I, in association with Aircel, proud to announce a nation wide graphic design contest. The participants have to draw "Tiger Emoticons".
Yes, Tigers of all type- White Tigers, Yellow, Bengal tigers, African and all.
We need thousands of emoticons, the smartphone enabled emoticons. Because in the future this is the only place you can see a tiger.
Tiger, tiger burning bright
Yes, like today we tell our children the stories of all extinct animals, birds, flowers and tree, it is not too far that we would be telling them about the magnificent tigers also who existed once upon a time. In the population of 1.27 billion [approx] Indians, we have only 2226 tigers left. Only 2226!
We are least worried about the fast extincting numbers of this majestic animal that Nature and God has created on the earth. We are more worried about the beef that we cannot eat or the two odd characters in tele-serial who couldn't get married to each other even after 400 episodes and 4 different marriages.
In the fight of our own rights, our own survivals, we tend to forget or take granted for, the survival of other living beings. Hey we are human, superior of all. The ecosystem is only about us, we are the only authority on earth and biodiversity should be restricted till our books of geography.
I ask why? I ask how can we?
Save our Tigers
Yes, Human being the most superior of all living being. However, the superiority doesn't comes with singular existence nor showing dominance by killing others. Superiority comes in co-existence. And co- existence is a very important facade of our lives, our bio diversity and the world we live in.
Why save tigers?
I heard you. You said- they are man eaters, fierce and terrifying. I say- you do not meddle with their habitat, their lives and they may not harm. There are various other reasons to save tigers. They are-
1) Tigers protect Genetic Diversity- Tiger is an umbrella species. Conservation of tiger helps in conversation of a large number of Flora and Fauna and the entire ecosystem.
2) Tiger helps prevent climatic change and, helps bring rains- large forests are the natural habitat of healthy tigers, which in turn is nothing but the natural sink of carbon. Larger the reserve, larger the carbon credit. Also, a tiger is not just a guardian of forest but also an indicator of a healthy forest. A dead tiger is mere a show piece but a live tiger can help in bringing rain.
3) Tiger is our national Animal- They are our national pride. Their grace, strength and enormous power has earned them to be a symbol of our national pride. Killing tigers will lead to extinction of various other flora and fauna. You should be ok with their extinction as long as you are ok with replacing Royal Bengal Tiger as national animal with Loyal Indian Donkey or Crow.
Save tiger- for National Pride, Biodiversity, Healthy Ecosystem and Tourism!
Why "Walmart" is being blamed? Are we not to be blamed?
Over the last few days, we have been reading about the reports that Wal-Mart paid bribes in India. While, I unconditionally support the investigations and stand against the corruption, I am surprised to see the reaction, at large, in India. Walmart has been projected as a singular big villain while no one has questioned who received the bribe and for what.
As per reports, Walmart has paid bribes as low as $5 to $200 to excise officers for the custom clearances and real estate agents to run their businesses. Bribing comprised of thousands of small payments to low-level officials to help move goods through customs or obtain real estate permits. Reportedly, Wal-Mart has disclosed in December 2012 that it spent Rs 125 crore for lobbying activities since 2008 for “enhanced market access for investment in India”
On one side, Central Government as well as various State Governments are inviting foreign investment by promises such as “Single Window Clearance” to “Account Officer” and on the other side we are not able to reform our attitude, approach and working culture at the lower level. Where is the professionalism and pride for our jobs? Some (rather most) might argue that is it the problem at lower levels only and yes, they are right in raising such questions. I am also of the belief that there is huge corruption at the highest levels (Government as well as Bureaucrats) but does it give a birth right to every citizen to be corrupt.
We Indians want Government job as gives us an easy life, assured income and allows us to be authoritarian and play god by coercion. While, many Government employees may not take favours to do something wrong but most will demand favours to do what is right and what they are supposed to do. I may be going overboard but the truth is that corruption is deep rooted in India and if given opportunity majority of us would get corrupt. I would not be surprised if the shipments and clearances of Walmart may have been deliberately delayed at every level as general perception is that they are deep-pocketed and easily meet the expectations.
I have had extensive discussions with my friends on this issue and after long deliberations have come to the conclusion that MnCs are equally or more concerned with such low-level corruption. Such corrupt practices not only delays operations but also increases cost in the name of engaging middle-man and meeting expectations.
