Monday, June 06, 2011

Does the Aam Aadmi really give a *^%$ about corruption?

In a matter of hours, Baba Ramdev has become ‘a face for RSS’ and ‘a threat to the stability of Delhi’ from holding high profile closed door negotiations with four top UPA central ministers.

Had Ramdev been dressed in white or green instead of the saffron- would it really matter? He wasn’t protesting for a religious agenda.

His demands might have been uneducated and irrational at times- but the likes of Kapil Sibal and Digvijay Singh are not fighting him on the specific issues he has raised or on the larger issue of corruption. They are targeting him for his religious belief and the color of his clothing, indulging in character assassination and trying to subvert the issue and give it a communal color.

I wonder what they would name Anna Hazare, a veteran Gandhian, if and as it seems pretty obvious when he refuses to bulge in to the UPA governments’ pressure tactics.

Wasn’t Rahul Gandhi a threat to the stability of Uttar Pradesh when he went undeclared, on a bike to meet armed farmers protesting against land acquisition? Everyone from the PM to UPA chairperson had joined in his praise and support then.

"I represent the common man"

-Baba Ramdev/Anna Hazare/ Every politician worth his salt

As Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev would be realizing now, that it wasn’t the UPA government or a handful of ministers who failed them. Take a look at the vernacular press and news media and the picture becomes clearer- the importance English news media has given to the causes of corruption is simply missing from the vernacular newspapers and bulletins. At least that’s what I have been seeing in two states governed by allies of the UPA.

When Anna Hazare called in the youth to join him, it was the youth in metro cities that had joined him, candles in hand, not the youth in India’s small cities, towns and villages- where most of India’s youth reside.

When Adarsh scam happened, it was a English daily which had taken up the issue and the protests were limited to metros; not a feather was ruffled in the rural and semi-urban areas of Maharashtra.

For more than twenty years, most residents of Kolkata were against the ruling left front government for its anti-industry policy, lack of jobs for the educated youth, a failing government machinery and corruption. But the left front kept winning every election with the support of the semi-urban and rural population as well as the support of the ‘aam aadmi’ in Kolkata.

When the urban middle class was crying for blood, it was the omnipresent ‘aam admi’ which invariably came to the left’s rescue. Finally when the left front lost their power- it was because they had grabbed land forcibly from the masses, but what was more surprising was that the urban middle class chose to join in the cause of the rural masses, the same rural masses- who had never bothered about the causes of the urban middle class and especially when a bright chief minister was finally doing some good for the economy of West Bengal and its urban middle class!

When CWG and 2G scam happened, most of India wasn’t even aware what 2G means or how the loss to the exchequer would really affect her/him.

A rise in the cost of SMS or a hike in call charges would have had much more impact for most of us Indians!

The television viewership for CWG was even less than a lowly match between the 9th and 10th placed teams in the Indian Premier League.

The Indian ‘Aam aadmi’ didn’t even knew whose money was being stolen or who was stealing them. Even if they knew, most were confused that if the money had not been stolen- how would it benefit them?

The situation couldn’t have been starker- The urban middle class (the taxpaying sitting ducks) who care about corruption actually doesn’t stand to gain much in case of a lack of corruption. They would never avail of government schools or health care centres. Even when they use roads or airports or trains- they would pay much more than what they avail. They would never avail of NREGA or mid day meal scheme or the governments intended social security system. Their interaction with the government machinery is anyways much lower when compared to the ‘aam aadmi’. Their tax burden wouldn’t get lower. Yes they would benefit from low inflation- but that’s a much indirect and long term prospect and in most scenarios would again benefit buyers whose purchase basket is much more modest.

If all political parties r equally corrupt- then the quantum of corruption depends on
who among them has spent more years in power?

The truth then really boils down to:

Those who care about corruption don’t really matter in this democracy of 120 million and those who should care and matter democratically- doesn’t give much of a thought to the issue of corruption

Two historically corrupt parties fought the state elections in one of the more advanced states in South India, both promising free lunches and goodies to the masses- one of them won, not because they are less corrupt- but the voters wanted to give everyone an equal chance to loot!

Friday, February 04, 2011

It’s getting hilarious day by day and convincing that I am the odd man out in the world of start-ups, at least in India.

