Wednesday, February 24, 2016


‘If you steal from one author its plagiarism; if you steal from many its research.’ said Wilson Mizner, reportedly…! Even if Researcher’s could leave the humor in this (over?) statement out of the context (a tough job, though!) for a while, it definitely sets a tone for a discussion that could take the very concept of ‘Research’ to another level, I believe. If any enthusiast decides to take up a research on the process of Research itself, he or she would encounter many established terminologies in the Research glossary right from ‘Baseline’ to ‘White paper’ that will try to teach the curious mind something called ‘Research Methodology’, another thing that scares the infants apart from Mathematics, I guess!

Well, if I have just made a bold, nonconformist statement and opened a debate that could get real noisy, believe me, I did it on intention… no regrets! Now, why I say this and do I need to criticize the method and process of ‘Research’ set by our intelligent ancestors (Read: Scholars), could be another topic of discussion, I would just use the principle of relativity and apply it to the premise of this discussion to keep it concise, short and, most importantly, on track! After all, ‘Space and Time both are relative’ determined The Great Einstein, didn’t he? This same Legendary Einstein also said that, ‘I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.’, if I remember it right.

There is ever-evolving data omnipresent in the universe that could be sensed by the conscious mind. If extracted and analyzed with some preset patterns and processed for usability, it becomes the Information. [Fuzzy logic – This process of transforming data into information has gained tremendous popularity in recent years and collectively termed as ‘Computing’ that became the largest industry of the millennium while leading to ‘Big Data’ and ‘IoT’, the new-age giants; whether they are the blessings or boons, is beyond the perception of the human intellect at this point, however!] When the information is further analyzed, scrutinized, distinguished and authorized for archival in a structured way for future use with a vision, it becomes the knowledge. This process of collecting data, extract information from it and develop new knowledge is generally termed as ‘study’ and it becomes ‘research’ only when it is done with a specific ‘objective’ that is supposed to offer a ‘solution’ to some ‘situation’.

Discovery is something that happens to the researcher while he or she is at the Research trying to figure out what is the scenario and what could be the probable solution. In that sense, ‘Discovery’ is more natural and close to the inherent process of learning in which the human brain is conditioned naturally while ‘Research’ is more deliberate and imposed. This doesn’t make the research any inferior or the discovery superior as both of them are ‘applied’ in one way or other and not ‘inspired’ as I expect the process of search within. The pure knowledge could be developed only with unattached experimental exploration and not with the calculative scientific readings alone. It should not be a surprise then that the major knowledge gained by the humanity, which could be termed as collective wisdom, is more of cultural and philosophical nature than scientific and rational type.

Wait a minute… where is this leading? Ah, to the conclusion that I am eager to draw from the theory I have developed on purpose to support my discovery! Let me take you back to our beloved Einstein and his expression about talent. If we try to simplify (not ‘amplify’; let us leave it to the politicians as they would be jobless without it!) his expression, it simply means that to access new type of data, convert it into useful information and develop a knowledge-base out of it basically requires curiosity… plain, simple, innocent and passionate curiosity without any attachment or even any objective – just for the joy of exploring something, by keeping an account of what you encounter en route.

Not until the humans understand it better that no Research or Discovery is good enough that is initiated without pure curiosity, the Grey Matter will hardly influence the White Paper that is the ultimate outcome of any Research for that matter…! When subject becomes the experience and methodology is replaced by realization, there, in that eureka moments, miracles happens and epiphanies are witnessed. 

Way to go…!

Saturday, February 20, 2016


When she was born, they celebrated her birth claiming to be the avant-garde making no difference in a boy and a girl, ‘both deserve same love, respect and merry childhood’; they said… she said nothing!

She was sent to the English school with boys so that she should not feel inferior or left behind in the rush of development riding on the New Age Learning to make most of her potential… she said nothing!

She was expected to learn from her mother all the daily chores as ultimately she has to start, develop and manage a family by showing all the culture and ritual as it might come… she said nothing!

Once she passed all school exams with flying colors won almost all competitions she participated in, it was decided to send her for higher education to make her an Independent Woman… she said nothing!

She finished her higher education and returned with all her Masters and Post graduate degrees, it was decided for her to take a lucrative job because entrepreneurship is not for women… she said nothing!

While she was adjusting to the fat-pay job with lots of responsibilities, commitments and even a few compromises, they thought it was high time that she should get married… she said nothing!

The most eligible bachelor matching her profile and social status was hunted down as she deserved nothing but the best and the knot was tied by balancing both the sides… she said nothing!

