Is it worth living in big Cities anymore?

Is it worth living in big Cities anymore?

A heavy Mumbai traffic gushes through the road and my car was stuck amidst. A very usual situation for Mumbai and I was vaguely concentrating on the happenings outside while thinking about something at office at the back of my mind. Someone knocking the door and my driver trying to politely drive him off catches my attention. A small girl it was and to my surprise there were more than many children knocking many other cars. My driver points me towards people living under the bridge.

People come to big cities for work and money, leaving peace back home and end up living on the road under the bridges. Moreover, they start begging as for some reason they couldn’t go back and let their children beg too. It becomes a network and they form a team at many places mostly close to the traffic signals. Some die during the heat and some during the cold season. You could see this scene almost in every big city in India but majorly at Mumbai and Delhi. People come for a better living to major cities and lose their lives cheaply.

Not only the situation of the downtrodden but same is the situation of middle class and upper middle class in bigger cities and to their respective living standards yet nothing better than their own native towns and tier II cities. Especially with the internet bringing worlds closer, tier II cities like Pune, Jaipur, Amritsar etc prove to be a better and safe option. People live a lavish life in these cities as compared to metropolitan cities.

Trains are a nightmare at Mumbai for new comers. Traffic and drainage systems during rainy days shall take you for a ride at Delhi. Real estate rates have become crazy at Mumbai and Bangalore. Power problems can still hold your life back at Chennai. In addition, there are risks of terrorist attacks, road accidents, pollution etc etc.

So why do people come to bigger cities? Education? Yes, partially. Education, nowa days is better in smaller towns too. The main reason is exposure. One gets exposure in terms of handling competition, pressure, big details, big money in whatever field and situation. Is exposure a good reason to stay back in big cities these days? Not anymore.

With technology and developments, everything is possible from everywhere. In fact, population from the small towns have more clarity in thought than those from the big cities.

It is time to go back to developed tier II cities and smaller towns. If they are still not developed, it is time to develop them and have a peaceful life than getting sunk into lifeless bigger cities. It is not worth anymore to lose touch with families chasing money. At the end of the day, money saved in big cities will prove to be the same or lesser than in towns and expenses tend to increase with very little peace in bigger cities.

A common man’s view of developed India

A common man’s view of developed India

I grew up being told that India is a developing country and I was dreaming of India as a developed country by the time I grow up and become an adult. Probably it is too ambitious to think of becoming a developed country in a few years. In history, 100 years look so small. So while it is fine and being considered as one of most upcoming economically developed nations, there are hiccups that make us think about basics that has to be built up on without which we will not move ahead. I present a common man’s views of how India might develop by setting right certain basics.

India is already a powerful country in terms of manpower being the second biggest populated country in the world. The world depends on India’s manpower and skills. Major part of the world’s software Industry has Indians as their brains which include the latest appointment of business executive, Satya Nadella as CEO of Microsoft. Moreover, the corporate companies of the world are rushing in to set up in India being one of the world’s biggest markets.

Still, the scenes that come in as a picture when I travel across the roads of any major cities in India make me feel horrible. I stop with a red signal and I could see a lot of beggars moving around asking for help. There are some beautiful bridges throughout the country which helps smooth traffic. Under the bridges live the poor and needy as encroachments. When the going gets tough they die of heat waves, cold waves, floods, diseases etc.

A highly populous country and managing the entire population is not easy in a culturally diversified land. Assuming our policies are the best and that we follow when implemented, let us forget politics and businesses of the country for some time and just focus on what is that these people are missing and what could change the situation as a common man.

I was taught in school that the basic needs have to be fulfilled for an average human. Exactly!! These people miss the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter. If we could find a way to solve this problem we cross the biggest hurdle and the mindset of these people are changed for good. Can the government find a way to accommodate them? The central and some of the state governments are already trying to do it.

But our worry is about those people who still manage to live on the roads. Perfect. There come few questions with this policy as this could make people lazy and it is a problem that most of the developed countries face these days by providing basic things including living cost to the needy. Well, there are ways to handle this like imposing compulsory work plan, facilities based on social status etc. Above all there is a big solution which is providing education to the mass.

We are of course adding up a new agenda but it is worth taking the pain. Educate a country and the nation builds by itself. The major objective here is that once education is fed in, they are out of this support system and they will be on their own. If you are thinking of unemployment in your mind, that is a different topic than this. So the more they get educated, the better for them and the society and our issue is eradicated over a period of time. Sounds good but implementing this will be a lot of efforts.

