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My India My Life March 15, 2015

Posted by simarp in : India , add a comment

My India and my life are intertwined together with some mystique and a little naughtiness. When my India thinks, my life chooses to sleep and when my India sleeps, my life throws a tantrum like a four year old in  a candy shop, hands fluttering and holding air and feet stomping and attempting an agitated symphony. Long and short of it is, that my India and my life have evolved a crazy relationship and I have fallen in love with the weirdness of the twists and turns it never misses to take. Needless to say my life and my India never sleep with each other, sadly so.

India and I are together in this journey, I haven’t stopped looking up to it. I not only look-up to it for an inspiration, I also look up to it inform India on how I am fairing in doing my part of the deal. All journeys are not beautiful and no journey can be beautiful all the time, having said that, India opens its arms for all those who believe in it. India, in its good, bad and ugly form is there in totality, at every corner at every crossroad. We live and enjoy our corrupt and some more, politicians. We live and enjoy acts of our cricketers off field, at times, more off-field than on-field and when it comes to our film stars, they are our new life which we seldom stop chasing. Our lives are so confined to daily rigmarole that we feel that our entertainers have that ability to infuse their good life into ours and it is just a matter of time before we see ourselves wearing Oakley glasses, holding a glass of wine in our one hand and waist of our midnight fantasy in the other. Of course, our lips locked in a tribute to thousands of years of India’s romantic heritage.

At times I am compelled to feel that we Indians are destined to demolish India’s greatness brick by brick. The institutions we inherited are severely crippled and compromised. We have had abuses hurled and fist fights inside Parliament House, we have seen Prime Minister of India declaring a state of emergency to stay in power, we have seen External Affairs Minister of India escorting convicted terrorists as a surrender to free our citizens. We have seen a lot and we are bound to see some more with a former PM being summoned on corruption charges and a former CM accused of inapt handling of bloody riots against minorities in his state as the PM. I am sure my India is indeed breaking down one brick at a time and if this doesn’t stop, in 20-30 years we may not have any more bricks to bring down.

Corruption and nepotism have been silent epidemics which have been killing our country and taking more and more citizens under its spate. Every morning India finds itself more corrupt. I am not sure whether I should feel good that we have a fairly clean e-auction of our coal reserves at the behest of Supreme Court of India directive dutifully carried out by current government, or I should feel sad that tens of thousands of crores of tainted money brought about this political change. Once in a while, I hear shrill noise about corruption, but it is nothing more than regular pain which any epidemic inflicts, and some painkillers and the epidemic is back at spreading itself. To me it is not just about my personal suffering, to me and to many like me it is about costs which subsequent generation pay for one generations acceptance of this malice.

Time and again I pray for a happy and healthy family, when I am praying I tell myself that it is tough to keep my family happy and healthy in this India, I tell myself just loving my India is not helping, India has to love me back too. Then a hope comes in form of a landslide victory for those who are against corruption, but then this is my India, perpetually at crossroads, that hope is challenged and guess what, it is challenged for its own outlook towards corruption. I go back to my prayers.




In Bad Taste – I am not loving this India March 12, 2015

Posted by simarp in : Blogging, India , add a comment

Yes, I am not loving this India. This is definitely not an India I was raised in. This is not my India which I would proudly call my home. This India is too noisy, it has erratic seasons, it is polluted and worst is, for none of these statements you need a proof.

Why is today’s India attempting to be glossy, where is that India’s characteristic subtle approach? This India lives between glamor and gutter, it doesn’t live between grit and glory and that is from where my dislike stems from. I need an India which provides me with space to be myself. I need an India which is not just my abode but is also an awesome comfort zone for the world. That is what the world always looked up to India for, India was a dream and not an enigma to many which walked its path, unpaved, thorny and rough  at times. India was always the journey of the spirited and the saints.

India needs to know, India needs people at the helm of affairs who know what India needs and are motivated to leave their personal agenda behind and work for the nation. There are many amongst us who really know how India can be revived, we need to encourage them to take center stage, we need to let them know we believe in them. India can happen and it is very much in our hands to make India happen. As a nation, we have made strides in field of technology, we have kind of established our credentials, we need to build on that, and unfortunately, this is where we fail. Politics takes over, opportunism calls shorts, personal agendas and vested interests clash with self serving objectives and nation goes out for a walk, on an unpaved, thorny and rough road. Compromises are considered as an option, a firm NO is not considered as one. When compromises start breathing, it is heart and mind which go through spasms and eventually die. That’s the death we need to avert. We need to build in every Indian a mindset of no compromise on fundamental issues and no compromises on spur of the moment. We have a promise to fulfill to our generations to come, we have to present to them an India which is more agile, happening and earnest than what we inherited, this India is not.

