Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Global warming - hoax/nohoax

Like any other human earth-dweller with below average level of knowledge on the subject, I always wondered what if the whole climate change thing is a hoax.

In This Thomas Friedman column I found the answer, quoting the most important paragraph from the article here,

"If we prepare for climate change by building a clean-power economy, but climate change turns out to be a hoax, what would be the result? Well, during a transition period, we would have higher energy prices. But gradually we would be driving battery-powered electric cars and powering more and more of our homes and factories with wind, solar, nuclear and second-generation biofuels. We would be much less dependent on oil dictators who have drawn a bull’s-eye on our backs; our trade deficit would improve; the dollar would strengthen; and the air we breathe would be cleaner. In short, as a country, we would be stronger, more innovative and more energy independent"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Food for thought

Thought of the day - Whoever framed the proverb ‘an idle mind is devils workshop’ is a corporate guy, who else can know both about idle minds as well as what goes on in workshops for devils.

Business idea of the day – If you know how to make noise by pulling a steel string – Start guitar classes for corporate guys.

Travel tip of the day – Kingfisher airlines, also you will know whether you are suffering from Stockholm syndrome

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pandemic paranoia

I think we Indians are the only species in this planet that are still growing in number, that too despite being attacked by a myriad of killer forces like terrorists, viruses, goons, rapists, police etc constantly. This is primarily because we can adapt quickly to any environmental changes unlike other species that are more conservative when comes to change. For example, a polar bear will die within hours if we move it to a new environment like a room having TV news running, whereas we Indians can live in any such hostile environments for days together without any problem, look at our railway stations and airports with hundreds of TV screens, we can wait any long in these places for our perpetually late trains and planes without dying.

The biggest reason that I see why we Indians will survive dreaded pandemics like H1N1 is also the same - we are ready for any changes our experts are advising us to make these days. People who never wanted to become surgeons or nurses only because they hated wearing surgical masks are now wearing them as if they are just some new type of lipstick. I’m sure designer masks will be introduced soon and we will see India Mask Fashion Week where models take up catwalks wearing transparent masks, pink masks, glossy masks, minimalistic masks and at times even without masks.

Also luckily for us Indians, we don’t have to depend only on what allopathic doctors are advising for protecting us from the attack of H1N1 virus - or any virus for that matter - we got yoga and ayurvedic experts as well to seek advice from, which I think will increase our chance of survival twice compared to people in other parts of the world. Being a conservative society, our frequency of kissing and embracing is also less compared to other more liberal countries; hence we need not worry about the virus being spread through the said activities as well.

The only thing that we need to be cautious about the virus in our country currently is the media hype about it. Every day hundreds of people die in our country in road accidents and even thousands die due to seasonal flu etc, but our media make all of it look nothing compared to the few deaths that happen due to H1N1. For them each H1N1 death is equivalent to a hundred deaths due to other reasons. The only way I see how this media virus can be stopped from spreading is by deviating media’s attention from H1N1, one good strategy for achieving this is make more from our Bollywood Khan-daan to travel to the United States so that the media will also go behind, hoping to get frisked.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Strategic thinking

If somebody ask me what is the one Chinese product that we should not buy anymore, my answer will be – Strategy. Here is why – A Chinese ‘strategist’ says China should break up India into 20-30 states . This strategy is an expired product because long before the Chinese strategist cooked it up, Sardar Patel has already created the said 20 – 30 states out of India, with the help of three other capable people - VP Menon, Mother Nature and Lady Luck.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Swayamvara Parva

Now that history has been made over the last weekend, you can relax and go back to deal with your mundane, routine, unimportant things like your work, family matters, terror attacks, price hikes etc. No, I’m not talking about the release of the 1 millionth love story in Bollywood, I’m talking about the successful completion of first high-profile swayamvar of our times, and by our times I mean Kaliyug; that too done in a way that fully justify the ideologies of the owner of the era – as a TV reality show ‘item’. Now it’s just a matter of time that this new age episode also turns into an epic.

We had many famous swayamvars in the past if you recollect, with Sita’s swayamvar of Treta Yug and Panchali’s in Dvapara Yug etc. But I would say none of them had this uniqueness of being watched by the entire aryavart because in the past only those with divyadhristi could watch them remotely from the safety of their drawing rooms. For the common men and women, the only option was to travel to the venue, which had its own risks as well. They could be eaten by wild animals on their way or they could get hurt by flying metal pieces coming out of the breaking bows or fast moving arrows used to test the aspirants’ skills. Barring the spiritual aspects and the charisma of the brides and grooms, I would say the modern day swayamvar was far ahead of the ones in the past, in terms of glamour, publicity stunts, suspense, item numbers, popularity, drama etc. In future if somebody ask me to describe it in one word, I would say – “stup-endous”(hyphen unintentional).

Couple of factors I see played key roles in making this truly kaliyugaic swayamvar a success, though on the face of it propaganda and ‘items’ looked the reason. Firstly because this time around gods where contractually forbidden from interfering because that’s the agreement between them and Kali. So the producers of the show could go to any extend they wanted to provide maximum voyeuristic pleasures to its viewers. Secondly, to deal with any mere mortals who attempted stopping it by raising such legal issues, the produces have appointed enough lawyers(again an advantage other yugas didn’t enjoy) to deal with them.

Next to some of the consequences of this highly successful swayamvar. If you look at history, all such high profile swayamvars of the past had their own special reasons to happen and all of them later lead to the defeat of the evils that affected mankind as per the expectations of the owners of the respective yugas. That means this current one also will sure lead to incidents that will help Kali achieve his goals I’m sure. One of the things that I see happening is by having more and more of such reality swayamvars, more and more of our young men will get addicted to them and will get their very manhood questioned episode after episode and finally become unproductive to nourish their family trees any further.

And for all of you who have not watched the climax(so far) of the swayamvar over the weekend, I would say it’s the second such once in a lifetime spectacle you are missing after you missed the eclipse couple of weeks back. In that sense I would even question the worthiness of you living any further, but I would not recommend anything here because persuading somebody to commit suicide is still criminal offense.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Zen and the art of lawmaking

If somebody asks what the 3 pillars of our democracy are, even a supermodel will know that it’s the judiciary, legislature and safari suits. This bermudaic-triangular structure also implies that we are still one pillar less to make it a stable table. Now if you are a politically unaware person, you may ask why ‘people’ are not considered a pillar. The answer is, people’s job in upholding the democracy is negligible - just a tap on the voting machine – hence they are as shaky a pillar as that of Delhi metro and cannot be employed to guard our hard earned democracy. However, nobody can deny the role of our legislature(From Latin Leg and Greek Slaughter which stands for "amputate’em all!"), especially that of our state assemblies because they are not only just upholding our democracy, but also are taking law making to a different level altogether. This post is a tribute to this particular pillar for all the services it’s doing for making us a future-proof democracy.

I think our state legislatures are the most vibrant of all law makers hitherto known to humanity - in terms of the diversity of nation building activities they perform every day, starting from humble verbal abuses and allegations to de-garmentation to breathtaking, desk-breaking martial arts performances. Now those of you who are educated, voting, ignorant, uncivilized, tax-paying, arrogant, pessimists may ask whether this is what we have elected and pay them for, the answer is a big “Yes" and my rationale behind this is not just a "So that they won’t perform these activities elsewhere and hurt innocent civilians", the reasons are many.

Firstly, I think they are seeking unique and novel methods to enable our assemblies capable enough to make any new laws and break any existing ones, required in our journey towards becoming a democratic center of excellence. More of such pioneering efforts should be recognized, rewarded and repeated to boost the morale of our elected men and women. This move from the Karnataka assembly sure is a laudable one. We can also supply some of the state of the art equipments to our state assemblies that can accelerate lawmaking, such as slingshots, water/air guns, chilly-sprays etc. It will also make sure that tax payers money spent on procuring furniture and communication equipments will not come in the way of lawmaking as well.

Secondly, we are far ahead of other countries in our journey to build the so called 22st century-ready, legislature 2.0s because our assemblies are professionally (and literally too) very rich and advanced with capable men and women who can not only do politicking but also indulge in socio-economic activities such as wealth creation, land acquisition, uplifting of women and children etc .

