The curious case of missing nutrition in Panna

“हर बच्चा जो ३ साल से छोटा है और उस की माँ को एक नूट्रिशन पैकेट हर सप्ताह आंगनवाड़ी से मिलता है। आपको और आपके बच्चे को यह सब मिल रहा है दीदी? (Every kid below 3 years and her mother should get one nutirtion packet every week from the Anganwadi, are you getting it didi?- Nikita and Jayshree are telling this to every women that they meet in the hamlets and villages in Panna District.

Mercury is now touching close to 45 degrees in Panna but it feels like 100. I’m seriously thinking of getting back to the hotel. But my colleagues Nikita and Jayshree are not relenting. They are keen for yet another meeting with women in the community. Jayshree loves to meet Aanganwadi workers. She checks records of children that are enrolled in the Aanganwadi.  Suddenly she came running out and said excitely said her thickly accented Hindi ” बोला आज खिचड़ी खिलायी थी बच्चों को”


To the credit of Government of MP there was an Aanganwadi in every village that we visited in Panna district. But where ever we went there was a similar story of either mismanagement or misappropriation. Villagers alleged that food packets meant for mothers and kids were not given to them but were fed to the cattle by Aanganwadi worker. We spoke to many families who were getting expired food packets from the Aanganwadi. Aanganwadi worker complained that they are not getting enough packets from the Government department in Panna. They can’t give what they don’t get.


In one of the houses I observe a child munching on a dry roti which is probably his lunch. If he is lucky he might get some daal with his roti for dinner. No sign of any vegetable. There is some mangoes and Jamun that they can get I this season else its missing from the diet. Milk is also missing from the diet and so are eggs. Interestingly Madhya Pradesh has banned eggs to be given to children in Anganwadi’s and School.

The promise of mid day meals was to  provide one nutritious meal to the child every day. While it was not enough it still meant that children from the poorer households will have something good to eat. A closer inspection of mid day meals and you realise that we are not doing a great job.A elder in the village explains to me- अगर अच्छा खाना नहीं मिलेगा तो पढ़ाई कैसे करेंगे और अगर स्कूल पूरा नहीं किया तो फिर अपने बाप दादा के तरह दिल्ली गुड़गाँव में मज़दूरी करते करते ही  ज़िंदगी बीत जाएगी।

I remember reading somewhere that how nutrition is so important in early years. I kept on wondering how will the kids in these villages be able to compete with the million of kids like them in the outside world.

We came back to Panna with many questions in our mind.  We asked whose fault it is that we are going to yet again fail another generation of children.





Can they have tap water please?

This tap tells a familiar story.

Today is the fifth day that water has not come out of it. Surrounding it are hopeful pots and people of a small hamlet of a village in rural Panna, Bundelkhand. I ask a few people complain about the Government person responsible for water in the village. Others tell me about a defect in the pipeline.
Panna dry taps.jpg

If you want to see caste lines in Bundelkhand follow water pipelines ” jokes my colleague. But she is not joking. We observe that not all taps are dry. Taps in Brahmin, Thakur and Yadav hamlets are running water. In fact water pipelines starts from the Brahmin side. It then travels through Thakur and Yadav homes and then finally ends at the Harijan Basti. All upper cast homes have individual connections.

A school teacher comes running to us thinking that we are from the Government. He explains that there is no water in the school because of which children have to leave school early. He requests us to get a hand pump done at the school. We explain that we are not from the Government and cannot help him with this.

Some villagers point us to the only half working hand pump in the hamlet. One can see the queue of people waiting for their turn to fill water. Our host tells us that sometimes temper run high as people fight to get water.

As we prepare to the leave the village we begin to wonder if one can get tap water to the Harijan Basti. There is water in the village but access to the lower caste is dependent on the generosity of upper caste. Our protagonist tap has to navigate through a intricate web of caste lines to get water. Some days it will run dry and other days there will be water at the end of the line.

And in the meantime things will remain the same. Our task is cut out for us.

Gangs of bikes and Royal Enfield

Success creates its own enemies summarises the outlook business article on Royal Enfield. You can read it here.
The article says Enfield is selling too many bikes. They  are too common now and thereby losing its niche appeal. Soon its premium value will wear off and so will its sales and stock head south.
The article points out that Royal Enfield suffers “a one trick pony” syndrome.  The only model that outsells everything else  is the Classic 350. Both Cafe racer/Continental GT and Himalayan have turned out to be a dud.  500 cc ran for a while but sales have cooled down. There is zero waiting for 500 CC models. With the commissioning of the the third royal Enfield have zero waiting for 350 cc models as well.
Competition is also heating up. Bajaj has come up with a so called Enfield killer called Dominor. Harley Davidson and Triumph are also geting ready with affordable bikes.
In short, unless Siddarth Lal pulls another rabbit from his hat the thump is going to get feeble and feeble.
True that Enfield are getting common. You see many Boxer wearing kids driving a Royal Enfield. Old riders hate these new riders. Old riders also hate new Royal Enfield bikes. But that has not stopped the company for from selling more and more of them.
When it comes to bikes there are three Gangs
1) Commuter/Sports biker
2) Royal Enfield
3) Premium motorcycles like Harley and Triumph
A commuter biker dreams of upgrading to a Royal Enfield or KTMs/Dominor.
KTM’s and Dominors are good bikes but nothing set them apart from the stable of CBZ, Pulsar et al. And that is their main weakness. Everyone wants to have a Harley but most can’t afford them. And even when they can their families will never approve of a bike that costs as much as a decent car.
In believe that Royal Enfield is at that sweet spot of upgrade, affordability and style. Their riders look look different from the rest of the gang. Unless Triumph and Harley start selling cheaper bikes Royal Enfield will rule the roost.

