Thursday, December 24, 2009

The second-last day of the COP15

Really, what the hell is happening?
There is a volatile tussle between hope and pessimism. At one point, everyone literally declares the negotiations staring at failure. Just now, Hillary Clinton opens the American purse, and we have everyone foxed. Confused about how to handle COP15 tomorrow, when 119 world leaders would be expected to convene.
Amidst all this political hullabaloo and drama, seriously, the humanitarian fight against climate change has been lost. 
Whilst China & India want the developed world to take greater, more fulfilling responsibility, the 100 billion dollar lollipop has surely brought about severe confusion. All this on the eve of the final day. However top climate-change economists welcome the move. Yet, the G-77 delegates spill blood when another of their delegates appreciates the American approach. A point though, if the Americans were so willing to bring about solution, why come up with this game-changing move on the last day? Had this been depicted a little earlier, the negotiations would have been sitting pretty! (also, there is no clear domestic framework on climate change in the US!)
Some reports suggest that President Obama will take the US-Russia nuclear deal up with his Russian counterpart on the last day. Jairam Ramesh, the minister leading the Indian delegation at COP15, says that one positive outcome from the COP15 has been the strengthening of Indo-Chinese ties. The G-77, on the other hand, is demanding a trillion dollars. Seriously, is this the work of our leaders? (We could go into another debate on this one. . .) And to top this all, observer organizations have been kicked out to another part of Copenhagen. Weird battles seem to be raging between protesters and the police. Yvo De Boer loses his cool while talking to the chosen people's committee at the Bella Center. 
This has long been predicted, that Copenhagen won't produce a legally binding treaty. But until recently, the mood with which the negotiations were carried out seemed to show that even reaching any sort of a political accord wouldn't be a possibility. That has, with the American move, changed. 
So essentially, as one of the reporters exclaimed on BBC, nothing is sure. 
Yet, if tomorrow goes well. All this criticism showered on negotiators will evaporate. All is well, that ends well. PS. the purpose of this note - to let out the pent up frustration on the confusion and shameful politicization of the whole issue!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Ultimate Test of Sanity


Well here I am. My pre-boards are on- but I thought I must attend to this immediately. And IMMEDIATELY it is. Because THIS is one case in which I EXPECT people to see things the way I see them- but it just ain't happening!

The other day I came back home… all dejected and stuff (memory fails me- I think it had to do with my math marks…). When I entered it was to find Mom busy with her chapattis in the kitchen. She generally asks me "So what marks you got today?" so I braced myself. But evidently- that day- she had something more interesting chewing her grey cells. (And mind you- chewing STRAIGHT THROUGH in my opinion.)

She merely said- "I think a surprise awaits you. I don't know how you'll react- but go upstairs and look out your right window."

Well- naturally- as curiosity kills the cat- I was perplexed. I edged slowly upwards- as slow as possible. What would it be that got MOM so excited? Frightened at the thought that she's removed the vine outside my window I love so much- I opened my window.

At first- I didn't notice anything. Nothing had changed. I shrugged. There's got to be SOMETHING now that Mom's mentioned it! But nothing that I could actually see- so I decided to go down and consult her on what exactly she was talking about. As I turned to go- my eyes fell on my neighbour's backyard. (pretty normal see.) I noticed the normal swing they had put up… the huge palm tree in the side… many additions of new pot plants by Aunty next door… and then- I stopped. Stared. And I couldn't believe my eyes.

There were two white birds- the type with webbed feet and white plumes- frolicking about in their backyard. My eyes (I think) were the size of dinner plates.

I ran down. "Were you talking about-" Mom-"So you noticed our neighbour's new pets did you? I was thinking of coming up myself and pointing them out. I thought you wouldn't see them." "But… but…", I stammered," They can be seen from the MOON!" Well yeah technically. Who wouldn't notice two GEESE in someone's backyard?! "THAT'S NOT NORMAL!!! THEY'RE ABNORMAL!!" I said. "And why would that be? It's perfectly and simply their choice what they want as a pet- be it a goose or a mongoose." Said Mom.

Mom didn't see eye to eye with me on this topic hereafter.

They make quite a lot of noise. I've seen them shitting in the small inflateable pool that the neighbours have provided for them… they look like they're hungry all the time. And they kind of freak me out.

I asked my kindly neighbour- "why do you have geese in your backyard man?" And my kindly neighbour replied- "Because we bought them."

Now this case has become a test of my sanity… I think either I'm losing my marbles- OR (the more likely option) EVERYONE ELSE IS.

Isn't there ANYONE around who agrees with me and thinks it's abnormal to have geese in someone's backyard??

I rest my case.

:P

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climate Change: Progress vs Humanity?

Irregular ,sporadic and unseasonal rainfalls (thanks to our doing: Climate Change) destroyed nearly two lakh acres of crop land in Western Maharashtra. How does that affect us? Well sugar that used to, a week back, cost Rs 10/kilo is today, priced at Rs40 for the same. Pulses or Dal that were priced at (already exorbitant rates) Rs80/kilo have recently struck their maiden centuries. Isn't this good enough a highlight to show the practical problems rooted to Climate Change?


Devil's advocacy. The naysayers of the Climate-change saga hail the whole deal (of Climate change, Global warming) to be a myth. To be a hype. OK
Some people (for example the unpopular former prez., Mr. Bush) believe that the Earth has been warming since the beginning of the century. Its a natural development. OK
Economy is much more precious than something which isn't truly, fully understood (ie the entire climate-change dilemma) OK
And so on... (this is in fact the power of reasoning. There are logical counter-points to even the most simple truths.)


Angel's advocacy :). Firstly, the human race prides itself (more than anything) in its advances in science. And it is that same science that has observed irregularities in the occurrence of naturally occurring events. On one hand, we hail science to be a cult, we follow it as nothing less than a religion. On the other, we indirectly point a finger at it saying that it is a cook of myths and hypes?  (For those who would point: 'everything has flaws'. When many observations are made, and the same conclusions reached, over a period of time. Odds are, that the particular observations aren't flawed)
To people falling under the umbrella of Mr. Bush. Granted- scientifically -that the Earth has been warming by itself since centuries. Does that mean we should continue ravaging It? Continue depleting natural resources at alarming rates? Continue polluting our surroundings so as to cause sufferings to ourselves and our fellow earthlings? We, as a race, wouldn't be the root cause of the Global heating phenomena... but we're surely playing the role of a catalyst, an over-enthusiastic catalyst.
Addressing the economists who presume priority of the economy. Rising prices are like a cancer. Here, as mentioned in the intro., isn't inflation the most troublesome economic ill (to the majority, common-man, human population) a result of the poor use of our environment? Another point that deserves mention. Many industrial lobbyists argue that a transformation to green-lifestyles will have a drastic impact on society. People will lose jobs. People won't be able to accustom to the change. Basically, economic cataclysm. Its only the people on top (these industrialists) who will lose grip over power. Who will lose out on money-making opportunities. The non-conventional energy industry, if harnessed, will produce more jobs than are at present. Human nature is such that is highly adaptable to change. After all, why did America vote for Obama? :)


Lets put it this way. The many problems humanity faces are in many ways correlated. The population outburst resulted in spiked demands for food, housing that led to deforestation and urbanization which further led to industrialization that has become a prime contributor to the whole Climate-Change emergence. 


