25th January Auto Trip

​I opened up Ola. First option was to book an Auto today. I had never tried Ola Auto. It was offering me INR 29 for first 4 kms. 

I booked it and to my surprise I was to be driven by “Yasar Arafat”.

In Auto Yasar told me that it was his first trip as an Ola service. I requested him to show his app functions which he did. It said delayed trip (1), completed trip (1). I wished him best for his expe

rience with Ola. It was neat INR 107 trip. Introducing a new entrepreneur Yasar Arafat….

#Budget2017 Why we need a Robin Hood now?

#Budget2017 Why we need a Robin Hood now?
January 22,2017

As I saw pictures of Halwa ceremony for preparation of budget document on twitter, I wanted to tweet “I avoid sugar intake for fitness”.

Well demonetization was a welcome step and next to it I would expect government to offer transaction based tax instead of direct deduction from salary. Imagine the plight of salaried who directly gets a deduction from the salary unlike a business wherein expenses are incurred before taxes are applied.

UK is already pitching for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) called Robin Hood Tax. The Twitter handle is @RobinHood . Mind you this is a proposed tax on the financial system like banking and not on the individuals.

Aimed at solving poverty in developing nations by contributing 25% of the collection and 25% for climate change, UK movement is something we can learn lesson from.

A global good is required and perhaps demonetization and digital transactions were prerequisite for Robin Hood Tax from the system. A small tax on Banks and Financial Institutions of the extent of 0.05% is likely to collect revenue for government which can be used for social cause. Though I do not have a research document to prove its implications but it is a thought process.

As a salaried individual I would like certain expenses to be tax deductible. Expenses such as Education, Utility, Health and household expenses should be deductible while calculating tax to make way for greater possibility of savings.

I somehow feel that most parliamentarians are business class and do not feel the pinch which a single income earner managing a family is feeling. That’s precisely the reason we need a Robin Hood. It is the same class which makes most digital transactions and keeps their balance sheet (Salary Account) clean from any evasions.

The rewards of demonetization has to be felt by this salaried income class. It is not a simple equation of 10%, 20% and 30% income tax but affordability of this class which is actually going to run the economy by spending their hard saved money. Please don’t burden them further by sops under loan regime. Incentives on home loans and education loans have filled the pockets of real estate and banking industry rather than making this class rich.

May we have Robin Hood use his archery skills now?

Fitness, Why have I been missing it?

Fitness, Why have I been missing it?
January 21,2017

Today morning as usual I got up and started my day with WhatsApp. After the cook, maid and sweeper finished their work and went, I came to the door and picked the newspaper. As I picked the newspaper my next door neighbor was coming back. We exchanged greetings and I assumed she must be coming back from a usual walk (As fitness to me is a simple walk).

On inquiring I was told that she was coming back from the gym which is in the campus. I had seen this gym only once in 10 months but assumed again that it will require costly shoes, trek suits and fees. I was told it was otherwise.

Just yesterday my daughter asked me to buy fitbit and we politely declined due to high cost. I internally knew that the expense may go waste if I don’t follow the regime of disciplined fitness.

Today I experimented and was surprised to find “Google Fit”. Well I don’t mind google tracking my fitness and sells data to insurance companies as long as it keeps me fit. It’s a simple android app and I added four activities which I intend to do regularly with tracking to keep me fit. Walk, Hiking, Yoga and Meditation. Yes it keeps track of meditation as well as non activity and calculates calories spent even if you feel you are not active but the body is active.

I did not buy and wearable device. I just kept the mobile in my pocket and it was counting my steps. Intuitively I set my target for walk for 5000 steps in a day. What could be the target in meditation?

I went out for a walk on a sunny Saturday and made some 4 glances at my mobile to keep going to achieve the goal. Till now all my walks were without any goal. Is goal setting so important in life?

I covered distance of 3.8 kms in 46 minutes, burned 1147 calories and took exactly 5083 steps. This is what google fit reported. Wow, we are using mathematics in health!!

First time I realized why we were taught those complex theorems in school. Utility of mathematics was discovered by me today.screenshot_2017-01-21-10-57-16-419_com-google-android-apps-fitness

Ten Reasons why I will watch RAEES?

