Pricing of public services

The cost of 1 water tanker is more than the monthly water bill that we pay.

The cost of purchasing the invertor/UPS/generator is more than 2 year of electricity bill. Add to it the running cost and the diesel fumes etc. State electricity board electricity is not only cheaper but much more convenient.

The cost of public transport (bus, local trains, metro) is substantially less than auto, taxi or even self-driven vehicles.  Railway Trains are cheaper than bus, flight or cars. LPG is cleaner, greener and more convenient that its alternatives chopping trees for firewood or burning the smoky kerosene stove.

As an educated, smart and savvy statesman interested in public welfare what would you do? Well it’s no brainer that you would invest in the cheaper & more convenient for the mass public. After-all power-plants are not only cheaper but also greener (per unit electricity produced) than a private generator. Public transport can go a long way in reducing congestion, pollution and making urban life more affordable etc. etc.

But you cannot! Why because Indians are like crabs in the basket. They are Ok with not being able to escape poverty, but they will surely drag down anybody else who wishes to.

We want electricity to be provided free of cost, water is already provided free of cost, bus fares have increased by 5-10% over the last decade (while diesel and salaries have increased 5 folds), railway prices have remained untouched since the Independence of this country (well at least for the last decade).

Public enterprise is no different than a business the profit it generates paves way for further investment and expansion of service. In absence of appropriate pricing the services are either shut-down or will suffer with years of neglect & underinvestment. (Some subsidized services like healthcare, police generate profit through the economic development and social impact).

You don’t expect your grocery store to stock your kitchen and feed you for free. The rent you pay motivates the builders and landlords to develop new & modern real-estate. Similarly the price you are willing to pay for public utilities funds for better services. If we are willing to pay for it then we might as well move to forest. (Water in the streams is free, firewood/energy is free, nobody will tax you for walking)

In the 80s, my father used to joke that although the entire west have a Communist-phobia USA, UK & Western Europe is more communist than the so called communist countries. (With reference to unemployment benefits, pension policy, disability and maternity support) Today in Shanghai I am getting some top notch capitalistic advice. What’s more the gentleman even said that India’s communistic & populist policies will undo whatever economic development it has. Isn’t the world is so different from what it appears to be.

 

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Bastards rule the world

Adversity has a huge role to play in shaping the person. Most people bow down and back off when faced with adversity, but some of those who don’t accept the marginal existence rise to the top. History is filled with examples of illegitimate, outcastes & disowned children rising up as powerful tycoons, rulers and generals. Few of the names are:
1. Mahabharat: Karan was a bastard, Krishna was not raised by his parents, Dhritrastra & Pandu did not have even an ounce of the royal blood, Pandu was impotent yet he had 5 sons.
2. Ramayana: Sita was found abandoned in the fields, Ram was not supposed to be the legitimate ruler.
3. Ashoka was neither the eldest, nor was he born to the queen.
4. Aurangzeb was the 6th child of his father and had to resort to Fratricide to consolidate power (he arrested his father and hence did not have to indulge in Patricide)
5. Rome was founded by 2 abandoned orphans (sulking on the wolves milk)
6. Alexander was born out of wedlock and had to resort to Patricide the moment the crown prince was born (he was the head of the royal bodyguards and the king dies under his guard paving way for his rise to the throne)
7. Nobody knows who Jesus Christ’s father was
8. Hitler stepfather Johann Georg Hiedler was recognized as the birth-father only 20 years after his death (and 30 years after the death of Hitler’s mother)
The list goes on: Confucius (ca. 551–479 BCE), St. Vladimir the Great, Grand Prince of Kiev (980–1015), William the Conqueror (1028–87), King Joao I of Portugal (1358–1433), Leone Battista Alberti (1404–72), Antoine, bastard of Burgundy (1421–1504), Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536), Ferdinand Columbus (1488–1539), Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603), Jean le Rond d’Alembert (1717–83), Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), James Smithson (1764 – 1829), Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824 – 95) etc.

