Happy Birthday Papa!!

Dear Papa

It has been 22 years and not a day has passed where you have fallen short of expressing  your love towards your family, Neha, Mummy and Chinu. Those early childhood days are still afresh to me when you used to comeback tired from the office and without even wiping the sweat from your forehead would take your naughty little son out on a scooter ride. You got me that that ‘murge vaali watch’ once and I remember I went out and threw it in a pit. I got a real taste of your hands on my cheeks that day. 😛

I can’t forget how you used to take three of us on that Bajaj Chetak to Samrat restaurant in Kingsway Camp. Gradually, Bajaj Chetak became Zen and Samrat became Park Heavens. You always made sure that I did well in my studies at school. You accompanied me to every PTM and patiently listened to every brickbat which my teachers had to give about me. How you personally took initiatives to improve my English in sixth standard by teaching me Tenses in that yellow torn out register. I have still kept it with myself. Everyday you would get up in the morning early, thank the almighty and feed the birds. You have taught me and Neha this sense of spirituality and the power of prayers. You have always taught us to be a good human being before being anything else.

I remember how I used to be tensed before my semester exams in college and you would come in the room in the night and say”Are tu tension mat paal. Humne na chaie number tere. Tu khaa -pee mauj le.” You made sure you were there through every thick and thin of our life. You would prefer to eat the leftover Lauki just to make sure I get to eat the rajma. You have made every bit of sacrifices to ensure your kids and mummy never fall short of anything.

I don’t think we can ever repay back or even come close to repaying of what you have done for us and will continue doing so. I thank you for shaping me into who I am today and being there with me as an epitome of love, sacrifice, strength and motivation. I would  consider myself fortunate enough if I am able to payback even 1 percent of what you have done for us. I am trying hard and I promise not to let you down. Just to let you know, all three of us love you unconditionally.If I had to make a wish on your birthday then I would ask almighty to give me the same Haryanavi dad with whom I can joke around and play around for next 7 births.

We wish you a very happiest birthday.

Love and regards

Chinu

 

 

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Is Flipkart inching towards becoming India’s top comapny?

The faces of Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in ecommerce have become similar to what a Sachin Tendulkar in cricket is. Yes, you got it right. We are talking about none other than the fanous ecommerce GIANT, FLIPKART, which has come out all guns blazing in the past half decade or so.

Talking about the ease of customer experience on the website, I am sure Flipkart is the first name which pops up at our head. The technical layout, the background soft colours,ease of checkin and add to cart options and the remarkable payment delivery options make it the go-to site for any customer.But “what if I pay for my product online and the product turns out to be faulty when I receive that at home” was the question of many customers. To this, Flipkart was the first company that started with COD option i.e Cash On Delivery.

On an economic perspective, Flipkart became only the second company after Zomato to reach a break even point where the sales revenue is covering all the fixed costs. Guys like Jeff Bezos of Ebay fame and Pierre Omidyar have repeatedly applauded and shown investment interests in a company which is growing almost in 2 digits annually.

But as someone has rightly said, all that glitters might not always be gold.Behind the flashy-fancy numbers and success stories of Flipkart, there have also been cases of ‘site-crash’ be it Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale or the flash sale of Xiaomi smartphones. Flipkart has also been lagging behind when it comes to replacement policies. As a customer, if I am buying a pair of shoes which can be replaced after a trial check, I would definitely consider Amazon over Flipkart. Stiff competitions from Snapdeal and Paytm are actually compelling Flipkart to rethink it’s business model.

Amidst all the hupla, according to a report by Nasscom last year, Flipkart still holds the 21% market base when it comes to e-commerce industry. Flipkart has been fighting hard to establish and maintain it’s foothold. If it wants to maintain this stronghold, it has to follow just a simple mantra what Adam Smith says. “My friend, Product is always the king”. Is the next king right infront of us?

Tail wagging the dog

Do you remember that  green fictional character from Alladin whom we used to call Genie?Yes, you got it right. The same Genie who used to obey his master’s orders just  like a programmed robot in Japan would do. Are we also falling into this abysmal ideology where we have accepted the fact that there is a boss who can boss around with his tactics and get things done as per his convenience?