Ten Reasons why I will watch RAEES?
January 20,2017

One: I watch films.
Two: I definitely watch controversial films.
Three: I think it’s a fashion to talk about banning a film and making it a super hit
Four: I want to post it on Twitter before my friends do
Five: I want to see story behind the songs in the movie
Six: I have an off on weekend
Seven: Freecharge asked me to transact twice to win a couple ticket to Raees
Eight: SRK is flying a kite in the film
Nine: It has a popular song Laila Main Laila in it which is already a hit
Ten: I am also going to watch Kaabil, compare it and then write reviews.
#Raees #Film

Cafe Toffee Day

Cafe Toffee Day
January 15,2017
Mumbai Airport

It’s amazing day when I started from Pune to find cars blocking express highway for the England- India Cricket Match. The roads were blocked and filled with cars of all varieties. Rich and poor all flocking to see a mania called cricket.

I have never been a cricket fan except when one umpire used to say “Earrings” on television and the camera used to focus on faces with Earrings. Somehow television and cricket used to be attractive in those days. I have lost touch after Dicky Bird stopped coming on screen.

The express highway was an out let for exchanging the Rs. 2000 note while paying for the toll. The journey was smooth as it was a lazy Sunday afternoon.

When I arrived at airport I was checked by the security to frisk of any risk before the car entered the airport. My face probably caught his attention while sitting on the front seat. (I had shaved today yaar)…

As I entered the Airport, it was 3 hours before the flight take off which is usually my standard time. I need some 2 hours odd to enjoy Masala Chai and Scrivener to keep typing as I am doing it now.

Mumbai Airport (Domestic) Terminal 1 is quite crampy but has a Cafe Coffee Day Lounge. I entered with a hope of getting a Masala Chai in a Cup and Saucer but to my surprise it was in a paper cup and dip tea as they call it.

Fortunately I could get a space next to the glass for a better view and sipped my tea with delight. As I finished the tea, I took a chance to spend some more time there but the captain was watchful and asked the cleaner to clean up table F-1. Well thats how I knew that I was a F-1 participant.

The hint to give the place to next customer was good enough to get up. I smiled at the captain and got up. He was caught in his act and apologized. I said, no you are just doing your duty. He asked me to wait for a minute, went away and got a chocolate for me. That’s why I call it “Cafe Toffee Day”.

I again recall my Indigo line, “Flying is a serious profession, please leave your worries beyond this point”.

As I boarded 6E446 to Lucknow I was a bit cozy in warm clothes for getting down at ease in Lucknow. It was expected to be lot cooler than Mumbai. Today again I was the first one to board and got the emergency exit at 13C. More leg space always is welcome for me. I was seated then next to me two young guys, one who had a difficult time locating his seat and the other on the window carrying Chetan Bhagat’s book “One Indian Girl”.

The books that come across in your life are also omens. It is upto you how you read them. As I was looking at the book and wondering Air Hostess Sana came and saw that 7 seats on emergency exit were filled in. She took the chance to brief the passengers on emergency safety procedures.

“Are you comfortable in Hindi”? She asked the guys in front row and got a cold response. “Sir emergency procedure hai, main hindi mein bolun ki english mein?” Two of the guys asked for explanation in Hindi. I was on 13C Aisle and 13D there was a Punjabi fellow traveler Mr. Khosla. On seeing Sana a bit confused about multiple languages, we both uttered “You can explain in Hindi to all”. She wondered as she was not expecting probably an explanation in Hindi and seemed to have a difficulty in language. I somehow felt that she was a new recruit. She excused herself and came back after a moment.

“Ok Sir Main Hindi mein batati hun”, She described in detail in Hindi. I guess that was a better explanation than most briefings of emergency safety procedures in English. Or was it me who could comprehend it better?

As passengers were filling up the seats, I noticed that the other two seats also got occupied near emergency exits. One was a lady near the window and other a seemingly looking politician just ahead of me on Aisle. Sana had to come again to brief them about emergency exit procedures.

“Sir, Ma’am I shall be briefing you about emergency exit procedures. Are you comfortable in English?” The lady said she was comfortable with English in second questioning. The politician just nodded. As time was running out Sana was in hurry as captain had started the announcement. Juggling between captains voice and her explanation, she noticed that the politician was instead busy in his mobile rather than listening to her. She hold up and requested him to listen carefully as it was important part of her duty. She had to sharpen up her tone to grab his attention. Ultimately the chap gave in.

