Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Few Bad (Middle)Men...!

One good thing I like about this ‘e-commerce sites’ (that’s how they were referred to in their early years and we at this age are much more familiar with that term, thanks to PayPal!) apart from the cocky yet interesting TV commercials they release every now and then (Remember ‘Bilkul Pakka’ of Fipkart, ‘Aur Dikhao’ of Amazon and ‘Bachate Raho’ of Snapdeal…?) is elimination of the middleman! ‘Convenience (and value!) of the middleman’ could surely be a topic of debate, no doubt, particularly with majority of them having not only their presence in the ‘market’ but actually dominating it in flesh and blood (Read: Rupee and Paisa). The best of the negotiators who can give a run for ‘life’ even to a veteran politician (I know the original idiom has ‘money’ in it, but isn’t that life for a politician?), this sector of society has always been the key element of any transaction for the better or the worse.

The history of middleman goes over ages and centuries and could be tracked down to the emergence of self-proclaimed Priests, Prophets and all other religious leaders who declared to be the Messenger of GOD and assumed the authority of deciding the Code of Conduct of their society in general and their devotees in particular as they only had a channel to communicate with the Creator. This trend became central and overpowering just after first settlement of human civilization witnessed its manifestation. This simply had the underlying thread of insecurity of losing something that was ‘hard-earned’, in the figure of speech. Ages gone and human is still standing on the verge of insecurity of losing what he has and to make some provisions for the future that is not so sure, and manages to find a new middleman every day that is cleverer to its predecessor in every way. The greatest irony of the human life lies in the fact that the almost invincible human submits to its own desires and surrenders to a ‘superior’ human who supposedly knows to deal it in a better (profitable...?) way.

Now the question arise is who is a middleman and how to identify it? There was a joke around in our school days that was regarded as wittiest for its intent, content  as well as presentation. It was like –

At a World Conference, the heads of States of all countries were boasting about their technical know-how. So they all decided that to prove their boasts, each country should show an engineering feat to the world.

In a few days, the U.S.A made a hollow tube of fiberglass, a millimeter in diameter. It was then sent to the Russia. They put a conducting wire in the tube. The Japanese, to prove their superiority, bored a hole through the wore. Finally, it was sent to China. It came back without any apparent change.

"Well, what have you done?" asked everybody."

Look here," said the Chinese, putting the wire under a microscope. Clearly visible were the words "Made in China"!

It’s a different story that the joke of that time is the reality of the present and China had really made it big (pollution?) by grabbing every opportunity to manufacture anything and everything (including population?) for any market on the face of earth under the sky, don’t even bring the topic of quality, durability or something, ‘use and throw’ is the mantra of surging market you economy-ignorant fool!

Anyway, so to cut the long story short and make some sense of the Chinese joke (that explains why it evaporated so fast), middleman is an entity that neither cultivates/manufactures/produces anything nor makes any significant contribution to the human evolution or sustainability of environment but practices its negotiation skills to make a deal look like win-win situation and benefits the most in the process. Does that mean all the middlemen or negotiators are bad and should be abandoned…?

Well, there are two distinct types of middleman and not both are bad. One respectable and required type of middleman is the legal, ethical and moral representative of a party (not political, mind you!) that assumes the responsibility to do justice to the situation. Arbitrator or Counselor belongs to this category who serves as the common platform to two parties to have a justifiable and dignified negotiation over the matters of common good. Politicians used to play this role in the earlier times when politics itself was meant for social reform and inclusive development.

As the economy of any society or civilization starts booming; another type of middleman shows its existence and spreads like a wildfire and gobbles down everything that crosses its path. These are known as the ‘Commission Agents’, the other, not so respectable category of middleman. It’s not that all the commission agents are frauds or cheats but when a majority prevails it is taken as the pattern in a democracy, isn’t it? So what’s with the middleman or agents that has brought up this discussion? Well, any trade, business, livelihood and profession must be respectable as long as it is based on some fundamental principles and values of humanity and societal values. However once it reveals its ill-intentions under the skin even a Sadhu becomes a Shaitan. I could see such commission agents all around choking the life for their paltry and momentary profits who could be the saviors of the society, otherwise.

