Monday, March 22, 2010


21st March 2010 was a Sunday. I was getting bored in the house so thought why not go out and do something. My wife reminded me that we had to buy groceries and also dispose off some of our very old clothes and luggage which was occupying a lot of space in the house. Suddenly, my eyes went to the advertisement of big bazaar in the Mumbai Mirror. This was one of those luring ads of big bazaar that actually is very useful to trap the customers. Initially I was not interested but felt that the ad only concerned with my scrap which anyways I would want to dispose off.
The ad announced some very lucrative deals on your scrap and said.
1. Sell off your old clothes at 200 Rs/kg.
2. Sell off your old luggage at 100 Rs/kg.
3. Sell of your old shoes at 200 Rs /kg.

The ad looked impressive enough and I forgot to read the clause part of the ad. I packed all my waste clothes and the bags that I wanted to dispose of in a suite-case and went ahead to sell this to big bazaar.
What happened over there?
My goods fetched me a healthy sum of Rs 1300/-. I was duly issued coupons for this. I thought that my scrap has been worthy enough to by me groceries for the next month. I went to the customer care to ask them how to use this coupons and how to redeem them. They gave me an answer which made the earth below my feet disappear. They told me that to redeem this coupon of Rs 1300/- I would have to make a purchase of groceries worth Rs 1300 X 8 = Rs 10,400/-. They showed me a very tiny clause written in each coupon which said that the face value of the coupon can be used to redeem if you purchase 8 times the value of the coupon. The icing on the cake was that the coupons were valid only uptil the 28th of March 2010. I wondered what a way to do business this is. Pantaloons chairman, must have thought a lot in devising this process so that the following things happen.
1. People are first lured to sell their scrap for worthless coupons.
2. Then to redeem these coupons they do a shopping worth 8 times that of the coupon.
3. This increases your sales by leaps and bounds and gives a very good closing to your quarter four and fiscal year.
4. Also you take the scrap clothes from the people. Sort them out by bright color and dark color. Do the dyeing of the light color clothes and give them some finishing touch and then next month launch them at 20times the price in your summer collection claiming they are the cheapest clothes.

The fourth clause is very interesting.
In short they were making scrap out of people.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Foreign obsession for Indian Poverty

It was 15th of March 2010. My family and myself were coming back from Haridwar after attending the “Shaahi Snaan” in the Maha-Kumbh of 2010. We were very tired and had a very good trip with the dip in the holy ganges. We had to catch the Shatabdi Express to New-Delhi from Haridwar and so we came to the railway station. Needless to say that the railway station was crowded to the full and there was no place to stand. Among the crowd of many Indians like me and like others there were some Foreigners also. Our story begins over here.
How the western world still treats us:
The guys from the west come to India to record the live shots of our crowd and poverty in their SLR cameras. What a waste of technology. I saw few guys in the railway station doing the same. Taking out their hi-tech cameras and taking snaps of the crowded general compartments of the trains. They were gazing people as if they had found extra-terestrial life and this was some kind of a discovery. They wanted to show the west that India is still a poor country despite the fact that it has leapfrogged into the technology era and is a key player. Americans, Europeans feel that this country is a godown of poverty where you can only find poor people begging for money and snake-charmers doing the rope trick. They are still in a denial mode that the country of snake-charmers has now grown to be a technology super-power with industrialists taking over their own business.
I saw a European (British) taking snaps and another guy from America doing the same. I wanted to teach these guys a lesson in their own language. I did not have a SLR but I felt that the compact DSC that I had was enough to make these guys aware that SLRs have a much better purpose than to just take snaps of poverty. The moment the guy was clicking the pictures I took a picture of the guy with my camera so that he feels, what it is to be like an object of curiosity. The guy was not aware initially but then when he realized that someone else is taking his photo he stopped taking the snaps.
Moral of the story: We can all talk about racism, poverty glorification and misrepresentation of our country I blogs, but if we really want to do something we have to equip ourselves. So friends take your cameras, whatever they may be, a soapbox, mobile camera, SLR or camcorder. Whenever you see such people taking memories of our poverty to ridicule us in the west just take a snap or video of those guys to make them aware, what it is to be like a model to the Indian Photographer. Take the snaps of such people openly and show them that Indian people are no more the photographic pleasure of the west but the tables have turned and now the westerners with their SLRs can also be a soft target for us.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Women's reservation 33% in parliament

On the auspicious and very august occasion of International Women's day, Indian democracy staged another stupid play of tabling the women's Reservation Bill in the parliament upper house. In a way the bill is really a farce. This is another way of dynasty politics to come into play. Now we will see more wives and daughters sitting in the parliament while the husbands and the fathers are doing other things to make money.

The political lobby gets a kind of convinience to remote-represent heavy weight candidates by their wives and daughters.

Regarding the sanctity of women's reservation, I have just one thing to say.

Women are shouting on the top of their voice that they are equal to men in all respects. If this is the case then what is the logic for taking a reservation. Take the instance of Indira Gandhi, or Sonia Gandhi or Shushma Swaraj; these people didn't need any kind of reservation to make their mark in the political scenario, so why now? Has the Indian womanhood lost the sheen that it had earlier? Doesn't the fairer sex know how to compete in a healthy way without making excuses of handicaps?

Reservation is something like this "Accept that women are equal to men but at the same time because they are women so give them a handicap."

Is this the way, we will see progress now?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inflation .......... only at 4%

This is what the Honble Finance minister announced during the budget session. Well who can debate that. So now let us understand how this inflation, which we believe is much more than the figure above, comes to this rate.

Govt increases the prices of Vegetables, Pulses and Cereals by 80%. It increases the prices of petroleum products by 5% and so on. So whatever you want to buy is atleast 35% expensive on an average in the era of 4% inflation. So what has gone down to make this 4%?

Prices of Bauxite, Iron Ore, Phosphorus, Hydrochloric Acid have drastically been slashed?

See!!! This is a wonderful thing to happen???? Wow, isn't this exciting.

Come to my house and we shall have "Bauxite Biryani" or tell your girlfriend that we are going to a candlelit restaurant that would serve "Phosphorus Sizzlers in hydrochloric acid sauce".

Just to think of it, to do all this nonsense the Finance ministers
1. Get degrees from Harvard/Wharton/Cambridge.
2. Get PhDs from various institutions.
3. Get votes from stupid people like us.
4. Get a lot of money from the govt exchequer.

So, while people like you and me eat dust and live rich people like Tata and Ambanis get raw material cheap for their industries to prosper.

Very right "Congress ka Haath, Aam aadmi ke saath" but it is only to slap the Aam Aadmi.