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Monday, December 29, 2008

APPSC Group 2 Results

The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) has published the results of Group-II exams.

The results are available on their website at

The website is currentl slow due to lots of hits from result seekers. Have patience.

Here is a direct link to the results:

The same is uploaded on to internet by good friends, at the following link

Friday, December 26, 2008

EAMCET 2009 in May second week

The Department of Technical Education in Andhra Pradesh, announced that the Engineering and Medical Common Entrance Examination (EAMCET) 2009 will be held in the second week of May. EAMCET is mandatory for the admission to Engineering and Medical courses in Andhra Pradesh.

While the exact date is not yet announced, the examination will be held after 10-May-2009. This year onwards, the Intermediate (10+2) score will have a weightage in the EAMCET ranking and the Second Year Intermediate hall ticket is mandatory for appearing for the EAMCET 2009. So, the examination will have to be conducted in tandem with the Intermediate Examinations in Andhra Pradesh. As per the current schedule, Intermediate exams will start on 04-Mar-2009 and end on 24-Mar-2009. The Intermediate examination results are expected to be out ny 25-Apr-2009

For all information on EAMCET 2009, pl. visit this blog on academics, at the following links:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Women Scientist Scholarship Scheme

The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) announces the Women Scientist Scholarship Scheme. Through this scheme, the Department of Science & Technology encourages the women working in the latest scientific and technological inventions.


Education: MSc, PhD, BTech, MTech, MBBS, MS, MD, MVSc, BPharm or any other science or engineering professional degree

Indian Women, Age below 50 years

Preference will be given to women with research experience

Selection Process

Written Test + Interview

How To Apply

Application format is published in all leading national newspapers on 06-Dec-2008. Applicants should fill the details as per the format and send it across to the address given in the format.

Important Dates
06-Jan-2009 Last Date to Apply

OCES & DGFS at BARC Training Schools

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) invites applications from Engineering Graduates and Science Post Graduates for the following training programs

1. One Year Orientation Course for Engineering Graduates and Science Post Graduates (OCES 2009)

2. Two Year DAE Graduate Fellowship Scheme for joining MTech courses at IIT Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee

The OCES trainees will be awarded Post Graduate Diploma of Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI).

Te DGFS fellows will get opportunities for pursuing PhD through HBNI

Selection Process

Science Discipline:
GATE score or a Written test to be conducted on 22-Feb-2009

Engineering Discipline:
GATE score or a written test to be conducted in May 2009 (date will be published later)

How to Apply
Apply online at or

Important Dates
15-Jan-2009 Last Date to Apply for Science Discipline
15-Apr-2009 Last Date to Apply for Engineering Discipline

For Further Details

Save The Weavers

The plights of handloom workers of Northern districts of Andhra Pradesh have suddenly garnered attention from all quarters.

It all started with Mega Star Chiranjeevi and his Praja Rajyam party visiting the villages of Karim Nagar, Sirisilla areas. Chiranjeevi made a strong political pitch by stating that the ruling congress government has done nothing to save the handloom workers. He went on to announce all kinds of sops to this industry, if his party comes to power in the next elections.

Chiranjeevi’s histrionics raked a big controversy, as the other political parties jumped into the fray to own the politically sensitive topic of the growing suicides of handloom workers. The ruling congress rebuked Chiranjeevi for his lack of understanding. The state government followed it up with some medical insurance schemes for the weavers.

However, all the attention from political parties is of no use for this cottage industry. The rulers and the citizens have become numb to the everyday occurrence of suicides of the handloom workers. The citizens and the industry think that the current system doesn’t have any conviction to repair things.

In the current scenario, individuals are doing more to help this industry, than what the government is doing.

An NRI Eppanapally Puja started a movement to Save Weavers. She hosts a website to garner support from citizens to put pressure on government to act on the plights of weavers. The website runs a signature campaign. Her aim is to provide a permanent comprehensive solution to enable the weavers to earn their living respectfully by creating demand for their cloth and preserve and protect the great heritage of Indian weavers.

Lets wish her and the weavers, good luck!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

RBI Essay Competition

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is conducting an Essay Competition for School Students in Mumbai and Goa Region.

The essays can be written in English, Hindi or Marathi.

The topic is “Reserve Bank Of India’s Role as Currency Manager of India”

All the students studying in Schools and Junior Colleges in Mumbai and Goa region are eligible for this competition.

For further details, Pl. visit:

The last date of receipt of essays is 15-Jan-2009. The results of the competition will be announced in the month of February.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Email Id of Maharashtra CM

The new Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan is now available to the public through his email id. The new government is encouraging the citizens to bring up all their issues and complaints to the notice of the rulers. The chief minister’s office has assured that the mails will be read and addressed by the chief minister himself.

I guess, this is a great initiative to bring back the confidence of the citizens who have been battered by the recent terror attacks. I sincerely hope that, if not the chief minister Ashok Chavan, there will be at least a human who reads the mails and acts on the issues.

So, folks, here is where you can access your chief minister:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LK Advani, Did He Finally Arrive?

The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, L.K. Advani was in news over the past few days. Firstly, it was for the tech savy BJP and its chief Advani to launch their website Then, Advani went on to release his autobiography, My Country My Life.

The book has been translated and released into many Indian Languages which were released by celebrities. Notable among them were the original book launch done by former president APJ Abdul Kalam. Then, the Kannada version of the book (Nanna Desha, Nanna Jeevana) was launched by NR Narayana Murthy, the founder of Indian IT bellwether Infosys. Next the Tamil version (En Desam En Vazhkai) was released by Tamil Super Star, matinee idol Rajni Kant

After all these launches and meetings, came the assembly elections of MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mijoram. Now, looking at the performance of BJP in these elections, I’m puzzled whether LK Advani, the iron man of India finally arrive?

Firstly, his handling and the BJP’s approach towards rising prices and the impact of global economic crisis on India were below par for a prime-ministerial hopeful. BJP & Advani did not seem to have a clue on what is happening across the world and how the government should be cornered on its policy related lapses.

Next, BJP & Advani miserably failed in handling the events leading to the assembly elections across 5 states. His responses to the series of bomb blasts and the Malegaon probe have been confusing. He neither took a tough stand on terrorism, nor did he adopt a Hindutva approach. Advani’s & BJP response to Mumbai attacks was the culmination of the confusion, as they are undecided whether to take a political mileage out of it or should they stand clean with complete support to the ruling UPA government. The results are seen in urban vote in Delhi, where the voters displayed their aversion to politicians.

Finally, having routed in the much touted Semi-Finals to the next year’s general elections, Advani now faces dissidence in his own camp. As the party reviews the recent election performance, the blame game has started. Senior colleagues of Advani accused the current leadership of losing a golden opportunity at the recently concluded elections.

With all these happenings, I sincerely doubt, whether the prime minister in waiting, Mr. LK Advani, finally arrive? Does BJP has any alternative to offer to the current mood of the electorate?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Results of Assembly Elections: Delhi, Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, Mijoram

Here are the results of the election of various states.

Total Seats: 69

BJP 23

Total Seats: 200

BJP 75

Total Seats: 230

BJP 144

Total Seats: 90

BJP 48

Total Seats: 40


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dumb, Dumber: Patil & Deshmukh

They can’t get any stupid than this.

While the citizens of Mumbai (and the rest of India) are mourning the tragic terrorist attacks, and the whole political class is trying to find scapegoats to fool the people again; these two leaders of Mumbai came out with two dumbest reactions.

Firstly, reacting on the Mumbai Terror attacks, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Home minister (the minister responsible for inland security) made irresponsible and callous remarks at a press conference.

Mr RR Patil said “bade shahron mein aise ek adh hadse hote rahte hain. (Such small incidents happen in big cities). The statement was aired by local and international media, which earned many brickbats for Mr. Patil.

