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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average abilities"

Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.

60 years back, on this day, the world was shattered. The most adored and enigmatic leader was assassinated. "Hey Ram". With those two parting words, he told the world adieu.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

The above quote was said by Albert Einstein. But, at least for now, I think Einstein have been proved wrong. According to Google, the most searched political leader from India was Mahatma Gandhi. Well, that at least shows that even among the youngsters, Gandhi is quite popular.

Munnabhai's Gandhigiri has given a new feel and outlook to the views and teachings of Gandhi. And it was widely accepted by Indians in its real sense.

Just out of curiosity, I searched for Mahatma's "My experiments with Truth" in Amazon and came upon this review page. It gives really a fantastic insight into the minds of Non-Indians (this is what I prefer to call foreigners), what they know about Gandhi and mostly, what they know about India.



Some of Mahatma's quotes are listed here and here. Read slowly, digest it and lets all make a decision to reflect it in our life.

And a quote from me, "Gandhi is everywhere, in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the clothes we wear. Gandhi is the soul of India."

May his soul rest in peace.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Inoubliable. A bientot

"Inoubliable. A bientot"(Unforgettable. See you soon)

I don't think I will forget this comment. "If there is an heaven on earth, it's this, it's this, it's this" came to my mind when I read this. Maybe, Nicholas Sarkozy would have also thought the same when he wrote this in the visitor's book in Taj Mahal.

He would have felt really depressed when he sat on the Diana Bench all alone. Think of the situation when you are in front of the greatest monument of love while your soul-mate is far away across the oceans and the deserts and the mountains. If I were a poet, I would like to write a prose poem and dedicate to his love.

Anyway, Taj Mahal has won the heart of Sarkozy. Hope he will be back soon along with Bruni and a handful of agreements.

Friday, January 25, 2008

From Chirac to Sarkozy


Come tomorrow, we will be celebrating one more Republic Day with all pomp and glory. After Jacques Chirac in 1976, we are having the President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy as the guest of honour. Well, it seems really good for India.


If you check the list of guests so far, we had the Premiers of only four European countries - France, Ireland, Greece and Portugal. Except for Russian President Vladimir Putin last year, all others were those whose voice and opinions will not turn many heads. And even worse, one has become the superpower's enemy (Iran).

Maybe, the visit of two powerful heads of powerful nations in 2007 and 2008 will turn many heads. It is also Sarkozy's second visit to Asia, the first being to China. Even though he has been in the media for over-exposure of personal relationship, still he is the French President.

Since India has been the centre of attention among the superpowers for sometime mainly because of the 123 agreement, Sarkozhy's visit can bring many things in our favour. As France is a major member of Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG), I hope that something useful will turn up.

India has been trying for a permanent membership in the Security Council for a long time. At one point, it was even said that US supported our membership. As we got two major members of security council as the guests in the last two years, I have some positive feelings about that also.

Gordon Brown's visit preceding Sarkozhy's and a week before Republic Day is also a good factor for us. I hope that we will be seeing some other major power from Europe next year. Or can it be the super power itself?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

QUIT CHENNAI!

Those who are travelling around in Chennai these days would have noted this billboard ad. Just two words, QUIT CHENNAI ! in a classic looking background. If you care to see closely, the background comprises of sentences in Tamil. (I don't know to read Tamil, so can't speculate what those sentences means)

I feel that this is a case of Shock Advertising. As the word means, it is used to create a buzz and some controversy on the matter. Whoever seeing this ad, will be feeling a bit dazzled and will check out what the ad is about. If they can't find it anywhere, it will create a kind of hype around it. And, they will constantly monitor that billboard to see what it is.

But here, we have an ad that projects in a negative sense. It is similar to saying INDIA BLACK OUT and showing Reliance Power or SACHIN OUT and showing a new MRF tyre. (Note that these two ads are just my imagination and have not appeared anywhere). It creates hype for the brand but will have a negative effect on the brand perception. (I remember seeing an one ad that told very little of itself all the day from Monday to Saturday and turned out to be a soap on Sunday, I still hate that brand).

I don't yet know what this QUIT CHENNAI ! is. Maybe some hotel or maybe some newspaper. Anyway, I will be checking it everyday (since is passes it everyday on my way to office) and will update on it.

And for the people who haven't seen it yet, you can catch a glimpse of it in Old Mahabalipuram Road(OMR) somewhere between CTS and TCS (just change order of one letter!!), near Koyambedu (CMBT) bus stand, one near Velachery Bus Stand and I think I saw one somewhere around Guindy.

