Was It Worth It

you know, in early childhood one always used to hear guidance that 'all play & no studies will turn you bad'.. you will end up being a loser.. a person with no means.. with nothing & all along i believed that was indeed the case.. but after three years slugging it out on job & a realty boom, i am no king either.. i didn't turned up into a millionaire.. & what happened to those losers who all they did was to bunk & fail all along.. one could see them riding in their glitzy honda's & accord's.. their homes are huge & palatial while i 'm still to find a descent flat for me somewhere, not to say the lifelong EMI's that i would be paying.. what had i done to deserve this nondescript life.. what was this array of degree worth when others with half of qualification seems to be doing damn well.. this is the case that is being played in suburbia.. over & over again.. be it gurgoan or dehradun or any upcoming hub.. people with lands.. even small patches of land have struck gold big time... plots of couple of hundred mtrs. are going for 15-20 lakhs.. not to say of people who have acres of land.. they are sitting over loads & loads of cash.. and when you have so much,why would anybody settle for a job that just pays couple of lakhs yearly.. even interest on that crores would earn you much more.. it just makes me wonder where had we gone wrong ? maybe it is not that bad.. but yes the age-old advise hold no promise now.. not for me.. not when one is paying that life long EMI's.. Boy, was it worth it ?

~In The Army Now~

You & I

the 2006 as a year is drawing to the close and its time to reflect on the year gone... on what have we achieved and lost as we (time) progressed... its also the time for the media to come up with their lists of the year's top things.. Time.com are the first to come up with the person of the year this year they have named 'You' as the person of the year... Yes 'You'... all those people who have made the web2.0 the most happening place.. be it the kind of innovation, the collaboration.. the sense of getting yourself heard... the community-ship that spans all the people of the world...( not all people, but all connected people..) thats a huge achievement given that just 15 years back only a handful of people had anything like email... we have surely come a long way... and 2006 will be a watershed & all this would not have been possible without the content creators... the creators of the videos,blogs,myspace profiles,flickr albums ,orkut profiles.. and other community based forums.... creators who did not sit in flashy studios or wrote in victorian english.. but people with their home-made videos.. their occasional personal logs.. their personal lives... people like you & me...


Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?
The answer is, you do.

But that's what makes all this interesting. Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment, and like any experiment worth trying, it could fail. There's no road map for how an organism that's not a bacterium lives and works together on this planet in numbers in excess of 6 billion. But 2006 gave us some ideas. This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person. It's a chance for people to look at a computer screen and really, genuinely wonder who's out there looking back at them. Go on. Tell us you're not just a little bit curious.


~London Calling~

Who Turned My Tap Off

as the world continues growing on a fast clip.. one crucial thing that getting more & more vital for continued growth is energy.. most of the developed & developing world is today fossil-fuel based.. be it gasoline or LNG.. and these resources are in lands ruled by the most rogue-est of regimes on the face of the earth (sudan,burma,iran,saudi arabia..).. and some not so rogue (russia).. everybody wants to make their energy lines secure (at least history has taught us so.. WWII).. hence a mad scramble ( by developed nations) to buy out oil assets in any possible area.. add to this the oil producing nations attempt to nationalize or keep the oil industry in government's hands (russia,bolivia,venezuela ect) to control the future prices... we are in a situation where too much of money & national power is chasing to few assets... and oil companies in both producing & consuming nations have become an extension of the government's foreign policy stratagem... but does energy nationalism work out in a new market driven market place.. wouldn't government ownership just add to the nepotism already prevailing in these corrupt regimes... the answer is nobody wants to take chances... after all the lifeline of today's economy is energy.. a $3/gallon a gasoline made Bush sweat.. think of what happens if there is none of it.. in asia the oil scenario is geo-political.. China/India are out their trying to hedge their needs in case something bad happens in middle-east... by buying out in central asia/burma/africa.. the regimes are also playing partner... those nations no being part of party are busy taking control of their energy resources and using them to exert political power... as oil becomes the new currency of this global and ever-energy-hungry economy...