So I am not an engineer- I graduated in commerce, though yes I went to an IIM (though the record of IIM grads are anything but glorious when it comes to start-ups- IIMs teach you to manage big businesses, not how to start one!)

I have an idea which is non-tech, non savvy and ‘non MBA type’- it doesn’t have to do anything with technology, even remotely, other than the fact that I plan to have a website of my business!

Neither it is going to change the world, nor make it a better place to hang around. And we are not talking about any sunrise industry here and hell I already have many competitors even before my egg hatched!

And top that with the fact that it’s a one man show! A single person start-up!

So its going exactly as the Chinese would say- May you live in interesting times :-)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sudden realizations # 1:

It’s soon going to be 5 years since I started this blog! Two days later- that’s how soon!

The late realization and the resultant shock:

The clock has been going at the same pace for me as well! The last year of the ‘20’s’ is going to start soon!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Why buy a cow when you can get milk for free everyday?

Johnny the bull and the Jamie the cow knew each other since the day their parents started grazing in the same field. Johnny the bull was a stout kid with tiny little horns and was the cynosure of his mother- Volga’s eyes!

Jamie the cow used to be always sick and cared by the entire clan. They both went to the same cow and bull school and with time Johnny the bull found himself doing all the homework for Jamie the cow- he was certainly in love!

Drink your milk
!!- Volga used to say to his Johnny- ‘or else you would not grow big and strong and your horns would not grow long!

-‘but why do I need to grow big mom? I am good like this! - Jamie likes me the way I am – and she blows kisses to me all the time’

And over and over again Volga kept persisting but little Johnny the bull never listened to his mama and never drank milk! – Oh what a fool he was, he would only learn later!

The calendar picked speed and days became months and months became years; until one day when- Johnny the bull had grown into a fine young and stout bull of strong horns and Jamie the cow, had stood 2nd runner up in the intra-farm beauty pageant ……………..just when disaster struck!

War was declared on the southern front and Johnny the bull got drafted into the army. He was sad as he would not see Jamie the cow for a long, long time and might be never again! But he had to go!

Another 5 years passed by and the war on the southern front ended- and then after a few weeks Johnny the bull returned home, A hero!

But he could not find Jamie the cow! ‘She moved to ‘The city of the Gods’ for a better life as a beautiful cow’- Volga told her son.

So, Johnny the bull packed his stuff and off he went, to ‘The city of the Gods’ in search of his one and only Jamie, his love!

And he searched and searched for months until one night he saw her in a fair, she had changed a lot- she was with a new bunch of some cows and mostly bulls with huge horns – whom she called friends!

Johnny the bull was confused- his entire life had revolved and still did around Jamie the cow- but Jamie had changed, she had more friends to comfort her now and she didn’t need him much- but she wasn’t bad to him- she would come for some time to meet him in the corner of the field, whenever he asked her for! And Johnny the bull kept getting even more confused!

Until one late afternoon- when Johnny the bull proposed Jamie the cow for marriage and to return to their farm for a happily ever after grazing life!

But Jamie- declined Johnny’s advances! And Johnny the bull became depressed and started drinking rice wine and made new friends-

Both Johnny and Jamie used to be in the same fair grounds every evening, but on different sides of the field- Johnny would always keep an eye on what Jamie was up to and every time he found her grazing perilously close to another bull or rubbing horns together- he would get sad and drink 4 more buckets of rice wine!

The owner of the bar never minded and specially arranged for a high grazing spot for Johnny, from where he could see Jamie easily and get depressed and drink more!

A couple of more years passed by! Life had moved on but Johnny the bull didn’t- he still stood on the same high grazing spot every night and drank rice wine- until one evening when he met Francesca the cougar

- ‘So here you are- Johnny the bull- who loves rice wine and stalks Jamie the cow- who loves bulls with big horns and who’s milk is as sweet as honey!’

- ‘Excuse me! How do you know me? And how do you know Jamie loves what?

Francesca- ‘well I am the cougar- I am supposed to know about bulls like you and besides I used to know your mother’

Johnny- so how do you know about what kind of bulls Jamie likes?

Francesca- Well all young cows here love bulls with bigger horns- it’s a meter- the bigger the horn, the stronger the bull and the bigger the –uhmmmm –well you can guess!

You never drank milk which your mother always used to force you- if you had- you would have also had huge horns!

Johnny- (Pondering)

Francesca- Johnny dear! You would never understand Jamie!

