A suggestion for the Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

•January 28, 2010 • 3 Comments

Yesterday I ran out of cooking gas and in spite of having the gas registration or whatever it’s called, I had to run around like mad to get new refilled cylinder. BTW, I have still not got one because my address needs to be updated on the registration card. Anyways, that’s not important.

I can’t really wait for another 4-5 days, which the due process requires. So, I decide to buy gas in black; we used to do that when I was studying in Delhi University because none of us had the gas registration. Buying LPG in black is always more expensive by 50%-60%. Most of the students who live away from homes buy gas in black market and so do the poor people, who can’t afford to get the gas registration done. Buying LPG in the black market also comes with another risk i.e. the risk of being cheated. Often you are cheated by the black marketers as they would never give you right quantity that a full LPG cylinder has, which increases the cost by additional 20%-30%. In most cases one pays 70% to 90% extra while buying gas from the black market. LPG cylinder in black market can cost you a bomb around the festival season when the LPG supply is limited and demand shoots through the sky.

We might think that consumption of LPG through black market is very less but that’s not true. It’s a huge market network. I have only been talking about the metro cities here; the LPG shortage problem is much severe in small towns and villages.

The Government of India has made it compulsory for the consumers to buy LPG through registered process only, which is a very wise step to curb the dishonest consumption of subsidized LPG. The LPG for domestic use is made available at a subsidized price. I am not sure about the exact amount of subsidy per LPG cylinder (my Google research suggests Rs 22.80 per LPG cylinder) is provided by the Government of India (from the tax payers money); according to a news report the Government is providing about Rs 2680 crore a year from the budget to subsidise mass-cooking fuels.

The innocent consumer is ready to pay more for better service and speedy availability of LPG (along with so many other things in life). That’s why they pay more to these black-marketing people but bear all kinds of risks of being cheated.

My Suggestion: The black-marketers buy the same LPG cylinder at a subsidized price from the government operated franchises (of Bharat Gas, HP etc.). They sell the same LPG cylinder to the end consumer for increased price making a hefty profit. The government should make the LPG cylinders available without subsidy as well. The deal is that the LPG cylinders should be made available at a higher price (without subsidy) to the people who haven’t gotten the LPG registration done yet, and to the people like me who need it just anytime. So, the availability of LPG at an increased price and with better service (say 16 hours a day) would be quite profitable for the government. It cuts off the black marketers and reduces the subsidy burden of the government, and not to say, the relief for common man from all the hassles.

I am sure some part (maybe a bigger chunk) of Rs 2680 crore a year can be easily covered with this scheme.

IPL Controversy, desperate Pakistan, and opportunistic SRK

•January 26, 2010 • 1 Comment

I don’t know what the reason was behind IPL snub of Pakistani players. I can totally understand the claims of IPL franchises that it was a business decision. No Pakistani player showed up for the season 2 of IPL due to their frivolous reasons and so called “busy schedule”. Bull Shit! Any businessman is least interested in trying to please any country or at least not Pakistan, against his business interests. PCB and the people of Pakistan need to understand that IPL is a private business venture that has all the right to decide its players. It’s an Indian venture and as a sovereign we have all the right not to select any international player even though it’s based on our whims and fancies.

Why the hell Pakistani people, PCB and their former players are talking about the selection process not being based on merits? It’s not. It’s about business, money and gut feelings. You have no right to force your undisciplined, unthankful and obnoxious players on us. We are not obliged to do that.

Enough has been said and written about this controversy. It’s just funny to see Pakistanis showing their desperation to play in IPL and make moola, and Pakistani people and PCB desperate for participation in an Indian event.

Even if the Government of India influenced the decision of IPL franchises, I don’t see anything wrong in that, especially after considering our relations with our beloved neighbor who is looking for a chance to disturb peace in our country.

IPL controversy is likely to affect everyone except Pakistani government and SRK; in fact both of them are gaining something out of it. Pakistani government couldn’t digest the peace process that India has initiated to build harmonious relationship between the people of both the countries. Pakistan was looking for a chance to divert the world attention from the Indian initiative. What could have been a better chance than the IPL controversy to kill the peace process and divert the world attention from Indian peace initiative to IPL snub of Pak players? This should keep the Indian government busy for some time till Pak comes up with something worse, say a terror attack (after all that’s what they are known for, internationally). Pakistan will always do what they consider (though not actually) to be in their political interest. That’s how desperate and failed nations behave and Pakistan is no exception.