In fact, the latest blockbuster release 2012 is a splendid effort by the entertainment industry to raise awareness (of course, tagged along with a vested commercial interest) among people. Who need the kind of masala and unrealistic fiction portrayed, to wake them out of their stubborn sleep. As otherwise shown, the planet won't necessarily come to such an end.  But, who says the human race can't be wiped off by nature? Weren't we taught the 'Tit-for-tat' ideology during our very early years? If thats what the principles of our life are built on... Why wouldn't it be applicable for our disrespect to nature? Newton's third law would act as the scientific logic here. 


With droughts becoming common, sea-level rising, resources depleting (at the same time, the demand continuously rising), diseases spreading (as if it were the Happy-hour in the bacterium clans) ,floods increasing (in both frequency and magnitude). With the lack of clean water, clean air, to the so ons. We're in a mess. Perhaps, again as shown in the movie, only the rich and powerful would be able to hedge themselves out of catastrophe. 


On a more positive note... There still is hope. Provided we act in unison. There is tremendous potential in the green industry. Which is limitless and commercially, if utilized to that extent, much more beneficial. For those who think that only fossil-fuel obtained energy will drive economic growth, are either ignoring green-power or are too scared to lose their monopolies in the non-renewable energy markets. Yes, there is a great deal of research required before we can efficiently harness naturally abundant renewable energy. But with the way we have progressed in science, there is nothing that should deflate our hopes. Its a safe-bet. 


At this current hour. We, in many ways, are aware of the problems at hand. Be it Obama meeting Hu Jintao. Or Miliband tweeting. Or Manmohan meeting Obama. Or the APEC meeting conducted in Singapore. Climate-Change is a buzzword in the policy-makers' circles. But we as such, don't have a practical reason to be a part of the war against the blatant mismanagement of our precious Home. Unless driven by incentives (practical reasons), not many of us will come out of our cozy nests to fight against the menaces of Climate-Change.


If Copenhagen is to succeed where its predecessor, Kyoto, fell short – to become Hopenhagen, as some have said – then world leaders must walk away on December 18 with a signed plan in their back pockets that does more than tick a few token boxes. 


(This is perhaps a cliche of an addition to the pile of articles suggesting the problems we face, and that why the leaders should come up with concrete agreements. We forget, that we are as much as at fault as are our leaders. If the industry sells fossil-fuels fueled products, thereby polluting Mother Earth, who buys those products? After all, we too want the luxury of flats in high-rise buildings, of lavish cars, of enough water that could cater to entire villages, of air-conditioned rooms, of the so ons. We too need to make a difference, at the very grass-roots before we can point fingers at or expect leaders to work out resolutions.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday the 13th!

This Friday the 13th, I was alone in my house,
Absolutely jobless, unless you count chemistry a job,
Sitting on the comp, with nothing left to browse,
And it was so silent, I could hear my own heart throb.

Suddenly, almost immediately, I heard a siren wail,
I ran towards the window, looking for ambulance or fire-men,
But then there was nothing, as if the sound was of soft scale,
I went back to my table and chewed on the back of my pen.

“Duuude woh kya tha?” I stopped & thought to myself,
I wasn’t really scared obviously, but seriously- WHAT WAS THAT!
I clambered up and my hand searched for my phone on the shelf,
And then there was a purr on my window, a black cat!

“Shoo go away,” I told the cat, irritated & annoyed,
I was not really fond of cats, ever since I was little,
It didn’t move and stared at me through eyes that were like voids,
And then it spoke as if it was some weirdo transmittal!

“Hello there, I’m Mohan,” said the cat like it spoke everyday,
“Well what you doing on my sill tonight?” I asked in a small voice,
The cat winked at me and said, “We go wherever we want to play,
For today is Friday the 13th of course! Our day to rejoice!”

“ ‘Our’ day to rejoice?” I asked, already dreading the reply,
“Well DUH,” said the cat, “I’m not the only spirit left here you see…”
“Ok,” came my falsetto, “Hope you don’t mind but, when did you die?”
“Oh just a decade back! My brother killed me.” Said the cat happily.

And just when I was about to show my shock and apprehension,
Just as suddenly, there was an electricity failure in town,
The cat said, “Oh that must be Bob, he died after Jesus’ ascension!”
I just stood stupefied, afraid I’d have a nervous breakdown.

All sorts of animals were flooding the area high and low!
If people were out they just stared or pretended to not see,
Many cars were surrounded- didn’t know where to go,
What was this sudden weirdo bizzarre jamboree??

“Why do you take the semblance of animals?” I asked curious,
To that the cat frowned, ACTUALLY FROWNED and turned away,
“The Earth is dying, so are the animals and plants,” he said furious,
“We intend to make you know we care about them in this way!”

And then the whole scene went back to the way it was,
The night was cat-less; animal-less once more,
And I was left stunned by the spirits and their laws,
Once again- a species had shown how much the homo sapiens they abhor.

So now I would like to appeal to one and all,
Isn’t it high time we learnt something from what’s happening?
Even the dead are worried more about our Earth than we all,
And I honestly don’t think there’s ANYTHING more saddening.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Afghan-War and Power

Its been 96 months since the Afghan War began. The situation hasn't changed much since 2001. Osama Bin Laden is still at large. Afghanistan's situation -as a country- has pathetically deteriorated. Its become more of a ruin. And the best part: the objective behind destroying this land was to destroy certain extremist groups that had been blossoming in it. Far from the goal, even after 8 years of war, these groups are more than surviving. They run on the principle of "In this world there's enough poverty and frustration and anger and passion. There will never be a shortage of martyrs"


As the CIA boss Edward Hoffman (Russell Crowe) very rightly suggests in the Body of Lies, "It is a fallacy that prolonged war will weaken an occupied enemy. It most likely will make your enemy stronger". Nothing better can describe the situation in the middle-eastern war-torn countries. 



Not only America, but all the NATO allies are in such a position where their accelerator is on full throttle, their brakes don't work, and deceleration is not possible cause the enemies of the world -the terrorists- are advancing from the opposite side, are in full throttle too, they don't have the concept of brakes (only acceleration and death), and are ready to Die. A complete catch-22. 


It is not even possible for the NATO allies to Rio-hedge themselves. For if they lift their hands off the enemy  for even a second, the enemy will hit back so hard as to rock the entire world apart. 
So how do we, as peace-lovers, come out of this bizarre unavoidable quagmire? If I knew the answer, well, President Barack Obama would have me on his cabinet. 
There is not point fussing over why back-stabbing cultured politicians initiated such mass-destruction only to catch one Bin Laden (who still hasn't been caught). Even if Mr. Osama would have been executed, someone else would have been passed the baton. And it is a lesser known truth, that the Taliban was the brain-child of the US so as to counter Russian invasion of Afghanistan. So, fundamentally, our policies have been faulty right from the beginning. We are facing the 'tat' of the tit-for-tat principle.


Jumping on to another paradigm, what is the root cause of all this troublesome unrest? Religion? The very fact that 98% of all religions preach the same principles... and us wanting to kill each other on the pretext of the remaining 2% is not digestible. All this turmoil might be blamed on religious differences... but the fact of the matter is that, doesn't it all boil down to the expanse in our population? Separatism exists because it is impossible for all the 6billion+ of us to be under one roof. With the millions of factions existing within our human race, there is a tussle for supreme power. The mantle of which, is now held by America. Everyone wants to be the supreme force. Be it Russia, China, Iran, India or the Jihadis. This had been a constant throughout history. First, it was-mythologically- the  Indians, then the Romans and Greeks, then the English, and now the Americans.