We all know what is to be done, if we just start doing our part, signals would start traveling, someone would start paving the path, someone would start removing the thorns and someone would start flattening the rocks and blunting the rough edges. Life would be good, and it would begin from us.

Let us make India happen. Let us start our journey without waiting for anyone and without waiting for any specific time.



Hindustan Times is insensitive December 23, 2012

Posted by simarprit in : Cities, Delhi, India, Is anyone listening, News, News Reaction , 1 comment so far

Hindustan Times by-line reads: “Cops use water cannons, teargas to stop mob from marching to President’s house.”

Hello? Mob? Are you sure?

Looks like, they need to learn their lessons in sensitivity, English and journalism, in that order.  Yes, mob does mean crowd, but its usage here is incorrect, inappropriate and unacceptable.

Let me explain one by one.

Sensitivity: Next they would call Bhagat Singh a terrorist, 1857 a mutiny and Subhash Chandra Bose one of Hitler’s cronies.

English: This is what Dictionary.com has to say for defining “mob”

1. a disorderly or riotous crowd of people.
2. a crowd bent on or engaged in lawless violence.
3. any group or collection of persons or things.
4. the common people; the masses; populace or multitude.
5. a criminal gang, especially one involved in drug trafficking, extortion, etc.

They could have simply called it a crowd, if that was the intended meaning, why brand it as a mob? It hurts. Those who were protesting there were protesting for a cause, not a cause which would make them richer or was aimed at their sexual gratification, come on. Usage of this word is a heinous crime in itself.

Journalism: As per Wikipedia “Journalism is the activity or product of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual or audio material intended for dissemination as news, topical information and other contemporary fact, analysis and opinion. Journalism is directed at the consumers of media products, who may comprise nonspecific general audiences, or narrower market segments).

Not even a word of this by-line adheres to any of the operatives behind the word journalism. Who is this by-line aimed at? It looks like this by-line is aimed at scoring brownies with the Central Government. Hindustan Times doesn’t know what “by-line” stands for.

Gentleman and dignified ladies  behind Hindustan Times, by-line is an executive summary and editorial message rolled into one, right? We get the message Hindustan Times, your newspaper stands for insensitive, pseudo-journalism written in bad English aimed at protecting your business interests and pleasing your political bosses.

Anna Movement – Putting the cart before the horse? August 21, 2011

Posted by simarprit in : India , 8comments

Are we putting the cart before the horse?

My thoughts without any filters about Corruption and India

All of us who have ever given any bribe are part of the problem.

I know only two people who have most likely never ever given any bribe. One of them is our colleague – Rajiv Gupta Ji and the other probably, going by the spirit,  would be Shri Anna Hazare.

How do you define bribe – bribe is not only to government employees, it is also tax evasion, it is also in private sector as “familiarization tours” and it comes in 100 different ways or favors.

OK,  is Kiran Bedi clean, by what definition?

Why she did not resign from IPS when thousands of Sikhs were massacred in Delhi? Was she not aware what had happened, was she never in a position to get those who were guilty to books? Don’t tell me she never used any home-guard or a constable for her own personal use? She was part of this system for thirty years which she is calling corrupt. I am sure if Ms. Bedi was Commissioner of Police for Delhi and the Anna Movement was happening, she would have been the one to ensure that “lathi charge” and everything else happened.

The first real bribe transacted in this country was even before this country was “born again” as an independent country- when “Mahatama Gandhi” agreed to handover Congress President-ship from Moti Lal Nehru to Jawahar Lal Nehru and created India’s first political dynasty. It happened again, when Congress agreed to pay bribe to British in form of acceptance of two nation theory in lieu of Indian Independence.

If every one of us pay our taxes correctly, our moral right would shout at top of our voices, we will not need an Anna Hazare to pick our cause, the heat of our eyes will not allow any corrupt politician to exist, we will not need any lokpal bills or janlokpal bills.