Now it's only a question of how our leadership efficiently taps these skills and utilizes them for the noble cause of nation building. And I think we are improving day by day, for example earlier if somebody say "Opposition attacked the government on xyz issue", it would just mean that some old, good-for-nothing-else, khadi-clad men did sound pollution, but now things are changing. If the opposition is going to attack a minister in the assembly, he/she better come equipped like a cricket batsman or a hockey goalkeeper. I wish mother nature bestow something like Karna's Kavach-Kundal for the next generation of our politicians so that they can be born parliamentarians and follow their parents footsteps safer.

It makes me proud when I see how different we are from the murky, mundane, monarchic lawmaking bodies of other countries..Jai Ho!(Btw, why we say this? Ho I thought is from Vietnam?)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Uncultured cultivation

There are many funny ways to react to this news item which says girls were made to plough fields naked for rain, so that the rain gods will be embarrassed and will ultimately come down.

I can joke "Ok, so that means weather gods are all women?" Another more effective idea I can suggest here is to arrange few big screens in the drought hit areas and play some of the Bollywood 'numbers' instead where item-girls do un-garmented mowing and plowing, it can virtually embarrass anybody, let alone rain gods. Or on a second thought, what if the rain gods commit suicide unable to bear the embarrassment, so let’s not take such extreme measures.

However, those of us who joked on it might not have noticed that it's a perfect image of many things that are wrong in our country.

  • We still lack education and awareness which makes people become more and more superstitious.

  • Our women still are treated second-class citizens – why didn't the organizers think of making men do so?

  • We still are incapable of providing basic facilities like irrigation to our farmers that they go to such extremes.

  • Not just that much, it also shows how our law enforcement is not capable of stopping such atrocities done against women

  • Our perpetually-concerned, hypocritical culture-guardians are so worried about filthy, fifth-rated TV shows but they have nothing to say about such things. May be these kind of things are not against ‘our values’

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rainbow is the colour

Gay-rights activists in India sure deserve a Nobel peace price or two - nobody ever have achieved something as remarkable as what they have accomplished - bringing all the religious leaders together under one umbrella, fighting for a common cause. Real religious harmony stuff...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gastric Trouble

Here is a story of two brothers who are fighting for nothing but gas. A minister who got involved says "People of India own Gas". I think is he has a point, they do.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Marianismo índico

As an aware person you might have already observed that more and more women are becoming successful politicians in our country unlike earlier where it was a profession reserved for mighty men such as loaded landlords, mutilated maharajas, bar-less barristers, unskilled unionists, treacherous traders, non-Gandhians, known-Gandhis and the likes. I think the future of Indian politics is going to be in the hands and handbags of our women leaders. This is not accidental or due to the influence of the so called Feminist Senes as many people thought wrongly, it’s because they have many natural and social advantages over their male counterparts. Here are some of the reasons why I think our political future is feminine.

  1. Behind every successful man there needs to be a woman or two. But no such constraints apply for women.

  2. They have more chance of getting into high posts as a successor of their father/mother/husband/boyfriend where as for men it’s limited to parental promotion.

  3. They can wear colorful sarees and elephant-foot bindis that help them stand out everywhere.

  4. Such verbal attacks can help both the attacker and the attacked get equally good political mileage only if it happen among women.

  5. Their male opponents will have to think multiple times before politically attacking them, these days virtually anything one do with women can be interpreted as harassment(Including this write-up)

  6. They are more practical. How many of our male politicians can think of such strategies ?

  7. They can never be blackmailed with molestation charges; ok, at least in the prevailing social order.

  8. They are born orators unlike men for whom it’s an acquired skill.

  9. They are very good managers compared to men; they had been running the world’s most chaotic and complex organization for millions of years successfully – it’s called ‘The Family’.

  10. Above all, they have a better future as well, unlike men who are going to be an endangered species soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ministerial birth control measures

The union health minister has come up with a one of a kind solution for population control – Watch more TV. He says if people spend more time watching TV, their appetite to indulge in activities that lead to population growth will reduce. I totally agree with him, the reality shows and soaps in Indian television sure are capable enough to make any productive men and women who watch them impotent, ‘unseeded’ tennis players in no time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Budgetary bewilderments

Union budget analysis is one ritual that news analysts(of all sizes and shapes) in our country perform every year because it’s a tradition that we follow for many centuries though we don’t exactly know why we do it. Legend has it that this has been observed by news analysts from the time the first budget was presented by Kautlia when he was the finance minister in Chandragupta Maurya’s ministry in the 2nd or 3rd (or it could be 4th also) century B.C.

This author too is a big believer of the power of union budget because it’s the only thing powerful enough to increase the price of cigarettes and reduce the price of LCD TV at the same time. Unfortunately, this time around I missed the budget presentation and the entire pre and post budget tele-poisoning due to some other engagements and will not be able to give you a detailed impact analysis here. However, from my years of experience in analyzing budgets, I can do a quick review anytime, anywhere - even without any prior knowledge of the budget in discussion as well, here is how it goes.

Traditionally, budgets are events where some taxes will be cut while some others will be introduced so that the overall tax-weight of the country is balanced. This year also the tradition is followed, which you as an ‘aam aadmi’ would have already noticed. Also one key factor to note about budgets in India is that they are always pro-poor, growth-oriented and forward looking for you if you are a supporter of the ruling party, but will always lack ‘substance’ if your loyalties lie with the opposition. Though no economic theory explains this phenomenon, my conclusion is that it’s because nobody else is interested in it. Otherwise a third opinion sure would have been floated by now.

The most important factor you will notice about the union budget is that the finance ministers always carry the same brown suitcase when they come for budget presentation. This is also one of the reasons why opposition always say there is nothing new in this budget. I recommend the FM change the suitcase next time to a back-pack or something that’s more contemporary so that you can bring the opposition on your side to some extent. Else they will always keep shouting and screaming like a ‘responsible(for all the noise) opposition’, no matter how many benefits you announce for parliamentarians, ex-parliamentarians, their kith and kin in the budget.

Another main item(no number though) in any budget’s agenda will be to reduce the number of people living under the poverty line. The measures towards achieving this include a budgetary proposition to lower the line further so that more poor can jump to the other side. In the past also many poor who tried jumping over the line have broken many national records in that process, some even broke their own necks as well. It’s also worth noticing that this time the FM aims inclusive development, unlike earlier where we were looking for exclusive development. This in my opinion is a good move because a change is always good, look how Obama won the presidential election hands down.

Agriculture is one sector that will always get a higher amount set aside in every budget, I recommend we stop this because our agricultural production is always inversely proportional to the amount set aside Y-O-Y. Though this could be explained economically that the more money you set aside, the more will be ‘consumed’ by the babus and middle men, I would like to go superstitious on this because after all our entire agriculture sector depends on the divine intervention of rain gods. I suggest we set aside less money and more rain-pooja equipments for the agriculture sector next year on, and to ensure more religious coverage, set aside few Mullas and Pastors as well.

Then next big topic of budgetary discussion will be the amount set aside for uplifting our under performing Public Sector Undertakings or PSUs. I assume this year also the FM has followed the tradition of pumping more and more tax money into them because only then they can live up to their name – of being Undertakers of Public’s money.

I’m forced to wind-up this analysis here for two reasons. One that I’m an economically weaker science graduate to analyze it any further, secondly I’ve a solitaire game going on parallel and I find it much more amusing at the moment. But one thing that I would say is that this is not an inclusive budget as the government proclaimed, the FM missed out setting aside funds for many of the emerging weaker classes in our society such as homo-bi-a-trans-sexuals, young MPs, Ex-terrorists, LokAyukta victims, Left party general secretaries, Sania lovers…the list is long. That’s why I say this is not a complete, inclusive budget at all.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I had been a regular reader of Newsweek, initially by subscribing hard-copies and later through web because I turned green environmentally and red financially by then. I chose Newsweek because Fareed Zakaria was making a lot of sense most of the time irrespective of what the rest of America and the East thought about each other.

