Saturday, December 19, 2015

Movie Review: Bajirao Mastani

Besides an epic love story, Bajirao Mastani offers a glimpse of grandeur of The Maratha Empire whose greatness is bereft from our history books.

Each of the three actors deserves a standing ovation for one of the finest acting-with all the distinction and precision.

The character of Baji Rao, swollen with Maratha pride and driven by the motivation to defeat the might of Mughals, found an apt answer in Ranveer Singh.

Priyanka's portrayal of an unprotected simplicity in the character of Kashi Bai and Deepika's look of stressed sensuality in Mastani are one of the immediate reasons why Sanjay Bhansali is still a master-director.

And the cinematography will beat the bejesus out of one's mind.

Baji Rao Mastani is a toast to art. Cheers!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Why Cow is worshiped in India

In primary school, at some point of time one must have written an essay on Cow.

गाय हमारी माता है (Cow is our mother)
गाय दूध देती है (Cow gives milk)

These are two lines which comes on top of my mind when I reminiscence my schooldays. So why are Cows revered in Indian Culture? Cow is the universal mother. She feeds her milk not only to her calves but also to the children of the world. Milk is considered to be among the highest forms of food - Sattvic (purity). One cow in a generation benefits 475,000 people through her milk, butter and offspring.

It is not only in India where Cows are revered. They are greatly respected in Nepal and Burma too. People in the ancient India were primarily pastoral. They relied on the cows for milk and dung. Cow dung was one of the main fuels in rural India and also served as a fertilizer. Cow dung and cow urine were used as disinfectant to clean up homes (still used in Tamil Nadu).

Despite its big size, a cow is a calm and non-threatening animal - you could see cows quietly roaming Indian roads. Hindus have always appreciated the tolerance, patience and calmness of the cow. Thus, cows stood for the goodness and considered a representative of Dharma. Also, a cow's affection to its calf is a beautiful thing and Vedas greatly appreciated this bonding.

Some may question why only ban on beef and not on other animals/birds. In the most liberal country- the US, dog's meat and cat's meat are banned. People have special bonding with them and treat them as children. Similarly, in India Cows are considered as mother. Hindus have special bonding with her. In every Hindu household, the first food that is cooked is for Cows.

The First war of Indian Independence, famously known as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 happened because the grease used on the cartridges of the rifles had tallow derived from beef. The sepoys had to bite the cartridge open to release the powder in their rifles. This was clearly offensive to the Hindu sepoys which led to the mutiny.
It is all about gratitude. The holy status of Cows are because of the deep respect and love. Cow is known to be "Aghanya"- never to be killed.

Mahatma Gandhi said,"I worship her and I shall defend her worship against the whole world" and that, "The central fact of Hinduism is Cow protection."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Caesar's New Wife

Arvind Kejriwal's rise in politics is no less than the rags to riches story. His entry was exceptional and the echo national. If debuting with 28 seats was his ascent to political summit of Delhi then securing a massive 67 seats in 2015 is when he conquered that summit.

The path between his ascent and his conquest was not smooth. It was a steep slope where he came down rolling. He resigned after remaining in power for 49 days to fulfil his bigger aspiration. Inspired by his own greatness, he went to Varanasi to fight LS election against Modi only to come back humiliated. His party lost deposit in as many as 400 seats across India.

People who clamoured in favour of AAP for its idealism are now seeing naked truth of its realism. Even intellectuals who claim to be politically neutral (politically neutral means people who are aligned to none but resigned to hate Modi) have also become disillusioned with Arvind Kejriwal- who was once seen as last resort to take on Modi.

Kejriwal may have consolidated the power within his party by purging ‘theoretical intellectuals’ like Bhusans and Yogendra Yadav but the political stage that he is now in is pregnant with hypocrisies.

His fraudulent manner of attacking everyone under the protection of sanctimonious virtue is exposed with luminous finality by the deeds of his own MLAs. Within 5 months of being in power, his 2 MLAs including one minister, are in jail while many others are facing serious charges including molestation, cheating, assaulting and forgery. He has soiled his immaculate self under the paragon of Gandhism - always speaks truth and only truth until and unless it's about his own party-men. He wears the cloak of honesty to purchase sycophancy. Till eleventh hour of Jiten Singh Tomar's (law minister) arrest he preached righteousness and vociferously defended him but when the truth was out he pretended ignorance.