Next, the Chief Minister of Mumbai (Maharashtra) competed with RR Patil to bag the coveted prize for the dumber politician. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh whose uninspired leadership during the crisis time was culminated with his visit to the terror hit areas today. His entourage lacked any seriousness, as the Vilasrao Deshmukh walked in with film director Ram Gopal Varma. Ramu was known for his movies on terrorism and underworld. It all appeared as if RGV was surveying the terror sites for his next project.

At least Ram Gopal Varma was sensible enough to make an immediate press statement to clarify that his visit has nothing to do with any film making but he indeed visited the sites as a concerned citizen.

And lo behold, Finally, Laloo Prasad Yadav is catching up with the Patil & Deshmukh for the dumbest award. He reportedly made a press statement that the opposition role in the terror attacks should be investigated.

God, save my country!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home Minister Shivraj Patil Resigns

The much awaited political casualties started coming out. The first head to roll is of that of Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

Shivraj Patil is under lot of flack for his inaction over the past one year as Indian cities were continuously bombed by terrorists.

It was speculated yesterday, when the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for a meeting of officials and the Home Minister Shivraj Patil was not invited for the same.

Lets hope it is the beginning and all the inefficient heads will voluntarily get out of their offices

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

England Abandons its India Tour

In the wake of the gun fight and blasts in the city of Mumbai, ECB has called off England's ongoing tour of India.

England was scheduled to play 7 ODIs with India in the ongoing Hero-Honda Championship. India won the first 5 ODIs of the series and is leading the series 5-0.

The next two ODI matches were scheduled to be played at Guwahati & New Delhi. After the ODI series, England was supposed to play in a practice match at Baroda and a Two Test series, one each at Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Today’s terror attack is very close to the venue of the scheduled second test match at Brabourne Stadium in South Bombay.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beat the Bangalore Traffic, Infosys incentive to employees

Last week, the JD (S) party organized a rally in Bangalore. The rally added to the woes of traffic jams of Bangalore. Much to the chagrin of the troubled commuters, the JD (S) chief & former chief minister of Karnataka Kumaraswamy, Gowda came heavily on the urban & IT lifestyles of bangaloreans.

While these mindless politicians add more trouble to the already congested Bangalore roads, some sensible acts seem to be coming from the industry in an attempt to solve the traffic problems.

Infosys Technologies in Bangalore started an incentive to its employees who reach office as early as 8 AM. The initiative is a collaboration of Infosys and Stanford University. Titled as INSTANT, the initiative runs as follows:

* An employee who reaches office by 8AM will get 1.5 points a day
* Those who reach between 8AM & 8:30AM will get 1 point
* Those who earn at least 20 points a month will be eligible for a lucky dip
* In the lucky dip, two random winners are selected and given an award of 12,000 each
* Four other consolation prizes of 6,000 will be awarded through a random pick

This is truly an innovative way of beating the Bangalore traffic. As most of us know that the morning traffic picks up from 8 AM and reaches its peak around 9AM, it is very convenient for the employees and other commuters on road. Above all, the employees can seek a flexible work hours and can plan to reach home early too. Now, that is a double whammy!!

Did Dhoni offered to quit on selection disagreement

The selection of team for the 4th and 5th ODIs with England, to be played on 23-Nov-2008 and 26-Nov 2008 has caused enough drama.

First, there was a strong disagreement between Captain Dhoni and the National Selectors on the selection of speedster R.P. Singh. Then there was the news that Dhoni offered to quit. It followed with a quick denial from both quarters in the press. And Finally, Dhoni says in the press that “the fact that the closed room discussions are leaked into press is disgusting”.

As usual, BCCI rubbished the news and claims that everything is hunky dory. BCCI's personnel Rajiv Shukla said "The reports are baseless and we cannot comment on such reports. There were no differences between the selectors and Dhoni".

However, insiders say that the rift was so apparent that BCCI President Shashank Manohar was forced to interfere and sort out the issue.

Pakistan Bomb Blasts near Gaddafi Stadium

It indeed was a security concern for the touring cricket teams to Pakistan. Three blasts occurred near the Gaddaffi stadium in the Punjab Institute of Language in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore Saturday night.

At least three people are injured in the blasts and buildings around the stadium area are damaged. A music show was going on in the nearby Al-Hamra Complex when the bomb blasts occurred. The injured are shifted to a nearby hospital.

People around the area are panicked and rushed to save themselves. Police have cordoned off the area and investigations are underway.

Ashutosh Kaushik wins Big boss, Raja Choudhary second

Finally, Ashutosh Kaushik bagged Rs 1 Crore by winning the Bigg boss title for season 2. Raja Choudhary, a Bhojpuri filmmaker, came a close second.

Ashutosh, the 'dhaba' owner from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, thanked the voting public and Rahul Bhaiyya (Rahul Mahajan) on his victory.

The last one week of the show had been interesting with its twists and turns. First the inmates tried to break the rules. Then Rahul exited voluntarily. The remaining three, Ashutosh Kaushik, Raja Choudhary, and Zulfi Sayeed apologized for their misdeed and remained in the final race. Later, they had another inmate for a day when the last year contestant Ravi Kissen, the Bhojpuri superstar, entered the house.

The final surprise was, the entry of Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar on the final day. Akshay announced the winner of Bigg Boss season 2.

Monica Bedi, Payal Rohtagi, Rakhi Sawant, Debojit, and Ravi Kissen entertained the audience prior to the final.

Rahul Mahajan won the Bada Dilwala award, an Aveo Yuva car.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

PSU Pay Revision – Salary Hikes

In an attempt to prevent the exodus of talent from Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) to private competition, the Indian Government approved the salary hike for the employees of PSUs. This decision will create a bonanza for 2.5 lakh employees across 200 companies in India.

The new compensation package will be w.e.f 01-Jan-2007. As per the new package, the basic pay of chiefs of central PSUs will go up to Rs 55,000 to Rs one lakh.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday decided on the pay hike, based on the recommendations given by the Second Pay Revision Committee.

The package includes dearness allowance (DA), performance related-incentives and other perks

Considering the elections scheduled for various states and the center, these steps are aimed at pleasing the voters. The central government had already approved implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission for central government staff from September 1, this year

Quick Link:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

INS Tabar Sinks Pirates at Gulf of Aden

Indian Navy gave a big blow to the pirates in the Gulf of Aden. In an encounter today, Indian Navy’s surveillance and patrol ship INS Tabar sunk the “mother ship” of pirates who are operating in the Gulf Of Aden near the Horn of Africa.

Indian Navy’s stealth frigate INS Tabar, on its rounds for anti-piracy surveillance and patrol operations came across the “Mother Vessel” of pirates 285 nautical miles south west of Salalah in Oman. INS Tabar asked the pirates to stop for investigation. However, despite repeated requests from INS Tabar, the pirates didn’t agree for an inspection and threatened to blow up the naval warship. In an attempt of “Self Defense”, INS Tabar opened fire on the pirates.

The mother ship of pirates exploded with the ammunition that they stored in the vessel.

It truly is another success story for Indian Navy. With the increasing hijackings over the past few months, this particular incident puts a check on the pirates.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Infosys Staff on Sabbatical

Last evening, I spoke to a friend at Infosys who discussed his plant to take a leave for an year and do all the pending things that he's been postponing for an year now.

He first wanted to sign up for a music class. He's been banging his head at Purple Haze in Bangalore for all those Metallica's numbers for the past seven years. Finally, he got a chance to realize his dream and is happy to sit for an hour guitar class every day.

Next he wanted to go and teach at the near by school in JP Nagar Bangalore. Though he's not a great orator, he is fond of teaching and helping all those kids who don’t go to corporate schools.

He wanted to spend his evenings in a nursery doing the gardening and nurturing the small plants. He's been proponent of the thought that all his IT fraternity which polluted the garden city should pay for the damages by actively growing trees.