As Sun Tzu remarks in his The Art of War... To win without fighting is best. Only if Former President George Bush had considered his advice... Which is what I like about President Obama's peace-keeping strategy. He is letting the world know, that America wants to make friends. America is a peace-loving nation. He wants to diametrically change the faulty policies which are at the moment, being unsuccessfully implemented. 


What is done is done. What will result from our past deeds, will happen. However, to avoid future unrest... the population levels have to be curbed. With so many people on the planet (so many people, which nature cannot cater to), and resources becoming scarce by the hour... we're looking at a very dark future. Already, there are predictions saying that due to the shortage of drinking water, we will have to face the wrath of a World War III


In every way, I respect America as much as I love my own country. They have held the mantle of success and power for the whole century (which is very credible, considering the population burst ever since the 1930s.)
But I haven't any answer of my own to the resolve the clash between the Westerners and the infidel-loathers, and since every other country looks at only fruitful results for itself, therefore nurturing vested interests, there is no solutions that can be formed where the entire world unites against terrorism.


If the forces are pulled out of the troubled regions, there will be terroristic havoc across the planet. And the aggression continues, more troops will lose their lives. Tax-payer money in the billions would be wasted, which could have been used for greater causes such as population-control drives, or battling the menaces of poverty and so on...


RIP all those who've sacrificed their blood during the last 8 years. RIP all those who've lost their lives due to the extremist-aggression. 
We'll need a real stroke of brilliance, a one-in-a-trillion coupe to be pulled off by the NATO policy-makers to come out of this mess. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Success is 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration!!


As far as I can see from my own experience and other’s experience too- this saying is true. We may be inspired to do something, but the success of it only comes with great effort and determination.

As a badminton-playing country, winning the Thomas Cup is the ultimate achievement and all players are inspired by this. It is easy to imagine winning the Cup, but the actual winning of it is very much more difficult. For twenty five years since 1967, our players had tried and tried to win it without any success. Then by sheer determination and plenty of perspiration, they won it in 1992. This magnificent achievement only came after working so hard and coming second best plenty of times.

I have been inspired by others who have done well in examinations. It is very easy to admire someone who gets four 100s in the first exam of ninth-when practically everyone else came down. When I asked her how she managed it- she merely shrugged- but I knew how much work had gone into her success. So I know- IF AND ONLY IF I harbour any hope of emulating her success, I will have to go through the grind of studying hard. Again it is clear that success comes not only from inspiration. It may come if I am prepared to work for it. But then again- there is no guarantee that it will. :P

I have again been inspired by my co-blogger Anand Gupta. Let’s just say he’s not like the girl I mentioned above- but you can’t help being inspired by him! He does almost everything- taking part in movie-ideas, doing all that NGO work, and a LOT of other things- This fellow has it going! And now- since I’m mentioning him- he can’t really say he doesn’t work hard for this. :P

Man has always been fascinated by the birds and other creatures that can fly. He is inspired by these creatures to take to the skies as well. Many, including Leonardo Da Vinci, dreamt of flying and flying machines. However, inspiration was not enough. No one succeeded till the Wright brothers came on the scene.

The brothers were credited to be the first to fly in an aeroplane. They were inspired by these people who attempted flight before them. At first even they failed. But they persisted and eventually- reached their goal. This success was the culmination of inspiration and perspiration!

It must have been pretty frustrating for those who didn’t fly in the end- now that I think about it. Not EVERYONE can succeed-no doubt-no matter how much they try. There is another thing about success I realise. Then perhaps I may be tempted to say- SUCCESS IS 1% INSPIRATION, 98.5% PERSPIRATION AND 0.5% LUCK!!

Hence I would say- try try till you succeed- because there is no happiness like SUCCESS!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Marital Bliss!!

One day I just woke up like I was in a stupor,
Realised I was much bigger than the previous day I’d been,
Mum ran in all frenzied & yelled in a voice that was super-
“GIRL YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! & you’re the greatest mess I’ve seen!”

I started and protested but I wasn’t to be heard,
It was pre-planned and I had agreed; mum yelled in pain,
“BUT I’M JUST SEVENTEEN! I said in a voice hurt and slurred,
“Nonsense woman!” said my mother, “Being twenty-seven isn’t a shame!”

“WHAT!”, thought I as unceremoniously on the bed I flopped,
“honestly the world is conspiring against me! It’s all a plot!”
But then again I realised, this plot had no ending, no aim,
How I had managed to be 27 intrigued me just the same!

I decided to go with the flow & a little acceptingly-
I tried to check out who my bridegroom was to be,
I gasped with horror & hid my shock as I saw the photograph,
All in all- a stout little man with a portly moustache!

The wedding was to happen on the very same day,
I waited with my parents for the “baraat” in dismay,
All my mind was thinking of was how to sort this out,
& when the in-laws finally arrived- I began to shout-

“You useless folk who’ve come to accept me as their own,
Try & be sensible for a change & to brainwaves be prone,
Child marriage is forbidden here you gormless ignoramii!
I don’t care who I kill right now- such is my temper high!”

They laughed as if I had cracked a fairly decent joke,
(I must say at this point- I could turn cannibal & their privates poke)
I began thinking of other ways they could probably see-
That I was not the 27-year bride they thought I was to be!

I got my laptop & opened my facebook account frantically,
I knew there had to be SOME eveidence there about me,
I pointed at my profile pic- & yelled “AHA! Now you know!”
My hubby-to-be pointed at the date-“wow you were pretty different 10 years ago!”

Frustrated I ran to my room & retrieved hockey-stick and ball,
I saw to my satisfaction- everyone was appalled,
I dribbled the ball & said “I’m sure a 27-year old will not do this!”
“sure you can!” said my fiance, “I fell in love with you for this!”

Now I have been divorced nearly 4 times in a row,
& three kids have I produced (how I just don’t know…)
& still I ponder on that little unsolved mystery,
Of how I slept for 10 years of my life’s history!

PIL against Maharashtra State Government


An effort worth lauding. Where Vishal Dadlani, a noted Bollywood musician, has come up with a Public Interest Litigation for stalling the apparent 'Statue of Liberty' sized Shivaji Maharaj statue project in the Arabian Sea. 


PIL Against the Statue in the Ocean


To the Chief Justice,
Hon. High Court of Mumbai,

First, we'd like to say that we mean no disrespect to the memory of
Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who was a truly great and able King.
Having said that, we feel that the proposed statue/memorial to be
built in the image of this great and able King, estimated to cost
Rs.350 crores, is an unnecessary expense for the exchequer of the
Government of Maharashtra.

As we all know, there has been a vastly insufficient monsoon, and on
date, if we're not mistaken, 27 districts in Maharashtra have been, or
will soon be declared drought-hit. Starving Maharashtrian farmers,
committing suicide has already been a matter of grave concern for the
Government of the state. Surely, these funds could be better utilised
saving some of these lives and livelihoods.

