Love my Nation, Wary of Republic

I love my nation but of the republic i am Wary.
Secular its written, but actions and laws contrary
Civil liberties suspended during emergency
To which the Supreme Court approved
Was this the promise of democracy
that the Republic got us moved ?
We are one Nation indeed!
But the Republic needs to introspect.
If Constituents of the Constitution,
Really live up to ‘Secular’ respect?
 Religious appeasement, Un-elected powers
and Non uniform civil laws.
Oh Ye Republic, even as we move forth
thou hath so many flaws!
 Still Happy Republic Day – 2017!

Flawed view of Demonetization by Harvard Profs

I read the article on Washington Post –
India just made a big mistake with its currency ban

Authored by Harvard Profs – Lawrence H Summers and Natasha Sarin.

Based in India which has been the worst victim of black money, and an earlier corrupt regime under Ivy-educated ex PM  and ex FM, I find a fundamental flaw in their article.

Flawed comparison of hard cash spends between US and India.<

“While it might be argued that because India is much poorer than the United States, $15 in India is equivalent to $100 in the United States, the reality is that most Americans in the top 1 percent of the income distribution do not handle $100 bills on even a weekly basis, whereas 500 rupee notes are very widely used in India.”

A fundamental flaw in this point is that for amounts of $100 (even smaller) Americans may use credit cards or e-transactions. In India the penetration of debit cards to almost every household has surged only in the last one year when the Govt initiated free bank accounts for every home – The PM Jan Dhan Yojana . Almost all banks (some of them reluctantly) in India were pushed by the ministry of finance to go to every doorstep to open the account. This exercise was done more than a year ago. All users get a free debit card. The whole intention is to drive people away from paper currency. That is the way to go towards a completely accounted economy

People in India have been given enough time to exchange the old notes and deposit it into their accounts. Those stashing cash have been given an opportunity to deposit and pay tax. Most of the queues are dying down. They have been quite long in the first week due to panic, and yes, servants and staff of hoarders who were pushed to convert black to white.

The move to curb hard cash is making people adopt e-wallets, debit cards and other alternative means much faster. I recently did a travel from Mumbai to Kolhapur on road and for a 3 day journey i spent only Rs. 60 (less than $1) using hard cash. Even small restaurants on the roadside (A franchisee of Kamat’s Restaurant) accepted money using e-wallet.

We have had a Prime minister in the past from Ivy league under whose regime we saw maximum corruption in history. Even his Finance Minister belonged to the Ivy league. we have had “eminent” central bankers who only gave ball talk in airconditioned conferences about “Financial inclusion”.

It took a maverick “tea seller” Prime Minister who has a degree from none, to think different and bring a bank account to every home within 6 months and mobilize Rs. 25,000 crore from deposits of poor.  Today the deposits of PMJDY accounts stand at $10.5 Billion. (INR 72000 crore).. and counting

While opinions are respected, we need a different maverick solution. The answer in all likelihood for corruption cannot come from a system which has failed to bring ethics in their alumnus. How they need to reform themselves is a different topic altogether. We need to open up to answers from the “tea seller” on the street who has been the worst victim of black suit banking and black money. Thanks to democracy, one of them has become the Prime Minister of India, free from the sometimes hard-chiseled theories of prime universities.

High time the Ivy steps out of the Ivory tower and join the party on the streets!

Strapping up for the roller coaster in 4 minutes

Here i am, waiting for my Training as a Trial Happiness Engineer to begin in about 4 minutes.

The feeling is exactly what you have when you are next in turn for a roller coaster ride.

You are waiting at the entry barrier. The empty cars are in sight rumbling down. You are with a merry band, but you don’t know them well as yet and while the fun is on, there is a bit of anxiety if i would fit in well with them, if i could speak their language and sing along the same song as they do.

Looking at the joyous expressions of those stepping out of their ride though, i can say that i am in for a Thrill ride towards Happiness! I hope and i believe it would be!

Cheers to everyone helping me strap up!

#Happiness

Micromax Ignite LPQ61408W – First hand review of slim and light laptop

I have been an ardent ‘collector’ of laptops. If you dont know what i mean, my friends and kin will tell you more about it.

I was looking for a light and slim laptop, since the older ones were taking toll on my back while travelling. While i was waiting for a good second hand deal on Macbook Air, or perhaps the much touted Xiaomi laptop, i found another great alternative at much lesser price too.

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I found a very interesting model by Micromax (not the first name you would think for laptops). Have been very happy with their Television for about 2 years, thought it was worth taking a risk with a good configuration and inexpensive laptop. My decision was further reinforced by my Gadget expert students on facebook where i posted my query.

The basic configuration of Intel Quad core processor (N3700), 4GB RAM and a whopping 1TB hard disk was a great bundle. Add to it a HD screen of 14 inches, makes it adequate for my main purpose of a bit of coding, browsing and Office Suite applications.

Strange that the weight and dimensions of the laptop are not mentioned on flipkart as well as the company website. However a tweet to the company revealed that the weight is 1.4kg (half of my earlier laptop) and thickness at its widest is about 2.1 cms.

For a budget price of RS. 18990, the laptop includes pre-installed Windows 10 Home edition. Makes for a great bargain

Initial Performance
The Micromax Ignite gave impressive performance with its quick boot-up and setup. The fully charged battery indeed worked for about 6 hours on about 30% screen brightness which is visibly bright enough.

The reviews mention about heating issues. Though i encountered the device heating up particularly on the left side, it was within expected limits of any laptop.  Another negative point was slow charging, with the laptop taking upto 2 hours for a full charge. In my opinion, slow charging is not all that bad since that would help prolong battery life.

On its day 1, where i showed it to my colleagues at a College where i teach, i have had many of them wowed and wanting to purchase.

At Rs. 18990, its quite a deal and steal.

If you would like to buy it here’s the link”
Micromax Ignite Pentium Quad Core – (4 GB/1 TB HDD/Windows 10) LPQ61408W LPQ61 Notebook

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Aaj Jaane Ki Zid na Karo

I fell in love with this song when i first heard it via Shankar Tucker‘s arrangement. His coveted Shruti Box album has many more great curated gems..

Lyrics of the song can be found Here – Lyrics of Aaj jane ki zid na karo (thank you Manjusha)

Here’s Aaj Jane ki zid na karo from his album

——— The song drove me to look for other versions Here are some:

Habib Wali Muhammad (1974)

By Farida Khannum (Old recording)

Farida Khannum on Coke Studio (Epic)

And the Awesome A R Rahman unplugged.. adding his signature.
The same song, not very different tune passing through different artists bringing out a new flavour and ultimately keeping its music and lyric timeless!!

Happy listening!