Politicians are working as agents of capitalists who are the slaves of the wealth; Doctors are practicing as agents of Pharmaceutical giants, who are interested in keeping the society diseased all the time; Promoters and developers are working as agents of land mafias, who have forgotten the real worth of their mother-land; Food Markets are the agents of middleman buying produce from farmers at peanuts and selling it for a fortune, who should be thankful that it has the hold of food-grains, the only thing that can feed the body; Media and legislative systems are acting as agents of all kinds of ‘Celebrities’, who should think of the masses that made them the celebrity, the status they are exploiting.

The list could be stretched almost unendingly but it won’t be necessary as I have made my point, I guess. Although there is no direct or apparent trigger to this write-up so to say, the recent incidences of abuse of their position by the persons of authority or the jewelers’ strike in progress can take the blame!

And, if you don’t like this point of view towards a commission agent that has very ‘appropriate’ slang name in the vernacular and national language; I would recommend that you learn it from Anil Kapoor in his characteristic tone; Awaargi is preferred wherein he addresses Avatar Gill with this special name!

By the way, Eco-friendly way of living needs no middleman, ever! Way to go…

Friday, March 25, 2016

'Good' Friday...?

My Incredible India has more feathers in the cap than any of her neighbors can possibly count or learn from and even googling ‘Facts about India’ will return interesting results with a bountiful list to the enthusiast, hence that is not, and couldn’t be, the intention of this write-up. Although it wouldn’t be imprudent to state some of the facts here to set the context, I believe.

Being one of the 3 early civilizations, Indus Valley Civilization is noted for its urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems and clusters of large non-residential buildings. Around the 17th century, India was one of the richest countries in the world. Today, India is the world’s third largest economy. Moreover, India would be the ‘Youngest’ nation on the face of earth by 2020, a report says and in spite of the fact that India is getting closer to a permanent spot in the United Nations Security Council while finding the fifth spot in a list of the top 20 strongest armed forces in the world; India never invaded any country in her last 100000 years of history. That makes us generous, isn’t it?

Apart from ‘Indian Railways’, one of the world’s largest network comprising 1,15,000 KM of track, India has the largest postal network in the world with over 1,55,015 post offices including the only of its kind floating post office in Dal Lake, Srinagar. In addition, India has a special polling station that is set up for a lone voter in the middle of Gir Forest since 2004 and during every election since then a special polling booth is set up exclusively for Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas who is the only voter from Banej in Gir forest. Now isn’t that facilitating transportation, empowering communication to the grassroots while strengthening process of legislation by justifying the reputation of Largest Democracy of the world?

India is second only to the USA when it comes to speaking English with around 125 million people speaking the language, which is only 10% of our population. This is expected to grow by quite a margin in the coming years. India is one of the 3 advanced technology countries that managed to develop a Supercomputer and records the highest number of increase in internet users including women in recent times. Women initiatives for entrepreneurship and social reform in various parts of the country including the most remote pockets, outshines their male counterparts in most of the departments including governance. This makes India most avant-garde, progressive and liberal nation, I believe!

Home to 17.5% of World’s population (out of which 72% is Rural Population), India has more than 8 Religions with countless cults, about 29 official languages and about 216 spoken languages with more than 10,000 native speakers, over 36 states, union territories and provinces with about 1.32 billion minds having actual freedom of expression, nobody else is qualified enough to teach India Secularism or Tolerance. It is only in India that a 12-year-old Muslim Girl wins the ‘Gita Champions League’ contest for explaining the teachings of the ‘Bhagwad Gita’, the Holy Hindu Scripture that is believed to be the divine advice for calling and inspiring selfless action; while a Hindu boy of same age wins ‘Azan’ competition held to instill awareness of religious obligations and a deep understanding of the verses of al-Quran and call to prayers. Do we need sermons for Equanimity, Equality or Humanity from traitors? I guess not!