We also have, within Mumbai itself, a vast number of infrastructural
difficulties, that need huge investments to be sorted out. The rapidly
declining availability of potable water and usable power is a huge
problem, for example.
The roads in our financial capital are a national disgrace. We could
fix some of them.
We could certainly do with more schools/colleges, providing education
to the underprivileged at no cost. These could all be named in memory
of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Another possible avenue for the use of surplus funds would be to
strengthen and better equip our Police Force and Coast Guard. In light
of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai last year, it is crucial to
strengthen these arms of Government, as our security and our lives
depend on them.

We have all studied the history of this great state. We are all
Mumbaikars and Maharashtrians, and the state would possibly not exist
in it's current form without the far-reaching and visionary
administrative abilities of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Since the proposed
statue/memorial is in the name of a ruler famous for this
administrative ability, we owe it to his memory to ask if he himself
would approve of such wasteful expediture in a drought year,
especially when the city's defences are not at full strength?

We'd also like to point out that in light of a track record of
consistent cost over-runs and delays leading to price escalations in
major construction projects undertaken by the Government, it is
unlikely that the amount to be spent towards such a project will
actually be limited to just Rs.350 Crores.

We, as concerned citizens of India and Maharashtra, and as Bombayites,
Mumbaikars, Bambaiwallahs, pray that such a monument be disallowed,
and the funds used for the benefit of the public, by taxing whom these
funds have been generated.

We also pray that, if after addressing
citizens-welfare/development/infrastructure issues, Maharashtra
actually has such surplus funding, it be handed to a committee of
eminent citizens who have by past action proved their concern for and
commitment to the greater good of the citizens of Mumbai. These
members may be selected at the discretion of the Hon. Court or by a
popular poll, as the Hon. Court sees fit.

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,
Vishal M. Dadlani, and the undersigned.

Please visit the website - Small-Change.in - and sign the petition.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CLASS DISTINCTIONS? You serious?!


Once again I embark upon an amusing recollection from my Mary’s days. (I sound pretty old talking like this… :O) Any which way- 13 years in an all-girls school!! Must have been tough huh? Well truthfully speaking-ot quite.

As I thought about Mary’s this time- I remembered a very amusing fact. Though our school looked “almightily” proud and arrogant and united on the surface- we were well divided underneath. I mean every school has their stomachful of groupism- but in Mary’s- we actually had social distinction! I hence began to think of on what basis we were divided.

At the top rung of the “social ladder” if my memory doesn’t fail me- were three big groups. One which I can refer to as the “TEN A” group- consisting of Ridhi Vaid, Mrinalini Shinde, Antara Jha, Sayee Avhad-just to name a few. The second- a rather well known infamous little group I daresay- the LG (Lip Gloss) a horrid nickname given to the girls who were absolutely POSSESSED by the fact they have to look good even if there are no boys around to show off in front of [NO OFFENSE MAN-I just think there was no point. :P] The third- was the “TEN B” group consisting of Alisha Thadaney, Shweata Sharma, and the likes. Anyone who wasn’t part of these groups- was not “scorned” actually- but pretty much a nobody. Then there were the normal- Nerds, Part-of-the-walls… well- you know what I mean.

I was a part of a rather STRANGE group which fitted nowhere. We were the type who-on book-borrowing day of the week- would be the first in the library during lunch to make sure we get the good books first. Hence people would call us NERDS- but we weren’t- because the books we read were mainly fiction. Then- we were the ones who took part in each and every competition that happened- be it debates, extempores, dances, singing, one act plays, story writing, the list is endless. Hence we could be termed as the Bootlickers. But then again- we weren’t. There was ALSO one time in the 10th when- before one of the million exams we had- our esteemed peincipal called upon Tista (a friend in my group) and me to come on stage because we had OUR BOOKS IN OUR HAND [a dumb reason to start with….] And on being asked why it was so- Tista and I had laughed in her face and gone “THEY DIDN’T FIT IN OUR BAGS!!!” So nope- bootlickers didn’t fit either. Tista Tara and I were also in the hockey team- nope not nerdy man! But yet- I could tell we were looked down upon by groups 2 and 3 (group 1 being friends with us…) You know the general- they have glasses- they laugh at CLEVER things- they don’t talk to us- They think they’re too great- they think reading a couple of books makes them smarter than us- they think looking good ain’t important…bla di bla!! We didn’t pay much heed to them anyway.

This one’s to all the kids suffering because of this dumb issue- take a chill pill- there is someone like YOU out there- who has glasses, loves reading and doesn’t need the mirror quite so often! Find them and befriend them!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Self-made Millionaires at 18. No kidding!

I recently read a really mind-rattling article on self-made teenager millionaires! Really! And there are cases, where kids have retired before graduating from high-school!

Here is my little thesis about these brave-heart mavericks who did something different, something different than the rest.

A pattern I observed while reading the article: Out of a list of 25 teenage entrepreneurs, 23 of them made their fortunes off the internet. The two-steps on the ladder common to all of them; can seem as simple as they sound.
(1) Coming up with their own websites & (2)getting high-volume traffic.
The first bit is the easier job. However, effective marketing, PR prowess and quality material make up for getting the high-volume traffic. These kids - can we call them Kids? - have shown extreme levels of intellect and talent, combined, by mastering the marketing aspects of business.

High viewership is directly proportional to the advertising revenues generated. Mind you, the Indian Premier League runs on this very blue-print. Its average viewership per game is 5million people. And thanks to even this tiny a fraction of the World's population, the IPL is Rs 10,000 Crore business!

So getting back to our topic of discussion. Honestly, when I read the article, I did feel a little jealous (what to do? Human nature, right?) of these Warren Buffetts and Bill Gates' in the making. But at the same time my positive genes showed up too, and I couldn't stop appreciating these people nor could I stop feeling inspired by them.

On this little note, I'll leave you with the Sound of your Thoughts... the trick is, recognizing the inspirational ones, working on them, and doing what is different from the rest - further becoming an inspiration to others.

PS. For all of you'll wondering about the article I have been rambling about all this while, here is the link:
Top 25 self-made Teenager Millionaires

PS-2. I was most impressed by the last person on the list, Sean Belnick. Who did something even further different from the trend.. yes, he started a website too, but made money by e-dealing in office furniture. Unlike the rest - mind you, brilliant people all of them - who used the text-book formula provided by Google, the Google AdSense and made their millions.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Stock Picks - October 2009

Alright then. Seems like the bulls are back on the Index. No more of the Doji Patterns. Although I feel a little skeptical, am bullish on mid-term growth.
Here are my picks for the month of October.
First of the pack:


