Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Height of innocense

So India's Parvathy came in second in the miss world title. But she is saying that the jury was unfair.

I have performed better than others in the personality and question-answer round. This is not just that. All those who watched it yesterday felt like that. I feel the jury's decision was unfair

I had confidence. I could do well. The question-round did not come as a challenge to me considering my background in literature

Now, my problem is this. Here is a contest which basically awards you on how you looks and I am sure people who are in the business of beauty also know that beauty lies in the eyes of beholder so probably the jury just did not like how she looks.

For people who will come back and say that the contest is about talent and literature etc., I don't buy that argument because I have never seen a really ugly but extremely talented women win this title. So it is about showing your skin off in a way better than others.

I don't know why I waste my time on such frivolous things.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Recession is here

Recession is finally here. How does one realize that recession is finally here. When cash rich MNCs go on cost cutting spree, you can conclude that recession is here. Now, travel bans, downgrade to economy etc is already done and no scope to save cost there. So companies are finding new avenues to save cost.
See the picture above, this technology MNC has found a novel way of saving cost. They started cutting on number of cleaning staff to man the cafeteria. Now with less staff the cafeteria started stinking. So the photo shows the novel solution to the problem. They just ask the cleaning staff to put half of the cafeteria chairs on the table, so that people will sit only on half the tables and less cleaning required.
That is imagineering.

Friday, December 12, 2008

CPM goes crazy again

It was peace on the communist party front for quite some time. First they lost the cushy PoPwR (Position of Power without Responsibility) and then all the stuff about Nano. They kept quite for some time except occasional references to dogs. But in the parliament debate they again opened their mouth and garbage came out. Read for yourself.
"What brought the terrorist outfits to our shores? With the Indo-US nuclear deal you are seen as an ally of the US, a strategic partner. There seems to be a total lack of appreciation of this thought from the government's side," CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

What does he have in his mind when he says that. Should government of India run its foreign policy after approval from taliban, AQ & LeT.

I am not really sure why nice people in West Bengal vote for these idiots. I can understand no politician is great but atleast most of them try to atleast speak right things. Anyway, I give up. Most probably these guys will never be voted out and they will continue destroying this country.Technorati Tags: , ,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Professor's strategy to fight terror

I generally don't like most of the articles that are written on Pakistan's role in mumbai terror strikes and how we should deal with them. Here are two articles written by Prof. R. Vaidyanathan of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore which I like. These seem to be practical steps that we can take.

I like these articles because they don't try to hide the fact that Pakistan is responsible for all these, no not the non-state actors but Pakistan establishment. I don't think we should really oblivious to the fact that non-state actors exist within a state because a state lets them exist and so it has to take full responsibility for it.
Anyway, if you are looking for some bright ideas on how to fight terror using instrument of business, I would suggest go ahead and read these articles.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Really crowded Bhopal railway station

Few days after Diwali, I was on Bhopal railway station. It was really crowded. See for yourself.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hayden explains himself

So hayden first says something and then explains itself.
One of the things I love the most about India, is that you walk around the back of the hotel, and there's a man who's selling peanuts on the street for one cent a month, and he holds his head so high, and is so proud, as if he was making $2 million a month

So what he meant to say when he made his famous remark
Often we find ourselves waiting with hands on hips for someone to face up or someone on the sight board to move away or some of those little frustrations happening with third world countries

He was only talking about frustration that he gets out of eating peanuts that he buys from a proud peanut seller who makes one cent a month.
What is wrong with this guy, one cent a month, that is like 50 paise. Who will sell peanuts for a months if he was making 50 paise a month. I don't really get these people.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Media losing grip again

Here is an interesting news article. Everybody agrees that it is next to impossible to guess whether a movie will be successful or not. Here the media just proclaims that the movie will be a bigger success then another successful movie.
Aamir Khan's â??Ghajiniâ?? is expected to set a record of sorts. While the promotion of the film kick-started during Diwali, the Indian distributors have decided to go that extra mile and ensure that the biggies rakes in big moolah when it opens during the Christmas week.

They claim that this is because of the fact that the movie is being released with a very large number of prints. If that were to be true, why doesn't everybody just release a very large number of prints.
While â??Singh Is Kingâ?? was released with 1,050 prints [physical and digital] in India,â??Ghajiniâ?? will have close to 1,200 prints in circulation in India alone.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another technology MNC

Every time I visit a technology company, I have high hopes from them in the way they would be doing things smartly and probably setting an example on how to use technology. Here is another example of how wrong I am about that assumption.
Now this really crappy mousetrap is lying in the company's cafeteria for some weeks and I have not seen any mouse pay a visit to that. It seems mice are smarter then the company staff.

No accountability in this country

Here is a sad news.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday expressed grief and shock at the killing of a Bihari examinee, who died in the violence unleashed allegedly by MNS activists on North Indian candidates, and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1.5 lakh for his family.

Now if I am correct a person being beaten to death should be counted as a murder and if it is a murder somebody should go to jail for it. It is the government's job to find out who really did it.
But everybody is just talking.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Iceland is all but bankrupt

So the financial crisis 2008 has finally taken its toll on iceland. The country seems to have gone bankrupt.
"Iceland is bankrupt," said Arsaell Valfells, a professor at the University of Iceland. "The Icelandic krona is history. The IMF has to come and rescue us."

The world is getting scarier day by day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Types of drivers

I have been driving four wheelers for around 10 years and I have observed multiple type of behaviours from other drivers on traffic signals. Here I am listing down multiple types of drivers that I have seen.