Some say that one needs ruthlessness to succeed and bastards are born with it. However many of them were kind and gentle. What they had was an obsession, the passion to succeed against all odds. The world was not handed to them on a silver platter, but that never scared them. The out of the box thinking and challenging the status quo. While the common man lives to collect his inheritance, these guys go out of the way to create theirs.

 

China: bike grip

Driving a bike in winter is always an issue
1. clumsy gloves: the thick gloves often slip and makes it difficult to maintain the grip on the handle.
2. Fat fingers: the insulation pads often make it difficult to operate buttons
3. chill & wind shear makes the ride uncomfortable. Whats worse is that with the hands pointed in front, the wind leaks from the cuffs and freezes the whole arms.
Chinese innovation to keep hands warm and yet not have fat fingers warm grips to ensure fingers are warm in snow[/caption]

However Chinese solved this problem in a simple, yet innovative way. These inexpensive grips ensures that the hands stay warm, yet agile even in the thickest of the snow.

old cartoons songs


Tap tap topi topi… Alice in wonderland theme song


duck tales hindi theme song


Talespin.. hindi song

Old Indian Children song

I thought of posting the youtube links of the songs that i used to love growing up

ek chidya, anek chidiya (1974)

Jungle book (chaddi pahan ke phool kila hai

Chun chun karte aayi chidiya:

cute girl singing “Nani tere morni ko mor le gaye”

Dadi amma dadi amma man jao (2 young boys pacifying their grand mother)

ladki ke kathi par ghoda… 3 young children enjoying & singing

Stupidity

Guest post by bijal shah
The utter stupidity of building a 27 floor residence worth US$ 2 billion and mostly have servants living in it;
The cunning of buying stakes at almost every big media company in the country so as to control it;
The facade of involving Sachin Tendulkar for the promotion of their laughable social outreach programs;
The ridiculousness of buying children Aston Martins to be driven only on jam packed Mumbai roads at 100kmph, while killing some people;
The arrogance of bullying people into submission while signing one dodgy business deal after the other, where society & environment don’t matter;
The outrageousness of a Z level security cover with CRPF commandos, not to forget the insecurity and guilt involved with it;
But guess what, NDTV says he is one among the “Greatest Global Living Indians”. Every other boy on the street of Mumbai wants to be a “Mukesh Ambani” one day.

A lot seems wrong with society and its power structures today…

Gay: Its a crime to love in India

This remark was made by a nature & history enthusiastic Thai friend who was disappointed by waves of Indian tourists who treat his country as caligula’s orgy.

“A Thai kid is always told what to do and what not to do. As a result the second they are away from the strict parental supervision, they go on a rampage. Adult Indian are no different. You Indians live a shackled live trying to conform to others expectation. You would marry strangers because your parents want it so, give up art, music & hobbies because your teacher demanded so, buy fancy houses that you cannot afford because your friend did so. When do you get time to live a moment for yourself? Slogging in the office and binge drinking is only because you actively hunt for distractions and forget what mess you have created for yourselves. When you are on the verge of a breakdown, you would catch a solo flight to Thailand and straight away head for a strip club. Why? Because here, nobody is watching.”

Read this account of Indian travelers to Tashkent which also highlights the similar unrestrained sexual indulgence of Indians away from Home. Even Indian women outside change their attire the moment they board the plane. I actually saw a woman changing from Burqua (head to toe black covering) to skirt in the flight to Singapore. It is not uncommon in Mauritius to spot a newly wed Indian woman sporting Chuda (15-30 red, white & silvery bangles), sindoor and a bikini (and one person actually swears she cannot even think of wearing the same outfit in India).

Gay support: To not to be able to love the one you love is to have your life wrenched away. - Vikram Sethi

Vikram Sethi supporting Gays in India and against section 377 IPC

Same sex or opposite sex, its a crime to love in India. Buckling under the conformity to the unwritten social laws many love birds part ways to end up in loveless relationships. Honestly I don’t care what the law says, in India breaking laws is a symbol of power, prestige and influence. What I care about is why are Indians so unhappy? If we spend all our lives pleasing strangers, when we will have time for ourselves?