Category Archives: India

Future News: RBI eases withdrawal norms

MUMBAI: On Monday a senior RBI official announced new measures which he said he hopes would potentially and probably ease the suffering suffered by the suffering common sufferer. The new measures came as a huge relief for 7 Indian citizens. This journalist was able to speak with over 50% of these benefited citizens and all of them praised the foresight and compassion shown by the bank and the government, both of whom ironically are called central. 

Among others, some of the measures announced were:

  1. All citizens who don’t have bank accounts will be allowed to open new bank accounts in 3 minutes under the ‘Please bank on us’ scheme and will be immediately allowed to withdraw unlimited amounts of money from any ATM in the country. There will however be a limit on their deposits which is set at ₹100 every 17 seconds. 
  2. All unmarried people who have kids are allowed to withdraw ₹2 lakhs per kid per day provided they can furnish DNA evidence proving they are the parents of the said kid. This resulted in a lot quick Facebook ‘Relationship Status’ updates, however their children have been depressed ever since they were made aware that they will never be allowed to get a passport or any other government identification which requires both Father’s and Mother’s name, until the time the parents marry each other. 
  3. All petrol pumps selling air turbine fuel will accept old and fake notes till 31st March 2019. This is said to be a major relief for all the common men who own cars which work on jet fuel. 
  4. All those holding a salary account with any bank and earning a net income of less than ₹10,000 will be outside all withdrawals limit set till date, provided they have a minimum account balance of ₹2 lakhs and own at least 2 credit cards. This is seen as a direct reward for all in the lower and middle income group who have wholeheartedly embraced digital and electronic banking. 
  5. Anyone living more than 15 kilometers away from the nearest bank branch are allowed to withdraw any amount they desire if their journey to the bank branch was on foot and they can tender such proof.
  6. All previous announcements made by RBI during ‘Rahu Kaalam’ have been revoked. All citizens benefited by these announcements will be investigated on once the auspicious time for all such investigations are announced by the relevant experts.
  7. All citizens who are suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms post the exit of Arnab Goswami from Times Now are allowed withdraw any amount of cash required to cope with their depression. A qualified dentist’s certificate would be necessary. 
  8. All those who take an oath to stop honking while driving are allowed to withdraw ₹25,000 a day and they will be gifted this amount if they uninstall horns from all their vehicles. Bank managers will check the vehicles personally in these cases.

All through Monday there were violent protests by all rich tax payers as they see this as an invasive attack on their evasive practices.

It seemed like stress had taken a toll on Mr. Das as his usually impeccable spectacles looked heavily smudged and his tea-stained tie looked befittingly unfitting. When questioned on the absence of his boss at all public announcements, he said Mr. Patel has been busy signing all the new notes by hand to curb out counterfeiting and honour our soldiers. He then spontaneously started singing the national anthem, visibly moved by the patriotism displayed and sacrifice made by the Governor. Two journalists at the press conference suffered minor injuries. They later disclosed that they were surprised by hearing the national anthem and fearing public displeasure stood up too fast, the movement causing whiplash in their neck and back. They’ve been prescribed painkillers and balm but they said they don’t have cash to pay for the medicine.

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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.

And still we vote…

image

I don’t mean we shouldn’t be voting.

We must.

But, is that enough?

An open letter to Sachin Tendulkar

Dear Sachin,

I am not sure how many such letters you would have received over your lifetime, but if I had to guess, I would say too many. And if I had to guess how many of them have been read by you, I would say none. However, I cannot let that discourage me. I believe my cause (let's face it, if there was no cause, there would be no letter), selfish though it may sound at the outset, has the potential to change the way the people of our country live.

I am not writing to tell you anything about your retirement or about how you should play more or play longer. I am not writing to ask you what is your next milestone. I am not writing to even mention cricket. Except that one mention here. You are the greatest sportsperson that our country has ever produced. I am not referring to talent, or your achievements. You are the greatest ever, only because no other sportsperson has managed to be an ambassador for India as you have. You are feared, respected, loved, adored, cheered and booed all at the same time, with the same intensity anywhere on this planet. The fact that the entire planet has Indians in all parts might have something to do with it should be ignored. The sport and your fellow citizens have given you a lot. We have made you what you are. Now that you are contemplating the removal of that irritating abdomen guard (I understand) for good, I believe it is the perfect time for me to make a plea.