Finally, he wanted to complete his annual new year resolution for the past 15 years. He will sign up for a gym and burn all the fat that he gained over his overseas trips.

phew! all this while receiving half of his annual salary while he is on leave!

I guess, Infosys' gesture of encouraging its employees to take sabbatical and engage in philanthropic activities is the best to happen to Indian IT workers. The code monkeys will get out of their cubicles and get a chance to engage with the real world!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Changing Values of Indian Journalism

The recent incidents of journalists coming into the news for wrong deeds is casting serious doubts on this profession.

Firstly, there was an ugly incident of an electronic media journalist being attacked by his in-laws. The senior journalist, Karim a news editor & presenter at TV5, a Telugu News channel was attacked at his home by his in-laws. While all the media channels hushed up the news as a solidarity to their fraternity, the details of the whole incident are widely discussed on the internet.

Kareem who earlier worked with TV9, where he shot to fame was apparently involved in many extortion & black mailing incidents. There were rumors that he just survived an attempt on his life from the henchmen of an AP politician. Further, Kareem had been a womanizer, divorced his previous partners and married a fellow news presenter Sirisha at TV9. Shirisha’s parents are against this marriage and had a grudge on Kareem and at an opportune moment they attacked Kareem and pour acid on his face.

What is appalling is, Kareem is not alone in this fraternity. In a different incident in Mumbai, two journalists have been arrested as they allegedly blackmailed a bar owner. The accused in the episode, Ravindra Krishna Rao and Preeti Narayan Kadam found that a local bar owner was indulging in illegal activities of trafficking. However, instead of reporting the incident in the press or to the police, the journalist duo went straight to the bar owner and demanded him to pay a monthly commission (hafta) to them. The bar owner opposed the deal and approached the police who booked the journalists under the charges of extortion.

While I'm typing this, the news coming on the prime time shows a mob beating a student at Ambedkar Law College at Chennai. The police were standing 10 meters away and watching the crowd beat a hapless student. The cameraman/newsreader captured the best possible view of some hapless victims hands and legs broken in front of our eyes.

sick! If you can stomach this news, take a look at the picture at

These incidents pose serious doubts on the whole journalist profession and questions the authenticity of the news that reach our living rooms. Hope good sense prevails and the professional journalists stand up against and expose these rotten eggs among their fraternity.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Teachers Recruitment: Andhra Pradesh GO 363

The Andhra Pradesh government approved the GO 363, which paves way to 33,555 teacher posts to be filled by the ministry of education.

As per the GO# 363, the government will fill the following teachers posts

PET 2206
Bhasha Pundit 3555
School Assistant 27794

Further, 15584 SGTs will be promoted to School Assistant grade

The GO has political significance, considering the elections scheduled in the coming months.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bharat Ratna for Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

The Indian Government announced Bharat Ratna award to renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

Bharat Ratna, (The Jewel/Gem of India) is India's highest civilian award. The award is conferred as a recognition of highest degree of national service.

Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi was born on February 4, 1922 in the small town of Gadag district of Karnataka. His father was a school teacher.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was trained under famous guru Sawai Gandharva. Over the next few years, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi went on to become the greatest musician in the contemporary Hindustani music.

In commemoration of his Guru, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi started an annual classical musical festival called the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival. This festival is held in Pune every December.

The Bharat Ratna award is a true recognition of this great singer’s service to Hindustani Classical music.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anil Kumble retires from International cricket

Legendary Spin Bowler and Indian Test Cricket Captain Anil Kumble decided to quit from International Cricket.

As per the reports from national news broadcasters NDTV, CNN IBN and Times news, the ace cricketer is all set to announce his retirement at the end of the on going 3rd cricket test with Australia at New Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium.

Indian wicket keeper and one-day team captain Mahedra Singh Dhoni will take over from Kumble as the new captain of Indian Cricket team.

In his illustrious career, Kumble played 132 tests and took 619 wickets in test cricket. Anil Kumble’s statistics are available at

Anil Kumble is only Indian cricketer who claimed 10 wickets in a test innings and is only the second player in the history of cricket to achieve this feat. His home town celebrated the feat by declaring a traffic junction on MG Road in Bangalore as “Anil Kumble Circle”.

Lets wish Kumble great success in all his future activities.

Kumble’s statistics on Cricinfo:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The concept of India & Indian

Pained by the continuous attacks on christians in Orissa, a friend sent the following picture which shows the essence of the concept called Indian.

How true! Indeed, the concept of India and Indian is a harmonious existence of all life in the universe!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vijaya Dashami Greetings & Shami Puja

We wish all our readers, a Happy Dasara!

Today is Vijaya Dasami, the day of victory. On this day, goddess Durga completed the elimination of demons. This day marks the victory of Ram over the demon king Ravan. This is the day when the Pandava's came out of the 13 year exile/hiding (Aranya + Agnata vasa). On this day, Arjuna conquered the Kaurava (Kuru) army when they tried to invade virata kingdom (Uttara Gograhana)

This history of victories made this day very significant to Indians. Hindus believe that, vixtory is ensured for any task that is started on VijayaDashami.

On Vijaya Dasami evening, devotees first worship goddess Kali/Durga. Then they worship the "Shami" tree (Botanical name: Prosopis Spicigera) with the following prayer:

shami shamayate paapam, shami shathruvinaashini!
arjunasya dhanurdhaari, raamsya priyadasrshini!

Free translation: Shami tree is a symbol of victory. It removes all our sins. It eliminates all our enemies. This is the tree which bestowed victory to Arjuna. This is the tree which joined Lord Ram with his wife.

With this prayer, the devotees adorn the leaves of the Shami tree and embark on their new tasks.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Navratri – Saraswati Puja

During Navratri, on the day when Moon is in Moola constellation, Goddess Durga is worshiped in the form of Saraswati, the goddess of all knowledge and wisdom.

Today, the 6th of Oct 2008, is with Moola star and thus Saraswati Puja is done.

Let the smiles of the Muse, Shower on thou!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Nano says - Tata, Bye Bye - to Singur & Mamata

It was sad to see Tata decided to move out of Singur. When I wrote about their rhetoric, last month, I thought that the bad politics will stop for the sake of development of state. Like an average Indian, I expected that good sense prevails and Mamta and her Trinamool brigade will agree to the compromise formula. In the end, it was a loss inflicted by pea brained politicians on this investor unfriendly state of India.

The Chairman of Tata Group, Ratan Tata today announced their exit from Singur. Tata’s said, that the decision was taken with lot of pain. I don’t doubt them, when they said that the well being of their workers is of paramount interest for them. They definitely can not run a plant with police protection.

The West Bengal government washed its hands by blaming Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress as the spoil sports. The government was right in its assessment that the people of Singur are worst effected and will be the real losers. Future Generations of Singur will suffer from the bad politics that created the nuisance over the past few months.

While what is right and what is wrong in the Nano & Singur episode is debatable, I do not completely agree with the argument that Tata’s were given too many sops and too much attention in setting up the Nano project at Singur. Couple of articles on the net listed down the huge monetary gains that Tata’s would get from Singur deal. All these articles ignored the basic premise that Tata’s are in business and business decisions are made with a profit motive. The utopian articles and their writers are definitely waiting for some philanthropists and donors who would come down to Singur to uplift the lives of the locales there. Good luck to them.

Apparently, Singur has few takers. But Tata’s have many takers. Narendra Modi is ready to take them at Mundra in Gujarat. Mundra has a port nearby and is best suited for Nano. Maharashtra and Karnataka are ready with competing offers. Dharwad was another likely choice.

While Tata’s sit down to make a decision on their new location, our leader Mamta Banerjee laments that, “Our agitation was peaceful, then why Tata’s pulling out? Definitely, the pull-out was conspiracy between Tata and Govt”. As Tata’s pack and move out of Singur, Mamta is watching the trucks leaving Singur. Hope, she reads the message written on the back of the trucks:

Buri Nazar Wale Tera Muh Kaala!