All this long his modus operandi has been - spread the plague of cynicism, build hysteria by creating pandemoniac situation and then portray himself to be the panacea. His cinematographic talent facilitate not only pretending but also preying. He preys on ignorance, on gullible- be it on splurging on populist measures or playing communal politics by taking out candle march for Gaza (Yes, the soldiers of AAP who proudly carry epaulettes of ignorance on their shoulders took out a candle march for Gaza). He was himself seen pandering for Muslim votes (horse trading) in a sting video. Jarnail Singh, MLA from Tilak Nagar blatantly supported Khalistan movement while Amanatullah Khan, MLA from Okhla put sympathetic posters of Batla House terrorists to garner votes during the assembly election (an art learned from Congress). Interestingly, in 2014 Kejriwal tweeted for the arrest of Amanatullah Khan but then gave AAP ticket to him in 2015. Isn't the art of political survival strange?

The street theatre in which he indulged and resigned for in his first term i.e Jan Lokpal Bill is now nowhere in his list. A party which claims to be austere passed a budget of ₹520 crore to mold a new image of its leader. Below are his a year old tweets:

"Which party paid how much money and to which media house for ads?"

"Will Times Now disclose the amount of advertising money it has received from Modi?"

One needs serious guilt free personality to blackmail others through virtue while trading one's own. Moreover, Kejriwal has always managed to plant the weight of his failures upon others with cowardly glib. If Capitalism and Imperialism are Marxists obsession then Modi and Delhi Police are AAP's compulsion. It follows the below algorithm:

Policy Paralysis: Blame Modi Law & Order: Blame Delhi Police Local Issues: Blame MCD For everything else there is Lt Gov Najeeb Jung.

The evil is always on the other side. Arvind Kejriwal may be husband to his wife but is a wife to Caesar- above reproach.

How to Keep Gynecologists away

Chetan Bhagat, befriended and newly adopted to anti-Modi brigade, calls Modi supporters 'sexually frustrated' and asks them to 'learn English'. Oh the irons of Chattisgarh have started rusting after this irony.

Once, Modi was his best object of praise but now a reason to his frustration.

The conspicuous reason being not getting any favours for his sycophantic paeans (showered during LS election) from Modi Govt. This single thought battering in his brain is eloquently reflected in his rancorous article. His resentment is the result of an infantile mind who still thinks sycophancy will be rewarded.

Having resigned himself to the knowledge that he won't be getting any entitlement, he has started with jabbing darts against Modi supporters. He would surely not stop at this; it's a matter of time when he starts writing imaginary notions against the Govt. An apple a day keeps doctors away. Corollary, not reading Bhagat's books (whose unique selling point is sex) may keep Gynecologists away.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Laloo, Nitish and Bihar

In politics, taking a U-turn is shrewdness but making an O-turn is sheer art. Nitish Kumar has mastered this political art. He is back to where he started. Laloo and Nitish ‘fought together’ against Congress during emergency, fought with each other in Bihar and now are ‘fighting together’ against BJP. The circle of Friend-Foe-Friend is complete. Before 16th May, 2014, which political pundit would have thought in their wildest imagination that pathological hatred toward one man (Modi) can bring Lalu and Nitish together? In politics, there is certainly a limited advantage of using the past as a template to predict the future.

In 2010 Bihar Assembly election, people showered Nitish Kumar with fountain of trust by giving him a historic mandate. But by aligning with Laloo, he has muddied the fountain that once saved his political career.

Until 2014 LS election, to fulfil his desire of becoming PM, he cloaked his hypocrisy with a cunning brow. He was under the illusion that being the largest partner of BJP he is indispensable to NDA and by allying with the anti-Modi faction within NDA, he will be the only acceptable face to lead the NDA and in-turn become PM. In a jibe to Modi he once said, “Those who dream of becoming PM will even cease to remain CM”. His words were like Cassandra- nobody believed but it became true, the only difference was he made a prediction for himself. He ceased to be CM of Bihar after the LS defeat.