Solutions are within us, let me ask:

Can we suffer for few more hours and not give those extra Rs 100.00 to submit that passport form out of queue?

Can we sacrifice a second or third or a fourth car and pay our full income tax?

Can we sit and burn midnight oil and submit all documents which are asked by government authorities for electricity, water and other utilities?

Can we stop filling fake reimbursement vouchers and deflated income tax returns?

Can we delay our journey by two days and not pay that 500 Rs to TT?

We understand that every time we don’t take a bill from a chemist shop we add to corruption, a corruption which we know costs life, can we wait for that additional five minutes for him to make that bill?

To me the problem begins from me, I am the spoke in the wheel of corruption, till I don’t resolve to take minor suffering in my stride, I will suffer majorly by this curse of corruption.

Trip to Chennai October 7, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : India , add a comment

Here are some quick notes on my one day trip to Chennai. I went back to Chennai after several years. I lived in the city when it was still called Madras and even had my marriage reception in the city.

  1. Meru Cab which came to pick me up at home in Delhi was good, the driver was perfect in all respects. One of my best Taxi experience (anywhere in the world)
  2. Terminal 1 D is more like an extended up-market food-court  running into a shopping mall.
  3. Security at Delhi Airport 1D is a pain, too few counters, too long queues
  4. Jet Airways – online boarding is a breeze
  5. All economy Jet (Yes, Jet and not JetLite) with pay for food – looks and behaves like – going to a five star hotel and being asked to pay for cloth napkin usage
  6. Jet In-flight – Great grooming, poor training – especially when it comes to new role they are expected to play
  7. Pay for food in Jet is hopeless, probably the worst amongst all airlines in India
  8. Chennai Airport Arrival – Neat, clean and efficient
  9. Sat for the first time in Suzuki SX4 – Good car, comfortable rear seat – better than Honda City, Civic and Ford Fiesta at par with Fiat Linea and Toyota Corolla Altis
  10. Madras Club is excellent for small board meetings
  11. Awesome food at Madras Club. Had great Fish Curry and rice and perfect Dosa, good curd and great veggies
  12. My host Mrs. Nirmal Mirza – the Founder of SitaGita.com Limited – an achiever, amazing personality, great host and an outstanding  thought leader
  13. Had evening coffee at Lemon Tree, Sardar Patel Road Chennai – somewhere between complete let down and just about OK. Also had Chilli Paneer – if I take it once again would stop eating Chilli and Paneer separately or together
  14. My friend K Ramesh, CTO of one of the leading testing firms in India is too good – the sweet box from Sree Krishna Sweets he brought for my daughter Mishti competes with him in sweetness
  15. Radio Taxi in Chennai – primitive – Delhi is about few light years ahead
  16. Traffic in Chennai – is worse than Delhi on all accounts
  17. Departure Terminal in Chennai is extremely efficient and happening
  18. Spice Jet is Punctual
  19. Save fuel, let people sweat out inside the aircraft is an extremely inhuman policy adopted by the airline, I almost choked due to suffocation
  20. Arrival at Delhi is best in its class

Live Microblogging in India January 15, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : Bollywood, India, Live Blogging , add a comment

Dil Khol Ke Bol, our microblogging site did its first live microblogging, Our colleague Goutam did a great job conducting the same. http://www.dilkholkebol.com/chandni-chowk-to-china.html

Why we decided to do a beta of live microblogging?  The idea was to understand the dynamics of the same, and also evaluate business models around it.

Why we choose a bollywood movie for the same? Live microblogging may succeed where there is a buzz and a fairly high degree of common interest. As the sample size is big, quantification and measurement against benchmarks is possible.

The road ahead – The event is just over. We would be reviewing the performance and the event yield. Watch this space for microblogging in India, live microblogging may become a very big commercial segment in two to three year timeframe.

First cut – It looks like,  the challenges of live microblogging would be more towards logistics than towards technology.

Kerala Chief Minister’s Comments December 2, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : India, Internet , add a comment

Now we know the Father of insensitivity – Chief Minister of Kerala – Mr. V.S. Achuthanandan gets the prize for being the same. There is no point in repeating the comment here as it is not proper, it is important to deplore the comment and start a campaign asking for the resignation of the Kerala CM. Every Indian must openly come out and push all these insensitive politicians out. There is a need for a public coup – they have no right to be employees of the Government which is run on tax payers money.