(for the un-initiated, that was the famous caption written on the back of most of the Indian trucks. It’s a warning that the truck smoke will blacken the faces of the non vigilant... it also means that, if you wish evil for others, the same happens for you!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Navratri, Durga Puja in India

Navaratri (Dushera or Dasara) celebrations started today across India. The festival starts on the first day of Lunar month Ashvayuja (Ashwayuja), runs for nine nights and culminates on the tenth day of the month. While the main festival is celebrated on the eighth, ninth and tenth days; Maa Durga (Kali), the Goddess of Valor is worshiped during all the days of the festival.

Every year, Navaratri is celebrated with pomp and gaiety across India. In fact, different regions have different practices of celebrating the festival. Bengal is known for the Navratri celebrations. The last four days of the festival is celebrated in worshiping Durga across the community pandals set up in this part of the country.

Photo: Goddess Durga decorated as Shakambari.

In the western part of the country, Gujarat marks the celebrations with Garba (a group dance). Garba literally means the womb. As per Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga is the mother of all life in the universe, the source of all knowledge/wisdom. Durga creates and sustains the never ending cycle of life. To commemorate this, an earthen pot with a lamp inside it is kept on the ground and devotees dance around the earthen pot. The devotees form a chain/circle and dance to the rhythmic tunes. If you are in Gujrat, don’t miss an opportunity to be part of the Garba that happens on every evening of Navratri. If you are in Ahmedabad, National institute of Design (NID) is the place to be on the evening of the festival

Down South, the Navaratri is celebrated as Dasara. The Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore and the Durga Temple in Vijayawada are famous worshiping places during the festival. Dasara festival of Mysore is a major tourist attraction, with the royal family of Mysore celebrating the event with great verve. The temple on serene Chamundi hills is the place to visit during the festival. Goddess Durga in the form of Chamundi killed demon king Mahisha (Mahishasura) here. Many in India know that Mysore gets its name from the demon king Mahisha. Mysore = Mahisha + Ore. “Ore” in Kannada is “town” – its something like Bangal’ore’

Andhra celebrates Dasara by worshiping Durga in various forms. Every day of the festival, one form of goddess Durga is worshiped. On the last Friday that comes in the ten days, Durga is worshiped in the form of Lakshmi (the lord of prosperity). On the day when Moon is in Mula (Moola) constellation, Durga is worshiped in the form of Saraswati (the Muse). The last three days are the main festival with 8th day celebrated as Durga Ashtami, 9th day as Mahar Navami, 10th day as Vijaya Dasami.

Up North, in Delhi, Dushera is concluded with the last day celebrated as the day of King Ram’s victory over Demon Ravana. The Ram Leela grounds in Delhi will have spectacular show of fireworks where an effigy of demon king Ravana will be burnt.

All in all, if you are visiting India during this time, make it a point to participate in the Navaratri festivities. It will be a memorable event for you.

Remembering is like Re-Living, A philosophical perspective

Remembering is like Re-Living. That’s what Indian Vedic Philosophy Preached!

Recently, Scientists at University of Pennsylvania found that, for the human brain, remembering is nothing but re-doing the activity.

Professor Michael Kahana, the professor of Psychology at University of Pennsylvania, recorded the activity of the brain and concluded that the neurons that fire when a person remembers an activity are the same set of neurons which are fired when the actual event happened.

In Vedic philosophy of Advaita, Adi Shankaracharya preaches that everything that we perceive could just be an illusion and the only truth is god (I know, I over simplified the concept in an attempt to keep the rest of the article simpler). In this Maya theory, Shankara argues that, what we consider as our life could just be someone else’s dream. What that means is, we might not be existing as an entity as we think ---This is contrary to what Descartes preached – Cogito Ergo Sum (I think therefore I am) --- Our existence can just be an illusion of someone else.

This thinking is seen in the Zulu culture of South Africa. The customary Zulu greeting exchanged by the tribes of sub Saharan Africa is as follows

Greeting: Sawu Bona! (A casual greeting like: How are you doing?)
Response: Sikhona! (A casual response like: Fine, Thank you!)

However, the exact meaning of the conversation is intriguing. “Sawu Bona” means “I noticed your existence/presence”. And “Sikhona” means “I exist because you recognized/acknowledged my presence”. It indicates a deep philosophical connotation that my existence has no meaning until you notice/recognise me and imagine me in your thoughts.

Now that may be a little difficult to comprehend. If my life is someone else’s dream, how am I feeling the pain of this daily life?? Shankara says that the answer is simple. Imagine you had a dream and the person in the dream is hurt. “The person in the dream” will feel the pain “in your dream”. The moment you wake up, the “person in the dream” and “his pain” disappear. Imagine a dream where the “person in the dream” is thirsty. If “the person in the dream” drinks a glass of water “in the dream” then his thirst gets quenched. But if you wake up, then the “person in the dream” and "his thirst" become irrelevant.

Going by these examples, just close your eyes and imagine about an even that happened sometime back. As the event is played out in your memory, it might actually be happening as a parallel universe!!

Now, as I am confused and confused my readers, I suggest you all to go back to bed and start dreaming. You might as well be creating a parallel universe where you are living a happy life with the one you wanted!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Week That Was

While winding up this week, couple of funny news items come to my mind.

The first one was that the Reliance ADAG group chairman Anil Ambani's witty banter with share holders at the Annual General Meeting. Some RNRL investors asked him on why Anil's elder son Anmol has a bigger share than his younger son Anshul. Anil quipped that "now you know what happens to younger sons in a family" :)

Apparently Anil was referring to his continued fight with elder brother Mukhesh Ambani.

Talking about Anil, I consider him as one of the most charismatic leaders of corporate India. The only blot was his association with Amar Singh & Mulayam of Samajwadi Party. What I wonder is, if at all Ambani has to align with a political outfits, then there are better/bigger/powerful political entities in the country. Amarsingh is the last person that Anil should've gone to. I guess, that was one of the reasons why Mukhesh kept Anil Ambani away.

The other new item was about Home minister Shivraj Patil's reaction to Orissa Floods. Ajit Ninan in a cartoon captured the essence: "The Home minister seems to be confused. He assured flood victims total protection from terrorists" ;)

Ajit Ninan is a great cartoonist who captures the mood. When Communists expelled Somnath Chatterjee, he commented on Prakash Karat, that: “He wanted Bush, MNCs and MMS out; but ended up sacking Somnath Da!”

A reader on Rediff commented that our politicians pee in pants had they been in a terror site when the event happened. I bet, that the politicians pee in pants even to go and visit the place after the incident took place. That is the reason for Home Minister Shivraj Patil changing his dress three times on the evening of Delhi Blasts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

India is Changing - BSNL/MTNL Vs Bharti Airtel and Reliance Commn

"India is Changing", shouted Ravi, coming in.

“What a cliché! That was the logo of the last decade” I said.

“You are mistaken! It’s a full circle now. We are going back to old days”, smiled Ravi and started describing the events.

Ravi is relocated to an Mumbai and took up a new job with India’s leading telecommunications service provider. As an engineer who looks after the communication services for millions of consumer, he thought his company was the best Telecom company in the country.

One week into the job, Ravi enquired how can he get all the communication facilities at his new residence. As he and team boasts about the triple play (voice, data, video from the same cable/wire), he asked the personal business on how to get the connection at his home. The personal business redirected him to approach the commercials. The commercials asked him to approach the service outlet in his neighborhood. Now the service outlet doesn’t know anything called triple play. After many visits to many other departments Ravi decided to go “one play” at a time. That is, first get a land line, then data and then video. The outlet help desk replied that they don’t know whether the apartment complex is served by his company or not.

After doing many rounds like that, Ravi started pondering for the definition of customer service. Nobody in business is bothered about what the end user’s requirements are. If an employee’s experience is like this, then what would be the aam admi’s plights?