Updates - The replacement for QUIT CHENNAI! is "The Land of Gold". Yup, its some other real estate group. And nothing other than MARG. Digital Journo has written in detail about it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I HAVE A DREAM


Jan 21 was Martin Luther King Jr. day. So, I take the opportunity to post his great speech, "I have a Dream". It was delivered on August 28, 1963 in Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

I HAVE A DREAM


'I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds."


But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "for whites only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends - so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi - from every mountainside.

Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" '


Coutersy : InfoUSA.com, Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), U.S. Department of State

"I am not a Muslim, but a committed Christian"

This is what that the would-(may) -be head of the world's super power declared. He is in line to the most powerful political throne in the world. He is the one who poses the biggest hurdle in the path of the Clintons.

Yes, the title is what Obama declared recently (You can read about it in his website). He has been portrayed wrongly by some sections of the media as a Muslim who has undergone radical training and on the verge of becoming a terrorist. Someone started a chain letter about Obama's dark past and how he will become a threat to US. So, it became necessary for him for such a declaration to save his soul(and votes) and maintain the popularity.

Everything started because his middle name is Hussein. But this brings out another dark reality. America has also started playing religion-politics. Till now, it was mainly in the Asian countries(read India) where religion came into play when elections came. (Well, now it has degenerated into caste based politics). Now, we have a good and super-powerful companion. Maybe this will make the nuclear deal more India-friendly.

But, I venture to speculate that if September 1,2001 was just another ordinary day; if the stairs and elevators of World Trade Center were still there, this would not have been the case. The entire world's perception and take on Islam changed drastically with just this day. Now, everywhere, a Muslim is treated with a biased mindset. (I remember reading an article long back(think it's Hindu) about a Muslim complaining that where ever there is a random checking, he is checked and cross-checked!).

Well, Obama recently said something which clearly puts him as Indian unfriendly. It seems like he is taking the same route that John Kerry took four years back. I am not going to write about it here, but you can check it at Times of India and Swamp Politics.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Greatest Fall

The last day, I was in a restaurant having some kababs and tandoori when the TV screen got my attention. They were playing some tricky and funny questions. One particular question should be specially mentioned.

Q: "What is it that goes up and never comes down?"

Any guesses?

Well, the funny (and a bit stupid, I felt so!!) answer was "Age!". Yep, dats true. But today I really hoped one more thing will also work that way..And dats our dear Sensex!!

Today, 21st Jan 2007, is supposed to be the most depressing day by researchers. And it looked like a very depressing and "shockiest" day for the Indian market.

Sensex plunged by 2050 points. It's the biggest fall ever. Other Asian markets also suffered today but no as great as ours. The long lasting and unbelievable bull ride has come to a halt. And it comes during the time when the third quarter results are out.

That points tells us to probe deep into it. The 3 rd quarter results of most of the companies have been satisfactory. There haven't been any losses or a big drop in profit. Still, our markets slide like and avalanche. So, don't they ever care about the general economic condition??

Well, I am not an expert to talk about the SEBI rules and Participatory Notes and other stuff. Anyway, those business pundits out there in TV will be discussing these things the entire week (or maybe the entire month!!).

And that's the problem, I suppose. That was what I talked about long back in this post - The frenzy media which is crazy about the stock market and the crazy business pundits talking blah-blah and creating all the hype. We have to watch the market and read news, but I believe that the importance and exposure given nowadays is way out of proportion.

Here you can find the Top 10 falls in the Sensex history.

Hoping that SEBI and FM will plan something that works out so that the restaurant can add one more answer for "the thing that goes up and never comes down?"

Age and Indian stock market!!

Update : Read this to get more insight into the state of markets around the world

Proto.in Day I



This post was guest blogged by Soham Das of Soulwitness


A Quick one: Where else in the world will you hear these words being spoken?

“Don’t satisfy but delight”

“Competition should be shit scared of you…”

“The first suited booted company guy is saw, I thought is from some water pump guy, turns out he was from PriceWaterHouseCooper”

“You thought, I made an excel sheet, planned my business pitched it and made my strategy? You got to be kidding. We were a group of 5 guys in T shirts and Bermudas”

