why Quote

Ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
– W. Somerset Maugham

It said, “Insert disk #3” but only two will fit!

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
– Mitch Ratcliffe
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When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
– Henry Ford

In Heaven all the interesting people are missing.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

“Sometimes what’s right isn’t as important as what’s profitable.”
– Trey Parker and Matt Stone



A friend of mine gave me a link of some good puzzles. Most of them were common sense based challenging your power of estimation, visualization and creativity. But I found this interesting one.

Puzzle: Count from 1-10 in base negative 2

Puzzle2: You have three baskets filled with fruit. One has apples, one has oranges, one has a mixture of both. You cannot see inside the baskets. Each basket is clearly labeled, and each is labeled incorrectly. How can you determine what’s in each basket by choosing only one fruit from one basket?


Sometimes you are too confused to stay and too scared to run.

I think this line summarizes what most of the relationships which are on the verge of transition. Life is too short to waste. Also I always believed that a feeling as pure as LOVE should never be kept hidden. Every moment is the right time to express it.

Friendship is the first step towards love. If there is trust, if both of you look forward to spend time together, and enjoy each other’s company then go ahead express yourself.

You will immediately offload a big burden from your head. And never again you will sit back and wonder…. “She could have been mine”. It is always better to try and fail, rather than to sit back as couch potatoes and ponder endlessly what would be the right time.

Cartoons Thoughts

Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Setting the tone right, let me continue my discussions on junta colony and merge it with the ideas I got from “Fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid”

If any one of you has actually visited slums, you would realize that you are more likely to see TV, coolers than toilets. Since these people live in constant fear of eviction, they do not invest in improving their living conditions. Hence there is no drainage, pest control, sanitation or even paint on the house.

Government cannot provide them with ration card (PDS), drinking water, electricity or even health care cards because for all these, you need a permanent residence. And providing these cards means legitimizing their claim on the land. Net result the schemes meant for urban poor never reach the poor themselves.

Since nobody has the legal ownership, the goons have a field day. They run their clandestine operations there, they settle all the disputes and rule the area.

Slum lands cannot be used by its owner because eviction/relocation is politically impossible. The poor who have been occupying it for almost 15-20years do not own it. I always believe land/house is an asset. If you have property in your name, you can use it to raise funds and invest properly. If there was a way in which poor/rich got the ownership, they could unlock its value.

As real estate becomes more expensive apartments, high rise buildings become cheaper. But since nobody is willing to invest in construction, poor continue to live in single storied shacks. What a waste!

Solution (refer the cartoon above): 1 lakh apartments.

Make 7-10 storied apartments, each with 1open kitchen facing the window, 1 bathroom (with sanitation, running water), 150-200 sq feet of living room, a door with your own lock and key. Most important make them have clear titles, so there is never again a fear of eviction.

The building will unlock lots of slum land, so even the govt/land owner might me more than willing to give the land for free.

The ground floor can have shops whose rental could pay for the apartment upkeep.

Does it not sound feasible?

Well each metro has room for 10,000 such houses (100 cr business opportunity in each city) multiply it by the number of cities and it will be a few percentage of the country’s GDP. Builder who made it possible is actually doing good business while also serving the poor

Poor happy because they will get quality of life.

Banks: give me one bank which will not like to be part of this humongous venture.
I am sure even the poorest can raise 20k for their dream house, and borrow another 10k from relatives. So net result bank can give a 70k loan against a secured property of 100k (sounds logical)

The EMI (@8%) would be 586/- p.m. on 70k. (so it will take 17 months of default for bank to lose 10k of safety margin… I think it is worth the risk for the bank)

Since most of the slum dwellers never had a banking account. This loan will give banks new clients and will give poor access to cheep credit and attractive savings schemes.


education Thoughts

Closing of English Medium schools

One should always go by the spirit of the law rather than the wording. Recently Karnataka government threatened to shout down over 4000 schools in and around Bangalore.
Reason: They have permit of running Kanada medium while they were actually teaching English medium.

1) If Government wants to promote Kananda, then it should open up more schools. Shutting down schools that are already running won’t promote Kanada in any form.
2) Since these schools were not getting any government grants (in fact they were paying huge sums for license etc.) State has no business in interfering with there proceedings (unless of course the education and facilities are sub-standard)
3) Majority of these schools lied in the suburban area, where people from lower middle class used to send their wards for quality education. So denying them English education might force the parents to shell out huge sums for the already few education.
4) There is a market for English medium schools so private schools cater to the niche. Closing these schools would only worsen the situation. Remember it will be the poor who will suffer, the rich will pay some donation and continue to send their kids to the choicest schools.
5) Do they want some kick-back to regularize these schools? More the controls, more inspector raj, more the corruption.

When will government realize that it has done a shoddy job in providing government sponsored primary schools to the masses? Subsidizing college education at the expense of primary education does not benefit the average Indian. Still 30-40% of the children have no access to schools.

Private schools are doing a great service by providing education without government having to spend a single penny (out of infamous educational cess). If you cannot assist them, then at least do not hamper their work.


