Tag Archive | Thoughts

Day 26: Indian Humor

A resident of Panvel filed an RTI after he was fined Rs 100 for a traffic offense but was not given a receipt for it. That made the police tense and they tried to pacify him and what not. Fine. But what  that guy said is a joke. Speaking to the newspaper Mid-Day, he said, “At the time we crossed the signal the lights had turned orange, so this is not precisely a crime. Blah Blah. Blah Blah.”

India is the only place where the orange signal instead of signifying “go slow” means “press your accelerator and go before signal becomes red”. :-|

So our politicians and bureaucrats have a very good sense of humor.

Our Planning Commission has estimated that anyone who spends Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 in villages per day is above poverty line!! :)

I think our esteemed members of Commission do not go to buy vegetables and staples from the market themselves. With onion at Rs 40/kg, potato at Rs 29/kg and cauliflower at Rs 25/kg (According to today’s HOPCOM price) and then rice or flour and dal, I wonder what can a person do with Rs 33.33 in my hometown, let alone metros like Bangalore! To go from home to office will cost more than Rs 15 in bus and if it’s a Volvo then …..!!! So that’s Indian humor. But wait it gets better! :)

After this, ex actor and now politician Raj Babbar stated a full meal could be had for Rs 12 in Mumbai!! Wow! Apparently he also provided a break up of his estimate – Rs 6 for two rotis, Rs 5 for half plate of dal and Rs 1 for a spoon of vegetable. But where all this is available that he kept it as a secret. Was he talking about real nutritious food for filling one’s stomach or just having a morsel/ an idea of it? Do these people actually live in India or some other planet? So again a very good example of Indian humor. :)

Now I suspect what to be the outcome of an eternal Delhi – Mumbai fight, Congress leader Rasheed Masood said a meal could be had in parts of Delhi for Rs 5. He said further that “You can eat a meal in Delhi in Rs 5, I don’t know about Mumbai. You can get a meal for Rs 5 near Jama Masjid.” Maybe we should leave Bangalore and move to Delhi!  * Sets a reminder – Have to search for houses for rent near Jama Masjid, Delhi* By the way which hospital in Delhi will be best after having that Rs 5 meal, dear politician? So again a very good example of Indian humor. Our politicians beat the hell out of famous stand up comedians!! :)

And now I am going to die of laughter!! After Raj Babbar and Rasheed Masood, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has said that one can have the full meal for Re. 1. :D Firstly we know it is extremely hard to get a Re 1 coin (Read my post – Killer Chillar) and secondly even if we get the precious coin, the question arises again where? Mr. Abdullah says it depends on the common man – how much they can afford and they have to manage in that only.

So now they are going to teach us financial management so that we can have a meal at Re 1. Isn’t that an absolutely delightful example of Indian humor? Did you think we Indians are a serious lot? Humor is the only thing that is making us go on with our daily lives!!

Further reading

A hilarious cartoon by Jiggyasa

 

 

Day 18: Killer Chillar

Location : The Supermarket

I buy some grocery items and cosmetics. I stand in queue at the billing counter and when my turn arrives, the person at the counter scans the items and tells me the amount. It is 439 INR. I give him a 500 INR note and he hands me back 60 INR and one eclairs toffee instead of Re 1.

WTH!! Many of you must have faced a similar situation. Why am I unhappy with one of the most popular chocolates? Because

# It is not a fair exchange

# In reality I am being forced to buy something instead of getting money due.

# You know how a pot of water fills by drops of water. Similarly losing change at grocery stores and other such places regularly is actually creating a big difference.

# Chocolates and candies are bad for teeth so there can be an increase in dental bills

# Chocolates and candies are high in saturated fat, and a large part of the calories in this food come from sugars. This food also has Trans Fat.

# Most importantly I want my change and I DO NOT want an eclairs!

A survey conducted in 2012 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in response to complaints from the public, found that 44% of people in 12 Indian cities had the same experience; candies instead of coins for change.

According to The Hindu dated 4 April 2013, 18 bank branches have been identified to distribute coins daily and tide over the shortage

1. There is a dearth of Rs. 2, Rs. 5 coins in many cities across India

2. Banks say they distribute 10-30 bags, each containing 2,500 coins, every month

3. RBI has pumped in coins worth nearly Rs. 16 crore over the past year

After RBI’s decision, coin counters in banks have closed down and the shortage of small-denomination notes and coins has hit the roof. Small-time traders and merchants depend heavily upon these coin counters at banks. There is a huge bottleneck in the circulation of coins in the market. For my research for this post, I came to know that shopkeepers and retailers are forced to pay 8% premium to get 100 Re1 coins in the black market. This means they pay Rs8 to Rs10 extra to get 100 coins in Re1, Rs2 and Rs5 denominations. But why do they do that? Because of customers who want their change back and they are not wrong in doing that. But due to insufficient coin circulation, customers are not able to give change but want their due change. Moreover, customers are choosy about which coins they want; the 50-paise coin being the least popular. Though RBI has not discontinued 50 paise coins, people refuse to accept them including beggars. But there are some places where they are still in use.