No brownies for guessing, but you got it right. Its Proto.in . Whaatttt??? You don’t know Proto, come on, you cant be serious. I mean you really don’t know Proto. Okay, (wink, wink, finally I get one up on you hehe) This is the third edition of Proto, and from the next edition is no longer will be in Chennai (*sob *sob) , a brainchild of a lone warrior Vijay Anand, this annual event grew from a “just-another-event” to the event for the entrepreneurs. Essentially this is the baap of all such events. Sponsored by Google, Yahoo and other gazillion dollar companies around the world, this event is wholly and solely for the people who have jump started, thinking to jump start and people who actually pay you to jump start (I mean the investors). And a foodie like me, it doesn’t matter if this event is held in another continent, the food of Asiana Hotel was just out of the heaven. In the hindsight, Asiana Hotels actually was in another continent, totally out of Chennai, connected by a road, which can be more called as “road to perdition” by the optimists. So yours truly went through three change of conveyance to reach the place(but you know the entire journey was worth it)

In a more serious tone, the entire morning was a series of ‘kickass’ talks… absolutely first grade. There were two tracks, BUSINESS and TECHNLOGY. The schedule started from 9 to 5.30 and being a guy on the spot, believe me, it was difficult actually making a decision to skip which and attend which one. If K.Unnikrishnan, Head of Sales and Marketing, Sun Microsystems talked about how Sun is actually helping startups to cut down their operational costs with fantastic help and support, then Vishal Gondal, CEO of Indyagames.com talked about the most fantastic eleven years of his life. He actually told his parents that he is teaching his friends MS-DOS, but were playing games in the garage. Ahem Ahem..Vishal… But finally when they made a business out of making games, they hit the pay-dirt. A fantastic story told humorously just went out of the way to actually tell how a good idea executed exceptionally marketed perfectly(sample this, he actually sold his first idea to the Head of Pepsi India), can make millions for you.

The 10 thumb rules of entrepreneurship by Manjeet Dolly of DraperFisherJuvetson in the lines of his buddy Guy Kawasaki(blog.guykawasaki.com) opened the way VCs look at this entire game.

Overall, a fantastic event of day one, in Proto.in was a fantastic session of brain whacking talks and mind boggling issues and questions. And all the credit goes to the speakers who came all the way from their day to day lives, goes to the organizers of Proto.in, especially Vijay Anand, Siddhi and Labsji and the entire Proto clan…

Thanks fellas… and thanks OCC for giving me the thousand rupees worth entry pass for free. I love OCC :)

Find Soulwitness's follow up for day two - Proto.in Day II

Friday, January 18, 2008

Google, my best friend

Sometime back, I wrote some of my Googlian thoughts. Soulwitness pointed out that this has turned into a phobia. Well, I thought, I will take off from there.

Google has integrated into our life in such a way that it has blended properly into our daily routine. We consider it as, maybe like the house we live in, or maybe the clothes we wear. The way our life changed in the span of last decade has been really impressive. Even though there was a dot com and knowledge explosion, we are in control. And isn't Google the controller?

When I don't get internet, I get a feeling that I am lonely. I want to be connected, always online, reading the never ending resources, getting and replying to mails (I prefer email than chat), networking with others through orkut, swim around in blogosphere, and finally, write something. Internet is another world. There is no need of secondlife; the Web is itself another life. And Google is my best and dearest friend. A friend who is always up for me, whatever time it is; a friend who will bring things to me; a friend who helps me traverse the New World; a friend who can also bring money to me!

So, if one day, if my friend is no more, what will I do? Well, I have some other less-close friends like Yahoo (who is a messy person) and MSN (who is pretty bossy) and Ask (who doesn't have a bit of self-respect, always behaves like a butler!!). But still, without Google, I am reduced to a HUMAN!

So, along with my morning prayer, I add this too : "May my dear friend Google have a long life, may his brains be always up, may his knowledge increase everyday(and brings me more money!!)".

Well, any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tata's journey from Truck to Nano - A Retrospective

Well, one more on Tata....

[Source : A forwarded mail. Thx for the creator and the owners of the pics. And thx Skanda for forwarding]



1954 - Tata launched its first Mercedes Benz diesel truck, Telco




1958 - India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, walks through the apprentice shop at Jamshedpur




1965 - The owner of the first Mercedes Benz diesel truck, Sardar Kartar singh is presented with the key of the 1,00,000th truck




1969 - Employees cheer as the first Tata branded truck rolls out, ending the collaboration with Daimler Benz, Germany




1977 - Tata manufactures its first commercial vehicle at its plant in Pune




1986 Tata launches its first light commercial vehicle from Telco, the Tata 407




1992 - Tata Estate, Telco's second passenger vehicle launched by JRD Tata and Ratan Tata




1994 - Tata Motors released its multi-utility car, Tata Sumo




1998 - Ratan Tata drives the first Tata Indica off the assembly line





1998 - Tata Motors produced an SUV, Tata Safari. It was the first SUV to be designed, developed and manufactured entirely in India



2002 - Tata introduced India's most competitive indigenous sedan,Indigo




2003 - Tata Engineering formally changes to Tata Motors




2004 - Tata Motors acquires Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company, South Korea





2004 - Tata Motors starts its globalisation drive and launches the Tata Indica in South Africa





2008 - Tata Motors launched the most-awaited car of the year,its one-lakh car, Nano



Friday, January 11, 2008

Henry Ford of India


This is hopefully my last post on the 1 lakh car. I wanted to stop writing about it with my last post, but I couldn't resist writing this.

