Category Archives: 10 things…

10 things I didn’t know till last week

Over the last few weeks, I have been taking an effort to learn about things I knew very little about, but have a lot of interest in.

This post is an effort to make a list of terms or ideas I learnt about, so anyone who reads it can pick it up in a few minutes, or I can look it up again to refresh my memory. I am not going to attempt to explain each in detail. I will leave that to your curiosity, these are just nudges. There are a lot of these terms, but wanted to stick to my 10 things format.

National Institute of Urban Affairs

The National Institute of Urban Affairs is an institute for research, capacity building and dissemination of knowledge for the urban sector in India. It conducts research on urbanization, urban policy and planning, municipal finance and governance, land economics, transit oriented development, urban livelihoods, environment & climate change and smart cities. It was established in 1976.

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation

BIMSTEC is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia. The BIMSTEC member states—Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan —are essentially the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal, hence the name. It was established in 1997, it is 2019 and an FTA is still under negotiation.

Mekong-Ganga Cooperation

MGC is an initiative by six countries – India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for cooperation in tourism, culture, education, as well as transport and communications. It was launched in 2000. Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilizational rivers, and the MGC initiative aims to facilitate closer contacts among the people inhabiting these two major river basins.

Generative Adversarial Network

GANs are a powerful class of neural networks that are used for unsupervised learning. It was developed and introduced by Ian J. Goodfellow in 2014. GANs are basically made up of a system of two competing neural network models which compete with each other and are able to analyze, capture and copy the variations within a dataset. A machine teaching a machine.

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Schemes

The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of MPLADS. Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency. The Ministry has issued the guidelines on MPLADS Scheme including implementation and monitoring of the scheme. Every voter should go their website and see what their MP is spending that money for.

Public Enterprises Selection Board

The PESB under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is a body to advise the government on management and top level appointments of central Public Sector Enterprises. Users can get information on vacancies, functions of the organization, guidelines, etc. A group of senior administrators recruit, select and recommend hires for senior positions in PSUs.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010

The FCRA is an act of the Parliament of India, by the 42nd Act of 2010. Its scope is to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution by certain individuals or associations or companies and to prohibit acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution for any activities detrimental to the national interest.

The Chicago Boys

The Chicago Boys were a group of Chilean economists prominent around the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of whom trained at the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger. Upon their return to Latin America they adopted positions in numerous South American governments including the military dictatorship of Chile (1973–1990). The Heritage Foundation credits them with transforming Chile into Latin America’s best performing economy and one of the world’s most business-friendly jurisdictions.

Rent Seeking Behaviour

When property rights are weakened and the ownership of someone’s wealth or goods is debatable, people can gain more by trying to appropriate that wealth than by producing wealth themselves. This behavior is called rent-seeking.

1000 Grains of Sand Approach

The “grains of sand” approach refers to the practice of accumulating information from various quarters till a clearer image appears. In addition to human intelligence (HUMINT), technology plays a significant role in China’s Thousand Grains of Sand strategy. The strategy also blurs the lines between military and non-military intelligence.


10 things I would tell my 20 to 29 year old self.

20: Don’t be afraid.

21: Don’t be afraid.

22: Don’t be afraid.

23: Don’t be afraid.

24: Don’t be an idiot.

25: Try harder.

26: Try harder.

27: Try harder.

28: Try harder.

29: Try harder.

10 Ridiculous things happening in India according to the Internet – April 2016

Everyone loves top 10 lists. Long before Buzzfeed and Scoopwhoop started with their ridiculous top 10 lists, I was one of those people who actually believed in the power of these lists. They are supposed to be awesome because they are brief, succinct, gratifying and super quick.

Here’s my shot at ’10 things’ after a long time. I’m not going to explain any of the points below. Just google. And ya, I don’t claim any of them to be true or factual, it’s off the internet for Bhagwan’s sake!

And in a tribute to Buzzfeed, YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE NUMBER 9!!!

