Category Archives: stuff

Rs. 500 and Rs 1000 notes scrapped: We don’t need to eat Dhoklas, yet!

Rs. 500 and Rs 1000 notes scrapped: the black money crackdown news is an avalanche of  a news.

Gosh! Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes not legal tender any more!

I shiver as I write this post.  Why? Because I am camping downhill the path of the snowball? Because I am a global aggregator of black money? Nope. It’s because I wonder what’s available in that’s worth less than 500? Rs 500 and Rs. 1000 notes are like denominations of Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 of our yesteryears! You can’t just do without them. They are your wallet’s best friends!

As per a recent Mint report, the large value notes – those which are greater than 100 – Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 – constitute for more than 84% of the money in circulation in the country.

This only confirms the issue I’m highlighting. There  simply aren’t enough wads of Rs. 100 to replace  the 500 and 1000 denominations.

Corruption Issues

Rs. 500 and Rs 1000 notes scrapped: We dont need to eat Dhoklas, yet!
Enjoy khamans and dhoklas on black money !

There was another demonetization of the currency earlier in 1978. Rs. 1000 notes were suddenly considered not a legal tender. They simply stood cancelled one night. Just like that. No time given! That was during the time of Prime Minister Morarji Desai. Lot of black money was wiped out. It’s said that folks in Surat ate dhoklas and khamans the next day on Rs. 1000 notes! Tissue paper value. And that’s completely true!

But what about it?

Did that stem corruption, bribery and black money? Did that wipe out the (not really) hidden black undercurrent of the economy? Babus just changed their instruments, twice aggressive as earlier, as they had to cover up for their losses. Babudom and Corruption thrived like never before.

This time the babus & the corrupt would lose a little, probably, for there’s time till Dec 30th. But what would stop the babus from continuing their practices with newer, crisper notes? What would make them change their behaviour? What would it take to bring about ‘integrity’ in this country?

As an aside, I think the traffic cops are  the smartest of the bunch… Rs. 50 and Rs. 100!

Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes demonetization, crackdown, is welcome, certainly. We are going to have the new notes now – the more secure and colourful Rs.500 and Rs. 2000.

But I can only hope the Government would introduce tracking methods and stringent punishment so that the newer notes don’t become another set of crisper tools for the fiefdoms and arrogance of those in  authority and power.

A daring move. A move,  much like the exploits in Operation Jai Mata Di.

A power surge is bad for Data

A power surge at the hosting end, protective apparatus failed, and my whole site got wiped out along with million others. There was no back-up. Budget hosting had no back-up, and the hosting company is out with its hidden, legal jargon. Glad someone I know sued it.

So well, an obituary of once-a-site. I loved the layout and the design. many a articles and poems, and back to reviving the basics => blogger.

A note to myself: keep  2 separate back-ups.

A power surge is bad for Data

What 10-year plan?!

“So how do you see yourself 10 years from now?” she asked, her lovely, long eyelashes doing little to blunt her deep, sadistic gaze that cut right through me. I somehow always knew that this would be one of the questions. It always is!  But this time I hadn’t prepared for this one. I maintained a false calm about me as I bought split seconds before coming forth with the most apt of answers.

Inside me, my neurons had already recoiled, dug and traveled millions of layers deep to the first time I had confronted a similar question, 10 years back. Deep inside, at that time, I had wanted to be a rock star, and a business magnate; both combined. I’d have a big home with lush gardens, a cool workplace where I’d have teams excitedly going about one of my innovations. At night, I’d have a band playing my compositions. And I’d be living with my girl as well.

But well, I couldn’t have shared my innermost dreams with someone I had just met over an interview table. I also knew just what to say; just what she wanted to hear! I fabricated the most brilliant of responses – ambition and aggression bar none. I got the job!

Now, back to the present, another batch of neurons had already volunteered with the ferocity of warriors. Their frantic search in my deep brain-innards, had led to no answers.  They stood dejected, almost at the brink of sacrificing themselves at the altar of a ’10-years-from-now’ concoction.

I waived off their help. This time I didn’t need them. I just smiled at the lady with lovely, long lashes. “I don’t have a 10 year plan,” I said, as I got up to leave. “In fact,” to my own surprise, I added, “I don’t even have a 1-year plan.”

As expected, the lady was taken aback, her eyelashes started fluttering in rapid, disappointing movements as she looked beyond me. I walked out, sad to have lost an opportunity, but happy nevertheless to have conveyed what I really wanted to.

My last 1-year plan didn’t work, my last 5-year plan didn’t work, and if my last 10-year plan is anything to go by, I must have been stepping in an opposite direction.  I’m not a rock star today; nor am I a business tycoon.  In fact, I had just walked-in for a job interview!