Tragedy of commons and cracker ban in Delhi

There is no technical solution to the “Diwali cracker” menace in India. The only way to solve this problem is through policy action.

Garrett Hardin would have argued- the utility or fun of bursting one more cracker is enjoyed by only me where the negative outcome in terms of pollution ( noise and air) is shared by the rest of the society. So the natural course of action for me will be to burst more crackers to maximise my utility. Every person will think  the same and burst more crackers and therefore bringing us to our collective doom.

Since exuberance for crackers cannot be moderated by individuals  it needs to be regulated through policy action.

Diwali celebrations doesn’t have be only about bursting crackers. It need not be a tamasha  of who has more patakas and which ones are louder. Every year during the Diwali week lot of people go through a hard time. Infants and kids suffer, Old people suffer, dogs have a hard time and next morning every one has pain in their eyes and ears.

Imagine  its 10.30 pm on Diwali night. You are sleeping in your house. At this precise moment your neighbour brings out “100,000 ladi waala pataka”. It burns for about 25 minutes or so  and in the process waking up everyone in the neighbourhood . Are you really celebrating return of Lord Rama from Vanvas?  Is 10,000 ladi wala pataka or Atom bomb really necessary to enjoy Diwali ?

Multiply this by 10,000 colonies in Delhi and  soon it starts sounding like war front. If Lord Rama were to enter Delhi on Diwali day he would assume that people are fighting and not celebrating his return.

I don’t think ban of crackers in Delhi is attack on Hindu festivals. We have been attacking our festivals for long. They are increasingly becoming symbol of who has more money to splurge. There was a time when we would all put candles, rangoli, diva’s  in the house. Yes there were crackers but not a whole lot. Now everywhere you see you have Chinese lights. People are seen competing with each other.

I’m not against bursting crackers in Diwali but in moderation. Since we don’t know moderation the only thing left is judiciary to set the limits.


What is ” Little Kim” thinking?

There is a 100% chance that I will get killed if I agree to what USA wants me to do. Uncle Gaddafi surrendered his nuclear weapons and he got hit  by Arab Spring. Uncle Saddam also met the same fate.

So Kim is thinking.

Get a bomb and a missile long enough to be able to send it USA.  And pray to God that I will never have to use it.

God knows what Trump is thinking beyond hurling even more crass insults at Kim. But may be he is thinking.

Get Kim’s bomb and his missiles and then I will teach him a lesson.

Kim knows what Trump is thinking and Trump knows what is on Kim’s mind.  Both want to win. However one can be better off only  at the expense of other. It is a classic zero sum game.

The challenge for Americans and Koreans to change this from Zero sum game to a game which a win-win for both the parties.

So what does America wants

No Nuclear tipped rockets headed for Tokyo, San Francisco, and Seoul

What does Kim wants

Kim and his regime hale and hearty. End of crippling sanctions and bit of respect for North Korea

Trump is a businessman. He should offer a deal to Kim that he cannot refuse. Stop tweeting about regime change. Stop wishing Kim to be dead.  Deal him a deal.

And stop acting like a Bully.



Wheel Force Centre- Bosch Authorised Service centre

This is a  story of how Wheel Force Centre, Rajouri Garden became the centre of my trouble for dear Skoda Yeti.

My beloved Skoda Yeti car needed a Dual mass flywheel and clutch replacement. Wheel Force centre promised to replace them with genuine parts and save me some money over dealer prices. Just google them and you will see their banner adverts everywhere claiming huge savings over dealer prices.

It sounded too good to be true.

To begin work Wheel Force Motors dismantled the clutch and flywheel assembly. Then they ordered a genuine OEM part from SACHs. There are two companies that make Dual Mass Flywheel and clutch for Skoda Yeti- SACHs and Luk. My car had SACHs so Wheel Force ordered a SACHs replacement flywheel and clutch assembly from their known vendor.

I like to know things. I also like to see what goes inside my car. I insisted that I would like to see the replacement part. Wheel Force motors  assured me that they only put OEM parts and they can show the part to me. I also had no reason not to believe them.

The next day when I went to see the part it looked like the real deal. It had come out of a nice blue packing with SACHS written in white. But on closer inspection I found something else.  I found that the replacement part by Wheel Force Motors had very poor quality marking on them. The original part was “machine stamped” where as the replacement part looks the “engraving” is done by hand. This normally the case when the part is duplicate.