Inspiration and motivation

Today I watched the remake of the movie Don. Shahrukh Khan who claimed that he did not even knew how to ride a bicycle learned how to ride a car….. all in the middle of a police chase…. his motivation… the gorgeous Priyanka Chopra who was sitting next to him all along.

Sounds filmy… so did I thought, but then I looked at myself…. this weekend I not only learned how to ride a bike… that too after a brief 15 minutes flat tutorial from a reluctant friend….. And I learned it wonderfully enough to drive it over the hill slopes, highways of goa and even to places where there were no roads carrying a pillion who had no insurance…

my motivation?
Well I had 2…. first the wonderful bike ‘Natasha’…. and second my beautiful friend.
Who says real life cannot be filmy 😉


ULIP Insurance

You buy an ULIP (Unit linked Insurance Schemes) insurance policy, which claims of 10% returns each year… year after year (4% more than what bonds pay you)
1) Where is my money going?
For the first 3 years your policy has ZERO surrender value and in the fourth year it does get some value which is less than the Principal you paid!!!!
1lakh @10% interest after 3 years becomes = 1.331 L
After 2 years 1.21 L
After 1 year 1.1 L
Immediately 1 L
So you paid them 4 L and your money ideally should have become 4.641 L, but your surrender value is 3.80 L
So you lost 84100/- (doing what?)

2) You might say insurance?
Mind you the premium for Term Life Insurance Policy is 4100/- p.a. for 25 lakhs cover
So you are still losing 47100/- at the very inception.

You are investing for a very long term in a newly formed private company. It does not look good if cons you through some hidden charges on the very first day.

2) Markets rise Markets falls. You are going to dip into your long term assets only when you have no other choice. Assuming that at the time of death/financial crisis the market is at its peak is something which is too much to ask for. If your emergency fund value fluctuates so widely, where is the sense of security?

PS: I firmly believe that each individual should have a contingency fund and an insurance to gear him for the unexpected. All I am asking “Is this the right scheme?”


Death of an Idea

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.
-John Maynard Keynes

Creativity loves constraint, but creating artificial barriers (mental/process) simply kills a wonderful idea.

Let me narrate a real life incident:
Big reorganization is happening in my office. The resulting suspense and tragedies are leading to lots of interesting water-fountain gossips.

Yesterday, an office colleague, got really amused and remarked. “Someday, when I have enough money, I will make a movie out of it.”
I said “Why wait for tomorrow, just write a script and by Christmas you can shoot it.”
To my suprise people ended up staring at me as if I am doing some blasphemy.

Every day about 100 new movies are published on YouTube. For a 100$ they buy/rent a video cam and gather the neccessary equipment. They creates costumes out of everyday garments, use the offices (weekends), parks or personal homes for sets/background and just shoot often under natural light.

Most of these movies are no better than the skids and dramas we used to have during the high-school, but they always convey their meaning.
Technology has made everyday movie making a very economical weekend hobby, yet most people are so much used to Karan Johar kind of megalomania that they just can’t think practical.

The result is that this idea ends up along with the ideas of crossing the oceans in rafts, cleaning the attic and other crazy stuff which you plan for but never execute.


Radioactive Boy Scout

The first nuclear reactor was build in the late 30ies and tested during the fag end days of the 2nd world war. So as on this day nuclear technology is 70 years old. Everybody who had science in high school would have learned chapters after chapters about fission, nuclear reactors, hydrogen bomb, cyclotron etc. The technology is very old, high school students have access to the basic principals… what is stopping them from making one?

In fact I recently came across a book where a high school kid from Michigan actually made a rudimentary nuclear reactor in his own backyard. Scary isn’t it?
Well when will politicians and statesmen realize that you do not need a multi-billion dollar facility and government sponsorship do achieve these feats?
Suppose a bunch of kids from Iran create a mushroom cloud for New year/Ramzaan/ 4th July/ Deepawali etc. What should the government do? Should they hail them as heroes or do damage control and banish them from the country?
Even though no body was harmed should they be treated as scientists or as fellow anarchists?
Even though the government has no role to play would the UN/USA put trade sanctions/embargo on countries like Iran?

How would UN/USA and nuclear power react :
1) Trade Embargo: Members of such household are hereby forbidden from exporting/importing goods and services directly from other nations.
2) Sanctions: Members of such household are debarred from all government aid programs. They can no longer get free food grains under PDS (Public distribution system), they will not get subsidized education and Medicare.
3) Weapons inspection: Officers will repeatedly knock at your door, strip search you just to make sure you do not capabilities to manufacture WMD
4) What if you do not cooperate: They will bomb you to Stone Age, and then try the head of the household to causing the misery to the rest of the family. Finally the report will conclude that no WMD was found.

Humor Thoughts

World is a small place

International piss off
1) A customer (USA) gets angry on a Chinese product (CHINA)
2) Vendor yells at the suppliers and board manufacturer (Taiwan)
3) Suppliers yell at the chip manufacturer’s marketing team (Europe)
4) He gets angry at the Chip Lead (USA)
5) The Chip in-charge yells at the software manager (Bangalore)
6) That manager yells at this humble developer (cube-farm)
7) That mute developer vents the frustration out at this online friend. (internet)
8 ) That online friend wonders if he lodged the complaint in the first place.

PS: based on a true story.