The joy that we have got from looking at you doing what anyone does best is unparalleled. We Indians have now got used to watching the best in the world showcase their talent in our land. It is a habit that is extremely difficult to get out of. But you are aging, beautifully, but aging nevertheless. Given the fact that you owe a lot to us, it is now your turn to pay back. We don't want any part of your hard earned, and deservedly so, income. Over the years, you have made a lot of friends across the world. Each one of them achievers in their own right. Some of them the best in their business. These men/women respect you as much as you respect them. Coming straight to the point, I request you to convince them to showcase their talent in India.

Imagine Roger Federed vs Rafael Nadal in Chennai. Imagine Kobe Bryant dunking in Bangalore. Imagine Cristiano Ronaldo vs Messi in Mumbai. Imagine Formula 1 cars screaming across a track in Delhi. Ok, you don't need to imagine that. Money makes money they say. But I don't know how much money can be made out of this. I am sure lots. I can help you find out if you ask me to. And I can find others who will too. None of them would do it just for the money. They all have enough of it.  What we need more than money, is give these champions a reason. And I am not talking about them dribbling balls or dunking them for 20 minutes. I am talking about them showing us how competitive they are. I am talking about them having at least a few full blown matches. I know it is not impossible for you. And your sponsors.

I know none of them will ever ply their trade in India. They shouldn't. We can't manage that. But recent events have shown that if these professionals land, we will keep the stands full. I don't know of any other Indian who can do this. And very soon, you will have the time to do this as well. I request you. I plead you, to please give this a serious thought. For us. For India.

Thank you.

With highest regards,

Aditya Kandala
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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!
 

Dead end for the first ever Indian dream

I love cars! I love them beyond everything. It does not really matter whether they are Ferraris or Mahindras. I just love the idea of a car. It is so much more than a ton of steel, plastic and glass over 4 wheels! It is just a romantic experience for a car lover to own any car.

Indians got the first taste of this experience in a big way in 1983 when the Maruti-800 was launched.

Maruti_20090420

Picture Outlookindia

The one pictured above was the first model of the legendary car. It was small, good looking, utilitarian and did the job. Most of the other cars were the bulky Ambassadors by Hindustan Motors. The 800 was the perfect Indian car. 

Then came the upgrade in design. 

Maruti-800

My family had this one. The thing about 800s is, that it was the most common first car. It was the cheapest, most practical, most economical to run and not really ugly; basically a proper value for money buy. Which is the most important quality that any Indian looks for, in anything, in everything. 

Then came another major upgrade in design for this workhorse.

Maruti_800

Picture via Indiacar

This was to keep up with all the major launches from the likes of Hyundai and Tata. 

Somewhere around this time Maruti also launched the Alto. This was basically to hedge against the people who were growing out of their first cars (which more often than not were 800s) and moving on to other manufacturers.

Maruti-suzuki-alto-1

Picture Rushlane

This was not only more contemporary in terms of design, it was also more powerful, better equipped and a little more car for the little more money you paid. Once this was launched, rumour mills started working that this was the replacement to the over worked 800.

The 800 was never just a car, except maybe now. It was a dream. It was an aspiration for the Indian middle class. Let us not getting into an economics lesson and analyse why it did well for so long, others will do that. This car is a part of our culture and history now as Suzuki plans to phase it out in India. One of the major reason for doing this of course is that the dream of the Indian has evolved now. 

At the same time it is also time for those who could not even dream of an 800 to start dreaming. 

2182989910_c83b50ecc8

Picture SpeakIndia

But this is not the space to talk about it. Today I reserve a permanent parking space for the first Indian dream. 

I love this car! The original design the most. It was epic!

Has India got THIS talent?

This video is here ONLY for its brilliant execution! Awesome! 😛

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India launches nuclear submarine

Launching its first nuclear-powered submarine, India became the 6th country in the world to do so. Named Arihant, the 6,000 tonne submarine was launched by Dr. Manmohan Singh. It was entirely built in India with Russian assistance.