Media and pseudo-secularist hailed him as a Martyr when he resigned for taking the moral responsibility of the drubbing in the 2014 LS election, but the same media and Adarsh Liberals went into hibernation mode when he aligned with a convicted Laloo.

Laloo and Nitish may be united by a Fact but are divided by a Factor.

The Fact is – Stop BJP at any cost.
The Factor is – Who will become the Chief Minister?

Laloo has not aligned with him because of any altruist motive or to assuage him for the LS defeat. He knows enemy’s enemy is a pal. Once the primary enemy is defeated, the weaker pal will dance to his tune. Laloo wants to regain his lost glory- the rustic King of Bihar once he was. His every political utterance is chiselled by his astuteness – “I am drinking poison to stop BJP”- a metaphor to justify alliance with JD(U). Kumar’s delusion will be shattered the day RJD gets more seats than JD(U). Laloo has offered a mirage in the form of alliance to Nitish who is desperate to avenge his LS defeat.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

O' Stranger

I haven't seen you
I haven't met you
I haven't talked to you, ever
Should we go ahead
And fall in love?
O' Stranger

Debt of Love

Sweet debt of Love -

Each night it makes me rich
Bankrupt, the next morning

Football or Fakeball?

No Nothing. No matter how much I try to get infected by Soccer flu, the FIFA WC fever doesn't catches me.The only thing I know about football team is their country's capital.

Perhaps if India had qualified it would have been interesting.
Which springs forth to this question..
Why is India inherently bad at football but is Brazil of cricket?

I can think of two reasons..
Fitness. In soccer, first you acquire physical fitness and gradually the required skills but in cricket fitness comes second to skills (physical fitness is under-rated in India). VVS Laxman and Virendra Sehwag were not the fittest of players but went on to play some historic knocks.

Secondly, the problem lies with the game itself. Football is an "unjust game" with which Indians cannot relate. There is a huge incentive for the players to cheat. A single goal can make a huge difference in soccer which is why players/referee cheats (eg:- faking an injury in box can earn you a penalty kick ). While in the Gentleman’s game, there is very limited scope of cheating. Moreover, in Football a team which dominates the game may still lose while in Cricket, a team which dominates the game is always rewarded.

Below The Belt

Yes, there is a conspiracy against me by all the airlines. Yes, this has happened with me 90% of the time whenever I have traveled by any airline.

My baggage always arrives at the last in the airport conveyor belt, when I have had almost given up hope and had mentally prepared myself to combat with the airline staffs. Moreover, the frustration turns into anger when you see everyone leaving with his/her baggage and you are standing alone, as dumb as a doorpost.

This had happened with me at the Shanghai airport also. I was about to cry (you can't think of combating with the Chinese guys, they are really tough nuts to crack hence the emotional bearing) until I saw my baggage ejecting from the belt outlet.

The Dosa Conundrum

My zodiac sign has bestowed me with a firm decision making ability. The only time I vacillate is while having a Masala Dosa - whether to start from the irresistible crispy end and approach the masala later or start from the middle and proceed to both ends. My observation with both the approach:-

When I start from the crispy end, I am 'unable' to finish all the masala. While in the second approach (starting from the middle), I fail to ensure that the masala lasts for the whole dosa.

These were the thought attacks which hit my mind while having a masala dosa yesterday. Have you ever faced this kind of gastronomical dilemma?

On a different note, I feel Idli and Dosa must have played a great role in nation's integration. Dosa is a versatile dish. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari or from Gujarat to Mizoram, you will find people having them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Zip Up

Aviation sector demands hospitality for its passengers. The crew members in airlines are usually nice. Hot and Nice. They welcome you with gorgeous smile, serve you snacks and beverages and ensure your safety till you deboard the plane. They even go to the extent of reminding you to 'save your work' before closing your laptop. Eh?

With ever increasing competition and many new airlines in foray, I fear they don't go overboard with such 'caring attitude' else the future announcement may be something like 'Please don't forget to pull up your zip before coming out of the lavatory'.

On the same note but different observation- Pune is a rich city but has a below poverty line airport


Good morning! Ever went to office sans breakfast to take a meeting? Ever written an exam empty stomach? How did it go? Blank thoughts? Trembling anger? Melancholic expression? It's strange how our digestive organs govern our intellect. We cannot think, cannot work until and unless our stomach wills so. It dictates our emotions, our passions.