What is being missed here in the above discussion is healthcare. Hell yes! If you don’t offer them healthcare, the whole effort goes in vain. Now if I provide everything free of cost or with a basic cost, why does someone work? What is the motivation to move ahead than to sit and enjoy these basics? Education directly and indirectly will play a role here. People get facilities based on their education and the more educated someone is better are the chances that he realises the importance of work. It is a challenge by itself but not impossible and if it helps us grow as a nation, why not try it? It is much better than having a major chunk of population under the bridges and as beggars. It will be a massive drive and will take a lot of time to get it implemented with changed policies and practises. But it might change the core and it will make a lot of difference to the society and the country.

So we spoke about food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare. Is this only for the needy? No. It has to be for everyone and the money comes from the government and the taxes of people like you and me. Of course, we believe that the taxes will be utilized with due respect to tax payers.

Now, this country which is extremely diversified with culture, religion, languages etc has another basic problem. Discipline among population starting from following rules, following time, Instructions etc. Problems occur because we also have people of different social status like have-not, haves, down-trodden, lower class, lower middle class, upper middle class, upper class etc. I leave the job of segregating classes to Karl Marx and his friends. So a particular message will be perceived by different classes of people differently. The only way to solve this problem is to bring people of different classes together i.e. trying as much as possible to reduce these sects and bring them very close to each other.

Am I talking similar to the Swedish concept of LAGOM? Lagom is a Swedish word for which there is no exact English translation but could be explained as moderate, adequate, just right, balanced etc. Well, yes. I am talking something very similar.

All the above concepts are fine and might sound very good. Who will implement it? It is only the government who is powerful enough to take such steps. NGOs and voluntary organisations can help, support and act as per the government’s instructions. It is about rebuilding the entire basics of a nation and I believe that unless we build them strong, we are not going to move ahead and be tagged as a developed nation in the near future.

Imaginary People and Real Imaginaries…

Imaginary People and Real Imaginaries…

Everything in life can be related to philosophy. During my school days my physics and chemistry teachers were fighting between physics and chemistry for everything in life. Let me add philosophy too and add up to the fight. It is very interesting to think about man-made imaginary constraints and components that play a crucial role in life. Let us go straight to the topic.

What are the major man-made imaginary components that affect or enhance lives? Time comes first to my mind. We invented certain “imaginaries” to blame on and Time comes to our remedy most of the times. We created it and made Time rule us. Religion comes next. We are not debating on GOD. Religion is what we are mentioning here. Imaginary invention and we have no clue on the motivation we work up on religion, to create good or bad that is happening around us all over the world in the name of religion.

Boundaries are again imaginary lines invented by man, may be for political or cultural security. We make boundaries, call them equator, longitude, latitude, countries, states, fought over it and achieved little at the end. The point to ponder here is not on the purpose of invention. Of course there were good reasons. But it is about, where we lead ourselves to with those man-made imaginations.

Now having discussed so much about imaginary phenomenon, let us also discuss on what sounds real. Nature and its elements are real. It is not time that heals everything but nature which helps us resolve problems and regain strength. Without nature, there is no Time. Nature records everything that happens around it. No one knows history better than nature and yet it opts to remain silent and let us also leave it like that for the time-being.

In a way, the world has developed so much only to achieve what it had in the past. We might get to a point where we shun them all again and get back to basics. We created imaginary things considering good for us but now we have led us to a path where we value our imaginations more than reality. For us, People are real. Let us value People and Life gets more interesting!!

Do you have the same problem with Customer Care Centers??

Do you have the same problem with Customer Care Centers??

This article is not about a particular sector but problems for a common man in his daily life and customer care in many cases adds up to the problem than solving it. Not many would have experienced solutions from customer care on certain issues or on issues where one really needs support after buying a product or a service from that company. Let me be clear that I am not targeting customer care centers but only looking towards highlighting that a solution is essential as it happens across sectors.

There is this airline company which was grounded almost a year ago. Well, most of us know the name of this company by now. Passengers who booked tickets with them just before it was grounded got the cancellation notice on time but not the money. They are yet to get the money back, if they have directly booked it through the airline website and by now we know that this money is not going to come back to them. Customer care officers were promising the money until their operations were completely closed only with the intention that these passengers will never get to know their faces over the phone. Nor did the company take steps to contact the customers. Did the company not have enough money? That’s a different story.