Banking Stocks:
  • Allahabad bank - Is trading in the 110-120 levels. Decent P/E ratio @6. Strong earning data. 
  • Canara bank - Trading at 315 odd. As good a P/E ratio as Allahabad bank. But much stronger earning data @Rs 50/sh. 
  • Corporation bank -  Again, as good a P/E ratio as both Allahabad and Canara banks. Yet, the strongest earning data @Rs 60/sh. Best buy. 
  • Stocks like SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI bank, have unreasonable P/E ratios which range in the 20's and the 30's. Remember- lower the P/E ratio, better the buy. Yes Bank, well.. I feel its had its run. Modest P/E ratio @19.. but earnings per share aren't really exceptional.
  • However, also take note.. The banking sector is a little risky at the moment - especially with the credit and bad-loans problems still hovering, its best stay away from banks with high risk portfolios.
Power Stocks:
  • Suzlon, Suzlon & Suzlon! Currently tradin in the 90's, this is one of the most lucrative buys. At the moment, its P/E ratio looms in the negative. Not a bad sign. Has undergone a rough phase with losses due to faulty turbine systems. But now that that issue is resolved, its got nowhere but to move up. Already 3times its 52-week low of Rs30/sh, this is my favorite pick. Why? The Copenhagen Climate Summit coming up in December is going to be one where the global political community will unite to save the Earth from the menaces of Global Warming. We could be looking at heavy investment in renewable resources of energy as key points of the climate change agenda. Which is why, a wind-energy co. like Suzlon would be the first ones to benefit. 
  • Lanco Infratech - Lets keep figures and valuations aside for this script. Lanco can't fail its investors, atleast until the next Lok Sabha general elections. Its chairman is a Congress MP. And statistics tell us that between 2004-2009, the wealth of politicians on an average grew by almost 600%. Anything else to say?
Telecommunications: 
  • RelianceComm. - With a P/E ratio of 10, compared to competitors with P/E ratios in the 20s this stock simply is the best bet in an ever-growing sector. 10 - 15 million subscribers are added every month. Doesn't look like this sector will lose any steam in the near future.
Group B stocks/etc:
  • Redington India - With major mutual funds such as SBI and India Man MF picking up sizable stakes in the company, one can simply coattail. However, with decent earning per share valuations and P/E ratios, this isn't just a coattail pick.
  • VST Tillers & Tractors - With a strong leadership and management, and the diwali season coming, VST seems a great buy. This one has had a great management for over 17 years. Which is credible in itself.
  • I haven't really fallen in love with any realty stocks yet. But with Diwali coming up, we could see a boom in sales. You could consider realty stocks in that matter.
  • On paper, infrastructure stocks seem like anyone's delight. However with the delays that come along with any infra. project in India.. we could see a lot of volatility. Which sort of ruins the margin of safety. Again your pick here.
Lastly, Reliance Industries.. with the largest market cap at 3Lac Crores and the able leadership of Mukesh Ambani, is one of the safest buys. No matter the dispute with RNRL over the KG basin, this script won't fail. Pick up at levels between Rs2000 and Rs2100/sh.


With this, I wrap up stock-picks for the month of October. Will post results at the end of the month comparing the performances to the market index itself. 


Please be advised that any purchases done by you on the basis of the above recommendations will be solely at your discretion. The author shall not bear any consequences to losses/profits incurred. 


Sources: P/E ratios - Business Standard Section II. Rediff money. Bloomberg news.


Peace.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the shoes of a novice observer... A covered-up recovery!

Why I feel the economic "recovery" - based on recent economic data - should be cautiously considered..

To begin with. The jump in stock markets cannot be considered a confirmatory recovery signal. Stock markets are speculative indices and are based on the whims of most people more than hard-facts.

The hard-fact is that a 260Trillion dollar asset bubble burst in this recession. Most of this 260 trillion dollars is frozen shadowy assets. And all stimulus packages combined - about $2 odd trillion - account for a meager percent of the actual damage. All these apparent "positive" signals are nothing but effects of the stimulus packages that were let out to lubricate financial clogs. And giving policy-makers their due credit, the clogs are opening up.. thanks to these tax-payer buoyed stimulus packages. Which is why we have the good positive data flowing in. But, at the end of the day, there is nothing huge to celebrate. Cause inevitably, we're to plunge back into the abyss.

As far as the real estate markets are concerned. Yes, they are showing healthy signs of recovery. But, with the many billions of dollars going back into the rusted banking systems and in turn being used to unlock most of the troubled real-estate assets - answers for the price-rise & demand for land. Once these billions of dollars stop pouring in... the demand will slip back... Cause, real estate too is a speculative market. Huge investments (again, indirectly through stimulus packages) came in, and investor sentiments soared along. Accounting for the spike in prices so far.

Commodities. Well they aren't rising due to any economic upheaval. Poor monsoons have created the deficit between the demand & supply chains. Which answers for food price rise.

Ben Bernanke of the Fed. Reserve says that the US is out of recession. But he also says that job stability and economic equilibrium will take time to return to normalcy. Hmm. ??
All the economic data released so far... has been released by governmental agencies.
Whenever there is any kind of calamity, the government deflates the actual number of casualties. So why not, in times of apparent recovery, the government be inflating its figures? I mean it may sound insane to suggest, but think about it.. it is a logical possibility!

So thats that. We need to exercise a little more caution celebrating over good times - which will eventually come - but not so fast. Two years and $2 trillion dollars don't seem enough to weather decades and hundreds of trillion dollars of mess!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Getting candid with Nikhil Nigade

Had a grand-time interviewing a very good friend, a young-entrepreneur and an idea-machine, Nikhil Nigade.
He is a cook, a photographer, an artist and a web designer who pursues genetic engineering as a hobby. Certainly, a strange combo :O

So we got down to our tete-a-tete where I threw at him both personal and professional questions, which I might unflatteringly add, were smartly answered.

How do you feel about being a young and raring-to-explore-new-ideas entrepreneur.
It might sound fun and exciting, but trust me, its not all that great when you're approaching dead-lines with loads of work at hand. But yes, I can't deny that its a great feeling.

Do you feel proud, in the right sense of course?
We all have egos, i'm no exception, so yes.
Where do you want see yourself 20 years down the lane?
{Pat comes the reply} As the person behind the making of Pune as the Global designing capital.

Ok. Art is pretty much a saturated industry with scores of extremely talented people lying around. Why choose this as a career?
See. Motion designing isn't a popular concept in India. And all our motion-designed films are contracted through American/Hollywood firms. I wish to bring motion-designing in India which hasn't been significantly tapped here.

Now, why focus on establishing a business when you should be giving attention to your 12th board exams and education?
What I'm gaining doing the former is, that I'm experiencing the practical reality of the world. This, according to me, is the best form of education. Experience is priceless compared to theory. However, if need be, I'll put in another year to do well in my 12th exams, which are pretty much crucial too.

Your take on nerds, who put in 16-17 hours of their time to crack into the IITs?
Man, don't kill me! [Come on, give them an adjective!] {laughs} Dude, they're highly PATIENT! [Thats the most respected comment possible! I fall down laughing since I was sure he was thinking of an abuse :P]

What about politics? And my favorite question to all Maharashtrians, your take on Raj Sahib of the MNS!
Politics. Nah, not my cup of tea. And Raj; his theory is right but his implementation is wrong.
You're take on the interview and interviewer?
Interesting interview. And you'll remain my good friend. [I laugh, but don't understand shit about that response! haha]


The second interview in my interview-series. Brace up guys, I could be knocking on your door any moment with my questionnaire in hand!
Peace.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The BIG-Economic bubble!

One-hundred people own the same One-hundred rupees. Confused? Read along. This, however, isn't supported by immaculate data but simple amateurish observations.

You earn a hundred rupees after a hard day's/hour's/minute's/whatever's labor.. (Hundred bucks since we don't want to complicate an already seemingly complicated topic) So... You're happy you made a century with money... and you go jovially to the bank and deposit your hard-earned bucks expecting interest off them. Now. The bank promises you an 8-10 odd percent of interest. But ever wondered where the hell do they (the banks) manage to make a 15% cut (I mean, they too need to earn right?) off your and thousands of others' similar hundred bucks? Right? So, they loan your hundred bucks off to another party at 15% interest. Now, if this party is paying a 15% interest on the loaned principle, they too need to make their buck right? They too need to make profit! Which means they need to earn at least a 20% on that hundred bucks (which is yours, mind you) so as to run their enterprises! Now if they need to do that, they need to pass it off to another further party at a higher rate of return. So you get the picture. This chain is endless. And, notice! At the same time. You own that 100 rupees. The bank owns that 100 rupees. The party owns that 100 rupees. The further-party owns that 100 rupees. And so on, till wherever the chain runs to! Woah! Hard to digest? Well, here comes more!