Ayurveda, just like Yoga, is one of the absolute divine gifts of India to the world that is more of a Life-style than a pathological system of medicine. It says ‘You are what you eat.’ To illustrate this point, example of the elephant, the tiger and the jackal is given.

The elephant is a pure vegetarian. He is strong, gentle and intelligent enough to work well in a human environment. The elephant represents the Sattvic mind. The tiger represents the Rajasic nature. He kills and eats other animals, and this carnivorous nature makes him fierce and aggressive. Restless and strong, the tiger is always on the prowl. The jackal symbolizes the Tamasic mind. He is cunning, fearful and lazy, shunning daylight and surviving on food left uneaten by other animals.

Now as a matter of fact, largest number of vegetarians in the world live in India. The Elephant, apart from being worshiped as God, has immense respect and regard in Indian Culture and is the symbol of ancient India and her glory. It is only India that has a spa just for elephants! Elephants receive baths, massages and even food at the Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Center in Kerala. Now that's a BIG step for the country. With all the similarities and the analogies, India is the elephant that is walking its path enjoying the stroll and least bothered by the barking dogs around her. Hope you agree!

So what we have left with is a desperate, restless tiger on one side and a filthy, hideous and disgusting jackal on the other. I don’t need to explain the analogy further, I guess, as the ‘Tigers’ have revealed their identity by making all the fuss about their tiger-ness all the time and it is the entire world that is calling the dog mad who is pretending to be a jackal...!

(: By the way, this has nothing to do with the T-20 World Cup or the most nerve-racking match on Wednesday that India won by 1 run in the most nail-biting and heart-attacking situation, mind you! :) Now if I say that that’s how an Elephant keeps it cool and wins over tigers, do I even need to mention the dog… err… jackal?

Proud to be Indian... Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Jai Hind! Way to go…!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Don't mind...!

Dear All,
Wish You A Very
Colorful and 
Vibrant Holi!

रंगोसे भरी शाम हो आपकी 

चांद-सितारोंसे जादा शान हो आपकी 

जिंदगीका सिर्फ एकही हो मकसद
 के लंगूर से उंची छलांग हो आपकी...!

बुरा न मानो होली है…!

To read the Story of 'Holika' Click Here.

Friday, March 18, 2016


If extravagant living is the first cause of the environment catastrophe approaching the only livable planet of our galaxy at an alarming speed, negligence and indifference is a close second. As such, many of the time all such ungenerous acts could be ill-motivated by the greed for more, the number of incidences that splurge out from ignorant or ‘innocent’ deeds is not less nonetheless. If we can sort the list of elements that are being criminally wasted, with single criteria of being scarce and would disappear soon, it will reduce to 4 fundamental elements of existence –

1. Air – In extreme conditions a creature can live for some time without anything but air. Since breathing is essential for respiration that cannot be put on hold naturally, lungs need to inhale oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Oxygen is a product of atmosphere i.e. fresh air and the human intellect is yet to develop a system to produce Oxygen to match the levels of its demand by the universe. Till that point when the ever-evolving human will triumph over the nature, we will have to do with whatever Oxygen is produced and maintained by the atmosphere with the help of trees that we are chopping like anything for the exasperating industrialization to cater to the want of more! If the most evolved species on the face of this planet doesn’t come to senses soon, it would have to practice the art of Pranayama… holding the breath for as long as possible because there would be no fresh air available for respiration.

What can we do?
  • On personal level avoid smoking, excessive and unnecessary use of any energy source including but not limited to motorized transport.
  • On society level avoid cooking or any activity using fire produced by burning coal, firewood or kerosene.
  • On Government level limit any industry producing smoke beyond the permissible levels in any vicinity.

2. Water - Scientific experiments say that a human can survive for 3 weeks on water without any other intake. But without water the period of sustenance drastically drops down to 2-3 days and in some exceptional cases with favorable weather conditions it could be stretched to a week at the most. There dawns the Sun of the eighth day and poof! You would need yogic or tantric abilities to live past that single week without water. If this knowledge is common or has anything to do with conventional wisdom, our world [thought] leaders must have encountered some epiphanies to compensate the need of water, I guess! What else can explain our wasteful attitude towards this element that not only forms almost 70% of human body but help it survive as well!