Taking this thought forward, If I blurt out the phrase “global economy”, I am sure the first names which would pop up in our minds would be United States Of America and China. Be it the Xiaomi dominance in the smartphone industry which expanded to 1 million customer base in India last year or if you talk about Silicon Valley startup companies receiving billions of dollars of funding, aren’t these players just wagging the world economy by it’s tail?

ISIS is the new Green Lantern which is whacking everybody in Syria and middle east creating political instability. More than 80,000 Syrians had to flee to the borders of Greece and Turkey leaving their homelands. Why?Because some yesterday bred terrorist group had suddenly thought of flexing a muscle or two by the concept of intimidation and fear. Why do we always keep quite when people like Hafiz Saeed applaud Pathankot attacks? Why do we always take a backseat when it comes to punishing the perpetrators of 1993 Bombay blasts?Have we given in to the thought that we are made to be ruled upon?

If I talk about the social context, in most  of the rural areas,women are still considered the submissive gender. They are doomed to remain in the vicinity of four walls, cook food, produce kids and shut up. They are treated as a puppet of the supposedly strong gender of the society. A recent interview by Rajnath Singh reported that out of 32% women working, only a mere fraction of 6.5% work in rural areas.

But my question to all of you is, for how long are we going to deal with this complacent conformist attitude? Aren’t we supposed to be an iconoclast society where we get what is rightfully ours, where we are not living under the fear of any ISIS or Al-Qaeda, where the power is not centralised but is distributed equally? Steve jobs had once said that “Start small with an aim to achieve big”. So my friends this is our time to start small. It is never the size of dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog. I hope that fight starts for you soon enough.

It is often desirable for political leaders to withold information from the public

Voltaire once said that “numbers and information are the two most lethal weapons in a man’s armoury.”Who could understand it better than our political leaders who use this ‘tool of information’ very wisely to sensitize the masses in our country.

We did see flashing headlines in bold breaking news back in 1999 that “23soldiers died and many others suffered fatal wounds in the icy cold weather of Siachen Glaciers”. But may I ask, upto what extent,these numbers show the ground reality? Tomorrow if Narendra Modi tells you the exact number of Muslims who were massacred in 2001 Gujarat riots, then do you think that he would be getting the same votebank from Muslims as he received in 2014 elections? Isn’t it necessary and inevitable tool for him to uphold that information in order to make sure he gets the hotseat next time again.

We all remember the 2008 Mumbai attacks on Trident Hotel when media was covering every inch of incident near the hotel. Later on, according to a report by Coastguard, it was found that the terrorists were watching every activity of National Security Guards and where exactly were the commandos placed near the hotel.So, don’t you think that not upholding information from the public can become serious issues of national security. A very good and a counter example to this is the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France last year. Media was completely shutoff from the bombing scene and France had issued strict statements to the leadership that the case should remain confidential until it is solved.

Thirdly, witholding information becomes a necessary step when you are conducting some national level experimentation. Lets consider that the general public was made aware about the whereabouts of Pokhran nuclear tests. What do you think would have happened then? People would have thronged the place beforehand making it practically impossible  and a publically chaotic situation to conduct tests there.

“But my friend, we live in a democracy and we have the Right To Information” would be the voice raising in the heads of many of my fellows. But if that information is leading to political instability or it becomes an issue of national security, do you really want to comprehend to gain insights of that information?

However I agree that not every piece of information can be withheld from the public. Choosing what to say and what to hide is also a decision which has to be taken very prudently by our political leaders. Any intelligent fool can make things worse with that powerful tool if information. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of determination to move into the opposite direction. Don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

Are newspapers still relevant in the era of smartphones?

“Good morning son. Would you pass me today’s newspaper?

Yes Dad. Just hang on”

This is how I typically start my day in the morning sitting on the dining table for breakfast. Imagine what would be the case If I had to reply back “Dad, don’t you know, there are no newspapers and instead smartphones are the newest word for newspapers.”