But this one article that appeared in Newsweek website recently surprised me, which presents us "The Fifty Books of our times" . I went and browsed through the list, eager to find some of the greatest works in world literature. The authors started with 'We know it's insane', 'no one needs another best-of list etc', and I was wondering then what are they up to. But on reading the list, I got why they are taking an advance bail. I think a more apt title could have been "34 American books of our times and 16 others to make it 50". So the conclusion is that literature doesn’t exist in any other parts of the world. Sartre, Camus, Chomsky, Kafka, Marquez… such names simply don’t belong to our times, may be they are all too futuristic? Or I’m too dumb? Yes, you guessed it right, the answer is - both.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The pink panther show

This report says dozens of National ‘Panthers’ Party members protested against a court verdict that legalizes homosexuality. Good to know that there are still dozens of panthers left in the country and also that they are all heterosexuals because if such endangered species turn homosexual, it will be a big concern for the conservationists and the wild-life department.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Racial nuts

It’s high time the United Nations declare racism against Indians as a pandemic I think, its spreading faster than all the other flues put together. Here is another victim, a town councillor of Indian origin in the U.K whom a fellow councillor called “Coconut” . Your question obviously will be can inanimate things like nuts have race, well the answer is that anything that can symbolically represent a race can also be a racial thing. Since coconut is 'brown outside and white inside’, it perfectly resembles a person of Indian origin living like a white in the West, hence coconut is a racial nut is the theory.

Now if we extend this theory further, we can associate many other human groups with fruits, vegetables, nuts etc. Here are some that comes to my mind right now,

Onion – Layers of skin, nothing inside – Politicians?

Castor beans – Black outside, poisonous inside – Lawy...ok, I don’t want to get sued, so let me stop imagining further, you can continue.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Majority, minority and the rest

I’m a strong believer of democracy because I don’t have another alternative to strongly believe in. But that doesn’t mean I’m in agreement with majority bullying minorities, I value rights of minorities of all types, as long as they don’t hold hundreds of neutrals* hostages in traffic jams by conducting rallies in cities to score over their majority counterparts. This post is on some of the challenges our country is facing today because of having too many kinds of majorities and their corresponding minorities with many unfortunate neutrals getting caught in between.

As I stated earlier, I respect minorities, be it the religious, racial, trans-racial, cultural, trans-cultural, genderal(a better word than ‘sexual’, which makes me feel ‘harassment’ follows), trans-genderal, linguistic, professional, physiological, psychological, habitual … the list goes on which means I got to respect almost anybody because everybody is some or other type of minority in our country. Now that more and more of these minorities are coming out of the closets where they claim the majority had hitherto locked them in, I think the government should take a strong stand on their rights and wrongs to avoid majority-minority tussles.

What is the most essential thing a typical minority needs? Freebies? Job reservations? Educational concessions? Or is it constitutional equality? All these can be arranged easily by amendments in the law, which is easy. But if the problem is the attitude of majority towards them (neutrals are neutralized, they have no attitude, no emotional attachments, no particular affinity towards anything anyway), then we got to plan better because that involves a lot of work. We might have to try all four ancient political methods - Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda (in the reverse order as we always do) – to stop the majority’s discrimination against the corresponding minority. Let me explain why this is difficult with a scenario study(Please note that the scenario is fictitious, any resemblance to any majority/minority living or dead could be because you are a pervert).

Say you are a member of majority who think men are men and women are women, and children are of both, by both, for both is the only possible ‘genderal’ orientation. For argument sake let’s call this majority as ‘the shortsighted’. It’s not that easy to educate you that among other groups of people things are not that simple, there men can be either men or women and women can be either women or men and some men and women can be both while some others can be neither, depending on what the situation demands. This many permutations and combinations are simply too much for (majority) shortsighted to accept because they are all bad in math.

Now the question is how do we educate them? Can we have school text books changed? That means Kabil Sibal and his team got to do hell a lot of rework on the present education system that they are already planning to mess-up, especially places where we teach morality, religion, physiology, anatomy and stuff like that. Now even if we decide to educate the younger generation of ‘shortsighted’ against discrimination, what about their adults? Mr.Sibal has no control on them, he cannot bring them back to school except for the usual Parent-Teacher pandemonium, unless of course somebody sues all the ‘shortsighted’ adults and hires Mr.Sibal as the attorney.

Now let us look at the possible ways to influence adults. One option is by using Mr.Chidambaram and his forces to force them to accept the minorities, but this is 21st century and we are a democracy, Mr.Chidambaram will not do anything that will get his party voted out in the next election, public is simply too aware these days. The other option is to hire Amitab Bachchan, Rajani Kant and the likes to run ad campaigns. Again a lot of adults are not fans of movie stars, who will influence them? Can we hire Bollywood item-girls to do the job? I doubt because there is a limit to how much flesh somebody can eat, also what about ‘shortsighted’ adult women? Bollywood’s Chest-nut item-boys look too dumb to influence their own girlfriends, let alone somebody else.

Now, there is another future problem as well. Say somehow we managed to play a lot of cards – Mr.Sibal, Mr.Chidambaram, Mr.Bachchan, Miss.Fleshly, Mr.Chestnut etc – and somehow managed to make the majority accept the minority. Then what if the majority transform to minority - like what happened in the case of religions in the past - seeing the privileges, freedom etc that the minority enjoy? Don’t we have to again start from scratch (our own backs I mean) to safeguard the majority who now became a minority? That’s why I say the majority-minority equation in our country needs a clear strategy to handle; it’s a very complicated problem, more complicated than even Rakhi Sawant's Swayamvar I would say.

Unfortunately, I’m not a philosopher, political thinker/tinker, think tank, water tank or not even a tv-expert to suggest a solution to this ever prevailing problem, all I can say is this majority vs minority is an issue that needs more government attention, it needs a permanent solution that takes care of the interests of both minorities and majorities of all kinds, at the same time protect the neutrals who just want to live their lives, pay their mortgages, bring up their children and die.

*Neutrals - those who enjoy neither majority, nor minority status and privileges.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Why nobody thought about this earlier?

The Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) believes that Meira Kumar was made Speaker of the Lok-Sabha just to keep her away from people, and also that, in this position she will not be able to do anything for the welfare of her community according to this news report

Since I’m also equally ignorant on the Constitution and the above constitutional positions like the BSP, I agree with them, we shouldn’t appoint people from any type of minorities to such toothless and sluggish roles because that will hamper the uplifting of the community they belong to. However, we don’t have to abolish these positions, we can effectively use it for handling terrorists and mafia - catch hold of all their masterminds and appoint them at these posts, since they cannot do anything from there for their ‘community’(the terror-groups and Mafiosi I mean), the community itself will soon die without leadership. We don’t have to spend those millions on intelligence, arms and ammunition also. Yes! I think I’ve found a solution to all our problems! Thanks Team-BSP, you are welcome to join my government whenever I form one, let’s build a new nation together; one full of statues.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Intra-racial racism

Racial problems are still haunting us Indians, I think it's becoming the second biggest social issue; after reality shows. What concerns me is that the racial attacks are taking new dimensions - with Indians starting to racially abuse their own countrymen and countrywomen. The first known victim of this intra-continental racism is a VVIP who complained about it in an international conference on water resources. He says people from other parts of India racially abuse him by asking whether he is an Indian. You might be wondering how that is racist, my question is not only that, I also want to know what’s the connection between water problems and racism - unless of course the water in discussion here is of a different ‘spiritual’ level altogether.

Whatever that is, the point is that whether enquiring about somebody’s nativity/nationality is racial abuse. Even if you agree with those who think it is, the question that remains is whether an Indian asking another fellow Indian his/her nationality can be racial or not. Now that a lawmaker himself says it is, I got to agree. Now I remember, a cab driver in Delhi once asked me whether I was from the south. The cabbie got away with that since I was not this informed a person at that time. Else I could have dragged him to the nearest police station and would have ended up bribing the cops for getting both of us out.

Be careful - is what I want to say to my readers. Hereafter if you meet a person and want to check on his/her nationality because you cannot deduce it due to the artificial hair color or the made up English accent or both, don’t inquire on the nationality directly, you can get into trouble because that’s a racist question. Instead, – supposing the person is from Nepal - ask “Are you related to Madhav Nepal”. Since this is a family related question, it cannot be racial. If it’s a Nepali woman whom you are trying to ‘nationalize’ without hurting her racial sentiments, ask whether she is related to Manisha Koirala, she may even buy you a coffee, let alone being upset about racial abuse. Now, if the person looks like having a Dravidian origin, you can check on their kinship with Rahul Dravid and if that sounds too stupid, ask about his/her favourite dish/film star, you will get some clue easily.

This intra-subcontinental racism brings in administrative problems as well, compared to its inter-national equivalents. Because currently there is no ministry in-charge of ‘highly condemning’ these domestic racial abuses. Hitherto we only had trans-national racism; hence we had that job split between ministries of External and Overseas Indian affairs, depending on who grabs the mike first. The National Human-Rights Commission that we have itself is violating human rights(as reported here ), so no hope there. I recommend setting up a Ministry of Racial Abuses, that way couple of more coalition partners can be bought without horse trading as well.