  • The most common variety of drivers that I have seen is the group of people who never stop at a traffic signal. The only way these people stop on signal if the car infront of them stops otherwise they will never been seen first at a red light.

  • The second variety is which will always stop at a signal (irrespective of it being red or green). They stop for a random amount of pre-defined time and drive on. They don't care what is the colour of light. They think they have done their duty if they stopped for some time.

  • The third variety of the people who will never stop on their own and they will even honk if they are stuck behind somebody who "unfortunately" follows traffic rules.

  • An then their are auto drivers..

Terrorism, a football for intellectuals

We all agree that terrorism is bad and fighting it is extremely difficult. How does one save himself from somebody who is willing to die to kill you. Police are not really very credible in India but still they are the only defense that we have and to a large extent we will have to trust them.

SO here I read this article. Now the article concludes following.
A fact finding team which visited Jamia Nagar where the Delhi [Images] police killed two alleged terrorists linked to the Delhi serial blasts has stated that there is clear evidence to show that the bullets fired on Sajid's head were from point blank range. The photographs after autopsy of Sajid, 17, show that there were seven gun shots to his head and it was from point blank range.

Here is the composition of the team.
The fact finding team comprised teachers, students, civil rights activists and intellectuals. The team comprised 14 persons which included, Professor Siddique Hassan, deputy amir, Jamat-e-Islami Hind, SAR Geelani, reader, Zakir Hussain College, Delhi University, Dr Karen Gabriel, reader, St. Stephens, Banojyotsna Lahiri (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Vanessa Chisti (JNU) and Sumati Panikkar (independent researcher) among others.

Please note that none of these guys are criminologists or experts in forensics. Shouldn't these guys mind their own business. What is the purpose of doing such acts. If they don't trust what is happening, they can approach courts and courts would order proper forensic analysis of what has happened.

If one sees the list of people in the so called committee of intellectuals, one of them is SAR Geelani, who was acquitted in parliament attack case. But the supreme court had this to say about him.
Geelani's conduct at the time when Parliament was being attacked on December 13, 2001 was  'disturbing' to note and gave rise to 'serious suspicion' about him, the bench said. It also took note of the 'untruthful pleas raised by Geelani about his contacts with Shaukat and Afzal.'

Though it raised a finger of suspicion at the lecturer, the court was quick to add that suspicion alone, howsoever grave it might be, could not be the ground for the conviction of anyone.

I think these JNU types should just shut up. They are not aiding in fighting terrorism. They don't speakup when an act of terror happens. What is their point of speaking now. May be if Delhi police is really on the right side of law, they should sue these people for character assasination.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another modest sportsperson

Somehow modesty seems to be in such short supply now-a-days. See this from Hamilton.
"I have had a talent since I was very young and it was just a case of taking that talent and grabbing it with both hands and nurturing it and trying to do the very best job I can."

Anyway, I don't really like him. He may be a good racer but not a very good "hero".

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spoon counters strike again

Some time back I blogged about spoon counters.. They seem to be hard at work. Not only they have not stopped counting, they have still not learnt how to count it right.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stupid mainstream media (again)

See this news item here which showed up in Indian Express just after Large Hadron Collider. Just to get a juicy headline, the news paper claims "prove rumours wrong". Now, I don't believe that the LHC experiment is going to end the world but the time has not come to say that rumours have been proven wrong. Today the beam was only shot in clockwise direction, then it would have to be fired anti-clockwise and only after that beams will be fired in both the directions for collision.
Only when collision happens, we can conclude that rumours have been proven wrong. Why don't the news papers just stick to reporting, rather than making up news. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We are like that only

Some people never learn. Here is an interesting news story that I saw in today's news paper.
The CCTV footage showed how Bhatia manoeuvred to steal the wallet, trying to make sure that no one around noticed him while carrying out the act, official said."First he waited for Mehta to proceed ahead. Then he looked around pretending to be browsing for a particular item in the shop. After a few minutes, he pulled out his own wallet and kept it above Mehta's, only to pull them both into his bag immediately," said a police official. "I had given up all hopes of getting the purse. The incident proves that thieves do roam about in suit and tie," Mehta said.

Yes, thieves do roam about in suit and tie.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

NSG Waiver for India

Finally the NSG approved the waiver for India for civilian nuclear cooperation and the reactions have been usual. Now I can go an try to analyse if it was good for India or not but I thought let's look at the reactions and probably that would give the indication on whether it was good or bad for India.
Worldwide most of the countries have welcomed the deal. There have been some countries like Austria and some other countries that have been less enthusiastic about the deal but that probably has more to do with ideology of not supplying the fuel to not NPT countries.
Most notable country that at the last moment was against the deal was China. I would not be surprised at that reaction of China. They have lot to lose with India being able to buy fuel from market. I read somewhere that the price of nuclear fuel has gone up few fold since the year 2000, India joining that club of buyers would put further pressure in that market. Also I always believed that China just doesn't like India.
Who else is against the deal, not surprisingly BJP and Communists. Now if you look at the groups that area gainst the deal for non idelogical reasons, it is BJP, Communists and China and ofcourse pakistan. I don't really know what is the common interest there.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Snake on an Air India plane

Here is an interesting story. An airbus from Air India had an unlikely passenger on board. A snake was having fun in plane below one of the seats. The best part is the interesting statement from Air India spokesman.

"There was commotion which scared the snake and it went further inside," an airport official quoted.

Reports that the snake was a venomous cobra were denied by an Air India spokesman.

"The aircraft was parked at Delhi airport for maintenance purposes. There was a snake but not a cobra," he told.

