Monday, August 14, 2017

Can India ever become a developed country?

Coming from India and lived there for 30 years of my life, many of my friends talk about the problems India has and how we can solve it. India has solved many problems; like polio, mid-day meals, industrialisation, etc; but when it comes to becoming a complete developed economy, I tell my friends that is many decades in future or may be even centuries before India can become a developed country.

I can only take examples from history.

Development of Europe

  1. Industrialisation - during the mid-1800s there was rapid growth of the Industry in Britain, France, Germany and Italy. These countries became the pioneers of producing whatever humans needed through machines. Machines produced and transported good from A to B and in quick time. This gave the European Manufacturers an edge over rest of the world and once you have an edge over rest of the world its difficult to catch-up. 
  2. Colonialism & imperialism - Industrialisation also pushed these countries to do business with countries outside of Europe. French went to Europe and British went to the Indian subcontinent. The farmers were forced to produce what the companies wanted. The raw material was sent to the home nations and then the finished goods were sent all across the globe. The natural resources of Africa was transported to Europe where the factories produced goods, that was transported across the globe.
  3. Slave Trade - Humans were used as machines to work in fields across the globe by these colonial nations. Slaves were used as we use cattle in the fields without any pay and this helped the companies from the imperial nations grow at a tremendous pay without worrying about salaries. 


The above 3 are big examples how the imperialists sucked up all the resources across the planet to grow at a pace faster than the rest of the world and become developed. I don't think this imbalance can ever happen again.


Development of USA

  1. Slave Trade - Humans, especially from Africa were transported in ships to USA and they were used as machines to work in fields across southern USA. This was quite similar to what was happening in Europe, but this time the colonies were not being built but human were bought from African merchants to be turned into cattle to work in fields of USA.  
  2. Abundance of Gold & Oil - Free labour and natural resources propelled USA to a next level of growth. This also created a new concept of capitalism which USA currently works on. 


I think USA will always have an upper hand in the world economy for next 200 years, as competition and attitude in that country propels it towards growth and development.

Development of Arab Countries

  1. Oil - When oil was found around the Persian gulf in 1970s, wealth lying under the sand was found and propelled Arab nations towards progress never before known off. If you go to places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyad, Doha; the amount of wealth gathered in these cities is imminence and can only be matched by the wealth in the west. 
  2. Migrant labour - Just like to slaves worked in the fields of masters from Europe and USA, the labour force in this case came from the Indian sub-continent. The people from India, Nepal, Pakistan work in building these cities and people from the far-East work in the houses of the masters as nannies. 


Development of China

  1. Manufacture everything in China - China currently manufactures everything and has created a huge devide in what was previously manufactured in West. Chinese companies flood the Western world with their steel, toys, shoes, clothes and the cost of these goods is so low that the companies can't compete and are kicked out of competition. We can now see that manufacturing has almost died here.
  2. Cheap Labour - Like the slave trade in Europe, USA & Arab world; Chinese needed the low cost slaves to create the goods at a very low price. They found this with their very high population and state controlled labour laws. The rise of Chinese GDP/ capita has been phenomenal in last 20 years. From $828 in 1998 to $8123 in 2017. Its nearly a 10 fold increase, never ever have the Chinese seen so much growth since their independence. 


India might never become a develop country unless it creates an economic imbalance. The question now remains, where is India's opportunity to create that imbalance?

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Why did Harry Meet Sejal... Why? Why? Why?

My wife and I went to see an Indian film last evening - "Jab Harry Met Sejal"; this was one of the painful things to happen to me this week, other than exercising my calf muscle; that can heal but this pain might never heal.

This movie is based on a Hollywood film - When Harry Met Sally. Here are 20 reasons not to watch the film:
  1. Its a straight copy of an English film. No brains were used to write the story!
  2. There isn't a story which would inspire anyone.
  3. Every Bollywood film has a few good songs, this didn't have any! 
  4. Straight away stereotypes Punjabis, Gujratis & Bangaladeshis.
  5. All Punjabis are not tractor driving singers.
  6. Not all Punjabis are loud.
  7. Not all Punjabis keep cursing like Shahrukh Khan in this film.
  8. Punjabis have become Presidents, Prime ministers, Finance Ministers & Defence Ministers of democracies across the globe; what else does one need to do to not be cast in a stereotypical role? 
  9. Not all Gujratis are diamond merchants, some become tea vendors or Prime Ministers
  10. Not all Gujratis speak with "rey rey rey" at the end of a sentence.
  11. No all Bangladeshis are struggling with flooding in Bangladesh. Some go and get a Nobel Peace prize. 
  12. Not all Bangladeshis are illegal migrants in Europe. 
  13. Shahrukh Khan has a history back in India and keep crying through the film; but no mention of what the history is! Get a grip Mr Khan, the film isn't interested in showing your histroy, so you should stop crying about it!
  14. Anshka Sharma has a fiancé and is trying to find a lost ring in Europe; shouldn't she check her bag first?
  15. Anshka Sharma has a fiancé and is trying to find a lost ring in Europe; shouldn't she go back and fix her breaking relationship?
  16. Anshka Sharma has a fiancé and is trying to find a lost ring in Europe; shouldn't she stop going to pubs, bars and mess with the mafia?
  17. Anshka Sharma has a fiancé and is trying to find a lost ring in Europe; shouldn't she stop dancing at the drop of a hat?
  18. Anshka Sharma has a diamond business and is trying to find a lost ring in Europe; shouldn't she speak with her company's designer and get a new ring made?
  19. My wife says - even the clothes were not that great
  20. One might end up spending £50 for a night out including this film. No worth it!
If Godfather watched this film, he would have said; "Don't tell me that an Indian film has to feature atleast 5 European countries to become a blockbuster; it insults my intelligence and that makes me very angry."