Popular Telecommunication companies in India deliver a lot of excellent services without doubt. There are also glitches like once in a while you will be bulldozed by a lot of calls from the customer care for a bill amount that you have already paid. Just because it was not updated in their system and they were instructed to follow a protocol they keep on reminding you even after your sending multiple mails, 24 hours within the first remainder call with proofs of payment.

Taxi services and their customer care centers make your blood boil often. You have an important meeting; you decided to go by a taxi and you booked for it well in advance and got your confirmations. It stops there with confirmations but no taxi reaching on the stipulated time. Now, you are already nervous about making it to the important meeting on time. You call the customer care to realize that the cab was sent for another pick-up by mistake and that the officer will try his best to get another cab if possible. You get angry and tend to shout at the officer and the officer decides to curtail the call and be at peace. How many of you have faced this situation at least once? I have faced it many times. Thankfully these days the taxi services are sensible not to make a mistake for airport dropping services. What a sigh of relief!!

There are many other examples like in banking sectors, house gas lines, electricity, internet etc. The customer care centers are not to be mainly blamed here. Mostly, they are outsourced and they have their limitations with the service providing companies. The parent companies are the ones who are responsible. It is ultimately not the company, not the customer care which gets affected. The customer gets affected in most of the cases.

So what is the problem in getting such issues resolved or compensated? Mistakes happen for sure but if someone gets affected and the problem is worth taking care of, he has to be compensated definitely. The problem here is, there is no provision to get your complaint registered other than to get registered with the company itself.

But the actual problem is that this company does not bother – either there is no next level or we do not know the next level. Well, I know what you are thinking now. Not every common man could afford to approach the court and stand for it for a very long time. That is not a feasible solution for many of us. Yes, still there are many who could stand it and has approached the court for the airline story mentioned in this article. Yet, the problem remains the same as they have not got their money back and indeed spent more than what they have already lost with the airline company.

I am not going to offer a solution simply because I don’t think that there are solutions to this problem now. The ideal solution could be a platform that belongs to the government that will help resolve issues without too much of procedures and a defined time frame. It could be from the local municipality or town office or is there already a solution that you have found which works out?

We should learn from Japan!!

We should learn from Japan!!

A recent travel from Copenhagen till Malmö through the beautiful Oresund’s Bridge was irritating because of a co-passenger who was chatting on the hand phone for a very long time. It used to be one of the pleasant journeys for me as I enjoy the 8 Km ride through the award-winning dual carriageway bridge tunnel between Sweden and Denmark. This time though it was a little annoying and I could not move away to other bogeys as the train was crowded with people returning back home from work.

Talking over the phone at public places becomes a nuisance sometimes especially when it prolongs for hours together. Do you know that people in Japan do not talk over the phone while travelling in trains? Yes, it is true and considered to be rude to talk on the phone inside the train. I recently called up a Japanese colleague of mine and hung up for a no answer. He called me back in a few hours to apologize and explain that he was in the train. What manners to learn!!

Japan teaches us a lot as a country. The world, except Japan would not have imagined of such a development and massive growth after World War II. When Akio Morita of Sony produced his first transistor, it was much bigger than the transistor that used to be in Europe or USA. In a few years, Sony was competing with the EU and the United States producing better transistors than before. After the Second World War, Japan as a country united together to move in one direction to see the much developed Japan that we have today with no compromise on quality. We should of course learn from them to move ahead with a common goal as a team, as a country.

Is it Imagination or Foresight?

Is it Imagination or Foresight?

They say “History repeats itself”. Every market has a demand, supply and equilibrium. After equilibrium, demand and supply take their respective inverse routes. Looking at the way the cities and towns are being converted to apartments, and developers fast encroaching more open spaces into buildings and IT parks with no breathing space at some locations, there arises an imagination. Eureka!!

Agriculture and villages are considered to be the backbone of India. Is it still true? If yes, we are losing our backbone. There are meagre people wanting to do agriculture these days either due to lack of government support, power problems, water shortage or there are better earnings in other jobs. Farmers lose their lives to poverty.

Software industry was till recently considered to be a highly paid job in India but the situation has changed now and it looks to be out of equilibrium in many cases. There are a lot of software engineers passing out from universities than required.

