Three cities one question

I grew up in Shimla.For a variety of reasons our family moved to Dehradoon in late 90s. In the beginning I didn’t like Dehradoon. It was a a city in a rush to become Delhi. But slowly I started enjoying doon. And how can I not. Mussoorie was literally walking distance and Ganga  was never too far away.

But Shimla never moved out of heart. I kept my links with Shimla alive by visiting the city whenever I got a chance.

Its been 24 years since I left Shimla. Out of which the for the last 14 years I have been living in Delhi. I call Delhi (South) home. I’m home in Delhi.

Life has been kind inspite the usual ups and downs. For the first time in my life I have the luxury of choice. I can choose where to live for the remaining years of my life.

Go back to the city where I was born or keep living in the city that made me what I’m today. Or take the middle path and move to Dehradoon.

Tough call.

 

 

To Protest or not to protest #Jallikatu

The answer came to me after a long time.

I totally agree that cruelty against animals is the worst form of cruelty and a slap on the face of entire humanity. Why ? Because animals can’t speak . They have to suffer silently the whole thing. If we are the higher beings then we have to treat other animals with kindness.

I’m all against animal cruelty but hey my morning starts with a healthy animal cruelty.

How ?

My morning tea has milk that is not meant for me. It’s for the calf. Imagine a cow who is lactating after delivery. Her calf is hungry. He is brought to the her just so that she can start giving milk. The calf doesn’t get to drink much. Almost all of the milk is taken away to be sold.  Now replace calf with your newborn.  Would you like mother’s milk for your newborn to be taken away from him.

So yes protest by all means but first put down that chicken wing and leave your lattes else you are just a Facebook animal friendly hypocrite.

Some would argue let’s start change with Jallikatu. I would say lets start change with us. Let’s start with our morning tea.

 

 

 

 

Have you actually seen NaMO Demonetisation survey

Never mind fellow netizens and experts with a IQ of 200 and above. You are free to comment and make jokes about it. Buzzfeed has actually a whole list of it here.

So I thought for a change it will be nice for us to see what the survey actually is like. So I dowloaded the survey and took some screen shots.

First, I agree that that large number of poor people who don’t smart phone cannot respond to the survey. But I fail to remember when was the last time in our history we actually asked the poor about their opinion. So lets not bring the poor into the argument just to win some points. This is the first time a politician is even asking  people about their opinion on a policy. It may not be the best medium but its a start.

But back to the survey.

Some questions use a scale. It may not be a perfect Likert scale but its not that bad that you simply ostracise the survey. All the questions are easy to understand.  May be one or two questions like the one that says – anti corruption activists are now supporting corruption- Yes or No is over the top and should have been removed. In all  Yes or No questions one could have added- I don’t know as an option

And yes all those who have smart phone and want to have their opinion heard can always criticise the  demonetisation move on this app first  and then take to twitter. That way they will get to see the questions 🙂

 

screenshot_20161125-113614

screenshot_20161125-113731

screenshot_20161125-113826

 

screenshot_20161125-113847

Now this is super bad question. This Should be deleted. Its a you are with us or against us kind of question

screenshot_20161125-113756

Don’t agree click Don’t know

screenshot_20161125-114153

For 50 days Modi Jee give us these 5 things

Okay,  Indians will give you 50 days to make things normal. Lets hope you will be able to get ATMs to start dispensing cash. Lets hope you can make sure that everyone who doesn’t have a bank account is also able to change his or her currency and get started. But all of this will be well begun half done if you don’t do the following things. Worst,some of us will also start questioning the point of this exercise.

  1. Keep a limit on cash withdrawals from banks for ever. You can only withdraw so much cash in a calendar year. If it needs a new ordinance so be it. If there are no limits on cash withdrawals from banks then we will be back to square one. If you can’t legally limit then make the process difficult.
  2. Build a national invoicing system- one single software that everyone needs to use to print invoices.  For instance Delhi government has a single system that connects all their liquor shops. No more back entries in the books. Those who are not online please connect them using digital India mission.
  3. Introduce a cash transaction tax. Any cash transaction that is done will require a 10% tax. I’m sure you have smart people who can figure out how to do this.
  4. Make political parties including BJP disclose the source of donations- both cash and cheque.  Accountability has to start from your yard and rest of us will follow
  5. Digitise all land and building records. Make sure property cannot be purchased or sold without confirming the title on the digital records and not below the circle rates.  PAN already is compulsory. No PAN, No Property .