On that Saturday evening, walking back home from the customer care center of the India’s biggest private sector telecom company, Ravi came across the state run telecom service provider MTNL’s office. Just curious to know, what are these competitor’s offering to the customer, Ravi went to the security outpost outside the state run telecom company. At 7:30 in the evening, the guard gave a warm smile and asked Ravi to talk to the executive sitting in side the office.

“India is changing!!” roared Ravi. He was absolutely surprised to find the state run telecom company to be open at 7:30 in the evening and that too on a Saturday and the staff is warm enough to invite him to talk to them.

As Ravi entered the office, the executive who was on a phone, concluded her conversation, apologized for not attending him immediately. She went on to describe all the offers available and handed over an application form and a checklist of documents to be submitted.

Within 4 days, Ravi has MTNL's land telephone with National and International (STD/ISD) call facility, a high speed broadband service, a beta version of IPTV service.

“Its time that the Bharti’s and Ambani’s learn from the state run telecom company. Customer Service should not be just in slogans. It should be in action” concluded Ravi.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Meridhun - Where Music Lives

One of the most interesting pass-time of the ragging days at our college is to parody all famous songs with all known slangs. The parodying by replacing the words with friends' names was fun.

Now, after getting into work place, we still continued the parodying songs to tease the co-workers. One of the harmless parody was to sing the following, whenever we get bored in antakshari’s

Jadoo Teri Nazar, Khushboo Tera Badan
Tu Haan Kar Ya Naa Kar , Tu Hai Meri Kiran Jadoo

in the tune of
Om Jai Jagadeesh hare, swaami jai jagadeesh hare

Talking about parodies, recently I came across this site Meridhun (, which has created a whole portal around parodying and making our own versions of popular melodies of bygone era. It’s a start up in Indore and has a nice business idea.

All we need to do is to select a song of our choice and suggest the modifications in the song. Meridhun crew will alter those portions of the song and deliver the song to you online or through a CD at a reasonable price.

I tried the song from Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai, by replacing Kaanchi, with my lady’s name:

Hoga Tumse Pyara Kaun, Humko To Tumse Hai Hey XXXX, Hey XXXX,

They delivered it promptly in a couple of days and my lady is surprised to listen to the almost original song with her lovely name in it.

It was fun. Try it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Delhi Blasts and aftermath

I didn’t feel posting the news on this blog, as the events did unfold on Saturday evening. Along with the nation, I was struck by the grief that’s been haunting the innocent citizens of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and now Delhi.

But, what made me write now is the shame-less media coverage that has been happening since Saturday evening. All these news channels have no regard for life. There were photographers who were capturing the shots of the bleeding citizens at the ground zero. They were clamoring to capture the shots of the dying innocents.

Here are some from the leading daily
Why are these photographers NOT helping those poor souls?

The TV reporters and award winning journalists have scant regard for the security and safety of the people. They don’t have the ethics of not streaming the pictures of the witness, a kid who claimed to have seen the terrorists. All the main news channels beamed the boy’s face and his confession on prime time news. None of them have any regard to the safety of the boy.

While the so called national news channels were busy in capturing the snaps of the amputated bodies, it is the rag pickers and beggars who saved the rest of the crowed in Delhi, by giving leads to un exploded bombs.

Worse than the media’s role, it is the Home Minster Shivraj Patil, of this troubled nation who let us the citizens down today, with his interview on CNN IBN new channel. Mr Patil says that, the home ministry has all the information about the imminent attack. But, they just don’t know “where” in Delhi and “when”. It was shameful of a leader to make such an idiotic statement. What Mr. Patil expects is that the terrorists should disclose “where” and “when” to him, so that he will take his Madam Sonia Gandhi’s advice on what to do “next”.

While I’m not a supporter of either Congress or BJP, I’m particularly appalled by Patil and am greatly impressed with Modi’s elegant reaction to the tragedy. Modi simply acknowledged the fact that the Delhi blasts information was available from Ahmedabad interrogations and the same has been given to UPA government and the National Security Advisor. Modi stopped at that, and refrained from making any political game out of it. Moreover, he chided reporters by saying that in this time of crisis, the ruling party and opposition and all Indians should stand together.

While mourning the tragedy of the Saturday, I suggest all the Media not to make money of the dead and injured. And the spine less home minister who says in the interview that he has “the blessings of madam Sonia, to continue in the home ministry”; should understand that Home Minister is not a minister of “Madam’s Home” to seek her blessings. He better understand that he needs the blessings of citizens to hold his office.

These two interviews of Modi and Patil made me decide. My vote is for Modi as the next Home Minister.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ICC Awards 2008, Dubai

The ICC 2008 Cricket Awards ceremony is underway at Dubai tonight. Here are the awards as they are declared:

ODI Player of the Year - MS Dhoni (India)
T20 International Performer of The Year - Yuvraj Singh (India)
Emerging Player of the Year - Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Spirit of Cricket - Sri Lanka
Umpire of the Year - Simon Taufel (Australia)
Cricketer of the Year - ShivNarine Chanderpaul

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tata Halts the Nano Plant at Singur

As per their earlier statement, Tata Motors suspended its plans for the Nano Plant at Singur, considering the security of its employees.

As discussed in my earlier article, Tata, Nano, Singur & Mamata; it is unfortunate for the country where bad politics is playing with the industry and spoiling the economic development of the state.

Good to see that more and more celebrities joining to support Tata’s. Saw Saurav Ganguly supporting Tata’s cause in Singur and I wish many more will join the brigade now.

Lets hope that murky politics stop interfering with the Industry in India

Ganesh Chaturthi – Eka Vimsati Patra Puja

On Vinayaka Chaviti, Hindus worship Lord Ganesh.

Unlike normal puja’s where the worshiping is done by offering flowers, Ganapati pooja is done by offering various leaves and fruits, as the God is made up of Elephant head and the Tusker is fond of various leaves and fruits.

As per tradition, a total of 21 (Eka Vimsati) varieties of plants/leaves (Patra) are used in the puja. The Patri (collection of Patra) is available in the markets on this day

Here is the list of the 21 leaves:

1. Maachi
2. Brihati
3. Bilwa
4. Durvaara Yugma (Grass)
5. Dattoora
6. Badari
7. Apa Marga
8. Tulasi
9. Choota (Mango)
10. Karaveera
11. Vishnu Kranta
12. Daadimi (Pomogranate)
13. Devadaaru
14. Maruvaka
15. Sindhuvaara
16. Jaaji
17. Shami
18. Aswatha
19. Arjuna
20. Arka
21. Nimba (Neem)

Now a days, it’s rare to find all these leaves. Many urban-dwellers don’t even know some of these leaves.

However, Ganesha is most happy with the Durvaara Yugma (Grass). So, one can offer the green grass in lieu of all those other leaves that one cant find!

Happy Vinayaka Chavithi!

Atham, the beginning of Onam

The Indian state of Kerala celebrates Atham, the beginning of 10 day long Tiruvonam celebrations. The day is celebrated with floral decorations called Pookalam or Atham Pookalam and with feasts by Keralites.

In Hindu mythology, Kerala was ruled by king Maha Bali. Under the rule of this scholar king, Kerala blossomed with prosperity. Because of his growing popularity, he starts fighting with Gods, who he thinks are threat to his existence. So, Lord Vishnu decides to remove Bali from earth and goes to him in the incarnation of Vamana. Bali is a great donor and never says no to people who come to him. Vamana asks for 3 feet of land and Bali agrees to give. Then Vamana grows big and occupies all the land with one feet and all the sky with second foot. For the third foot, Bali offers his head and has been pushed to Patala (an imaginary universe).

But for all the virtues of Bali, Vamana blesses him to get a chance to visit his people every year and this visit is celebrated as Thiruvonam in Kerala. Today, it is the national festival in Kerala.