Oh! Did I not mention my imagination? Here it is. In the near future, we will get into a situation where lands will be purchased, converted for agricultural use and corporate farming companies will be hiring farmers with a very high pay. Every apartment owner will be willing to sell his property to these companies for high value compensations. Sounds good, isn’t it? Agriculture, sustainability and recycling will be the biggest trends in the future.

Pornography, Sex and Gang Rape

Pornography, Sex and Gang Rape

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat discovered that the increase in rapes in urban India is due to following western values. For him Eastern values may depend on rearing holy cows.

But, CPM leader Brinda Karat pointed out that the largest number of rapes occur in rural areas on Dalits and tribals. The recent spurt in reporting of gang rapes has initiated discussions about the root causes of increase in such sexual violence against women.

One of the reasons cited is uncontrolled pornography in internet watched by urban population. But statistics confirm that there are more number of sexual assault cases in Indian courts pertaining to rural areas than those in urban areas.

However there is a necessity to assemble data on circumstances leading to gang rapes. The accused in various age groups should be interrogated on their habit of watching pornography. That will show some limelight on what to do next.

Not long time back when it was proposed to introduce sex education in schools, the tradition lovers and inspector generals of cultural police in India opposed it. Whether allowing pornography is detrimental is also a subject debated.

In a country called India,  where sexual reproduction is going on in a fast track to reach top-level, overtaking China and in a country called Bharat which gave birth to Kamasutra and Khajuraho, what will be the effect of more sex education and pornography? Anyway we are going to achieve number one position.

Even in western countries, the Christian churches claim by their research that pornography lead to a risk of believing that rape is not a serious crime. Another research shows that porn can have positive effects on life.

Therefore all over the world the religious people oppose pornography. It is not peculiar to India or RSS only. But the facts and figures available in India are not enough to come to a conclusion whether pornography in urban India increased the number of gang rapes when compared year wise.

We have to wait and watch (not pornography) for more statistics collected from the accused people of all age groups.


How to Beat Exam Stress?

How to Beat Exam Stress?

It is the exam season now with board exams coming up for 10th and Plus 2 students.To walk you through the process of taking examinations and to handle exam stress, let us look at a few tips that could pave way for your betterment.

Here they go:

Things to follow

As exams are approaching, it might become a big cause of panic that could lead to nervousness for teenagers. To work hard the whole day and translate your efforts into good presentation needs good exercise and diet. The key to perform well in the exams is to have a sound sleep and more important is to go to bed early, so that you get up earlier the next day morning.

Staying late at nights should be avoided. Take your own time to relax well and start studying in the right procedure, so that your efforts do not go a waste. Give proper exercise to your brain and do not think unwanted things by pressurizing yourself worrying about what might happen. Make reasonable targets for a day by keeping a proper schedule. Don’t take unnecessary risk by covering things which is beyond your limit. Never think of overburdening yourself by trying to study everything in a day.

Follow the diet 

Good result is as important as your health. Avoid having heavy meals. Add green vegetables all the day during your examinations. Avoid solid food and add plenty of liquids like milk, fresh juice to your diet. It is better to avoid non-vegetarian food during examinations. Avoid eating oily and fried snacks while you sit for studying.

Best medicine is meditation

Meditation helps you in improving your concentration and keeps a control over your mind.  It not only improves your concentration but also keeps you away from mental worries. Legends keep a habit of meditating regularly in order to keep the mind in control that gives effective power to your body as well as improves your mental strength.

One who has not yet performed well also need not worry as still there is time to climb the peak. Work more on your weaker areas and at the same time keep in touch with your strong areas. Above all, keep on working without thinking much about the end results, as said in Bhagavat Gita.

Zhang Ziyi the Chinese actress targeted in the scandal of the oldest profession

Zhang Ziyi the Chinese actress targeted in the scandal of the oldest profession

The Indian fans of Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi were stunned to know about the allegations of scandal against her. Zhang in her thirties was said to have slept with Mr.Bo for four years earning $100 million. She has denied the allegations and is to take legal action for publication of the story.

She is well known to Tamil and Indian film goers since they watched her roles in successful films Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Rush Hour 2 and Memoirs of Geisha.

Allegations against an actress for involving in prostitution is not new. This is universal practice. As usual the media targets only women for such scandals.

Although the values and cultures differ around the world, similar accusations are made against women. This is because it involves celebrities and provides great news value. Who is affected if an actress sleeps with a man? Who complains against it? Who is at loss if the man pays for it?