Before I take leave, I’ll leave you with a question – The question is whether a person buying a fairness cream/ hair color is racially abusing herself/himself as well, because essentially what he/she is stating is that dark skin/hair is bad and is trying to become fair-skinned, fair-haired, harebrained etc, isn’t that racist too?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reincarnations revealed

Those who are hungry for some real news, I mean other than the usual murky stuff like recession, sarkozy, burqa, Barkha, bakra etc, here is some solid meat(ok, paneer if you are veggie) - a researcher has found that "Gandhi has been reborn, and his name in the current incarnation is Van Jones" .

According to the said researcher, Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam was Tipu Sultan as well. Though the write-up don’t say how he deduced that except for the rocketry connection, I think he is right because there are a lot of similarities between the two if you look closely. Both are men - which also means both are not women and children, both are connected to Bangalore airport(Dr.Kalam worked @HAL,ADE near old Bangalore airport, Sultan was born @Devanahalli, near new Bangalore airport), both are connected to weapons, both became heads of states…now if somebody confirm about the Sultan’s hairstyle as well, the hypothesis can be proclaimed completely accurate.

Hang on…I have a feeling I was Abraham Lincoln. Here is why - both of us agree slavery is a bad thing, both our first names don’t start with Z, both of us got a mouth exactly below the nose, gosh! Lot of similarities, so hereafter address me Mr. President, else I’ll ask my ghost to spook you, even if you live outside the Whitehouse.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What if the fence starts eating the crops?

The national human rights commission has been fined by the court for doing human rights violation . I’m worried now because we also have national commissions for Women, Child welfare etc as well.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Essential Indian middleclass vacation planner

If you ask what is the fastest growing organic structure in the world, even Bush will answer that it is The Indian Urban Middleclass. There are a lot of challenges that new members of this fast growing class face due to lack of awareness - on middleclass etiquettes, middleclass social behavior, middleclass purchasing power/limits etc. One such issue is how to plan and execute a yearly vacation that was hitherto a privilege of only the upper class in India. This post is a comprehensive vacation planner that can be used by anybody who is an urban Indian middleclass family head(gender could be anything), on how to plan and execute an annual vacation successfully, because studies show that many Indian urban middleclass vacations get spoiled due to lack of planning.

First challenge is finding an agreed upon location with your spouse(Kids will be ok with any place, as long as they don’t have to do home works there). Fortunately, India is an incredible(Antonym - credible) country with a large number of choices and you got Goa, Shimla and Kerala to choose from. Now remember, you are still middleclass and all the above are becoming unaffordable for middleclass, shortlist all hill stations and seashores that are at a drivable distance and come up in Google search. One thing to remember here is that this is not that annual pilgrimage that you used to go with your parents in childhood, so don’t chose the nearest temple-town as your parents used to do, choose a place where you can relax and enjoy the crowd, pollution, bad food etc.

Next, narrow down to two choices by conducting a lunch time exit-poll among your office friends. Once you got the choices, submit it for spousal approval (always submit two choices, anything below that will make you a victim of domestic violence and anything above an indecisive person), he or she will again repeat the exit poll in his or her friends circles and come back with two other places, go for any one that he/she choose for two reasons 1) laws on domestic violence 2) If the place turn out to be a disaster, you know exactly whom to blame – the government for making laws on domestic violence.

Next, start on the logistics such as finding accommodation, transportation. The best way to find a middleclass accommodation is to look upward, I mean look at what the rich are doing, because psychologically, middleclass think they are at par with the rich, so even if it costs you an additional couple of thousand bucks, go for a place that promises a ‘spa’*, swimming pool, a gym, a bar and couple of restaurants; again most of these are virtual-realty, just to give you a psychological feel-good factor for the money you are paying, most of them will be dysfunctional in actual-reality.

Call up the resort/hotel identified, it will be booked fully for the next 999 years by the rest of the middleclass, so you have two choices now 1) Choose an alternate holiday spot and repeat the process 2) Settle down for a not so up market, yet minimalist place. Go for choice 2 as the holiday season is just few weeks away. Ensure that the following are available in the place booked 1) A room with 4 walls and one roof, one floor 2) A bathroom with same number of walls, roofs and floors 3) A TV and cot 4) A socket for mosquito repellent 5) AC and fan. Note that both AC and fan are necessary as the AC will never work and in the likely event of your trip not going well, you can take all your frustration on the hotel staff on this, your spouse and kids will be spared.

Next on the travel. Though you would be tempted to hire an MUV, it’s much safer to take your own car out for the very reason that these MUVs come with in-built device drivers who just returned from another trip and had not been sleeping for the last 48 hours and chances are that you will become a page 3 celebrity in next day’s papers, along with the wreckage of the MUV. For driving guidelines, read this post.Keep a print of Google map of the route, will be useful to wipe your hands after food on your way. For directions, ask people at every junction, who will direct you to other people who know the directions.

Before any vacation, ensure that you have an overall awareness on the various attractions at the place, which will typically involve a supposed to be ancient temple/fort, a waterfall, a dam and a pathetically maintained park, couple of dirty beaches/lakes etc. There will be excellent websites detailing the attractions, read them couple of times and draw a daily plan, because that’s one activity you will enjoy in this trip(I mean working out a plan, not executing it).

Now you are all set to go. Buy and keep some snacks, aerated drinks etc a day in advance, make sure you forget to carry them because you won’t want to reach your holiday spot with a bad stomach. Another essential middleclass vacation equipment is a digital camera, (don’t carry your old video cameras, you are not going to use them) because a middleclass vacation is not about enjoying places, it’s about the snaps you take that will make you feel like being the best photographer in the world.

Always start your vacation journey early morning, because then you will have enough time to stop at every junction for directions and still reach the place by evening. Also studies have proven that driving at day time is safer in Indian roads as potholes become blackholes at night and will absorb your car, unless you are travelling at a speed higher than escape velocity. Ensure you carry water from home, because again there are studies that shows bottled water is harmful to health, especially when they are duplicates(imitations) of known brands.

Now after reaching the hotel, first thing to do is ignore your daily plan, check with the hotel staff on the places around. They will give you which ones are suitable for visit during which season, go ahead, choose them and re-adjust all your daily plans accordingly and execute. Execution is a simple process – reach the spot, click snaps, start back. Ensure your kids are safe, it’s not their fault that you chose to spoil their entire week in the name of a vacation. At the end of the trip, return back, no special advice/guidance needed here because I’m already tired with this post. Go ahead, enjoy your vacation!

* Author is ignorant on what exactly this thing is, but it’s a mandatory middleclass vacation doodad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Few racial attacks that went unnoticed

Throughout the world, Indians continue to be the most racially vulnerable community with more and more fresh attacks getting reported every day against our people and we Indian bloggers cannot just sit and watch, we got to react and try to expose any such incidents so that the governments take notice of the heinous and cowardly acts. Here are few such incidents that went unnoticed because our fourth and fifth estates are now wining and dining with Shiney Ahuja.

1) From England

Victims are a group of youngsters who went to England on a study tour on how to play cricket. They had been targeted and brutally attacked by racists from all over the Commonwealth as reported here, here , and here . They are now being airlifted back to India for advanced medical treatments that will be starting with a therapy called Media Analysis and Diagnosis or M.A.D.

2) From Israel

In yet another incident of racial discrimination against Indians, Israeli soldiers pressed the ‘kumkum’ mark on the forehead of a married Indian woman touring their country three times thinking it was a ‘trigger for a bomb’. That explains why innocent Palestinian women and children get bombed by Israeli fighter jets constantly - their noses look exactly like the tip of anti-ballistic missiles placed inside their heads. There are also unconfirmed reports that this is not an act of racism but the soldiers were acting under the influence of a Bollywood movie they saw, in which the heroine was a bomb and upon ki pressing the forehead she exploded with an item-number.

3) From USA

The next one in my opinion is the mother of all the racial attacks because they are now hurting our linguistic sentiments, the biggest of all our sentiments; after religious I mean. A Texas based company called Global Language Monitor announced that ‘Web 2.0’ is the one millionth word to be added to the English language, and not words of Indian origin ‘Jai Ho’ or 'Slumdog'. Whoever awarded the ownership of English language to the said company better rethink I say.

