Showing posts with label Amusing. Show all posts
- Currency notes are issued by the Reserve Bank of India but Coins are issued by the Government of India.
- As a result. coins in possession of RBI are considered assets of RBI compared to Notes which are liabilities. And the distribution of Coins is undertaken by RBI only as an agent of the Government.
- Another ramification of this is that when you hold a Currency Note, you merely hold the RBI Governor's promise to pay you, but when you hold a coin, you actually hold an asset just like Gold or equity.
- Last, while you can use Re. 1 coins to pay any value i.e. if you had 1 crore coins, you could buy a house by using them, but Coins up to 50 paisa are called “small coins” and can only be used to pay up to a maximum value of Rs 10. So much for the 'chillar' (loose change) in our kiddie 'gullaks' (piggy bank)!
A marriage procession (Baraat, बारात ) on its way blocking the whole road while the car (silver grey, Maruti Suzuki WagonR) patiently awaits passage. An impatient lady on the scooter tries to manoeuvre from the gap on the side, when an unchivalrous biker coming from the opposite end blocks her way. While in this logjam, the lady's mobile phone rings and without regard for the cacophony she is in, she decides to take the call.
Moments later the procession will move on, the car will find its way forward and both the woman and the biker shall hurry towards their respective destinations. The ensemble cast in this photo will reach their respective destinations and discuss their travails this morning, increasing traffic, decreasing civility in the society and overall lack of infrastructure in the city; with the same tone and fervour which the English associate to their discussions on the weather.
Chaos, confusion, spontaneity - all hallmarks of Incredible India in one frame!
As luck would have it, we reached the monastery just when it started getting dark (after which usually the doors are closed to visitors), but chanced to get entry into the main gate. However, to my disappointment, the doors of the main temple were closed by the time we climbed up. We were about to turn back when my brother spotted a young lama, in his teens, looking down from his room in the premises of the monastery towards us. My brother quickly ran up to him and asked him if the temple could be opened.
I had started tying up my shoe laces again, expecting a nigh in reply - but to my surprise the young lama agreed, and came to open the temple door. We went inside, prayed and then when we were about to leave, the lama called up to come up to their rooms. The rooms were built exactly like the Mumbai Chawls - smallish and side by side; each room meant for one student lama. The small size also possibly helped to keep them warmer in the extreme cold weather of Ladakh.
When we went up, it was getting dark and as is usual in Ladakh, the temperature was dropping a degree every few minutes. The young lama called us in, and then started heating some tea for us - we were pleasantly surprised! We also saw another boy, with Caucasian features, sitting in the same room. On talking to him we discovered he was an Italian student and had come to Ladakh as a tourist. But he had become good friends with our host and had been living with him since past few months.
The young lama was a Ladakh resident, he studied Buddhism as it is preached in Ladakh - he was studying to become a priest and looking at the thickness of the books in his room, it looked like a uphill task requiring extreme discipline of mind and the soul - the physical hardships of living an ascetic's life being apart! I wondered if this young boy even knew about the world outside of Ladakh and more importantly the "joys of life" outside the monastery. If he knew what it meant to live in a city, what night life was, how much and what all he could learn if he logged on the internet, what was the fun in watching movies etc. Probably, for him ignorance was bliss - but I also wondered if he was lucky not to be exposed to all these distractions of the worldly life and to be without being exposed to them, pushed comfortably into an ascetic life; or was it unfortunate that he would become an ascetic without ever discovering what he was missing (or what he was not missing or what troubles he was escaping), by becoming an ascetic.
Philosophy aside, today when I reminisce back on that evening of a few hours, I figured that I learnt many things that day:
- Life gives you chances only if you dare to take them. We could have walked back that day without even entering the temple, leave alone have a unique experience of seeing a lama's little alcove from inside and having tea with him and his Italian friend - but for the chance that my brother took of running upto him for permission.
- When you ask, you often get more than what you ask for! We simply wanted to enter the temple and pray to Maitreya Buddha - the deity of Thiksey Gompa. But the lord blessed us with a bonus experience which none of us would forget for life.
- Life is all about odd experiences! Had we just gone to the Monastery once or during day time, we would have clicked a snap there, remembered the place as a beautiful building and forgotten. But with the unique experience we had - we will never forget the place and the unique hospitality.
- Rules are not always universal. Yes there was a rule that one doesn't enter the monastery after dark, yes there's a rule that the lamas do not usually interact with tourists - but both were broken that day. And it didn't feel unholy in any way. The world is composed of two kinds of rules - the ones made by nature - which if broken lead to disaster, but the second set of rules (which are far larger in number and pervade our lives more multifariously) are made by humans, and these rules can be broken. In fact, such rules also need to be broken once in a while to set into motion a new order of the world - that thought of course is worth a full blog post sometime else.
- Its not about how much money you have or who you are, its always about being in the right place at the right time. Here I let out a secret - part of the reason the lama was generous to us was because my brother was posted in Ladakh then, and he hence could relate to him in some manner. Yet, possibly even an Amitabh Bacchan could not have landed into this kind of an experience as we did. It was sheer stroke of luck! So in conclusion - life is all about taking your chances!