I have never been an SRK fan, in terms of superstar’s acting skills, but I’ve always admired the man as an achiever and for his passion to succeed in life. His views on IPL controversy came uninvited. His own team doesn’t pick up any Paki player but he doesn’t hesitate in blaming other franchises and the Indian government for it. Even if he thinks that there was Indian Government intervention in it, he should keep his trap shut for the sake of his country’s pride and respect. The Swadesh actor has proved that his Pardes was a bigger commercial success. He looks beyond Country, Patriotism, and Cricket, in fact he decides to ignore these things very conveniently for the promotion of his upcoming movie. He’s after all an actor first and his prime focus is the COMMERCIAL success of his upcoming movie with KJO. Remember, Pakistan has just opened itself to the Hindi releases and what could be the better opportunity to please his Pakistani fans and make some extra bucks. Some people don’t really mind licking the balls, even if those balls are of enemy, for few extra bucks. It’s all about money for the superstar, PCB and Pakistani players. That’s what the entire controversy is about. The self-proclaimed Badshah of Bollywood is sure to make money in India. After all, Indian fans are used to forgive traitors and forget about such heinous acts against the pride and honor of our Country.

The controversy just proved that Bollywood and only Bollywood knows how to make the most of a controversy; rest of us are just patriotic fools.

Well, this time I am determined not to donate any money to any movie maker who decides to work with the Indian Traitor. I hope some more people can follow my example and prove to the traitors that Indian people are not ready to take more shit from fake swadeshis.

Why life sucks here…

•November 12, 2009 • 6 Comments

It’s funny that only a few days after I wrote my post ‘Indian Economy and The Enemy Within’, where I had mentioned that in certain parts of India one could get beaten up for speaking Hindi, Abu Azmi, a senior SP leader, is slapped and manhandled by MNS MLAs for speaking Hindi. But here MNS dared to cross limits of my imagination by miles; they dared to slap Azmi in Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha in front of TV cameras, that too when he was taking his oath.

People, here in Mumbai, snub it as a political stunt. Was it really a political stunt? I don’t think so. Even if it was, are we really going to ignore it by branding it as a mere political stunt? It might be a political stunt for us, but do we ever try to understand the implications of such acts? How can we laugh at it? The answer comes, “because it’s funny”. It’s not funny. It’s not funny anymore. If you think a slap on your Nationality and National values and your constitution is funny, then you just give me a reason to doubt your integrity. This was seen by the world and they laughed at our fates. I couldn’t be more ashamed in my life. The reaction of our impotent people really made me feel ashamed to be part of such a culture, to be part of a society where personal gains are supreme, to be part of a system where one could get away by embarrassing the whole country, to be part of such a country that is full of people who don’t have any vision for this great nation.

They say the only thing that is worse than not having eyes is to have eyes that don’t have any vision. There couldn’t be anything more degrading for a nation than having citizens who refuse to speak it’s National language, who refuse to sing the National song, who put their personal interests in front of the National interests, who fail to recognize the implications of such acts of disgust, who fail to react to a slap to the nation, who fail to be rational, and who fail to respect humanity.

Excuse me Sir/Madam! I need to run….

•November 5, 2009 • 5 Comments

I have always observed one thing that’s very peculiar to most Indians i.e. we are always in some sort of hurry. People are always in a hurry to board the train even if the train has a 30 minutes stop at some place.  Whenever I take a train from New Delhi to my town, I see people trying to board the train without even waiting for the train to stop or others to get off the train. The train has a 30 minutes stop, long enough for a thousand odd people to board the train very peacefully. I can still understand the people trying to rush who are boarding a general compartment because they have to grab the seats, but what the hell is wrong with the people boarding the reserved chair car compartments? Are you under the impression that if you board the train first you’ll reach early? The same thing happens with flights. You have your seat number, there are only limited number of people who’ll be flying, and the flight will take off on time (or late usually). People are in a hurry to board the airport shuttle and are even more desperate to get out of them and board the flight. The desperation becomes intolerable when the flight reaches its destination. People would hardly let the aircraft to stop completely; they just want to stand with their luggage in their hands waiting for the door to open. Why can’t you fuc*ing sit in your seats and wait for the gate to open? What fun do you get by stressing your body uselessly? What will you gain by troubling others while you rush for no reason and for no gain? Why can’t we just relax and get life?