As long as a person spends money for his personal life after paying all the taxes to the Government what is the reason for a government to worry about it? Is there any ban to live together without marriage? Is there any special policing arrangement to prevent such sleeping episodes in each bed room?

If anyone takes a leaf from the personal life of a celebrity or a business tycoon he or she must be a fool. There are millions of pages and leaves written in the history and religions to show how to live with moral standards and values. The celebrities are just celebrities because they exhibit some talents and beauty. They are not wiser enough to be followed on every aspect or in a specific way.

One cannot earn the way he or she earns in his or her early life.The stories of artists behind the screen are not so rosy. Many artists who were once celebrities die in poverty and illness. In those later times the society abandons them.

The actress has not done any harm to any individual or society and therefore no one has the right to question her even if it is true that she slept with a rich man for benefits and luxury. Leave her alone.

Fashion 202: Colours and Patterns for Men

Fashion 202: Colours and Patterns for Men

If your daily uniform is a white Oxford shirt and navy suit, it’s time to take your wardrobe to the next level:

Ten years ago, men had no choice. If you worked in an office, your shirt was white and your suit was navy. Colour belonged on the tie. Today, the rules are changing in even the stuffiest of offices. Light blue shirts are as acceptable as white. Suits no longer have to be dark unless you’re a very traditional banker. Everyone else can choose from a range of greys, and during the hot months, a light  khaki suit is comfortable and stylish. As for shirts, pink and light purple join blue and white. There’s nothing feminine about these colours in a dress shirt. Pink is masculine, and so is lavender (more commonly labelled “violet” or “lilac”).

If you work somewhere more relaxed, you have more options. “There are no hard-and-fast rules for wearing colour,” says Daniel Ou, director of product development at Gap. “But the easy way to find a colour that looks good on you is to pick shades that complement your skin tone: lighter, brighter colours for dark complexions, and saturated, darker hues for paler skin. Experiment and test out your comfort level first. I recommend trying on a new coloured T-shirt or polo shirt with a pair of dark denim jeans to see how they look together, on you.”

A good place to start is with classic colours — blue, pink, purple — but in different shades. There are great medium-blue shirts the colour of blueberry juice. Cobalt blue is also popular right now. Baby blue, a longtime favourite, “seems to have run its course and may be best for the toddler set,” says Ou. “Pink is a standard go-to colour, but it has a preppy undertone, so try a bolder, dark version to stand out from the pack.” Specifically, look for a dark pink — not red — that’s reminiscent of a faded barn. It’s warm and inviting.

“If you’re worried about looking too bright, use colour as an accent,” advises Ou. “Pair it with something neutral like khaki, grey or brown. It will tone down the look.”

Easy places to add pattern include your tie, pocket square or socks. But to take a fashionable step forward, try adding shirts to the mix. Start with subtle stripes, plaids and gingham (a cross between a stripe and a plaid — it’s two colours crossing over to create a small-checkered pattern). “Wearing these patterns will signal your interest in looking like a true gentleman,” says Ou.

With stripes, start with basic colour combinations such as blue and white, pink and white, or dark blue and light blue. Pair them with navy trousers, jeans or khakis; you don’t want your pants to compete with the stripes. The same formula works for plaid, but avoid overly large patterns and overly bright colours, unless you’re planning to go old-school camping.

“I love plaid,” says Brian Bolke, founder of Forty Five Ten, an independent shop in Dallas, Texas, “because it’s going to have three colours in it, which gives you a lot to work with. You can add a solid trouser and tie and look great.” Note: The trousers and tie should match the darkest colour in the plaid.

“Gingham is a classic and easy-to-wear pattern that will never go out of style,” says Ou. But as with plaid, aim small. “Smaller-scale gingham in darker colours tends to be dressier and more stylish,” explains Ou, “while too large a scale might end up looking like a giant picnic table cloth.”

Finally, avoid combining multiple patterns. It’s too easy to look like you’re wearing pyjamas. But a pattern tie-and-shirt combination can work well. For example, a medium-size plaid shirt with a tiny check tie can look smart when paired with a pair of dark trousers.

In the end, the best advice is to experiment and trust your instincts. “Guys are uncomfortable trying new things,” says Bolke. “But they shouldn’t be. As long as you don’t go overboard, you’re going to get noticed — in a good way — for stepping up your game.”