Monday, October 30, 2006

"Marathi ase aapuli maayboli"...

To begin, the title translates as "Marathi is my mothertongue". India being a melting pot of so many cultures and language-speaking people, its obvious that language is a major binding force. I also somehow fall into the category of people who feel compelled to speak Marathi when I identify someone as being a fellow Marathi. Though the intensity of that urge has come down considerably along the years.

People tend to take this binding force a step forward to create a sense of belongingness to the language. Hence in every state which has industrialization, we have these set of people who think that their language is under threat! We have Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Bong etc saving communities - i.e. people who see to it that the language is preserved from foreign attack.

I started thinking, how can anything be bigger than human being? And language for that matter? Do we force people to speak our language just because we want our comfort more than anything else? Why do people lose focus so easily about the fact that we are here for the betterment of human beings and not language? So does it really matter to me if the guy in my neighbor who is a nice human being otherwise, speaks my language?

Guess people do not have guts to have a better purpose in life, and so they are happy in their little shells to think of such things!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Some thinking...

Ok a bit of background, have been seeing people fighting a lot lately. I really am not a fighter, I mean I really don't believe in fighting for every small thing, sometimes the benefit is in letting things go. Also I think fighting for a thing makes you possessive to a degree that cannot be justified in common sensical terms. Of course, for larger things like rights etc, I can fight but looking at my past, the last big fight I had was in 9th std where I stood for myself ( and don't ask what entailed)

Whatever it may be, today's blog is dedicated to all those people who take smallest of things with great seriousness and fight for it, without recognizing that it JUST might not be at all in a long term benefit. I will draw hugely from MBA terminology but you will get a hang towards the end.

Opportunity cost - What is the benefit I am giving up my pursuing this fight? Ask yourself, if you would have used this energy (mental or physical or spiritual) for some other use, would you have made a difference to yourself. I am concerned since people doing MBA fail to do this! E.g. instead of spending time thinking about how education system is bad, if that same intensity can be used for thinking about how current education can be used to analyse a situation in society, wouldn't that be a positive proposition?

Adverse Selection - We all know, or should know, that ultimately, everything in this world boils down to an individual. Admissions, job opportunity, your case getting selected, everything. You might, at this point say committees, but go back to influencing skills workshop, and remember the key takeaway. Its ultimately a minority that influences the majority and most of the times just one influencer! So if the world is that subjective, what matters is not to prove to the world you are good or bad but to that person? Isn't this hurting your ego a bit. Now world becomes a pretty decent place to live if we assume that everyone is good at what they do. You will realize that once you adopt this funda, you create a positive network externality, plus you create an indirect pressure on the person before you to be responsible.

To sum, what if today, we all think that life is not about just being good in the system, but to use the system to make the world a better place, I'd say that is education. Otherwise, I see nothing but wasted brilliance...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Kalaakari... !!

"Inside Outside"

"Stairwell to Heaven"
Camera: DSC T1 , night mode

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tryst.... - 2

Who says you cannot lose way in Indian highways? Yeah, even if there is no "network" of roads, there are no directions too and then on any given 4-way in a city you might lose your way. Thank God for creating paanwaalas and the junta there that one can easily find their way out...

Tech revolution of some kind?
There was this typical small village, and it barely had like 10 shops BUT there was NIIT center!! And then all the villages till I hit Maharashtra border were having TATA Sky type small dish. Probably the DISH TV itself.. What the ..!! India is marching forward, and with progressive governments like AP, the villages speak of themselves.

Market economy
Every village had a main road that I used to touch. And every main road had a bazaar. And every bazaar was laid out in exactly the same way. They all begin with small auto-car-truck repair shops, in vicinity a petrol pump, hardware shops, grocery stores and right in the middle will be garments shops... and the pattern continues in opposite direction as you move out of the town. Vegetable vendors are in front of grocery stores.. Every single town I touched had almost the same bazaar structure.. Sounds to me like another effecient market hypothesis, albeit in MGTO terms.. :-)

Reliance petrol pumps
These pumps sure are worth mentioning. Slowly they are changing the way Indians travel on the road. Food quality being a different issue, at least there were decent wash rooms and TVs (refer to DISH TV context) so that one can chillax on way.. Helpful staff and a big parking area... I was almost transported to Route 90 in US... :-)

More later....

Friday, October 13, 2006


Nowadays, when mind has nowhere to wander, its transported to Nashua, NH. I distinctly remember my first day in Nashua. From Manchester airport, I got a taxi. The driver asked me which exit, and that was the first time I had heard that word. Curse you A, I was all alone in the night in a totally foreign nation.

But in US things work exactly by the book. I read somewhere that the taxi cab takes $40 and whoa it was exactly the same amount he asked me. I was totally surprised. :-)

I had a bit of snow-darshan in Detroit while stop-over, so snow didn't remain as much a fancy. And I thought how big could it get until I saw the kind of snow that Nashua had to show me. It was too much, and for too long. Driving used to get so messy, my entire body was shivering one day as my muscles had totally tensed up after driving what felt like an age on 3-North.

