Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Month: November 2010

SCAMS – Shameless Callous Astonishing Manipulative Shocking


Scams are part and parcel of everyday life in India. I am sure scams happen everywhere around the world. But lets keep the article centric to India because I personally understand scams here in a better manner. SCAM tainted individuals have become so common in our society that its become the name of the game. No day goes by, without a scam being unearthed.

Satyam Scam, The Commonwealth Games Scam, Adarsh Housing Society Scam, 2G scam, Corporate Loan Bribery Scam – From ministers, to the army to corporates to even private players like Emaar – MGF, no one seems to be clean. And does anyone care? Not at all. Its all about “What’s the big deal? This happens in India every day” There are some common traits people involved in these scams possess –

Shameless – Be it Suresh Kalmadi, Ashok Chavan, Raja, Ramalinga Raju none of these individuals even care the harm to the nation, families and everyone else their acts have brought about. They are completely shameless and are just intent on doing one thing – USING THEIR POWER TO DO WHAT EVER WRONG THEY CAN WHICH THEY THINK IS ALWAYS RIGHT!

Callous – All of the individuals who have been involved in these scams are completely callous to their families, friends, companies, nation everyone. If they did care about anyone or for that matter even the nation’s pride, they wouldn’t do such a thing.

Astonishing – Astonishingly horrible in the acts they do. Be it Ramalinga Raju, Raja or Kalmadi all of them have played in billions of rupees. They must be saying “We play in billions and not thousands“.

Manipulative – All these individuals despite all the defense they mount are very scheming and manipulative. Take the example of Ramalinga Raju who was cheating everyone in his own company for more than a decade. This was the same company he gave birth to. He didn’t care about anything other than just making sure that he got the money wherever he wanted.

Shocking – The acts of these few individuals have always and will continue to bring shock and sadness to all the people related and unrelated to them along with the entire country. This is because things like what Raju, Raja, Kalmadi etc. did didn’t only affect the company or a few individuals but directly / indirectly affected millions of individuals.

Such SCAMsters need to be stopped in their tracks and such things are possible only if unique moves like starting an anti – corruption helpline start taking place (http://trak.in/tags/business/2010/11/29/anti-corruption-helpline-iim-students/).

Until then the shameless callous astonishing-ly manipulative shocking acts will keep going on.

Rs 100 Indian novels – Cheap quality or birth of new “Chetan Bhagat’s”


Source: LiveMint

Recently I came across an article on Live Mint about how every Tom, Dick and Harry in India has become an author or is trying to become one.

http://www.livemint.com/2010/11/11184258/When-everyone8217s-an-autho.html

This made me analyse as to why everyone is trying to become an author. And also what is the implication of that for our country in terms of English speaking, writing and reading.

There is a so called proliferation of every author proclaiming himself to be the new “Chetan Bhagat“. Now isn’t that a bit unfair on him? Unfair because despite selling thousands of copies and being regarded as the most famous Indian authors in history in terms of copies sold, he has already copped a lot of criticism from critics and a large number of people alike for the absence of literary delight, simple language and lack of so called “style’ in his stories.

So what is really happening these days in the field of writing?

As pointed out by Karan Bajaj of “Keep of the Grass” and “Johnny Gone Down” fame in his recommendations for getting a book published in India has given a list of publishers one can use for publishing his / her book. HarperCollins, WestLand, Penguin, Rupa and Co are some of the big publishing houses in the country who have publish his books as well as Chetan Bhagat’s and some other famous ones.

And then there are some new publishing houses like Indialog and Shrishti Publications which publish many different kinds of novels from first – time authors (according to some they publish almost anything). Some of the books they have published include “LOVE: An Unusual Romance… and the Mumbai Rain”, “Nothing For You My Dear: Still i Love You….!”, “Patyala Down De Throat: A sweet melody from pegs to riches” etc.

I don’t have anything against any of the writers. But was really interested to study the differences between the first timers and the ones who are established. So what’s the different between the books published by the publishing houses handling famous authors compared to those handling first timers. Two of the biggest differences are in the grammar and the English usage. The books for the first timers are for a mass reader probably one who may / may not be that good in English and doesn’t give that much importance to grammar and things like that. And then the books by Harper, Penguin etc. are also for a much more mature audience and do make you think a bit more than say a “I will love you till I find someone better”. One more problem is the fact that most of the books published by first timers are similar stories as I have always said before having a ‘guy + girl + sex + flirting + college times‘ and nothing new to offer.