The government taxes you on your hundred bucks. Ok. The government taxes the bank on the bank's net asset value (which includes your hundred bucks and those of several thousands of people). The government taxes the people who take money on loan from the banks. The government taxes everybody in the friggin chain! So where the government should have earned a modest 30% (max) or 30 bucks on a 100 rupees. It is making thousands of bucks on the same, your hundred rupees. In reality, there is only a hundred rupees. But due to such woven complicated chains, we have inflated the country's wealth. Which is why, perhaps, we're looking forward to plunging in abysmally high rates of inflation in the future. Which is why, perhaps, we’re sitting on such high fiscal deficits. Which is why, perhaps, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. And so on.


To sum it all up. In reality, there is only a hundred rupees existing. But due to this network of unending economic on-paper chains, the same hundred rupees is owned by a hundred people which makes it an astounding ten-thousand bucks! You understand the deficit, right?


This might seem highly opinionated and unnecessarily blasphemous. Comments are welcome.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting Candid with Abhishek Borkar!

I had the splendid opportunity to interview a musical prodigy, the 17-year old master-Sarodist (an Indian classical music instrument, more of an Indian guitar) Abhishek Borkar. He's been a devout musician since age 7, and did his first concert at age 10!

So, here I was, taking an interview as casually as I could i.e. while playing cricket! :)

Me:Whats your take on Himesh Reshammiya?
AB: [diplomatically] He is doing something in the field of music. So thats about it.
Me:Any musician you'd like to kill?
AB: Huh!! Never! I'd rather suicide.
What if your lady-love is a non-musician? Will your parents' accept her?
Sure! Why not! In fact, that is what I want since a musician-partner would create competition and add tension to the marriage [Thats good m'lad, thinking about marriage already! :D]
Any other passions in life, other than the Sarod and music?
[with conviction] No, the Sarod is my life!
What is your take on Paki-bands?
They're definitely better than the Indian ones. However, I despise the competition-factor thats been created between the two by the media. They both are good in their respectful ways, however, this unnecessary hype doesn't help the cause of music.
What role do you see yourself playing as a musician in the future?
I've dedicated myself to the cause of music. I'll be a musician come-what-may my entire life. Maybe as an entertainer, as an awareness-creator or so on. But my life's purpose will be lost, if im separated from music
Deviating from the topic, your take on specimens such as Raj Thackeray?
I'm into politics.. Well.. uhm.. Yea.. Umm.. [dude, get to the point!] I'm not into politics!
And to end it, your take on the interviewer? :D
Your first interview right? Haha, dude, not bad! [Oh well, Thanks :P]






Friday, September 4, 2009

When you have it- you hate it. However- it turns out to be the first thing you miss when it's GONE

Neighbours. What do we think of them? If you were mom and you saw a neighbour passing by- you'd say "Aa ja! Chai peeyegi?" and spend the rest of the evening chatting merrily. If you were dad in the same situation- you'd step out of the house and talk for 5-10 minutes about the re-making of the society road or the stock market. If you were ME in the same situation however-you'd either blatantly ignore your neighbour, or give him a nod of acknowledgement- or maybe a wee smile saying you know him- and it passes. Yes folks-I'm a sinister woman who's been MEAN to her neighbour. I admit it.
It started 4 years back. When I shifted from my old home to my current- I didn't even know what owning a row-house meant. When I got here- I saw that technically it was one big bungalow divided into two- one half is yours- the other your neighbour's. One fine evening- Mom and I went to meet them. Well-perfectly NORMAL evening for all those dramatists out there expecting a storm or some other harbinger of doom! The door was answered by a sweet Parsi Lady who looked like she always had a smile plastered on her face. I swear I'll NEVER forget Aunty's smile. And yeah- behind her was her fair, same height as me, full of baby fat son. That was 8th man- we played merrily together for 2 years after that- be it football, chor police- ANYTHING.
10th- we hardly spoke much- even if we did- it was through the net.
Me and Mom in backyard. We hear an AMAZING OUT OF THE WORLD howling. Me: Have the wolves started rounding up on us??
LOONELY!!! I'M MISTER LOONELY!! I HAVE NOBODY.....
Mom: It's your sweet neighbour... HELLO!?
(He pops his head out) He: Yes Aunty?
Mom: You sing.... very well!!
He: (clearly pleased) THANKS AUNTY!
(goes back and continues) I rolled my eyes.
Sarcasm clearly dripped off him.
Thereafter we were subjected to concert after concert of his expert bathroom singing.(row houses have common ducts...) which was- annoying- yet entertaining!
Then it happened. Aunty fell ill. Her foot had been cancerous-so they had gotten her leg amputated- and she had been living on a plastic foot. Suddenly the cancer had begun to spread again. She was hospitalised, put on chemo, and my parents went to visit her often. I then realised that- I had never given my neighbours a second thought. Taken them for granted. I began to think of her every day and night, and even though I'm not religious, prayed piously for her daily. That's when it hit me- the awkward shy bathroom singer boy that I had for a neighbour- was actually THE BRAVEST PERSON I HAD EVER MET.
Mom told me how he had to bathe his mother sometimes. How he cookes anda burji for him and his brother. (which I am thoroughly INCAPABLE of without major threat to myself and my surroundings...) Thinking of this now makes my hair stand on end.
And then she just.... died.
We didn't speak at all. Maybe I didn't know how to break the ice- and neither did he. Whatever be the reason- it still is like that. His younger brother was affected severely- as he began failing in school. As for the older however- we were in 10th- he tried his hardest to give the Board his best shot- and got 78. I think he's a genius. I personally- would have failed.
11th- he went to boarding. It's funny how you hate things when you have them- and miss them as soon as they're taken away. One thing I know- I would never have been able to say this to his face. I am feeling MUCH better after writing this.... I guess that's what blogs are for huh? :) :)

Funny thing, the Tax system!




The piece below has been written by:


David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.,
Professor of Economics,
University of Georgia


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to Rs100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay Re1.
The sixth would pay Rs3.
The seventh would pay Rs7.
The eighth would pay Rs12.
The ninth would pay Rs18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay Rs59.
So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ’Since you are all such good customers, he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by Rs20.
Drinks for the ten now cost just Rs80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the Rs20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that Rs20 divided by six is Rs3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid Rs2 instead of Rs3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay Rs5 instead of Rs7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid Rs9 instead of Rs12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid Rs14 instead of Rs18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid Rs49 instead of Rs59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
‘I only got a rupee out of the Rs20,’declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,’ but he got Rs10!’
‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a rupee, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!’
‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get Rs10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’
‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.
In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How Anil Ambani makes 21 crores in 20 days!

Well, to begin with.. this ain't a spoof-spoof. But its definitely awe-inspiring and hilarious (What a combo!)