"We have no details of what kind of a snake it was, or where it is now. We have taken up this matter with Delhi airport authorities."

The interesting part is that Air India denies that the snake was a cobra but then claims that they have no idea which snake was it. Really funny if you are reading about it but must be bizarre for passengers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Russian PM Putin saves TV crew from Siberian tiger

Here is an interesting story, Vladimir Putin actually tranquilized a tiger who charged at a TV crew.
Just as Putin was arriving with a group of wildlife specialists to see a trapped Amur tiger, it escaped and ran towards a nearby camera crew, the country's main television station said. Putin quickly shot the beast and sedated it with a tranquilizer gun.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Interesting notices

Recently on my visit to one top technology MNC in Bangalore, I came across following notice board in cafeteria.

I find two things funny with this notice.
  1. This is a technology MNC and is counting spoons. I am sure the cost of the spoon is not really much and if they think it is a big issues, just tell the employees to get their own spoons.
  2. If you really decide to count the spoons, atleast count them right.
I suppose nobody cares.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Excuses, excuses

So, our cricket captain has come up with another gem. No I am not talking about the good innings that he played in the last match against Sri Lanka. I am talking about his new excuse on why we are dropping catches. See here. He claims it is because of the crowd's wardrobe.
Since Sri Lanka had a colourful crowd it becomes difficult to spot the ball in the night specially after it (ball) becomes a bit dirty,

Other teams, are you listening. Just request your fans to wear colorful clothes to defeat India. Indian fans, please wear all black attire for day-night matches and all white attire for day matches.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

iPhone magic fails in India

Finally the iPhone was launched in India and it seems it pretty much failed to impress users.
The stage was set for a grand launch, complete with confetti and cheerleaders, but at the stroke of midnight, there were just 10 people who actually bought the high-end device.

At a Vodafone store in Connaught Place, Central Delhi, journalists outnumbered customers by a huge margin. Only about 15 customers turned up to buy the phone. The Airtel retail store nearby wore a deserted look on Friday afternoon, with not a single customer buying the iPhone.

May be things will look as time passes by but I would really be surprised if it is really a block buster. It is priced same as an N96 and is no comparison to the features that it offers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tata Teleservices behaving like ICICI Bank

It seems like the disease is spreading. First it was ICICI bank and now Tata Teleservices who have started threatening their customers.
Later, the company announced a change of plan which did not suit Nandwani, so he asked for the connection to be cancelled. Instead, he received a bill amounting to Rs 2,000 and his outgoing calls were suddenly barred. When he complained against this, he started receiving threatening calls from people claiming to be advocates and recovery agents of the company. He also filed police complaints. The companyâ??s plea that on surrender of the handset the customer was required to pay Rs 2,000, did not find favour with the commission.

One more company black listed. But I am really running out of decent service providers right from banking to telephony.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Akhil Kumar loses quarter finals in olympics

I finally watched the Olympic boxing 54 Kg match between Indian Akhil Kumar and Moldovan Gojan Veaceslav. I have to say that I don't understand boxing much but it seemed like that Moldovan just went with a strategy of all out defense with precision attack. I think almost everytime Gojan went for attack, he scored the point while Akhil was relentless in his attack but just did not find the righ spot where he gets the point. The only option that he had was to go for a knock out but he could not do that.
I always believed that boxing is a game of raw power, but I think I was wrong. It was as much about strategy and tactics as much it is about power and Akhil lost the game in strategy part.
If only bouts were decided on the basis of "energy" in the court, Akhil must have won. Looking forward to other two guys..Technorati Tags: , ,

Interesting essay

Here is an interesting essay. It just is not interesting enough in english, so I am re-producing it in Hindi.

ए� �र�ब �म�र ल��� �� स्��ल म�� �र�ब परिवार पर निब�ध लि�न� �� �हा �या। �सन� निब�ध �ु� �स तरह स� लि�ा।
ए� �र�ब परिवार था। पिता �र�ब, माता �र�ब, ब�्�� �र�ब। परिवार म�� �ार न��र थ�, वह भ� �र�ब थ�। ए� �ार थ� वह भ� ���� हु� �ा�ा स�ार� थ�। �न�ा �र�ब ड्रा�वर ब�्��� �� ���� �ार म�� स्��ल ��� �र �ता था। ब�्��� �� पास भ� पुरान� N-95 म�बा�ल फ�न थ�। �र म�� सिर्� �ार स����ड-ह��ड एस� थ�। सारा परिवार ब�� मुश्�िल स� ऐश �र रहा था।

Let me take a stab at translating this one, just not as interesting as the hindi version.
The teacher asked a rich girl to write an essay on "A poor family". Here is how she went.

Once upon a time there was a poor family. The father was poor, mother was poor and children were also poor. The family had four servants and all of them were poor. The car was a old broken Tata Safari. Their driver used to drive the children to school in the old safari. Children also had old N-95 phones. The house had only four second hand ACs. The whole family was finding very hard to enjoy life.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shabana goes ballestic again

Shabana Azmi is a strange character. Every now and then she will come out with a statement that completely does not make sense. When she talks about some discrimination against muslims she will blame the state but she will either not talk about discrimination against "other groups" or be unwilling to place the blame on muslims.

