated Ram Naik, the petroleum minister of the incumbent government.

Am actually compelled at this point to ask - Next is what? Sanjay dutt , in all probability shall be contesting from Lucknow, Vajpayee's homeground. Vajpayee has been achieving sweeping victories from this region for a couple of decades now. So are we going to see the 'Jaadu ki Jhappi' get the better of our old and weak BJP pappy? If a future model can be predicted by extrapolating past and present trends, I would like to say.. Maybe.. Well, Its a different point that it will be a shame on the Indian democratic setup.

Last elections have seen a slew of incompetent goofballs getting an entry into the parliament. Pray tell me how can one justify Dharmendra's election into the Parliament just on the basis of his 'beaten to death' drunken garble? I had viewed his election campaigns at Bikaner on television where the crowds would go into a frenzy when he started "Mausiji, I committt sooosiide"... Well, Sunny and Bobby ke Papa, you may have ensured that about your political career by visiting the Parliament and Bikaner with equally appalling frequency. The same goes for Navjot Singh Sidhu. With a murder case against his name and a flowering career as a perennially guffawing laughter reality show judge, Sidhu hardly finds time these days to serve his role as a 'Cricket Expert'. So attending parliament and visiting his constituency once in a while is almost out of question.

The point is , are we going to see a coninuity in this trend even in this elections? Calling for help from one's contacts and cronies in the film fraternity and projecting them as 'Star Campaigners' is one thing and making them contest on party rolls is another. I am not discounting our film stars' will to work for India or their philanthropic and self repudiatory intentions behind joining politics. Just that, the poor quality and nature of past examples that we have had, compels me to have a strong apprehension about Actor-politicians.

At this point, all we can do is wait for the curtains to be drawn. One thing is for sure; it would be better if all of us brace ourselves for more surprises/shocks along the way.