I want to call Ratan Tata, the Henry Ford of India. He had a great and difficult vision. But, unlike many others who have great (sometimes wild) visions but do not deliver, Ratan Tata has made an impact. He made the impossible possible. And this is what that ignited his mind to embark upon this venture-

""I observed families riding on two-wheelers - the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family."

Really a great and noble vision.

Even his rivals were awe struck and didn't hide their admiration.

Jagdish Khattar, former managing director, Maruti Suzuki -

"The car is good to look at. There is a space in the market between two-wheelers and the Maruhi 800. It will be a success if they deliver what they promised. And I see no reason why they can't."



Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd -


"We cannot make a cheaper car. We don't know how to make a Rs 1 lakh car unless we sacrifice something. We won't go below the 800 in our product line-up, but this car may impact some of our Maruti 800 sales."



Anand Mahindra, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra -

"I think it's a moment of history and I'm delighted an Indian company is leading the way."



Venu Srinivasan, Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Motor Co -

"It is fantastic, outstanding engineering. It helps redefine the sector in the country. It has established new grounds."



P Sam, Group Head, Marketing & Sales, Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt Ltd -

"The Rs 1 lakh rupee car is not going to impact our potential customers. Our customers woul buy our products for the sheer joy of riding."


P Balendran, Director and Vice President, General Motors India -


"It's an exciting product. I don't think it will not affect small car market, but it may have an affect on the sales of two-wheelers and second-hand small cars."


Sylvain Bilaine, Managing Director, Renault India -


"Tata's car is cute and he (Ratan Tata) is doing a great job. I would like to see in the coming months the retail price."



These are some snippets of admiration and envy. Even though there are lot of problems like increase in pollution and high maintenance charges(check my previous post), let's hope that this biggest innovation will stride clear of all obstacles and will be a runaway success.


And let Ratan Tata become the Henry Ford of India (or can it be Henry Ford of 21st century?).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The World is Waiting, but......

The world is waiting for tomorrow. The Indian Auto Expo at Pragathi Maidan, New Delhi is starting tomorrow. All eyes are on the biggest invention, Tata's 1-lakh car. Bajaj has already unveiled its near 1-lakh car. So, what's the big deal?

India is the 11th largest passenger car market in the world. And it is also the 2 nd largest two-wheeler market in the world. The Tatas and Bajaj-Renault wants to swap the numbers. They are betting on converting the two-wheeler owners into four-wheeler owners. But, is it worth it?

Most of the smaller cars on the Indian roads, especially Maruthi 800, Alto, Swift, Hyundai Santro and its clones are affordable by the medium-middle class. Even if they can't make a lump sum payment, many will be able to take a 5-year loan and buy one of them. It has also been noticed that many of the so-called middle class (I am referring to the section which BJP targeted in its "India Shining Campaign") which owns a car will have a two-wheeler also.

So, it can be said that Bajaj and Tatas are targeting the lower-middle class. Then, there are some problems that are bound to come up.

It has been rumoured that the Tata car will have all the specifications of a normal small car meeting all standards. The mileage is hyped to be around 25 km per litre(petrol). This is where the problem arises. The rising fuel price is going to be the greatest roadblock, not the price of the car.

Petrol price have been zooming for past few years. And, recently it crossed the $100 mark. I have some numbers. Consider an Indian with a motorcycle. It gives him a mileage of around 75 km pl. So, he shells out around 50 rupees for that. With the 1-lakh car, he will have to spent thrice of that(@ 25 km pl). Fuel expense is a daily one to him. Even though he can come up with 1-lakh to buy the car, the recurring fuel expense will surely put him out.

We have to consider the biggest hindrance, the roads. Even without these 1-lakhs roaming around, the traffic is unmanageable. So, let's not think about future!!

Another factor that can keep the medium and upper middle class buyers far is the ego factor. Who wants others to say that that guy comes in a 1-lakh car? I don't want that.