What can we do?

  • On personal level consume less water for all personal chores and recycle used water wherever possible.
  • On society level avoid unnecessary washing, watering or storing for public use and religious events.
  • On Government level review the entire water collection, treatment and distribution system for its optimal use, find and fix all the points of leakage and refrain from water-intensive undertakings like concreting.

3. Land – To sustain beyond a week we need solid intake along with water. This could be natural like fruits and vegetables or man-made like various culinary from different cultures and regions of the world. Whatever it may be, the basic ingredients need to be produced and even in that sector human is yet to invent an effective alternative to land that provides for all the vegetarian food a human can consume. In the wake of New Developed Civilization clustered with Smart Cities and inhabited by Smarter Citizens, Land has turned into a hot selling commodity beating even the precious metal that ruled the market for centuries together. The marketers are behaving as if they have the special ability of eating and digesting the wealth created by dealing the land that produces the food required for the nourishment of body. Now by acting like this, are they being the super-species or the doomed fools, only time will tell! Oh, but we are dreadfully running out of time, aren’t we…?

What can we do? 

  • On personal level consume only the land that is absolutely essential for living comfortably and not for boasting affluence or investment for future provision, without cultivable land there would be no future!
  • On society level avoid selling purchasing land as a market commodity, instead facilitate farming activities on the open land that is available and utilize it so as to increase the soil quality and groundwater level.
  • On Government level review the entire land use policy and declare adequate area of land as ‘Reserved for farming activities forever’ and encourage redevelopment and smart reuse of land that is transformed to Non-agriculture already. Discourage the use of land as an investment or market tool. 

4. ? The fourth element in the list could be 'Energy' as we are also running out of it miserably or 'Time' which we are not left much with actually or 'Earth' itself that is bleeding badly and is likely to succumb to all the injuries it has suffered from its dearest child. However I will conclude this list with an element that is disappearing faster than the speed of light and has the potential to balance everything else if put to practice sensibly. That element is Awareness or being Conscious or Empathetic!

If each and every individual just become aware of what, why, how and how much it is consuming for whatever reason and make a self-assessment of its personal balance sheet of habits and behavior on a regular basis, everybody would come to know what was the Capital Invested, how many Assets are (de)generated against which Liabilities and what’s the resultant Equity, by what Profit Margin the Depreciation is claimed and last but not the least, what our species have as c(r)ash-in-hand for our business called Civilization!

For this final but actually governing all the rest elements, what we can do on any level is –
  • Review development, Rethink prosperity and Reform the values.
  • Respect Nature, Regard Environment, Revere the evolution.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. 
By the way this Financial Statement of this business would be CSR-Proof as there would be no Profit left and there is no provision to earmark 2% of Loss in the CSR Act, I believe!

Let’s do the Audit before it’s too late… Way to go!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Third Eye…!

If anybody says that there are 3 sides to a coin, rest of the pseudo-intellectuals would think of that crazy soul as too leftist to be right but neutral! It is believed that there are only 2 sides to a coin or anything, for that matter, in general and for something that makes headlines, in particular. If you can’t take sides you don’t even count, for it is the number game after all and one side ought to outweigh the other to ‘win’, you know! The ‘Independent’ people is the true minority in the largest democracy of the world and such a minority that never demands ‘Reservation’ or ‘Freedom’ of anything from any-body but strives to take all its fellow citizens to a level plane where they can cognize with empathy, reason with rationale and respond with vision, not just enthusiasm, fervor or wit.

Anything in the universe under the Sun has 3 dimensions and so do the incidences or happenings. There are always 3 sides to a ‘Story’… teller’s, listener’s and the TRUTH, just like a coin that, besides 2 sides, has an edge! (At times, the coin tossed in the air lands and stands on the edge… Ref.: Sholay!) Now some of the party-people might find fundamental flaw in this statement questioning the absoluteness or authenticity of the truth, claiming it to be more of a philosophical nature than practical. Few others might find the ‘Truth’ to be adulterated, inspired or sponsored and hence unacceptable to be granted as the perspective to look at things in question. However, this entire discussion is based on the common understanding and acceptance of the fact that there is ‘Truth’ beyond everything else that has an ability to transcend all the arguments including its own denial or underestimation.

