Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dear Sir/Ma’am

I write to you in all earnestness to express my gratitude for passing the Food security bill. My heart is soaring with pleasure at the thought of a belly full of food, and I am now in a position to have the long vacation (a year or two) I have been contemplating for the past few months. You see the last long vacation I took was after NREGA was passed a few years back. Thanks to your benevolence I am getting paid even when the babus can’t find work for me. Infact Ramdhari is getting paid even after his death along with my great grandmother who passed away when I was 15. You made this happen!

I am sure nowhere in the world has a government mastered the art of putting the cart before the horse. Surprisingly you also flogged the cart so hard that it started pulling the horse. So what if it is downhill, we should be proud that we are making history. Wow! We can teach the Chinese a trick or two. What is the godforsaken need to create work and job opportunities for people when we can give them free food? After all, what use does education, healthcare, equality, prosperity and democratic right have if my belly is full. The critics of the Food security bill are fellas from fancypants schools, who are crazy about some guy called Maslow. This fellow Maslow knows precious little about the supreme value of enough food in the plate, almost seven decades after independence.

Thanks to you I don’t need to wade in water during the rice planting season or work in the fields of the landowning farmers. Actually I don’t need to work even in my own small farm, as you will now provide me with free food. I am indebted to you for this benevolence. It’s rubbish to assume that the Food security bill will create a dearth of labour and in turn cause inflation. If so many of us have no need to buy food, inflation will automatically come down na sahib.

Sir/Ma’am my humble request is that you should not worry about the naysayers. You are a very busy person with many activities to do from Singapore to Goa. After all you carry the burden of not only your immediate, but even your extended family and are responsible for ensuring that they have enough cars /jets while you put the cart before the horse for Mother India. I understand your pain.

Aapka Dulara
FSB beneficiary

PS: Would be great if you could share the address of my long dead great grandmother since you have been regularly sending her NREGA cheques. I long for her loving embrace and murabbas. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Perception something to think about... really worth spending a minute

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children.. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made..... How many other things are we missing?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Life's Bid-Ask spread

For most people life is all about what they want versus what life has to offer, and narrower the difference, the happier they feel they will get.I make my first million and then bid for 10 and then 100.I loose 5 kilos and then want to be size zero. I become an AVP but will crave to be the CEO.We have made happiness a moving target.Unfortunately by the time we realise the futility of this, we are too tired and jaded to enjoy life's small but profound joys.

Stop chasing the Bid-Ask spread. Aiming for perfect liquidity in life may cause it to crash.

Monday, April 20, 2009

ChappalGate of Indian Politics

WACK!....Chappalgate has hit Indian politicians. Call it the angst of the Indian public, the frustration of the voting masses or the’saazish’ of the opposition, chappalgate is here to stay.

The sudden spurt in footwear of various sizes being hurled at politicians of various ideologies (if there is any such thing in Indian politics) is not something that should be taken lightly. In all the cases the perpetrators are nothing but manifestations of each one of us. Don’t we all in the deepest corners of our heart’s wish to do the same?

We talk of living in the nano age, but our politicians are still promising ‘bijli’,’sadak’ and ‘paani’.I only wish that instead of BATA and Lakhani some Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks are flung as well.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Washed away Dreams-We are Indians First

Visuals of the Bihar floods are haunting me day and night. Not that we have not seen destruction of this kind ever, but definitely there has never been such national apathy towards a calamity. I very clearly remember working at mobilizing funds for the Gujarat earthquake, the Tsunami and also remember not even once thinking that I don’t belong to these states. I think that a tragedy of this kind should be above regional and linguistic biases. Unfortunately this time around Bihar is fighting a very lonely battle.

During a discussion a few days back, one of my colleagues (a financial analyst) questioned the economic importance of Bihar,” It’s a burden” he opined. I am totally shocked at the lack of economic understanding shown by this person. No developing country (actually even developed) can afford to have a few of it’s states in a condition of total despair. It gives rise to anarchy, crime, terrorism and social recklessness. Such places become easy targets for the recruitment drive of anti social elements. While economic weakness is no justification for crime and anarchy in a perfect world, but in a world driven by capitalism this truism falls apart. So Mr. Analyst get your calculator and start calculating the economic cost of an underdeveloped Bihar.

I am not begging for the state I love. I have no doubt on the potential of Bihari’s. Pick up the qualifying lists of IIT’s, IIM’s and the toughest competitive exams in the country and you will get proof of the potential of Bihari’s. This was the state which gave us Jainism and Buddism. It’s in a state of disrepair due to faulty Politics and Policy. But friends don’t forget we are Indians too and therefore look forward to fellow Indians reaching out to us in one of our darkest hours.

The debate can wait…..Please save our lives first.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Brothers!!!

I think the Raksha Bandhan fever has got to me! I am actually writing about them.Gosh..

Being the eldest and the only sister,life has been quite colourful.I still remember the youngest one (he was four and as scrawny as a twig then) escorting me on my walk and ,shouting at some eveteasers,"Oi tere ghar me Maa Bahen Nahin hain kya." I can't forget the look on their faces,it was sheer embarassment.

The middle one, who seemed like the most careless guy around has today evolved into one of the brightest minds I know.He was always my secret-keeper,my confidante.I used to blackmail him with mindless things,and make the poor fellow do all sorts of odd jobs(get my book,get some food,pick up my get the drift) Mean me:)

The eldest one,the rock.As a child he was the rowdiest one around.Would beat up all the kids ,break all sorts of household stuff.Today he is one of the strongest and most responsible guys I know.As calm as the sea on a sunny day.

I remember pestering them for their studies.Checking their pronunciation and their diction.I remember forgetting my arithmetic ,while trying to teach them some.But today I look at them and think ,every second of that time was worth it.

Love you Guys!!!!