Paradiso Nonsensia..!

Name:
Location: Mumbai/Bangalore, MAH/KAR, India

jack of all trades, master of a few, glorified driver or...put simply, cockpit crew.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

of inflation,oil prices and other trivial matters...

Inflation: currently pegged at 11.89%.its projected to rise further.and finally bring about a fiscal yr avg of around 9% . in lay terms, a 100rs note i have today, will be worth only 98.11rs next yr. or a product tat costs me 100rs today, will cost me 111.89 next yr.
not scary enough for the average individual like you and me??
ok..lets just say i want to buy that new flashy bmw5 series..approx 42 lakhs (on road,mumbai)..
next yr, it will cost me 46.6lakhs (approx)...
(and thats assuming the inflation remains 11.89%!!!)

currency strength: the rupee has been slowly BUT consistently sliding downwards, with the dollar currently 43.23..in lay terms..if you're working in an IT company..god news!! u will be making more money!!! if you're a net importer, boohoo.business will suck (if it wasnt already in the dumps yet!)
indian travellers: postpone those exotic vacations to a more suitable date (not anytime in the near future if u ask me!)unless offcourse, you have a rich papa to foot your bills.

oil prices: 140$.. i remember last year, when it touched 60$ a barrel. people complained. now it has touched 140$.. and with it projected to touch 170-180$ by september, phew , you would have expected there to be riots, failed govts, international instability everywhere!!!
but, lets see, what is the aftermath of the much despised rise??
The traffic at every road still seems the same.
I still see a rise in sale of fuel guzzling SUVs and Monster trucks.
And i still see no improvement in the public transport system, which is often to be blamed for the continued dependence on personal means of transport by most of us.

Offcourse, many were the reports that claimed that with this increase in price, the demand for oil will decrease. Coupled with the increase in the oil produced by OPEC, the fuel price should gradually settle down to a more realistic 80-100$ a barrel.
hmmm, so what went wrong? i suspect the govt grossly underestimated the buying power of the average indian. the current 60rs/litre is not high enough to burn a hole in his pocket. Maybe a 80rs/litre might do the trick! who knows!! lets try it (in case mr.deora is reading this..)
now, dont get me wrong here. i'm also a fellow hypocrite who leaves an incredibly large carbon footprint (professional hazard i guess!!!)
but then, i do believe if i cant afford something, i wont use it. (hehe.. elementary my dear watson!!)
i find it hard to believe that the only development in the last 100 odd years of internal combustion technology, the only advancement is an increase in the mileage of 2-3 kmpl(in the days of the ford model T).. to the 16kmpl of the Santro!
im not from Alibaug, you know!

And finally, the N deal. Now here is something that everyone is talking about, but nobody ( n here i sometimes suspect even Karat!!) has any idea of what the real issue is. Lets accept it, we've been sleeping all these years. Nuclear technology in other countries is eons ahead of us. We need to borrow tech know-how from countries like france, united states etc.
Also, mining for nuclear fuel in uranium rich areas in india is not feasible till the day we have a strong single party govt at the centre that doesnt need to pander to the taste of the multitudes of tiny regional parties that inevitably are the crutches of the typical indian govt.
So, bottomline being, we borrow reactor tech AND the fuel to run them. get ourselves some cheap energy. in return we grant IAEA certain liberties (only in civilian nuclear establishments!!!)..
now if we're not doing anything illegal and have nothing to hide, why should we NOT sign the deal??
Practicality, truck loads of it if you ask me, needs to be dumped on the policy makers in India.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Vote for me..

yes...in my utopian world..i would have run for President of the United States of America, and probably won it too..
but reality presents a stark contrast.. and hence lets see what are the choices the avg american has..
if the basis for comparison is the current 'dork'...even a cabbage with an IQ of -5 would seem a smart choice..
but the standard of this blog demands more rationale, hence i decided to read up some more..
and the more i read, the more i realised my knowledge of let alone the current front runners, but the whole american political system itself was alarmingly pitiful..

based on my elementary reading, i get the feeling that the republican race is for all practical purposes over.. with McCain clearly being the best option.Giuliani has been a pathetic excuse with his "i was mayor during the 7/11".The rest are successfully doing their job of making the numbers.
But with 2 back to back republican terms, i suspect this round belongs to the democrats. And co incidentally thats also where all the action is!