What surprises me is the ineptness shown by our government in handling these issues. It’s high time we summon High-commissioners/Ambassadors of all these countries and convey clearly that if their governments don’t take necessary actions to stop these attacks, we will be forced to impose sanctions against them by conducing International Bollywood Movie Festivals or IPL matches in those countries.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Health is wealth*

One of the biggest threats that urban Indian middleclass face today (until they come across tiffin-boxes kept on bicycles) is their ever deteriorating health due to a myriad of factors like work habits, lifestyle, liberalization, cholesterol, UB, TV etc. In the past people were occupationally either men who worked hard in the fields while their women cooked food and fostered children or were women who worked, cooked, fostered children and died while their men drank and gambled and hence many of the health hazards such as Diabetics, Hypercholesterolemia, Cardiac problems were unknown to our forefathers and foremothers.

This points to why getting comprehensive health checkups done is important for those who are urban, fat-flattened, petty bourgeoisie men, women and computer professionals who are crossing their half-life period, something they never do just because they have reservations on sparing their Saturdays for anything other than the TV and/or their excremental output with anybody other than a septic tank. They are simply wrong because a comprehensive health checkup is a painless, effortless process and my advice is do get it done to achieve that self-realization, I mean anatomical. For those who are still playing Doubting-Thomas, here is how that simple process goes.

  1. Fix an appointment few days in advance to avoid waiting in long queues, these days there are too many cooking-oil commercials in TV to make people more health conscious.

  2. Reach the hospital early morning with an empty stomach because they cannot see into your body through a full cup of cereals or upma. Also, your appointment of the previous step doesn’t matter; it’s an early bird process, without the worms but.

  3. Enroll yourself and sign the agreement that says you are willing to share any solid/liquid exertion that your body is capable of producing with whosoever it may be a concern.

  4. Choose a suitable comprehensive health check package. If you are not sure, the receptionist will recommend one based your physiology and T-shirt brand, accept it and pay, don’t question because it’s not their fault that you don’t look like a Bollywood Chest-nut but a 60 year old chimp that just ate a full jackfruit.

  5. Wait for your turn, upon invitation walk briskly towards the sample collection desk. Don’t panic, they are not going to unclothe you in public and extract body fluids and solids. Even if they do so there will be a half door that will help hiding your head (the ostrich strategy, it works)

  6. They will only suck your blood out there and for the rest you can help yourself in the privacy of a rest room, again with a half door. Don’t hesitate, do as instructed; remember, you have signed the contract; any violation can now put you behind bars, or even pubs

  7. Now go have some food, and get ready for a second round of bodily waste sharing exercise. Don’t worry, this wont happen, though you might feel like doing so after the hospital canteen food. They will only suck your blood the second time, because by now they have realized that it’s all in your blood.

  8. Now you will be pushed through a series of dental, mental, ophthalmic, cardiac check-ups depending on the number of different organs that you have, and will also be asked irrelevant questions to keep you entertained.

  9. Wait for couple of hours for the final report to come, various entertainment facilities will be provided, like a TV running muted bollywood music, which will make you feel like you are watching a butcher shop with full of fresh flesh dangling around.

  10. Finally the physician call you and declare that you are a dreaded bio-terrorist carrying life threatening ammunition like bad cholesterol, bad sugar, bad habits etc. But don’t worry, the physician will also advice you that the hospital has got specialization in each of your problem areas and can have a further detailed organ level checkup at the cost of Rs.9999 only per organ. That’s all, you are done with, I mean done with the comprehensive health checkup.

  11. Walk out confidently, now you are a self realized person, start eating green leaves, grass, tree bark and whatever comes on your way that none of your senses can ever detect what it is; by next checkup, you will as fit as a lion. Ok, at least a lion-tailed macaque for sure.
Now you will all agree with me that getting a comprehensive health checkup done is as simple a process as getting a haircut, the only minor difference could be that you will never get your head cut during haircuts.

* For the hospitals I mean.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crown Gods

I can somewhat understand mixed colleges taking such measures so that boys spend more time with the text books than counting jeans. But the question of can’t they count sarees/salwars is a too logical one, we won’t answer.

I’m convinced. Gods do exist and they take long naps too. Else this man would have been smacked by the gods on the spot for trying to bribe them.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


For the past few days we are hearing the word ‘socialite’ in our print and visual tabloids and chances are that many people will misinterpret this for a political science term called ‘socialist’. Here is a short poem that addresses the difference between the two. Why I wrote it as a poem is because it can then also be used as a nursery rhyme. This is my poetic debut as well (means the worse is yet to come) and is written in a new poetic form called ‘Molested Closed Couplet’. It’s also an open source poem; you can add verses and/or copy them, you will never be called a plagiarist, it’s the message that matter here, not the messenger.

Socialites wear Prada
Socialists wear Kurta

Socialites have parties for fun
Socialists have parties for fund

Socialites wear big goggles
Socialists were big boggles

Socialists wither wealth
Socialites blather filth

Socialites smooch each other
Socialists scorch each other

Socialists deprive democracy
Socialites thrive hypocrisy

Socialites hail flamboyance
Socialists spoil finance

Socialists are traffic jams
Socialites traffic gems


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eternal bribery

One political party in Goa says their opponents have ‘bribed’ gods to win elections. I’m curious to know whether this actually worked and whether the gods helped those who paid, because I can then go out and whack all those anarchic, immoral, atheist m*rons who are trying to convince us that there is no such thing as god.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Diplomatic measures

Opposition in India says the so called racial attacks towards young Indians in Australia can be stopped by sending young MPs from India there. Though its not entirely clear from the report what the young MPs should do there to stop the racial attacks, I have a feeling it’s a good idea for two reasons - 1) Majority of the young MPs are from the ruling side 2) They can be mistaken for Indian students.

Friday, June 5, 2009

In science we trust

Welcome back. Now that dust is settled - and mudslinging has started - with two of my favourite subjects – IPL*, this week I will analyze things that are happening in my other area of interest – scientific inventions, innovations and discoveries. We will look at few ground breaking discoveries that happened in recent past that couldn’t reach a larger section of humanity because of not being mentioned in popular news-analysis column like this blog**.

What I really like about scientists and researchers is that given a chance they will study and discover anything, including the fact that men will enjoy watching videos of hot women anytime, even while they are making important decisions on soda, candy, money etc. I’ve no doubt the discovery is a ground breaking one, except that I would add peanuts to that list of important things.

Here is another example - According to this study, women use more active head motion when conversing with each other than men use when they talk with each other. Now some of you – especially those with poor scientific outlook - might ask how this discovery will be useful to humankind. I would say the benefits are multifold. For example, it is now possible for us to find out whether we are talking to a man or a woman just by looking at their head movements. Had this been known earlier, such catastrophes could have been avoided.

The next research finding that I would like to bring your attention to is one that breaks all conventional theories on human evolution; again is on the same subject of men and women. Btw, from my observation, this is the biggest subject of study for researches after pathology. Pathology leads only because they use mice and guinea pigs as subjects of study, the only two species that can yield more useful and reliable results. Back to the subject. A study done recently shows that Women are not so picky when comes to choosing a mate. Very true. If they were, I’m sure human species would have been long extinct and somebody would have been riding on our fossil fuel by now.

Here is another snippet from the academic world - Panjab University is changing the name of Department of English to Department of English and Cultural Studies. Very good move indeed, of late the academia is noticing that those who get educated only in English take up jobs with TV news channels and are suffering from a syndrome known as ‘Severe Underexposure to Cultural Knowledge’(Abbreviate for convenience) which the university thinks can be eradicated through such cultural name changes.

But for me, none of the above qualify to be the most remarkable discovery in recent times, it’s that many of the scientific discoveries are fake. But I would say this one sure is not one of them.

* P for Cricket and Politics
** Current readership: 0000001

Preserve our culture, values and politicking

I always admire anybody who goes that extra mile to preserve our culture, languages, traditions, values etc, even if that means beating up helpless girls or destroying public property. Here is something that made me happy this morning - The state of Tamil Nadu is presenting Free gold ring for babies with Tamil names.Now those of you who wonder what qualifies to be a 'Tamil' name, here is the answer - the scheme was inaugurated by the deputy chief minister of the state, Mr. Stalin.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Happy to know that we bought Israeli Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems(AWACS) fitted on top of Russian planes, capable of tracking down incoming missiles and ‘peep into’ neighbouring countries without breaking their compound walls. According to experts, this move puts us ahead by around 15 – 20 years in military technology - because AWACS was invented around that many years back. 