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hello South America

Trupti flies to Rio before me and I see her in Mid-August


We watch the summer Olympic games and then off to roam about the American continent. First stop - Manaus in the middle of the Amazons.

Then to Santiago. Hope to meet my old hockey pal there.

Santiago to Calama would be a short flight but a complete change in the geography. We will be in the middle of Andes!

This could be the most fascinating journey when we drive from San Pedro De Atacama to Salar Di Uyuni. Can't wait!

Uyuni to la Paz. Not sure what we want to do there? May be go to the Lakes and relax before I come back to London.

I am coming back but Trupti carries on her trip!

Santa Cruz it is for her. Do remember to take your malaria pills.

She plans to go to Uruguay for some reason. Not quite sure why. Heard a lot, seen nothing! that's a good reason!

She comes back in end of September.

We have been planning this since January and I am hopeful things will go as per the plans! If not, then we would love to get lost in this journey...


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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Why are people like Arnab Goswami dangerous for India?


In a democracy, everyone should have a voice and an opinion. Everyone should have the opportunity to get their message across, right or wrong it doesn’t matter; the message should go across in the peacefully & accurately. Historically, we have seen that in dictatorial and totalitarian governments the voice of the people is supressed. Races and religions are wiped away! But if someone wants to give their opinions on the TV what could go wrong? The opinion is presented within the four walls of a studio and everyone should feel safe when presenting their opinion. Well, everything that could go wrong will go wrong, if we go to a discussion without an open mind and the moderator of the discussion / debate has pre-set agenda!



Arnab Goswami is a well-known news anchor on Times Now, who doesn’t let any debate happen. He has one job and only one job, to moderate a healthy debate between two people with different ideologies. How difficult can that be? It can be difficult if you don’t consider the debate between two ideologies but consider it as a forum to improve the ratings of a television show.



Arnab Goswami is a prime example of how one can become a poor journalist. Get a prime time slot, with a masala filled topic & 8 panellists who no one has heard off but are as ill-mannered as Arnab Goswami himself. 8 freaking panellists? Why? One sits in the chair with 8 cameras zooming on these panellists; but the debate moderator speaks for 50% of the time. Arnab, you are indeed shameless! If you are lucky you might get the opportunity after a “India wants to know. Tell me. Tell me. Nation wants to know….” blabbering. Arnab, if you have given someone an opportunity to speak, please let him speak, just shut the eff up!



Arnab, what is the point of such a debate? If it is to get more advertisements on TV, then go sell soap and detergent, at least you will be honest to your profession. I haven’t seen Arnab out in the field meeting the widows of Kashmiris violence, understanding the issues of flood affected victims of Chennai, highlighting the predicament of families of farmers who have committed suicide in Maharashtra & Andhra Pradesh.



Arnab Goswami, why do you shout so much? Is it because you have poor vocabulary and need to raise your voice to put your message across? Or is it because you are scared to get into a debate? My opinion is that one doesn’t need to shout to put a message across; a prime example of such a man is Mahatma Gandhi! In a land which has built its recent history on non-violence and truth, one could become a prime example of that at prime time. Shouting at someone and asking him not to speak, will kill the human spirit. Killing the human spirit is worse than killing that human! If everyone can’t put their voice / viewpoints / agenda across, this land of yogis, beauties & billion gods will become a dull, boring, colourless country. This land has produced big religions and sects, Siddharth became enlightened and gave the world Buddhism because he was not shouted at but was allowed to think, speak out and get enlightened. In a country where Shias, Sunnia, Wahabis, Syrian, Parsi Muslims have lived cordially and amicably for centuries will lose the humanness in them and act like brainless humans!



Do not put words into the mouth of the panellists. You have two ears and one mouth; use it in the same proportion, it would be a good start. I don’t want to look at you on TV and say in disgust : “Is this what India watches????!!!”, I want to listen to you moderating a debate in a more civil and cordial way, so that the Indian values of tolerance, love and respect of each other are highlighted through your debate! If it was a shouting match you would win, but unfortunately it isn’t!



Don’t kill the human spirit Arnab, you have an opportunity to enlighten the world’s largest democracy! Go light the bulb, don’t switch it off!

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Monday, March 30, 2015

So whats next?

So we now know that a country that used to be the land of opportunities and used to welcome people from all across the globe has just taken a u-turn and gone back to the dark ages. 