  1. Modi government wants to precede every movie screened in theatres with short clips of their achievements. Dictator style.
  2. Smriti Irani wants IIT students to learn Sanskrit along with their regular classes for Quantum Mechanics and 10 Best Ways to cook Maggi. In 10 years Higgs Boson could be renamed to Higram Bosayanam.
  3. As per data released by the government this week, only 5.1 Crore Indians filed Income Tax returns in 2015-16. This is 4% of our population. Ridiculous even after considering retired people, children and housewives. You can read more here.
  4. The even more ridiculous fact is that out of the above 1.6 Crore people who filed returns, paid zero tax. Which is fine because not everyone earns a lot. The ridiculous part is that only 3.5 Crore people actually paid any tax. Basically businessmen, doctors, traders and a lot of such people earning in cash just don’t bother.
  5. The CJI (basically the woman/man who holds the HIGHEST judicial position in India), literally shed tears in front of PM Modi and quite a few other people at an event. He said we need more judges in an extremely overworked judiciary. Apparently our PM need to be told that, in public, with tears, by THE Supreme Court judge.
  6. Salman Khan is now the ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ for the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics 2016. That’s it, I have nothing more to say about this.
  7. The ethics committee of the Rajya Sabha, after “going through all the relevant documents” has expelled Vijay Mallya from the House. He is the 15th MP to be expelled; list includes Indira Gandhi and the great Subramanian Swamy. He was elected into RS (for the second time) with the backing of BJP in 2010.
  8. According to an Italian court, the Congress party and Sonia Gandhi allegedly took bribes to give an Italian aviation firm an Indian government contract. Surprise! I wonder why the ruling BJP government has never probed this.
  9. Nearly 1 lakh people are being affected by massive floods in Assam. 1 lakh! Right now. Literally. Let that sink in, pun absolutely unintended. Though only the internet seems to know this. So it might not be true.
  10. A massive fire burnt down the National Museum of Natural History in Delhi. It burnt down fossils, antique valuables and over 60,000(!) volumes of rare books and ‘last prints’. A sliver of the past, lost forever.

BONUS: You remember the pictures of topical sand sculptures every newspaper prints on the eve of any world event? Almost all of them are made by Padma Shri Sudarshan Pattnaik. He won a Gold Medal in the International Sand Art Championship in Russia. Smile for him.

Until next time.

Christmas wishlist 2011

I know I am late and there is no time to fulfill the below wishlist, but I have to live upto my long standing tradition spanning one year. So, here goes nothing.

  1. Ferrari 458 Italia (yes, it’s a repeat, but I never got it last year)
  2. Samsung Galaxy Nexus (What? It’s an upgrade!)
  3. Fiat 500 Abarth Edition
  4. Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle
  5. A house at Marine Drive
  6. A lap of the Top Gear test track
  7. Tickets to the UEFA Champions League finals in Berlin
  8. A trip to Leh
  9. A Kindle Touch 3G
  10. A much much better 2012

Merry Christmas!! 🙂

10 must-take classes from around the world

Stop making extensive itineraries for your next travel destination. has come up with a list of 10 inspiring classes around the world, and they HAVE to figure in your travel plan if you are going to these destinations. Or you can go to the destinations only for the classes 🙂

Go to the article to read in detail about these classes. I have listed them down in short.

  1. Manga drawing: Fukuoka, Japan. 2 weeks, USD 1,025
  2. Cheese making: Wisconsin, USA. 3 days, USD 279
  3. Flamenco: Seville, Spain. 7 days, USD 408
  4. Jungle Survival: Guyana. 2 weeks, USD 2,521
  5. Ceramics workshop: Plan du Four, France. 5 days, USD 639
  6. Photography: Kathmandu, Nepal. 12 nights, USD 4,114 (includes stay)
  7. Singing: Barbados. 7 days, USD 1,800 (includes stay)
  8. Meditation: Himachal Pradesh. 10 days, USD 130 (includes meals and stay)!!
  9. Kung Fu: Fujian, China. 4 weeks, USD 1,432
  10. Genghis Khan warrior traning (!!!!!): Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 9 days, USD 3,387 (includes stay, all meals, activities, guides and a tailor made Mongolian Robe!!!)
So, who is going to Mongolia with me? 😀

10 things I learnt in Sikkim

I went on a week long trip to Sikkim. It was undoubtedly the best trip I have taken till date. The place is quite literally out of this proverbial world. The things I am listing down are not things that Sikkim taught me, but things that 'came to me' in this trip.

  1. I nag. A lot. (You, yes you reading this right now, please don't give a 'finally!' smirk)
  2. I am bad at bargaining. (I always kinda knew this though, but well, and again, do not smirk!)
  3. Beauty is superficial. It should be. It can be.
  4. Beauty is …..
  5. English is an inadequate language. I wish there were words that could fill the above blank.
  6. Looking at something that is unarguably one of the best that Nature could dish out, gives a new meaning to the word 'awe'. (Damn you English! And I am talking of Mt. Kanchenjunga here by the way)
  7. Sports transcends, unites, exhilarates and is always loved.
  8. 'Sheela ki jawaani' is popular is quite the understatement.
  9. I am now unsure if I like the beaches or the mountains.
  10. I have been scarred for life. By Sikkim.