To remain fit in this anorexic fashioned society, it's said that one should have breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a beggar. How often we gloat that we are the sorriest slaves of our innocent heart and intransigent mind but we, consciously or unconsciously, ignore the role of stomach in keeping us sane.

I doubt my ability to remain hungry. Sleep alludes me with clot of tension if I try to go to bed empty stomach. Thought would struggle to take shape inside my skull. I be like dull and soulless body at the deathbed of my mind. On the contrary, when I am full, I feel good, satisfied and in peace with myself and with the world. And sometimes generous too - overtipping the waiter and the gatekeeper after a good meal in a restaurant. Hunger is an unrestrained feeling, a feeling superior than any emotions.

There is a joke 'Men and Women are never angry; they are most of the time hungry'. The anodyne master of human psychology, William Shakespeare, referred 'music' as the food of love but actually it's 'food' which is the music of love; as they say, the way to man's heart is through his stomach.

Airport Ennui

Window shopping is the best cure for ennui at the airport but in-flight journey is usually boring. I have found a solution - don't put your earpiece. Observe.

The sight of two beautiful girls infront of your seat taking 15 selfies (nonstop) with 15 different expressions as soon as they were seated. At first you try to judge and feel pity but when you see you're also coming in the frame, you change your opinion to 'they are having fun' (how vulnerable the male sex is as a result of their biological configuration). I have always wonder how different expressions come naturally to them. When I try, it's always the same - as expressive as a rock whether it's a single click or ten.

All set to take off. The supersonic engine has started and the aircraft has taken considerable speed. The fear that terrorises your heart when the metallic kite lifts itself from the tarmac - the sound of drones making it unbelievable that the flight successfully took off.

There is an elderly grey-haired gentleman sitting next to you, gives a moist and blissful yawn a-a-a every five minutes. The lack of leg-space is troubling both of us - he in the middle while myself in the aisle seat. Sitting beside him is a young man in his own world with earpiece stuck in his ears, enchanted in his musical milieu. He has a muscular physique that dominates the space around him.

Then there are wonderful petite air-hostesses. The untroubled eyes, the features firm, the superfluous makeup - immune to our fancies - giving us imperial edicts on safety and demeanour. They apparently absorb most of the beholders attention disallowing them any freedom of thoughts. If school is where they teach turbulence and aerodynamics, it's 30,000 feet above sea level where you learn about rare combination of beauty with diplomacy and hospitality.

Sitting across the aisle, is a young Bengali couple in their thirties, both immersed in reading William Dalrymple. I had continuously stared at the huge luggage of theirs, wondering what lay inside, during check-in at the airport; they are now skeptical of me as I try to peep which book of Dalrymple are they reading.

As soon as the announcement of landing travelled in our ears, one of the two girls sitting infront of me started doing her hairs. She uses the front camera of her phone to check if the looks are perfect (reason why phones are called smart), gives her phone to the other girl with the intention of sprucing her looks but she quickly avails the opportunity to take a selfie of herself. This clearly doesn't went down well with her as she snatches the phone and gave a rebuking look of 'how dare you took a selfie without me'.

Now, I am bored of observing. Over and out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Guilt Trip

Lately, the store owners of various shopping malls have started offering a free trip to its customers. It's called guilt-trip. They make an old security guard (twice your age) stand at the entrance of the store and ask him to bow with folded hands whenever any customer enters the store.

I don't fathom the reason- how this idea will influence my decision of buying stuffs from the store? Or since my ego has been massaged now and that I have been feeling like a King, I will spend all the wealth that I have. Or they think of preying on the guilt? Oh yes! we have made him feel guilty, he is now sad hence he will shop more.

Has anyone taken this trip?

Life of Engineers..