Dr. Singh said this is not mean to be any indication of aggression on any country. However, the sea is becoming an integral part of India's strategy. India till now had only capabilities to launch missiles from land or air; this will change once the INS Arihant becomes fully operational in about two years time.

China has recently expanded its position in the sea by helping the Sri Lankan government fight the LTTE. In return, they have got a strategic location in the island country, which is bound to play an important role in the Indian Ocean. This new Indian foray will not only add a new aspect to Indian defence, but also act as a warning to the increasing Chinese naval presence.

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The Linker – Just a bridge?

It is absolutely poetic. An example of beauty. A symbol of progress. A massive achievement of engineering. A tribute to Indians.
 
Yes. I am still talking about The Linker aka Bandra Worli Sea Link. Didnt matter that it took me twenty five minutes to get on it. What mattered was that I got off it in the shortest fifteen minutes of my life.
 
For those fifteen minutes I felt I was not in the real world. There was something about this monstrosity that enchanted me and I couldnt take my eyes off her. The glistening black road helped by the light drizzle was a perfect contrast to the cables illuminated by brilliant white lights. It transcended me into the surreal.
 
It was anticipation that took me till I reached the portion enforced by the giant cables; and when I did reach them I could not stop looking up. The cables looked like they were suspended in mid air with the support of the bridge and not the other way round. I now can totally understand everyone who took a U turn to go back on it just to have another look.
 
It was midnight and this was already a local attraction. Dont know what tourists will do. This is much more than a bridge linking two destinations to reduce traffic. This is a symbol. A symbol that will mean so many different things to so many different people. To me, it reinforces what Dr. Manmohan Singh said (he was quoting Victor Hugo) before presenting the 1991 budget, “No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come”. Yes, I am in love with that idea.
 
That is what this bridge means to me.

Unfurl it!

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I am currently working at Patni Computer Systems Ltd as part of my Summer Project for my MBA course. One of the things that Patni is known for, apart from being one of the leading global providers of Information Technology services and business solutions (this from their website :P), is the awesome transportation service they provide their employees with. The transportation consists of a fleet of buses on contract which follow particular routes every single day. And when I say fleet of buses, I mean a fleet which can rival that of a small city’s (say my home city Thane) Municipal Transport (TMT) service! OK I might be exaggerating a little bit, OK quite a bit, but you get the drift.

Once the day is over, it is fun to see two dozen buses, in the white and brown livery, leave all at the same and make their way out of SEEPZ one after another. I know what you are thinking, I was just ranting about their huge fleet of buses and now I am talking about only two dozen buses! Actually, they have close to 30 buses at their office in SEEPZ and similarly they have offices in two other locations in the city. So that works out to quite a lot of buses traversing quite a lot of routes.

The route I take from SEEPZ comes to Thane via Powai. This route passes through the flyover which goes right over the Larsen & Toubro (L&T) campus. I like this flyover a lot just for the way it has been made in between some of the buildings in the L&T campus. At this point, to my left comes the glass covered building of L&T Infotech; and finally I come to the core point I want to make.

Atop this building, every single day, in the evening twilight, I see two men getting down a hoisted Indian Flag, the Tricolor, the Orange-White-Green, fluttering in the wind! And it is one of the most awesome sights I witness. And before I know, a smile comes to my face. I wish more companies would hoist a flag. It is not just about having the Flag atop your building, it is about the emotion behind it. It is about telling everyone, that we are an Indian company and we are proud of it. If it were upto me, I would not only put up the flag and tell the guards to hoist it and get it down every day (which L&T does), I would give this PRIVILEGE to a different person every day. Imagine the precedent one would be setting by doing this. I understand that things like you having the building for yourself and other such issues come up, but they are too trivial.

Taking this a little broader, I don’t think there are enough Flags around anyways. Flags to us have become a symbol of the Independence and the Republic days only. I have bought myself a small cloth Indian Flag that I am really proud of. I know there are many issues attached to this, the fact that by law, you cannot hoist a Flag unless you have permission. But I remember a few years back when someone was arrested for hoisting the Flag at his residence and he defended himself and won at the Supreme Court! There some absolutely valid reasons for this law, but there has to be some leeway given in this regard.

For now however, I guess atleast the corporates should Unfurl it!

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