Tatas and Bajaj are innovative to design such a low cost car. But at present, what India needs is fuel efficiency. We want our cars to consume less and run more. We want our cars to be green. So, it's better if time, energy and money can be spent on designing cars that can run on alternat fuels. Make hybrid cars. Toyota Prius is really costly. So, make a prototype of a 2-lakh hybrid car. That will get you buyers and save the nation a lot of money. And will create a greener environment.

Inspired by the interview with Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, in The Hindu Business Line dated 9th January 2008. It can be found here. He talks mostly of having cars running on alternate fuels like ethanol. Being a fan of Toyota and having done some research with Hybrid cars, I prefer Hybrid. And there is also the risk that people will start drinking ethanol fuel!! It's India.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Some Googlian Thoughts

People can be divided into two - those who use Google and those who don't. Our calendars should be revised and it should be Before Google(BG) and After Google(AG). Every year should start on September 7. Larry Page and Sergey Brin should be the President and Prime Minister (I prefer Indian way of governance). All people should convert to Googilism. All offerings should be done at Google Labs. Mountain View, California, will be the Mecca of Googlians.

I can hear you swearing and cursing Google for leading you to this page. Ok, I just want to share a small thought. A day in life without Google.

It means there is no more time spent checking the cute inbox and typing out replies. It means no more "curious mails" that will be marked as spam.

It means no Orkutting. No scraps, no posts.

It means no blogger!!

It means no more cute searches. Well, Yahoo and others are there, but still who can match the power and beauty of Google search engine.

It means no more RSS news feed for the day. I am news-starved!

It means no more widgets today to plan your time, to change wallpaper, to remind meetings.

It means no more Talk.

It means that you are deprived of the ultimate source of knowledge, Google Groups.

And there is a lot more that will be missing. Picasa, Docs, Translate and lot more.

Google leads our lives, it controls our life.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

On a Sunday Afternoon

This is a story that I wrote during my 9th standard .i.e. in 2000. It was published in "The Hindu Young World" and the Chlidren's Digest. I don't have a copy of it now to reproduce it as it was written eight years back. So, I am writing it again now, in 2008.

The story was titled "On a Sunday Afternoon". It was based on a real incident that happened to me.

'It was a Sunday during February. The exams were fast approaching. The usual lazy Sunday afternoon's when I roamed around enjoying were all over. For the upcoming six weeks, I was bound to be a bookworm.

I was sitting in my room upstairs. The effect of the nice lunch with dal and sambhar started taking its toll on me. My bed lay in front of me as the first temptation. But, not being smitten by the devil, I was not lured into the poisonous venom that induces sleep. In order to take a break, I went to the window and gazed outside. The whole world outside seemed to be calm. The sun was shining brightly and the air was still. Not even a bird was seen in the sky. Half heartedly, I came back to my desk.

At that time, a small movement in the corner of the room caught my attention. (As it was exam time and I clean the room myself, there were lot of cobwebs since I hadn't cleaned after new year). At the corner, the cobweb was shaking. It was a butterfly! A really beautiful one with all those blessed colors of nature! Its tiny wings and antennae were stuck in the vicious web. It was flapping desperately to escape. But, the web was designed to trap such animals and it didn't yield.

I was wondering what to do. A butterfly in the cobweb. Its the most natural thing to happen. The spider makes to web to catch the prey. And it succeeded. If I interfere in this, I am intruding in to the private world of nature. The spider will lose its lunch and might die because of it. Should I deny spider its food and help the butterfly? I was confused.

Maybe, the beauty of the butterfly did not allow me to witness this massacre. ("Now I feel that it's a fact of life. We won't allow anything that is beautiful to be destroyed"). I took my broom from the corner and slowing removed the cobweb. The butterfly was freed!! It flew out of the window.

Now, I had to deal with the spider alone. I didn't have the heart to kill it. So, I took it in my broom and rehabilitated to the backside of my cupboard. Having done some exercise and a good deed, I was feeling happy in mind. I sat again with my books with a clear mind.

Maybe after ten minutes, there came the butterfly through the window. I came above my chair and circled over me. And suddenly it dashed at me and rubbed itself on my cheek and flew out! When I touched my cheek, I found pollen from the flowers outside!!

It was the butterfly's way to thank me. I didn't know how to react and my eyes became moist. The small creature has the heart to come back and tell thanks which some great people are hesitant to do.'

This was the story that I wrote some years back. I have re-written it. I am sure this was not the way I had written then. I was an amateur writer at that time. (Now also I am an amateur but alteast I have more experiences). So, if someone remembers having read this story anywhere, please mail me or comment about it.

There is a story of a friendship that started with this story. I will write about it in my next post.

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