Analysing an indecent proposal

We were preparing a short study for conflicts and negotiations using a movie scene as an example. Someone suggested Indecent Proposal, so we took the scene were John actually makes the offer (Better watch the movie if you haven’t). When I had watched it for the first time, it was a five minute scene of a horny and arrogant businessman against a needy and faithful couple.
But now, it was more complex. I was watching it as a proper negotiation. The covert agendas of the characters and the actual conflict now seemed entirely different! John’s real motive was to satisfy his ego by driving home his point(money can buy anything). Sleeping with Diana wasn’t important but just a means to his end. In case of David, more than protecting his wife and their relationship, he was trying to protect his own male chauvinist ego.
Another interesting agenda was how they went about the negotiation.John had complete information on the couple ( as detailed as knowing which dress Diana liked) and he didn’t offer them money, but “A million dollars. A lifetime of security, for one night“. The couple, on the other hand, was instinctive, but David was already thinking about it when Diana replied for him “He’d tell you to go to hell“.
Something tells me that I have taken up really interesting courses in my 2nd year.


Shiny Heads Society

For the God could make only a few perfect heads….
Rest he covered with hair.

Shouldn’t there be a community like this somewhere on the planet.


Thought of the day

If more than one mouse is mice,
then more than one spouse is Spice


Steps to file an RTI

Recently I had to file an RTI in order to seek some clarifications on the reasons why some of the decisions that my college had made. The trouble and research that I had to go through inspired me to write this post.

RTI act came into force on 12th October 2005 with the aim to introduce transparency. The public authorities need to share all the documentation regarding any decision/indecision and give justification for their actions. Hence it makes them accountable to the public and makes it hard to cover up for any bad governence, corruption or simple carelessness. My experience says that it takes less than 20 minutes to file an RTI and get the ball rolling. Here is how I would recommend you to proceed.

Step 1. Research on your grievances. The more information you have gathered on the topic (formally or informally) the stronger you can make your case. Also it may be possible that your research itself would convince you that there is no need to file and RTI.

Step 2: Draft the RTI: Although you can file the RTI via email, please avoid it. The best way to get the ball rolling in an government office is have things in writing. RTI can be filed on a simple piece of A4 paper in any language (Hindi, english or the regional language). It can be hand written also.

Step 3: Locate the Public Information Officer/PIO. As per law, all government organizations need to have a designated Information officer who would be responsible to handle your RTI. If the department website does not have it, ask someone in the office. If you are still not able to locate him/her you can write to the head of the department.

Step 4: Pay the nominal fees of 10/-. Most departments prefer if you pay via a Postal Order/Demand Draft, however cash is also accepted. Based on the effort required in compiling the response, some additional fees might be charged to you later on, but its nominal.

Step 5: Submit the application
a. In person. Just walk into the office and file it in person. Usually there is hardly any waiting queue and the process should not take long.
b. Speed/registered post: Avoid Couriers because its not recognized by GoI.
c. Electronically: Although it is permitted, there is often a problem in sending the fees etc via this mode.

Step 6: Acknowledgement:
This is the most crucial step. All RTI applications have to be answered in 30 days. Hence please preserve the application number and date of filing.

I will be writing another post soon explaining how to respond to the possible reply/inaction on the RTI.


Mobile Banking services in India

I was going through this article and wondering through intensive marketing most mobile phone service providers
already have a person who takes cash and recharges the mobile phone.
Why can’t he be upgraded into a person who would:
a. disperse/collect money
b. transfer money from one account to another. esp remittances from
city to families in villages.
c. Pay for the purchases at kirana stores etc.

This way without the need the need of armoured cars/atms and
investment in employees and infrastructure India could provide a bank
service for the masses.

Also the address proof and documentation required for opening a mobile
phone account is very similar to that required to open up a bank
account. Hence such a payment gateway won’t have a problem with RBI.

Currently mobile banking services require opening up a complex bank account, with branches, minimum balance, debit card annual fees etc. Also unless one has a expensive GPRS service, the only transaction possible is checking the account balance and status of a cheque drop.