Dear Santa,

Guys love making lists. Especially lists which are similar to 10 things…


Considering it's Christmas Eve and with all the wish/gift lists going around, I though I would make one too. I will keep it short and simple for Mr. Claus.


Here goes nothing:


  1. Ferrari 458 Italia (Black/Red)
  2. Fiat 500 – Abarth Edition (Yes, I want both the cars)
  3. LG 55LD650 LCD TV
  4. Onkyo HT-S7200 Home Theatre System
  5.  Xbox 360 Slim – Kinect Bundle
  6.  Nikon D7000
  7.  Samsung Galaxy S 2
  8.  Be a Race Marshal at the Inaugural Indian GP on 28th October 2011
  9.  Tickets to El Clásico at the Santiago Bernabéu in April 2011
  10.  Tickets to the Belgian GP at Spa Francorchamps on 26th August 2011 

No, I don’t want some of them.


Yes, I want ALL of them.


No, they are not in any order.


Yes, only Mr. Claus can grant me these wishes; for now.

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

10 things about the Delhi Metro

If some of you do not know yet, I am in Noida right now for the foreseeable future. So, being here for a week now, I have been finally able to get an internet connection and I have been itching to blog!
Here are 10 things that I thought of about the Delhi Metro.
  1. It is awesome! It really feels great to be in it. It is quite an experience when you get into it for the first time.
  2. It is Air Conditioned! This definitely a boon anywhere in India. More so in Delhi! They have somehow managed to keep the inside of the trains at quite a cool temperature in spite of the 45 degrees outside!
  3. It is really affordable! It has to be. But for an air conditioned transport it is surprisingly so. The distance which will cost you Rs. 5 in the Mumbai local train costs just Rs. 10 here. No wonder no metro transport anywhere in the world has been profitable. Neither will this be, otherwise it wont be affordable.
  4. Fully loaded! With all the jazz of escelators and automatic ticket entry and announcements in the train regarding which side the station will come (this kinda gets irritating sometime). All of this is great though.
  5. It is an equalizer. Where else will a businessman and a normal worker get into the same train using the same facilities and sitting in air conditioned comfort? No matter who you are, no second class or first class here!
  6. It is awesomely maintained! Everything looks clean. Minimum littering. Constant cleaning. Helpful staff. Great!
  7. It has some weird stickers. I saw one which wanted to say that this seat is reserved for pregnant woman. So it has a 3 figures. One was the pregnant woman, second was a man giving the seat to the shown woman. The third was what bothered me a little. A small boy holding the woman's hand. Why show a boy? Why show a second kid? Errrr, family planning?
  8. The entire system looks great from the outside. I mean beautiful! The steel cars with lighted windows whizzing overhead every 5 minutes! Then going underground. Some places have two levels of stations underground! The huge stations above the roads. I like it!
  9. I have absolutely no idea how the people living in the national capital managed to commute in the city before 2002! Absolutely sad!
  10. I love it! Just like I was in love with The Linker, I am in love with the Metro as well. It represents the same things for me that The Linker does. I cannot wait for the Mumbai Metro to be up and running!


I have realised

  1. 90% of people don’t work unless told to
  2. People generally don’t care about anything but themselves
  3. Responsibilty is something that everyone is SCARED of
  4. People will never own up to their own mistakes
  5. There are two kinds of people – those who will be more careful about their own stuff than the stuff they borrow and those who take more care of borrowed stuff than their own stuff
  6. People generally have a bad attitude
  7. Everyone who thinks they are better than others are generally not
  8. Everyone who thinks everyone else is better than them is also generally wrong
  9. Not everyone wants to chart a path for others to follow (Why would anyone not want to do this?)
  10. I think too much about all this

I want to….

  1. I want to read a library
  2. I want to backpack across India
  3. I want to drive a Formula 1 car
  4. I want to take a lap of the Top Gear track
  5. I want to run the half-marathon at the Mumbai Marathon 2010
  6. I want to place 300 students this year
  7. I want to visit Italy
  8. I want to listen to music in the rain
  9. I want to watch Real Madrid play
  10. I want to run the Marathon