If we are always in a hurry and are always running then we should be producing the most number of athletes in the world. Indians should be claiming all the medals in the Olympics. No we don’t because we never run for the right reasons.

I never see people rushing for the good reason. No government employee (most of them at least) is in a hurry to reach his office; no one is in a hurry to help the people in need,  the politicians are not in any hurry to do anything for the people and the country, no one’s in any hurry for right reasons. That’s precisely why we are still a developing country, still part of the third world, still not a significantly developed market even after being the second biggest population in the world.  

We need to stop running for the wrong reasons and probably start running for the right ones and in the right direction. Maybe we’ll achieve something by doing that or maybe not, but we’ll be running in the right direction at least.

Indian Economy and The Enemy Within

•November 5, 2009 • 6 Comments

As Indian market is opening up and purchasing power of the average Indian consumer is increasing, the economy is bound to grow. The growth of the potentially second biggest market in the world means a lot to the international community. The growth of Indian economy means the growth of world economy. India is already the fourth biggest economy in the world in terms of PPP (purchasing power parity) index. It is predicted to be the second biggest economy in the world in the coming few years. What does it mean to India or to a common Indian man? It means better purchasing power, better standards of living, better food, better infrastructure (although I doubt that), and better society (again disputable).

Well, I am not really interested in the numbers and qualitative measures of the Indian economy. Let me come to the point. As the economy of any nation grows especially when you are poised to become one of the biggest economies in the world, there are certain heightened expectations from that nation. The nation is expected to be a key player in the international decision makings, resolving international conflicts, bringing peace to the international society (although the present dominating economies have already set the bad examples for the future).

The question I am trying to find the answer for is, “Can India do it?” Are we sure that India can be a key player in bringing peace to the world when the nation itself is suffering from chronic internal conflicts?

One of the biggest problems for India is the unrest caused by the Nexalites. This problem is somewhat similar, if not completely, to the one witnessed by West Germany after its partition. Germany definitely had a tough time dealing with it but they did manage to get rid of it. German policy makers (not the government) were smart enough to understand the real reasons of the conflict and determined enough to find the solution. It might not sound very pleasant, but I seriously doubt the intelligence, determination, and integrity of the Indian government and the policy makers; although I do wish that they prove my doubts to be baseless and untrue.

There is another big problem that Indian government doesn’t recognize: some of Indian states dreaming of independence from India or autonomy to the least.

I wouldn’t go into the reasons behind Why these states want independence from India, but it does mean that we have some serious issues with the loyalty of our people towards our own country.

There is another problem that all of us, at least the people who live in metropolitan cities, witness everyday but no one really cares about it: Language related bias.

The great nation of India can boast of being a nation of multiple languages. There are N number of languages and dialects that are being spoken in this country. Some people in our country are so obsessed with their native language that they refuse to speak the national language even if they can perfectly speak, read and write it. The bias or rather hatred against the Hindi speakers is so intense that one could get thrashed up or even killed for merely speaking Hindi in certain parts of our country. And we expect that our fellow Indians can die for our country. Are you kidding me? A nation can never progress if its people can’t learn to appreciate its diversity.

Well, this is definitely not the end of internal conflicts that India has been witnessing and might continue to witness in the future.

The internal conflicts of our country have been hampering our growth and making it difficult for our nation to promise a better life for its own citizens. All these factors really make me doubt how successful will India be in realizing its dream of being on the center stage of world politics to solve the bigger international problems. The unfriendly neighbors only add to the problems that India is facing in realizing this dream.

Expect the unexpected

•October 6, 2009 • 4 Comments

Well, I am back in Mumbai after spending two months in San Francisco. You don’t go ‘WOW’ and all crazy the moment you land in San Francisco; it’s not a city that’ll make you fall in love in the first moment. You start liking San Francisco as you spend more time there. I have some really good memories of that city. Well, I plan to write (and hopefully I do) more about San Francisco in the coming few days.

As I was getting ready to get back to India, I was damn excited about meeting my friends; I surely missed all of them. I was kind of living in the world of fantasies where I would see myself hanging out with my friends and having loads of fun. But somewhere deep in my heart I doubted this would happen. I have no clue as to why I thought so. Maybe it was just the fear of not getting what I wanted, that often comes true.