Also, it’s good to know you can peep into somebody’s privacy as long as you got the required doodads.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cabinet formation for dummies

Recently concluded parliament elections in India have proven one thing, that it is much easier to win an election than forming a cabinet. Here I would like to give few tips to my readers on how to form a union cabinet quickly, in the unlikely event of any of them being asked to take up the job of prime minister of their country. Please note that these tips should be experimented only under the guidance of professional politicians, DO NOT try them at home, unless you run your own political party from home.

Firstly, always form a coalition government. This reduces your cabinet formation job considerably because you then have to worry about fewer positions to fill yourself. Choose parties that are patriarchal/matriarchal troops as partners so that even if they have more MPs than the ministries you set aside, the patriarch/matriarch has the last word there. Your job is to convince aspirants from your party that you got to give a reasonable amount of portfolios to the coalition partners for the government to survive. Being politicians, most of them will agree because they know that sitting on a treasury bench is a better proposition than going back to the ruthless voters who can change their mind any time.

Next, let’s look at how to distribute the remaining positions among your party members. Here, always take two ‘bottom-up’ approaches. First, keep your bottom up while dealing with the aspirants, will help you keep your cool. Secondly, start with setting aside one ministry each for all known biological/social/linguistic anthropological group (also known as yakuza) in your country. Now this depends on your knowledge on your country, so always keep a copy of Lonely Planet guidebook, not that it will be of any help here, but later when you want to take a break, it will be useful.

Here, some of you might end up in a situation where there is a yakuza, but no MP from that mafia to make a minister. Don’t worry, go ahead and choose any one random thug from the group; amend your constitution so that you can have them for six months without being an MP. Within that time have your intelligence team follow them closely, since they are on the treasury benches, will soon get into treasure hunting, nab them on the spot and throw out. Under normal circumstances the yakuza won’t make immediate claims, and when they do so repeat the said process again. After reaching this level, you will normally be left with only a handful of cabinet ministries which you can allocate to few capable senior members from your party.

Now if none of the above work out and you are in real pressure from the media to have a ministry appointed in few seconds after the election results are declared, there is an easy way out as well - induct all those MPs who can repeat ‘prime minister’s prerogative’ rapidly fifty times as a minister of states. Give independent charges to those who could also correctly pronounce ‘conscientiously’.

Being done the selection of ministers, your next task will be to allocate them portfolios. This job is comparatively easy, put 2 – 3 in each of your ministries as assistant ministers; once labeled a minister, most of them will be least interested in knowing whether bureaucrats working under them will be doing urban development or water resources management. For all those important cabinet portfolios you will anyway have seasoned politicians around, and if you don’t have any, the best thing to do is to make human cloning legal, kidnap Pranab Mukherjee from India, clone and place in each ministry.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Few missing links

Welcome back to the self-syndicated weekly news analysis column that looks at the key events with socio-economic consequences that happen in our country. First, on the parliament election results. After conducting exhaustive psephologic researches and socio-political analysis - by watching the ever breaking TV news flashes -, I have come to a conclusion that two important factors worked in favour of the Congress party this time. They are a) People voted for its candidates b) The electronic voting machines actually worked, which again is largely attributed to having government officials in charge of them instead of techies, which would have given the others some hope at least, even if they are the Republican Party or the Kuomintang party.

Moving on to the economic impact of this verdict, we saw the stock markets booming at an unprecedented pace post-results, and for the first time in the history of Indian stock markets, trading was halted due to markets hitting the upper limit; of greed. Analysts and experts see this as a very healthy sign because they could not only make more money but also appear more time on TV that day. Another positive thing to note is the change in mindset of Indian voters this time - they have elected many young MPs to the parliament and also ensured their parents are elected too, so that the youngsters won’t be left unattended in parliament. From an economic angle too, this is good because we now need only one minister in charge of both parliamentary affairs and family welfare.

Though many experts say the noticeable trends this time are the left parties being left out, the right party proven wrong, the center party getting the edge, the bollywood bloopers party** having to go back to what they were good at – making pornographically palatable pranks - etc, in my view, the most significant change is that our news channels who are otherwise suffering from a dreaded disease called ‘Paid News Syndrome' are becoming good in one thing – prognostication; they can now perform a job that was hitherto possible only by astrologers - make wrong predictions, yet appear right. For example, certain channel predicted 220 seats for UPA; which they claim is very close to the actual number of 260; they are right, on a scale of 1 – 10000000 it is.

If you have read this babbling so far, that means you are either a) A member of the third/fourth front, who got nothing else to do at the moment b)Google search crawler who got it as a job. Either way, I shall switch from politics to some other significant developments during the week to have this analysis a balanced one - between media hype and reality that is. Here is a court verdict that will have far reaching consequences – the supreme court has ruled that ‘One who obeys his wife rules the world’. A landmark verdict indeed, those who are up to conquering the world now know where to start from and those who are getting married know what awaits them.

Before I wind-up, being a person of science I got to mention one of the landmark discoveries/inventions of the week, which is one of the biggest ever as well according to many experts. Scientists have found ‘the missing link’ in human evolution, which turns out to be a lemur, and not a typical monkey as many of us thought wrongly. Some scientists said this is the “closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor”. Now that confirms my theories on our relationship with lemurs on two key aspects, One - they too exhibit female social dominance; you remember the court verdict, don’t you? Two - they use their tails to communicate with each other, and that’s why this discovery is called the ‘missing’ link which obviously is the tail.

**If this party doesn't exist now, somebody from the six-packs khan-daan can think of launching it, future will be thigh thy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Healthcare tips - for men, women and yoga enthusiasts

As a concerned citizen, I think it’s my duty to give my readers (which currently is you and the Google crawler) few healthcare tips once in a while. This post is dedicated to that and I would like to start with giving all my male readers few yoga tips(womenfolk, don’t feel left out, your tips follow). My yoga advice for men today is on ‘nakhun gharshan’, the yoga practice of rubbing the nails of both your hands against each other. Though this is a great yoga technique for making a croaky noise, care should be taken when/where you perform it. Never practice it in front of sports equipment shops, you can end up in jail, that's exactly what happened to these yoga practitioners .

Now if you are wondering why sports equipment shops, remember, everything in yoga has a scientific reason, and in this case it is the one [and only one] place where men shop while their women wait outside. Your practicing such gestural yoga techniques before the waiting women can be misinterpreted as obscenity because 1) They are already too upset with their men inside 2) They are not yoga experts 3) For most women, anything men do with their hands other than picking nose is suggestive/obscene. Another tip that I want give my fellowmen here is that if you are so tempted to show some of your asanas in public, choose something that’s more commonly understandable; nakhun charwan(a yoga technique of chewing up nails of both your hands) for example.

Next to a ground breaking discovery/invention of the week in the healthcare domain, which is also my health tip for women this week - A study by Dr. Maya Saleh, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre “shows that women have a more powerful immune system than men”. That explains…well, pretty much everything, including why women are so ignorant about the yoga techniques that men practice to improve their ever deteriorating immune system.

To conclude this healthy debate, I’ll give one more tip, this is gender neutral in the sense that it is useful for both men who are forced to take bath at an unreasonably high frequency and women who force them to do so thinking it will improve their health. Here is a story of a very healthy man who hasn’t had a bath for over 35 years, the point to note here is that he does take a ‘fire bath’ – by standing on one leg in front of a bonfire smoking marijuana(that’s right, marijuana). Men can adopt this to be healthy, keep a bottle of rum in case smoking marijuana is not that legalized in your part of the world, I’m sure no woman will ever pester you to bathe thereafter.

[Before I wind up, a word on the dilemma that the election results have put me in - it's now clear that Congress party is returning to power, my problem is how to celebrate it, whether by having a drink or by abstaining from the same, after all its Gandhi's party. Or on a second thought, Gandhi never said anywhere that you should not consume alcohol while celebrating electoral victory. Prove me wrong, I watched all those ten thousand election speeches he did last month, nor did his sister in any of those tele-snippet interviews , then why should I not have a drink?]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Abicloud and Nimbus

Past couple of weeks I had been looking at few of the open source cloud computing environments, primarily Infrastructure as a service offerings. I’ve already mentioned about Eucalyptus in an earlier post, this time I’m going to mention two other offerings in this space – abiquo Abicloud and Nimbus. Though I don’t have the ‘bandwidth’ to evaluate each and give a feature comparison etc, here are few aspects of these environments that I found interesting.