Apart from all this there is also another peculiar problem of every book being a bestseller in India. Now as pointed out by Karan Bajaj, in India today if a book sells more than 5000 copies it is regarded as a best seller. Though that is a pretty sad state of affairs it shows that the tagging of a book as a NATIONAL BESTSELLER is being used more as a marketing / advertising tool than anything else.

Two sides of the coin?

Yes I agree that the fact that everyone is writing books currently has degraded the profession of writing as well as English vocabulary and grammar to a great extent. Truth be told! More than 90% of Indian authors what youngsters read today is of the CRAP variety.

But then, if we analyze the reasons why so many Indian authors have come to the fore, the biggest reason is to be popular. In our country be it through Big Boss, KBC, Master Chef, Indian Idol, Cricket through anything everyone wants his / her share of fame and why not. If Chetan Bhagat can do it, why can’t I? And therefore people who know a smattering of English or can read and write a bit are moving to writing stories. And one can’t really fault them. Because such stories are read, more and more of them are published. Only God knows how many are sold. But for sure there is a market.

Final Verdict – Both books of first timers many of whom are grammatically incorrect and books that are much more mature and stylish in their narrative will always coexist. Though yes, the problem may come when people start thinking that good grammar and vocabulary aren’t very important for a novel!

Facebook’s Gmail rival “Project Titan” – The next generation in email?

Move on from Gmail, Facebook Inbox dubbed as “Project Titan” is launching on Monday, 15th November. This just doesn’t promise to be a rehash / improvement of the Facebook messaging system which exists currently. But instead it looks set to be a much more detailed and comprehensive alternative to Gmail. The Facebook messaging leave few changes here and there has been mostly static.

First things first, it would give you the chance of having @facebook.com addresses. At a later point in time, it would include a version similar to that like the Gmail Priority Inbox which would have conversations and interactions with the users Facebook friends those he frequently chats with. As with Gmail this would be a very good filter for an individual to categorize his messages. Eventually the aim is to include all the features of Facebook like photo and video sharing, events information and management etc. which would appeal to all the Facebook users.

MySpace had come up with its webmail service in 2008. But it lacked POP and IMAP support. But interestingly Facebook will have both POP and IMAP support. This means that one can log into the email service without going to Facebook itself but instead through third party websites like the way one uses Twitter. According to research, more than 60 million people log into 80,000 third party websites each month via Facebook Connect.

Considering that recently Google banned users from importing their Gmail contacts to their Facebook Ids, this announcement by Facebook becomes even more interesting and one to watch out for.

Only time will tell whether it can be a Gmail killer or not. But this is one announcement I am surely looking forward too.

Who the hell cares where Obama sleeps or does eh huh?


Barack Hussain Obama is finally in India for the first time after taking oath in office. A lot has been said about him being the first black president and him ranting across the spectrum in USA about doing this and doing that. And how can we forget his anti – India outsourcing rhetoric since even before taking office. But who cares about all that? He has come to India for the first time and we being Indians “atithi devo bhava” (treat your guests like god) are according him more than god like status.

See these for some numbers (RUMOURED): –

Cost of the trip each day – US $200 million
Number of rooms booked – 870+ which includes Hyatt, Taj and Oberoi
Number of people travelling – More than 3000
How many days – 4 if we also include 9th which is the day he takes off!

Ok so Obama is coming to improve his economy, get more jobs, say that India and US are UNITED against terror and also sign trade deals and go to functions and dos having India inc. So? Why is it such a god damn big deal?

Is he going to make us anymore safer from Pakistan?
Is he going to give us the best jobs in the world and we wont be unemployed anymore?
Is he going to make our industry the best in the world?

I DONT THINK ANYTHING OF THAT SORT WILL HAPPEN! SO WHATS THE BIG DEAL THEN?

Its just the old god damn famous attitude of us Indians to please everything foreign. Have the best food menus, service, trip, security and whatever and then the person comes and gives a slap on our faces and we don’t even realize. How cool right? Providing all this to him and his fleet or shall I say city of men and women with complete discomfort in terms of cancellation / rescheduling of flights, security hassles and much more to all of us is at best PLAIN OUTRAGEOUS!

What this trip offers Obama is nothing more than spending some time roaming around Delhi and Mumbai doing nothing and signing so called deals. HAHAHA! But at US $200 million a day, it doesn’t sound too cheap, does it? But then I guess that’s the cost of fooling the Americans on the war in Afghanistan too. So he seems more than happy with it.

I would like to end by quoting some lines from G Khamba’s latest blog post on Obama: –

First things first – it’s lovely to be in Mumbai. It reminds me of New Orleans post Katrina.