It was hardly few months she was trying to set into the new atmosphere and understand the dynamics of new relations expecting a lot from her, she was persuaded to start a family… she said nothing!

Not ready to compromise his career in lieu of parenthood, he said that it would be entirely her responsibility to bear a child, preferably male, and raise it without bothering him… she said nothing!

It was not convenient for his parents to take care of her in those days of pregnancy as they were inexperienced; she was taken to her mother’s house for better nutrition… she said nothing!

She gave birth to a beautiful fairy and felt completely content for the very first time in her life and when she heard the murmur ‘It’s OK! Even a girl is acceptable as First Child…’ she said ‘ENOUGH!’

And they, all of them, in a chorus, at the pitch of their voices whispered… ‘Intolerant!’

Who is SHE?

Your Sister, My Daughter, Our Mother India or… 


Saturday, February 13, 2016


On Saturday, Apr 9, 2011 I sent following mail to about 1000 readers under my 'Daily-Mail' by 'Amook Bhartiya' experiment that I ran successfully for about 4 years. Today, after almost 5 years, I thought of sharing it here on my blog with reference to the disquieting incidence that involved Hanumanthappa...!

Dear All,

Good Morning!

We are witnessing a great deal of movement about Anna Hazare’s fast-unto-death and groups and mobs of overnight-patriotic people coming forth to support him. No, I am not being sarcastic or ironic here; I was just wondering do we need more Annas or more Hanumanthappas. Oh, you must not know about Hanumanthappa, do you? Well, I am sure all of you must know Sudha Murthy, at least? Read on…

One bright June morning three years ago, I was reading my Kannada newspaper as usual. It was the day the SSLC results had been published. While columns of roll numbers filled the inside pages, the list of rank holders with their photographs took up almost the entire front page.

Of all the photographs in that morning's newspaper, one boy's photo caught my attention. I could not take my eyes off him. He was frail and pale, but there was an endearing sparkle in his eyes. I wanted to know more about him. I read that his name was Hanumanthappa and that he had secured the 8th rank. That was all the information I could gather. With growing interest I learned that he was a coolie's son. He was unable to study further, he said in the interview, because he lived in a village and his father earned only Rs 40 a day.

Hanumanthappa's postal address was provided in the interview. Without wasting much time, I took a postcard and wrote a letter to him. "We are happy about your academic performance. Do you want to study further? We would like to sponsor you. This means we will pay your fees for any course of study you wish to take up - wherever it may be."

Two days later, he wrote to us in his beautiful handwriting that he would require approximately Rs 300 per month. He had planned to take a room on rent and share it with his friend. The two boys planned to cook for themselves in order to keep their expenses down. I sent him Rs. 1,800 to cover his expenses for six months. He acknowledged my draft without any delay and expressed his gratitude.

Time passed. One day, I suddenly remembered that I had to pay Hanumanthappa for the next six months. I sent him another draft for Rs 1,800. This too was duly acknowledged but I was surprised to find some currency notes in the envelope along with his letter.

"Madam," he had written, "It is kind of you to have sent me money for the next six months. But I was not in Bellary for the last two months. One month, our college had holidays and during the next month, there was a strike. So I stayed at home for those two months. My expenditure during these months was less than Rs 300 per month. Therefore, I am sending you the Rs 300 that I have not used for the last two months. Kindly accept this amount."

Unbelievable but true! Experience has taught me that honesty is not the mark of any particular class nor is it related to education or wealth. It cannot be taught at any university. In most people, it springs naturally from the heart. 

Sudha Murthy
A Salute to Life

Well, Sudhaji's remark says it all and I am thankful to Sudhaji for introducing us to Hanumanthappa and I feel grateful to Arnab for showing the unpatriotic's their place and proclaiming it on National Television of the largest democracy of the world that 'We are proud of Hanumanthappa and we are ashamed of you...!' Disgracing such parasites might just do the trick that hatred or confrontation cannot, I believe!

A Salute to Life, indeed... Way to go!

Saturday, February 6, 2016


A week ago, on last Friday, I expressed a concern on Pune city LocalCircle about the SPV to be set up for implementation of Smart City Project and warned the Punekars that it would be us who will eventually pay the price of it and yesterday’s Pune newspapers proclaimed there would be a hike of 12% in Water Tax under the ‘ambitious round-the-clock water supply’ project! This revolutionary ‘joint’ decision was taken after ‘brainstorming’ the options of hiking water tax by 50% for the non-metered users and by 25% for metered users. Now, I am neither a water expert nor a technocrat to decide who should use how much water, who would provide it and what the provider should charge for the ‘service’ offered? However my common sense suggests that whatever needs to be ‘charged’ should be ‘measured’ as it would give a realistic account of how much we have, how to consume it and why it should be charged? If this was not the case, hotels wouldn’t have menu cards, petrol pumps wouldn’t have meters or any consumable wouldn’t have price tags ever, isn’t it?