Some shopkeepers blame the ATMs that churn out only notes of large denominations, some shopkeepers allege that the coins are all taken to Tamil Nadu, melted and made into razor blades.  Confused? ’The one rupee coin after melting can yield six to seven blades, making its total worth over Rs 50. The shopkeepers are turning to beggars and eunuchs for help! But even the beggars are refusing to part with the precious change and if they do, they charge extra for it. Shopkeepers also procure coins from temples and churches, who also don’t give it for free.

Some of the coin counters still functioning are predated by agents who are actually into this very business..they have an understanding with bank officials at the counters and get coins easily instead of shopkeepers standing in queue. Later they sell these coins at a profit to desperate retailers.

A possible solution to this problem, the note to coin change machine made by UK-based Thomas Automatics has been acquired by the government and 150 of those have been installed in banks, railway stations and temples across India since 2003 as of 2007. But it has its own set of issues like equipment failure, low public acceptance etc.

That day is not far when we, the consumers, have to start giving eclairs toffee to toll booths, shopkeepers etc. Toll booths have not started giving eclairs toffee yet but I think they are the ones who should. Maybe the toffee will have some calming effect on drivers and help prevent accidents. :)

or maybe RBI can just declare the eclairs toffee as the new Re 1 coin.

P.S. Chillar means change in Hindi. Candies as change can kill us with diabetes hence the name “Killer Chillar” :D

Appeal to the Public from RBI Website

The Bank, with active co-operation from various agencies, has endeavoured to distribute the coins in an equitable manner to all parts of the country. The mission cannot be successful without unstinting support from the people at large and the various voluntary agencies. Members of public are requested to avoid holding on to coins and instead, use them freely for transactions to make sure that there is a smooth circulation of coins. Voluntary agencies are requested to educate the public about the various facilities available in their areas for distribution of coins, exchange of soiled notes and proper handling of notes.

P.P.S I missed again on Day 17. I was physically and exhausted due to a tiring day at work.

Just Another Day

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip.

As a child, I simply loved celebrating birthdays with cake cutting ceremony, balloons and gifts :) Lunch also used to be a major event with an extensive menu of at-least 7 different types of dishes. Not that I had any huge birthday party…it was just a family affair. Later in teenage, when I developed a close friendship with my classmate and neighbor, she became the sole invitee to my birthday celebration. As soon as my birthday was over, I used to countdown to the days remaining for the next birthday. :)

Then I went to hostel. I still remember the first birthday I celebrated in hostel; the midnight wishes, receiving card and gifts, the cake smearing more than cutting, midnight snacks and cold drinks, dancing routine and the birthday bumps, giving treat to friends next day or someday in the week. :)

Then I came back home and though again there was no invitee, celebrated birthday with same enthusiasm. If my birthday was after summer vacation at work, I distributed sweets at work and gave treat to colleagues-friends. Although I had the policy of taking leave on that day if there was nothing urgent.

After marriage, birthday celebration has been with D alone. But with cake and balloons nevertheless and of course gift, movie and restaurant lunch/dinner. And blessings/wishes from both sides of the family.

But this year, after many years, I had to go to work. Though it was a holiday due to fourth Saturday, there was exam scheduled on that day and those coming to work will get a compensatory leave later. So for the benefit of an extra leave I decided to go. It was an enjoyable day. I distributed sweets to all colleagues present and my lunch group colleagues-friends gifted me a saree which was a complete surprise. By the time I reached home it was 5.30 pm and we were going for dinner outside so no time to bring cake, cut it etc. So there was no cake and no balloons. Just a quiet dinner at Barbecue Nation. Well not exactly quiet…with the loud music and servers doing a dance routine :) That is Barbecue Nation style.

D’s 6-year-old nephew called to wish and inquired about my birthday celebration and after hearing that I didn’t cut any cake and didn’t put up any balloons, concluded that I had a very “boring” birthday. Sigh!! :sad:

So I think, as my mother used to predict, I have grown out of the phase of usual birthday celebrations and counting days to the next birthday. Someday in the coming years I may even forget its my birthday. God forbid!!! :shock:

But then……….Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.  ~Chili Davis

P.S. for those who don’t know, my birthday was on 22nd June and it was also my WordPress birthday as in I had moved my blog from Blogger to WP in 2008 on that very day.

Mother’s Love

No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star. ~ Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Does your mother love you?

Does she care for you? Does she tend to you, comfort you, support you, provide for you, thinks for your well-being and comfort before hers ? Be the tree providing shade in the harsh sun called problems and difficulties which life gives to you?