We thought of becoming Doctors, for - we had handwriting for it & knew the difference b/w pulmonary arteries & pulmonary veins. Then we realised that eleventh hour study doesn't help here

We thought of becoming Lawyers ,for - we had good vocal cords and argumentative skills. Then we realised we cannot become lawyers as everyone understands what we say

We thought of becoming Gamblers (share market), for –we had the recipe of success : analytical skill, probabilistic skill and tenacity. Then we realised recipes don’t work without salt. Salt=Luck

We thought of becoming Indian Novelists, for- we had naturally occurring grammatical erring skills. Then we realised constructing a perfect sentence is the not the easiest thing in the world

We thought of becoming Comedians, for- we had timing and content. Then we were too strong to make fun of ourselves and too lean to make fun of others

After failing in the above vocations, we became Engineers.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Behind Hindu Traditions..

1.Applying Tilak/KumKum On The Forehead

On the forehead, between the two eyebrows, is a spot that is considered as a major nerve point in human body since ancient times. The Tilak is believed to prevent the loss of "energy", the red 'kumkum' between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. While applying kumkum the points on the mid-brow region and Adnya-chakra are automatically pressed. This also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.

2.Joining Both Palms Together To Greet

In Hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms – termed as "Namaskar" The general reason behind this tradition is that greeting by joining both the palms means respect. However, scientifically speaking, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. And, no germs since we don’t make any physical contact!

3.Why Do Indian Women Wear Toe Ring?

Wearing toe rings is not just the significance of married women but there is science behind it. Normally toe rings are worn on the second toe. A particular nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. Wearing toe ring on this finger strengthens the uterus. It will keep it healthy by regulating the blood flow to it and menstrual cycle will be regularized. As Silver is a good conductor, it also absorbs polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body.

4.Why Do Temples Have Bells?

People who are visiting the temple should and will Ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum (Garbhagudi or Garbha Gruha or womb-chamber) where the main idol is placed. According to Agama Sastra, the bell is used to give sound for keeping evil forces away and the ring of the bell is pleasant to God. However, the scientific reason behind bells is that their ring clears our mind and helps us stay sharp and keep our full concentration on devotional purpose. These bells are made in such a way that when they produce a sound it creates a unity in the Left and Right parts of our brains. The moment we ring the bell, it produces a sharp and enduring sound which lasts for minimum of 7 seconds in echo mode. The duration of echo is good enough to activate all the seven healing centres in our body. This results in emptying our brain from all negative thoughts.

5.Why Should We Visit Temple?

Temples are located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as “*Garbhagriha*” or *Moolasthanam*. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. We know that there are some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic scripts, buried beneath the Main Idol. What are they really? No, they are not God’s / priests’ flash cards when they forget the *shlokas*. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. Thus a person regularly visiting a temple and walking clockwise around the Main Idol receives the beamed magnetic waves and his body absorbs it. This is a very slow process and a regular visit will let him absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically, it is the positive energy that we all require to have a healthy life.

6.Why Married Women Apply Sindoor Or Vermilion?

It is interesting to note that that the application of sindoor by married women carries a physiological significance. This is so because Sindoor is prepared by mixing turmeric-lime and the metal mercury. Due to its intrinsic properties, mercury, besides controlling blood pressure also activates sexual drive. This also explains why Sindoor is prohibited for the widows. For best results, Sindoor should be applied right upto the pituitary gland where all our feelings are centered. Mercury is also known for removing stress and strain.

7.Why Do We Fast?

The underlying principle behind fasting is to be found in Ayurveda. This ancient Indian medical system sees the basic cause of many diseases as the accumulation of toxic materials in the digestive system. Regular cleansing of toxic materials keeps one healthy. By fasting, the digestive organs get rest and all body mechanisms are cleansed and corrected. A complete fast is good for heath, and the occasional intake of warm lemon juice during the period of fasting prevents the flatulence. Since the human body, as explained by Ayurveda, is composed of 80% liquid and 20% solid, like the earth, the gravitational force of the moon affects the fluid contents of the body. It causes emotional imbalances in the body, making some people tense, irritable and violent. Fasting acts as antidote, for it lowers the acid content in the body which helps people to retain their sanity. Research suggests there are major health benefits to caloric restriction like reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immune disorders etc

8.Why Do Indian Women Wear Bangles?

Normally the wrist portion is in constant activation on any human. Also the pulse beat in this portion is mostly checked for all sorts of ailments. The Bangles used by women are normally in the wrist part of ones hand and its constant friction increases the blood circulation level. Further more the electricity passing out through outer skin is again reverted to one’s own body because of the ring shaped bangles, which has no ends to pass the energy outside but to send it back to the body.

