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Showing posts with the label Amusing

Rupee Note & Coin Trivia

With withdrawal of ₹500 and ₹1000 Rupee notes , while we all post views regarding demonetization, here is an interesting trivia about currency in India. 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 day in life of Incredible India!

The photograph below is a scene from the incredibly buzzing and busy Tier 2 city - Ujjain - in India; a center of religious tourism in central India. The precise location - a service lane to a otherwise important highway connecting the city of Ujjain to three other nearby cities of Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior. 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

Lessons from an evening in Ladakh

I visited Ladakh close to two years ago with my parents; since we went there close to beginning of winters, we had to keep our trip short and that left us with less time to acclimatize ourselves to the weather. Out of the 4 days we planned to spend, my parents felt a little sick on the second day and could not join us for the sightseeing. On that day, we had planned to visit places around Leh which included the visiting the Thiksey Gompa (Monastery). I liked the place so much that I wanted my parents to visit the place - so on the next day, after we finished our day long itinerary, I insisted we take a shot at visiting Thiksey again. 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 h

बिजली, सड़क, पानी और Broadband
Power, Transport, Water and Broadband

Just about an year ago Finland declared broadband internet access as a legal right and now BBC has come up with a survey that 80% people in developed world believe that internet access should be a fundamental right. 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 w

How Flickr helps cleartrip sell more travel packages

Cleartrip.com - an online travel portal has started a new section called Small World. The feature showcases select destinations around one's residence or internationally. This a is really novel service - not only users get to 'preview' a holiday location, the approximate travel and lodging expenses are flashed immediately on the screen. 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 fro

Death of the PIN Code

I was reading this GigaOm piece on augmented reality when I realized that we may be very near towards making the Zipcode (or Pincode as we know it in India) completely redundant in the next 10-15 years. The article talks about how location aware application - Layar delivers ATM locations, restaurant information and available jobs on the phone’s screen as users point the camera at their surroundings. This innovation is a combination of 3 technologies coming together - GPS (location awareness), persistent connection (ability to extract information on the move) and image recognition (point the camera and the phone knows where you are). The latter is probably a complicated and expensive technology to build everywhere, but the former two are now almost ubiquitous. As I have written earlier , mapping services are improving every day in India - already maps to smallest detail are available for most Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities in India. With ISRO's project Bhuvan , imaging information shoul

Your Savings will ____ like a pack of cards!

Sometimes marketing managers make some very obvious mistakes - like this StanChart advert below (Click the image/ here to see complete ad). Using a pack of cards to depict one's savings is really a cruel cruel joke on people - especially in the current financial circumstances.  Probably a more appropriate image to use here would have been a kid playing lego blocks and a parent adding on top of the structure. 

Is it Mumbai or Bangalore?

Its become quite chilly in Mumbai - for the first time in Mumbai I am enjoying 'winters' the way I have known them to be (when I was in Bhopal). 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!!

Railways plan 'green toilets' in trains

We will surely miss the stink in the railways :-) 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.

Observations from the streets of Mumbai

Many times I find Taxi drivers in south Mumbai, who are in such a hurry to wade through traffic that they forget to notice that there is a fare waiting on the side of the road. In a hurry to surge ahead in the traffic laden streets of Mumbai – they overlook the little opportunities that stare them in the eye. 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 wonder!

Tips from an autorickshaw driver

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

Butterfly Effect!!

Yesterday evening around 5.45 PM, our department secretary asked everyone in office to assemble for birthday celebrations of a colleague. I was in the middle of something and so was in two-minds whether to join or not. After some seconds of haggling in my own mind, I decided not to go. 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