I never had planned upon traveling continents, or climbing mountains, or writing, and playing music and sports – all of which have given me the most exhilarating moments of my . I never had even planned of coming across the most important and wonderful people I have in my life, . I never had planned the downs, nor the ups: they just happened. Rudely, without me even planning them!  Neither did I plan upon the attitude I currently have.

And tomorrow, if I get the right fit in the right place, I’d live up to it with as much passion as I would when climbing a mountain, or returning a volley!

So what 10-year plan!? Or a 5-year plan for that matter!?

What triviality! What haughtiness!

A few steps home!

1. the train home
A few steps home!
 2. at the station
A few steps home!
3. fight the rickshaw touts
A few steps home!
 4. home sweet home
A few steps home!
5. festivities

A few steps home!

  6. meet friends

A few steps home!

7. with self

A few steps home!

8. contemplation

A few steps home!
9. train away from home

The beautiful Narmada river & the awful bridge

Again got a W/L for the weekend as always. But give up I don’t, do I? Even the AC buses were full. So got myself a non-AC seat for – Baroda. Night was a bit cool plus some bucks saved.

We hit Surat at 3.40am. Baroda would be max 3 hours from then. Cool thus far. No issues. Estimated Baroda time @ 6.30 am… perfect for the tea in the balcony.

Until we hit the Narmada bridge traffic jam just before Bharuch. Kilometers upon kilometers! I believe they constructed a new bridge just a few years ago, but that’s weakened or whatever! So only one lane traffic …

I am already 3 hours in this mess.

This , I hear has been since quite some time. Last week all the exit roads from Bharuch were blocked because of this bridge, people were caught in a jam for hours in 43deg c temperatures!

But the administration doesn’t care hoots. “We have written to the govt” is the reply. Can you believe that – after months of a festering problem, all they can answer is that.

Just a very rough calculation on wastage:
5000 heavy vehicles in the traffic jam at any given time
Assuming 10% passenger buses with 50 people each
Total people in the jam @ 10,000
Avg time in the traffic: 3-4 hrs
Avg fuel burnt: 2 liters of diesel every hour
Total fuel wasted/hour: 20,000 liters diesel
Manhours wasted/hour: 10,000 hours

Now this is a tricky pipeline kinda problem with vehicles joining the jam and vehicles leaving the jam … but a very rough consideration will give you at least

Total fuel wasted per day: 480,000 liters
Total manhours wasted per day: 240,000 hours

Total cost of fuel wasted/ day: Rs 2 crores
Assuming manpower cost of rs 500/hr, cost of total manhours wasted per day: Rs 12 crores
(It is a separate thing that people and their time is taken for granted in India)

So total wastage / day: Rs 14 crores – at this single junction point!
Anyone listening? Incredible India? Garvi Gujarat, Mr Modi? How garvi is this?

Wonder why would the administration care. There is a separate car lane for them to scurry across.

Meanwhile for people in trucks and buses – well, they are not humans in any case. They seem to be cursed forever to kill time. For guys in non-ac vehicles, they have to additionally cope up with eating smoke, cursing their fate and the cars passing by!

Na Kajre ki Dhaar

11.30 pm non stop bus from Vadodara to Mumbai, courtesy the usual ‘W/L1 CHART PREPARED’ on Vadodara express.

A long hectic chorexhausting day when nothing really came to fruition. Both Vodafone and Tata Indicom guys screwed up. Those guys (and all in the league) are born to screw – the customers. Held the line for hours, barged into their offices….but ‘sorry sir, the service has been activated but you got te wrong sim’ and ‘sorry sir, the service is active but something’s screwed up; the matter has been escalated’ … respectively.

The sveltering heat, medical visits, hour long waits, skipped lunch, out of fuel gruel, out of and all that made for a very long day!

Icing on the cake: ‘W/L1 CHART PREPARED’

Flag down a rickshaw at 11.05pm and “Sir: dedh gunaa bhaadaa lagegaa, gyaaraah baj gayaa”.

A typical night. Empty streets. A few families heading home post social visits, a few vehicles parked at the icecream and pan vendors around town, some people loitering; smoke from burnt leaves and exhaust interspersed with dust creating wisps of yellow smoke beneath sodium street lamps & all of that which make a typical small town urban night air.

Amidst all this, the rickshaw wala ups the volume of a familiar old song setting the mood.

Na kajre ki dhaar
Na motiyo ke haar
Na koi kiya shringaar
Phir bhi kitni sundar ho,
Phir bhi kitni sundar ho

Man mein yaar bharaa
Aur tan mein yaar bharaa
Jeevan mein pyaar bharaa
Tum to mere priyavar ho,
Tum hi to mere priyavar ho

Typical night indeed. Very typical. I am whistling after a long time.