But have you ever heard the saying-‘why buy a cow when you can get milk for free everyday?’

I am sure you must have- since it’s a bull chauvinistic statement! And most bulls like you want to own cows like Jamie!
But you forget Jamie is not just another cow!

And why would she marry you when she has so many strong and handsome bull suitors who surround her all the time?
Rather why would she marry any one? When she has so many?

Wouldn’t you have liked the same? To be surrounded by damsel cows all around, willing to do anything for you?

- Were you also like Jamie when you were her age? Surrounded by many bulls?

Francesca- (sigh) well! I was! In fact I won the pageant during my time!

- So where did they all go? I don’t see any bulls around you now?

Francesca- (one more sigh)Well! That’s the sad part of the cow story!

When I was young, there used to be many bulls around me- but there were one, just like you who was in love with me, but I had so many better bulls around me, so I refused him!

I was happy! I loved the attention I got from so many handsome bulls around me! In fact it was more than love! It was an addiction- I used to flirt with them- go grazing with them and befriend new bulls every evening!

Until much later I realized that all those bulls were just like me- they were only interested in the free milk under the garb of friendship and flirt- They weren’t interested in buying the cow! And why would they? They were getting the milk free from me everyday! And also from many other cows like me!

And then one day, I fell in love with one of my strong and handsome bull admirers- and wanted to marry him- but he did not! That’s when I realized- that all those time I used to think I am using those admirers and lovers, when in fact they were using me!

- So why didn’t you change your lifestyle then?

- it’s not that easy dear Johnny! Most cows like me or like Jamie understand this fact after some years! But they get so used to the attention and lifestyle and the admiration from so many admirers, that they can’t return from there and moreover it’s not so bad- you are independent and live life on your own terms.

And then most such cows get old and then they marry another old and handsome bull for the money and convenience. And some stay single and become cougars like me!

But more importantly Johnny dear- cows like Jamie aren’t made- they are born! And you can’t do anything to change them! She would always remember you and love you as a friend but don’t dare to buy them!
Francesca the cougar went on and on until her jaws popped out and fell, but Johnny the bull refused to buy her story except the guilty feeling over not drinking enough milk as a kid!

So from next day Johnny the bull would stand on his high ground and drink milk instead of rice wine and watch Jamie the cow and her suitors from a long distance every evening.

And many years went by as lonely rivers kept flowing to the sea and one by one all of Jamie the cow’s admirers left her and went away

And then one night on the deserted fair grounds- Johnny the bull saw Jamie the cow standing alone in the middle and sobbing-

He could not control himself and walked ahead closer to her- close but yet far away

And as they stood face to face with tears in their eyes and as the blue moon put them under its spotlight in that deserted fair ground that night—

Jamie the cow came forward and slapped Johnny the bull hard on his face!

- What the hell?

- That’s for not doing my homework on time 20 years back and getting me punished by the teacher as a result ,…just because I grazed with another bull during lunch break!

And that night on the deserted fair grounds under the full blue moon as lonely rivers surged to the sea, Johnny the Bull and Jamie the Cow hugged like a full grown bull and his cow should and fell in love once again!

Monday, January 25, 2010

No Pakis in IPL 3

I really couldn’t control myself from writing this piece and posting after going through two news articles on Google news.

The first on TOI – which quoted famous Pakistani celebrity social worker Asma Jehangir in the Jaipur literary summit saying the foll:

Justifying the anger in Pakistan, human rights activist Asma Jahangir asked, "What if we did that to you?

And what exactly did she mean by that?

Stop Indian players from playing in Pakistan Premier League?

Or stop Indian actors/actresses/obese musicians from performing in Pakistani film industry?

Or stop Indian cash starved rock musicians from publishing albums in Pakistan?


And btw, TOI is the same newspaper which tied up with a newspaper in Pakistan and came up with the genius of a campaign- called ‘Aman ki Asha’ and printed full page adverts along with news items of LeT camps in Pakistan preparing to attack India in 2010.

Also FYI- TOI happens to be from a business house which categorizes ‘news/media’ as ‘infotainment’- trust me on this- and if you don’t- just lookup anyone who worked in TOI in a senior position, on Linkedin.

The second news item on the same topic was:

SRK wanted Pak players in IPL

Well, if he wanted, why didn’t he take one? Isn’t he still one of the franchisees? Or has he secretly sold it off to some one else after last years’ fiasco of KKR?