I think Indian state does not discriminate against anybody. The laws are very clear. Groups and individuals may be discriminating against and that is definitely bad but one can not blame Indian State for it. Everywhere a community which has a significant presence, discriminates against other, in Kashmir muslims are doing it, in other places other groups are doing it. Both the discriminated and discriminator are responsible for it. Why take a holier than thou approach and only blame government.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sania and self promotion

Sania Mirza just got out of olympics and to make sure that she remains in the media, she just had to say something.
I think it is a good idea if such an opportunity comes my way to go and play in Pakistan

I seriously believe she gets too much press for the accomplishment that she has to show for it. But then may be I should just stop reading about her.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crazy people in this world

So here is the news that I saw. Now this guy seems to be a self help guru but his dad is talking about being the youngest to own a benz. Clearly his deciples need to get a grip. Strange is the world that we live in.

His catch-line 'Unleash Your Hidden Potential' also sounds so close to Robbins â?? 'Unleash the Power Within'. Says his father, Kamlesh Desai, "When Sneh was just 15 years old, I shut down my business due to heavy losses. Since then, Sneh took charge of the household."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Communists again

I don't know what it is between me and communists but somehow I always find something in the press that I find interesting about them. May be I just like them too much, Nah...

Here is an interesting piece of news. Basically a communist trade union leader M. K. Pandhe(who probably is instrumental in destroying economies of couple of states single handedly) thinks that if Samajavadi Party supports nuclear deal then it will lose the support of muslims.
Mulayam will have to think twice before supporting the deal as an overwhelming majority of Muslims are not in favour of the deal. Mulayam's support is much more among Muslim masses,

I fail to understand the point of Mr. Pandhe, after India announced the deal, even pakistan wanted it from US. If pakistan signs, will it not offend muslims. What muslims have got to do with the nuclear energy. I just don't get these communists.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Oil and protests

So every political party that can claim to be not in government is protesting the oil price hike. At times it is resulting in comedy. Here is an hilarious story.
chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his cabinet decided to go to work on bicycles in the afternoon.
But the CM's rally soon fizzled out with most ministers being either pushed by their bodyguards or giving up in favour of their official cars.

At 3.30pm, Chauhan and his ministers were on their way. The initial half kilometre was perfect. Soon water resources minister Anup Mishra could not keep up. More than 20kg overweight, he preferred being pushed on his bicycle by his bodyguards till the rally reached the road to Raj Bhavan , which is basically a steep climb. Here, most ministers gave up, including Mishra.

What can I say, Ha Ha..

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mystry of Oil in India

I don't understand much about oil business so I am not able to understand when different parties come up with different logic on why the price of petrol should be raised and why it should not be raised. After googling, here is some data that I found.

BarrelGallonsLitresPercentage of productsCost per litre
Heating Oil2.7010.226.05%1.86
Heavy Fuel Oil1.706.443.81%1.17
Jet Fuel4.1015.529.19%2.83
Other Products7.4028.0116.59%5.11
Processing Gain2.609.845.83%1.80

So it seems every barrel (42 gallons) of crude produces different quantities of actual products like petrol and diesel. Now taking following numbers as indicative.


If one looks at numbers, for producing one liter of petrol, the raw material component only costs Rs. 13.40 at the current crude prices.

Now assuming that other components have only marginally increased and the primary factor in the increase of petrol is the price of crude, the current prices just don't make sense. Because the even if the price of crude has trebled, it is still capped at Rs. 13.40.

I am trying to get other data like the refining cost, marketing cost, taxes etc to make sense of Rs. 50+ of petrol price but the data is not very readily available.

If anybody has the data, give me and I will further do number crunching

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mother of all suck ups

So finally blogs outed the patent number 20080122796 filed by Apple which looks like a patent that encapsulates many things that are part of iPhone. The patent itself did not really surprise me, what really surprise me was the list of inventors that are part of this patent. The patent consisted of 20 inventors right upto steve jobs as the first inventor.

Now my mind thinks that this is just an example of of the biggest suck up in the history of patenting. Some (may be a couple of) engineer(s) invented something and then just to schmooze their boss, added his name and he added his bosses name and then it just traveled right up to CEO. It would be interesting to look at apple organization structure and see how are all these inventors arranged.

Or it could be just the places that I have worked and I could be completely wrong.

The third dimension

So this is really a story out of sci-fi story books. Almost unbelievable. When a wife went to file a complaint against her "in-laws", she realized that she has already divorced her husband 10 years back. Almost sounds like one of those movies where one can go back in time and change the present as one knows it. It would have been great if that was true, in reality it is again the corruption at work.
Virender Verma and Meena got the shock of their lives when a local court recently stated that the happily-together couple got a 'divorce' 10 years ago.

Married in 1989 and parents of two children, the two came to know about their separation on May 26. The couple accused Virender's advocate brother for forging their divorce documents.

Apparently all this happened because the wife filed the complain under domestic violence act so they just proved that this is not domestic violence because she was not even married anymore for last 10 years.

Friday, May 30, 2008

You can't help idiots

Many horrible things that happen in India are blamed on illiteracy prevailing. But sometime one feels that that these happen because some people are just idiots. See this news item. Here is a couple who is doing these bizarre things.
A British couple, who travelled to India for fertility treatment, abandoned their twin babies in the UK because they wanted a male child.

The mother aged 59 and father, 72, conceived in India with fertility treatment and dumped their twin babies in a British hospital after finding out they were girls.

Now somebody please tell me, what will you blame this on. To top it off they want to do it again.
The report said the husband also wanted to know how soon it would be before his wife was fit enough to fly out again for further IVF in the hope of getting a boy to continue the family name.