With fast explanation Sana gave I was relieved of the confrontation which I was expecting. The taxiing had started and my eyes went on lighted up “One Indian Girl” under the reader’s light.

I took up the 6E in-flight magazine and lighted the B/W cover with the overhead lights. It was the most attractive cover I had seen. B/W has its own charisma. I wondered if the magazines will ever have more reading content than promotional contents.

During the flight I realized that people get up for washrooms more often when the crew serves with catering trolleys. May be they have a habit of loosening up before an intake.

“What would you like to have it Sir?” Sana asked the tall guy with tatoos reading “One Indian Girl”. “I know why you are smiling, it was a poor explanation in Hindi”. She felt guilty of her own explanation which in my view was rather detailed one.

And I remembered the Quote
“Every great business is built on friendship. ~ JC Penney”

Tales from the real Life

Tales from the real life
January 13, 2017
I opened up the talk for one hour drive from Udupi to Mangalore Airport with driver Monu. I was wanting to hear the story of Udupi restaurants which are famous across India.
Monu like few of the early aspirants of the foreign shores was in Saudi Arabia as driver. He has been driving since past 35 years, 7 years in Saudi and then in India. To my amazement he was able to survive now with paltry 5000 per month salary, sending his kids to government school and getting free ration for being below poverty line. He did lose some money by taking risk of his travel business.
He opened up a story for me which I am sure can be taken up Madhur Bhandarkar for Bollywood Movie. “Haji Abdulla” who was he? I asked as Monu uttered this name. “He owned the whole of Udupi land, he also set up corporation bank with 25 takka.” How old is the story, I asked. He replied 100 years ago…
“Sir, He was getting things from Mumbai and selling in Udupi. Things like lanterns, rice, dal, brooms and what not. All the daily supplies used to come on his ships from Mumbai. He was a trader. Britishers were his friends and he used to make tea for Britishers by burning stove with notes.” (Tea and Notes made me curious as these are important in these times in India as well).
Monu went on, “He was so direct and helpful that as a Municipal Mayor he used to burn lanterns on big khambas on the streets of Udupi upto Manipal.” He did lot of charity for people but people took advantage of him. He had no kids, only wives.”
“He died by consuming his diamond ring.” “Why”, I asked?
“Sir many people like those Konkani people who were made payments in Cheques used to change figures in the cheques which he used to sign. He was not literate, His only connection with pen was that he could sign.” Figures of 10,000 was made 100,000 and en-cashed. He became bankrupt. His bank was seized and he took decision to leave his body”. “You know how people are Sir.” I could hear the undertone in his voice.
Haji Abdulla of Udupi was famous as he was a rich merchant and a bank founder. But Monu, I knew he was talking something from his subconscious. He was narrating story of Haji Abdulla in his voice and depth of his heart. The story was of Haji Abdulla but had few emotions experienced by Monu in his lifetime.
I allowed his to speak and he narrated me the story of Mangalore docks, the survival of Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher debacle and the growth of Mangalore as a trading hub. He was a boxful of historical facts. “This dock gets lots of foreigners as tourists by ship. That’s the time when all taxiwala make lot of money. They pay a good tip to us”. I could hear him well.
Few miles before Mangalore International Airport he turned from History to Geography. “ Sir, This Airport is made with lot of kickbacks. The land between mountains has been filled and a runway has been created on top of the hill. It’s an architectural mistake”. Monu went on. He then narrated incident of an International Aircraft landing into “Pataal” by skidding the runaway a little bit. “This airport has only 4 toilets, eatery giving dosa at Rs. 50 and is called International Airport. I have to come down 3 Miles to eat dosa Sir to save money.”
I was mesmerized by his storytelling oratory skills. I am sure that’s the skill a driver needs in a sector like Tourism.
He dropped me at Mangalore Airport in time, handed over a ready made bill and had exactly 90 seconds to be at dropping point for avoiding a penalty of Rs. 500 for being at Mangalore International Airport.
What I learned was that the stories are in real conversations. The ones on google are text whereas the ones heard properly are backed with emotions as well. The tone of the voice tells you a better story than the text.
Monu like most drivers had the story inside him. I took a chance to open up the conversation with him and learned so much which as was simply not possible had I been browsing Internet and searching for keywords “Mangalore, Udupi, Manipal, Airport, International, Tourism”. The character of the story was “Haji Abdulla” and the scenes were 100 years ago during British era which neither Monu nor me had seen in our life time. He was narrating a story which he might have heard in his life time.
So the epics of 1000 years of folklores are also stories passed generation after generation. It is our judicious decision to believe fully or partially on them. Treating them facts and then fighting over it will be useless unless we have the wisdom to accept them as pure stories.
I will surely read more about Haji Abdulla and verify the facts before being biased on the story. It is a great research topic on historical facts and genesis of a bank called Corporation Bank.
Had I not asked him right questions, I was assuming Mr. Abdulla to be a smuggler and a don of Udupi.
My original flight had to be canceled and a new booking had to be made to the maximum city for minimum fare. On board on emergency exit seats 24D-F I saw 3 shaukeens sitting and chatting with each other in elite English.On a flight of Jet Airways they must have requested Air Hostess for on board facilities more than 10 times unlike other common passengers who ask it only once for refreshment. These shaukeens want black tea with lemon, some extra chocolates, favour for extra attention to their wives sitting on 24A-C and a some extra time to talk to the ladies serving 240 passengers. They had a birthright to be attention seekers.
The crew handled them all with grace. Now you can hear my story in above paragraph as well…… Can you?