Hillary Vs Obama has been the headlines for quite some time now.
i came across this interesting analogy, which beautifully sums up the situation.
Its a choice between the Dean of the university and the new rookie arts professor.
The Dean is a seasoned veteran. She knows her job well and how to do it. She knows the rules and how to play the game. She does her job more because she has to do it, not out of choice.
while the new prof is a breath of fresh air. Hes different, not just with his ideas and hopes, but hes of african-american origin too! w-o-w...now thats making "different" literal.
its a question of experience versus inexperience...
of cold hearted bitch versus the romantic novice...
of 'easy on the eye' rich new yorker versus the 'lets be different..lets show we're not racist..lets be different' attutude...
of the 'this is how ive been doing it..this is how it will continue to be done" thinker....versus..the" lets try something new" thinker..

the latest polls show Hillary had a good headstart, but Obama has slowly but surely caught up and has now almost managed to only just stay ahead of Clinton.

personally, i cudnt care less who wins....may the best man/woman win...i just hope the new prez does a better job than the current dork.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

can i become a terrorist?

the recent mumbai blasts made me wonder.. if possible.. wat wud make me want to do the same?
If some1 attacked/harmed my family.. i wud take revenge on tat particular person..

if some family harmed my family.. i wud in retaliation harm tat family..

if a organisation/group were to harm my family.. i wud harm tat grp/org in return..

but if a country were percieved to be causin harm to me or my family.. wud i go to the extent of harmin jus abt nebody from tat country..??

most hard line terrorists in India use the pretext of Kashmir to justify their almost fanatic and blinded jihad.
but does killing innocent ppl returnin home from work in a crowded mumbai local guarantee a separate kashmir.. or social well being of the perenially oppressed locals of POK?
most recent surveys conducted in the valley bear testimony to the increasing frustration of the locals.. neither the Pak govt.. nor the Indian govt seems to have done anythin for their well being.. both sides just seem busy in pointin fingers.. n playin politics.the ppl in the valley have painfully seemed to integrate both the bombing of their backyard and playin a fun game of gilli danda.. into their new stoic lifestyle... almost hinting tat the whole concept of azaad kashmir being jus a 1 beau dream.

let alone kashmir.. wat does the word "pakistan" evoke in the mind of an avg indian citizen..?
'terror','islam','dictator',uncouth, uncivilized... (n beautiful fair skinned women.. if the citizen bein considered happens to be a young male :)) )
but does tat mean tat every indian wants to take up a bomb and go wreak havoc in the streets of karachi?
i dont feel like.. doubt i wud have felt like doin it.. even if a family member had died on tat train..n even if i knew tat the pak govt had placed those bombs..

wat then separates me from those ppl who did tat dastardly act?
i refuse to believe tat any person can be moved into doin such a pointless deed for purely sentimental reasons...

but then... y even bother writin this piece.. when almost surely.. no potential or current terrorist is ever goin to be readin this..
:))

jus hope someday logic and reason prevails..and violence when used.. is used in the right way.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Never Kiss-n-tell!!

The casting couch is not a new phenomenon in Bollywood..
lecherous producers and casting agents have been around since the time of maybe even Dadasaheb Phalke..!
but the remarkable unwritten policy followed by every poor soul sucked up into this vortex of deciet, power, fame, money and jealousy remains:
never kiss-n-tell!

Repercussions for those who violate this can range from being ostracized from the filmi community.. to being sidelined at the very least.

Recently during the famous shakti kapoor sting operation.. a lot of "shit" hit the cieling.. with names like priety zinta, yash chopra etc being dragged into this controversy.
(personally i say somebody is sleeping around with some1.. all the time.. but then.. tats my view)
but the way in which the entire film fraternity rallied behind the high priest of bolywood, mr.chopra, and publicly sidelined mr.kapoor was interesting.

more recently.. when a certain ms.sawant hit the headlines for a lot of things.. latest amongst which was the kiss with mika..n the subsequent court case.
the treatment meted out to her by the media.. was at best.. condescending..
it was hilarious to watch her interviews on the hundreds of news channels tat featured her..
with the anchor asking her all sorts of inane questions.. taking subtle potshots at her..
while the busty bimbette played all.."ohh.. im so naive.. im so innocent".. with a superbly unconvincing look.

for the ignorant..i will try to reproduce some of the "pearls of wisdom" , courtesy ms.sawant.

" i have a hot body. log paise dete hai mujhe dekhne ke liye.. they like my jhatkas.. my expressions, my dance moves. when i have to become sexy.. i make a face like this (n she makes a constipated expression)..... ppl go all crazy!"

"agar ek ladki apne baap se ladkar is industry mein aa sakti hai.. to fir kuch bhi karke.. mehnat karke..(added as an afterthought!).. yeh industry mein bahut aage jaa sakti hai"

"rakhee sawant is hot.. and im wearing a dress made of ONLY coins.. so HOT MONEY"
(at a promo for her brother's new movie.."hot money")


"im not a cheap starlet.. yah c grade actress.. im an A-list dancer..and i have so so many fans.. at every show.. its not hundreds that come.. but thousands that come to see me dance.. you shud the way they react when i come on stage.. or do this.."