The fact that I am writing about this small incident after more than 18 months is testimony to how deeply it is now imprinted on my memories.
Image Credit: BBC, March 2010. Link to detailed results [PDF]
People equate internet to a fundamental right stating its impact on other fundamental rights [Ref: UN Declaration, Articles 18, 19, 26, 27 and 29] such as freedom of thought, conscience, right to speech, opinion and expression, and right to education and full development of personality.
The whole concept may look outlandish in the developing world where the basic necessities of food and shelter are still not available to all citizens, but for a large part of the "access enabled" population, the internet is becoming as fundamental to the very existence of modern lifestyle like banking services or water or electricity. For example, check out his conversation which happened late night earlier this week on facebook.
- The Garden City, Kansas Police Department started using Twitter as a free public messaging tool to send out information on events, missing persons and other community advisories, as did the Franklin, Massachusetts Police Department some 1,000 miles away.
- Over 200 police related Twitter® micro-blogs, the largest being the Boston Police Department with over 2,100 followers.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has its own Twitter® micro-blog http://twitter.com/LLIS for best practices information for state and local homeland security and emergency response personnel
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Emergency Preparedness and Response site uses Twitter as a mass communications tool and has over 2,000 followers.
- The FDA has employed its own Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/FDARecalls to alert over 3,000 people of its recall of salmonella-tainted pistachio products.
- In India, Delhi Police has a facebook page with an aim to "make the Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge" and Delhi Traffic Police has a twitter feed as well.
Once you click on a chosen destination, you are taken to a detailed view of the destination with a Google Map 'to' the location, a slideshow of photos from the destination, flight and hotel details arranged in 4 boxes on the screen. The flights with their prices are displayed in a calendar format while the hotels can be rearranged by their tariffs and traveler rating using sliders. The Google Map widget also has markers for Sites, Restaurants, shopping destinations and entertainment hot spots.
The fun part is that Cleartrip has partnered with Yahoo / Flickr and Lonely Planet - the slideshows showcasing are made using photos from flickr ... and are very captivating! This is one of the finest examples of blending Web2.0 (crowdsourcing, wisdom of crowds etc.) with real hard business practice to enhance the value of your product.
Recorded Temperatures in the island city are about 11-13ºC- and especially in Powai they seem to have dropped below 10 ... its a wonderful feeling.
And it seems as if Jayant Narlikar's Science fiction which I read in my school days - which predicted snowfall in Mumbai in 2010 - is heading towards materializing.
As the McDonald's advert goes - I am lovving it!!
With the successful completion of a pilot project on a "green toilet" and its certification and endorsement by railway minister Lalu Prasad a few days back, the railways have decided to replace all old toilets with "green toilets in all trains, an official in Rail Bhavan said on Wednesday.Read the original story for more.
Aren’t we all too like those Taxi drivers, who just want to go somewhere, without thinking where? In our jobs, we are all running, to outsmart the other, to grab even larger pay checks, to rise faster through the corporate ladder; to buy a bigger house, in a more expensive locality; to buy a car, an newer car, a more expensive one – WHY?
Are we all not just running in every direction possible – just faster … speedier … farther – without even knowing if there is a destination out there which we will reach, if there is a reward out there to grab, and even ignoring if there were some rewards on the way – we keep running and see just the road and nothing beyond!!
I was trying to hire an auto-rickshaw to an unfrequented place – almost ten rickshaws refused to travel to that place before one agreed. Amused, I asked the driver why he agreed, the answer he gave set me thinking.
“Sir, most autowalahs only keep running in a particular direction. They run away from home in the morning, as the day progresses they change their direction towards home. But what each one of them forget is that, our job is to ferry passengers – to travel in a direction which they desire; not to pursue our own agenda.
I am ferrying you to the place you want to go now, I will earn my bread by the money you pay – then even if I have to ferry back empty to my home – it will still turn out to be a small profit; never a loss. On the other hand the other rickshaws which refused you will probably have to ferry all the way to their home empty – not earning any fare and burning his fuel anyhow. Very few auto drivers realize this.”
There was a lesson for all leaders in the above lines. Leaders are like rickshaw drivers – their job is to lead the people for the people's benefit. They should stop chasing their own vested interests and try to 'ferry' policy or political decisions in a direction in the nations' interest, not a direction which favours their personal agendas.
Else in the long run, they would end up ‘ferrying’ alone without any followers and most probably ostracised by the public for misusing their positions of power.
So with everyone at the celebrations, I was sitting all alone at my desk - feeling hungry I went to the pantry to get some grub. There were no wafers or biscuits left - so reluctantly I got some coffee and came back. And then it happened!!
My cellphone rang. In a hurry to pick it up, I spilled the coffee on the table! I immediately moved my laptop aside and ran to collect tissues; but by the time I came back the coffee had spread further and had touched the edges of my laptop. While I was wiping the coffee off the table, my laptop went off, never to start again! Being the end of the day, IT dept could not help me - a replacement could be arranged only today evening.
Lesson learnt- a decision made in a split second (of not attending a birthday celebrations which would have cost me just 10-15 minutes) cost me a whole day!! Quite an example of the 'butterfly effect' !!
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Butterfly Effect - the movie