We saw Rt 3N-S building up. We saw how, after the traffic increased, the highway was reshaped to accommodate Rt 495 traffic.

US is all about its highways. I still remember my way to
1. Bollywood grill (our fav restaurant, thanks to S) - Rt 3 South -> Rt 495 N (Exit for Lawrence)
2. Boston Airport - Rt 3 S -> Rt 93 N -> Rt 95 S (Airport exit, and TOLL while coming back)
3. Alewife T station (red line) - Rt 3 S -> Rt 95 S -> Rt 2E ("Yaatriyon se nivedan hai ki...") :)

Crazy days... We used to be so afraid of getting lost 'coz the time delay was just too much. And then every town in America looks the same... :)
I got lost in Boston every single time I went, every single time.. Can you beat that?

Fall colors were highlight of New Hampshire. They were, as one would put it, the very essence of NH. Its like the colors red, orange, yellow and brown are linked to the streets of Nashua, and valleys of the White Mountains

White mountain: I never ever got tired travelling to White Mountains. Never. We had coffee by the foot of a hill. Mt Washington was a terror to reach but was a sort of heaven up there. Fog, record breaking winds, and hot chocolate...

Manchester: It all started at 80 Dunbarton Road.. :-) And it seemed like it'd never end.. Thanks P and M for making our trip memorable.. P's Patties, M's chai , our barging in at un-earthly hours, T's surprise, A-G's xmas party, U-J's newport trip, S's tripping over the covered swimming pool and the trip to Big Apple.... :)

Niagara: :-) :-) .. "Suno no suno na sun lo na".. Chalte Chalte got attached so badly to our 400 mile journey that I don't think Dada, A, S and I can ever erase this memory...
Rain, rest areas, NY thruway - Massachussets Turnpike, Buffalo, upstate NY, Lighthouse..

Olive Garden, Crispy chicken at BK, BK veggie, and host of Indian restaurants. Whats life without food!!

San Jose, CA. Seattle, WA. Raleigh, NC. Lawrence, MA. Lowell, MA. Stamford, Ct.

Innumerable airports, bus stops, people, souvenirs of memories...

I couldn't believe that I would treasure so much in 2 years!! Really life is too short to experience everything... including first seat adventure of world's deadliest roller coaster!! :-)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Let us think big...

Agriculture employs 67% of workers in India. Agriculture contributes to 34% of GDP. Agriculture's growth rate is 3%. I see a grim picture. I see a tremendous opportunity -

1. Potential for farmers to collaborate - Rather than being owner of small 1 acre land, why can't some farmers consolidate and work. Risk hedging by finances as well as whatever fertility difference in soil.

2. Potential for getting sponsored by retailers - Doable but not easy. e-choupal is a start but we need to remember that it was ITC that started it.

3. Potential to kick someone's a** at Mandi - Let us accept it, Mandi system sucks and that is the biggest pain to any farmer. From point 1, a united front of farmers can wake Mandi up and demand some rights.

I know Unionization can be said as a potential threat, but we do need it where we need it. And of course, laws can also be made to avoid such a situation. All I am saying is that building some bargaining power in farmers will try to balance the power equation.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Selection Bias - its everywhere...

This is a new term that we learnt this term, and by Jove! Its omnipresent... Take the following examples from daily life -
1. "Yaar pehle kya maza aata tha job/ghar/college".. Dude you can't see the future, and present (bcoz of the statement's context is sad) so past can ONLY be good...

2. "Yaar confused.. people say X major is not that beneficial... I am ok with current Y major".. Well if all the people you asked 'X' about were all frust with X so how can they??

Amazing concept!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tryst with Destiny - 1

This is the first part of something I think I will take more time to think about before writing. Some things happen in your life that alter the way you are. A 1500 km drive, alone, with some music can definitely qualify as one of them.

1500 km on car, alone, music
And the inevitable happened. Things you cannot do anything about. Then you need to take decision. Drive, 480 + 150 kms. Yes I will drive. That's how it all started.


"Mushkil nahi hai kuchh bhi agar thaan lijiye" - Umrao Jaan

"Hona jo bhi hai, hoga kal yahan, roke se ruke, aisa pal kahan,
Saans li mar gaye, kya khata kar gaye, maut se dar gaye, jo kiya wo kiya bewajah" - Sangharsh

Highways need to be better..
No this wouldnt be your typical, "Kya kharab rasta hai yaar"... With Reliance coming up with all those fancy restaurants, and ditto with HP, I think people need to hit the road... to see the green paddy fields as you rise atop a mountain... as you touch the clouds on the top... a heavenly moment, all lost because of bad roads... Roads HAVE to be good...

A new angle
So while roads are getting better, speeds are going higher, more boards with "Durghatna grast kshetra" mushrooming.. but all the accidents that happen are never in 5 km vicinity of that board.. I wonder if this was false positive or false negative...

More later...