Why do they want to continue the family name that they themselves are actively working to destroy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

India's Oil Crisis

Every country in the world is facing oil crisis. In India is is particular severe because it is has become unnecessary political tool in the hands of communists. I think the problem can be solved and it is really not as severe as it has been made out to be. I did some calculation and I believe there is a small group of "poor" people that probably need to be subsidized while others are unnecessarily reaping the benefit of this subsidy.

Diesel is subsidized more than petrol in India while all the Mercedes and many other brands of luxury cars run on diesel. I think this needs to be stopped right away. Also anybody who can afford a luxury car or a luxury taxi needs to pay for real fuel charges and in case of luxury taxi services these charges need to be passed on to end customers.

So here is my plan. The fuel prices should be set at realistically market price levels and specific mechanisms should be designed to provide subsidy to needy sections. For example, farmers running tractors (not the guy using tractor to pull equipment on airport) can have a set quota of diesel that is subsidized on a daily basis. Similarly assuming that auto rickshaws may be used by poorer sections of society, direct subsidy can be given to these. This can be administered through automated systems like credit/debit cards.

Better still, everybody who wants discounted fuel should be asked to get a PAN card (this seems to be most systematic identification system that we seem to have today) irrespective of them filing returns. Once you use subsidized fuel, you should not be allowed to purchase a car. The logic being that if you can afford the car, you better afford the fuel.

If the so called middle class wants to vote the government out of power, so be it. They have to pay for what they use. Currently, just because this section is capable of making more noise, they are heard about many sections of society which are more needy. I did not hear so much noise even when thousands of farmers were committing sucides.

Karnataka Elections and role of BSP

So the election results for Karnataka assembly were kind of as predicted as well as surprising. BJP finally got almost a majority and they probably would peacefully run a government for next five years. But most of the analysts on TV were (without looking at the data) saying that congress lost because of BSP. So I thought that let me see if the data supports that fact. Here is a table of constituencies where congress's loss margin was less than the vote that BSP got. For simplicity I am assuming that if BSP was not the spoilsport and all the vote would have gone to congress they would have won. Here is the data

S No.Constituency NoConstituency NameVotes to CongressVotes polled to BSPVotes of WinnerVictory Margin

So there seems to be some merit to the logic that there is a significant number of seats that could have gone the congress way if all the vote that BSP got would have got transferred to congress. But this is only half the story. So I collected the same data for BJP and here are the results.

S No.Constituency NoConstituency NameVotes to BJPVotes polled to BSPVotes of WinnerVictory Margin
449Bidar South3078321907320541271
653Raichur Rural290978499344325335

And the result and the damage is very similar, Now one can not really make a call on whom does BSP vote go to if the BSP was not contesting the election and I would think that it is more likely to get transferred in the ratio of the votes that were otherwise polled to each of the parties. A similar analysis for JDS also shows following

S No.Constituency NoConstituency NameVotes to BJPVotes polled to BSPVotes of WinnerVictory Margin
253Raichur Rural325558499344321877

Another eight such constituencies. Now in each of these datasets the party in question (i.e. Congress, BJP, BSP) is not necessarily the second party, in some cases it may be third.

One thing is certain, BSP got significant percentage of votes in certain seats and definitely impacted the result of election but I would not really believe that it has impacted one party more than the other.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Banks and killing machine (again)

Back in 2007 I blogged about how banks have turned themselves into killing machines. It seems they have not really learnt. See here. This is what courts have to say.
We deem it appropriate to remind the banks and other financial institutions that we live in a civilised country and are governed by the rule of law," a bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Dalveer Bhandari said.

Maybe they really need to be punished before they will learn, just the threats of punishment are not enough.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Manohar Dairy, Bhopal

After a gap of around 5 years I went back to Manohar Dairy restaurant in Bhopal. The place has been spruced up and the food quality is still as impeccable as before.
The restaurant is near Bhopal Railway station and I have always found North Indian snacks really good there. Things like Chole Bhature, Samosa, Alu Tikki etc. are really good. After reaching there after such a long time I realized that one does not really need a thousand rupees to have a decent meal.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

त� सुबह सुबह म�� ��व� पर समा�ार द�� रहा ह�� �र ए� २४ ���� पर समा�ार प�श �रन� वाल� ��नल पर यह मु�्य समा�ार प�श ह�ता ह�
�मिष�� �र एश्वर्या ब�ल�वुड �� सबस� ह�� �पल बन �य� ह��।

�ब म�र� समझ म�� यह नह�� �त ह� �ि यह ��व� समा�ार वाल� �्या थर्माम��र ल� �र ��म रह� थ� �्या।

The dumb mainstream media again

So I am watching the television and one of the 24hrs news channel announces
Abhishek and aishwarya have become bollywood's hottest couple

No I don't understand who measured the temperature of this couple?

Monday, May 5, 2008

China mounts cyber attacks on Indian sites

So china is doing cyber attacks on Indian sites. Now a days almost every country is doing that. That seems to be part of their geo political strategy.
According to senior government officials, these attacks are not isolated incidents of something so generic or basic as "hacking" â?? they are far more sophisticated and complete â?? and there is a method behind the madness.

Publicly, senior government officials, when questioned, take refuge under the argument that "hacking" is a routine activity and happens from many areas around the world. But privately, they acknowledge that the cyber warfare threat from China is more real than from other countries.

The core of the assault is that the Chinese are constantly scanning and mapping Indiaâ??s official networks. This gives them a very good idea of not only the content but also of how to disable the networks or distract them during a conflict.

This, officials say, is Chinaâ??s way of gaining "an asymmetrical advantage" over a potential adversary.