In the state of Indiana its now a law where a business can decide to not serve anyone based on their sexual orientation. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32094331

I also see that in future these laws are possible:
  1. Indiana law allows business to not serve people who wear white shirts
  2. Indiana law allows business to not serve people who have a different skin tone
  3. Indiana law allows business to not serve people who do not wear turbans
  4. Indiana law allows business to not serve people who happen to not have an smartphone
The question is how do such laws come into affect? My answer is - it all comes down to 1 mad person and the amount of money he/she controls.

Think of this as a story: 
  1. There is this guy who happens to be a vegan. 
  2. He owns about 17 steel plants and other manufacturing units across the globe; happens to be a multi-billionaire 
  3. He also happens to be friends with few politicians and invites them to his house for lunch 
  4. Over a vegan lunch he explains the politicians why its important that everyone should have vegan food or else it will be difficult for him to fund the party's state and national elections campaign 
  5. He also recommends that the laws must be changed - the non-vegans must not be allowed to open their lunches at the universities & other public places; or else election funding, etc 
  6. The politicians get scared and introduce a law - which is pro vegan because the smell of bacon or roasted chicken hurts the sentiments of the vegan people
So whats next? 
  1. A rich man who happens to wear only black shirts calls the same politician!

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 was indeed a special year

1. Sports
a. There was no sports world cup of any sorts – Ok Rugby League isn’t really rugby 
b. People came out and said – I am sorry I took drugs and yes I killed my girlfriend. 
c. England proved that they can change from a great team to an unbelievably crappy team in 11 weeks; and gift the Ashes back to Australia. 
d. England have qualified for the football world cup next year and although we don’t have any world class players some critics predict England to go all the way. 

2. Russian politics
a. Let’s look at how they solved the Syrian crisis. When US were about the bomb the Syrians the Russians asked the question – “so what’s the problem here? Hmm chemical weapons? Ok Syria will destroy all of them; it’s alright then?” That happened and there was no attack from USA on Syria. As if the Syrian civilians were not suffering before.  
b. Pussy Riot – group members released. 
c. Green peace – cases dropped. 
d. What’s next? Corruption cases against the Russian mafia?

3. US politics
a. On the other hand the big brother couldn’t get their government functioning for few weeks. Don’t know if the Members of the Congress got their salary for those days. I think that is like legal corruption - “I am not going to work but you still need to pay me!”
b. What’s happening with the free healthcare? 
c. The president thinks taking selfies more important than giving respect to one of the greatest men to live on this planet. I have lost respect for Obama! 

4. Movies
a. Manoj Knight Shamlan hasn’t made a decent film since Sixth Sense. 
b. Kickass 2 was a children’s film which had so much violence that I found Arnold’s films like cute kitten videos. 
c. Matt Damon is a socialist and has an IQ of 170! 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

How to plan a good holiday...

1. While starting to plan do make sure what you want to do on the holiday. 
  • Is it a honeymoon, city break, lazy holiday or business and pleasure holiday
2. While paying and deciding how you want to spend your money, do ask the travel agent or check the website where you have booked if 
  • It is an all inclusive holiday or breakfast only holiday.
  • Do the resort / hotel provide pick up and drop to the airport?
  • Does the resort have activities going on? Are they free or you have to pay for them?
  • There is no shame in asking what's complimentary? We went to a holiday where a bottle of wine was complimentary with dinner.
3. Do plan on where you want to go in advance
  • If you are going on a beach holiday then it would be nice to know how to swim
  • If it's a skiing holiday then learn skiing before you hit the slopes
  • Planning in advance allows you to sort out any visas you need to worry about
4. Packing
  • I believe that take enough clothes, but don't take 10 sets of clothes for a 5 day holiday
5. What kind of clothes should one take on a holiday? It depends: 
  • Cottons for the hot weather
  • Warm Jackets & woolens for the cold
  • Always keep an extra pair of socks & undies
  • Always good to have a nice shirt for dinner in the suitcase.  you never know the hotel might request its guests to not wear t-shirts at the dinner table
  • If going to the Caribbean do not take army shirts or jackets, its illegal to wear them outside. 

6. Last minute checks
  • Passport
  • Not the expired passport but the valid passport
  • Visa
  • Yellow fever vaccination card if travelling   to south America or Africa
  • Currencies & monies
  • Keys, books
  • Phone chargers, iPad chargers
  • Converter plugs
7. Things to buy from the airport
  • While coming back, buy souvenirs for friends and family.
  • Chocolates while coming back
  • I try and buy some gum at the airport when going out, because I have a tendency to get my ears blocked during take off. Wife has that problem too.
8. To tip or not to tip
  • They tip a lot in America but not much in Europe.
  • So tip in America. They tip the taxi drivers too.
  • If in Europe, the normal tip in a nice restaurant is around 10%. Some restaurants add 12.5% as service charge if there are more than 5 in the party.
  • Always check the bill, have they added service charge or not.
I may have missed so many other things. Please do add them on the comments section :-) 

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