Ever wondered why no Indian company makes such disclosures? Are they squeaky clean? No, they are not but they all know the trick of the game. Well, no one likes to pay bribes but they are forced to. Do we not pay bribe to traffic police or in every small government office? Same is the situation here also. Who is gaining in this whole process? A certain section of the society is gaining by making the whole process long and expensive at the cost of the entire populace.
Let us be honest that half of the Indians are appointed as middle-men and not helping in creation / production / development of anything new. Can write pages about this but I put my pen down as the message is crisp and clear - We need to change this and consider this as a wake-up call !!
you can make them run through
adults and child
let their imaginations run
discover the psychometric fun
of perceiving that goes behind
a developing and developed mind.
I have written this pen to finish within 10 minutes poem basis the picture prompt given by the beautiful magpie tales, and off course my own imagination that sew the words string. Do take a movement to read it. Oh yes, I am working of thematic apperception or paper blot study, ever since and, would be happy to help :)
How over-regulations are killing Uber, Ola and stifling public convenience in India?
Friday, October 02, 2015
Shame, Sham and Shady
I literally dread leaving office in the evening (not that I love being in the office late ;)) as I can’t push people around and beg / request / plead auto-wallas to ferry me home. Certainly, I do not seek a free ride but then there is desire of auto-walla to ferry passengers at least 10 kms to make a killing for the time they have spent idling outside offices for want of “long-distance” passenger. Yes, as per rule book auto-wallas can’t say no but I believe, I have only heard “No”.
Anyways, my hubby dear comes with a chest thumping idea of booking radio cabs in the morning itself for the day’s evening return from office. I told him it’s futile but knowing him he insisted and took upon himself to arrange for one. First day, Meru took the booking but in the evening declined that no cab is available – underlying reason being that no cab is willing to ferry for a distance of 3 kms. Anyways, the second day, he tried again and voila, Meru sent a cab. He was elated with joy and self-praise, insisting that I should be more planned etc..etc… etc to make life comfortable. Well, I board the Meru cab and at the end of the ride, I am asked to pay around Rs 220 (don’t remember exact no.) for 2.5 km ride. I was really sad and discussed the same with Meru’s customer care. I was informed that I have used service of Meru flexi and as per regulation minimum charge is Rs 200. I informed my hubby and he also raised this issue, went on social media, wrote an email to transport department, highlighting that we asked for a simple Meru and never for Meru Flexi (we were not even aware what is a Meru flexi service). Meru's call centre people reverted that flexi service is for short distance travel.
Well upon research, we realized that this “Meru Flexi” service is primarily designed for outside city travel; hence there is a minimum fare of Rs 200. Seems innocuous and logical but then how it is being misused to loot gullible passengers (recently my hubby was duped in Delhi by Meru Flexi – You can’t refuse taxi at last minute – always a trade-off miss the flight / train or take the flexi cab). Meru is smartly using this “Flexi” service for intra-city travel and more specifically for short hauls and making a killing. Which driver will not like to be paid Rs 200 for 2-3 kms ride? The language on Meru’s website reads as follows: “Cabs will get allocated for trips purely based on availability. Priority will be given to the Meru Cabs under Radio Taxi License”.
Questions that I am forced to think about:
Are regulators not aware of such pits-falls? If they can’t think then why do we go through such elaborate regulatory regime and spend tax-payers money?
Why can’t there be a simple directive that if taxi is used for intra-city travel, normal fleet cab charges will be made applicable?
Is there a bigger game at play?
Anyways, this is not the end of story. Rather, this is just the beginning.
What’s the Shame:
To upstage this collusion & super-normal profits made by fleet cabs (nearly Rs 27 per kms as against Rs 10-20 per kms charged by app-based cab services), market forces came to play in form of Uber, Ola etc. However, this is not acceptable to Maharashtra Government and they have now decided to “Regulate” such app-based cab services. Link to relevant news article is-
What has government achieved by Regulating Auto, Kaali-peeli, Meru, Tab etc? All are making super-normal profit and a total chaos on the road. Ask a normal citizen and he/she will have their own daily agony of not being able to get an auto. I myself have waited for even an hour with more than 20-30 “empty” autos / taxis passing by but no one is willing to take the passenger for a short distance or over-charge for long distance.