Now It is very hard to stop hacking but it is not difficult to make sure that no damage is done and at the same time it is also not hard to mis-guide hackers into believing that they have been successful. I am sure there is enough skill within India to be able to do that. I only hope that government is leveraging every tool and resource at its option to achieve that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Impossible is nothing

I think Sachin can rest easy, in India, Impossible is nothing. See this interesting news. Apparently under pressure from local don, police booked a 4 year old kid under Goonda Act.
The angry don, Gyanendra Yadav, decided to teach Chandrika a lesson and called the police to book Chandrika and his four-year-old son Mukesh. The cops, more than willing to oblige the don, charged the father-son duo under Section 110 of the CrPC of Anti-Goonda Act and even forwarded the file for notification to the additional city magistrate on April 24.

It was only after the boy appeared before a local court and the magistrate took note of his age that the record was set straight on Monday.

Well-versed in legalese, the cops still didn't relent. Since the don had ordered harassment for Chandrika, the police, instead of admitting mistake, tried to get a "rectified" application submitted with the ACM

May be Adidas should signup UP politicians as their brand ambassadors.

Mr. Bachchan has a blog

So finally Mr. Bachchan has a blog. The blog seems to be up for a while and if he is really blogging, it is really cool. But I believe that it may be an flunky of him writing for him.

He talks about his involvement in politics in his blog and why he got out of it.
For the Assembly Elections in that state I was sent to canvass for the party. An error of judgment forced my helicopter to land at the wrong destination. It belonged to the opposition. There was instant physical reaction and the pilot advised we make a hurried exit. As i sat back in the plane, a young student broke the cordon, ran up to me, thrust his fist through the glass window and handed me a piece of paper. It read - â??Mr Bachchan, I am a big fan of yours, but I am with the opposite party. Please leave this State, you are making life very difficult for me for I am torn between two desiresâ?.

Now, I would like to believe him in what he is saying if he was not behaving almost like a spokesman of Samajvadi Party. I think everybody remembers the advertisement that he featured in which was "sponsored" by SP.

Also his wife;s involvement and his active interest in his wife's political career suggests that he has not really moved away from politics, he has just taken a role akin to RSS while his family and friends are BJP.

Not that anything is really wrong with that. It is just portfolio management.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Luxury in the middle of nowhere

I finally took this trip to Kanha National Park and Tiger reserve. I avoided this for so long because I am one of those characters who wants everything to be really well planned before I embark on any adventure. I really can not bring myself to start any travel unless everything is planned to the last detail and everything is reserved in advance.

After doing the usual googling, I narrowed down on this resort called "The Baagh" which is in the village called Guduma near Kanha National Park. The resort is located around 5 kilometers from the mukki gate of the Kanha National Park.

I had not so high hopes from the resort since this was the first time I was visiting this place and I had not heard of the promoters but contrary to my hopes, this turned out to be a really luxurious and comfortable experience. Since we reached on the fringes of off-season, we were the only people in the resort and that helped.

The resort offers a right combination of luxury with remote location. The rooms are air conditioned but television is not provided, which I believe is a plus point. Nobody wants to go to a jungle and still watch TV. If one wants to watch TV, might as well stay in city.
Here is the website of the resort and one can find out what they offer in the resort.

We reached Jabalpur and from there we were picked up in an Toyota Innova which we had booked in Advance through one Capt Golchha from Shreya Travels. One could contact them on mobile no: +919823035666 directly on E-Mail. I just called him once and he confirmed me the pricing and availability of vehicles and everything was well organized and on time.

We reached The Baagh around 12 noon and Mr. Vishnu Sinsinwar, who is the director of the company that runs these resorts was waiting for us right on the gate and welcomed us. We were checked in to a room within 2 minutes and everything was hassle free.

The package that we had bought included one jungle safari per day of the booking and safari was organized in a custom built Maruti Safari 4x4. Keeping in mind the fact that we were going into jungle and jungles do not have roads, the safaris were well conducted by Mr. Ramesh who accompanied us on all three days of our stay. He had very good knowledge of Jungle. Each day we drove approximately 50 kms in jungle lasting 4-6 hours for each trip.

We did see rare most animals like Leopard and a pack of Wild Dogs apart from biggest success story of Kanha i.e. Barahsingha (बारहसि��ा). Unfortunately for us, we ran out of time before we could see a tiger, I am sure if we stayed may be one more day, we might have gotten lucky.

Hotels to avoid

On my way to Kanha Tiger Reserve, I ended up staying at this hotel called Narmada Jackson. It was listed at yatra.com as a welcome heritage hotel, so I chose it. After two, one night stays, I can safely say that this place is best avoided. Here are some of the issues that I found.

  • The hotel charges for A/C rooms but the air-conditioning never really works.

  • The hotel restaurants provide really un-edible food

  • The hotel staff never knocks before entering the room, in one incident somebody opened the room at a time after midnight.

  • They can't provide wake-up call service

May be because of the fact that Jabalpur does not have many hotels but I don't think this is a hotel that anybody should choose.

Themed Restaurant

If one visits the restaurant in The Forum mall called "Sahib Sindh Sultan, it is themed like a railway coach. Themed restaurants are always interesting concepts.
But while on my visits to Bhopal, I ended up in this restaurant called Shaan-e-Bhopal (शान-ए-भ�पाल). The restaurant was inaugurated on 17th March, 2007.
These guys have actually used a real train coach with regular seats replaced with nice comfortable seating for train.
The ambiance and decor of the restaurant was good. The food quality was worth the money but the service was pathetic. The fact that it is operated by MP Tourism seem to be in some way responsible for the really pathetic service that the restaurant.
Now if one is interested to visit a interesting restaurant with decent food at not so heavy price and can be patient with the really bad service, this one seems to be the place to visit.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Love hate relationship between BJP and PM

BJP and PM seems to have an strange love hate relationship. Yesterday, BJP jumped to the defense of PM.
Rubbing salt on Congress' wounds, the BJP on Wednesday alleged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been "insulted" because of the "make Rahul Gandhi Prime Minister" chant by a section of the ruling party leaders.