BJP set to win Delhi Assembly November 11, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : India, Is anyone listening, News , add a comment

It looks like the clock has turned full circle, they Delhi lost due to inflation – they are likely to win due to inflation. Vijay Kumar Malhotra maynot be my choice for CM’s post but I can never cast my vote for a Congress candidate. To me to vote for Congress is not an option. Arun Jaitley would have made a much better CM, maybe he wants to play safe and be in the race for PM some day.

More to come

Abhinav Bindra Wins Gold August 11, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, India, News, News Reaction, Olympics, Punjabis, Sports , 2comments

Thank you Abhinav Bindra, you’ve broken the national record of India, of not winning an Olympic Gold in individualcategory since inception of Olympics. Abhinav Bindra wins gold is a news worth its weight in gold.

Twenty eight years is more than a generation, may be one and a half generation of going gold less in Olympics, somehow as a nation we have come to terms with the fact that “our focus is somewhere else”. Hockey use to be our only hope which got us all the Gold Medals we won at the Olympics till date. It is ironical that these are the first Olympic Games when India is not participating in Hockey as we failed to qualify for the same. So as a nation Abhinav Bindra has done us a big favor of making it less humiliating and making those of us who are still hooked on to Olympics 2008 see reason for the same.

If Abhinav Bindra can do it so can many others. Last Olympics it was Major Rajyavardhan Singh  Rathore who won silver for us in Shooting in the Athens Olympics in 2004, so from Silver in shooting event to Gold medal we have moved ahead. With one Gold Medal in our kitty we are at-least sure that we would not be making the bottom of the medal tally for Beijing Olympics 2008. If we get one or two more medals we may make it to the Top 50 Sporting Nations. The second most populous nation in the world seeing it as an achievement to be in top 50 Sporting Nations of the world is a realistic statement on India’s Sporting focus. For us, as a nation,  sports begin with cricket and end with cricket, and even in that we’ve not won a world cup for last 25 years.

News read at http://www.headlinesindia.com/olympics-news/beijing/abhinav-wins-indias-first-gold-247.html

More to come…

Ahmedabad Blasts Update July 27, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, City, India, Is anyone listening, News, News Reaction , 1 comment so far

I avoid writing twice on a news, but this one is disturbing me a lot. It is 3:30 AM in San Jose and the restless me is trying to get hold of the actual number of deaths in the Ahmedabad blasts, 40 to 50 is the range which most of the sites are now talking about.

What are the calculations, the masterminds amongst the terrorists would be doing, 3 per blast is good or bad for them. Numbers matter to all, and more over to those who are in the business of fear. I am sure they would have planned and hoped for 100 per blast, yes hoped. Reading across Guardian, CNN, NDTV, Headlines India, Times of India and BBC one just gets one feeling, media would move on, the Government would move on, the terror merchants and there terror network would move on, even the relatives of those who have died would move on, but these 40 -50 lesser mortals would never move again.

No one is talking about Bangalore blasts today, 48 hours is what it took for everyone to move on, a search on Google for both Bangalore Blasts Suspects and Ahmedabad Blasts Suspects, got an unexpected first result – http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4GGIH_enIN234IN234&q=Ahmedabad+Blast+Suspects - Al Jazeera. Yes Al Jazeera network’s english website. No CNN, no BBC, no Times of India, no NDTV. Ruthlessness of the conspirators is demonstrated amply by the fact that they planted bombs near/ inside the hospitals – objective can be nothing but if you survived so far, die now.

Ahmedabad blasts have something more in them, they bring back unpleasent memories of series of communal violence incidents which have been happening  in Ahmedabad and other areas of Gujarat for about a decade now. Gujarat has suffered, it was coming up very well and would have beome number one on per capita income in India in these last ten years. Every blast takes it  back, demotivates some, cautions others, investment climate does suffer.

India as a nation needs to practice zero tolerance when it comes to such acts, we need political will and quick execution. I am sure our police would know the sympathizers if not the accused very well. Just lock them up and hang couple of them after every incident. On the other hand, work towards economic integration of both the communities, economic ties can sometime be thicker than religion.

Thank Usha for a more balanced update: http://blogs.mapsofindia.com/2008/07/27/ahmedabad-blasts-update/