"i will ask the womans rights organisation to campaign for me.. my rights have been violated by mika.. is there no law in this country???"
(n the best part is.. som organisation is actually supporting her!)

"i am shocked.... how can u say this?"
(when asked by a reporter if she knew anything abt a recent MMS doing the rounds with her in the nude)


all the above portrays a woman who came here with big dreams..and enroute to making her dreams come true..most probably indulged in certain questionable activities..
and when her fame went to her head.. she decided to brk the rules!

Just a week back i was reading an article.. in which the author..( a respectable and well known film critic).. goes on to mention that within the film circles.. the story doing the rounds is..
"at the time of the audition of her first movie..for the song "mohabbat hai mirchi".. the audtioners had asked her wats so spcl abt her.. n wat makes her unique..
shes supposed to have bared all and the rest as we kno.. is history."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

cartoons hai hai..!

The recent furore over the danish cartoons making fun of the prophet sure has caught a lot of media attn..
And why not... muslims all over the world have reacted strongly to it..
right here in UP.. an imam has placed a bounty of 50 lakhs on the poor cartoonist's head..!!!

to date, all i knew was that the cartoons had made fun of the prophet muhammed.. but no newspaper or new channel dared show the cartoons..

understandably, when recently a friend fwded the same to me.. i finally found out wat the issue was all about.
well.. honestly the cartoons were not funny at all.. and i really cant understand why the editor even consented to publishing the same.

but leave tat aside, wat interested me was tat when i fwded the same to a few more friends.. i was surprised by the no of replies to my mail saying how could i fwd somethin like tat.. and to be very careful and not fwd stuff like tat etc etc..

I find such behaviour extremely disturbing for 2 reasons:
1. my intention for fwdin the same.. was not to poke fun.. but to make my friends aware as to wat was the exact nature of the cartoons.
2. like the majority, im unaware of the unwritten law that islam doesnt allow pictorial depictions of the prophet muhammed in any form watsoever.

that being said.. it just brought another question to my mind..why is it that in general i find my muslim friends to be the most fanatically protective abt their way of life and religion than lets say my christian/ hindu/ sikh friend?
does the inherent insecurity that most followers of islam possess.. have anythin to do with the fact tat in most countries the muslim population is indeed a minority.

watever be the reason.. i just hope this issue.. coupled with the recent blast at the SankatMochan temple in Varanasi doesnt snowball into another religious riot.
globally speaking too... the cartoon issue has managed to unite muslims wordwide in protest against this atrocity..and if not handled deftly.. can lead to a formal war bw the islamic world and the west. already the stage is set for a potential showdown.. Hamas is the ruling party in palestine.. Iran is being subjected to ridiculous regulations by uncle Sam...egypt mite be facing a civil unrest, and i wont be suprised if the radical arab brotherhood comes to power there too..the cartoons mite just be the spark to blow wide open this volatile atmosphere...and if it does...things are as bad as it can get for the islamic world..
Islam indeed has nothing to loose ..

PS- i AM against the cartoons.. i support the protests.. BUT i condemn the extreme measures tat have been adopted in protest by some sections of the society.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

globally warmed.. just for you..

I must admit.. I recently read Michael Crichton’s ‘State of Fear’…
And the pages of facts and questions raised in that book led me to do a small research of my own into this ‘global warming’ phenomena.

1st off… Kyoto Pact.. just a series of rules and regulations that advice on the level of CO2 (n other green house gases) emissions and pollutants levels. Most countries have earnestly signed the pact, except for ‘dork’ ruled US of A, China and a few other countries.

BUT.. did you know... that Kyoto's costs are excessively high and its benefits, in terms of net climate cooling, infinitesimally small. Cost estimates for the first round of Kyoto, from now till 2012, are of the order of €500-billion to €1 trillion. The proponents of Kyoto have calculated (but never published) that this will result in a net cooling of less than 0.02 (two hundredths!) degrees Celsius in 2050. This is undetectable even with the most accurate thermometers of today. Moreover, the yearly fluctuations of temperatures are a multiple of this figure.

Talk of global warming and the media loves to play clips of large chunks of ice falling off from huge glaciers at the poles…
But.. scientific reports abound.. that in the last 2 decades or so..there has actually been a period of growth.. many significant glaciers have actually advanced to within 40% of their original sizes ( from the times of the last Ice Age!!!!)

In fact there are even reports that the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere have lead to a significant increase in agricultural productivity all over the world!!!