Once upon a PM

It’s laughable. Utterly ridiculous.

Scam after scam has defined this PM. Otherwise touted to be one of the most intellectual PMs of , one of the ‘honest ones’ out there, he’s brought nothing but shame and inefficacy.

Hard to believe that he’s the one credited with bringing a positive change to India, once as a minister.


He’s made corruption a staple; endemic for a change. A PM who has allowed scams to pop up like pop-corns and he a pop corn vendor. A PM who hardly appears in public, who seems to be the very embodiment of a Kumbhkarna in perpetual slumber. Let the nation shake out of its roots – thou shalt not be perturbed.

So what does the PM do? I wonder. He certainly doesn’t take responsibility for his Team of The Corrupt, that’s for sure.

He’s The One Who Evades. The PM doesn’t see the need to talk to the nation on most important matters concerning the nation. And when he does ineffectively and feebly talk, it’s mostly the last moment face saving farce of an exercise which is too late. By that time the supreme court, the civilians, the media, the social activists … everyone’s given up on him.

You know what … a leader knows his team very well. So it’s highly improbable that the Leader of the Team of The Corrupt didn’t know what’s going on. Unless he didn’t want to know. Unless he was (a part of) The Team of The Corrupt.

However no one really talks about the PM. Is the PM above reproach? Is he Mr Integrity personified?



I used to believe that generally intellectual guys are honest.

No need on that one.

My garden plants … for when I travel!

This automatic watering globe thing purchased from

My garden plants ... for when I travel!
My garden plants ... for when I travel! 

Pretty well thus far. Plants are watered appropriately and healthy when I come back. Have had 2 trips greater than a week. Max water test lasted for @ 12 days. Good product. No complaints!

So plant care and watering stress during vacation taken care of!

Cricket forecasts

Well, I miss my dad. Tonight has been India’s night at the cup and he’s not with me – he’s somewhere in the tundra region (thanks to my sister and her uncanny sense of timing her first kid in the middle of a world cup).

Alas they have no access to the world cup telecast. If someone climbs on the roof to place a dish antenna, they say, the roof might come down – it’s a lovely old house, you see, and no risks to be taken with the baby, the doggy and the parents around!

When my sister, brother and I were old enough to understand cricket, we came to appreciate our dad’s cricketing insights – astrological forecasts. On every morning of the match, he would take out his panchaang and ask us for the name of the captains who were to compete that day.

This would follow with some obscure mumblings on the dashas of the planets with fingers charting trajectories in the air. Further down would follow abstract calculations based upon planetary positions of the competing countries and their captain’s names. We would be with baited breaths to hear the winner’s name. Astrology, you see, foretold us the winner much before the match started!

He generally had a good scoring rate. Enough for us to brag to our friends about our deep foresights into the .

Watching cricket together was fun. As the match progressed, he would be there with his usual quibs over cups of tea….’see I told you so’, ‘whatever they do, they’re not going to win’, etc. Mom would bring ‘garam garam pakodas’ and we would have a blast. Mom is an ardent cricket fan and she would always take a stand against astrology. Hence the ‘forecasted losing’ side would be her favorite, unless of course it’s an India match.

So the sides would be split and we would have a match going on right in the middle of our living room with occasional screams and whistles. Priti would keep on changing sides depending upon who’s winning and which players are better looking. I would be rooting for the weaker team. And Box – if the Indian bowlers didn’t bowl well, he’d be sure to pick up and bowl a couple of things in our living room – bouncers that we were expected to duck!

Seems cool as I look back; nostalgic. One lively, happy family!

So well… Tonight was the night. As I sat in my living room savoring the victory ‘alone’, I missed my parents. It also dawned upon me that years of moving from one place to another as per the whims of my career has really left a void in that ‘friendship space’. All my friends whom I could have invited are scattered all over. And then they are only a few. I am basically ‘friendless’ & where I am, there are none.

My dad also happens to be my best friend. I miss him.

Too late for the new Kites to fly

Saw the hindi version of Kites. Didn’t like it. Found it amateurish and dragging.

Just saw the english version presented by Brett Ratner. Though the core remains and one could be affected, the film is crisp and could have augured well if the same edit would have been used for the hindi version. It certainly wouldn’t have received the bashing it so received.

For the english version I went to the theater on a thursday eve. For a capacity of 300, there were just 5 people in the theater, including my friend and I!

Hindi has had a 1 week lead. Too many negatives floating out there and the fall guy will  be the english version. Someone had advised releasing both versions together…to give viewers a choice. We feared cannibalization which also was justified in a commercial way, still is.

Had the hindi version received positive reviews a la , would have the 1 week delayed release of the Brett Ratner version worked?

Or should we have just launched it all together. Let the audience have a choice? And risk cross-cannibalization?