If you have Malayali’s in your neighborhood, don’t miss out watching Onam Pookalam (10 day long floral decorations), Onasadya (9 course grand meal) Onakalikal (Sports). If you are visiting Kerala don’t miss Elephant races and Vallamkali (the snake boat race) and ofcourse, the beautiful traditional costumes!

Wish the readers a happy Onam!

Ganesh Prayer on Ganesh Chaturthi


Suklambara dharam Vishnum
Sashi Varnam Chaturbhujam
Prasanna Vadanam dhyayeth
Sarva Vighnopa Shantaye

Agajaanana Padmarkam
Gajanana Maharnisham
Aneka Dan-Tam Bhaktaanaam
Eka Dantam Upaasmahe

This is the prayer that every child learns in his pre school days. For a long time, I used to wonder what the meaning of the poem is. I was particularly puzzled by the salutation “Aneka Dantam” which, I thought, meant “the god with many tusks”.

I recently came to know, the actual salutation is “Aneka-Dan-Tam”, which means the god who grants many wishes. (Aneka = Many, Dan = Wishes, Tam = Thee Grants)

Also, someone asked me the meaning of "Agajaanana Padmarkam". It means, I worship the Ganesha who brings smiles to his mother, Goddess Gauri.

Agajanana = Agaja + Anana = Aga (Mountain) + Ja (Born to) + Anana (Face)
So, Agajanana = To the face of Daughter of Mountain (Girija/Gauri/Parvathi)

Padmarkam = Padma (Lotus) + Arkam (Sun)

When Sun rises, Lotus blossoms (feels happy/joy)!
Similarly, Goddess Gauri's Lotus like face will be happy when she sees Ganesha.

On the occasion of Vinayaka Chaviti, Here is the Complete Translation:
I worship thee, The bright and illuminating God, who is dressed in white robe, who is equivalent to Lord Vishnu, who is always cheerful and the one who removes all my obstacles!

I worship thee, The Son of Parvati, who will remove all the darkness, who grants many wishes of his devotees and the God with a single Tusk!

Ganesh Chaturthi

India Celebrates Vinayaka Chaviti this Sunday, 01-Sep-11. The festival is called by different names in different parts in India. While the Maharashtra (Bombay, Pune) people call it Ganapati, the Kannada (Bangalore) people celebrate it as Gauri Ganesha, the Telugu's (Hyderabad) Vinayaka Chaturdhi and the Tamils (Madras) Vinayagar Chaturthi.

As per Hindu mythology, Vinayaka (Ganesha/Ganapati) is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati (Gauri/Uma). Ganesha is the Isha (ruler) of Gana's - the groups of attendants of Lord Shiva. He controls all the obstacles that humans may face in this world.

Irrespective of the festival day, through out the year, all Hindus worship Ganesha before starting any major task of their life. Indeed, worshiping Ganesha is the first part of any Hindu ritual.

The annual festival of Ganesh Chaturdhi falls on 4th day of lunar month Bhadrapada and is Vinayaka Chaviti is celebrated with lot of fervor. People set up community worshiping centers in all neighborhoods and conduct puja's.

Some of the neighborhoods in various cities are famous for these community worshiping. For instance, the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal attracts a million devotees on the festival day. The Khairatabad Ganapati is known to be the tallest Ganapati Idol in Hyderabad, every year.

I wish all the readers, a happy Ganesha Chaturdhi!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Isha Ambani, Vanisha Mittal and Pia Singh in Forbe's list

Three Indians got into Forbe's list of billionaire heiresses.

Steel Tycoon Lakshmi Nivas Mittal's daughter Vanisha Mittal is ahead in the race, followed by Isha Ambani. Isha, the 16 year old daughter of Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Industries) has a stake of $80M inherited from her father.

Closely following Isha Ambani is Pia Singh, the daughter of Real Estate czar KP Singh (DLF).

Dr. D Subba Rao is next RBI Governor

Dr. Duvvuri Subbarao is next governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Subbarao replaces the Y V Reddy, whose tenure ends this week.

Subbarao is currently serving as the finance secretary in the central government.

Apparently, Subbarao takes over the mantle of the central bank at one of the most challenging times for the economy of this country. With the general elections around the corner, Subbarao will sure be in the hot seat.

Let us wish him good luck!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

SAARC Youth Award 2008 ( For Women)

SAARC announced SAARC Youth Award 2008 for extraordinary talent of the youth in SAARC region.

The theme of the award this year is “From Himalayan Glaciers to Verdant Plains to Coral Reefs – Protecting the Environment in South Asia”

Woman Citizen of SAARC member nations
+ Age group of 25-30 yrs

Last Date to Apply:

How to Apply:
Use the proforma Application form published in all leading news papers on 31-Aug-2008


This is the new word that I came across today

Stagflation is an economic condition where the economy faces stagnation and inflation simultaneously. In macro economics, Inflation and Recession are considered to be mutually exclusive. However, during 1970s, the worlds economy and thus India's too; went into a simultaneous Recession and Inflation.

Economists consider Stagflation is a rare scenario and thus is difficult to get out of. If we attempt to treat the inflation, then the recession worsens and vice versa.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Companies Bill 2008

The companies act of 1956 will soon go to attic as the cabinet approved the decision to introduce the new companies bill of 2008 in the parliament. The bill was the result of 4 years effort by a committee headed by JJ Irani.

If passed, the companies bill of 2008 will ease the formation and functioning of corporates in India. It promises to bring lots of liberal changes that encourage entrepreneurship in India.

Some of the salient features of the proposed bill are:

1. OPC - A one person company which can be operated by a single entrepreneur
2. relaxed provisions in
- remuneration to directors,
- related party transactions,
- attachment of data of subsidiary companies etc
3. the number of independent directors on the board is reduced to 1/3 from 1/2
4. done away with promoters buying shares on discount
5. introduction of stringent penalties to corporate frauds
6. special courts for corporate offences
7. relaxed upper limit on partners in a firm - new proposal allows up to 100
8. board meetings can be held over video conference and approvals over e-mails
9. single forum for M&A
10. provision to claim dividend even after 7 years

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra - The new celebrity couple

So, finally Shilpa Shetty is plannig to marry Raj Kundra. The actress has been in news for quite sometime starting with her appearance in Big Brother, the UK reality show. She faced racial discrimination in the show and eventually emerged as the winner of the show.

It was followed by her aids awareness campaign in India where the hollywood actor Richard Gere kissed her in public on the dias. It created outrage among sections of moral police which resulted in an un conditional apology from the hollywood actor.

Next she was accused of breaking marriage of Kavita, the wife of young UK millionaire Raj Kundra. 27 year Raj Kundra heads the UK Trade Corp and introduced a perfume in Shilpa's name last year. He separated from his wife Kavita sometime back.

Now, Shilpa is all set to marry Raj Kundra soon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tata, Nano, Singur & Mamata

It happens only in India!

Yeah, that cliché is an apt description of what’s happening at Singur.

For the uninitiated, Singur is the place in West Bengal where the Indian conglomerate Tata group's Tata Motors planned its next automobile factory. The proposed factory is supposed to build the new model Nano, the cheapest four wheeler in the Indian market. Nano is tentatively priced around 1 Lakh and scheduled to be released by Oct 2008.

The Nano project is an investment of Rs. 2000 Cr by Tatas, the first of its kind in communist dominated West Bengal. The project initiated in May 2006, has a requirement of around 1000 Acres of Land for the Car factory, Utilities, facilities and a vendor park. The communist government headed by Buddhdeb Battacharya has agreed to the proposal and acquired the required land at Singur and gave a green signal to the Tatas.

As with any Land acquisition in this country, and as it is the first time in West Bengal, there was enough resistance from the local community to give up their land at the government prescribed rates. However, the government could convince the people and started the acquisition process in Sep 2006. And Tatas started their work in Jan 2007 in the acquired & fenced land and by now have invested close to Rs 1500 Cr of the proposed 2000 Cr investment.