In the world of oversimplification of matters where people are ready with labels to be put on you the moment you express something even completely irrelevant to the context, let us try to simplify this ToT – Theory of Truth by the popular mystical and enigmatic concept of The Third Eye. Apart from the Hindu mythological stories related to it of Lord Shiva who is believed to open his Third Eye during the Tandav and burn everything around him, Third Eye is regarded as the speculative invisible eye that provides perception beyond ordinary sight. People who are claimed to have the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers. The most interesting part is, according to the Christian teaching of Father Richard Rohr, the concept of the third eye is a metaphor for non-dualistic thinking! In Rohr's concept, seers employ the first eye (sensory input such as sight) and the second eye (the eye of reason and reflection) but they know not to confuse knowledge with depth or mere correct information with the transformation of consciousness itself. Absolutely profound...!

The reference that triggered this entire hypothesis of truth was the recent commotion at JNU about which Prof. Makarand Paranjape tried to take a neutral stance and make it a point to look at the entire episode from a rationalist way without coloring anything in any color as he was portrayed ‘notoriety’ by some of his colleagues. I found the sincerity in Professor Paranjape’s statements about Independent thinking and having your own principles and beliefs without surrendering to any side or party for that matter, quite appealing. This is what valuing and practicing ‘Democracy’ is as far as my knowledge and belief of human evolution and democratic republic is concerned.

I would like to share a poem 'Dilemma...!' in this context that is very close to my heart which resonate our feelings and disposition appropriately, I believe! Way to go...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Child's Play...!

I recently visited house of one of my in-laws and offered a chocolate to the toddler there who is yet to be admitted in any playgroup or preschool. It was obvious that the overjoyed kid enjoying its chocolate felt dutiful towards me and made all possible attempts to ‘entertain’ or ‘please’ me as long as I was the ‘guest’ there. However, the innocent but childish efforts of the baby to be the center of attraction for all the time started to get onto my nerves as it was impossible to have a dialogue with the adults out there as all of them seemed to enjoy the baby-acts that they have witnessed may be for thousand times. As I couldn’t see even a hint of a sincere effort from any of them to control, take away or at least ignore the child’s play and focus on the discussion in progress, I lost my interest in taking it ahead and got into the act by playing an ideal guest who must get entertained by the host.

Now, with a full-house audience applauding the act and paying keen attention to every move and sound of the baby, overwhelmed with the attention it started getting, it suddenly discovered its newfound role as the leading performer of the center stage and with all the enthusiasm and energy that it could put in, went on to continue its naive act that soon became the talk of the house. I found myself a helpless bystander to witness all this from a distant, perplexed with a usual thought of –

‘Oh sometimes it’s so hard to know who is right and what is wrong
Where are you suppose to stand when the battle lines are drawn?’

Well, somehow I managed to finish my visit in a decent manner without hurting anybody including the baby and was assured that it was pleasure for the hosts to have me as guest and they had a great time! I accepted all the compliments without a word and as humble a smile as possible to any gentleman of my temperament. I understand that you should not burn the bridges permanently as you never know where your destiny would take you and on the return trip you might need to cross that river again with help of that bridge. But few questions kept disquieting me all the same no matter how philosophical perspective I tried to put the thing in.

I was invited to the house as a guest, wasn’t I? Was I supposed to devote my full (quality) time appreciating immature acts, incidentally of no relevance to anything I had to share but suddenly becoming of everybody else’s interest? If the tot was innocent and had no idea of what it is being put through, was the kid to be blamed or the audience making a hero out of it? Wouldn’t it be more sensible on everybody else’s part to show some responsible conduct by focusing on the matters of importance and neglect the kid that would eventually get tired and exhausted once ignored?