One would think that they would be really worried by the prime minister and insults being heaped on him. But it does seem that way really. In not so distant past the same party had this to say.
Manmohan has lost his mental balance, says BJP

And just before that, they had this to say.
Singh was the target of fresh salvos from Modi who at an election meeting in Bapunagar area here asked the crowd, "Do you recognise the Prime Minister?"

"I am talking about Manmohan Singh... He is our Prime Minister," he said in an apparent attempt to belittle Singh.

I am not sure what they are up to, but it is definitely entertaining.
���ल ब�्�न साहब �� �ुस्सा बहुत �ता ह�। �ब यहा� ह� ल��िय�। ��ल म�त्र� श्र� एम एस �िल न� ऐसा भ� �्या �ह दिया। �न�ा त� �तना ह� �हना था �ि �लम्पि� ए� �िला�िय�� स� स�ब�धित �य��न ह� �सलिय� �लम्पि� �� मशाल �� द�� म�� न�ता�� �र �मिन�ता�� �� शामिल नह�� ह� ना �ाहिय�।

मुझ� त� ल�ता ह� �ि श्र� ब�्�न �ा ब्लड प्र�शर बहुत �्यादा ह� �या ह� �सलिय� �न�� बहुत �्यादा �ुस्सा �ता ह�।

Monday, April 14, 2008

Morons and parenting

I always believed that people who are morons should decide for themselves and opt out of being parents. Today this belief has become more strong.

I am sitting in this really interesting restaurant called "Ada Hind Ki" on museum street and then a couple walks in with a 3 to 4 year old daughter and a maid servant who looked younger than 10 years old. This set of individual during the next one hour has helped me in strengthening my belief.

Parents who need another child to take care of their child do not need to be parent. This group exhibited that behavior. Even to extent that when the child has to visit toilet, the other child needs to be with them to take care of things.

As soon as the child is back, the "papa" shouts "light please" while I am thinking what the hell that means, the "papa" takes out a cigarette (an expensive one, in one of the gold boxes) and the waiter duty fully lights the cigarette. Now the dad is smoking next to the wife, child and the other child. I know lots of smokers believe that the medical industry is telling lies when it tells that cigarettes could kill but as a parent, I would ask why take chances. Even if you are willing to sacrifice yourself through smoking and other strangers through passive smoking, why be responsible for bringing cancer to the door steps of your own child, just in case this happens to be true.

I have nothing against smokers, many of them are my friends but still I found this behavior despicable. Even if one of my friends did that, I would make sure to point this out to them.

To add insult to injury, both the parents are drinking bacardy (or whatever the hell that was, I am not a drinking type so not sure) and I am sure that one of them was going to drive back all those people in the end.

Anyway, I quickly finished and got out so that I need not be sacrificed at the altar of cancer.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pot calling the kettle black

Hindi film industry is well known for plagiarizing but this is clearly the case of pot calling kettle black. After Mr. Roshan "got inspired" from the tunes from Mr. Ram Sampath, he sued them in Mumbai High Court. The high court judge gave a judgment against Mr. Roshan. Now he is claiming that Mr. Ram Sampath schemed against him. He should have sued him earlier. That is a strange logic. Mr. Roshan copied stuff that was right fully Mr. Sampath's and then he is fully entitled to choose a time when he would be able to pressurize Mr. Roshan. I tell you sometimes I just can't believe these people.
हि�द� �िल्म व्यवसाय म�� ��र� त� बहुत ह� �म बात ह� पर रा��श र�शन साहब त� ��र� �र �पर स� स�ना��र� �� �हावत त� स� बनान� म�� ल�� हुए ह��। �भ� �न�� �िल्म �्र��्�� - ४ �� स���त �� ल��र �न�� मु�ब� ��्� न्यायलय न� द�ष� ठहराया त� �स पर �न�ा �वाब था �ि राम स�पत न� �न�� �साया ह�। �न�ा तर्� यह था �ि राम स�पत पहल� न्यायालय म�� �्य�� नह�� �य�। �नाब �ब �प न� ��र� �र� त� �प न�� नह�� स��ा �ि �प ��स स�त� ह��।

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interesting story

Very often one comes across really interesting happenings in this world. Here is such a story. Apparently one farmer was given a judgment to share all his property with his wife. He was just so pissed at the judgment that he took a very interesting route.
Instead, he bought a grinder and cut in two all his tools, including large items such as cattle scales, a harrow and a sowing machine.

"I still haven't decided how to split the cow," he told the newspaper. "She should just say what she wants -- the part with the horns or the part with the tail."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Idiot of the year award goes to...

Here is a guy, just because he has reached UK, he thinks he is better than everybody. I had heard some people thinking that people in western countries are better than people in eastern countries, but this guy takes the cake. He thinks even animals/fish are better in UK than in other countries.

The wiki page on the award mentioned in this news item also says that the standards of this award have become very lax which is very clear from the fact that they have started giving it to morons.

Here is another interesting item on the troubles with the publication that doles out the awards. To quote

For the last three years, however, something has happened each year to cause the Red Guide itself to appear to be losing its grip. So far, the thick skin of Michelin is doing an impressive job of protecting the brand.