9.Why We Start With Spice & End With Sweet?

Our ancestors have stressed on the fact that our meals should be started off with something spicy and sweet dishes should be taken towards the end. The significance of this eating practice is that while spicy things activate the digestive juices and acids and ensure that the digestion process goes on smoothly and efficiently, sweets or carbohydrates pulls down the digestive process. Hence, sweets were always recommended to be taken as a last item

10.Why Do We Applying Mehendi/Henna On The Hand And Feet?

Besides lending color to the hands, mehndi is a very powerful medicinal herb. Weddings are stressful, and often, the stress causes headaches and fevers. As the wedding day approaches, the excitement mixed with nervous anticipation can take its toll on the bride and groom. Application of mehndi can prevent too much stress because it cools the body and keeps the nerves from becoming tense. This is the reason why mehndi is applied on the hands and feet, which house nerve endings in the body

11.Sitting On The Floor & Eating

This tradition is not just about sitting on floor and eating, it is regarding sitting in the “Sukhasan” position and then eating. Sukhasan is the position we normally use for Yoga asanas. When you sit on the floor, you usually sit cross legged – In sukhasana or a half padmasana (half lotus), which are poses that instantly bring a sense of calm and help in digestion, it is believed to automatically trigger the signals to your brain to prepare the stomach for digestion

12.Why Do We Worship Idol?

Hinduism propagates idol worship more than any other religion. Researchers say that this was initiated for the purpose of increasing concentration during prayers. According to psychiatrists, a man will shape his thoughts as per what he sees. If you have 3 different objects in front of you, your thinking will change according to the object you are viewing. Similarly, in ancient India, idol worship was established so that when people view idols it is easy for them to concentrate to gain spiritual energy and meditate without mental diversion

Credit :- Hindu Tradition

Sunday, April 19, 2015

You don't need to save the Internet

There have been a lot of one-sided opinions on Net Neutrality catering to the end-users point of view; here is my endeavour to explain Net Neutrality from the business and free market point of view. Most of you must have watched the 'fear mongering' AIB video on Net Neutrality. For a change, the ribald jokers of AIB have come up with something meaningful instead of their usual crass and obnoxious videos. It is pretty convincing but is misleading and far from the truth.

Now what is Net Neutrality? As AIB explains, Net Neutrality means all internet content is equal, must be equal and allowed to be charged equally. But is all internet content really equal? Internet content can be divided into four broad categories:
1. Browsing
2. Video Streaming
3. VoIP (Skype etc)
4. Downloading big files (movies).

In all these categories, the traffic load on the server is different. For example: When you open FB, it quickly fetches the page from the server while consuming data in KBs but when you watch a YouTube video the server is constantly busy, consumes your data in MBs and needs a 'dedicated bandwidth'. Similarly, a VoIP chat or downloading big files consume more data and keeps the server busy for a longer duration. Currently, the charges are levied by averaging out the above categories. If you don’t watch videos but only browse, you still pay for videos. If charges were levied by segregating the content as above, consumers will be charged based on “What You Use Is What You Pay” thus a person who only browse will end up paying less than what he or she is paying now.

AIB uses the example of Airtel Zero tying up with Flipkart which will be accessible at high speed compared to the rival sites like Amazon whose access will be deliberately slowed. This is incongruous and misleading as Airtel Zero is not what it is made out to be. Here is the explanation of Bharti Airtel CEO, Gopal Vittal "If the application developer is on the Airtel Zero platform, they pay for the data and their customer does not. If the developer is not on the platform, the customer pays for data as they do now. Companies are free to choose whether they want to be on the platform or not. This does not change access to the content in any way whatsoever. Customers are free to choose which web site they want to visit, whether it is toll free or not. If they visit a toll free site they are not charged for data. If they visit any other site normal data charges apply."

Airtel Zero is a similar technology like toll free numbers, which enable the customers to make contact to the company without being charged for the call.. When customers call the toll free number they are not charged; it's the company which pays. Countering the arguments on Airtel Zero providing differential speed and access to applications, which are not on Airtel Zero platform, Vittal said that the same treatment will be provided to all irrespective of their presence on Zero platform. He blamed such arguments against Airtel Zero as a deliberate effort by ‘some quarters’ to confuse people.
P.S Snapdeal, rival of Flipkart, is an official sponsor of AIB.