Where is law enforcement, where are regulators and where are government agencies when the normal citizen is being “tortured” on a daily basis. However, now when Ola & Uber are growing on unprecedented pace – due to systematic failure – regulators are coming into the picture on one or other pretext.
I just submit that “LET MARKET FORCES PLAY OUT AND LET CONSUMERS DECIDE THE BEST FOR THEM”.
Or, is there a bigger game? Who owns maximum autos, taxis and contracts with fleet cabs? Are these government officials, locals, friends etc or there are some other gains? If not, then why such forced regulation
Why are the market forces not allowed to play out? Ask any driver of these fleet cab and you will hear a sordid tale wherein they have to pay ~Rs 1,300 per day. Why are such hefty charges are allowed to be recovered from poor drivers? Why not regulate their working hours? Why not ensure their quality of life? Why these regulations were created which are actually hurting public then providing better services? No one is challenging measures related to public safety such as driver verification etc but such regulation as are being designed are killing market forces. Is it not against the ethos of procurement process adopted by GoI or as a matter of fact any state government? Then why public is not allowed to take the similar advantage of competition?
I would request you all to ponder on each of the questions and act upon the same to ensure that we get better and economical services. If Political parties think that we are voting-minority then let them think this way “only” till next elections.
Film Preview- Talvar, another take on Ayushi Murder Case- Must Watch
Films are a quintessential part of our lives. We love, love and laugh with them. They not just entertain us but often help us see different perspectives.
For often, what we see, may not be true. However, sometimes it is important to explore perspectives that are not visible yet exists, voices that are not heard but important to know and feel emotions that may not belong to us but touch our hearts.
One such perspective is promised to offered in the upcoming film- Talvar.
Talvar is a different take of perspective on the in-famous Ayushi Talvar Case. Ayushi, a young girl who was gone just too early.
Ayushi murder/death case had rocked the media and people alike. It was a heartbreaking incident, surrounded with mystery, agony and numerous speculations. So much that critically acclaimed director- Bosky Gulzar, daughter of legendary film writer- Gulzar and yesteryear Actress Rakhi, and who is known for making strong, women oriented films took upon this subject and made- Talvar the Film. When we were invited to watch the exclusive preview of the soon to be released movie- Talvar, we couldn't resist to watch. Here's what our friend and film critic, B Ghosh has to tell about it. No spoilers alert ahead!
Talvar, the Film and a little insight
Talvar, is not yet another story regarding Arushi murder case. It is also India's one of the famous and unsolved murder mystery. The beginning of this year saw the release of 'Rahasya' directed and written Manish Gupta, again based on the same story. The film was though well-made, but it didn't work out at the box office, critics notwithstanding. While Rahasya was more of a claimed fiction and shown a different perspective, Talvar is altogether a different perspective and worth watching.
Talvar stars Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi and Sohum Saha in lead roles. Irrfan and Konkona as usual has done a fabulous work. Irrfan proves again that he is a class of an actor, an on screen delight and holds the movie till the end. The other actors including the supporting cast have done a fabulous job as well. The director Meghana Gulzar [Bosky] has done a wonderful job, showcasing a real plot with a different angle. For we knew about the different opinions and notions surrounding around this "famous unsolved case". When we entered the screening room, we went with a different perspective but post the film screening, we got to know something beyond the visible reality. It also explores little workings inside the Indian intelligence agencies and their investigations. The movie also touches matters of internal politics, success and fame, and much more that would appeal to your thinking hats.
You may find the first half of the movie too normal or little slow. However, the second half is quite gripping and nail biting. The most amazing part is that it will leave you thinking, even when you are leaving the theater - If that, what actually may have happened? Was it real and actually has happened? and much more. You will be shocked of our police and investigation system, what they have done in this case.
Verdict- Talvar goes on to depict how office politics, professional rivalries and media coverage can influence the course of justice. Talvar is the movie to be watched by everyone [class and mass]. Especially those who have been following thiscase from years and have an eye for seeing things from a different angle. If you have skipped following this case or never heard of it, it offers as an interesting murder mystery. I am wishing all the very best for team Talvar. I hope public will do justice with this movie as well.
The movie releases on 2nd October. Do go ahead and book yourself a seat.
You can watch the Trailer here-
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