Jun 212012

image courtesy NYtimes on twitter

A huge fire broke out at Mantralaya – the administrative office of the Government of Maharashtra this afternoon. They are still putting out the fire

This image was tweeted by NYTimes – India.

who are these people saving the flag of India ? were they ordered to ? what made them risk their lives or lungs ? Struck me that painting the tri colour on your face or wearing it on your shirt is easy – this kind of ‘love’ is quieter. I wonder how many people i know would have even thought of this, let alone go up on the roof of a burning building to take the flag to safety !

May 212012

Harish Hande 

Learn from the street vendor. My mother has been buying vegetables from a particular street vendor for two decades now. Think about it—irrespective of floods, strikes and holidays she comes around selling her vegetables. Every morning, she borrows money at an interest rate of 10 percent a day, pays Rs 50 for her cart rental and Rs 15 for kerosene. In the evening, she has to determine the pricing strategy for vegetables that remain, as she has no refrigeration at home. After all these expenses, she has enough to feed herself and her family. And she does all of this without an MBA. Has one ever been cheated by a street vendor? Has one ever heard about a street vendor going out of business?

On the other hand, we are aware of what happened with Lehman Brothers or now with Kingfisher Airlines or with so many of the software companies in the ‘90s. The street vendors know how to balance social and financial sustainability. We need to learn from them.


via Forbes India Magazine – Harish Hande: India Can Show The Right Way To Do Business.

Value, not Valuation :D

a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away – before the last dot com crash - I was working for a corporate that was looking for a strategic investor. They had got in business consultants – A list types – to help ‘restructure’ the business and get the ‘moolah‘ in.

Boxes were drawn, as were arrows. Little coloured rectangles used to appear on PPT’s, one after the other like little steps. Each had a fancy slogan written on it- Expand. Contract. Merge. Scatter .. process diagrams were manufactured. It all looked like the cross section of the USS Enterprise, superimposed on a GANTT chart. The company expanded. Hired lots of people. Did all those things that create ‘shareholder value’. And then the market crashed. And a lot of good people lost their jobs. I told most in my team (of 150) to leave. and then I left.  The company before the valuation game was profitable. The company that played the game was left as a shell..

there are of course issues of scalability and economies when it comes to the vegetable vendor. But, nothing wrong with the values.


The other thing I read was this - on the bankers who kept quiet when Maddox was pulling his Ponzi. the other side.


May 182012

Aurangabad:  A woman has filed for divorce in a court in Aurangabad because her husband refused to change his relationship status to “married” on his Facebook profile.

A report in the Deccan Chronicle says the couple married two months ago. The husband allegedly told the judge hearing his case that he had forgotten to change his status from “single” to “married.”  His wife says that she cannot trust him, reports the paper. The judge has reportedly asked the couple to spend six months in counseling.

via Telugu wife wants divorce over husband’s Facebook status: Report.

Someone i know figured that their significant other was having a scene because of uploaded (indiscreet) photographs on FB.  the lawyers are sorting out the terms and conditions.

May 102012

It is that time of the year when i trudge down to the Mumbai University in Kalina to correct answer papers. It is not a task that fills mewith joy. The university buildings have been designed by the same school that designed Gulags, there are rows and rows and rows of people correcting papers, the noise & the heat are unbearable … and the quality of students has been falling every single year since I began teaching 7 years ago. There are students who are good, who are terrible and who are out of this world. The last are incredible in their inventiveness but unfortunately that inventiveness has nothing remotely to do with the answers expected of them. As usual, i am sharing some of the best with you, dear reader. Enjoy, chuckle and wonder – are these going to be presenting news a few years from now.