~Cinnamon Girl~

India Shinning, Bharat Whining

i just read that congress is pretty skeptic about tom-tomming the booming economy and record growth rates for the fear that it may back-fire ( remember BJP's india shining campaign... ) to be frank there are reasons for the skepticism.. after sixteen years of above six percent growth.. there is a feeling that the agrarian sector is down in dumps... i have a feeling that this sector is below what it was when liberalization started... since '91 the share of industry & services have leaped while agriculture's share has plummeted.. though the people employed have remained same or maybe increased considering that rural areas have higher population growth rates... so the cake has got much bigger.. but of the farmers the per-unit cake is more or less same... never before in modern india has one seen such rural suicides or such ever widening chasm in income levels between rural and urban india... the way i see it... no roads/phones/water/electricity in rural india is just due to the plain fact that rural sector is not lucrative enough so that they can be targeted.. maybe some socialist can ask, should only lucrative things be done... to be fair to private economy.. you are in there as long as you are able to make money out of it... the main question is why agriculture pays so less... where did the reformers went wrong w.r.t agriculture... the answer lies with the sector itself... our agriculture still lies in the shadows of PL-480, of green revolution, of wheat/rice/sugarcane, of some nehruvian utopic dream... whereas the reality is decided in electronic commodity exchanges or the rain god... everybody knows that growing wheat/rice on a five-ten hectare land over & over again just manifests itself in law of diminishing returns... leave that to big farmers who can use scale as efficiency.. or leave it to huge farmlands of US/Canada... instead focus on the niche.. like horticulture,vegetables, oilseeds,spices and pulses and maybe mushroom or plantation... the scale of the holdings ( generally very small... ) is another big problem... how can one get use the advantages of scale & efficiency... something on the lines of amul would be worth trying.. maybe a corporative framework... ( its not a throwback to mao's commune based... but very much on the same lines... but a corporate player being involved to drive the much needed efficiency... ) developed countries are subsidizing farm sector despite of WTO while we are doing nothing to mend this sector of its ills... maybe the corporate model is something that can succeed... maybe... and what's the harm in trying... you can't fall back more then where we are today... those 700 million souls deserve their place in the india shining...

~ Mr Tambourine Man~

Ooch... You Are On My Toes

there seems to be a general disquiet thats brewing up in the Indian executive and legislative quarters ( duh.. so they have time apart from jostling over dipping fortunes of men in blue.. ) over the supposed usurping of their power by the Indian courts.. supreme court in particular.. over the course of some weeks the courts have caught hold of some high profile cases (sanjay dutt,sealing...) and loud mouthed people (soren, sidhu.. ect.) ... besides supreme court gave investigative agencies the absolute authority to prosecute politicians without requiring any prior nod of the court in cases registered against any politician... this is an overreaching decision that may help stopping the time lag in investigation and stem the moral corruption that has set in the political class.. but somehow politicians seems not to agree.. and why would they... the moot question is why after nearly sixty years to unhindered democracy we have reached a stage where one pillar of democracy is stepping on the other and whose mistake or oversight it is... aren't the politicians themselves to blame for having failed the indian masses... and if the judiciary is stepping in to clear the mess.. how can these politicians have the face to oppose them... this is not to say the judiciary has been above the board always... cases of sidhu, soren and else have been hanging fire not due to any legislative bottleneck but due to courts failure to deliver justice... so its all about choosing the lesser devil.. a new bill is being introduced to form a tribunal to look at any misconduct on the part of the judges... this is welcome... nothing should be treated like a holy cow now... accountability is something that has to be built up from inside and ground-up inside all arms of the democracy... but you know any kind of a safety valve ( i would better call it a whip... ) is always a relief... it just gives the democracy more elbow room to function... another dimension to work... i would not call it activism... it just the democracy ( not individual arms) realizing that there is a problem that needs to be mended... and fix it before the democracy loses its soul... the people

~Jennings Farm Blues~