In the present scenario while humans are already using 1.3 earth and all its natural resources are being consumed exorbitantly making them scarce one by one, I am no fool to say that water should be provided to a soon-to-be-smart city for free but would it be illogical or unreasonable to expect to be charged for what you consume and not what your postal address reads? Why can’t we have metered water connections just like electricity, CNG, telephone, internet, TV cable etc.? Won’t it be rational to let the consumer decide what, why and how it consumes any utility as long as it is made to pay for the consumption? If a wealthy person decides to take shower 3 times a day, wash all his/her cars daily, water his/her garden profusely and also give bath to all his pets and no ethical, moral or ecological counseling could convince him/her to rethink the routine, why not make him/her pay for it, at least? Even the wealthiest of a person would be forced to rethink any of his/her indulgence once a rupee-measurable cost of the luxury is arrived in form of a monthly bill! The revenue generated from such billing could be used to subsidize the taxes for those who really and genuinely cannot afford to pay them but would need the basic facilities like water, all the same.

But being the SMART administrators that we are, we have come up with a new revenue generation model which is nothing but old wine in, not even new but, rebottled bottle – compulsion of wearing helmets which is monetarily punishable otherwise. To support this re-charged decision some statistics is being presented about the deaths of helmet-less riders in road accidents. Those facts and figures might be right but at the same time it would have been logical to present the figures of deaths of all other victims of road accidents including pedestrians and law-abiding citizens just because of sheer indiscipline of the vehicle drivers including but not limited to two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers and buses. If the traffic controllers believe that making the two-wheeler drivers wear helmet would bring in the discipline in the entire city traffic, they are either day-dreaming or are being threatened by some nightmare. In the core city area where it is extremely difficult even to walk or cross the roads at times, what good a helmet could do to the rider who is busy in shifting gears and maintaining balance except tucking his/her mobile under the helmet and have a ‘safe’ mobile talk while driving?

Moreover, if the people elected representatives are really and sincerely concerned about the health and safety of its people, why don’t they think of some measures like TDS – tax deduction at sources? Why the manufactures are not instructed to include helmet in the list of ‘compulsory accessory’ (another oxymoron!)? Why two-wheeler dealers are not compelled to provide a helmet with every purchased vehicle? Why RTO cannot make it mandatory to produce the proof of having a helmet at the time of registration of the vehicle or validating the driving license? Why it always comes down to street level as disciplinary action and never conceptualized at policy level as social behavior development? There is no ban on making Gutkha but you cannot sell it… where would we take the civilization with such hypocrisy bundled in politically (ill)motivated intentions?

Even an illiterate, uneducated and lifetime villager, farmer has the least conventional wisdom of checking the roots and nourishment of a plant that bears a rotten fruit. He never blames it on the fruit or curses the surrounding branches and leaves of the plant for having produced a rotten fruit. He immediately reaches the roots to check the infection and apply pesticides to kill the germs and bugs that are bugging the healthy growth of the plant. Unless and until we check the sources and deploy PMS (Preventive Measures at the Sources) there would be no use of any ‘development’, including river-front, for a larger good in long run.

Although this hypothesis is universal and applicable to any human civilization in any niche of the only livable planet; being a Punekar I have taken the references from the recent developments in the over-smart city and would love to hear Punekars reacting on it as well. Meanwhile, there is an idea being discussed around at my place to buy a Helmet as Birthday gift for my daughter, how about that…?

Stay tuned, Be Aware and Take Care! (Protected) Way to go…

Monday, February 1, 2016


A lower middle-class family struggling to make both ends meet has only hope of their descendants receiving good education, securing a decent job/profession and doing well, eventually. All the compromises the family makes, the loans it borrows from time to time and bargaining it is forced to do at every single transaction while living frugally is in anticipation of the fruits it will bear when the next generation will settle and rise to a higher step in the social status – middle class, to the least, if not higher middle class! Imagine what happens to the parents who struggled all the way to make their children well-to-do and those same children suffocating their parents as they grow old. Would there be any limit to the pain, grief and agony the poor souls would be put through? No tragedy known to man can match this sorrow. However, if we follow the filmy plots, there always would be somebody who (not from the close family, preferably) would enter the scene and prove its loyalty by taking care of the distressed ones.