Millennials, I can see them coming

Millennials, I can see them coming
January 08,2017
The Me Me Me Generation as I understand and feel about Millennials. The word is quite common these days and definitions are abound on Internet, Wikipedia and twitter.
I will just share my personal experiences in this blog.
When I visit my home town Bhopal, my father takes all the effort to receive us at railway station or airport, whatever the case may be. When parents visit my town, I am at liberty to tell them to take a cab and come home as I want to utilize time in something which I feel is productivity enhanced. So theirs is a generation more patient and caring and ours is out of time, busy on WhatsApp and Facebook, and we think we are smarter than their generation (courtesy smart phones).
Today I could see next generation of my young cousins visiting my home town. They did not even cared to meet, forget not even call. All we got was a WhatsApp message on common group with pictures telling us that they were around. Frankly me and my wife both did have an unpleasant experience. Well that’s progress of Millennials. We figured it out that actual reason for the same was that we do not drink alcohol and are somewhat outcast from social circles.
I can sense how my daughter is going to grow up. The kids at this age are demanding of all the facilities in life and parents do everything to fulfill them. The younger lot in my view has lost a chance to see challenges in life. By owning a flat and a car before they hit 30, the generation feels they have achieved everything. Everything yes, but at certain cost.
When I had a burn out at 33 I did not realize I was chasing dreams which was wanted fast and engrossed myself into work. Forgetting that time devoted to work, being an workaholic has it’s own cost. The need to mention here these points is that I can see my young cousins getting into a trap which all Millennials are going to face.
When I was young in school and college, I had friends. Friends who supported, chatted, discussed and did things unconditionally. Now this generation doesn’t talks, doesn’t discusses and is happy in their own world.
I really don’t know how they treat their parents but frankly our generation is different and so will be coming generations. Time which was supposed to be spent with family and friends is often spent on WhatsApp and Facebook.
No wonder Reliance Jio will be making money on data services as people instead of mingling with next door neighbor are busy on their small screens.
I read today in Times of India blog that French Government gave workers a New Year gift, by reversing the British novelist’s dictum and gave employees the right to disconnect from their mobile phones and computers so that office work didn’t disrupt their spare time.”
I think we need the same else the Millennials are going to need more life coaches like we saw in Dear Zindagi.
According to Simon Sinek, Millennials are typically people born after 1984, they are self interested, unfocused and difficult to manage. They get free food from office along with bean bag and they are still not happy. They always show life is amazing on Facebook and Instagram but inside they are depressed. I could have explained more but I would request you to see YouTube video “Simon Sinek on Millennials at Workplace “.
Trust me you will get the genesis of my today’s blog.