With the investment and the resulting development, the land prices have gone up tremendously and thus the aspirations of the land owners who have reluctantly agreed to the land acquisition. These farmers, adding upto 400 acres of land have refused accept the money for their land, from the government. Here entered the messiah of masses, Mamata Benerjeee, the Trinamool Congress Party leader. Mamta took the cause of the farmers who are reluctant and started agitation at Singur, repeatedly. These repeated agitations, the latest one being on 24th Aug 2008, have disturbed the production plans to Singur.

Having won the local body elections at Singur, Trinamool Congress and Mamta are with renewed energy in opposing to Nano project. The current compromise formula that Mamta & party suggests is that 400 acres of land should be returned to Farmers. They suggest Tata’s to drop the Vendor Park from the proposed project and set it up at a different place. Incidentally, the Vendor Park is planned to set up in around 300 acres.

However, what Mamta and other ordinary citizens don’t understand is the very purpose of such a vendor park. In lean manufacturing and just in time approach, a vendor park will bring down the cost of manufacturing and the savings can be passed on to end customer. The basic idea behind the low priced model of Nano is solely based on the 60 ancillary units that will be co-existing with the car manufacturing unit.

While we have to see how this first episode of West Bengal’s romance with corporate India turns out, I felt sad to read Ratan Tata’s statement that “We came to West Bengal at a time when many people considered us to be mad...If anybody is under the impression that because we made this large investment, we will not move, they are wrong”

I’d say that Tatas don’t need to worry. There are three states which have already sent a red carpet welcome message to them today (23rd Aug 2008).

Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa; Vilas Rao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra (Bombay) and Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad) have sent a welcome message to Tatas and promised to give whatever they need to relocate the project to their states.

Incidentally, two of the above states are ruled by Congress Party, which is teaming up with Mamta Benarjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal in toppling Tata’s plant!!

Now, I cant help saying: It happens only in India

Friday, August 22, 2008

Phoonk - RGV's new movie - Story Review

I was watching Ram Gopal Varma's interview on some channel yesterday. He was talking about the inspiration for Phoonk story. As I wrote earlier at
RGV was referring to the famous Telugu novel of 1980s, Tulasi Dalam, written by Yandamuri.

Tulasi Dalam created history those days by attracting by far the highest readership for a telugu novel.

The story is about a civil engineer Sridhar who lives with his wife and Kid Tulsi. A back magician invokes evil spirits to attack Tulsi. Sridhar doesnt believe in superstitions and witchcraft and so tries to identify the root cause of Tulsi's illness. The story takes twists and turns, where another angle of a scientist Srinivasa Pillai taking revenge on Sridhar by injecting venom to Tulsi. The writer runs the two streams of rational sceintific angle and irrational witchcraft till the end. Towards the end, Sridhar, along with his friend Abraka Dabra, will solve the problem from both the scientific way and the superstitious way.

The story is a perfect one for RGV like director. Let us see how it will work on the screen.

Vijender lost Olymic Boxing Semifinal at Beijing

Indian boxer Vijender Kumar Singh lost the Semifinal of Olymic Boxing event in the 75Kg category. 22 year old Vijender was beaten by his Cuban opponent Emilio Correa Bayeaux by 8-5.

The boxing event will have two bronze medals for each of the lost semifinalists. So, Vijendar will get a bronze at the event.

This will make India's medal tally to all time high of 3 :)
(one gold for Abhinav Bindra in Shooting, One bronze for Sushil Kumar in wrestling and another bronze for Vijendar in Boxing)

Lets take pride in our achievement of 3 medals at Olympics. After all, we are atleast making up to quarterfinals in most events. Till now, it used to be a return at the qualifying rounds itself!!

Lets hope to emulate this success at next Olymipcs and Thank all our representatives at the current games.

Three Cheers to all our players

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BigTV - Reliance DTH in India - Product Review

I took this Big Tv ( ) connection. Over all it's been a decent experience so far.

Their customer care is prompt in handling the installation process. I was surprised to receive their call within minutes of signing up. Then the installation folks promptly called me and took an appointment of my convenience.

Installation was perfect, as they came with all the necessary kit and did an exceptionally clean job of installing. However, they took almost an hour or so to identify the right direction for the antenna. So, they ended up drilling at three locations on my balcony walls. So, warn them to check the direction/signal, before they drill a hole in your walls.

The cabling was perfect and the folks were friendly enough to leave as much cable as you want, if you have a habit of moving TV around the rooms as I do.

Then, they have a big drilling machine with them to drill through your walls, if you have concealed cabling and have no ventilator from your balcony into your home.

Next, the signal is good enough. I am getting 190+ TV channels and 10+ radio channels. I get all the regional channels that my parents need. The remote is user friendly.

The movies are boring. They have a little collection of movies playing on multiple channels repeatedly. Hope to see some improvement on movie channels, going forward.

On the flip side, the channel browsing is pathetic. It takes a couple of seconds to switch from one channel to the other. Next, with all these rains, we see occasional breakdowns in the streaming.

Overall, the first impression is OK. Lets see how it will be in the coming days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Musharraf resigns

Pakistani President Pervex Musharraf graciously quit today in the face of an impending impeachment in the national assembly. While Musharraf was still keen to fight the impeachment, he decided not to display his bravado, as that would put the country into turmoil.

Finally, good sense prevailed. Mush realized that displaying his bravado is not in the best interest of his country.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rains in Hyderabad & AP

The weekend has been rather damp with heavy downpour over the last two days across all the towns in AP. It indeed was pathetic Friday evening for most of us in Hyderabad, who got struck in long traffic jams all over the city. The rains were so heavy that one third of the annual rains fell in just five hours resulting in water pools of 3-4 feet deep at most of the traffic junctions.

While the authorities are absolutely caught unaware of the flash rains and are inefficient in handling the situation as usual, I was more appalled at the callous nature of the citizens. There were instances of people falling into open manholes at many places in the city. Apparently residents of the localities are removing the covers of manholes so that the rain water flows away & leaves their low lying homes safe from the floods.

Similarly, lack of discipline and patience at traffic junctions has added to the pain of all those who got struck in traffic & rain water on Friday.

Hope good sense prevails and we start seeing our fellow citizens will live & let live others.

As the rains are expected to continue for more days, here are some help line numbers

1. Central control, Hyderabad Collectorate: 23202813, 9440815860.
2. Water Board Control Room: 99480-80129.
3. Health emergency: 040-23221823.
4. GHMC central emergency control: 23394566 / 23314289; South zone: 24525941; East zone: 24045519; West zone: 23010250; North zone: 27803321, 27804022; Central: 99899 30620, 97046 78122.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Filing Income Tax Returns

For TRPS details:

Hope all you are aware that Indian Income Tax is supposed to be filed by 31st Jul.

I used to file my tax returns through the office help desk every year. This time as I'm away and cant use the helpdesk. So, I have been reading all the material on net to find a way to compute my liabilities and file it on my own.

I found that our Income Tax department has a e-filing facility at their website

All we need to do is:
Go to, Download the relavent filing form (xls), Fill the details in the xls form, Generate the xml file, and finally Upload the xml on their site.

Note that, on income tax website, you need to register for a new user or login if you are an existing user. And PAN is a must for registration. After you upload xml, you will recieve a confirmation from Income Tax department at your mail id.

Sign it, attach a photo copy of your PAN and send it to the Tax office in your city.

However, Its not as simple as it appears to be. You need to be well aware of all the 80A/B/C/D/E etc to put proper claims :(

It definitely is not user friendly. May be the Indian Income Tax department reads this and makes their xls sheet much more user friendly.

If any of you are in a hurry and wants a quik & easy to use guidance, I advise you to go with online helpers like Taxsmile & Taxspanner. I tested Taxsmile & they have a step by step approach to compute your tax. It is in our conversational english unlike the 80C/CC/CCD/DDD etc..