Now consider human species around 500 to 250 years ago. In the wake of early industrialization and new trades and markets emerging all around, particularly in Europe, put the Growth and Development of Man on fast track. Discovery of new energy sources fuelled the engine of development and offered it enormous power to conceive, create and consume. It was quite obvious that new revolutionary products were required to satisfy the almost insatiable needs of all-consuming modern machine-age man. Of all the innovative products of modern age, the one that tops the list is Rubber in any form including Plastic. Man discovered rubber, employed all extreme measures to extract, process and market rubber for it was the most flexible and supposedly immortal material known to man with high level of plasticity that allowed it to be molded in any shape and form as required. Rubber was the first child of this modern man that went on to produce tyres (wheels) and containers of all sizes and shapes!

A glance through statistics about Plastic Consumption reveals the dreadful facts as –

  • Up to 20 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year. Plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, but never goes away. Seals, dolphins, turtles and orca eat plastic – mistaking it for real food. Toxins stick to plastics; plastics are eaten by fish and then enter the food chain. These toxins, like PCBs, have been linked to reproductive failure in polar bears.
  • Plastic is durable and lightweight, but it's these properties that allow it to persist in the environment for hundreds to thousands of years. Plastics are among the most persistent synthetic materials in existence and are now a significant and extensive marine pollutant. 

These are the ‘earnings’ of the First Good Son of the Modern Man!

The second kid born to the modern man was Concrete, another revolutionary discovery that changed the course of infrastructure development history. Again, its adaptability found place in modern man’s heart as now his imagination had no boundaries and its property of ‘being rock-hard once settled’ fascinated the man as strong permanence always had been one of the major basic instinct of man right from Stone Age! With the ability to take any form and presumed endurance against all forces, concrete made it to be the first choice of man for any and every construction, including roads – the means of transportation. The complete concretization of every possible square inch of surface of earth is affecting the seepage of water that maintains/increases ground water level, not just adversely but dangerously. On the other hand, concreting requires enormous quantity of water – the basic essential natural resource required for any ecosystem to breathe – that is being scarce already and could not be produced.

Secondly, of the various ingredients used to produce a given quantity of concrete, the cement is the most energetically expensive. Even complex and efficient kilns require 3.3 to 3.6 gigajoules of energy to produce a ton of clinker and then grind it into cement. Many kilns can be fueled with difficult-to-dispose-of wastes; the most common being used tires. The extremely high temperatures and long periods of time at those temperatures allow cement kilns to burn even difficult-to-use fuels completely. Another essential ingredient of concrete is aggregate (sand-and-gravel) obtained by river mining. Excessive in-stream sand-and-gravel mining causes the degradation of rivers by lowering stream bottom, which may lead to bank erosion. In spite of these scientific statistics, there is a hustle of making concrete roads without any impact assessment, all around right from a small village to a metro. Even the rivers are ‘developed’ by massively concreting their banks and bridges and culverts.

Such are the ‘by-products’ of the Best Son of the Man!

It's high time the world learns Triple R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) instead of Tripe C (Conceive, Create, Consume). If all these facts and figures are swept under the carpet of ‘Political Will’ and developing ‘Smart Cities’, it’s high time the Republic of the Nation should wake up to its rights and responsibilities and question the intent and content of all such proposals. The first basic question could be ‘Why do we need Concrete Roads that are enemy of water and even proved to be perilous to the tyres of the vehicles, when we can have tar roads of good quality with long life and which can even use-up some plastic in the making?’   

One of the invaluably fundamental guiding principle on which I am trying to build edifice of my life has been ‘Find the Purpose, Means will follow…!’ It simply means that, as for me, Purpose is paramount and not the means. Unless and until every Public Proposal or Undertaking doesn’t find an extremely selfless, absolutely profound and impartially humane Purpose, the 'means' would be converted to 'margins' and wasted, no matter ‘for what’, ‘by whom’ or ‘how much’…? ‘The end justifies the means’ idiom doesn’t make sense for a project of larger good and without any Socially and broadly Acceptable Purpose, not the ‘Special Purpose’, it should not even be considered! However, the only way to make it happen is by PPP – Prolific Public Participation combined with SPV – Smart People’s Vision! And it only could be that loyal 'unattached' hero that becomes the solace in the films!

Philosophically, these 2 modern age inventions being extremely dear to the human species is quite obvious for their 'convenience' - an intrinsic trait found in 'civilized' man. Human today is flexible and ready to mould in any shape, size and form faster than plastic for instant gratification and personal advantage. The same human adopts the characteristics of Concrete - adaptive in formation state and rigid once shaped - when it comes to his sacred beliefs, particularly religious!

Stay tuned, take care and Be Aware! (SMART) Way to go…