The UN has been screaming themselves hoarse with their surface temperature records for the last 200-300 yrs or so.. and pointing out the warming rate of about 0.17˚C (0.31˚F) per decade since 1979.
But parallel research involving temperature measurement by other methods such as weather balloons and satellites.. show a completely different picture.
More or less.. temperatures have remained constant.
Offcourse.. skeptics might argue that the UN records talk abt surface temperatures and contradicting info talks abt atmospheric temperatures ( atleast 10+ km)….in which case.. once again.. this anomaly in the temperatures just goes on to show our relative ignorance of atmosphere and how weather changes. Conventional knowledge would have led us to blive that both sets of readings should have been in agreement to some extent atleast..!!!
The lower tropospheric data are often cited as evidence against global warming, because they have as yet failed to show any warming trend when averaged over the entire Earth. The lower stratospheric data show a significant cooling trend, which is consistent with ozone depletion. In addition to the recent cooling, large temporary warming perturbations may be seen in the data due to two major volcanic eruptions: El Chichon in March 1982, and Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991.

Leave apart the temperature levels… lets talk abt sea levels. Proponents of global warming say yes, it is rising. Facts are there for all to see…most reports claim a rise in abt 10-25 cms in the last 100yrs…researchers speculate that probable causes range from global warming, melting of ice caps to other “inexplicable” factors.
But interestingly, no report will claim with absolute certainty the reasons. All just mention the rise and probable causes.

No.. im not saying global warming is not happening.. IT IS. And we need to embrace the Kyoto pact.. cuz even if the benefits seem miniscule to our generation….its worth it.
All im trying to say here is that, many ppl read abt global warming and go..” the end is here.. we’re doomed”…but even the best researchers in this field will confess.. there’s still a lot to learn, still a lot to understand.. and a lot tat will remain inexplicable..

Weather prediction is still not called an “exact” science you see..proof? not a single climate model ever made has lived up to its expectations, to date.

Sources:
www.globalwarming.org; www.co2science.org ; www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sensex-ional!!

No..im not covering porn in this post..tats better left to ppl much more qualified than urs truly.. tday's topic is the sensex..and it breached the 9000pt mark during trading some time yesterday.

History:oldest stock exchange in India, the Bombay Stock Exchange established in 1875 as the Native Share and Stock Brokers Association at Dalal Street. 318 persons became members upon paying Re 1.
The Sensex, first compiled in 1986, is a 'Market Capitalisation-Weighted' Index of 30 component stocks i.e. ACC, Bajaj, Bharti, BHEL, Cipla, Dr Reddy's, GACL, Grasim, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Hero Honda, Hindalco, HLL, ICICI Bank, Infosys, ITC, L&T, Maruti, NTPC, ONGC, Ranbaxy, Reliance, Reliance Energy, Satyam, SBI, Tata Motors, Tata Power, TCS, Tisco and Wipro

and now for my piece.. the sensex first showed signs of the current trend to fly up n away back in 92-93.. when the Congress govt backed economic reforms opened up the market.. declared the end of license raj.. foreign investments 1st started trickling in..(thanks manmohan singh!) proof:from 1000 in july 25,1990.. to 4000 on march 30,1992.
after tat there was no looking back.. from the BJP led coalition win.. to Reliance emerging as a major player in the private sector.. to the IT boom.. to the recent congress led electoral win.. offcourse there was the fair share of hiccups...like the harshad mehta scam..the dotcom bust..but suprisingly.. the BSE has displayed unusual recuperative powers.. and bounced back stronger than b4.. we even survived the south east asian Fin crisis relatively unharmed..!

Most skeptics of the current bull run .. tat began with the current govt's tenure at the centre...would never have believed that this run would last so long. hell.. i myself was happy to note the sluggish performance in the recent months.. which seemed to agree with the pessimistic market predictions tat were doin the rounds of late. Friends who are active in this financial circus.. gave me varying insights to the cause and effects of every spike or fall in the sensex... foreign investement .. esp from Japan, had the local speculators very excited abt the money waiting to be made. But rumours abounded that the japs were waitin for the right moment to start rolling their dice..

as for the current meteoric rise.. its attributed to sustained foreign fund buying and hopes of higher fund allocation for India in 2006 . (Foreign funds have bought Indian shares worth $780 million in November, taking the total to more than $8.48 billion in 2005, after pulling out more than $866 million in October. The mutual funds have put in Rs 363 crore so far in November after buying shares worth Rs 2,900 crore in October.) And the magic is not just being done by the poster boys of the 'moolah' club..offcourse the regular culprits like IT companies.. banks.. n infrastructure players have done well........ in addition there r capital goods heavyweights like L&T,seimens n others.. overall.. of the 30 in the sensex.. 26 haved moved into the green tday..(w-o-w!)

In short.. for ppl out there.. who like me are hesitant to enter the mkt.. fearing tat its the end of the bull run..i guess theres still money to be made.. take a risk..and hear the registers ring..!