Are you a mother and do you love your kids?

Does you care for them? Do you tend to them, comfort them, support them, provide for them, think for their well-being and comfort before yours? Be the tree providing shade in the harsh sun called problems and difficulties which life gives to your kids?

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Online Friendship

I am quite active in the online world. I have two blogs. I am on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Tumblr..you name it, I am there…except on Myspace. People may criticize “online friendship” as to be devoid of trust, full of false claims, a sign of having no “real” life etc. I admit there are lots and lots of people out there who cheat , deceive and lie on the Internet and one must always exercise caution while making new acquaintances on Internet.And I am just talking about friendship. Online love is all together a different ballgame.

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Who Is A Simple Girl?

I, my head of department and my colleagues S and M were sitting at HoD’s room having a general chat when the topic diverted to marriage and wives.

HoD :- That day I was having  some problem with my mobile. My wife solved the problem whereas I could not!! I didn’t think she can even use a mobile. You know one is lucky to have a simple wife.

M :- Oh yes sir! And in this matter I can say I am a very lucky man.

HoD :- What about you, S? When are you getting married?

S :- Parents are searching for a girl, sir.

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Raising Kids or Warriors?

A conversation between colleagues that I witnessed :-

DSC03056Colleague (Male) say A :- Sir, you are a PhD. You must be tutoring your daughter at home and helping with her homework.

Senior Colleague (Male) say B :- Ahh! No. My wife doesn’t let me teach our daughter because she thinks I am not strict enough. See, my ideology is when she wants to study she will. But my wife is always making her study like when she wants to go out to play, when she is watching tv…

Senior Colleague (Female) say C :- Sir, which child “wants” to study? We have to make them study.

B :- Hmmm..Few days back my wife asked her to write few words in small, capital and cursive. She mixed up and my wife slapped her. But I feel it is unfair to expect a child of 5 yrs to write all that correctly.

C :- Sir, in today’s world of competition, we have to prepare them to fight. Otherwise they will end up as losers and will blame us only that why didn’t we make them study.

Another incident at a bookstore that I witnessed :-

A lady placed a very thin book on the counter and proceeded to pay for it. The book was – Unsolved C.B.S.E. Question Papers for Class 1.

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Incredible India!

A prestigious school in my city is taking its middle and high school students on an Educational Tour to Europe. For this they are taking around 1 lakh rupees from the parents interested in sending their kids on that tour. And strangely people are giving it to the school administration willingly. I do not understand that why do the students need to go to Europe for learning? What sort of education does the school want to impart by taking them to Europe? Till class 10th all students study History under CBSE board and 80% of it comprises of Indian History. Rest is just World Wars, Dark Ages, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution as far as I recall.

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A Day At A Workshop

Shucks! I am late! The program starts at 10.30 am and its already 10.10. I haven’t left college yet. Oh God, let the railway crossing be open please!

(People on road – Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No its Reema on her scooty!)

Phew! reached with five minutes to spare.

Whaaattt! A State-level workshop and they are also running late. Unpunctuality runs in the veins of Indians be it at any level. Now they are bringing the stationery stuff and compiling the folders for the participants. We have better organization at workshops held in our college.

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Ego and Control

Incident 1. Location : College

Male Colleague : I have to go home but I haven’t brought my vehicle today. Can you take me with you as your home is on that route?

Me: Sure. Come.

Male Colleague : I will drive. You sit behind.

Me : *gets off the vehicle*

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Machismo and Crying

Recently, I had a discussion on crying with Prateek and he declared that guys who cry are not sensitive but sissy. And he even wrote a blog post “Guys don’t cry” to explain his stand. In his post he has cited 5 reasons why guys should not cry in the form of 5 situations. Like a guy should not cry for love or when someone dies etc etc. Anyway, as I strongly disagree to this conservative/orthodox belief, I decided to express my views and ask readers & visitors their opinions. There is an opinion poll at the end of the post. Do participate!

Three types of tears are generated by the human eye. Basal tears protect the eye and keep it moist. Reflex tears flush out the eye when it becomes irritated. And emotional tears flow in response to sadness, distress, or physical pain.

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Twittiquette

Almost all of us have a comment policy on our blogs and any good blogger with decent content does not tolerate abusive language and ill mannered commentators on their blogs. So it can be assumed that there does exist a blog etiquette which every good blogger follows. What about etiquette on the recent social media phenomenon,otherwise known as Twitter? Unless you have been living under a rock, all of you must be aware of Twitter. Whether you are using it or not is a different issue. I had joined Twitter on 20th Feb 2008 but I became really active just few months back. Since then, I have observed few things about this social media as compared to a macro blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger. And these observations have forced me to raise a few questions about it.

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