Reliance m-pay is the closest to a comprehensive banking soultion, but that too requires
having a HDFC credit card (hence cannot serve the masses) I wonder
what is stopping the Airtels and Vodaphone from launching such a


What position is that?

I know that if a certain individual reads this post of mine, it might as well be my last one. This unnamed friend of mine is a glaring example of the hindi saying – “prabhu ki maaya, kahin dhoop kahin chhaya“. Despite being a happily (?) married man with a couple of kids, he was really taken aback when he saw a couple of porn videos. His comments left us laughing and rolling on the floor. His best being:

“WOW! What position is that??”

“Girls DO that? Hmmm…”

“What the hell is THAT?!?”

Being the last of the baby boomers, it can be safely assumed that he had no access to internet, globalization, computers etc. etc. when he really needed them. Thankfully, they have led us to a higher level of exposure (and action) in more aspects of life. Here’s one to Gen X and Y.


Sin and the Sinner

Vedas repeatedly say:
“Hate the Sin and not the Sinner”
What the line means is that one needs to have the ability to differentiate between the object and the subject. In today’s world, it becomes specially important because we seem to have lost focus. The focus of any good judiciary process is not to bring the perpetrators of a crime to justice, but to analyse why they did what they did. Then be objective to ones approach and try to mitigate the circumstances which forced/shaped them in what they are.
Our forefathers realized that life is transitory, it can be there today and not there tomorrow. The real problem in hand is not revenge, but to ensure that if you nip this bud, it does not lead to a 100 others. Setting an example of the guilty might be one of the strategy in this goal. However it should not be the only strategy.


Garbage Disposal

Urban solid waste is a major problem in India. According to a TERI report, 70% of the Indian cities lack modern solid waste disposal system and of those who have it, don’t process more than 72% of the waste generated. Most municipalities simply dump the garbage in the landfills which leads to creation of leachate. Another major problem is the scarcity of land for dumping garbage near the urban centers of India.

Gasification reduces the total quantity of the waste. The ash generated does not have the foul odor of decomposing waste and is sanitized. The power generated from the process can supplement electricity supply. Considering the fact that most regions of the country face scheduled power cuts and the fuel import bill constitutes a major chunk of India’s imports, most electricity boards are also favor these mini power plants. Hence the only sustainable solution for India’s Municipal solid waste is gasification. The Government grants and subsidies aid in setting up of the plant, garbage collection and lucrative deals with State Electricity Boards make it an economically viable solution.

As per the MNES, government wants to bring and additional 299 Class I Cities and 36 Class II cities under “National Master Plan for Development of Waste to Energy in India”. The scheme is applicable to private and public sector entrepreneurs and organizations as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for setting up of waste-to-energy projects on the basis of Build, Own & Operate (BOO), Build, Own, Operate & Transfer (BOOT), Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) and Build Operate Lease & Transfer (BOLT). Government is also ready to sign a long contract of over 10 years after the party demonstrates the requisite financial, managerial and technical capability.

I wonder what is still holding these entrepreneur back. There is more money to be made in garbage that they can possibly imagine


Perfect Morning

I have been brought up in a traditional middle class family where no morning starts without spending some time reading the newspaper. My school started on Thursday and I just now realized that since then have not touched the newspaper. This Sunday morning, while I was staring at the stack of 3 unopened newspaper, I wondered should I discontinue my newspaper subscription.

Is my newspaper like that gym membership which I had taken 2 years ago. I could never take the time out to work out in that gym, yet somehow the very idea of cancelling such a membership meant that I have resigned to the fact that I am too weak to improve myself, do the things we like.

How many times have we paid for the goods and services which we believe we should have, but also secretly know that it will be a complete waste of money.


Lessons of branding from Mac Computers

One of the best way to create a brand position often does not involve having unbelievably tall claims but simple communications.

For example, take the ipod box.
On the black package, in bold white print its written: “Works with PC and Mac”

Unlike most other computer accessories/software packs, it has very little words and pictures. So each word that is written on the box has more emphasis. This simple line is important in a very subtle fashion it emphasizes the Mac notebook’s unique position.