When I pointed this to Wheel Force centre they  insisted that the part is original but may be made in a different factory.  A few searches on Google and I realised that all original SACHs clutch flywheel and clutch assembly made anywhere have “machine stamped”  markings. Wheel force still insisted that their part is original and why would they not as they were charging me top dollar for this job.

Remember, Wheel Force Motors is a Bosch Authorised service centre. Bosch is a reputed MNC . They claim to service and repair high end cars and here they are trying to palm off duplicate parts as originals to make an extra buck

However this makes perfect business sense. Not many customers really bother to check what are they fitting into their cars. All of this is too mumbo jumbo and they trust the workshop to do the best. Most of them don’t even go to the workshop. They either send drivers or use pick and drop service.

And workshop like wheel force centre do what they do best.

Take advantage.

I asked wheel force centre to kindly put everything back in the car.  After another round of convincing they agreed  but told me that I will have to pay labour charges for everything.

When I went to take the delivery of the car they gave me a bill of Rs 3000 for all the trouble. In the whole process the A.C of the car also developed some problems. The irony is that I went to Wheel Force Motors to solve one problem and I came back with two- 1) a  Un repaired flywheel and clutch 2) A.C problem


So simple advise, don’t go to Wheel Force centre, Rajouri Garden. Infact don’t go near any Bosch service centre anywhere.

Bus ek Chatbot chahiye Whatsapp ke liye

I now receive more messages on WhatsApp than FB, gmail, post etc etc. I also receive on an average 50MB of videos, daily morning pics, inspirational quotes to name a few. The biggest malware on my phone is WhatsApp.

Honestly, I need a Chatbot. Not intelligent, just artificial will do. In fact I need the chatbot that escaped Facebook AI labs. Just one of them in my  phones and he  can do all the chatting for me and  don’t even need to understand it.

I would love if my Chatbot  can send a ” Good Morning” messages at 12.01 AM to all my WhatsApp groups . If possible use the heaviest image file. For all the mornings that you wished me ” Good morning” here is the revenge of the person whose sleep you distrubed.


My other wish is for the chatbot to combine all the videos that I receive in a single file and send it to all those who  forward 15Mb videos to me.( on JIO or office internet off course).

I want my Chatbot to unleash ” wannacry” malware for every message that uses hashtags. Get real, your good morning and be happy type of messages are unlikely to go viral.And finally block ( plus create their profile on tinder) those send messages using emojis unless they are supported by proper subtitles.


And as I write this blog I have received yet another message full of wisdom which ends like this ” You have a choice to either delete this message or share it, it will take less than a minute to pass this along so that our world will be a happier place”.

I have the same advise for you regarding this blog.

P.S .Inspired by the Rock vs Siri advert I also commanded by Google Assistant to put an alarm for 5 am in the morning. Good part was that it actually worked. Bad part was that the alarm rang at


This Taxi respects women

We Indian’s love tokenism.
For instance in Delhi you would have come across these stickers ” This taxi respects women”. To the best of my knowledge no case has been ever found of “Taxi’s” disrespecting anyone.
Okay,  the message is about ” Taxi Driver” respecting women. But what are we hoping. Will  this message remind Taxi drivers of not doing anything bad.

If we look at the data we will realise that in very few cases Taxi and Taxi drivers disrespect women or molest them. In most cases women get molested, kidnapped and raped in Private vehicles. Do we have a similar sticker for them. Imagine on your bad ass SUV- This SUV respects women.

To be honest Taxi drivers get abused and disrespected a lot by everyone. These stickers disrespect them even more. If someone came to Delhi from a foreign country and saw this sticker then they would think that in India Taxi drivers are the culprits of violence against women.
Even if we were to buy this message of ” Taxi’s respecting women” does it mean that these Taxi’s don’t respect men. Or Men don’t need respect from Taxi drivers? And what about those who are transgender ? Do they deserve any respect or not ? What about Taxi’s  without this sticker on them. Are they disrespectful ?  Should we be taking these Taxi’s or not,
So this public service message of women safety serves any purpose at all ?
If you want to solve the problem of women safety in India you have to fight to patriarchy and the condition of women in our society. You have to fight for a speedy justice through our judiciary. You have to have a more responsive and empathetic police force. You have to educate males and females in our homes.
But all of this is tough work and will take a lot of time. Making stickers and pasting them on Taxi’s is easy.

I will not buy anything this year

I wanted to start somewhere so 29th June is the day I want to stop buying things for the rest of the year.  Some basic rules  that I will follow

  1. I will not buy new buy books unless I have read all the books that I have in book shelf.
  2. I will not buy new clothes and shoes.
  3. I will not buy any new electronic items.
  4. I will not buy anything new for the house.
  5. I will not buy anything that I don’t need to function
  6. I will not buy cycling or running gear. No new water bottles.
  7. I will do my best not to buy bottled water.

Let’s see how the next 6 month of the year goes.