Well, as usual I have these questions that nobody ever dares to even ask, forget answer! Now if I am being intolerant by asking these questions, I can’t help it because it is high time we are being taken for granted and also being tolerant of every act of pseudo-heroism claiming ‘Freedom’ or ‘Satyamev Jayate’!

The paradox of India today is everybody is playing the role of somebody else which he or she is certainly not or not at all supposed to be. Actors are becoming Social Reformers, Social Activists are turning Businessman, Businessman are getting into Politics, Politicians are trying to Entertain the Society, Society is following the Celebrities, Celebrities are thinking of themselves as Thought Leaders, Thought Leaders are engaged in symbolic protesting and, above all… students and amateurs are overruling the parliament sessions.

God save this Country… Certainly, NOT a Way to go… however!

Saturday, March 5, 2016


There is a ‘concept’ discussed like anything nowadays… Sustainable Development! I am not calling it a theory, not even a hypothesis but a ‘concept’ for a reason and I have all the evidence to prove it, believe me! First of all the idea of Sustainability needs to be defined, discussed and understood before bragging anything in its name. ‘Development’ is such an intrinsically complex concept that there could be as many definitions and perceptions of it as the population on the planet; each one sees it in his/her context. Above all, no politician on face of earth could exist who doesn’t claim to bring the development. The safest, surest, tried and tested bait for winning vote-banks has been ‘promising development’ since the dawn of politics. Even the ‘nobles’ in the era of feudalism provided development in form of protection and the use of land to the peasants for offering him/her homage, labor and a share of their produce.

While development has many faces and obvious repercussions in one form or other, it is imperative to understand that it is impossible for any development to take place without any exploitation of some resource, natural, human or man-made, to some extent for, energy is the basic necessity of any development and no energy could be ‘green energy’ in its truest sense unless it is propagated so for political intentions or the ‘green’ is referred to the color of the currency. There is no point in cutting down a tree that is providing shelter to its nurturer; making a cabin out of that tree-wood and offer it to the person who was enjoying the foliage of the tree, for a price that he is neither supposed to pay nor could afford. If this is termed as development, I will reiterate what I have said time and again – there are 2 basic questions that need to be answered first – ‘Is it worth it?’ and ‘At the cost of what?’

Coming back to the sustainability, a wrong notion has been preached for years together that it is about maintaining the sustainability of the planet while going on with the development as envisioned by the ‘nobles’ to ‘world leaders’ to ‘big brothers’ [not to mention their driving force – the buck brother]. First of all, it is not about the sustainability of the planet but the human species. Planet is good old and almighty to take care of itself, it’s the human species that is on the verge of extinction – either by natural phenomenon like running out of all the life-essential natural resources or by man-made mass-destruction to gain the control of whatever is left and sustain a little longer than others.

So it would be better for the all-evolved super species standing tall on the top of the food-chain to learn the facts, do the math and start respecting the nature that is omnipresent, incorruptible and follows the circular principle of GOD – Generate, Organize and Destroy and NOT the linear path of GDP that is always depicted as a pointed arrow traveling upwards by defying even the fundamental law of gravity! No matter how creative, innovative and intelligent human brain could be, it would never evolve to a point where it could architect the planet as per its needs, particularly with the finite resources required to cater to the infinite wants of human mind.

In simple words, Sustainable Development is as childish as wanting to have your cake and eat it too. Just like digging a well to reach the mountain top. Not Possible! So what is the solution? Should we stop all the development projects and get back to the hunters and gatherers phase from where it all started? What difference would be there in Humans and other species if we could not put all our abilities of sensing, thinking, reasoning and inventing? Won’t it be the stupidest thing to abandon all the scientific inventions, technological advancements and digital transformations that have made the human life simpler, safer, enriched and enjoyable? [Have they?] Well, at the moment I do not have any ‘Manual of Eco-friendly Living’ or ‘Chronicles of Eco-man’ for reference but I am planning to write one and you can look forward to it. Meanwhile, how about going through ‘Wrong Theory’ by Girish Abhyankar, the man who had made it little easier for all those who think alike.

Way to go…