Infrastructure software, for creating and managing cloud infrastructure, where you can create and manage ‘virtual datacenters’, a heterogeneous environment that facilitate private-public clouds to be managed from a single point. Typical cloud infrastructure features such as dynamic provisioning, de-provisioning, scaling etc are promised(I’m yet to try it, my Fedora 9 is giving me a tough time setting up VirtualBox, a pre-requisite for abiCloud). The virtual datacenter concept is what I liked here, a good way to organize and manage your enterprise I.T infrastructure


An aggregation of tools facilitating Infrastructure as a service. Claims they are primarily looking at building clouds/grids for scientific research, but since science and enterprise go hand in hand, I think we can use them too. I’m yet to have a closer look at this, as like any other ‘scientific’ software, looks not very ‘user friendly’ for us who spent too much time in business computing environments, have a look if any of you are interested in getting things done the hard way, but the right way.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Essential Indian Highway Etiquettes

With the golden quadrilateral and other not so golden national highways getting converted into multi-lane speedways, I’m convinced that things are improving in our country - I mean for the contractor mafia and motor accident solicitors. My expeditions on some of these Camino Reals taught me a lot of things including the fact that if you ever manage to drive back home safely, you indeed have done something good in your previous incarnation, even if you were a religious/political leader or a bloodsucking leech or both in that. This post is for anybody who is planning to take up a trip on our new multi-lane multi-tolled highways; few things if kept in mind could save them many lives, including their own if they are that lucky.

The first thing to learn – whether you like it or not - is that your primary job while driving on our highways is NOT to drive and reach your destination, but to serve and protect the numerous cyclists, bikers, bullock carts, tractors human jaywalkers and animal jaystrollers. Being children of the soil/tar, they can appear anywhere, move from anywhere to anywhere in any which direction they want and you are in charge of safeguarding them from both yourself as well as other motorists around you. From my experience, the most effective approach to deal with them is to pray to the god in charge of traffic affairs in your religion that you will spot them in advance. If your religion doesn’t have a god for transportation or if you don’t use prayer as a means to get things done your way, be doomed. Also remember that you are at fault for any casualty that happen, no matter whether it’s your mistake or not and will be burned alive along with your car by the omnipresent mob.

Now to your secondary job – which again is NOT to drive to your destination as you thought wrongly - is to protect you and your companions from trucks and buses that will drive only on the fastest line on your side and ALWAYS in your opposite direction with equal or more velocity. (Newton never traveled on Indian highways, else he sure would have postulated one more law of motion for school kids to by-heart). Though no scientific study has been done on this primate behavior of truckers, it’s believed that they either genetically inherited this trait from some of their ape ancestors or they are suffering from something called ‘Acute Intelligence Deficiency Syndrome’ or AIDS. Some of them will have their headlights on, again a behavior inherited from the said ancestors to establish and maintain their alpha male position over you. When on an Indian multi-lane highway, always be on the lookout for them and when encountered, move away as early as possible so that your insurance company will save some money.

Accepting that driving to your destination is one of your goals, that’s NOT your third priority as a driver on our highways – it is to protect(and if possible serve as well) novice highway drivers, also known as ‘headless chicken’(HCs here after) in automotive terminology. These could be virtually anybody who owns an Indian driving license, which typically gets issued based on one’s bribe-ability factor, and not the driving skills. So you must keep in mind that HCs neither know driving, nor are they aware of things like lanes, rear-view mirrors, indicators etc, because in our driving curriculum, driving(money into the inspector’s pocket) is more important, how you do that is immaterial. You can spot them very easily, unless you are - a) one of them b) blind c)brain-dead d) all of the above. Dealing with them is comparatively easy – follow your gut feeling, trust me it works at times.

Next comes the actual driving part. Let’s see some of the roadblocks that you will come across and how to tackle them. First is about how to deal with the parallel slow moving trucks on all the lanes on your side of the highway – this is called ‘para-snailing’ in automotive terminology, the best approach is to follow them, in few hours one of them sure will move away to answer natures call, and that means your time has come, move on. Till then sit back, relax and enjoy thinking about green house gases, carbon footprint and stuff like that, after all we are green people. You can also read the commandments written behind the trucks on diverse subjects like family planning, rain water harvesting and even patriotic edicts such as “Mera Bharat Mahan…Highly inflammable”(Old joke in new blog).

Next is about dealing with speed breakers which are known as ‘humps’ in my part of the world. Some people - especially those who are more ‘westernized’ - misunderstand this word because its also a colloquial term for an essential adaptation given by mother nature - for camels to survive in deserts as you guessed rightly. If you encounter a warning on the highway that states ‘hump ahead’, read the first word as a noun and not a verb, you could end up in a lot of trouble if you do so, we are still a conservative society. Now humps are of many types, some are officially installed and warning assisted which are easy for you to deal with. There are another set of humps that locals create with primitive raw materials and like mud(which is abundant within their skulls) and stones and are assisted with no official warnings. They are intended to kill you; there is no escape, unless you are driving a Patton Tank.

There may be other protocols and know-hows that you as a more learned, experienced individual might know, please do throw light on them by commenting here so that I can publish this as a book titled “The Essential Indian Highway Etiquettes Guide”. I shall acknowledge your contribution with the smallest possible font in the book’s last page(or in the page after that), which will be your royalty.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Those who are looking for establishing a hybrid cloud environment(a combination of public and private ‘clouds’) must look at the latest developments happening with Eucalyptus, the open cloud platform. Apart from the elastic computing capabilities, it now has an interface to Amazon EC2 as well(I understand that the latest one is also compatible with S3), making it possible for customers to leverage both internal and external cloud capabilities. I always feel this is an important aspect of on-demand computing environments so that users can get the best services, irrespective of whether the resources are internal or external.

Though I’ve not experimented with it yet(shall do that next week on), this open source environment from what I gather is evolving in the right direction, to become a standards based, hybrid, services based cloud platform and more importantly it’s an open platform, means if you are worried about getting ‘locked-in’, it will be to yourself, a safer bet after all. Documentation on Eucalyptus here for those who are interested.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Buffalos of Bangalore

Our ancient philosophers I think had a lot of time for doing all the thinking. Firstly because cubicles were not invented then and secondly because they (cunningly) abstained from the then accepted institution called family. Barring all the confusing, contradicting and crude philosophies and mantras they had written in their life-long happy hours, they made some useful contributions as well to mankind(and kind women). Proverbs is one of them. In the wake of the Obama administration’s new mantra of “Say no to Bangalore, yes to Buffalo”, one such proverb that comes to my mind is – “Vinaasha kale vipareetha budhi”.

Now what I want to know from you, especially if you are an economist with a presidentially misspelled surname is whether this can be translated to English as “When in recession, be protectionist”. If not what is an apt translation of this? Please enlighten this economically weak - both physically and in knowledge - person.

Friday, May 1, 2009

You are what you fling

This week as well, newspapers and TV are full of reports about a new epidemic that’s spreading like wild fire, with new cases being reported every day from different geopolitical landscapes. Health care experts suspect this as a case of bio-terrorism, especially because it's origin is tracked back to Iraq. I'm talking about the shoe-hurling that's making waves across the country, with many Indians using it as an opportunity to walk into the hall of fame without having to take birth in a bollywood or political family, or in a combination of both. I’m extremely disappointed that I don’t have a French beard or ponytail; else by now I could have published a #1 best seller management book titled “50 reasons to hurl your sole - and all are not politicians”.

We celebrated ‘Akshaya Tritiya' this week, we mean gold merchants and not you and me literally. For those of my readers who are from other planets, it is the biggest festival of a tribe that’s considered one of the fastest growing in the world – the Indian middleclass. Historians differ on the origin of the festival and its name, one hypothesis is that it originated as a harvest time gala by a cult called Bombay Bullion Brotherhood in the 20th century AD while others say it was started by a group of medieval traders called Malayalee Metal Merchants in 2007 AD, but all of them agree on one thing, that both are good names for IPL teams in future. The name of the festival according to some experts stands for ‘times of unlimited treachery’, while others say ‘tithi’ stands for lunar day and hence might also means ‘festival of lunatics’. Celebrated with multiple activities such as spending time with friends and family in the jewelry shop, getting fooled by their pricing methods, drinking the hot tea served, emptying bank accounts and things like that.