Start with suggestions 4 and 5. We are ready to face the brunt of demonetisation. We want to see if you are ready too: 🙂

I hope these things are already planned because I believe that you and your team is quite smart and have the right intent.

Air india website please grow up

Have you ever tried doing online check in with Air India. You will go nuts. First of all they have 4 options and then each of the options they  have a long list of things that they require before you check in. In todays day and age they  want you to  give you Flight number and date with your name, PNR  etc

The four infamous options

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-53-46-pm

After you have chosen one of the above you will be presented with another screen with more information to give. All these six fields are compulsory but they don’t tell us that upfront. You will realise it after doing dance with submissions and errors.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-40-12-pm

Now see how Indigo does web check in. PNR and name and its done. No wonder they have pipped Air India in everything.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 12.41.45 pm.png

Indigo Web check in options

Our Indian state carrier is also not ashamed of using stock photos and that too of a foreign national.  They are just too lazy. If you have to use stock photo please choose a Indian face at least.

I don’t know when will Air India grow up to be an adult.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-43-49-pm

 Air India customer service agents looks like her ?

Spot the difference-Cash vs the rest

Case 1: A skill building organisation is training people in skills. The participants pay nothing. Indian government foots the bills

Case 2: A new non-profit is doing unconditional cash transfers. They will give money directly to the poor and let them decide what is best for them. No strings attached.

When ever I go and speak to someone from the non-profit sector they are very quick to point out that Case 1 is a life change investment where as Case 2 is just a dole ( Implicit  argument  is that somehow Case 1 is superior).

The trouble is that really there is no  difference per se- both are doles or handouts. The only difference is that in Case 1 you have decided on the behalf of the poor that skills training is best for them.

I do  feel that there is merit in skills training and all the other kinds of poverty alleviation programs that NGOs and Governments run in India and across the world. But billions of dollars are spent in these efforts but very little if at all anything is given as cash  to the poor. May be there lies a fundamental distrust that if we give money directly to the poor then they will waste it. I have two big problems with this distrust. One, NGOs and Governments are themselves super inefficient and wasteful and two all the money is spent in the name of the poor.

May be for a change we need to rethink our prejudices and assumptions and trust that poor are as responsible as we are with money. We have tried all other approaches to lift poor out of poverty. May be its time to just give them cash and see what happens.

Still not convinced. Read what happens when you give 1000 USD to ultra poor. 

 

 

The day after

Some human scum threw a dog from a certain height and  captured it on  video. People on Facebook were shocked. The dog fortunately didn’t die and is getting good care now. Everyone is happy. Some might go and eat some mutton kebab’s and tikka’s to celebrate. Thankfully there are no videos being shared of goats being slaughtered and converted to kebabs and tikkas. Its a dog day.

In Dhaka ISIS militants stormed a bakery and killed lots of innocent people. Social media was once again carpet bombed with #terroristhavenoreligion. Its getting all too predictable now. Being politically correct is the new scum level.

A map of Iraq with all the car bombs and IED’s made it to the social media ( Source, the Guardian.  I swear I will never complain about my life in India.

iraq

A cabinet shuffle made people comment that the biggest reform in education has happened. A tele-women is shown her place. Let her weave her sarees and stories.

Kejriwal is still in love with Modi.

Its a ground hog day for all of us

 

I quit therefore I am

Increasingly I’m meeting young people who quit from one thing to another. They never  seem to manage to stay in one job for 2-3 years.They  are forever freelancing. But maybe this how the jobs are now days. With internet and opportunities people can do what they like, when they like and how much they like.

My father retired at 58 from a Govt job. I will probably hang my boots by 50. I guess people younger than me by 10 years will probably stop working full time at 40 or even less. And people younger them will have even fewer full time work years. Call them winds of change or what ever but for sure its refreshing.