In a country like India where more than 70 percent of the population don’t own a smartphone, how effective this trend of shifting from newspapers to smartphone can be? In every corner of a city, you would find somebody like my father who doesn’t own a smartphone but his enthusiasm of knowing what is happening around him has never gone down.Don’t you think we are taking away that ‘fundamental right to information’ from each of that innocent citizen who is as deserving for the same as somebody who owns a smartphone with numerous news apps on it.

Also If I look at the economic perspective of the same, selling newspapers is the be-all-end-all job for a lot of rural households who are still struggling out there to get a two time meal. Not just rural households, in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, students and kids supplement their regular jobs through this make shift job of selling newspapers early in the day or late in the evening. Apart from this, major newspaper agencies like Hindustan Times, The Hindu,Times Of India which have been in existence since 19th century would loose their establishment and identity through this paradigm shift to smartphones. And to add to that, they also form a decent part of our GDP.

 

The ease of convenience through which the knowledge is shared among the masses can only be provided by newspaper and not by smartphone.What happened in Bihar elections to who was crowned man of the series in recent India’s tour to Australia, everything is available just by flipping the pages in few seconds. Readers are freed from the hassle of opening multiple tabs and small screens unlike in smartphones.

However, I also agree we are moving towards a ‘Digital India’ and the concept of Modi ji’s “Smart City” have come up in the recent past, so some of you might say that smartphones are the right way to go about it. To that I have to say that this shift should be gradual and not something like a tyrant imposition on the people . Socrates once said that “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance”. So I ask you, can we try and not take away this precious gift of knowledge from our people?

 

 

 

 

Should prostituion be legalized?

“Neelesh, have a look at those girls. They should a get a life. Shameless”. These were the words which came out from my uncle’s mouth as we drove by the infamous red light area of Delhi called “G.B Road” few days back. I don’t understand why the word ‘prostitution’ is considered to be a stigma by our society when it is considered to be the oldest profession in the world.

If it is a profession then why it is looked down by the society.Economically, we have so successful examples of countries like Thailand and Netherlands where prostitution forms about 30% of the revenue generated from tourism industry. Think of the great boom in economy it can provide to us if it is legalized.

Secondly, by regulating it under the government, we are giving those men and women a sense of establishment and identity who are ostracized. It can have a great social impact in terms of the number of rape cases and sexual assault cases going down because a person will then be bound by this idea of security that he is not doing something which is against the law. Instead of being a perpetrator on the road to a stranger, he can have alternate option to look for. By this way, we are giving our society and government a lopsided incentive to ring down the crime rate.

Democracy means ‘for the people,by the people’ and if we consider ourselves democratic, isn’t this our moral duty to propagate this idea of “freedom of choice” and back those people who are mustering so much of courage to take up this profession.

However many of you might be at loggerheads with me on this that if prostitution is legalized , it will be against the Hindu culture, the culture which perceives a woman as a sister, mother and an aunt. To this I have to say that where did this culture go when Nirbhaya was brutally raped in Dec 2012 or the recent case of Uber driver assaulting a young girl and thousands of other cases which go unnoticed. Hindu culture teaches us to respect women and not inflicting pains on them and if by legalizing prostituion we can take a step forward, what better than that.

Eleanor Roosevelt has rightly said “A woman is like a tea bag. You don’t realize how strong she is until she gets into hot water”. In a country of 4 crore unemployed women, we can leverage this as on opportunity to create more and more employments.But government will have to be the flag bearer of this and come to the forefront to make it legalised. Recently Mr. Modi at a summit stated that “Please tell the government what to do”. Sure,but are you ready to listen?

 

 

 

Introductory post by this rookie

Hello everyone

This is Neelesh Gupta and this is my very first attempt at writing and trying to learn more.

I ,like many others, have an opinion and all I am trying to do here is share that with you.

Bouquets and brickbats are always welcomed though I would prefer the latter more.

Thanks