  • Question on regional language news channels – In India 40% of the population are illiterate and socially backward. They would prefer their own regional language over English.
  • Community Radio, also known as All India Radio, shows help and gives information on Sati and widow remarriage to bring about soical change
  • Community Radio is the radio service of a particular community
  • Question write a feature on Vidya Balan – an average, simple Bengali Girl from Kolkata with simple looks, normal figure. Comes to Mumbai to start her career with a comedy show and at the end of the show she also disappears somewhere into the dark.
  • Question 7 questions for Rahul Dravid for a radio show – You have been one of the most successful captains of team India
  • Regional language TV & Radio are not exactly gaining much popularity but to some extent yes they are. (this child has an excellent future as a political party spokesperson)
  • Vidya Balan is basically from Calkota. She is a Bongoli beauty (their spelling not mine)
  • She has revolutionised the screen with her fatty fat look
  • FM Channels started in British India
  • For a question on short skits – we should have a separate channel to show short skirts on TV.
  • Nowadays every show in the world wants to compete on the basis of short skirts. The growing number of channels are resulting in the growing number of indecency.
  • In India FM Channels are kindly stated that controversial nationally crafted (no i don’t know what this means. yes, the rest of the paper was like this too- the haemoglobin of the atmosphere)
  • The radio was invented by G Macroni in 1875. He converted the sound of the wave into Electro magnetic wave that was aired and fed to the loud speaker which again converted them into sound (this child has a future at writing star trek dialogues)
  • The radio is a public flavour machine.
  • Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi on Independence Day, on the 15th of June 1982 held the Asian Games in Delhi

Seeing me hard at work compiling this, a fellow corrector who marked law & ethics paper gave me this gems.

  • the following drugs induce conception in women (this kid can write mytho soaps)
  • The act says no one should publish or encourage to publish an ad that
    • increases conception in women
    • to maintain or develop and increase the tendency of sexual pleasure
  • The Discrimination against the Child act states that….

:D Keep watching this space for more in the coming days ..


May 032012

it is incredible the number of people who mix up unbiased and non partisan. possible to have biases without being partisan …no ?

for example i am biased towards women’s rights or against loutish behaviour, does that mean i am also partisan … does it translate into support for a party? Not really, because i can’t think of a single political party that stands for the rights of women, and i don’t know of a single political party that hasn’t exhibited loutish behaviour. If an issue is important enough to me, I will have a bias on it. That bias does not translate into party positions, possibly because parties do not have any positions except winning. People like me are floating voters. I will vote for a party that i believe will give me most. I am as loyal to a party as it is to me, which is to say not at all. Conversely, I don’t have biases on issues that don’t matter to me or I don’t know enough about. I may have a Yes/No position on that, but if that Yes/no is challenged by an expert who explains it, i don’t have issues in admitting that I am wrong. Give you an example. I still believe that first come first serve on 2G was the best way to increase penetration of telephony. And that the real scandal is unaffordable 3G that is a result of auctioning. Does that mean i support the Government/Congress Party in the way telephony has been handled – no i don’t support them on this.

Those who conflate the two – bias and partisanship – are trying to confuse the issue and make targets of those who don’t follow their world view. And I have begun resenting that.

Also on the rise are those who are in the us or them mode. The number of guys on the Right who have told me ‘you shouldn’t be speaking to x, or y or z’ because they are paid congis, and the number of people on the opposite side who have told me that they will ‘judge’ me because i talk to sanghis, is on the rise. I am not on a KG playground… I know lots of people. I try and find common cause with most.  The real world is real and not made up of 140 character barbs. Yes, if people are genuinely abusive – and I have had people call me corrupt, a paid propagandist, loose in terms of sexual morality, all sorts of things – right from the days of blogging- I will do what i do in real life, cut them out of my life. Have no interaction if possible – unless i bump into them or step on their toe -in which case i will acknowledge that and move on. Your enemies are not mine, unless you happen to be my business partners or my closest friends. Your biases are not mine. Your Party is not mine. Your role models not mine. And mine are not yours…

Do i judge – of course I do. You have issues with the Election Commission’s behaviour, i will buy your point and hear you out. You target the EC because of his faith – i will bracket you as a bigot. You make jokes about rape, i will think you strange. You go after women and target their morality because you disagree with them I will bracket you a misogynist. And you cry wolf, i will hear you once and respond to it, but then next time will no longer take you seriously.

My world is not black and white. It has millions of hues and shades – and you know what, I recognise most of those hues and shades.