One of the biggest excavations ever undertaken in the Deccan plateau had some success finally during this week. Archeologists have unearthed an ingenious device invented and employed by The Rajus of Bhagyanagaram in the 20th or 21st century AD and was never known to the outside world, until they(The Rajus) started riding a tiger not knowing how to sell it’s skin without getting down. Historians are of the opinion that this shows how advanced and rich ancient Indian corporate governance mechanisms were, even before American inventor Bernard Madoff created the much talked about Ponzi device that changed the face (and back) of companies around the world. Soon this device will be made open for public viewing in the famous ‘Salary Junk’ museum in Hyderabad. Historians also see this as a landmark discovery that might throw more light into the customs, values, beliefs, arts, behavior and material habits of the people of this once thriving empire.

Before I go, here is another horrifying news on the latest impact of the economic turmoil in our society . Though not mentioned in the report, I think recession is what makes people to take such extreme steps to find a way to make both ends meet.

[This weekend I’m off for a short vacation, hence the ground breaking events that happened towards the end of the week may not be covered here, even if they measure 7 on Richter scale. Next week too I’ll be available from the second half only and hence if any of you are newsmakers and would like to appear in my column, hold it till Wednesday bearing the constipation, else try your luck elsewhere such as the national tabloids]

Monday, April 27, 2009

Why is IT all still Cloudy?

Those who say ‘cloud computing’ is yet another buzzword for whatever was existing earlier – Utility, Grid, SOA, <<x>>aaS and even the internet, I would say are both right and wrong. Right because it is all of the above. Wrong because the skepticism on adopting, attempting to improve something just because it exists (in pieces) already doesn’t help. Technology gets better when we find synergy between existing solutions. Cloud computing, even after being on top of the I.T hype cycles for couple of years, still not emerged as an underlying principle of enterprise architecture and I wonder why.

One of the key reasons I think is about the ambiguity on the internal versus external debate. For some, its still about resource virtualization or about using external data centers for hosting their systems, with the additional feature of ‘pay-as-you-go’. For others, anything that’s ‘internety’ is already cloud, so why waste any more time on something that’s already there.

On top of it, some of the recent analyst reports doubting whether adopting cloud environments will really benefit enterprises, as well as some attempts to define boundary/standards for the paradigm also sent out wrong messages about cloud computing. Also many (especially virtualization product vendors) projected it as a resource optimization mechanism, and not as a front-line business enabler.

Important enterprise concerns about security, ownership, regulations that protects their assets, interoperability standards are not addressed adequately as well. Also some of the key service delivery issues such as supports, network requirements and other governance aspects are not being well addressed. In my opinion(and I mentioned it here on multiple occasions), the fundamental problem here is people don’t look at the cloud of the larger spectrum of Information System services that can be provisioned on-demand by connecting a network of internal and external resources.

You may now kiss the field cricket

Another eventful week has gone past, the most important event for me during the week was that I voted - after being persuaded by the election commission, government, matinee idols(and dolls), cricketers, family and friends though none of them were sure why they wanted me to do so. Next big thing is that I’m now convinced we are inching towards becoming a ‘developed’ country. Not because we managed to develop so many big banks here (vote banks I mean), but because we now own a spy satellite and spy planes as well. You might ask how spying enhances prosperity, I say that’s because you don’t know the history of spying ,all those who currently enjoy the ‘developed’ status got one thing in common – they all had/have a very sophisticated spy network. Now with these high-tech spy doodads, we not only can spot the terrorists but even zoom to such minuscule details as the color and brand of the inner garments worn by the bollywo terrorists, according to experts.

Last week also had many other events that made us proud as a nation, apart from IPL . For me the proudest moment of the week as an Indian tech-worker(these days every professional is labeled with a ‘worker’ suffix in my part of the world, even the oldest) is that an Indian has been appointed as America’s Chief Technology Officer, once again its becoming obvious that hiring Indians can get you do things cheaper better. Moreover, governments are thinking in corporate lines, which is good. I’m waiting for their next corpo style move – mergers and acquisitions.

The week also had the most memorable day in an year for us environmentally concerned people(ECPs)- Earth day. Now if you are not an ECP, to give you an idea on how important the day is for us - it’s as ‘unforgettable’ a day as your spouse’s birthday for you. We celebrated Earth day on the 22nd by pledging to do more green marathons with more sponsors. Every year I adopt few new green initiatives on Earth day, and this year there are two resolutions that I pledge to do 1) From now on I’ll stop watching bollywood movies and music in an effort to curb global warming 2) I'll eat as much non-vegetarian stuff as possible, so that I don't contribute to cutting of plants, instead I'll help reducing the cattle population that eats up anything green that comes their way.

The week also saw many landmark court verdicts that have the potential to change the face of our violently conservative country. One is that kissing is not an offense, as long as you are married - to each other of course. It is also now official that officials who solemnize parenatally disapproved weddings will not inform the parents through a ‘notice of intended marriage’. Looks like cupid is the dog whose day has come.

Next on the key research finding of the week – a truly ground breaking one, especially for anyone who is running animal farms, families, relationships or all of the above. Biologists at UC Riverside have done an intense study on ‘field crickets’(and not on the vice versa as it would have been in India) and found for the first time that “Females commonly prefer males that provide greater material benefits, and even penalizes males that provide lower-quality benefits”. Now some of you might ask whats 'news' in this; remember, we are talking here about field crickets. Those of you who are adult field cricket males better read the said research report, might help you understand the field better before you venture out next time.

Before I go the latest recession related news here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cloud and virtualization

In his Cloud Interoperability Magazine blog post title “Cloud Computing Surpasses Virtualization in Popularity”, Reuven Cohen writes

"I was recently looking at Google's trends & insights tool and noticed something very interesting has happened over the last month or so. For the first time the term "cloud computing" has surpassed "virtualization" in terms of search popularity. What is all the more interesting is it took cloud computing a little over a year and half compared to nearly 5 years for virtualization to see the same level of search volumes. Astounding growth to say the least.

I think this is no surprise. Virtualization addresses only one part of cloud computing paradigm IMO – how to realize it technically. A cloud is much more than that, covering the larger spectrum of I.T services and not just the infrastructure. As I wrote here earlier, cloud computing is multi-dimensional and should cover the presently fragmented

1. Cloud of infrastructure services(IaaS, PaaS)
2. Cloud of internal enterprise shared services (the ‘internal cloud’)
3. Cloud of externally provisioned software services (SaaS)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

If the choice is between hot chilli and election speech...

Those of you who are in the business of column writing will agree with me on one thing, becoming an established, well read commentator is not all that easy, especially when you are not backed by a strong media conglomerate or a powerful campaigning machinery like that of IPL (P could be Political or Premier, depending on where your loyalties lie this week). However, I would like to continue with my column here for one simple reason that I feel good when some things get out of my mind even if it means speaking in the woods. So here is a birds eye(and brain) view of the key events that happened in my part of the world last week.

Now that IPL is out of the country, the law enforcement agencies can peacefully fight with terrorists, naxalites and likeminded people to help us live and vote peacefully. Talking about elections, amid threats from various social and anti-social elements, we managed to complete our first phase of polling somewhat peacefully which is the greatest upside event of the week IMO. I think the week will have a place in history because this is the first time we see a nation adopting ‘shoe throwing’ as a peaceful method of protesting against their oppressors. I see a parallel here between the civil disobedience method Gandhiji adopted against the British and I wonder whether this is what some people call as the ‘Third independence movement’ in India.

Another news item that caught international acclaim was that an Indian woman has eaten the hottest chilli in the world. Now those of you who eat from the ‘Andhra Style’ restaurants in my part of the world might ask whats so great in that. Well, the uniqueness in this case is that she also ‘smeared seeds of 25 chillies in her eyes in one minute’. Now that I bet is something you and I wont prefer to do, even if we can eat vegetable kholapuri three times a day. I don’t have any report on her condition after this, but whatever it is, we are proving again and again that nobody can beat us when it comes to gulping the wackiest substances in the world, be it chillies, bombs, bollywood-dialogs or election-time promises.

Now those are on the positive side, on the negative side, inflation dipped to the lowest level in three decades . I’m no ‘economic person’ like many of my peers in office and on the street to tell what does it mean to the common woman and her man, all I know is that it’s time for those in the Reserve Bank to start talking about some cuts that they will be doing to the ‘basis points’, which ultimately will result in banks forcing us to take more loans so that the economy grows and you and I will end up being life-time debtors (which we are already anyway).

Before I end this short column due to lack of availability of time, screen real-estate and content, here is the latest recession related catastrophe, and I don’t consider this funny, though whoever titled it that way might think so.