According to ” The Economists” the machines are coming to take our jobs in the next 10-20 years. But what if they find no one working : ). Ouch that will hurt.

Three cheers to the young. Free, Freelancing and Fun.

5 reasons why Odd-even failed this time and lessons in Governance

Odd even was supremely successful last time but this time there were usual chaos on the roads. Even pollution went up considerably.  I did a little bit of deep thinking as to why this happened.

  1. There were not enough Odd-Even Kejriwal posters in the city even there was enough of Kejriwal jee.
  2. Last time Delhi Junta was utterly confused whether their car number is Odd or even. Now after 3-4 months of coaching they knew and were confidently out on the road in their Honda Cities.
  3. Some people confused Odd-Even with supply of water in the city.
  4. More women were forced to drive by their in-laws.Some even had to learn how to drive 🙂
  5. BJP in the Centre got more cars from Neighbouring Haryana and Rajasthan to make sure that the experiment failed in the city ( Disclaimer-This is yet to be tweeted by Kejriwal jee)

According to my sources Kejriwal jee has dropped all plans for phase 3 of Odd-Even. Odd-Even was too AAM. This is will be replaced by Fibonacci series.  According to new rules your car need to have a fibonacci number to be able to come on the road. (Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, … The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it)  Since it will take some time for Delhi Junta to get familiar with this pasta sounding name we can be assured that there will be less cars on the road.

As to who will teach Delhi police (who is still un sure about whether number 0 is odd or even)  there were no comments.

The Skoda Yeti affair

No one wants to get it wrong. No one one to admit that they made a mistake. No one wants to get cheated.

I was wrong, I made a mistake and I got cheated . Hey I’m getting old man and losing the touch.

Part one of the story started with an advert of Skoda Yeti in Dehradoon. I went to check the car. Interestingly Dehradun Audi showroom was selling this car. They got it from one of their customer in exchange offer. The customer was one Mr Jamyang Kalsang who owns a famous Chinese  restaurant  in Dehradoon and Mussorie called ” Kalsang Friends corner”. He was buying a Audi Q5 ( avg cost upward 50 lacs). He got a nice exchange offer for his Yeti.

The car looked okay. There was some rattling in suspension which Audi guy told me was nothing but some minor bush work. I called Mr Kalsang personally to find out and he told me that the car is fine. It only needs a service and it has done 60,000 kms. I was at ease after hearing from Mr Kalsang himself

All good. I can handle minor bush work. Deal done. Money paid. Yeti is now mine.

Part two of the story started with going to the Skoda Service station in Delhi after I purchased the car. A quick look into the computer told me that the car had done 64000 kms in May 2014. So by now it must have done over 1 lac kms. Mr Kalsang who can afford to buy a Q5 has actually managed to turn the meter backwards.

Well done Mr Kalsang!

The “bush” work meant you have change the whole suspension. You can’t just repair the bushes. And this means about Rs 80,000

Well done Audi Dehradoon !

And to add cherry on the cake. At 1 lac kms you need to replace timing belt too. The water pump was bust too so that needed replacement as well. Total bill north of Rs 1 lac.

They say you get what you pay for. But I paid honest rupee for Yeti. I also trusted both the parties in the transaction. I’m now left wondering why someone like Mr Kalsang who is super rich and drives a Q5 will actually do such a cheap thing like tempering the meter. May be he got an extra Rs 50,000 from me. Really for 50,000 rupees.

And why would brand like Audi won’t check car before they sell it to a customer even though it is not Audi. My faith in Audi dealership is zero at the moment. Next they can sell a brand new lemon to you as well. Even if they had no mollified intention their ability to value car is a big ZERO. I wonder how will they fix cars in the workshop.

Normally I trust people with small things like these. You want to cheat, cheat big. Have some standard man.

Both Kalsang Chinese restaurant and Audi Dehradoon are off limits now.

Learned my lesson. I’m never going to trust big people again.They are the ones who will take you for a ride ( a bumpy one)