What Anil Ambani's Reliance Capital did is.. purchased a block of 14 lakh odd shares of J&K bank at Rs450/share from US-based Smallcap World Fund Inc, a part of the gigantic Capital Group of Companies of the US. This block was sold by one of Smallcap's New York fund managers to Reliance Capital. The deal was made on August 12th. 
On August 31st, however, the same ADAG led Reliance Capital sold the shares back to Smallcap at Rs600/share. This block was purchased by one of Smallcap's Singapore fund managers!


Now whether the New York and Singapore fund managers were in contact or not, is not known!
Guess ADAG firms have no complaints after making Rs 21 crore in 20 days!
Haha!



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ram aur Laxman...

The Indian history has been forever demonstrating specimens of brotherly love... Right from the unity in the Pandava brothers, to the love between Ram and Laxman, and  to the so on and so forths. 


However, we see things at the the other end of the spectrum today. Where two brothers, Senior and Junior, undisputed czars of the corporate arena, indulge in scarring each others reputation. For what? For oil! They're desperately trying to dilapidate each other - either silently or brashly. Not realizing that the outcome will result in nothing but mutual weakening. And that it will lead to paths for others to take over their untouched B-Crowns.


Anyway, who the hell is/are gaining; The lawyers, politicians, the et ceteras of our system who're pocketed by these warring brothers and the stock traders who're making money out of the predictable volatility in these stocks, and the so ons? 
But, what difference does this war make to India? Clearly - as opposed to what Junior suggests - none.


And is it the money that Junior is fighting for? With a wealth way more than what will be earned at this oil-field in over 17 years.... what has Junior got to cry so much about? Or is it the inflated ego that moguls generally roam around with? At then end of the day, why our we giving so much importance to sensationalism created by this Senior-Junior duo? Why the hell should we waste our time over whose ego prevails?


So today's contemporary Ram aur Laxman are a class apart from their ancient namesakes.  Instead of Laxman carving a deity of Ram and worshiping it with all his heart and soul, we have an inflamed Laxman who is doing all in his might to strip Ram apart... The subdued Ram is patiently waiting for Laxman to run out of steam, while Laxman strives to weather that patience... 


What my point is that we all get something to learn from this saga of brothers eagerly wanting to rape each other's reputation. Never let outsiders' into one's own personal family matters. No matter how intense things get. The public is devoid of hearty things to talk about, and getting into family issues of another - especially another this rich - gives them just about some intriguing gossip to pass their time...
I'm sure families of the likes of the Birlas and the Tatas have indulged in infighting over personal-business conflicts... but they kept it to INfighting... which is why they've held the  mantle of respect-worthy families for generations...


So what should have been an ideal Ram-Laxman jodi, has turned out to be the bitterer Kaurav-Pandav war.. here the only difference being that instead of a marathon spat between two cousins, real brothers blood-bathe in the same...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Small Introduction with Some Food for Thought

Well hello. I am a “new addition” to this already pretty interesting blog. I’m Soumya Iyer- and I guess I’ll be giving in some of my viewpoints here too.
We write differently- Anand and I. While he will be discussing more of global issues which affect us directly or indirectly, I can discuss things which affect us more personally.

Well- to start with- I received a pretty bad result in a Physics exam today (not that I blame anyone….). That got me round to thinking about examinations themselves. WHOA! Who even came up with this bizarre idea to test knowledge?!

Be it LKG or PG class, there is no escape from the tyranny of examinations. As Winston Churchill has summed up, “The pupil would be pleased to display his knowledge, but the examiners are always inclined to expose his ignorance”. This clearly explains the dual purpose of examinations doesn’t it?
Learning is a continuous process which needs consolidation at regular intervals. Hence the periodical tests and exams. When a number of credits are earned, the student is elated; while the record maintained shows the progress he has made. If on the other hand, enough number of credits are not earned, the student is frustrated, and finally he/she may drop out or fail to get the degree or qualification. Easy-peasy what?
There are of course- other examinations which aim at filtering away as many as possible and selecting only a cream of candidates that suit their special needs. (IIT-JEE would be a brilliant example of that!) They are- in my eyes- like the merciless cut-throat (literally and figuratively!) knives of a butcher!
Whatever be their purpose, examinations are- as a not-really-passed but widely accepted rule, a bitter pill for students to swallow. But until and unless we find an alternative, they have got to stay and assess students’ performances. The student community of course, does not look upon exams as as essential component of the scheme. This develops phobia and THIS manifests in many highly amusing and pretty hilarious forms like MALPRACTICES (in layman’s terms: CHEATING!). The duty of the examining bodies here- is to make the exams less frequent and more agreeable; and the evaluation less subjective and more unbiased.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Suisse fallacy

Little can be tracked about the estimated $1,500,000,000,000  (1.5 trilllion) of Indian black money stashed away in Swiss banks. Political parties - especially the ones sitting in the opposition - use this as keypoints in their election rally agendas. And keeping the hypocritic nature of politicians in mind.. I'm sure most of the opposition leaders have all their lives' - black, of course - savings stocked in Switzerland cause they're pretty sure that the Swiss won't bulge from their laws.. so the task of retrieving black money will be left to nothing but an infinitely long game of Ping-Pong. 


1.5 trillion dollars is a lot of money, which is an understatement. Which is why perhaps, Switzerland has one of the highest GDP rates in Europe and one the most stable currencies in the world. Little do we, or rather our very ingenious politicians and businessmen, realize that the money we store there results in their economic progress, not ours! They benefit from our "namak-halali". All these thousands of billions of dollars are utilized in the development of Switzerland and Europe. Ever wondered how the Swiss have been able to advance so dramatically? Despite meager natural resources? Well, it is this stashed money that they utilize for their growth! So what is happening is- The blood-suckers of our country are sucking away its wealth and at the end of it all are helping another continent progress. But... keeping the history of this rich yet cursed land, where people have done nothing but stolen and raped her wealth... well, we couldn't expect much patriotism anyway.


It is a known fact that all the world's black-money combined in Switzerland is one-third the amount of the Indian black-money stored there. 


This is the kind of a legalized scam where everyone - the opposition and the government - is involved. The opposition makes noise. The governement follows into the noise-making. At the end of the day we all know that these are nothing but empty vessels making noise. But ironically we're fooled - or atleast we pretend to be - by such fallacies.
Democracies never existed; they only did as a formality on paper. Some say that the war against black-money isn't over yet.. Little do such people know that their supposed righteous fighters are the ones who're the most heavily invested in off-shore black markets!


I don't know how to conclude this one here... whether optimistically , in ideal words, or in blunt pessimism. But I surely would like to put forward this rhetoric... Why would/should the Swiss reveal bank-account data when their laws do not bind them to? Neither is Switzerland obligated to India... And lets face it - it is this 1.5 trillion dollars of question-mark money that in fact runs the Swiss economy!



Monday, August 24, 2009

The BJP-Jaswant Singh Splitsville

I have been an ardent Bhartiya Janta Party supporter for ever since I began understanding politics. However, not even a BJP honcho like Narendra Modi can deny that his party is plagued with several problems... Right from the embarassing land-slide defeat at the Lok Sabha polls to the Vasundhara Raje ache in Rajasthan to the in-fighting on who-will-take-up-the-mantle-after-Advani and to the so on and so forths... In such anxious times, the BJP has created a much hyped controversy by expelling a devout BJP strong man, Jaswant Singh on accounts of one book... This just doesn't make much sense, does it? I'm sure the BJP cabinet was sensible enough to keep into consideration Jaswant's thirty years of devotional work towards the Party. Still, they sack him!?

