May 31, 2013

Does India Need New Banks?

The Economist had this article talking about the imminence of new licenses for the opening of banks in India.

And I put in a couple of long comments on the article. Here they are.


I will be extremely worried if Reliance gets a banking license.
And why does Indian banking need Mr. Vikram 'Citi' Pandit's punidtry in Indian banking?
Haven't American banks including Citi, JP Morgan and all the other too-big-to-fail banks and other financial institutions including hedge funds caused enough havoc to the American economy?
Have not the GREED of a few men to make millions and billions of dollars per year caused enough unemployment for millions of Americans?
We do not want a repeat of the mistakes of America.

Political and Cricket Shenanigans

I put in a rather long comment on this article in Livemint.

So, obviously I have to paste that comment on my blog and make a blog post out of it!

1) Who's that Duncan Fletcher guy pictured with Dhoni? Anyway, neither do I know nor do  I wish to know. I just wish people of India would stop making Gods out of silly young men that cricketers are. Even compared to the cricket that I grew up with, the days of Srikanth, Amarnath, Vengsarkar, Azhar, Sachin, Ganguly, Laxman, and Dravid, now the game is all too commercialized. Too much cricket, too much money, too many crores (and girls) dangling in front of talent-less young men.

2) What a fall when you consider that we started with "Yug-purush" such as Nehru to today's "half-purush" such as Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. Why did the people of India elect these jokers in 2004? And re-elect in 2009? But then again, what is the alternative before the billion poor of this country? No, Modi is certainly not who I want to see as the PM.

May 28, 2013

Have Faith or Do Not Have Faith in Humanity

It's probably only if you live in a First World country that you start pondering the 'Big Questions' when a man gets killed/murdered/lynched/hacked or dies naturally.

Take a look at this Guardian article where the writer is wondering ... rather proclaiming that she STILL HAS FAITH in Humanity despite witnessing the Woolwich murder.

One has to be really ... ummm delicate perhaps to be someone who can be moved to ponder the big questions when one person dies. So I was driven to put in this comment on The Guardian article:

People in developed nations can be so coddled!
Come to India or go visit and live in some other poor African nation.
You will see poverty and the ramifications thereof left, right and center.
Then, we shall see how much faith in humanity you will be left with.

Sex And The CEO

Sorry if that headline has been already used somewhere in the avalanche of articles on the matter.

This profile of Mr. Phaneesh Murthy is particularly good. He was clearly a crazy smart guy.
Sadly, the reactions in India have been so predictable — basically just 'follow the herd' of American Puritanical morality.
Europeans have moved on but sadly Indians are unable to move beyond aping Americans.
The reactions have been so crazily same in terms of vilifying Phaneesh Murthy that it's almost hilarious but this is a sad incident so hilarity is clearly not something which is called for here.
I mean, is THIS the only SOLUTION that we can think of !?!?
They had a relationship for a year or more, right?
They were ADULTS, is not it?

Cricket And National Greatness

Here's an impromptu and completely unplanned reflection linking these two rather disparate issues.
The only cricket matches I can remember watching (may be I watched as much as 50% of both the matches) in the last decade were the India-Pakistan semi-final and India-Sri Lanka final of the 2011 World Cup.
 So all this brouhaha over IPL matches leaves me only perplexed. Apart from authenticity issues, are not cricket matches just boringly slow? Consider that there is a mini-break after every ball is bowled.
People are willing to spend so much time and emotional energy on these matters ... it's just baffling to me.
I wish people of India found the sight of little kids on the streets begging or picking rags shocking. Have we become so inured to these fundamental injustices and indignities?
Cricket is so irrelevant that I won't react with more than a yawn if all the cricketers perished in some unnatural manner ... say, a plane crash.
So, forget cricket.

May 18, 2013

Fun Using हमारे (or is it मेरे) Google to Translate Things From English to हिंदी


  1. A Bug's Life —> एक कीट की जीवन
  2. Midnight's Children —> आधी रात के बच्चे
  3. Pursuit of Happyness —> प्रसन्नता की पीछा
  4. As Good As It Gets —> जैसा अच्छा जैसा यह हो जाता है
  5. Royal Tenenbaums —> शाही Tenenbaums
  6. On Golden Pond —> सुनहरा ताल पर
  7. Citizen Kane —> नागरिक केन
  8. Avatar —> Avatar
  9. Sphere —> क्षेत्र

May 11, 2013

Keyboard Fundoos And Fundas

The funny thing about India is that anyone who's literate is most probably English-literate as well. Of course, by English-literate, I don't mean to say that the person has necessarily mastered Shakespeare but is conversant with the English alphabet.

The spread of computers and cellphones will have an inevitable role to play in the evolution of the place for English in our lives.


Much of the scientific and technical literature exists in English as of now and pretty much ALL of the technical/engineering education happens in India using English. So at the higher end of the education spectrum, folks are all English-literate.



But the cellphone which came 'recently' has far overtaken the penetration of computers among the population so that it won't be at all unusual to find housewives in villages in veils using cellphones. These ladies may not necessarily be familiar with English. How are cellphone companies 'catering' to these customers? Are they trying? Do savvy marketers send SMSs in 'local' languages to these ladies to NOT to forget to 'buy' this or that thing to 'propitiate' this or that God? Surely, the HLLs,  Nirmas, ITCs and Reliances of India must be 'smart' enough to recognize a 'market potential' when they see one. My mom doesn't read any of the English SMSs she receives and they just lie there unread and unloved. If the service provider was smart enough, it would have bothered to send her SMSs in her own language and not in English.

May 10, 2013

Indian Sex Tapes?

I don't know that there are plenty of them. This Tehelka article deals at length with them.
I sure hope it's true that Indian youth are making sex tapes just for fun.
Because Indians clearly need to grow up and get over their prudishness about sex.
Indians keep on PRETENDING as if sex does not exist or as if it's a bad thing. Even in our language, there's no 'normal' word or phrase to refer to sex or porn, is there? What's Hindi for sex? For porn?
Anyways, so much "good quality" stuff of international origin is available in all the 'genres' of porn that Indians, if they are in the "game" are probably laggards here as well just like India ranks 156 or something in football.
We really need to change our mindsets and I mean in a revolutionary fashion. Porn and sex are NOT BAD just as much as 'sati' was bad. Who'll be the Rammohan Roy of the 21st century?

How Stunning What Humans Have Wrought

After their Google Earth, driverless cars and Google Glass projects, this is one more innovative, useful, and important project from Google.

These resources that Google is developing using Landsat imagery from NASA and USGS provide a revealing picture of how humans are transforming the planet in short spans of time.

Such continuous record has never been available before and starting from now onward or since satellites started taking pictures of the Earth's surface, these pictorial records of our planet will be maintained forever as long as humans live on Earth.

So wear your seat belts and explore!

Since Google is partnering with Time magazine, this article is worth a read!
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