The first two years of the Red Guide's troubles began through no direct fault of its own. On February 24, 2003, amid rumors that he might be losing his Michelin three-star rating (a loss that often leads to a quick demotion to culinary has-been status), famous French chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide.

Some of the biggest French chefs immediately pinned the blame on a too-influential Michelin. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, and it was decided that Loiseau had his fingers in many pies, some of which were turning sour prior to the Michelin rumors.

The troubles continued last year when a Red Guide inspectors, Pascal Rémy, published a tell-all book, L'Inspecteur se met à Table (The Inspector Sits at the Table or The Inspector Spills the Beans), alleging that Michelin plays favorites with chefs, doesn't visit reviewed restaurants as much as it lets on, and is generally less on the up and up with its readers than might be thought.

Michelin promptly denied what its inspector had to say, going as far as to take out newspaper ads pleading innocence. After 16 years of service and one tell-all book, Rémy was promptly canned; he lost the court case, where he pleaded unfair dismissal (remember, we are in France).

This year's Red Guide troubles, however, seem to prove some of the inspector's allegations correct, and this time, the wounds are self-inflicted.

Just before the Red Guide's 2005 home opener in France on 2 March, Michelin got caught trying to pull a fast one in Belgium. It very favorably "reviewed" L'Ostend Queen restaurant for the Benelux guide, which came out 26 January. Trouble was, the restaurant hadn't yet opened for business. The Brussels daily, Le Soir, promptly caught Michelin with its bib down.

Actually this Michelin guide guys tried to pull similar trick on restaurants in Japan but the treatment that they got there was really something that Indian media and chefs should follow.
It found much to like, even love, and showered the cityâ??s restaurants with more of its coveted stars than those in New York and Paris combined.

Michelin, based in France, made the splash it had hoped for, and has sold more than 290,000 copies of its familiar red-colored guides since November.

Many prominent figures of the Tokyo food world, however, are saying to Michelin, in effect, thanks for all the attention (which we deserve), but you still do not know us or our cuisine.

Food critics, magazines and even the governor of Tokyo have questioned the guideâ??s choice of restaurants and ratings. A handful of chefs proudly proclaimed that they had turned down chances to be listed. One, Toshiya Kadowaki, said his nouveau Japonais dishes, including a French-inspired rice with truffles, did not need a Gallic seal of approval.

â??Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,â? Mr. Kadowaki said in an interview. â??How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?â?

The mixed welcome reflects the challenges Michelin faces as the guide and its star-based ranking system enter a gastronomical milieu as far removed from Paris as teriyaki is from tête de veau.

I don't think Mr. Atul Kochhar should open his restaurants in India. We don't want him. People in India whom want him will go to UK and eat the "fresh" fish that he gets there. Meanwhile, we are happy with not so "fresh" whatever we get here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

India's software crisis

As many of you might have figured out I work in what is called "India's Software Industry". I am based in India. I have always wondered "Is India's Software Industry akin to sweatshops in rest of the Asia for other Industries".

I believe that to be the case and hence I am not really very optimistic about future of India's software industry. It is not going to die one fine morning but very soon it will start looking more and more like "Medical Transcription" industry. The reason it is so fixated with US markets is because it never did anything to develop technical skills. Tell me one company which is developing cutting edge technology. What IT industry is investing is in things like "finishing schools" so that they can hire cheaper labor from class B and C towns and still maintain the wage arbitrage advantage.

I have two issues with that approach, first the belief that talent from class B and class C towns needs finishing and second wage arbitrage can sustain anything. If the whole advantage that you are bringing to the table is pricing, somebody else will do it cheaper, or god will step in and dollar will weaken.

Today I got a call from one of the placement consultants. Here is how the interaction went.
Caller: Hello, I am calling from "ABCD consulting" and are you interested in a change

Me: It would depend what the change would be

Caller: They why did you post your resume on monster

Me: So that I can find out what are the possible changes

Caller: I have an opening with a large American MNC for Senior Software Development Architect.

Me: I don't think I would be interested in anything like that

Caller: Why, you don't like development and stuff

Me: No, I like development and stuff but I am not interested in that opportunity

Caller: Then why are you not interested

Me: See, I have close to 18 years of professional experience, if you were calling a manager with that kind of experience then you would offer him a director or a general manager kind of position

Caller: Yes, that's true

Me: Then just because I am interested in development and stuff, why do want me to be a variant of Architect which in Indian industry is characterized as a role with 5 years to 25 years of experience. If a job description is that broad, I am sure there is nothing for me there

Caller: No but managers are different, they need to manage.

At this point I said thanks you and moved on with my life. But the fact is that I have seen that being repeated time and again in Indian software industry, it is an industry which is controlled by people who have moved away from core technology and are doing "people management". Not that anything is wrong with that, but these people are smart enough to get involved in critical project but only pick up pieces that are not really technically challenging That way they leverage on their competence of being a manager and that is a good thing. I only think that it is not sustainable as a software industry.

What further made me believe on this was another telephonic interview that I had with program manager of a large database manufacturer.
Caller: We need somebody who can put together end to end systems

Me: I have had experiences in putting together large end to end systems costing multi-million to billion dollars

Caller: So can you tell me how to use Log4J

Me: I can tell you, but can you explain to me how do you people use Log4J in putting together large end to end systems

Caller: We use it a lot, ok, never mind

Caller: Do you have any more questions

Me: No

So here is my rant about why I don't think Indian software industry has a bright future. I hope I am wrong.