Hmm... Maybe, all this controversy has been an ingenious detour, to distract critics. And perhaps, give the party some much needed privacy to think and work a way out this quagmire?

Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to me.. In times of deep-crisis, the BJP and Jaswant Singh are volleying insignificant cannons at each other.. where the BJP is giving press-statements after press-statements on why they felt cracking the whip on Singh was justifiable... whereas Singh is lobbying with Vajpayee getting key party members to put in their resignations...
The State-poll season is coming up, and I'm sure, the party would have been sensible enough to stay away from such a worthless controversy... however, they're heavily indulging in the same...
If the BJP says that it would lose its vote-bank due to the apparent pro-Pakistan expressions used in the book, that is a fallacy. Bal Thackeray did raise concern over Jaswant Singh, however the Shiv Sainiks would have continued to show their fidelity in Shiv Sena. As about the BJP vote-bank, most of the voters are illiterate! So it doesn't make much of a difference.. most of the voters are from catchment areas where they care about BJP supplying water and electricity more than a Mr.Jinnah... and the educated class, well, i doubt they would have turned disloyal because of the free-views expressed by one man...

Politics has had a mean history, be it Indian, Italian or Antarctican politics! Two-faced people, issues, and controversies are to politics as air is to lungs. Deceiving is an art which has ancient origins. The Chinese mis-guided the Huns as to their organization was a chaotic mess and their resources were meager. The Huns fell into the trap, inevitably staring at the face of defeat.  So, why not this apparent break-up in the BJP be a planned scheme?

In the times to come, we'll see if this whole event has been staged by the BJP..

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How did metal-music begin?

I was reading a book penned by the pet-dog of the Dennis Stratton, former member of the heavy-metal band, Iron MadeIn.


The book, "Life in noise", elicits emotions of pity for the poor dog. Dogs are creatures with sensitive ears... and the explosive sounds that damaged the hearing-power of Pittu, the dog... arouse nothing but wonder at the joy whacked people get by smashing metallic objects.


Pittu  goes into a deep philosophical trance as observed in his 'Life in noise'. He sends facebook messages and tweets to God, asking Him the origination of this pathetic form of noise-making... God tweeted - isn't much of an avid facebooker - back saying.....
" Dear Pittu, I had once gone deep into Satan's caves... only to find that the cave-dwellers were entirely deaf! However, they were music enthusiasts back in their days on Earth... and with that inherent fighting spirit, they did not quit on music just because they couldn't hear... and therefore they devised - what mortals call - Heavy Metal sounds... Where they clanked unbreakable objects as hard as they could and thus could hear faint rhythmic sounds... This was beatific salvation for these dwellers deprived of the power of hearing. However, one day... two of the masters of these cave-men, fell into black holes which led them to Britain and North America respectively (as far as my memory remains, it was the 1960 era then). And these men of Satan - not realising their cosmic positions... continued with their art of metal-clanking. Consequently this form became popular with the stoned people of those regions. These satanic beings were lucky to land in the misery-stricken areas of the West, where drug addicts had sex in the open.. where the Hippie culture had conquered Teens. If those cave-men had landed somewhere in the Indian subcontinent... they would have perhaps been crucified by the ascetics and maulanas!
So my dear Pittu, was the origination of Heavy-metal music on Earth. Take Care, I(God) Bless and keep in touch.. Twitter rocks! \m/"


Pittu - as he writes in his memoir - was gripped by the intense desire to eradicate this form of noise pollution... However, without the power of intellect (wonder how he wrote his autobiography then! hmmm) his mission didn't progressl... 


But he does describe the positives of this painful form of art... He writes - and rightly so - that it led to the growth of the American and British economies. The doctors made a lot of money from metal-head patients who frequented them complaining about head-aches, stomach upsets, eyesight problems, deafness, poor-memory and so on... So did the makers of Aspirin.. they sold aspirin at the rate of a million tablets a day .. And the taxes raised by these activities went into the very Trillion Dollars... making superpowers out of them! And did many professionists such as Psychologists, Graffiti artists, Junk-yard owners enjoy much of this economic boom... the success amongst such un-tried careers urged people to opt for diverse professions which brought about inevitable economic success!


Pittu prophesied that the third-world countries during his years - the 1970s - would adopt this blue-print in the 21st century to attain the superpowerial levels of the WestWorld... Which is why WallStreet analysts observe a rise in the followers of such music in places like India...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Twist!

I'm sure everybody is well updated with the progression of the Swine - or more popularly - Piggy/Dukar Flu.

But, just to give another imaginative dimension to this epidemic, what if it is a monopoly of some pharmaceutical company(ies) or a band of evil doctors who want to enhance their importance in the world of men? Silly to think, sure is... but lets put it this way:

What if, some firm already has a vaccine in place.. a vaccine almost impossible to duplicate..
According to a WHO report, if a vaccine doesn't come out in the markets by 2011, 2 billion people will have suffered the wrath of the virus. So what if this Pharma company launches its vaccine after 2011. It'd cater to the needs of 2 billion people! And - being as conservative as possible - even if it were priced at a dollar... that would be a $2 billion dollar business! Whereas price it at a somewhat conservative 10 dollars.. it would mean a $20 billion dollar enterprise! Which is a lot of moolah!

And the money hospitals and doctors would have made would be phenomenal too! Just try imagining this to be the ploy of the entire medical community. Right from the Pharma co., to the doctors, to the nurses, to the hospitals, to the canteens in those hospitals, to the so on and so forth! Like how there was a secret 'Illuminati' in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, would there be the 'Blood Cross' for the world of medicine... And this wicked coterie would have construed the entire Swine Flu right from inventing it, to destroying it; while its members made money all the way long...!

Dany, the Blood Cross boss was a frustrated man. He lost a law-suit to a Pig-farmer, who claimed the doctor robbed her of the dairy products in her farm (Pigs and dairy products?)
So Dany called upon a Blood Cross web conference... where the entire medical community joined him... and not to forget, he made a million dollars of the Google Ads he put on his Video-Conference Client!
It was here that the blue-print of the swine was worked out. An ayurvedic veteran from Ukraine suggested some of the bone-marrow be taken from the pigs of the region of Chernobyl, the famous site of the nuclear-tragedy. Thus, the formula was prepared. A much more sophisticated strain of the influenza was created, much more hazardous than the strain of the 1976 Outbreak. And since, the Mexican high-commissioner to the Blood Cross had absconded the conference, as reported by Dany's assistant at the Video Conference client, Blood Cross decided that Mexico be scarred as the originating land of the virus.

So it happened. March 18th, first swine-flu case reported in Mexico. And it took the route of geometric progression wildly infecting mankind. And two years later, when the Blood Cross became the only organization with a richer treasure chest than that of the US Federal reserve, did it launch its much-awaited vaccine.. again, raking up further tens of billions of dollars!
And what was initially an vengeful venture against some pig-farmer, lead to the formation of a new world order. Where doctors took over Parliaments. Nurses took over the bureaucracy. And Pharma companies took over the world economy!

The preceding work is fictional. Any resemblance to persons/organizations living or dead is purely coincidental!


Hope you'll had a nice time! :D
Keep coming for more! ;)