Instead he comes up with the filmy dialogue about his fathers’ Pakistani lineage and how the youth of India and Pakistan should not hate each other? And not believe in the hatred which politicians start.

Well, SRK- the present prime minister of India was also born in a place which is currently in Pakistan, and Parvez Musharraf was born in Delhi. Your dad wasn’t the only one!

And more importantly, the youth of India doesn’t hate Pakistanis, or Pakistan just because they are a nation or of a nationality.

We hate them because of what they do-spread, protect, nurture and use terrorism as a strategic tool against India.

I am very sure- if one of your neighbors’ family member comes and attacks you and his brothers and family support him and give him shelter and feign ignorance, repeatedly- you cant be friends with that neighbor and distinguish between the family members who attacked you and those who didn’t.

I admit, majority of Pakistanis might be friendly towards India- just like majority of Indians are!

But this people to people contacts and solidarity campaigns are not going to make anything better- unless people in Pakistan force their leaders to stop using terrorism as a state and strategic tool.

We can’t roll out the red carpet for them along with being in constant danger of being hit by a terrorist attack. And Pakistanis can’t get away from the blame by calling state supported terrorists as non-state actors.

We don’t distinguish between a good Pakistani and a bad Pakistani- just as we don’t distinguish between a good American and a bad American.

And this message has to go in clear to the Pakistani public as well as their policy makers.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The start of any search for the ideal girl starts with the following prologue:

You can’t start looking for someone, unless you don’t have hard data about that person, data which is unique to that person or at the least, limits the search results to a manageable number.

Attributes which are immeasurable like ‘good looking, loving, caring, traditional and modern’ –don’t work. Same goes for attributes which are controversial – like ‘good character, fair looking, innocent etc’: P

And if you are doing this- the chances are extremely high that you will get a million search results with an extremely low level of relevance.

But before you realize the impact of the ‘low level of relevance’ you would have already looked at some 500 girls and would have got frustrated that they don’t match most, if not all of your search criteria- and with only a matter of time you would start believing that the world has lost All Its Hot Women OR There are no Hot Women who wants you OR even worse- you would start liking the women whom you find and with the search fatigue getting in and time moving fast- And then One Day you would stop searching; put blindfold on your eyes, sit on your dining table and point to one of the pics which your parents put in front of you :| END !!

And it’s all because you chose the wrong key words for your search AND not because you were damned. Trust me on this- most girls, internationally use more Search Engine Optimization techniques than what most web companies do.

So be very specific on what you want- quantify it and more importantly – Give her a name.

Yep! A name! Remember all the names which used to make you feel stimulated as a teenager.

The human brain reacts to many stimuli and most people associate names to a person’s personality and looks. So once you have her attributes in your mind- just give her a name- a name which gives you the kick-

Priyanka, Preity, Sonam, Deepika, Bipasha - anything- (but don’t just give a very rare name like phungshuk wangdu- you would have to go to ladakh for that)

And start your search with that name as the key word.

Well you might not get a hot gal anyhow- but it will narrow the search results with a high level of relevance, also it will give a new dimension to your search and hence will help beat your search fatigue.

And as a parting thought- if the theory- that names do have a correlation to a person’s personality thing is even 10% true- then my friend-you have a high chance of hitting the BULLS EYE!

Epilogue: Frankly speaking I don’t have a name which opens up the hidden contours of my romantic subconscious- so instead of searching without a name (which is kind of beating my own theory) or going with several names (which is a lot of work for One hot gal), I’m going to take a little known name from one of the mid 90’s Pepsi Ad- which had a pretty gorgeous babe in it– who with time became part of my early teenage pantheon of hot babes.... And I’ve been drinking Pepsi since then:-)

That name was Sanjana- and to make the name more appealing, I am going to add some guns and ammunition as her surname – and call her Sanjana Ganguly!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Happy 2010 folks:-)

Hope you are all as upbeat about 2010 and the new decade as I am- yeah I am more than upbeat.
This is the year in which I will lose weight, and grow more hair on my head :P

And no, it has nothing to do with my belief in numerology- its just that this year has all public holidays on weekends- which means it has more working days- so I will be working more and losing fat :D

Also, since some people will get more time to pull at my hair- I hope of growing more of them as well.