Well, it did come true this time again. It was the time when I realized that my friends had gotten used to my absence. This was one of the times when you get a chance to know who your real friends are and who just pretend to be or who you thought to be real but were never. Anyways, what I learnt the best in San Francisco will help remain positive. I learnt to live alone, to have fun alone, to enjoy some of the best moments of life alone, and not to feel alone amongst strangers. A lot of Western people live this life constantly and living that life in the Western world is way easier than it is in India. But when you have learnt to enjoy your life alone and still have a few really good friends, I think it makes your life a really pleasurable journey.

Guess who’s back???

•August 25, 2009 • 2 Comments

Yes, my handful of readers, I am back. Last one month was a wild roller coaster ride for me. A lot have been happening, so didn’t get the time to write anything. I was busy with my Visa stuff towards the end of July and then my packing. I reached San Francisco on 3rd August 2009. A lot has happened in between, I will try to find time and patience (most important) to write about those things.

Well, it’s been three weeks in SF now. I am settling well here. I’ve gotten used to the weather by now. San Francisco has the most pleasant weather that one would ever imagine. Imagine a city with a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius and maximum 22 degrees, and I am talking about the yearly low and highs. Well, it’s surprising for any North Indian at least since we are used to 50 degree annual swings.

All this time, I’ve been meeting new people, trying out new foods, checking out the clubs, roaming around and remembering the streets and routes. One suggestion from my three weeks of experience: if you ever get to eat authentic Mexican food, don’t ever dare miss that chance. I would strongly recommend Burritos and Quesadillas. The best evening snack you can ever have. You just need to know where to find the authentic Mexican Burritos.

I’ll talk more about SF, food, people, my trip, my stay, anything and everything soon.

Mr. Lonely

•July 18, 2009 • 2 Comments

This Saturday doesn’t seem to be ending. Not that I want this weekend to get over, but I am getting bored today. I think I have gotten used to too much fun. Sudarshan was right when he said, “we shouldn’t get used to each other so much.” I guess I am missing all my friends today. Our sweet lil Aunty has gone to a beautiful lake city with the family. Arjun Thapa (Nepali name of KDI) is in Laddakh and Suds is busy as usual. Ananya is busy shopping and so is Jaspreet. Even Abdul has gonne to Kolkatta. Kulajit keeps sleeping all the day. What do I do? SOS………

I am missing all my friends today:(

I’ve become very paranoid about being alone. I need to be with friends all the time. Probably I should get used to stay alone to a certain extent. Not because my friends would care less about me in the future, but just to avoid Today kind of situations.

Have I grown old?

•July 14, 2009 • 2 Comments

It was not one of the best days at office today. Nothing happened as such, but it was one of those days when you just don’t enjoy doing anything; I couldn’t enjoy working today. Nothing pleased me at all. I came home early because I was not able to concentrate on my work. Was I upset about anything? I don’t know; I couldn’t figure out the reason. I opened my laptop and suddenly felt like looking at my baby Cherry’s pictures. Cherry’s my niece. I felt so relaxed after looking at her pictures; It’s making me wonder if I am growing old.

Even the Beautiful rains can’t invoke the creative side of me

•July 4, 2009 • 7 Comments

It’s raining so heavily today. Do I hate heavy rains? The answer is both Yes and No. I love rains till the time I don’t get stuck in the middle of the drain water or some car splashes the dirty water right on my face. It’s Saturday so I can afford to sit in my balcony and enjoy the lovely rain. There are very few things in life that are better than watching the rain drops falling on the palm trees. It’s just great to sip Assam team admiring the beautiful rains.

The rain did irritate me a bit today. I couldn’t go to watch Ice Age III because the roads were flooded with water. Another problem is that it becomes virtually impossible to get auto rickshaw or cab during monsoons in Mumbai. But the beauty of the monsoon rains is worth suffering this much trouble.

BTW I made another mistake of watching Kambakht Ishq today; like New York wasn’t enough. I had stopped watching Hindi movies, but some good movies like DevD and Gulaal made me rethink about my decision. I had started feeling really good about Bollywood. But, alas, the feeling couldn’t last any longer.  How can you not stop watching Hindi movies after watching movies like Kambakht Ishq and New York? Both are full of icy dialogues. I felt embarrassed watching these movies.

If there is anything that Bollywood could teach you is to keep patience