Air Force One was taxiing around the airport so long I thought some Sikh gentleman replaced my pilot.

Air Force Two is basically just full of computers that needed to get fixed at Nehru Place in Delhi. Part of my austerity drive.

Saw Mukesh Ambani’s Antilla while we were landing. Now THAT’s a building I wouldn’t mind a plane crashing into. #uglyasfuck

Michelle is now the tallest man in India.

Indians everywhere are calling Michelle Kali. I knew she was strong, but didn’t realise Indians thought of her as a goddess. Win 🙂

Who are these Jaypee Builders and why does my Blackberry have 300 sms’s offering to sell me an apartment?

Just got off the phone with a young lady from some HDFC. Have secured major loans to sail over the recession. The trip is already win.

Spent a lot of time researching about India on Rediff comments, and am disappointed no one has offered me cow urine so far.

For more log on to: – http://www.gkhamba.com/2010/11/things-obama-will-never-say-in-india.html

AS WE SEE FROM GKHAMBA’S POST, MR OBAMA’S VISIT HAS GIVEN SOME INTERESTING, LOVELY AND OUTRAGEOUSLY FUNNY CANNON FODDER FOR US NETIZENS!!! 😛 AND IT ALSO GIVES AN OPPORTUNITY TO CRITICISE THE NEWS CHANNELS CONSTANT REPORTING OF WHERE HE SLEEPS AND WHEN HE TIED HIS SEAT BELT ON THE AIRFORCE JET!

A 17 hr journey from Pune to Lucknow by BUS and Kingfisher Airlines = PATHETIC!!!


Yeah you guys read it right. It took me 17 hrs to travel from Pune to Lucknow by air. Though initially it wasn’t expected to be such a difficult and challenging (in terms of lack of sleep and time) trip. I had booked my tickets with Kingfisher IT – 3149 from Mumbai – Lucknow on 31st October at 5:30pm. A simple 2 hr journey right? WRONG! The so called luxurious airline “Kingfisher – Fly the Good Times” announced the cancellation of their flight by sending what; a simple SMS.

I have written an entire blog post on Trakin about how hard the only 5 star airline in the country is trying to degrade its luxurious and customer centric image. PLEASE DO READ IT!

http://trak.in/tags/business/2010/10/31/kingfisher-customer-support-bad/

An excerpt from that post!
After the flight was cancelled, they just messaged the passenger saying that the flight has been cancelled and he / she needs to call the call center. Is this what one expects from a customer centric airline which calls itself the best in India?

They should have instead called / emailed or probably contacted the said person on social networks and given a personalized response. Probably it may be too difficult. But then this is something which can make a difference between a negative and positive word–of–mouth.

The calls at the call center weren’t picked up. Now this is a problem I have seen in many organizations and companies . If they don’t pick up, then the basic point of such a facility with 4-5 nos. just doesn’t make much sense right? Proper scheduling, managing the peak and load times and queuing of calls in the best possible manner are the most important things to do in such a scenario.

So after the bus journey of about 3.5 hrs from Mumbai to Pune, I was there at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport – Terminal 1A by 6:30pm. I was pretty happy thinking that my flight for Delhi was just around 3.5 hrs away. Since there wasn’t anything great to eat outside and I saw what seemed like a nice Food Court inside, I checked in around 8pm when I came to know that the flight had been conveniently delayed till 11:30pm. The reason for the delay “Heavy congestion at Mumbai airport and airspace” was atrocious to say the least when all flights of Air India which is the worst many a time in this regard were running on time.

So the next couple of hours were spent in walking around the airport, eating at Idli.com, surfing the free net, talking to people or just idling time by checking out the latest books in Media Mart. Finally our flight IT 313 took off at 12:30am and reached Delhi around 1.5 hrs late. And then the wait started at terminal 1D for the next flight Kingfisher IT – 3651 to Lucknow at 7:30am on 1st. That flight got delayed by half an hour too. The journey finally ended in Lucknow at 9am on Monday.

The only good things were the food in IT 313 and the free internet connection in both the airports :P. One thing I would like to convey here is that after the 5 star rating given to it by Skytrax and many other awards for luxury and customer service, the success has gone to Kingfisher’s head that they have lost it.

The call centers, Twitter usage, on time performance, style of speaking English (I am pointing out this because of the poise and grace they are taught) was all HORRENDOUS!!!

It just seems Kingfisher its trying its best to be the WORST LUXURIOUS AIRLINE OF THE COUNTRY!

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