And there are many more such sites available just a google away!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Indian Head Of State at Beijing Olympics

Will be none other than Madam Sonia Gandhi. Err… did the Indian Olympic Association predict that the current head of the state will lose the vote of confidence scheduled in the Parliament for 22nd Jul 08 and a new scenario will emerge where the Italian of the East, Madam Sonia Gandhi will emerge as a consensus leader? Or is it shameless display of sycophancy by Suresh Kalmadi?

With so much money spent on the sports authorities in this country, till now, it was a shame that this most populous nation could not shine on the medal tally of any international sports meet. Now, it is much more disgrace that we have a non constitutional power center being sent as the state representative to Olympics.

I’d suggest that we introduce new events in Olympics. One for Corruption, one for misuse of authority and power, one for Sycophancy. We sure will score a Bronze in the first, Silver in the second and a Gold in the last.

Six Pack Rage in IPL T20

They say, that Salman Khan is allergic to shirt. Then Shahid & Sharukh followed. Sharukh improvised the display of bare chest by gaining six pack abs. And thinking about cricket, I remember Dada’s stunt at the Natwest Trophy 2002 Final at Lords. And ha! I now find the connection, why Badsha Sharukh partnered with Dada for his Kolkatta Knight Riders. The bare chest mania made them natural allies.

And now the bare chest brigade is roping more of their species into their IPL team. The news is that Dada is bringing Flintoff into Kolkotta’s team. If the info is true, then Freddie and Pieterson are each paid more than what Dhoni is making at Chennai.

I’m eagerly waiting for the bare chest brigade Badsha, Dada & Freddie dancing as part of the pre-match entertainment

Thursday, July 17, 2008

IT Indusry & The Changing Life Styles in India

Let me start with a disclaimer that I no longer am an IT worker

In one of the discussions that we had at lunch today, a gentleman opined that IT might have enriched just 5% of Indians and rest of the 95% are still living a miserable life. He went on to say that IT has done more damage to India than anything good. He sights the examples of IT workers inflating the cost of living in major cities which is degrading the lifestyles of non-IT workers, other low end workers like masons, plumbers, carpenters etc.

I sat through this unpleasant conversation and wont agree with that thought process. In my opinion, industries don’t create just workers. They create ecosystems. The evolution of ecosystems will pass the benefits to non workers over time.

For instance, the IT jobs create demand for various things in their ecosystem. The new workforce needs new housing in new locations. This triggers infrastructure and real estate work. Indirectly, many workers, masons, plumbers, carpenters and daily labor get employed here. I’ve seen a group of 50+ construction workers migrated to my neighborhood in Bangalore, who narrate that they at least got some work to do and earn their daily food here. Had it not been this construction work, they were living a miserable life in a remote village of Bihar.

I know a small time carpenter in Bangalore. Ten years back, he used to roam around our colony, seeking any small household work which he can complete and earn few bucks. Over the past few years, he opened a shop in our colony and is selling good furniture to the new consumer class that was created by IT.

Household support services like maid, babysitter, personal assistants are making a living out of the new neighborhoods that are created by new industries.

The purchasing power of the Indian consumers is increasing, much to the chagrin of President Bush and the consumption by the new class of young affluent geeks is creating new jobs on the supply side.

Now, not surprisingly, the benefits are not constrained to the town where the job is created. I was glad to see the old barber who used to work near our neighborhood in our village, running his new AC saloon. Thanks to the IT boom, he sent his son to some computer course and the kid got a job in Hyderabad. With the son’s support, the old man now has his own shop and a better livelihood.

Recently, my dad sold off our farm land in village, as we could not supervise the crops regularly. In fact, it has been leased to the local servant for the past ten years or so, as the servant took care of the crop and emerged as a small time farmer. He sent his kids to engineering school and the kid is now employed in Singapore. I still vividly remember how this small time peasant who once was scared to stand in front of my grand parents. I am happy to see that the servant, turned into a small time farmer and now the owner of that farm land.

The bottom line is that, it is unreasonable to expect IT to benefit 100% of the population. We should be happy, even if IT or some other industry creates prosperity for 0.001% of the population.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When all the IT guys get on to the road!

Commenting on Infosys’s quarterly results on Rediff, a gentleman predicted that the IT boom in India is coming to an end and all the IT guys will be on road in 10 years from now :) His logic is that in 10 years, all the required IT systems will be done by the existing IT folks and thus there is no need for any code monkeys.

I agree, he is bang on target.

Per his logic, I guess, a month before that eventual doom, all the manufacturing industry people will be on road….because all the required needs of the world would have been manufactured by the factories which are running 24X7 for so many years now.

Probably, around 3 weeks before this predicted D-Day, Oil/Gas/Coal/Minerals companies will be closed, as all of them would've been depleted.

Other services industries like banking, infrastructure etc would be shut down just about a couple of weeks before that D-day, as everybody will have a bank a/c, and all required roads/buildings are done by then.

Finally, all the IT companies realize that there is no more work for them, serve a two week notice to their employees and shut their shops.

So, by D-day, all Indians (or all the people around the world?) will meet on the road to decide what to rant about next :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

NO Ronaldinho @ Beijing Olympics

It seems Ronaldinho will not be in action at Beijing Olympics next month. Though he is been selected for the Brazilian squad, his contractual commitments with Spanish club prevent him in flying to Beijing.

Barcelona club has its qualifying matches scheduled during Aug 12-27 which clashes with the schedules at Beijing.

We’ll have to wait and see how its going to be resolved.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Left, Right, and Center

"either the deal (nuclear) goes through, or I go" was the ultimatum given by Indian Prime Minister a month ago. It was an ultimatum to the left, to the right and to the center!

Battered by the growing inflation and troubled economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in no mood to entertain the hegemonic directives of the Left. At the same time, he’s been fighting to prove to the right that he is right in control of the government. In a way, he has to tell the high command & the center that he has the last word on the matters of governance.

So, he finally found strange partners in Mulayam and Arun Singh (SP). These SP leaders were humiliated by the Madam when Amar Singh tried to gate crash into a party hosted by her in 2004. Amar Singh lamented that he was “treated worse than a dog or beggar”. A columnist in HT says, that “treated like a dog or beggar” would have sufficed

It apparently is a mutually convenient arrangement for UPA at Center and SP in UP. They indeed are living a “worse than a dog or beggar” life, as opposition leaders in Mayawati’s UP. However, the interesting drama unfolds as both parties try to grab their bargains from the arrangement. Amar Singh already started attacking Murali Deora & his favors to Mukhesh Ambani. Now, the Ambani brothers saga moves on to the center court, with UPA backing elder brother and SP with younger, Anil Ambani.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rafa upsets Federer at Wimledon 2008 men's singles final

Finally Rafa bites the wimbledon crown by beating Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 in the marathon final at Wimbledon y'day. While this is Nadal's first win of the title, Federer missed setting a record by winning his sixth straight win at wimbledon.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

How to draw the shoppers & their ire

Its an old marketing trick for the new economy. In the increasingly competitive retail space, a company in Vashi (Mumbai) tried to draw people to its premises by offering free cash to the visitors. It announced that all the visitors who visit their office between 4pm to 7pm on Saturday will be offered a gift of Rs. 1000/-

And lo behold, the crowd was there in hordes and the company had to call off the free gifts. Much to the chagrin of its neighbors in the premises, the crowd went on ransacking the mall and damaging the vehicles around.


It happens only in India? Na!
It reminds me the tragedy at the opening of new Ikea showrooms in UK and other places. The free vouchers that the furniture retailer announced have drawn huge crowds and thus stampede. When do shoppers & the sellers learn that there is nothing like a free lunch!

Trivia: Seen a cafeteria at a bschool named as – tanstafl - There aint no such ting as free lunch!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Random Thoughts on India

Plan to write about India, life, lifestyles, entertainment, bollywood, academics, employment, industry, the IT boom and the aftermath, economy, philosophy, politics, elections.