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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blogging in India for socio-political causes? Ok. Good joke.

I doubt blogging in India for socio-political causes has any effect whatsoever. Are blog newpapers? Does anybody read a blog for "breaking news"? Hell, its not even a "media" (like the print, or visual media) that people recognize. Do blogs have any credibility or authenticity? Does it have mass reach?

Exactly how many people in India are Internet savvy? A measly 4.5%, and thats a liberal estimate. Out of this exactly how many people even know the word BLOG, and actively read them? Maybe 5% of that. Take a simple opinion poll around you, say in your workplace. There might be 1 blogger for every 20-odd people, if that. So we are at 0.255% of India's population. And finally out of these many bloggers, exactly how many believe that they can solve an Indian socio-political problem using blogs? Ha ha.. what a farce.

For crying out loud... a problem does not get solved by sitting on your bum and adding your piddly voice to a few bloggers. Has anybody heard of vox populi? 0.255% of India's population does NOT make vox populi. 0.255% is made of India's elite, sitting in AC offices and homes, travelling about in cars, India's new jet-setting crowd, the Super A category. You are so far removed from reality, you might as well be in a different India. Come down from your clouds, pals and smell the fucking charred earth and the smoke. Smoke from a million injustices that take place everyday. If you really want to make a difference, then work with the NGOs, make field visits, donate your time and money to social causes. Give your support to the social entrepreneurs who are working to change the laws of the country, getting such landmark laws like the RTI passed, worked to stop water privatization in the country, and a hundred big issues. Above all keep your mouths shut, and dont send around silly messages exhorting the elite "to make a difference" by blogging about an issue.

The real India does not visit your blogs to see how many have blogged about it, and pat you on the back about your wonderful "suppport". The lawmakers in this country do not get influenced by a few blogs writing same old I-am-outraged-how-can-this-happen stories.

Blogging is for the elite and might achieve to bring awareness about some elite problems, like the recent fuss over IIPM. Not for real socio-political problems that plague India.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Class=Office?

Am sitting in my IIMB classroom. Classroom? Think again. Its like a hi tech office. Its like no classroom ever seen. Its 8am in the morning. Most of us have our lappy open and pounding away. There WiFi access in every classroom. The classrooms have ACs. And the chairs are ergonomically designed office chairs.

No wonder IIMB graduates are a spoilt lot ;)

PS: If anybody from IIMB is reading this, dont fret. I require the above mentioned goodies as much as the next man.

Monday, March 13, 2006

How much is a BILLION dollars?

Too much, me thinks. Anthony's post: 99 billion $ and counting, set me thinking. Really, how much is a billion dollars?

$1,000,000,000

Can you feel the zeros? Feel the raw power in them? A billion dollars. That's 1 followed by 9 orgasmic zeros. NINE.

Rs. 45,00,00,00,000. That's 45 arabs!

How many mouths can it feed? How many homeless can it shelter? How many illiterate can it educate? How many, how many, say I?

And India has an unusually high concentration of billionaires. It just means that we have more than our share of mean, stingy people, like the landed gentry of India past, who simply refuse to share their wealth with their employees.

I salute the Narayan Murthys of the world.

An old mail forward

that is particularly relevant in today's day and age:

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Brothers in Arms

The Crimson king was in India, all bow backwards and say Howdy partner. Shall I shoot you in the face? I am sorry, I though you were a quail. I am the last gunslinger, I have forgotten the face of my father and the nameless rose in the old parking lot. Nukes? We want nukes… only for civilian uses, mai baap. We greatly advanced, highly corrupted, who love frying humans in ovens, back of beyond, third world country want to make love not war, and electricity too. So give us those nukes I say. Hey brother, we’re sorry to be taking away all the jobs, increase the H1B cap while you are in a generous mood. We solemnly promise to keep the nukie technology for ourselves, we wont share with Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Pakistan. Pakistan? Hell, are you sure you don’t want us to share any with them? Not even a teeny weenie bit? God, please rain down some Heavy Water this monsoon, Australia is sending us radioactive material. We don’t want it to activate the left, do we now? A bird in the bush, is worth two in the hand. Boom boom, we all fall down.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Vous parlez fran├žais ?

Oui.

M learning French this quarter at IIMB. Why did I take it? It’s a sexy language, but its soooo bloody tough. Ce n'est pas terrible. La, Le, L’ and Les have driven me crazy. The French do nothing like the English. So they’ve taken all the normal English words and screwed them up. Imagine taking your everyday English words and pronouncing them different. And adding a bunch of new words. Bonjour ! Merci beaucoup ! S'il vous plait ! Avec plaisir ! Another month of this and I’ll start speaking eenglish ze frenjch waiy, with a “zee” een aervry vord je parlez. Comprenez-vous ? Je ne comprends pas. Aggggggggggggg.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Anti-tipping

Ever read this article on Waiter Rant: What the waiter saw? It talks about the custom of tipping in the great, stupid US of A. It seems that waiters (or servers, whatever the fuck that be) are paid less than the minimum wage and are expected to earn from tips. Is that stupid or what? The land of milk and honey and opportunity is (surprise, surprise!) also the land of exploitation. The restaurant owner probably laughs all the way to the bank, while the waiters rave and rant about not getting enough tips.

If it weren’t so stupid it would be laughable. I can't imagine people paying extra for any kind of goods that they buy in a shop, but people are falling over themselves trying to pay extra for basic service in the US. There are websites devoted to how tips should be calculated, what is the correct amount of tip for various services, there are small sheets you can print and carry in your wallet to look up the exact tip (on the pre-tax amout, mind you) if you cant do your basic arithmatic. There are programs that can be downloaded/bought for your PocketPC / Palm / what-have-you which will calculate the exact tip and even split it between the number of people in your group... al so that you never need to use your rusty brain. There are websites which give you the wonderful advice on how to calculate the tip: just double the first number people! $50 bill = $10 tip etc.

There are books writing on tipping etiquette and books written for waiters and such to do certain things to get more tips and finally books written for people to get more done without paying tips. Whew. What a stupid, vicious cycle.

PS: I comment on the Waiter Rant article using the pseudonym "Fucking Stupid". Apt name you say? Yah yah and all that.