The Rights of Business Operators:-

Consider Internet to be a huge mass of land. The Government has divided this land into 22 circles (Delhi, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Kolkata, West Bengal, West UP, East UP etc). The DoT (Dept of telecom) invites private companies to bid on electromagnetic spectrum available for these circles. For example, in the recently (March 2015) concluded 'fiercely competitive' spectrum auction of 420 MHz in which GoI fetched ₹1.1 lakh crore, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance Communication and Tata Teleservices were major bidders. Each of these circles is allocated with certain spectrum frequency (further divided into 200 kHz blocks) based on the demand. Now this 420 MHz of spectrum is divided into 'frequency bands' of 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz.

The private players bid and the highest bidder gets the licence to operate in the circle. For the Mumbai circle which has 7.5 MHz of the 420 MHz spectrum, Reliance Jio and Tata Teleservices won the bid at ₹909 crore per block (which is of 200 kHz) in the coveted 800 MHz band. Now calculate the price for 7.5 MHz if the cost of 200 kHz is ₹909 crore. The seven operators who won the bids had to pay an initial amount of ₹28,872 crore within 10 days, with the rest in installments after a two-year moratorium.

The DoT has sold a small piece of land to an entity for a huge sum and granted a monopoly via auctions. Now looking from the company's perspective- you can't question the owner's right to do what he or she wants to do with that monopoly. It's like you buy a land in a posh area, pay a hefty price, set up a business and someone else decides the price of the product or services. Let the market decide the price. If the price is feasible, the consumer will buy the product/services else they will move to other sellers. When mobile was introduced in India, incoming calls were charged at ₹10 and outgoing at ₹17. But with more new entrants it is now where it is - cheapest in the world.

The brouhaha on Net Neutrality is a classic example of Marxian mentality- a mentality of proletarian caught in a bourgeois' net. If the telecom companies, during the advent of high speed Internet, had started charging different prices for the contents, nobody would have bat an eye. Don't we pay an exorbitant price for ₹20 popcorn tub at the multiplexes or the hefty price for ₹10 samosas at the airport or haldirams? Doesn't Tata Sky charges premium package for entertainment channels like Colors and Star Plus. Don't different vehicles pay different toll charges for using the same road or bridges?

Credits: -
1. DoT website for statistical data
2. Guru Prasad for the categorisation.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

To write or not to write...

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words all being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible."

Writing is a process that institutionalizes your broken thoughts into complete ideas. It gives life a meaning that prevents burnout, boredom and other sorts of cimmerian darkness. Moreover, it's good for you! It builds healthy self-esteem which automatically enhances your confidence in all other areas. Writing is a 'characteristic' movement from fear to confidence, from difficult to easy, from incompetence to competence. There is a reason why legends had advised to maintain a personal diary. Writing activates the second tool of comprehension; reading being the first.

Yes, Writing makes me happy. I don't know why but sometimes I feel I should chronicle each and every events of the day; words and pictures keep shooting in my head. When I read my old blogposts, Facebook statuses or tweets, I feel proud and good about myself.

Have a problem? Write it down. You will come up with a better solution. Have a crush on someone? Write about that person. You will be able to express better (and may become a chic magnet) A good sonnet becomes an extraction of intense feeling from the ore of emotions (try poetic flirting). You will possess the art of persuasion with delicacy.

It will help you to clarify thoughts about love and life, about right and wrong. Writing is directly proportional to thinking. The better you write, the better you observe. The better you observe, the better you think.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Celebrating togetherness...

They looked into each other's eyes
Little longer than usual
His thoughts reflecting in her dark eyes
Her feelings mirrored in his innocuous heart

They kissed
Her lips pressed with burning passion of his heart
His fingers in sweet conversation with her soft skin
In a long night of togetherness

Is this your first kiss, she asked
Yes. Am I that bad? He inquired embarrassingly
No, She whispered in his ears
Your lips had been savouring the passion all this while

He smiled in triumph, in deliverance
She bent forward with her eyes half closed
They kissed again, till eternity
In a long night of togetherness